How to be more productive and to get more done.

Posts in the Productivity category
Free Printable Weekly and Daily Planners - 05 Sep 2019

I searched high and low for free, printable PDF weekly and daily planners for my kids to be able to schedule their days and weeks. I expected to find dozens of options but was surprised to find very few. Of those few, some plastered their logos all over or declared the document could only be […] for Coding Focus - 13 Nov 2016

You know when you need to focus but your mind keeps coming up with reasons not to? If you’re anything like me, you could use help getting in the zone every now and then (more like daily). I’ve been using for the past few weeks and it’s like the mythical Focusyn on the Simpsons […]

How to Break the Habit of Typing Two Spaces After a Period - 13 Nov 2014

I learned the habit of typing two spaces after a period when I first learned to type on a typewriter. I’ve decided to break the habit, but it’s been really hard to do on my own. The extra space is ingrained in my muscle memory and I keep typing it, even as I’m writing about […]

The Beauty and Power of Habits - 13 Sep 2012

Ever since school started this year I’ve been dropping two of my boys off at school instead of one. This means my bag goes in the trunk instead of the back seat. Every day when I arrive at work I open the rear door, stare at the empty seat and wonder how I was robbed […]

Shortmarks Screencast - 24 May 2011

I’ve been working on a free service called Shortmarks (Shortcut Bookmarks) and have been using it for close to a year. It has become indispensable, giving me fast, keyword shortcuts from any browser. It’s great to be able to switch between Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Opera without missing a beat because all my searches […]

How to Be Incredibly Productive - 29 Apr 2010

I’ve tried every productivity method I could find. Franklin Covey, Now Habit, Getting Things Done and others. It usually started out well, then I slowly began procrastinating and would become less productive. This time it’s been different. My productivity has increased, and I get excited and enjoy using the process. I first learned about Mark […]

How much TV do you watch? - 24 Sep 2009

According to the Economist, the average American household watches over 8 hours of TV. This is one area where we don’t want to be #1.

How to Have an Empty Email Inbox - 27 Feb 2009

An easy way to increase your productivity is to respond to email at predetermined times instead of all the time. I used to have my email open in a Firefox tab all day every day. I jumped on incoming emails like a hawk on its prey, but that’s inefficient. The distraction decreased my overall productivity […]

A Dying Wish To Spend More Time at Work? - 09 Feb 2009

I’ve heard the quote, “No one ever wished they spent more time at work on their deathbed” one too many times. I have a beef with it. I understand the intention of the quote and I agree with the sentiment, but it’s dangerous to claim absolutes. A single exception disproves the whole thing. Plus there’s […]

Save Some Time Using Gmail - 18 Jan 2009

If you like to keep your Inbox at Zero and use Gmail, this is for you. The normal steps are to reply to an email, then archive it. A new Gmail Labs feature turns that into a single step, aptly named “Send and Archive.” Removing the additional step isn’t going to free up all that […]

Simple Way to Take Lots of Screenshots on Windows - 21 Nov 2008

If you want to take multiple screenshots quickly and easily, here’s a great solution. 1. Download IrfanView, a feature-filled but lightweight image viewer for Windows. 2. Run it and type ‘c’ (or go to Options -> Capture / Screenshot). 3. Configure the settings. Here’s what I chose: 4. Press ‘Start’ and then go about your […]

Get Your Inbox to Zero - 15 Nov 2008

I used to keep a tab open in Firefox with my Gmail account, giving me the ability to be a fast replyer via email. Realizing the time I spent being distracted by email, coupled with a discussion from Tim Ferriss to check email twice a day, I decided to close the email tab. At first […]

Windows Countdown Timer Showdown - 14 Nov 2008

I’ve found a good way to reduce procrastination is to set a timer and commit to working on a task for that period of time. It makes it easier for you to work on something you’ve been fearing because regardless of the outcome of the task, you get to stop when the timer dings. It’s […]

Most Useful Shortcuts in Google Reader - 06 Nov 2008

I love using keyboard shortcuts to get things done faster. Here are the main ones I use in Google Reader. p/n – navigate up and down through feeds without expanding k/j – navigate up and down through feeds and expand feeds N/P – navigate up and down through folders (in the left sidebar) o – […]

Most Useful Shortcuts in Gmail - 05 Nov 2008

I’ve been using shortcuts in Gmail for years now. The recent post about Gmail shortcuts on the Google Blog inspired me to write about the ones I use. j/k – Move up and down through the messages x – Select a message s – Star a message gs – Go to starred folder gi – […]

$199 Mind Mapping Software for Free - 30 Oct 2008

If you like Mindmapping you can get a sweet deal on ConceptDraw MindMap. It usually costs $199, but it’s free. To get your copy: Step 1. Download it Step 2. Generate a key Step 3. Start mindmapping! Freemind is a popular mindmapping application that’s free all the time. Having used both, I’m sticking with ConceptDraw. […]

Increase Your Productivity With Text Shortcuts - 28 Jun 2008

How would you like to be able to shorten anything you write often? How about an example. If your name is Frank, you probably type something along the lines of “Best, Frank” at the end of emails or memos. What if you could type far fewer characters and get the same result? With AutoHotKey, you […]

Simple Way to Improve Your Memory - 11 Jun 2008

A Polish man named Piotr Wozniak created an algorithm to help him commit things to memory. He found it to so effective that he created software and a web site to help others use his algorithm to improve their recall. He dubbed it SuperMemo. I tried out the software and the web site to give […]

Save At Least 10 Minutes Every Day - 25 Feb 2008

My Windows desktop has only one icon – the Recycle Bin – yet I can open any application on my computer in less than 2 seconds. I no longer search the Start menu for applications, wondering what folder contains the program I want to run. How can I do this? With Launchy (download) Launchy lets […]

Free PDA Replacement That Never Runs Out of Batteries - 19 Feb 2008

I used to have a PDA that I carried around with me wherever I went. I spent countless hours searching for utilities and games to put on it. I synced it with my calendar so I could keep track of things and I had to remember to charge it regularly. I was disappointed to learn […]

10 Commandments for a simpler life - 20 Apr 2007

On the heels of 17 ways to be more productive, I ran across another list of ways to simplify your life. It’s in the form of the ten commandments (except he uses “you” instead of “thou”).

Ways to be more productive - 09 Apr 2007

Mark Shead made a list of 17 things you should stop doing that I enjoyed reading. Here are my responses to each of his items. Manually Depositing a Paycheck – I’ve done this for years and years, but there are other checks I get in the mail that I can’t deposit directly. Then there’s the […]

Free books by e-mail - 14 Sep 2006

Daily Lit (via JD Roth) is a fantastic idea for a service. You pick a book and they e-mail you a portion of it each day (at the time of your choosing). It’s free too. They have some classics that I’ve wanted to read and this is a great way to do it. The only […]

keeping track of your goals - 15 Jul 2006

I just found a simple and convenient way to keep track of your daily goals. It’s called Joe’s Goals. All you do is add a few goals, then click on the day if you’ve done it (or click twice when you really slam dunked the goal), so it’s quite simple to do on a daily […]

find what you love - 06 Jul 2005

Snopes is an excellent resource for verifying stories people swear are true but sound suspect. Virtually every time I get an e-mail forward that looks fishy, I’ll check it out on snopes, and nine times out of ten, they’ve already done the research or are currently working on it. I’m subscribed to their what’s new […]

unsolvable math problems - 25 May 2005

I once heard of a story about a student who arrived late to class and saw three math problems on the board. He wrote them down, assuming they were homework assignments. A few days later he went to the professor and asked if it was too late to turn in the homework assignments because they […]

the speed you read - 30 Jul 2004

How fast do you read? I took both tests and got 400-450 on the first one and 450-500 on the second. (via waxy links via reBlog via