Increasing Productivity by Reducing Tools

Desi on March 21, 2019

Cover image from Unsplash Pomodoro, kanban, Basecamp, bullet journals... there's no end to the number of ways to get organized. The more organized... [Read Full]
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Very good idea. Writing things down is huge. Ive also found - but it just seems wrong doing it - that printing source out and marking it up with highlighters can be very helpful. tho Im not so sure the trees would agree!


I love the idea of printing and highlighting! I’ve done that with so many other things in my life, can’t believe printing code never occurred to me.

Sorry trees.


I started scheduling hours for deep work everyday, e.g. 8-10 and 13-15. During those hours I put my headphones on, play music that lets me focus and turn off all of the distractions like email, slack, push notifications on the phone. I can really see the difference in the productivity.

Here's a book for those who are interested in this topic goodreads.com/book/show/25980294-d...


Great points!! I always fall into the tab trap too - I use Toby but totally forget to actually read anything there. Have also tried OneTab and The Great Suspender. I think I just need to change my habits. Sigh
I also, despite working for a Zenkit (a project/task management tool), always use pen and paper to track my daily to-dos 🙈


Thanks for the lovely post. I think everyone needs to cultivate the ability of listening to oneself as the ultimate authority.

I am gonna let you on the thing that actually helped me the most in the productivity department -> InfoQube

It is a lower level Personal Information Management program that lets you customize your workflow in a million different ways.


I always carry with me a notepad to write or scrawl workflows or designs.

Time ago I tried to use to-do lists but I notice that after a week I stop to use them and I decide to keep with me a notepad.
I still use apps like trello or google keep for personal projects and small reminders.


That is indeed something that you have to think about.
The first thing I did at my new job was to create two meetings during all the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to Deep Focus work.
That way no one should put a meeting in the middle of the morning where I know that I am the most productive.

At the beginning of using Slack at my company, I was very happy to try it as everyone was talking about it.
We were 160 people on it, on very various teams working on a lot of different topics. And it became messy very quickly. And a day out of work would result in just feeling that you were out for a month.
And it was hard to focus a conversation as someone can just jump on your conversation in a channel and the topic just totally changed.

So knowing your tools, the way you use it and the way you don't want to use it (even if everyone in your organisation is doing it that way) is indeed decisive.

You just have to review your tools, the way you use it and indeed removing to ones that does not bring joy is a very good method. You can thing of it as a "less is more" phylosophy.


I've gotten very carried away designing a workflow using org-mode and emacs before. It seemed like a thing beauty at first, but in the end it was just overkill. I relate.

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