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Tech Productivity

Issue #186  (The Bullet Journal Method) 09/05/22

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This week's issue is going out on Labor Day, which is a federal holiday in the United States and Canada. Most of my audience is based in the U.S., so I generally send holiday issues late in the day. This means you'll likely be getting this issue after Labor Day Weekend has completed, and potentially mid-Tuesday for those in other parts of the world.

And this got me thinking: When you return to work after a holiday weekend, what is your general mind set when it comes to getting stuff done? Here are some things I notice for myself after time off:

  • Emails have piled up, so that will take time to sort out.
  • Issues, tickets, and bug reports have remained stagnant.
  • If I was in a flow state or doing some productive deep work prior to the time off, it will take some time to get back into that mindset again.
  • Similarly, if I've left a code-related task in mid-flow, it may take me some time to review the code and figure out where I left off.
  • If it's a writing project, it might similarly be tough to pick up where I left off without reviewing what I've already written.
Sunglasses on a beach

For all the above challenges, it always helps to be prepared for these before taking any time off. Some things that can help:

  • Have a good email client or some kind of inbox-related tools that can help you quickly sort through the most important stuff first.
  • Know your bugs/issues software well that you can similarly blaze through stuff smoothly.
  • Comment your code well.
  • Keep a good outline of any writing-related tasks. In most cases it's best to have a skeleton of your completed writing project done first, so you're not wondering "How did I intend to finish this?"
All of this takes good planning and knowing your tools, so there's nothing too ground-breaking here. These were just some thoughts I had about trying to be productive after a holiday break.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!


Tools & Apps

Switchboard — A collaboration space for remote work that integrates with many popular apps and includes virtual meeting rooms, shared browsers, video/audio, chat, and more.

Email Architect — An email writing system that lets you organize, manage, and write your emails directly in Notion, to help you write emails more efficiently.

Hero — iOS app for making lists for just about anything. You can share and collaborate on lists (which can be inside folders and spaces) and even discover other public lists.

Eraser — A whiteboard app for engineering teams that includes tools to easily brainstorm, create architecture diagrams, build wireframes, and more.

JumpOn — An always-on live video channel for Slack so your team can hold impromptu discussions and watch highlights later.

Trackabi — A web-based and desktop software for time tracking and leave management optimized for freelancers and small and medium-sized companies.

VSCode.Email — News, tips, tools, and more on the world's most popular code editor, Visual Studio Code.   sponsor  

Articles & Resources

Is Management Burnout Inevitable? — A Tweet thread-turned-article from Web Developer Marco Rogers, in answer to a question posed on Twitter. Likely helpful advice if you're in a management role or not.

How to Stop Being Lazy and Get More Done – 5 Expert Secrets — Some good suggestions from a book released earlier this year that you might want to check out.

You Got This! — A learning hub focused on core skills needed for a happy and healthy work life. Includes a content library and calendar of community events.

Advisorator — A newsletter that goes out Tuesdays for discovering new productivity tools, unlocking your phone’s hidden powers, staying safe online, and organizing your digital life.

What I Learned From the Bullet Journal Method — Tiago Forte's thoughts on this note-taking method, which he says profoundly changed how he thinks about notes, journaling, and productivity.

Your Attention Didn’t Collapse. It Was Stolen — From January, this piece in the Guardian discusses modern vices and tools that affect our ability to concentrate.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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