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Tech Productivity

Issue #199  (Review of Manganum) 12/05/22

The following intro is a paid product review for Manganum, an all-in-one Chrome extension that turns your browser into a productivity workspace.

If you're like me then you're probably constantly living in your browser. I do tons of research on literally hundreds of websites each week, and I edit and maintain a lot of my research directly on various Google services.

Manganum is a Chrome extension (available for any Chromium-based browser) that gives you quick access to your Google services in a supercharged, but simple-to-use productivity environment. And it's all available on every browser tab you open.


Once you install the extension from the Chrome store, you'll get some basic instructions to ensure it's installed correctly, and you're ready to go. The image below shows roughly what you'll see (click to view a larger version):

Manganum first look

The pane currently open in the above image is your Launchpad. Here you can conduct a web search, see your most visited sites, visit and customize favourites, and view your browser bookmarks (which requires permission).

Other panes available on the left side are your Calendar, synced from your GCal, a translator powered by Google Translate, your Tasks, also synced from your Google account, and a Notes pane where you can add, delete, and customize your own notes (see image below).
  Manganum Notes

There's also a pane where you can sync your SMS messages from your Android device. Of course, any of the features that involve syncing from external services will require your permission, which is quick and easy.

The rest of the new tab page includes some widgets that you can customize, as well as some options for changing the default background images displayed. In fact, most of Manganum's features can be customized to your liking (date/time format, dark/light modes, pane to auto-open, and more).

One cool feature of Manganum is that the toolbar to open various panes is available on any website you visit. Just move your mouse to the left side of the browser viewport and the toolbar will pop in automatically, as shown on the Tech Productivity home page below:

Manganum Toolbar

Overall, this is a well-designed and feature-packed extension — and it's free!

One thing I noticed about the reviews is that many users say they love it because they forget it's even there until they need it. So it's not in your way, while providing a powerful and compact toolset for users working regularly in Google Workspace's tools.

You can read more about the features on the Manganum website, or just go directly to the Chrome Web Store to install it today.

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


Tools & Apps

Rnote — An open-source vector-based note-taking and drawing app for Linux users that allows you to sketch, handwrite notes. and, annotate documents and pictures.

Birdfeeder — A service that emails you a list of your newly added Twitter bookmarks once per week. Handy for those who bookmark Tweets then forget to ever go back to them.

Locksend — Encrypted file sharing service that has automatic expiration on stuff you share, to ensure long-term privacy and security.

MiaoYan — A lightweight and open-source Markdown editor for Mac users that offers syntax highlighting, dark mode, internationalization, presentation mode, and lots more.

Jamf Now — Streamline how you manager your Apple mobile devices. Jamf Now makes it easy to deploy, oversee, and secure all your devices. Sign up for a free account now with capability to manage three devices and add more for just $2 per device each month.   sponsor — An online quick-reference to check the time in various time zones around the world. It also tells you if the clock on your device is accurate.

Metamonic — Service that lets you create a quick landing page that has an easy-to-remember URL, to share with participants in a video meeting.

Articles & Resources

This Surprisingly Common Virtual Interview Mistake Can Cost You the Job, According to New Research — Based on research gathered from 330 U.S. hiring managers, recruiters and HR professionals, the mistake is "avoiding eye contact or staring into space."

Does High Velocity Lead to Burnout? That May Be the Wrong Question to Ask. — If the term 'high velocity team' is new to you, this will help explain. Might be a bit of a buzzword but the suggestions might be useful for any teams.

Is It Possible To Be Too Productive at Work? — A look at what is toxic productivity and how to identify if you're suffering from it.

Discipline is Destiny: 25 Habits That Will Guarantee You Success — This is a great list of unique suggestions, with lots of good historical quotes and research cementing the advice.

The News in 5 Minutes, Every Day — Subscribe to Morning Brew for a daily summary of the hottest topics in business, tech, and finance. It's well-written, totally free, and you can finish it before you're even done your morning coffee. Join 4 million other readers and subscribe today.    sponsor  

How to Learn From Your Failures — A good article if you have a mental block that prevents you from viewing your failures as ways to move forward and make progress.

Brain Training Doesn’t Work — If you use games like chess or Sudoku to strengthen specific skills that can be applied to work and learning, there's research from 2016 that suggests it might not be as effective as we think.


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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