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Tech Productivity

Issue #232  (Easy Ways to Keep Your Brain Young) 07/24/23

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Is there a UI that you use that sometimes confuses you and negatively impacts your productivity? This Tweet from writer Laura Martinez sums up nicely how an often-used interface can become a mental nightmare when you're in a time constraint.
Tweet by Laura Martinez

If you use an iPhone, then you know exactly what the problem is here. The options aren't difficult to grasp overall, but I think it's the hurry caused by the fact that you're already on a call. Your mind just doesn't want to analyze each of the options, so your initial response is to quickly pick the one that 'looks' right. But then you second guess yourself and now you have to spend the mental energy figuring out which one you have to touch!

It seems easy, but it's infuriating when it happens in the moment. Is there a better solution to this UI? I'm not sure. I think maybe something more grid-like or row-based would look better here. For me, it's all the circles that seem to make it more confusing. But I really don't know if another kind of UI here would make a difference. Maybe the best UI is no UI at all (i.e. just send them to voice mail with no option to accept!).

If nothing else, it's nice to know that others feel the same way about this particularly annoying (but mostly unavoidable) feature on a mobile phone.

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


Tools & Apps

2Slash — Chrome extension that adds a ChatGPT-based prompt to your browser, to generate social media content, Google Sheets formulas, email replies, and more.

writedown — An open-source notes app that's synced across all your devices, with support for Markdown and offline working.

Easily Automate Culture with Airspeed — Airspeed’s free Slack apps are revolutionizing team culture and connection. Automate your employee recognition, appreciation, new hire intros, and more with their new AI-powered apps. Put your team culture on autopilot today, 100% free.    sponsor  

Harvest — A time-tracking app that includes features for reports, seamless invoicing and payments, and integrations with Slack, GitHub, Asana, Trello, Stripe, GCal, Outlook, and lots more.

WhisperBot — An AI-based speech-to-text assistant for WhatsApp, powered by OpenAI and includes support for 50+ languages. Just forward your voice message and the transcription comes back fast and accurate.

Notion Standup — A Notion-based tasks tool for teams that notifies your team daily on active and overdue tasks, with notifications via email, Slack, Discord, Webhook, Zapier, and Telegram.

Moot — An all-in-one collaborative workspace to plan projects, take notes, capture tasks, document, and more. Includes pre-built meeting templates, blocks, and more.

Articles & Resources

The Single Most Important Internal Email in the History of Amazon — The Bezos email is a springboard for the article, which is now part of a series of articles, but the overall theme here is a framework for successful remote work.

8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Brain Young — From the end of last year, but a good one with some good suggestions no matter what your age is. The one surprising fact is the heading on the link between diabetes and memory loss, which I wasn't aware of.

Securely Share 2FA Tokens with Others, No Phone Needed — A browser-based 2FA authenticator for you and your team. Easy import from Google Authenticator, user management, read-only access, backups & more. 2FA your team will love!    sponsor  

Why Everyone Should Have a To-Don't List, According to This Harvard Professor — Philosophy and science agree: We spend too much time thinking about what to add to our lives and not enough thinking about what to subtract.

Why Some People are at Higher Risk of ‘Stress Contagion’ — The author suggests that stress level can be better understood when viewed as something that develops and propagates in a social environment and isn't something that rises and falls in isolation.

I Don't Think I Want My Next Promotion (Yet) — A sort of stream-of-consciousness piece from a software engineer who was briefly considering his future when he found out his company was going to make 8% of the company redundant.

Creativity is Productivity — Based on studies the author discuses that demonstrate a link between personal productivity and creative success, which basically likens creativity to a lottery.


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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