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Tech Productivity

Issue #245  (Retaining Technical Info) 10/23/23

Build or Buy: Native SaaS Integrations?
B2B SaaS companies need to provide native integrations. However, it takes months of engineering to build and maintain each native integration. That's why top SaaS companies buy embedded iPaaS solutions. Learn when to Build vs. Buy.

Read the Guide
If you find yourself reading a lot of technical information but not retaining much of it for practical use, you'll enjoy some of the suggestions in this Hacker News thread where a user asks: Do you also feel you retain nothing after reading a technical book?

I'm definitely in this situation myself. I have way too many feeds and newsletters to keep up with. The few things that I do read thoroughly I find don't stick with me too long unless it's something I'm directly involved with in some way at the time.
Justin Welsh on X on Growing a business Online

The top suggestion in the thread covers this very concept, encouraging readers to not just read but put what they're reading into action. It's an obvious answer, but it's easy to become lazy amidst the avalanche of information we get in tech every week.

Other suggestions from the thread include:

  • A recommended course on "learning to learn"
  • Take notes then condense the notes on review
  • Read only what you find interesting, don't just read for the sake of it
  • Spend time contemplating the information
  • Teach what you learn to others (or pretend to teach it to an imaginary other)
  • Use the Socratic method of asking questions
There are more good suggestions and related points in the thread (which is from January 2022) so it's worth a read if you find your technical reading is hindered of late.

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


Tools & Apps

InstaCalc — An online calculator and math scratchpad that's somewhere between a calculator and a spreadsheet with features that include instant results, variables, natural language, currencies, anonymous URLs/embeds, and more.

PomoNow — A Pomodoro timer app that lets you track your tasks and complete them using Pomodoro-based timers and breaks, for increased productivity.

Magic Beans — Your finances and invoices, powered by Notion. Connect your Notion to generate beautiful invoices you can send along with automated reports to understand your business.

Build or Buy: Native SaaS Integrations? — B2B SaaS companies need to provide native integrations. However, it takes months of engineering to build and maintain each native integration. That's why top SaaS copmanies buy embedded iPaaS solutions. Learn when to Build vs. Buy.     sponsor  

TextCraft AI — Chrome extension that's an AI-based email assistant for Gmail and Outlook, to write and summarize emails faster.

Ajir — A simple platform for teams to manage products, document them, automatically track time and timesheets, track bugs, help requests, and more.

Voiset — iOS or Android app to create tasks, notes, and todos by voice. Just open the app, tap record, and effortlessly record your tasks by speaking.

Articles & Resources

Does a “Growth Mindset” Really Help You Succeed? — Based on nearly two decades of research showing that changing your mindset isn't as easy as it's been suggested in recent years.

Being a Disciplined Person In an Undisciplined World — Some fairly obvious advice but a good reminder that being disciplined is not a single-task accomplishment, but involves doing a whole slew of things consistently. 

Where the Smart Money Thrives, No Matter the Economic Forecast — The address for the hottest ticket in town? WebStreet. They match accredited investors with portfolio managers specializing in cash-flowing online businesses in areas like Micro-Saas and Amazon FBA.    sponsor  

Win Your Boldest Goals Using the Goal Gradient Effect — A reminder that the motivation and progress towards any task or achievement is not straightforward and binary but has its peaks and valleys.

Three Simple, Brilliant Mental Models for Better Collaboration— I hadn't heard of any of these before: The Abilene Paradox, Parkinson’s Law, and Chesterton’s Fence.

Job Seekers’ No. 1 Interview Red Flag Could Be A Sign Of A Toxic Workplace, Says Career Expert — According to a Monster poll of more than 6,000 workers, 65% of job seekers consider jobs that require more than three rounds of interviews to be the biggest “red flag” of a bad work environment.

Get It Done — A reminder that involving others in order to get things done is better than trying to do things by yourself and struggling in silence while things pile up.


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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