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Tech Productivity

Issue #260  (4 Types of Professional Time) 02/05/24


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Is there a trend lately towards making our mobile phones less and less functional to prevent them from distracting us? I think this has been on people's minds to some extent over the past few years, and possibly longer.

For example, in 2020 Maxime Vaillancourt wrote an article called Turning my smartphone into a boring tool (which I've featured before), that was his own response to a startling pattern in screen time usage. As he argues, our smartphone should be like a screwdriver; use it for a single purpose and then get it out of the way.

Then there's the article Boring Phone: How to Stop Phone Addiction, by Rishikesh Sreehari in 2022. This article outlines a list of steps to take to ensure your smartphone is "boring to use".
Jose Briones's Dumbphone Finder

And if you want to take more extreme measures (besides ditching your phone outright), Jose Briones has produced a guide called The Dumbphone Finder. It's a directory that links to online stores around the web that have "dumb phones" for sale. That is, devices that don't have the common features you find in iPhones or similar.

So if you've been thinking about your smartphone use of late and want to scale back, maybe one of those resources will inspire you to take appropriate action.

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


Tools & Apps

Chathelp — An AI-powered business, work, and study assistant that lets you chat with your own private AI knowledge base, allow AI to interact with potential customers, along with a writing assistant and 100+ other tools.

Paperless-ngx — A community-supported open-source document management system that transforms your physical documents into a searchable online archive so you can minimize your use of paper.

Snipd — A platform for podcast listeners that allows you to highlight, take notes, and summarize your favorite podcasts using AI.

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Klamp — A Zapier alternative that provides solutions for automation and integration for startups, SaaS products, and enterprises.

Summarize — A tool for WhatsApp that allows you to get quick summaries of text messages and create voice notes, with features to enable/disable summaries for specific message lengths, enable private summaries, and more.

Bookshelf — An AI-enhanced reading companion for iOS that helps you track and remember what books you read, with features like time tracking, reading goals, reminders, and insightful stats, to motivate you to read more.

Articles & Resources

First Decide How to Decide: “One Weird Trick” for Easier Decisions — Jacob Kaplan-Moss's follow-up piece on another article where he discussed a decision-making framework that he doesn't feel is effective. This one expands on a process the author calls "document-discuss-decide".

How Much Do Companies Invest in Developer Productivity Teams? — The first issue of a series providing insights and trends on developer productivity, this one focused on specific data on how much companies have spent in this department.

Free Your Newsletters From the Inbox — The inbox is full of distractions and too many subscriptions lead to inbox chaos. Time to liberate your inbox and move to Meco, a newsletter aggregator built for reading.     sponsor  

5 Simple Guidelines For Better Breaks — This is a short one but the basic tips are: Don't be stationary, avoid isolating yourself, go outside, detach yourself, and make sure to keep breaks as part of your routine.

The 4 Types of Professional Time — From Sahil Bloom's newsletter where he looks at what "types" of time exist in our workdays and how we can find a more optimal balance across those types.

I’ve Been Employed in Tech for Years, But I’ve Almost Never Worked — From last Spring, an interesting piece by Emmanuel Maggiori. Is this still accurate today in tech-related work? Or was this just a narrow-minded view of one person's experience?

3 Ways to Recover When You Don’t Know How to Answer a Job Interview Question — Three simple tips from Teresa Freeman, who has 25 years of experience as an HR executive for companies like Amazon and Deloitte, on overcoming a common roadblock in job interviews.


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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