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Tech Productivity

Issue #272  (Why Tech Job Interviews Are A Nightmare) 04/29/24


$47 Million in Artwork Sales Equals Profits for These Everyday Investors — Master­works is taking on the billionaires at their own game, buying up paintings by world-class artists like Banksy and Picasso, and securitizing them for its investors.

When Masterworks sells a painting – like the 16 it's already sold – investors reap their portion of the net proceeds. Its investors have already received proceeds from more than $47 million in sales, realizing annualized net returns of 17.8%, 21.5%, 35% and more.


Now, Masterworks wants to do the same thing for you. By qualifying every offering with the SEC, Masterworks makes it easy for everyday people to invest in multi-million dollar paintings. Offerings can sell out in just minutes, but as a trusted partner, Tech Productivity readers can skip the waitlist to join here. [ Note: Past performance is not indicative of future returns, investing involves risk. See disclosures: ]

Skip the Waitlist →

As usual this week's issue includes a list of 6 tools and 6 articles that I've never included before in this newsletter. After curating this week's list of tools, I noticed a common theme showed up with four of the tools: They're described as an "all-in-one" solution of some kind. An 'everything bagel', so to speak.

In some cases, the "all-in-one" description is something I personally add to give you an idea what the tool or platform is about; I want to make it clear that it's not just a one-function app. In other cases, it's right there in their marketing copy.

So that got me thinking: Different people tend to favour different types of tools, depending on the kind of work they do, the type of environment they're in, and of course the type of person they are. Some like to have a whole slew of one-off tools, each of which do a single thing really well. While others prefer something that's all-inclusive, so they don't have to juggle too many things at once.
Imperfect Action Beats Perfect Inaction

Do you prefer your productivity toolset to be an "everything bagel"?

When it comes to which type of toolset leads to more productivity, I think there's a case to be made for both sides.

For example, 15 different single-purpose tools will have an overall much larger learning curve and might lead to more friction when switching among them.

On the other hand, two or three different all-in-one tools might not do as good a job as all the individual ones that do the same tasks. There might also be more technical overhead with an all-in-one solution. Also, it's unlikely that many of the one-off tools will be used very often. Usually even in an all-in-one tool you spend most of your time with a few features. So now you're essentially lugging around more technical baggage for little return.

Again, both of these arguments have merit so I think it all depends on the factors I mentioned. I personally like having lots of tools that each do fewer things, but that's generally because of my personality and the way I like to work. There are definitely people who feel different.

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


Tools & Apps

Freeter — An all-in-one organizer app for Mac, Windows, and Linux to help you manage projects, switch between tasks faster, stay focused on a single project, use widgets for quick access, and more.

Moodist — A collection of ambient sounds to help you stay focused and calm, with sounds under categories like nature, rain, animals, urban, transport, etc.

Anytime Mailbox — Business starters, are you in need of a business address separate from your home? Anytime Mailbox provides a seamless solution, securing a private, professional address with added benefits like mail forwarding and scanning for ultimate convenience. Start browsing locations today.     sponsor  

Linen — A real-time messaging platform that offers threaded messages for teams, designed for both async and real-time conversations while letting your team stay focused and productive.

Second Brain — An all-in-one Notion template that centralizes tasks, projects, notes, references, and more, to help you quickly capture new information, track deadlines, link notes with projects, and more.

tabOS — An all-in-one new tab page Chromium browsers that transforms your new tab page into a personalized desktop with tab management, AI chats, notes, images, and RSS-feeds, all side-by-side.

Linker — An all-in-one bookmarks and snippets manager that lets you organize what you save under workspaces, folders, and tags, along with features reminders, trackers, and collaboration.

Articles & Resources

Why Tech Job Interviews Became Such a Nightmare — This is a follow-up to a previous story from Wired, with this one summarizing some responses to the original piece.

The Paradox of Goals — A fairly comprehensive discussion of the concept of goals that ultimately encourages creating space for our goals to emerge rather than having a more rigid and linear model of goal management.

The Morning Paper for Tech — Want a byte-sized version of Hacker News that takes just a few minutes to read? Try TLDR's free daily newsletter. It covers the most interesting tech, startup, and programming stories in just 5 minutes. No sports and no politics.     sponsor  

Strategies for Making a Living from Open-Source Projects — Simon Hamp provides some personal experiences along with some info on how others have made their living doing nothing but open-source.

The Psychology Behind Why You Can’t Put Down Your Phone — Cal Newport dispels some myths on why people constantly look at their phones after which he encourages curated consumption.

These Companies Tried a 4-Day Workweek. More Than a Year In, They Still Love It — There are some challenges with the 4-day workweek and, as the article points out, there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution, but it's good to see the overall idea is working for many organizations.

Getting Things Done (In Small Increments) — This is great advice for those who have taken on larger non-work responsibilities (like marriage and children), which often make it harder to find long periods of productive time.


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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