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Tech Productivity

Issue #42  (Why Office Workers Can't Sleep) 12/02/19

A reader on Hacker News asks: What is a feasible alternative to the MacBook Pro? In this case, the reader is frustrated with unreliability of the product, not necessarily the cost.

Lots of discussion in this one, but here are some of the suggestions:

  • Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu
  • Dell Precision 5520
  • X1 Carbon (ThinkPad)
  • Windows 10 on Surface Book
  • ThinkPad P52
Dell XPS 13
Is the Dell XPS 13 a feasible MacBook Pro alternative?

Again the thread has lots of detailed discussion on the various options, if you're in the market for a switch to a non-Apple product, and the options might also favour your budget a little more, assuming you're looking for something larger (e.g. comparable to the MacBook Pro 16").

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

Tools & Apps

KeyCat - Open-source end-to-end encrypted password manager.

SkyAlt - A private place for organizing life and work data. Write notes, sort files, set reminders, store recipes, build CRM, all in one private place.

Finisher - Organize tasks into streamlined workflows and checklists in Slack. Lets you design custom workflows and team checklists to facilitate more effective team collaboration.

Joplin - An open source note taking and to-do application with synchronisation capabilities.

TakeNote - Note-taking app for developers. Free, open-source, plain-text note-taking app for the web. All the features you need, and nothing you don't.

Articles & Resources

Why Office Workers Can’t Sleep (and Why That’s Bad) - Linda Geddes discusses the common understanding of how natural light vs. artificial light exposure can effect our well-being.

Harnessing the Power of Shower Thoughts - Great suggestions for shifting the mind towards diffuse mode, which can help in problem solving.

Why office noise bothers some people more than others - No one likes an office whistler or pen clicker – but for some people, these noises aren’t just a nuisance, they’re a full-blown aural assault.

Relentlessly Simplify - We can never have too many reminders to keep things simple when it comes to the systems we put in place in our everyday lives.

Strategies for Long Projects - Ben Brostoff recommends optimism, documenting progress, and other suggestions that might work if you're in a similar boat.


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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