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Tech Productivity

Issue #65  (Randomness to Fight Procrastination) 05/11/20

If you're a web developer who's constantly opening Chrome's developer tools, you might benefit from a tip that Addy Osmani posted recently. He describes a way to have the DevTools open automatically in every new tab that's opened in Chrome (and I assume this works for any Chromium-based browser).

You simply pass the following flag when running a command to open the browser:


On Mac you can do this via the terminal by running something like the following (depending on your system):

/Applications/Google\\ Chrome --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs

On Windows it's much easier to tie the flag directly into your shortcut. If your browser shortcut is on your taskbar, hold SHIFT and right-click the shortcut. Choose "Properties" then, in the "Shortcut" tab, change the "Target" to include the flag after the quoted path:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs

Adding a flag to Chrome's shortcut in Windows to open DevTools in every new tab
Adding a flag to Chrome's shortcut to open DevTools in every new tab

You can also use the run box in Windows to execute the same command. As long as your system is remembering previous run commands you'll be able to access it each time you want to open your browser. And again, this isn't just for when the browser initially opens, but for every new tab you open.

Not a tip for everyone, but definitely one you'll want to consider if you more or less live in DevTools.

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

Tools & Apps

Uptime Calculator - Calculate allowed downtime (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly) based on your target uptime, according to your Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Notebag - Windows, Mac, and Linux app to organize your notes without getting distracted. A fully keyboard-compatible note taking app that links all your knowledge and gets out of your way.

Workstream - A super-fast, virtual computer you can use for anything.

Kaffae - Chrome extension. Build long lasting knowledge from your reading through AI-powered reminders, analytics, and a searchable personal library.

Backyard Mini-Office - I initially thought this was satire, but it's real and apparently pretty expensive.

50% Off JavaScript for Beginners Course by Wes Bos - All of Wes Bos's fantastic video courses are 50% off for the Master Packages during the current crisis.     promoted  

Articles & Resources

Sanity Preserving Guide to Remote Work - A thoughtful and practical piece by Marek Šuppa for dealing with the current situation.

Could a Randomness Machine Help You Fight Procrastination? - This is Arne Jenssen's hack on the Pomodoro technique, using a jar of "rewards" chosen at random during breaks.

Noise, Cognitive Function, and Worker Productivity - PDF that investigates the relationship between noise and worker productivity with two experiments that showed an increase of 10 dB reduces productivity by approximately 5%.

How the Brain’s Expectations Affect Learning - A new study by neuroscientists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany that shows that our brains make "predictions" about our environment then register the results.

The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information - From 2017, Tiago Forte discusses what he considers the perfect organizational system.


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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