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Tech Productivity

Issue #77  (Focus in the Age of Distraction) 08/03/20

If you're like me then your computer's desktop is probably well organized for about 3 days out of the month, if that. I don't mind it so much, because I know eventually I'll get around to cleaning it up and getting it more or less where I want it. To me, the desktop is similar to my inbox. Once in a while, I'll take the hours needed to clean it up and then the cycle begins again. That's just how it is. I don't stress about it, and I don't obsess over keeping it clean.

A Messy Desktop

Of course, not everyone has the easiest time with clutter and disorganization, so I understand if you're a lot more finicky with keeping things neat.

If you're looking for a diverse array of suggestions on electronic organization, a Hacker News reader asked: How do you organise your files and folders?

The top answer is a little more organized than my strategy, but somewhat along the same lines:

"Save files to my desktop. When it gets too messy, I throw everything in a folder called 'Cleanup'. Repeat. When it gets messy again, I rename the Cleanup folder to Cleanup_<date>, then throw that and everything else in a new folder called 'Cleanup'."

There are a lot of other good suggestions in the thread if you're looking for some fresh ideas on gettings things organized.

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

Tools & Apps

Re:format - Chrome extension that lets you quickly "quote reply" in Gmail. Just select text, then click the button to reply with the quoted text automatically inserted in the reply email.

PDF Remote - Upload a PDF then use it to conduct a remote presentation during virtual meetings, regardless of the meeting software used.

NeuraCache - iOS and Android app for space repetition. Take notes, highlights, etc., using your favourite tool, then connect this app to study.

nuTab - Chrome extension. A new tab page to save notes, drafts, and todos, saved locally and with rich text formatting and dark mode.

VSpace - Create desktop-like spaces with important and useful links so you and your teammates don’t waste time searching for and sharing them.

Articles & Resources

Remote First: How Quora is Thinking Outside the Office - Another big company talking about their change in workflow and culture due to the current pandemic.

Feeling Unproductive? Maybe You Should Stop Overthinking - This author argues that we can work better if we "tune out" the external world and focus on what's in front of us. Not a crazy idea, really.

Learning Is a Learned Behavior. Here’s How to Get Better at It. - From 2018. Being someone who hated learning as a teenager but love learning today, this is absolutely true.

How to Focus in the Age of Distraction - If you have trouble focusing, this article discusses some of the reasons why and then offers solutions on strategic focus.


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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