In our world, productivity is usually associated with efficiency - being able to do more in less time. There are tons of ways to get more done, from automation, to utilizing special apps, to simply finding a faster process. It’s rewarding to shave seconds off a repetitive task, knowing you’ll save cumulative hours down the road. However, efficiency gains are affected by the law of diminishing returns just like everything else.
There’s only so much faster, easier, better you can do. Instead of continually tweaking systems and trying new tools to gain a .15% performance increase, it’s better to start looking inward. Am I doing the right things? At the right times? Is there anything in my life that needs to go? Am I moving the needle forward? It’s tough to be ruthless with the priorities in your life, but it’s necessary because if you commit to everything, you commit to nothing.
Items of note:
This is a great place to start when you are interested in learning about automation. There are links, podcast, and RSS feeds to a variety of blogs that talk about automation. You can learn how to automate your home or your apps easily with this valuable resource that @rosemary kindly put together.
MacRumors Buyer’s Guide
This is a great web site to visit when you’re thinking of buying a new Mac or iOS device. You get the release date of an Apple product and how far long it is in the product cycle with a recommendation to “Buy New - Just Update”, “Neutral - Mid-Product Life Cycle”, or “Caution - Approaching End of Life Cycle”. These suggestions give me a better idea of when to wait for a new updated model or just go ahead and buy it.
Bear 1.5: New Tag Icons, Note Archiving, an Additional Export Option, and More – MacStories
Bear, one of the most well-liked note-taking applications just received a big update, including special searches, tag icons, and some new themes.
Timeular review: My time tracker of choice | A Life of Productivity
A Life of Productivity recently reviewed an interesting digital/analog bridge device - an 8 sided “die” which triggers a timer depending on which side is up. This could fill a gap for some folks struggling to more accurately track time.
Magnet is a beautiful little app (on sale now for 99¢ for a short time) that helps you organize your windows. If you have a large screen iMac or a MacBook connected to a large monitor, you’ll begin to realize how essential this utility is. Snap windows into grids based on thirds, halves, or quarters. It will make you wish that this was but into MacOS X.
Quote of the week:
“It ain’t the blows we’re dealt that matter, but the ones we survive.”—Rose Madder by Stephen King
Tools worth your time: Carbon Copy Cloner
This should be an essential part of anybody’s application suite. This has saved my butt numerous times when a hard drive crashes. I make backups of my computer on three external USB hard drives that I rotate on a weekly basis. I know my data is safe and I don’t have to worry about a computer that dies on me during an important time period. The downtime becomes a smaller setback because I can connect the hard drive to another computer and still have my data. I also keep a bootable copy of my computer’s hard drive so that I can get back up a little easier.
Challenge for the week:
When was the last time you decluttered that messy desktop of yours? Try to clear up your desktop and put things in their right place.