Cake
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    • Thank you for the invitation! I’ve been focusing on improving my productivity for the last 7-8 years, here’s a quick summary of my toolset

      1) General archive of stuff to-do: Jira. Jira is a project management tool that we use internally at my company but i’m killing two birds with one stone and use it also for tracking personal projects. Alternatives: Trello, Todoist

      2) Daily workflow: Jira’s Board feature can give you a kanban-style view for backlog, in progress and done items

      3) Planning: Confluence. This is a tool from the same company as Jira for documenting pretty much anything. I mainly use it to keep a weekly set of goals in a Bullet Journal (https://bulletjournal.com/ 1) style. Basically this acts as a higher level of organisation for the task list, with planning for the next 2-3 weeks. Alternatives: any kind of editor (even Word :)), paper (some people get addicted on that though)

      4) Progress tracking: Beeminder https://www.beeminder.com/ In short, Beeminder allows you to setup goals, track progress and financially commit yourself towards those goals. My Beeminder goals are the things a) I want to be doing in life (personal and work) b) have determined to be important to be doing (work but not so much fun). Alternatives: nothing really :)

      5) Time tracking: RescueTime https://www.rescuetime.com This serves three main needs: a) blocking sites when trying to focus, b) tracking time spent on specific projects (and these are fed to Beeminder), e.g. tracking effort, and viewing this in real time (you can set goals on time spent per day and view these as small browser popup windows), c) tracking mobile use (in a beemindable way). Alternatives: there are a few other solutions for either a or b or c, but not all together at the same time i think.

      6) Pomodoros: PomoDone https://pomodoneapp.com It’s a pomodoro timer with plenty of integrations. I can start a session related to a Jira task and this triggers a status update/away mode on Slack, starts a FocusTime session on RescueTime and adds a time log entry on Jira as well on the end.

      7) Integrations: Zapier and IFTTT link stuff together to reduce manual entry to a minimum.

      How this all ties together: Beeminder is basically my “high altitude” overview, weekly/month planning is done on Confluence, backlog and daily mode is on Jira. These are aided by RescueTime and PomoDone to fight my procrastination tendencies.

      Hope this helps!

    • Thanks for invitation, it's a very interesting topic.
      I work in the quality department of a big company, in a large open space. You understand how difficult it is to stay focused with other people who talk, sometimes screaming! I had to do something!! So I worked on my brain and taught him to close "the doors of curiosity" to everything around me. It works so well that sometimes my colleagues talk to me but I don't answer because I don't listen (sometimes they scream my name to get my attention 📣😄😄).
      My work is sometimes boring so sometimes I have to stimulate my brain to get the maximum, which is why I set goals to achieve, so for me it becomes a challenge and since I adore challenges, "you're done"!
      This also applies to my passion for bricolage, every time it is a challenge with myself, I have to succeed, I have to reach my goal, but at home the distractions are other, so I turn off the phone, turn off the TV and put the wireless headphones, listening to my favorite music at full volume and every now and then to stretch my legs I get up and start dancing 😁 keep in mind that all this happens at night, during the day I don't have time for this activity.
      At work I help myself with the various Outlook settings so I can remember all the appointments and meetings but if I have a long list of activities to close I prefer pen and paper. The alarm on my mobile has saved me many times, I would not give up on this, with all the commitments I have, I would not be able to remember everything

    • I thought you were pulling my leg when you said you watched this old black and white short film every month. It almost seems ludicrous in its simplicity, but I think a lot of us are guilty of moving too fast when we should be taking the time to think slowly and to be more present in the moment. One of my hacks is to add an interesting web page to my iPhone’s home screen; it then launches like an app. I’ve done so with this video: the icon is now next to the Cake app, which will remind me to rewatch the video periodically.

      ++++++++

      So many great ideas shared by everyone, btw. I think it will take several days to digest @MarkG ’s systems but I do expect to have a few questions since there’s a lot of complexity to it.

      @margot you are my hero and I am envious of your ability to tune out everyone else in an open plan office. A conversation in the office across from mine is enough to have me scrambling to turn up the volume on my headphones.

      And @kwthom , I may not be retired but I would be in the doghouse significantly less often with my spouse if I remembered to write appointments on the calendar AND to check the calendar more frequently.

      @amacbean16 you are a beast of productivity. We are all in awe.

    • In Taiwan, a Friday night class could do wonders for clearing your mind.

      Aah, but Friday nights are spend with my family. I don't get much of a chance to see my wife and children much during the week.

      Those meditations look good. I’ll take a look at them.

    • Paper-based Bullet Journal method has become quite useful and sticks around, as long as I have the stamina to maintain it, and is always pleasant to return to even after a break.

      @MarkG I have tried on two different occasions to keep a Bullet Journal but the first time I tried it I couldn't stick with it. I did a good job with sticking with it the second time, but I found the upkeep of it was taking away too much time. I was putting more time and effort into maintaining it than I was gaining from increasing productivity in return.

      It's maybe not the same thing but in terms of keeping track of things and making sure something important doesn't slip my mind, I've taken to carrying a Field Notes Memo Book (https://fieldnotesbrand.com/products/autumn-trilogy) with me everywhere and just writing everything down. I find it's much easier to get things on paper than it is putting it into my phone. Later, when I have time, I can then take what I wrote down and file it away somewhere else. When I do, I use a red pen to leave a big check mark over top of it so I know I filed it away somewhere. As I keep everything in my memo book by date, I don't have to worry about losing anything: If I don't get around to filing things away today or tomorrow or even the next day, I don't have to worry about it because I know it's not going anywhere.

    • @MarkG I have tried on two different occasions to keep a Bullet Journal but the first time I tried it I couldn't stick with it. I did a good job with sticking with it the second time, but I found the upkeep of it was taking away too much time. I was putting more time and effort into maintaining it than I was gaining from increasing productivity in return.

      In general, any productivity system that works for you is the best one.

      As mentioned, bullet journal is on a weekly/monthly basis, usually consisting of about 20 items per week and around 10 items per month. It takes about 20 minutes to setup the next week and about 5 minutes at the end of the day to update it / re-arrange stuff.

      The best part of the bullet journal process for me is marking which planned items have not been done and need to be transferred to the next week. Eventually you can see some patterns on stuff you procrastinate on or just don't consider as important as initially thought (so it might be a good idea to drop it).

    • One of my biggest productivity hacks of late has been adding apps to my phone so that I can bookmark content to read later: New York Times, Medium, Twitter, etc. I actually read a lot more of my bookmarked content than if I bookmark to Safari or Chrome; I rarely if ever review my bookmarks on those browsers.

      For Cake, I’ve been using @mbravo ’s suggestion of roam to save comments that I want to mull over before responding. I can also add notes to each bookmark such as key points, quotes and links to articles. It’s helped me to avoid forgetting a great comment that, after reading, I didn’t have time to respond to.