This Is How I Work.

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Something I always find interesting is how people manage their work lifestyle. There are so many different organization apps and productivity techniques out there and everyone has their own combination that suites them. I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s “How I Work” posts so I thought I would share my own. Here’s how I work:

1. Inbox Zero

The inbox zero technique is what keeps my email sane. Basically my inbox is a todo list on its own. If something is in my inbox, I either need to reply or take an action somewhere related to it. I clear my inbox three times a day: in the morning, after lunch, and before I call it a day. That being said I always keep an eye on it incase something important comes by. For those emails that I need to wait on before replying, I “snooze” them using Mixmax. Basically it hides the email I snooze in another folder and out of my inbox until a set period of time. When it pops back in my inbox, it becomes something for me todo again.

2. Sunrise Calendar & Fantastical Calendar

Yeap, I use two different calendar apps: Sunrise Calendar & Fantastical Calendar. Sunrise has a beautiful iOS app and its ”meet feature” has saved me billions emails I would have otherwise sent back and forth to schedule things. I mainly use Sunrise on my phone. I love Fantastical too cause it lives in my mac menu bar and makes it super easy to check my calendar on my computer. Also its Natural Language Processing feature is pretty dope. Instead of going through a bunch of menus to add something to my calendar I can just type “Lunch w/ Shane at Panda Express next Tuesday at noon” and it’ll be in my calendar. They both also sync to my Google calendar so no issue there with consistency between the two.

One side note on the meet feature: it does save a lot of time but sometimes it feels impersonal, kind of like you’re just throwing your calendar at someone.

3. Todos in Apple Reminders

I looked through about 20 different todo apps before just deciding to stick with the built in Apple Reminders. Really, I just didn’t want another account to log into. It also helped that it was built into the notification centers of both my Macbook and iPhone.

4. Pomodoro

There are a lot of variations of the Pomodoro technique, but what I do is start my day by dividing what I have to do into 25 minutes tasks which I add to a Apple Reminders list. If a task takes a lot less than 25 minutes I combine it with other tasks. After ever 25 minutes I take a 5 minute break, often to hoverboard around and clear my mind a bit.

I used Tadam which is a simple timer that lives in my mac menu bar to time myself.

5. Pen & Paper

As much as I love tech, I take all my notes on pen and paper. Why? Cause its a lot less distracting then using a computer and its easier to draw/sketch things out (unless you’re using the new Microsoft Surface Book). Also, most importantly, it forces you to keep your notes concise since writing is a lot slower then typing. My current note book is a Mod Notebook.

I’m considering moving my todos from Apple Reminders to my notebook. I’ll probably try that next week

6. Coffee

I drink a lot of coffee.

One other tool I want to mention is f.lux. It basically changes the color of your display to ease the strain on your eyes as the day progresses. I’ve noticeably been able to sleep easier after a long night of staring at my computer screen since I’ve installed f.lux.

That pretty much summarizes my day to day work flow. I would love hear any tweaks, ideas or comments on how to improve as well as how you work.


Thanks to @shanedewael @watthemehak and @GoldmanMichael for proofreading

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