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A 100 post collection

Weekly plan bars

 •  Filed under Posts, Tools, Productivity

I've been having a successful run with the bullet journal and implementing Mike Rhode's daily plan bar but as a weekly view rather than a single day's view. Daily plan bars go on the left while a list of tasks for the week goes on the right. I'll do a better write up of this in time complete with a more annotated description.

The profound effect of Deep Work

 •  Filed under Links, Productivity

Cal Newport's book Deep Work has been circling the blogs I follow for the past year. I finally took the time to read over the summer. It's such an enriching book (I'm still reviewing my notes for it) and in an age of social media distraction I would say it is a must read.

Don't just take my word for it though. Read the words of Julian Summerhayes who has a rightly so put together a worthy post to reflect the content of the book.

A lesson in building habits

 •  Filed under Productivity, Posts

It's that time of year where people are starting to tail off on their new year resolutions. Let's face it, for most of us new year resolutions are nothing more than pipe dream. I don't do new year resolutions but what I do believe in are habits.

Habits are easier to build than new year resolutions and once they're part of your routine, you'll find that don't need to spend as much time building that habit again if you break it. This also makes your goals (or resolutions) much more achievable.

Ethan's golf has been progressing nicely over the past year. He's comfortable with his new clubs, he's familiar with his local course and he's getting to know more and more people through different levels of coaching and playing. His handicap didn't fall much last year, but he's adamant that this year it will come down and he's set himself the target of being at a handicap of 20 or less by the end of this year.

Rather than getting him to focus on the long term goal of reducing his handicap though I started him on something more manageable.

Building the habit of practicing every day for 20 minutes.

It doesn't matter what part of his game he practices on, it could be his swing, chipping, putting or playing out on the course.

He started off well. He needed reminders to practice in the first week, but he managed to get there. After a couple of weeks, his calendar now looks like this:

16 days of daily practice and all without a break in the chain.

I don't need to remind him to practice anymore. He just does it. He takes a look at his calendar and puts in the practice so that he can keep put the next 'X' in and keep the chain going.

The habit is now part of his daily routine but Ethan is still a long way away from that goal. Once the golf season starts in earnest he should see better scores on his scored cards and start to see that handicap fall.

Rooted productivity

 •  Filed under Links, Productivity

Cal Newport touches on single root commitments and productivity.

The solution to these issues is simple: maintain a single root commitment, that you’ll stick to no matter what, which will in turn help you get the most out of all the other productivity commitments that come and go in your life.

To be more concrete, create a single page document that describes the key productivity rules, habits, and systems (which I’ll summarize as “processes” in the following) that you currently follow in your life.

On Rooted Productivity by Cal Newport

Clearing the decks

 •  Filed under Posts, Productivity

With the new year just around the corner, it's always a good time to clear the decks and start afresh. A few things I'll be doing today:

  • Organising my desk
  • Preparing my new Hobonichi Techo
  • Planning out January in my bullet journal
  • Reviewing clients and their products
  • Reviewing my digital footprint
  • Reviewing my now page

If you're at a loose end today, clear the decks. It's as good a time as any to start getting ready for a fresh start.

Timepage 2.0 Update

 •  Filed under Posts, Tools, Apps, Productivity

My favourite calendar app, Timepage, has just been released with a number of particularly nice features.

Theme colours

The themes preferences screen gets an overhaul that allows better manipulation of the theme as well as new colours and the ability to use light or dark text for your theme.

Advanced Repeating Events

Events can now be repeated with greater granularity. One example of this is you can set an event to repeat on a particular day and week of the month and repeat it a number of times.

Better Notes

Notes now support URLs, flight numbers, email addresses and phone numbers.

There's a also a number of other features and improvements like synchronisation between devices, text size and calendar colours.

What sets Timepage apart from other calendar apps for me is the user-interface. It's not like your typical calendar app. Almost all calendar apps start from a month view and work down to a daily view.

Timepage is different in that it starts with a view the upcoming days and allows you to switch to a heat map of the month or a view of your day.

The iPhone and iPad applications both share the same look and feel but with the extra screen space on the iPad you get a split screen view of the upcoming days and what's happening today.

There's also nice integration with Dark Sky for weather updates on both the iPhone and iPad versions.

All I need now is a version of this app for my macOS and the set of Timepage apps will be complete.