Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Productivity

I've recently discovered three interesting resources that have been very helpful in improving my general productivity. I'm sharing them here.


Any.do

Any.do is a really well designed TODO app with a gesture-based UI that works on iOS, Android, and on Chrome on the desktop. I've used several TODO apps before, but this one is my favorite because even after several weeks, I'm still using it.

The UI is extremely low-friction. It has enough features to be useful without being too complicated. You can assign times/locations to TODOs, get reminders, postpone, or attach notes to items. Everything is classified Today/ Tomorrow/ Upcoming/ Someday. It includes free syncing across all your devices. It even integrates cleverly with GMail. And, it makes cute noises when you finish items. The same kind of reward that made Angry Birds so addictive!

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

This book by Charles Duhigg is on the neuro-psychology of habits. Like most business-type books this one is much longer than it needs to be. But, it gives you a really useful way to reason about habits by describing the cue-routine-reward loop and how the brain stores habits in a different part responsible for "automatic" functions. Techniques here can make it a little bit easier to build new (good) habits. I've been able to build at least one good habit. I'm still trying to get rid of some bad ones l picked up in Grad school  (late night snacking)!

HBR Ideacast

I started listening to Harvard Business Review's Ideacast a couple of years ago. HBR produces short (15-20 min) podcasts - mini interviews with accomplished people (with a focus on business) on different topics and makes it available for free. Some podcasts will help you discover some great books/ideas/tools, while others are moderately entertaining. I've gotten ideas on time management, improved how I communicate with managers, discovered some great books, gained a more sympathetic understanding for why large organizations act the way they do, and have gotten better at dealing with meetings. Pretty good mileage from a podcast!


If you have an interesting productivity resource you'd like to share, leave a comment!

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