Thanks to various friends, I have gleaned many productivity hacks in 2017 that I want to share! Here are a few apps/hacks that I have found incredibly useful and beneficial to productivity, and will continue to use in 2018:
- Evernote; personally, I use Evernote for everything not related to my coursework. It’s my personal journal, my lab notebook, budget manager, and an all-around great general note-taking app. I love that it allows you to create checklists, which Google Docs doesn’t allow you to do. You can download it as an app to your desktop, which in my opinion, offers a better interface than the web-based one. I also love Evernote Clipper, the web extension for Chrome, which allows you to “clip” and save anything from a website, including (but not limited to): recipes, workouts, interesting articles, Wiki pages, LinkedIn profiles, you name it!
- Session Buddy; have you ever opened gajillion tabs on your web browser as a way to try and force yourself to read all the articles and/or papers you’ve pulled up? Session Buddy is a Chrome extension that allows you to save your browser mess and reopen that can of worms when you’re actually ready for it, instead of keeping the pages open and stressing yourself out even more.
- Pinned Tabs; Are you the type of person who frequents 3-4 different pages; for example, your email, calendar, slack, or messenger? This very cool hack will solve that problem! My friend introduced “pinned tabs” to me when I saw these cute little mini-tabs on the corner of his web browser:To keep all your frequent sites in one, easily-accessible place, simply “pin” your tabs: all you have to do is right click on the tab in Chrome/Safari/whatever browser you have, and select “Pin Tab,” and it will sit, comfortably condensed, on the upper-left corner of your browser. 🙂
- Stickies; this simple built-in app for Macbooks and many PCs allows you to put virtual “sticky notes” on your desktop. As an ex-user of apps such as Wunderlist and ToDo-Ist, I’ve found this system to be much simpler in terms of to-do items and general reminders. I create a different colored “sticky” for each class or category of things that I do, and a special box just for a week’s overview of tasks.
- StayFocusd; this is an awesome Chrome extension that gives you a daily allowance of x minutes (or hours) on distracting websites that you specify. Personally, I have allowed myself only 20 minutes a day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined, and as a result, have spent less of my evenings mindlessly browsing on friends’ profiles and reading argumentative Twitter threads. 0 distractions 🙂
I hope this post was useful in some way, be it organizing your to-do list or going paperless with electronic journals. Here’s to a more productive 2018!