Simply Geek #16 – Productivity and Life Hacking.

This episode we talk with two special guests, James Norris and Guyi Shen about Productivity and Life Hacking. We cover a range of topics from the ideologies behind Productivity, to the human psychology involved. We also discuss a few common situations faced by everyone, and finally, talk about tools we can use to improve productivity. Do remember to check the show notes for the links to the various tools and websites we talked about in the show, oh and a couple of special announcements below as well.

-NTT, Daniel, James and Guy.

Theme Music by Ivan Chew –

Show Notes:

1. We’re thinking of starting Tech65 Action Days. The idea is to find motivation and discipline to do things we need to do, by being accountable for it to someone. The idea is from a similar activity done by Stever Robbins of the Get It Done Guy Podcast. If you want to join us and motivate yourself to finish doing all the things you planned to do that day, signup at this Google form, and we’ll let you know when we’re going to organize the next Action Day.

The Giveaway has ended.

2. Evernote Premium Giveaway. So I met the guys from Evernote at LeWeb2010 and they gave me a year’s free subscription to Evernote (big thanks to the team!). I thought I’ll give it away to one of our listeners. So if you want to enter in the draw, comment on this blog post, with your favorite productivity tip/tool/idea. We’ll draw a random person from the list of comments and email (be sure to use your real email address) you the subscription. Giveaway ends on 18th Jan 2011. -NTT

Links from the Show.


Pomodoro Technique
Getting Things Done (GTD)


James Norris Personal Development ToolKit
Rescue Time
Remember The Milk
Hipster PDA
Paper MousePad Organizer

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  • I store anything I need to get done, on my phone and just set reminders/calendar events to remind me of things (e.g. I have an calendar entry for everyday for 1 month before my passport expires). The phone is a great tool as it goes wherever I go and can be used offline as well. I’m still finding the perfect way to get things to sync with the cloud and laptop so it’s not perfect yet but it works for me for now.

    • Anonymous

      Cool!! What tools do you use for that?? The builtin alarm and calendar apps??

      • Well on my previous phone (Nokia E71) it was the default To-Do list and Calendar application (problem is that it’s a silo only on the phone with no desktop integration). Now with an Android phone and integration with Google Calendar it opens the options for desktop management which is good but still a learning process. I guess this only really works for time-based things though. The non-time dependent tasks usually just end up in notes in Dropbox / Evernote (still new to Evernote so it hasn’t found it’s niche yet)

      • Anonymous

        OK. So do you use Evernote for ToDo lists or something else? I remember Google added Tasks into Calendar also right?? How’s the Android support for that?

      • yet to really explore all options, current Evernote is a dump so far of things to do, things to buy. I just don’t see it really working for me yet though. I like the idea of ToDo.txt touch where it’s a text file synced to Dropbox. I think that may work for me more. I know Astrid (another to-do list app for Android) has Google Tasks integration but yet to use it: don’t think there is any default integration with it yet in Android though

  • I been using evernote as my productivity tools , it serve as my idea bank, since it have different platform client, including mobile, it allow me to store my ideas no matter where i am , be it work/home/on the move.

    One of the tips I would like to share is if you want to keep a blogpost into your evernote as reference, you can use the readability bookmarklet to strip down all the ads and style then save it by the evernote bookmarket, this allow you use keep a neat copy of note and use your evernote upload limit wisely.

    • Anonymous

      That’s cool. So you make readability ( remove all the styles and ads from the page, so that you Evernote just the good stuff using the browser plugin. That’s an awesome tip! Thanks!

  • Nirun Fu

    RTM, Dropbox, evernote are all great productivity tools… but tools are just as good as the those who use them

    to me more than anything the best tool is the person himself. For me, wake up each day to review your list of things do. put them into all these great productivity tools. At night make sure you review them and roll items that you don’t finish to tomorrow (u will realize u will roll over a lot of stuff but this is okay as long as you keep rolling them over) U will realize how much you havne’ done and feel guilty about it. Reseach shows that it takes two weeks to make somehing a habit. After that you are on a roll and you don’t need the tools anymore. They are just making your life easier!

    • Anonymous

      Interesting.. Like we talked about in the podcast, the most important thing is to have all these tools tie into your mindset. And many times the less tools you use, the better as it helps you focus on the task.

      But what about things in the future. How do you plan for them? Or do you just remember them all?

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks guys for the comments. The Giveaway has ended. We will draw the winner soon and let you know!!

NTT is our Indian podcaster *Tech65 is an equal opportunity employer and we welcome people of all creeds, orientations, Operating Systems* NTT brings with him a knowledge of things Podcast, and things Tech and once in a while even gives us free publicity with which we are immensely grateful for! NTT also brings to this podcast facial hair, which our Chinese podcasters are sorely lacking in. Email NTT at: ntt at tech65 dot org or visit his blog
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