Honestly, I think Evernote might finally be turning things around. The templates feature is the first in a while which focuses on their core functionality, taking notes. I’m more hopeful about them now that I have been in a while.

October is almost over so I guess it’s time to look over my now page from last month and get ready to update it. Also I’d better get a couple of things ready for my challenges next month.

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley - The New York Time 🔗

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley - The New York Times via @leo

A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K.

Interesting article that touches on ideas you’ve probably heard a lot recently. I agree more with the “principled limited” screen usage. There’s an incredible depth of knowledge on the internet including things like YouTube (I don’t think there’s been a better time to learn a musical instrument and I’m brushing up my jazz guitar chops) but YouTube is designed to get you hooked and spend more time there, and often the brain dead stuff is the most addictive. We have to be careful.

Yesterday I critiqued productivity obsession and the constant drive to find that one tip that will finally solve your productivity pains…today I was watching David Sparks’s Omnifocus field guide and his section on Tags gave me some great ideas. Basically, doing the very thing I critiqued. Yup.

I thought I had finally found a cheap airport express to get my Airplay 2 on…but ebay had other ideas. :(

Confession of a Recovering Productivity Addict

Six years ago, when I was living in Spain, I was obsessed by Productivity. I tried to make my system as efficient as possible, using the best apps to help me get things done and spending hours a week listening to podcast on the topic. Of course, the irony was that I spent more time learning to be more productive than actually being productive. It’s easy to look down on that with hindsight as I now know many of the fundamental principles and ideas which help with productivity but back then I didn’t. At the same time, I don’t really care for listening about productivity advice (especially as an isolated topic) anymore, I know that the thing that would make the biggest difference for myself is applying what I already know, not learning something new.

The 20% that takes you 80% of the way

Just like everything, there are a few core productivity principles which take you a long way. Applying those will be more beneficial than spending hours trying to learn the other 80%. Unfortunately that means doing stuff rather than sitting back and listening or reading. I’m not certain on what this 20% is exactly – and it may well vary a bit for you – but the things that make the biggest difference for me include: - Getting a good nights sleep - Doing some regular exercise - Not eating too much bad stuff (it makes me feel tired and bloated) - Listing the key things I need to work on and do today - Writing down the steps in a project and marking the next step - If I don’t know what the next step is, thinking of whom I could ask to find out - Doing a task straight away if it will take 2 mins or less - Saving tasks as soon as I can

Perhaps I needed to be an addict?

I was originally going to write a bit of a rant against productivity culture where people constantly seek that extra trick (or worse app) that will help them finally be productive (spoiler, no matter how productive you are, you can always be more productive and even if you do reach 100% productivity, you will still wish you could do more.) but as I started writing I realized I was (partially) wrong. Those earlier experienced actually help me greatly today and just because I don’t need to hear that advice, doesn’t mean others don’t.

Still, I wonder if most people who are concerned about being productivity would be better served spending more time doing than consuming about productivity.