Posts Tagged ‘productivity’

Screen Time and less usage of social media

I have been trying an experiment — the use of less social media, thanks to Screen Time on iOS 12. The last item I uploaded on Instagram was on September 17 2018. My usual form has been to make a photo at every place I land up at, but since seeing that I spent 30-45 minutes of “dead time” daily on the app, I figured I needed to stop using it so regularly.

My thought there is quite simple: do I make money from Instagram? No. I should generally only be doing productive things with my iPhone, correct?

Consequently I haven’t uploaded photos from my trips to Tokyo, Singapore, London, Edinburgh, and apparently London again, where I’m penning this. OK, it will be November 1 2018 tomorrow, so I should maybe start posting again.

I find that I don’t use Facebook much but have the application for the 2-factor authentication (I will have to find a way to move this to Google Authenticator or 1Password so I could zap it). This leave Twitter, which I do spend a bit of time on (I have to work on reducing this).

WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. may be considered social media but the reality is I need to communicate with folk so I can’t stop using those apps.

Screen Time also helps tell me how much time I actually spend on the iPhone. I feel like it is too much. Here’s to more iPad and more MacBook Pro. And in general, more time around Productivity/Reading & Reference/Creativity/Other/Health & Fitness, going forward. And of course… Entertainment (Netflix has some good shows from time to time).

Anyway, measuring where I spend time clearly matters. I’m surprised we don’t see this on macOS yet (but for that I have RescueTime). I understand that Timings is another popular app to use. From a time management standpoint, I reckon reading: The Average User Checks Email 5.6 Hours Per Day and also The Mona Lisa Doesn’t Tweet. These are timely reminders that we should gain from social media, but not give in much more to it.

OmniFocus Clip-o-Tron

I use OmniFocus and Apple Mail quite religiously. Sure there’s the wonders of GMail, but I’m an offline email kind of guy. What is not immediately obvious is how one can make a task from an email message in OmniFocus.

You want the OmniFocus Clip-o-Tron. I only recently just discovered it, and its one of those things you wonder why The Omni Group did not just install by default. It makes so much sense. It helps with GTD, after all, isn’t Mail the app where a lot of people spend their times and lives in?

Makes me wonder what else I’ve been missing out from using. This alongside MsgFiler are great tools to improve your Mail productivity.

On assets

Seth Godin is spot on in Where are your assets? Please go read it.

Do work and get paid once. Build an asset and get paid for as long as it lasts.

RHL 7 & 8 boxed setKey takeaways: real estate pays regularly, stocks are the promise of a later payoff (maybe a little more regularly with dividends). Build your brand by overdelivering to earn trust. Ensure you’re always building value (people miss you when you’re gone). Gain expertise – don’t do the same thing over & over again. These apply to companies as well.

The picture shows a boxed set of Red Hat Linux 7 & 8. Shortly thereafter they became RHEL & Fedora. Red Hat built assets and look where they are now – listed on the stock exchange and arguably one of the largest companies in opensource. Cygnus started with no more than $6,000 in capital, had a great exit to Red Hat and formed much of the basic underlying toolchain.

A salesman would say, “always be closing”. I think the mantra should be: always be building assets., making email easier to manage

I learned about, from Fred Wilson’s recent post about how he works towards achieving Inbox Zero. I don’t use GMail as my main client, preferring to currently use Apple Mail after I ditched Thunderbird earlier this year. However, most of my email accounts are now based on GMail, thanks to the wonders of Google Apps for Domains.

Unsubscribe is exactly what I’ve been after. I get subscribed to a lot of mailing lists and instead of marking things as spam (sometimes in my MUA, sometimes on GMail), I’d rather just get off the mailing list so it does not clog up Google’s servers. Another problem is that my oldest email account is now fifteen years old, so it tends to get clogged up with quite a lot of crap.

Signing up was easy. Installing the plugin for Firefox was also easy. Hitting the limit of five email unsubscribes per month was dead easy! I had to quickly grab my credit card and get the limit lifted (if only they offered Paypal as an option).

I ended up using it in a mixed-mode environment. I tried to use it in the browser for some of my various Google Apps for Domains accounts. It worked a charm. Then I moved back to my MUA, and started forwarding emails to That too, worked a charm. One click (and one forward) unsubscribe is just too easy.

Considering I have too many email accounts and not all of them have GMail access, I had to write their support line a quick email. Within a few hours, they fixed my problem – they whitelisted all my email addresses, and if I need more, they’ll gladly whitelist more. They also told me that they’re working on an interface to allow users to add their own email addresses.

Service within a few hours. Absolutely love it. Can smell that they are a great startup to watch. Well worth the USD$19/year fee.

Update: In the 2 days that I’ve been using it, on day 1 I got off 78 mailing lists, and on day 2 another 51.

Finding people from cell phone base stations

Picking up my mail today, there was the venerable Expat Magazine in my inbox. Out came a DiGi flyer, offering their business plans. What interested me?

Worker Finder™
Worker Finder™ will tell you where each employee is – based on the nearest base station to the location of the employee’s mobile phone. All with the convenience of an online interface.

Find out more, at their mobile enterprise page. RM40 for 200 searches (“pings”, if you must).

This is smart. I mean, the facility has existed ever since cell towers came to play, just why hasn’t anyone monetised on it before? Kudos to DiGi on finally, trying to.

Brings up questions of privacy though. As an employee, would you want to turn off your business phone, after hours, for fear of your office tracking you? If you were planning to skive off work, would you turn the phone off before leaving, in the event that this service tells you the last recorded cell phone tower?

Lots of thoughts, though I’m assuming once this is offered to parents, they’ll have an added bit of piece of mind, for their children. After all, isn’t the excuse to buying kids a mobile phone these days, because of safety?