Productivity Tools

September 6, 2020

I find it easy to get lost in new topics. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with everything that I have to do. Here are some of the tools that I use to keep myself on track.

1.Toggl with Pomodoro timer.

I've been using the pomodoro technique for a couple of years now. It really helps me focus when I'm feeling overwhelmed with tasks.

The Pomodoro technique involves working on one task for 25 minutes and then taking a 5 minute break. After 4 cycles you take a 30 minute break.

Anytime I am feeling unproductive and feel like I can't get started, I start a pomodoro.

I started using toggl to track my time and the browser extension adds pomodoro timer functionality.

toggle pomodoro settings showing enable pomodoro checked, stop timer at end of interval checked, and sound notification at end of interval checked

Time tracking with toggl is nice because there is a weekly email that is "proof" of your work. Having this proof is a good motivation tool for me.

2. Trello with GTD

trello board view showing boards for projects, someday/maybe, waiting for, reference, and next actions

Trello is a wonderful kanban application that can be used with the Getting Things Done system. In this case each list from the GTD system has it's own board. Within the Next Actions board, there is a list for each "context".

trello card view header showing inbox, home, arcade, computer, school, work

3. Notion

Pages in Notion can be used as a wiki like structure for notes. I have a page that links to all of the classes I've taken notes for and each of those pages holds a page for each lecture, a page for each chapter and pages for study guides, which you can see an example of below.

a notion page showing links to pages for classes a notion page that links to notes for the Advanced Operating System class

Notion has toggles that let me write a question and show/hide the answer. This is a form of active recall studying. I also use colors to mark questions and areas that I had more difficulty answering.

a page with questions that can be expanded to show an answer