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Productivity

Sometimes social media feels like the thing we’re trying to cope with, and sometimes it feels like the thing that can help us cope. This page offers resources to make social media work for you instead of against you.

The posts here focus on project management, contact management and time management tools and strategies. You’ll find that most of the posts in this category combine established web tools with my own recommended workflow or practices.

20 requirements for a great coffee shop for home office workers

August 27, 2014

What are the ingredients for the perfect working café? I’ve been thinking about this question because I’m heading into a period when I expect to spend a lot of time working in coffee shops.  I’ve spent a lot of my career, including my most productive periods, working in coffee shops, largely because they offer the [...]

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The 23 stages of the task management software lifecycle

March 14, 2013

Totally on top of all pending tasks Moderate slippage of select tasks leads to mild anxiety Catastrophic failure to complete one or more mission-critical tasks leads to wholesale re-evaluation of career choice, self-worth and why are we even on this earth anyhow? Application of medication, coaching and/or psychotherapy scales existential crisis back to actionable item: [...]

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5 essential steps to online security

April 12, 2012

Today’s practice: Tighten your online security. You’d think that writing a dissertation about political computer hacking would make a girl sensitive to the challenges of online security. And it has, up to a point. But I recently decided to up my level of tech security, and in the process discovered some handy new tools that [...]

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5 ways to make task management software work for you

March 1, 2012
Things screenshot

I have a love-hate relationship with task management software. On the one hand, I’m kind of obsessed with it: trying out new task and project management tools is one of my favorite pastimes, and it’s hard for me to resist trying out each shiny new entry in the market. On the other hand, I’m a [...]

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Be the e-mailer you wish to see in the world

February 22, 2012
email on wings

How many people do you receive e-mail from that you read and reply to every single time? I’m guessing it’s just a handful: Your best friend — the one who sends you short periodic updates with a single recent photo, not the one who sends you weekly 2-pagers. The super-smart former colleague, now a rising [...]

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Tweet if you like to procrastinate

February 16, 2012

I am always amazed at how much I get done on my focused writing days — the days when I leave the office and camp in one of the cafés or restaurants where ambient noise helps me concentrate and write, write, write. But it’s not my word count that amazes me: it’s all the other [...]

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For Harvard Business book: How do you reward yourself at work?

February 3, 2012

How do you reward or motivate yourself to complete a task or project? I’m tackling this question in one of my pieces for a forthcoming edition of Harvard Business Review’s Getting the Right Work Done. And I’d love your help. Maybe you’re the kind of person who takes a five minute break every time you check [...]

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How to stop wasting time on technology challenges

January 16, 2012

Today’s practice: The next time you dive into a time-consuming tech challenge, stop to ask: what would a normal person do? Saturday morning I woke up at 4 a.m. in preparation for my flight to London — and accompanying time zone readjustment — later that day. I looked forward to having eons of time to [...]

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Protect your intention span from the distractions of social media

January 12, 2012

Tonight I coined the term “intention span” to refer to the amount of time that passes between intending to work on something and actually starting work. Intention span: The amount of time that passes between intending to work on something and actually starting to work on it. 1/12/2012 6:16 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite @awsamuel AlexandraSamuel.com Social [...]

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My 11 most popular blog posts of 2011

December 22, 2011

I published 231 blog posts on this site in 2011. Of those, here are the 11 most popular posts: the posts that had the most pageviews. I’ll be sharing more top 11 lists over the next few days, including my own favorite posts of this year — both on this site, and elsewhere. 25 rules [...]

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29 free or cheap online collaboration software tools for you and your team

December 21, 2011

Under “fire, pants on”, please file my blog post of not two weeks ago, claiming to have seen the light on how to choose online collaboration tools so that you accommodate the least-geeky member of your team. As a philosophy, that lasted for 10 whole days, but as a practice it survived for less than [...]

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