We’re always hearing how tech distracts us from being in the moment, whether we’re at work or hanging out with friends. But we can also harness the power of technology to help make us more productive and able to keep up with our never-ending to-do lists. We asked five people in TQ, a tech hub in the heart of Amsterdam, to share their top productivity hacks with us, and here’s what they said.
“Notes from Apple, keeps me on track about almost everything I need to get done, for personal and professional tasks, and also up to date across all my devices. Choosing an old-fashioned to-do list made me realize that boosting productivity isn’t about crazy features and apps, but mostly about the right mindset. Every day I start listing the most important things I need to get done. Then I prioritize those items in order of urgency or quick-wins. At the end of the day, I move the unfinished items to the next day and check mark what I’ve accomplished. Simple as that!” — Icaro Bione, Head of Product Design at Twitter Counter
Github Project Boards
“I have a few open-source projects that I maintain outside of my day job, and constantly struggle to find the time to add features or even fix bugs in them. Ever since I discovered Github Project Boards — an integrated Trello clone on Github — my productivity has increased tremendously. The Kanban technique is well established, but what makes Github’s implementation so useful is the fact that issues (a way to keep track of tasks, bugs and enhancements) are at the core. The issues are created either by myself or by the community, and the project boards make them easier to visualise and organize. There’s something really gratifying about completing issues in this way, and ultimately keeps me coming back for more.” — Yosh Talwar, Senior Frontend Developer at Gaiku
“We’ve all experienced being in ‘the flow.’ And this is a magical moment. The perfect balance of focus and creative thinking, where you get shit done. Getting into this state can be hard, and maintaining the flow is just as hard. Brain.fm combines auditory neuroscience with music to help you quickly get and stay there. It lets you get hours of work done, without distractions.” — Padraig McKee, Interaction Designer and Frontend Developer at pr.co
“Trello is great for getting an idea, process or company up and running. You can get an overview of what happened in the past, during a (remote) meeting to move things around or what we’re working on in the future. The anatomy is super simple, and that’s why it can be used for so many things. It’s just an interactive whiteboard with cards, every card contains a title and lot of meta-data. I use it for so many things, it’s almost dangerous!” — Milan van den Bovenkamp, Managing Director at Wildcard
“My favourite productivity tool for the longest time has been Toodledo. It supports the ‘Getting Things Done’ method very well and avoids too many other unnecessary features. It’s accessible from the web and native mobile apps which means I can access and update my ‘next actions’ wherever I am.” — Dwight Gunning, Software Engineer at Stream