Open Thinkering


4 blogs that enhance my productivity

Dilbert - productivityI used to be naturally productive. These days, for a multitude of reasons, I need some assistance, some guidance, a helping hand to point me in the right direction. It’s about time (and especially given the education, technology, productivity tagline of this blog) that I share some of my productivity kryptonite… 🙂

There’s a plethora of blogs which will promise to help you Get Things Done. There are but four to which I subscribe, however:



Focuses mainly on software and computer-related stuff, but essential for finding out nifty ways to do boring and time-consuming things done more quickly. It also features exclusive software/plugin downloads and how-to guides. I always read every post on Lifehacker. 😀

Some recent Lifehacker posts I’ve found helpful:

Zen Habits

Zen Habits

A relatively new blog, the author has now gone full-time and sells e-books. There’s some real pearls of wisdom in his posts and, although some don’t appeal directly to me, some really do hit the nail squarely on the head! The author also has a refreshing view of copyright. He calls it Uncopyright:

Why I’m releasing copyright
I’m not a big fan of copyright laws anyway, especially as they’re being applied these days by corporations, used to crack down on the little guys so they can continue their large profits.

Copyrights are often touted as protecting the artist, but in most cases the artist gets very little while the corporations make most of the money. I’m trying this experiment to see whether releasing copyright really hurts the creator of the content.

I think, in most cases, the protectionism that is touted by “anti-piracy” campaigns and lawsuits and lobbying actually hurts the artist. Limiting distribution to protect profits isn’t a good thing.

The lack of copyright, and blatant copying by other artists and even businesses, never hurt Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to images such as the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, or the Vitruvian Man. It’s never hurt Shakespeare. I doubt that it’s ever really hurt any artist (although I might just be ignorant here).

And while I’m no da Vinci or Shakespeare, I can’t help but wonder whether copyright hurts me or helps me. If someone feels like sharing my content on their blog, or in any other form for that matter, that seems like a good thing for me. If someone wanted to share my ebook with 100 friends, I don’t see how that hurts me. My work is being spread to many more people than I could do myself. That’s a plus, as I see it.

And if someone wants to take my work and improve upon it, as artists have been doing for centuries, I think that’s a wonderful thing. If they can take my favorite posts and make something funny or inspiring or thought-provoking or even sad … I say more power to them. The creative community only benefits from derivations and inspirations.

This isn’t a new concept, of course, and I’m freely ripping ideas off here. Which is kinda the point.

Focused mainly on the freelancer, the creative professional, this blog has some great angles on postmodern productivity.

Posts from that I’ve found useful recently include:

Parent Hacks

Parent Hacks

I’ve only subscribed to this blog in the last 6 months. You’re warned before you have children how much time they take out of your life. Of course they’re worth it, but you never get that time back – so any time you can gain without neglecting them in any way is always a bonus. That’s where Parent Hacks comes in! I can’t really point to any one post that’s really helped me; they pretty much all do, apart from when they recommend US-specific stuff…

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I’ll toss in one more link to this post while I’m at it. During the creation of this post my Twitter contacts have been extolling the virtues of Chromatabs for colourful tabbed browsing in Firefox. Handy. I can remember installing something similar (Colorful Tabs) on Hannah’s laptop a while ago, but apparently this goes one stage further… :p

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