As a father to a one-year-old son, my energy levels and mental capacity are not what they used to be.

I recently enrolled in Tiago Forte’s Pillars of Productivity course and have started to apply some of what I’ve learned to my daily routine. These are the apps that I have selected to use for each purpose:

Tool 1: Google Calendar for Scheduling

Time is one of our most finite and precious resources.

No one has more than 24 hours in a day. You can only spend each minute once, and trying to spend it on two different things at the same time is madness. Without a visual overview of what meetings, appointments, and assignments are scheduled for me across all of the areas of my life, something is bound to slip.

To make sure that I follow-through on commitments, I use a calendar.

Tool 2: Obsidian for Note Taking

The act of writing something down increases the chances that you will remember it, even if you don’t read the note later.

But reviewing your well-written notes can make you that much more effective and efficient at whatever complex task you do. As a software engineer, the tasks I face are many and diverse. It is important to me that the tools I use to enhance my thinking are as flexible and configurable as they need to be to fit my thought processes.

There is much more to say about Obsidian and about note taking, stay tuned.

Tool 3: Apple Reminders (and Timers)

Hey Siri…

  • “Add a reminder to take out the diapers at 6pm”
  • “Add a reminder to put food in the fridge at 8pm”
  • “Set a laundry timer for 2 hours”

Simple, hands-free, and computers are way better than humans at remembering specific information at specific times.

Tool 4: Reader from Readwise

Tiago points out that the ideal moment to consume content is rarely the same moment that you first encounter that content.

While I regularly unsubscribe from emails that are no longer interesting or relevant to me, I still receive quite a few that I intend to read “later”. But if I leave them in my Inbox they are clutter and mental noise, if I file them in a folder it is unlikely I will think to look at them later. Having a dedicated app that I can turn to for reading/listening/watching content frees me from potentially being confronted with other distractions in my Inbox when I am ready to consume content.

I’ve started to send content into the app, but haven’t actually read anything there yet, which as Tiago points out that can be a positive outcome!