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10 productivity ideas you should know 📈 | Effective Living Newsletter

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This week I’ve written about 10 productivity ideas from Tiago Forte, split into Part I and Part II. If you have any interest at all in being more productive and organised in your work – and you should – then I think you absolutely should be aware of Forte’s work.

The first article covers:

  • How to collect everything you learn in a Second Brain
  • How to make good notes by capturing, organizing, distilling and expressing what you learn
  • A framework for organising all your information under four headings
  • A method for processing your email really quickly
  • Reviewing your week in under 30 minutes

The second article covers:

  • How to summarize your notes better so you can easily see the important details
  • What knowledge workers can learn from chefs
  • Why you shouldn’t force yourself to work when you don’t feel like it
  • The secret power of Read It Later apps
  • Why you’re a teacher without knowing it

Interesting recent podcasts 🧏

I enjoyed an episode of the No Stupid Questions podcast on ‘If everyone hates meetings, why do we have so many of them?’. If you aren’t already subscribed to No Stupid Questions, I’d recommend it – it’s a discussion between Steven Dubner (author of Freakonomics) and Angela Duckworth (author of Grit) on a topic in psychology. Previous episodes include ‘Which is more powerful: reward or punishment?’ and Why do we put things off until the very last minute?

Also, who knew that ‘Take Me Out’ by Franz Ferdinand was actually inspired by the film Enemy at the Gates?

Still getting your skincare advice from influencers?

I recently stumbled across this Twitter thread, which claims to condense down everything you need to know about skincare.

Obviously this dude could be BSing as much as any Instagram influencer – I’d have preferred it if he’d linked to some sources. Nonetheless, it’s interesting that many of us get skincare advice from ‘people with good skin’, rather than ‘people who are experts in skin’. The same clearly applies to other fields.

Want to get faster at typing?

I try to do a couple of sessions per week on and to improve my typing speed. It seems to be slowly paying off – this week I hit a new record.

If you’re typing is more of the ‘hunt and peck’ variety, it’s probably worth investing a little time to improve, given how long we spend typing each week.

What’s coming up this week

This week I’m writing…well I haven’t yet decided. If you have a suggestion, let me know!

As ever, I’d appreciate any feedback on this newsletter, or on the articles I’ve written this week. You can directly reply to this email, or contact me at

All the best until next week,


P.S. You can follow me on Twitter @TheTomNorth, or get a feed of my latest articles @ELivingCo.

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