If this then that review: a new web 2.0 tool

Just a couple of days ago I discovered a new promising Web 2.0 service called If this then that which is actually a new start-up project from San-Francisco.

Guys try to develop a kind of meta-tool which unites many others: GmailFacebookTwitterGoogle ReaderEvernoteDeliciousInstagram, etc. Quite an interesting thing to play with, although it lies in a kind of geeky/nerdy field. But I actually believe that normal people can also find it useful for few things…

In short, the idea is to connect all those services through simple rules set-up by user. For example, “if somebody tags me in a photo at Facebook, send me an email about it” or “if I like a post in Google Reader, save it in my Evernote”.

The coolest thing about is that they also have SMS-service that can be used in the same manner as everything else.

Here are some usage ideas that I could come up with:

Continue reading

Save time by approaching your RSS subscriptions in a completely new way: 8 principles for effective reading of blogs

RSS feeds is an awesome tool to save lots of time. You can get them all in the same place and not visit every single web-site to check if there are some updates. But often it becomes quite the opposite.

I personally have 573 subscriptions. That’s a lot. You risk looking at your favorite RSS feeds aggregator (like, Google Reader for example), seeing 1000+ unread items there and then spending half a day passively browsing through them. Instead of pursing your purpose and doing something that will bring you closer to your goals.

So, what are the lifehacks to minimize the time and maximize the value of reading blogs or other RSS feeds?

Continue reading

Zen writing: best free minimalistic word processing apps

Disturbances and loss of the ability to focus seem to be the curse of modern world. All these social networks, messengers and ideas of “what to google” can make it pretty hard to concentrate on writing. But sometimes you just need to “unplug” in order to finish a good text, whatever it is: a blog post, an essay or a book.

There are software applications that allow you to do exactly that. Often you don’t need billions of formatting options, smart integration opportunities and other features of bloated Microsoft Office. What you need is to write. Then, you can do all the formatting, proof reading, illustration, etc. So, what are the best free tools that are perfect for this task?
Continue reading

How I saved hours and hours of time, reduced disturbances and stress level with a simple Gmail lifehack

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

I’ve been re-reading Getting Things Done by David Allen recently and thinking about other ways to get closer to the “Mind Like Water” state and suddenly I’ve come up with a very simple, but useful lifehack for GMail. It aligns very well with all the recent trends in productivity, time management and lifestyle design set by Tim Ferriss in his Four Hour Workweek and assumes you should minimize all the unnecessary disturbances and batch your typical actions in order to save time.

So, what I did is very simple yet really helpful and I highly recommend you to try the same approach.

1. Create 2 labels in your GMail.

First one is “! once a wk” and another one “! once a mnth”.
The idea is to group all the not so important mail and not to get interrupted every two minutes. It doesn’t necessarily need to be once a month or once a week. Probably once a day and once a week will work better for you. Anyway, you got the basic principle.

2. Create filters for these labels.

For example:

Matches: subject:(“Facebook” OR “Linkedin”)
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “! once a wk

and

Matches: subject:(“Twitter” OR “Microsoft newsletter”)
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “! once a wk

Obviously, “Facebook”, “Linkedin”, “Twitter” and “Microsoft newsletter” are just examples. The point here is to put subjects or email addresses of those letters that you receive from time to time, but don’t need to read/process/reply the same second it’s received. It’s up to you to decide what these letters are, but I’m convinced that absolute majority of the letters fall into this category.

Then, you should tell your Gmail to apply the appropriate label for those letters and skip the inbox.

3. Schedule checks

Put view “once a week mail event and view once a month mail on your Google Calendar (or whatever calendar you’re using), make this event repeat every week/month correspondingly and create an email reminder.

3. Now, the most difficult step to actually practice: do not (do not!) check these two labels any other time than your scheduled time. I know these two labels look so yummy-yummy attractive when the number is more than zero, like in this screenshot (which is BTW the final result), but believe this is the habit worth developing.
gmail-gtd

Putting it all together.

So, if everything is done properly, you will have all the important mail (which is usually 1-10%) in your inbox right away and all the time consuming stuff (social networks, subscriptions, newsletters, etc) that prevents you from doing really important and inspirational things with your life will be held under two labels which are always available. Usually it takes very little time to process it all at once instead of doing it every single time when letter is delivered.

This is pretty much it. Good luck with implementing and improving! Hope, you won’t be spending the time saved in Twitter, but do something that you always wanted to start doing, but didn’t have enough time. And of course, I’m looking forward for your feedback!

How can online entrepreneur or a frequent traveler get the most of Evernote internet service (6 tips)

What is important for the entrepreneur who travels around the world? To be totally mobile. And part of being mobile is to have all your information, both business and personal available with you at the any part of the world. Preferably, without carrying anything with you. Well, Evernote lets you get precisely that.

how traveler and online entrepreneur can use and get most of evernote

This is the online service which allows you to store any images and texts (even Microsoft Office documents in the paid version) that you want to use as a reference in future. You can save the data right from the browser by selecting pieces of information and pressing just one button or using the shortcut or you can type something manually. All the notes can be viewed and updated if it’s needed either with the Evernote application or online web-site.

But the most important thing about online storage services like this is that they lower your level of worry. When you know will not lose any information because it’s stored on the server and accessible 24/7 from any place in the world that has the internet.

What makes Evernote even better is that it has a very powerful search engine built-in. It means that even if you upload a picture with text, it will be automatically recognized and transformed to the text format. To make the long story short, this is a priceless tool for me. And if you still don’t have an account I recommend you to get one right now.

So what are the useful lifehacks that can help you get the most of Evernote?

Continue reading