Last week I ran a little personal experiment of quitting Facebook for a week. As a PhD student who is behind a computer all day, it is alI too easy to ctrl+t facebook.com when the going gets tough or when the going gets really boring. The goal of this post is not to come off as a holier than thou person who judges others for what they do on Facebook, but to self-reflect and hopefully learn from the process. I would like to summarize some personal experiences and things I learnt here.
Earlier this week I discovered the magic of having access to my work pc from home by remote desktop wizardry. I’ve known for some time that it is possible, in a theoretical sense, but I always assumed there would be too much hassle involved. Now, thanks to the help my co-workers Francois and Ruud, I know better! And you can too 🙂
I will show you how to do this yourself (if you have a TU Delft desktop computer there too 😉 ) in a brief remote desktop tutorial after the jump:
My all time favorite task management system has a 24 hour sale (over 50% off) on their premium year subscription. If you are already a premium user they’ll extend your subscription for a year ^^
These last few months I have adopted an amazingly low-tech morning routine to start my workday consisting of selecting the three tasks I want to get done today. Sometimes our task managers can get flooded with an overload of tasks and this overload can make it hard to focus. This feeling of being overwhelmed can quickly turn into procrastination if you let it. For me it helps to pick three things that I at least want to get done that day as the first thing I do when I get to work. I am of course not the first person to think of something like this, but I just want to share this as a simple tip.
By far the most popular post ever to grace this blog is the Comparison of Task Managers: Remember the Milk vs. Astrid vs. Wunderlist. Since I sneakily switched to Todoist three months ago, I now updated the blogpost to include that in the comparison. That post shallt henceforth be known as: ‘Comparison of Task Managers: Remember the Milk vs. Astrid vs. Wunderlist vs. Todoist! To make this current post not entirely devoid of content, here’s a screenshot of my Todoist set-up:
Ideas, meeting minutes, lab journal notes, paper summaries, travel information, graduate school homework and project notes. During your life as a PhD you generate, process and receive so much information that organizing all of this can be a daunting task. Luckily there is great software that can help you get organized by making it easy to collect and find information across your devices. For me personally, Evernote is the best fit, so in this post I’ll show you how I use Evernote to organize my PhD.
A blog post topic that has been ironically lingering on my To-do list for some time is a comparison of task managers I’ve been using over the years: Remember the Milk (RTM), Astrid, Wunderlist and Todoist. If there’s anything I love doing, it’s making To-do lists and if there’s another thing I really love it’s finding cool apps that help me get stuff done. I’m by no means a GTD-fan, but I do enjoy a good AutoFocus FV session (I’ll write a blog on that technique next) and lists in general. So let’s get started with the list comparison (lol). I’ll summarize my love, feelings of meh and other assorted ramblings for Remember the Milk, Astrid and Wunderlist and Todoist below.
I’ve been playing around with HabitRPG for a little over a month now, so as promised: my HabitRPG review! My initial impressions and description can be found in my previous post, but this post is a more in-depth review after a month of use. I backed the Kickstarter shortly after trying it out for a while and there have been a lot of updates since (not only due to my contribution, I’m sure 😉 ). The creator, Tyler Renelle, is obviously very passionate about HabitRPG and it really shows. Here’s my rundown of the things I love and the things I’m not too happy with. Let’s start with a short visual tour and after that I’ll get on with the review:
I thought it would be nice to discuss one of the ‘golden oldies’ of e-mail overload countering here: Inbox Zero and my modifications to Inbox Zero Redux. It’s been a while since this approach was introduced by Merlin Mann (an e-mail wizard name if I’ve ever heard one), 7 years already, but I still try to get my inbox to zero e-mails daily. And actually succeed most of the times. It might be a different story if suddenly start receiving hundreds of e-mails every day, but for now, this is working well for me.
For the past five months I’ve been in the luxurious position(s) of having the option to do my work while standing when I feel like it. This is all thanks to the pleasant people at my work that arranged a special standing desk for me. I think it’s a good time for a review of my standing desk experiences. In this post I will describe the benefits I’ve personally experienced as well as the disadvantages and some tips and tricks.