5 tips to get digitally organized.

5 tips to get digitally organized.
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

I've just reformatted my hard drive and have started everything over from scratch. It's given me a chance to re-evaluate my digital tools and patterns.

Here are some new ideas that I'm exploring from a blank slate:

I'm using macOS so these are relatively walled-garden-y, but they work for me.

Use Focus - Productivity Timer to block out time

I've used this app before and it didn't make it during my yearly subscription purge. However; I remember being really productive with it. Essentially, it's a Pomodoro timer that segments your time so that you don't run into burn out. It's a great tool that works on iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Add widgets to your dashboard

I'm just trying this one out for the first time so we'll see if it's useful, but having my most important information glanceable seems to be very useful. I'm combining it with Stage Manager to try a different approach to organizing my desktop.

Use Things 3 for task management

I used to use OmniFocus as my go-to task manager, but I started to feel like it was getting in the way of actual productivity. There was so much to tweak, to customize, and to organize, that I would spend more time planning my work than actually working on it. It's one of the reasons I just can't find myself using Notion.

Overall, Things 3 is the best to-do app I have ever used, hands down. It's simple, clean, and so fully baked with subtle quality-of-life functionality that I could never go back to using anything else. Yes, it's missing some features I could use, like having one project block another. But if you want to actually get things done? Things 3. Enough said.

Migrate from Firefox to Safari

This may be controversial for some, but Firefox hasn't been cutting it for me lately. The main issue? When I open links - Firefox on mobile will sometimes load just a blank white page, or open up another, unrelated page. This happens so frequently it's aggravating. With Apple adding Tab Groups - effectively letting me segregate my personal and work identities (and maybe others), I'm able to go full-in on Safari. However, ad blocking will never be as supported.

Also, with a bit of time, Safari looks a lot cleaner than Firefox. Just my opinion. There's already been some unintended benefits that come with a walled garden - I can see links that people have shared with me, and I've found that having a Reading List widget on my desktop is a perfect reminder of what I've forgotten to read.

Start using Freeform

I've used Whimsical in the past for making flow diagrams. It's like LucidChart but I found it to be more intuitive. However, I'm going to switch over to Freeform by Apple. It's been over a year since it was released and I think the software has matured a bit. Once you figure out how to save an "insertable style" so that any new shape gets that style you're halfway there. Then - turn on connection nodes and you pretty much have Whimsical.

Another benefit is that it syncs with all your iOS devices and drawing on Freeform with the iPad is a no-brainer. I'm happy with it so far and I'll keep investigating to discover limitations.

That's all that I have for now! And if you don't have a Mac - too bad šŸ˜‰