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How to Add Custom Buttons to the Touch Bar on a New MacBook Pro How to Add Custom Buttons to the Touch Bar on a New MacBook Pro

We’re back with another Apple-themed issue of Tech 911, where I give it my all to help you figure out the issues you’re having with your computer, smartphone, device, or life.

Overscheduling Your Days Can Wreck Your Productivity Overscheduling Your Days Can Wreck Your Productivity

It’s good to have a schedule planned out each week, but having too many appointments set for each day might be be more harmful than helpful. A recent study suggests the more self-imposed deadlines we have in a day, the less deep work we can get done.

The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Messy Chrome Bookmarks The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Messy Chrome Bookmarks

Woe is the Chrome user who has an overflowing Bookmark Bar—or worse, that single folder they use to store anything interesting they see online.

How to Time Your Caffeine Consumption and Maximize Alertness How to Time Your Caffeine Consumption and Maximize Alertness

Have you ever found yourself chugging coffee to stay up late studying, but then when it’s time for the exam, your mind is foggy with fatigue? Researchers from the U.S. Army have developed an algorithm that can predict the energy peaks and valleys that come from drinking caffeine, and in turn, created a web-based tool…

Summarize Long Emails at the Top to Communicate More Effectively Summarize Long Emails at the Top to Communicate More Effectively

Here’s a productivity tip managers and workers would do well to incorporate into their every day email routine, courtesy of comedian and author Franchesca Ramsey from her days working at Upworthy: summarize lengthy emails up top so your recipients know what they’re in for.

Divide Your To-Do List Into 'Easy' and 'Hard' Columns  Divide Your To-Do List Into 'Easy' and 'Hard' Columns 

Here is how many of us make our daily to-do lists: In the AM, fueled by coffee and morning delusion, we jot down all the tasks we hope to accomplish in the next eight (or, let’s be real, 11 or 12) hours. But these lists, while well-intentioned, are often written haphazardly. After crossing off a third of the…

Why It's Harder to Think in the Summer Heat  Why It's Harder to Think in the Summer Heat 

Look, it’s just hard to get work done in the summer. It’s bright and sunny on the other side of that window, you’ve always got a friend or two posting beach pics on Instagram, and unless the A/C is blowing right on you, all you can think about is where your next ice-cold beverage is coming from.

The Popodoro Technique Playlist The Popodoro Technique Playlist

In the Pomodoro Technique for productivity, you work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. (After two hours, you take a longer break.) You can use a kitchen timer, your phone, or a specialized app. In the Popodoro technique, instead of a timer, you use music—like the new Spotify playlist from Popjustice.

Use an Index Card to Learn How to Speed Read Use an Index Card to Learn How to Speed Read

Speed reading is a skill that can be hard to master. There are a ton of books, talks, and articles dedicated to teaching people the “right” way to learn the skill. This week, Fast Company spoke to one of those experts who wrote a book on topic to get some quick and dirty tips on how to learn. One of her suggestions:…

When It Comes to Focus, Use It or Lose It When It Comes to Focus, Use It or Lose It

Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and a guide to using its waters to reflect on and improve your life.

Set a 'Rejection Goal' and It Might Just Lead to Success Set a 'Rejection Goal' and It Might Just Lead to Success

Actors have a saying: You don’t get 100% of the parts you don’t audition for. If you’re an artistic type, or a writerly type, or even just someone who’s looking for a job, you may have found rejections to be so painful that you’ve just stopped applying for things. Social media and streaming TV is so soothing—why would…

Take a Micro-Vacation to Tackle Your Personal To-Do List Take a Micro-Vacation to Tackle Your Personal To-Do List

The point of a vacation, however long, is to help you destress. And sometimes that means doing something instead of lounging around doing nothing. If you have a pile of personal to-dos that are weighing you down, using a vacation day to get to those things you never seem to have time for can go a long ways for your…

Use a 'Police Officer' to Keep Business Meetings on Topic Use a 'Police Officer' to Keep Business Meetings on Topic

When you’re having a work meeting, the more people that are invited the easier it is for the whole thing to get derailed, which is why every meeting needs a meeting “Police” to keep things on topic.

Organize Your Excessive Browser Tabs with 'Toby' Organize Your Excessive Browser Tabs with 'Toby'

I recently stumbled across the extension Toby (Chrome, Firefox), and I’m surprised at how much I love it. So much so that it has replaced the pretty Chrome Delight and Earth View from Google Earth extensions I’ve been using whenever I open a new tab. I’m one-hundred percent Toby now, because it’s one of the best ways…

How to Stop Accidentally Quitting Your Mac Apps How to Stop Accidentally Quitting Your Mac Apps

It happens at least once a day, always when I’m right in the middle of working on something important: I accidentally brush the Command+Q combination instead of Command+W to close a browser tab, quitting me out of Chrome. Sigh.

Moleskine's Productivity App Makes Organizing Easy and Fun Moleskine's Productivity App Makes Organizing Easy and Fun

For most of my life, I managed to stay relatively organized with nothing but my own memory, but I recently started using Apple’s Reminders app to keep track of major work assignments and personal chores. It gets the job done, but it’s not very exciting to use. I didn’t even realize that fun was an option until I…

Try Mailspring If You're Tired of Terrible Desktop Email Apps Try Mailspring If You're Tired of Terrible Desktop Email Apps

Unless you’re the world’s biggest fan of Microsoft Outlook, odds are good that you don’t use a desktop email client at home. You probably use a web-based email service, and your daily routine probably involves firing up your browser to delete, move, and otherwise ignore your messages. Third-party apps like Mail (for…

Boost Your Motivation by Focusing on Why You Need to Complete a Task  Boost Your Motivation by Focusing on Why You Need to Complete a Task 

When you realize you need to get something done, you probably think to yourself, “I have to do that soon.” But that type of thinking disrupts your motivation in two ways: by messing with your sense of time and robbing you of urgency.

Make Sure You Take Work Breaks with the Mac App 'Time Out' Make Sure You Take Work Breaks with the Mac App 'Time Out'

macOS: I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Sometimes, the sheer amount of crap you have to deal with can almost feel overwhelming, but a good way to get control of your chaotic to-do list without going crazy is to make sure you’re getting enough downtime, too.

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