Displaying All Posts by Abhijeet Mukherjee

Take Care of Your Email Follow-up Woes with NudgeMail

The problem with getting a huge number of emails every day isn’t the time it takes to reply to them. Well, that’s a part of the problem — but there’s a bigger issue: forgetting to follow-up on important emails.

Yes, it happens all the time.

Remember the last time you lost out on a deal because you were to send an email on Tuesday and you forgot? Or when you forgot to follow-up on that urgent request by one of your friends or family, and then later spent hours on the phone doing damage control?

NudgeMail is an email reminder service that aims to get rid of email follow-up woes. Now, there are certainly things like Gmail labels, filters and other tools to create your own email follow-up system. But not every one can set them up in the perfect way. A simple service like NudgeMail might be a better alternative.
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The Very Best of Awesome Links

After forty(!) articles in the Awesome Links series, I thought I’d offer some of my favorite links from the past that have been published on WorkAwesome.

Supercharge Your OS X Desktop: Wallpaper, Icons, & Other Hacks (Windows tricks included)
I like to include useful posts from Guiding Tech (full disclosure: I own that site) now and then in the Awesome Links posts. I decided to look up and check which of them brought the most visitors from WorkAwesome. Turns out this post on OS X desktop customization had struck a chord. Check it out if you missed it last time. (The post includes tips for Windows users, too.)

The Essential Zen Habits of 2010
Zen Habits has to be one of the must-read sites for anyone who follows the productivity niche closely. This link points to all of the best stuff offered by Zen Habits from 2010. Easily one of my favorites.

25 Ways to Wake Up Early
Waking up early is usually one of the prime candidates for our new year resolutions every year. We know it’s good for us — but most just can’t do it. This piece from Life Optimizer got my attention as I try to get that resolution back on track myself. Even if just one of the 25 ways does the trick, the time spent on reading the article makes it worth it.
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Review: Minus- Quickly and Productively Share Files Online

minus

If you’ve got a huge number of photos to share, there are services like Flickr or Facebook Photos which help you upload, organize and create albums — then share them easily. But what if you want to quickly share a picture or two, and don’t want to go through all the steps involved in sharing photos through a full-fledged photo sharing tool? Similarly, what if you want to instantly share a document or video without wasting time? That’s where services like Minus come in handy.

Minus (or Min.us) is a super simple online file sharing tool that boasts a clutter-free interface and lets you share photos, music, documents and videos in seconds. Let’s check out how to use this service, and what features it offers. Click Here to Read Article …

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Awesome Links #40: Tranquil Workspace, Digital Mindfulness, Opportunities

7 Ways to Create a More Tranquil Workspace
A pleasant and elegant workspace can go a long way in making you more productive at work. I really liked this Lifehack blog post on ways to create a calm workspace. I can relate to the “add some noise” suggestion. I myself sometimes find it very hard to work amidst pin-drop silence. A decent article overall.

What Running a Marathon Taught Me About Running a Business
This post by Sullen Hughes over at the FeelGooder blog talks about his experiences as a marathon runner and a business owner, and how the former occupation taught him to excel at the latter. He relates them pretty well; some valuable nuggets for those running a business.

A Simple Guide for a Mindful Digital Life
Bridging the gap between various online identities and focusing on the essential to get meaningful work done is what this post on the Zen Habits blog discusses. It’s a detailed article that also mentions some useful tools to streamline your digital presence and be more productive.
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Awesome Links #39: Human Nature, Smart Labels, Tumblr Guide

What the Science of Human Nature Can Teach Us
An intriguing article from The New Yorker that talks about the science of human nature and what exactly makes us happy. Turns out that socializing with people is an integral part of the equation.

New in Gmail Labs: Smart Labels
The Gmail team has launched what they call “Smart Labels”, a feature that can automatically organize your incoming emails and put them into appropriate labels. Part of Gmail Labs, this feature could greatly enhance email productivity — if it works as well as it sounds.

Understanding – and Maximizing – Your Brain’s Reward and Planning System
An interesting article over at the Intrinsic Motivation and Magical Unicorns blog at Psychology Today magazine. It gives a deep insight into the brain’s reward system and how you can actually use it to your benefit in order to get motivated and excel at seemingly mundane tasks. Well worth a look.
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Sign and Send Your Documents Anywhere, Anytime with EasySign

If you use an iOS device (iPod touch, iPhone or iPad) for business then it is likely that you come across PDF or Word documents that need to filled in and signed digitally. Sure, you could go to your computer and fill them out that way once you’ve received the documents via email, but that’s not exactly convenient.

With today’s ever-expanding mobile device usage, people are connected a lot more while on the move. It would be great to have an option that would let you fill out and digitally sign documents through your mobile device. There’s no straightforward way to do that on those gadgets.

Until now. Enter EasySign.

EasySign is an application that promises to make filling in and signing documents on an iPhone or iPad a cakewalk. In just a few easy steps, you’re good to send off any document that needs signing.
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Awesome Links #38: Focus, Forming Habits and Decision Making

Monk Mind: How to Increase Your Focus
A great article by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits on how we can slowly and steadily increase our focus and keep working on the task at hand until we get it done. Productive work can only be accomplished if one can do it for a specific period of time with laser-sharp focus — and without getting distracted. Developing that focus is essential. Leo explains how to get there.

The Easy Way to Get Chrome’s Pin Tab Feature in Firefox
Chrome’s pin tab feature is an extremely useful one. Not only does it increase screen real estate, it also makes sure that the important tabs are nicely tucked away in the corner and don’t get lost in those large number of tabs you’ve got opened. This article at Guiding Tech tells you how to get that in Firefox.

45-Second De-Stress Tips
De-stressing is something that most of us need to do on a daily basis. Remember: Happy doesn’t always mean stress-free. Take a look at these tips on the Lifehack blog; I particularly liked the first one (read a poem). You’ll have to check out the link to see the others they discuss.
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Awesome Links #37: AppCleaner, Money or Life, Recipe Search

How to Completely Uninstall Programs on Mac with AppCleaner
It is important to “cleanly” uninstall applications whenever they are uninstalled, be it on a Windows or Mac machine. That’s because the files left over from the programs take up system space, could interfere with other programs and — consequently — hamper your productivity. This post on Guiding Tech talks about how to cleanly uninstall software on a Mac using nifty software called AppCleaner.

Your Money or Your Life
This post over at the Productivity 501 blog by Mark Shead talks about how he gave up a plush job and sacrificed higher paychecks for a life of satisfaction and happiness. I think a lot of us could take a lesson from this post, and probably change our lives for the good.

10 Tools for Training Your New Virtual Worker
It is said that delegating tasks to a virtual worker can significantly boost one’s productivity, especially if she deals with too many things in a single day. That’s a great concept — but training that worker isn’t always a pleasant exercise. This post on the Web Worker Daily blog offers 10 tools to help you train your virtual worker efficiently and effectively.
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Awesome Links #36: Mac Apps, Fitness, Getting More Freelance Work

How I Train: Fitness for the Everyperson
If you read Zen Habits regularly, you would know that its creator Leo Babauta likes to talk about his fitness and exercise routine. IAnd to think that just 5 years ago he was in terrible shape. In this post, he talks about his past and then about how he made himself fitter and healthier. Inspiring to say the least.

Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Your Work More—Whatever You Do
The FeelGooder blog has a great post which has some useful advice on how to really enjoy the daily grind at office — or wherever you work. Some of the tips are common sense while some — like doing your toughest work first — are something that not everyone knows about (or, more likely, implements).

My Essential Mac Applications
Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder lists his essential Mac apps in this series of posts (Note: The above link lands on part 5 of the series; he links to the previous posts in this article, too). That means there’s a list of 25 useful Mac apps that the author felt he had to install on his new Mac shortly after purchasing it in order to be more productive. If you own a Mac (or are planning to buy one), I suggest you bookmark the post for quick access.
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Goal Setting: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

venus in goal

This year is still relatively “new”, so you’ll find that people have not yet stopped talking about goals and resolutions. However, we’re also at the time of year when the enthusiasm about all that stuff starts to wane.

So, to get you back into the goal setting (and executing) mode, I thought I’d point your attention towards an interesting article by Web Worker Daily that discusses 3 goal setting tips that don’t work — and then offers 3 that do.

It’s an interesting post because it dares to contradict some very common goal setting tips, while  presenting a counter-argument as to why each of the common tips aren’t really all that useful. Furthermore, it tells you what you should do instead.
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Awesome Links #35: Time Tracking, Android Apps, Mobile Priority Inbox

How to Keep Track of When You Work Using a Scheduled Task
This interesting article over at the Guiding Tech blog shows how one could accurately track when he logs in and when he locks his Windows computer. While it could be of great help to people at work who are required to fill in timesheets every day, even people who work from home could make use of this technique to check how productive they are.

10 Android Apps to Help Save You Time & Money
The Lifehack blog has a great list of ten Android apps that can help you cut down on the time and money you spend each day. The list includes the usual suspects like Mint’s personal finance app, as well as some other  lesser known useful apps.
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Awesome Links #34: Pomodoro Technique, Changing Habits

This week’s Awesome Links offers insights on The Pomodoro Technique, successfully changing habits and how to work in multiple time zones without missing a beat.

Managing Money, Time, Energy, and Information: Five Powerful Tactics from My Own Recent Experience
In this article, Trent from the acclaimed The Simple Dollar blog talks about the steps he took after his wife returned to a full-time job. He discusses how he had to manage his kids, work and information. The very first tip – which talks about keeping a bedside notebook – struck a chord with me. While I might replace the notebook with a tool like Evernote on my iPod touch, the concept remains the same.
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