Here's what I want to share this month!
I was introduced to the Endel app from a YouTube video by the Keep Productive channel.
The app's purpose was to create a personal soundscape to help you focus, relax and sleep.
I have been using classical piano music to help me focus on my Pomodoro process but more recently have been experimenting with steps to improve my sleeping.
Working from home has meant my sleep routine is not great. As a result, I have measured my sleep quality using the AutoSleep app on the Apple Watch.
Before using the Endel app, my sleep quality was on average 49%. However, since I have been using the Endel app for 20 mins before bed, it has improved to an impressive 83%.
According to the Endel creators, it uses Apple Health data from the Apple watch as well as location and time to provide custom music.
I now use the app for sleeping, relaxing and focusing, so it might be worth testing it for yourself.
As it is pretty expensive, an alternative could be to try the Niozio app.
I watched a YouTube video by Shu Omi on the Sorted app.
The Sorted app lets you automatically time block tasks based on an estimated effort and your calendar schedule.
The way I have been using it is as follows:
1) In iOS Reminders, I list all the tasks I want to complete that day. Usually, I break down tasks into 30-minute slots.
2) This Reminders List is synced to Sorted App
3) I use the Auto Schedule mode to set a start time
4) Set an assumed duration of 30 mins with a 5 min buffer
5) Sorted app organises tasks based on the duration and any other meetings or events on your calendar.
The Sorted app tells me if I can fit all tasks I need to complete into the time I have that data. Knowing this helps me manage my stakeholders in advance and prevents me from over-committing and under-delivering.
I finally purchased a Stream Deck as Amazon reduced the item at Amazon.
Streamers use StreamDeck to manage the online streams, but I have noticed more people using it for productivity.
StreamDeck provides a set of programmable buttons to activate functions on your PC or Mac.
The main features I use are:
1) Controlling Hue lights and other hardware around my office
2) Open commonly used websites quickly.
3) Open apps I need when I am indifferent modes such as work, writing and YouTubing.
4) Activating app-specific shortcuts that I always forget.
5) Activate system shortcuts that, again, I always forget.
Not sure if it is worth it for everyone, so I recommend using the free Touch Portal app on your phone to see if it adds enough value to your system.
Obsidian Readwise Plugin
I am a big fan of Readwise and use it every day. So it is excellent to see Readwise has launched an official Readwise Plugin that I am currently trying out.
My primary use of Readwise is to bring highlights from different sources into Obsidian for processing as part of my Zettlelkasten process to create new content.
Currently, I am using Readwise with the following sources:
1) Inoreader for RSS feeds
2) Kindle for book highlights
3) Twitter for Tweets and Threads
4) Medium for Medium related content
5) Web highlighter for web content
6) Paper books
7) Command app for researching on the iPad
You can see my video on Readwise if you want to know more.
Quote of the month
"Never expect to fail, but always plan for it. The fastest way to get back on track is to have a plan for when you're off it."
I like having repeatable systems and continuously improving them. It makes it easier to get back on track when I have off days and breaks by reducing the friction to start again.
Thanks for reading; I hope you found something useful!
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Five features of Inoreader and how it compares to Feedly