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Personal Productivity
for Developers
Elmer Thomas
Hacker in Residence
@thinkingserious
The Goal
Summary
Frameworks
Techniques
Tools
References
Frameworks: RPM
Specific and Measurable
Results
Motivate yourself with
Purpose
Create a Massive action plan
with specific ac...
Frameworks: GTD
Main Elements of GTD
Projects
Next Actions
Contexts
GTD Workflow
GTD Natural Planning Technique
Purpose / Guiding Principles
Why are we doing this?
Mission / Vision / Goals / Successful O...
GTD Weekly Review
Captured, but unprocessed items
Review projects & next actions
Review calendar
Review checklists
Review ...
GTD High
Level Analysis
Areas of Responsibility
1 - 2 year goals
3 - 5 year vision
Life purpose
Frameworks:
Getting
Results the
Agile Way
3 outcomes for
the year
the month
the week
the day
Agile Work/Life Balance
Define Hotspots
e.g. Career, Family, Health, Personal Growth
Set minimums for each Hotspots
e.g. 3 ...
Frameworks:
18 Minutes
Day Begins: (5 Minutes)
Set Plan for the Day
Throughout: (1 Minute / Hour)
Refocus
Day Ends: (5 Min...
Techniques:
Pomodoro
decide on the task to be done & estimate the # of Pomodoros
set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes
wo...
Techniques: Digital
Truth Dashboard
It’s the Dashboard to rule all Dashboards
Central point of all your “stuff”
Either lin...
Techniques: Zone
Hideouts
Schedule appointments with yourself
Noise canceling headphones + music
Signage
The “Hacker Brow”...
Techniques:
Checklists
Daily routines (morning/night)
Weekly routines
Monthly routines
Anything you will do more
than once...
Techniques:
Templates
New Projects
Think scaffolds
Perfect, then automate
Techniques:
Outsourcing
99Designs.com / LogoBids.com
eLance.com / Guru.com / oDesk.com / Workana.com
CraigsList.com
Templa...
Techniques:
Hackathons
Find partners / Barter services
Upgrade your skills
Practice and sharpen existing skills
Directorie...
Tools
AlternativeTo.net
Tools: Feedly
News/Information Filter
Sync with apps (Reeder)
Not just for blogs
Use folders to segregate & focus
Tools: Email
GMail
Filters
SendGrid
Incoming Parsing
Event triggers
Tools: Mind Maps
MindNode Pro / XMind
mind mapping
brainstorming
Tools: Screen
Capture
Jing / Snagit
Skitch
Tools: Text Snippets
TextExpander / Active Words
avoid typing common items
faster than a clipboard or text file
Tools: Google Apps
docs for quick collaborative sharing
sites for a centralized dashboard
calendar for shared time managem...
Tools: Social Media
filtered news via lists
alternative to RSS
networking
Tools: Social
Bookmarking
Delicious / Pinboard
global bookmarking
crowd validated reference
Tools: Readers
Instapaper / Readit Later / Pocket
defer your reading, offline
Kindle / iBooks / GoodReader
/ Audible / Down...
Tools: Notes
Evernote / Onebox / OneNote
everything box across all platforms
multimedia notes + OCR
offline access
Tools: Storage
Dropbox / Box.net / Google Drive
easy synchronized storage
keep your larger files at bay
automated backup
em...
Tools: Security
1Password / RoboForm / Keepass / LastPass
save time and be secure
don’t use the same password everywhere
Tools: Launchers
Launchbar / AppRocket
fast application launcher and file finder
stop dealing with clicking icons
Tools: Meetings
Join.me / Google Hangouts / OpenTok + Twilio API
free and easy screen sharing and conference calls
save co...
Tools: Todos/Tasks
Omnifocus / Toodledo
GTD implementation
See what you want, when you want
Pivotal Tracker / Assembla / A...
Tools: Hardware
Laptop / Desktop
Mac out your SSD & RAM
Keyboard / Input Device
Tablet
Smart Phone
Continued Learning
thinkingserious.com
asianefficiency.com
timemanagementninja.com
lifehack.org
news.ycombinator.com
dzone....
Continued Learning
Getting Things Done, Ready for Anything, Making it All Work
18 Minutes: Find Your Focus
ReWork, Getting...
Continued Learning
Back to Work
The Big Web Show
Mac Power Users
Mixergy
GTD Study Group
*iTunes U
Your Niche
Key Takeaways
Be action oriented towards measurable specific goals
Find how to achieve zone time more often
Move towards ba...
“You can have it all.
You just can’t have it all at once.”
- Oprah Winfrey
Thanks!
If you have any questions,
reach out, I’m happy to help!
elmer.thomas@sendgrid.com
@thinkingserious
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Personal Productivity for Developers

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Getting in the zone is harder to do these days with the infinite sources of distractions that are readily available. In this talk, I’ll give you a framework, tools and actionable tips to help you become more efficient, both in work and play. I will draw on my experiences as a family man, college student, developer, business owner, employee and manager using techniques I’ve learned reading countless books and articles in the area of “Productivity”. The end goal is for you to have the focused time needed to do the things that you are passionate about, whether that be writing awesome software or spending more time with friends and family.

Published in: Technology, Business

Personal Productivity for Developers

  1. Personal Productivity for Developers Elmer Thomas Hacker in Residence @thinkingserious
  2. The Goal
  3. Summary Frameworks Techniques Tools References
  4. Frameworks: RPM Specific and Measurable Results Motivate yourself with Purpose Create a Massive action plan with specific actions
  5. Frameworks: GTD Main Elements of GTD Projects Next Actions Contexts
  6. GTD Workflow
  7. GTD Natural Planning Technique Purpose / Guiding Principles Why are we doing this? Mission / Vision / Goals / Successful Outcome What does success look, sound or feel like? Brainstorming How will we accomplish it? Organizing When will we do these things? Next Actions Where do we start?
  8. GTD Weekly Review Captured, but unprocessed items Review projects & next actions Review calendar Review checklists Review someday/maybe lists
  9. GTD High Level Analysis Areas of Responsibility 1 - 2 year goals 3 - 5 year vision Life purpose
  10. Frameworks: Getting Results the Agile Way 3 outcomes for the year the month the week the day
  11. Agile Work/Life Balance Define Hotspots e.g. Career, Family, Health, Personal Growth Set minimums for each Hotspots e.g. 3 hours of exercise time per week Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection
  12. Frameworks: 18 Minutes Day Begins: (5 Minutes) Set Plan for the Day Throughout: (1 Minute / Hour) Refocus Day Ends: (5 Minutes) Review
  13. Techniques: Pomodoro decide on the task to be done & estimate the # of Pomodoros set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x take a short break (5 minutes) every four "pomodoros" take a longer break (15–20 minutes)
  14. Techniques: Digital Truth Dashboard It’s the Dashboard to rule all Dashboards Central point of all your “stuff” Either link to resources or describe where they are This dashboard should be easy to use and available most anywhere Automate it if possible using RSS & APIs
  15. Techniques: Zone Hideouts Schedule appointments with yourself Noise canceling headphones + music Signage The “Hacker Brow” Growl and/or grunt Not this zone!
  16. Techniques: Checklists Daily routines (morning/night) Weekly routines Monthly routines Anything you will do more than once Create checklists as you work
  17. Techniques: Templates New Projects Think scaffolds Perfect, then automate
  18. Techniques: Outsourcing 99Designs.com / LogoBids.com eLance.com / Guru.com / oDesk.com / Workana.com CraigsList.com TemplateMonster.com / Genesis Themes 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss Jack Bicer - http://www.septium.com/10tips.pdf
  19. Techniques: Hackathons Find partners / Barter services Upgrade your skills Practice and sharpen existing skills Directories: HackerLeague.org/hackathons TechZulu.com/events SoCalTech.com/calendar SiliconBeachLA.com/events-2/calendar SDTechScene.org
  20. Tools AlternativeTo.net
  21. Tools: Feedly News/Information Filter Sync with apps (Reeder) Not just for blogs Use folders to segregate & focus
  22. Tools: Email GMail Filters SendGrid Incoming Parsing Event triggers
  23. Tools: Mind Maps MindNode Pro / XMind mind mapping brainstorming
  24. Tools: Screen Capture Jing / Snagit Skitch
  25. Tools: Text Snippets TextExpander / Active Words avoid typing common items faster than a clipboard or text file
  26. Tools: Google Apps docs for quick collaborative sharing sites for a centralized dashboard calendar for shared time management google hangouts for quick video meetings google talk for IM gmail for easy implementation of inbox zero
  27. Tools: Social Media filtered news via lists alternative to RSS networking
  28. Tools: Social Bookmarking Delicious / Pinboard global bookmarking crowd validated reference
  29. Tools: Readers Instapaper / Readit Later / Pocket defer your reading, offline Kindle / iBooks / GoodReader / Audible / Downcast read or listen on the go
  30. Tools: Notes Evernote / Onebox / OneNote everything box across all platforms multimedia notes + OCR offline access
  31. Tools: Storage Dropbox / Box.net / Google Drive easy synchronized storage keep your larger files at bay automated backup email large attachments
  32. Tools: Security 1Password / RoboForm / Keepass / LastPass save time and be secure don’t use the same password everywhere
  33. Tools: Launchers Launchbar / AppRocket fast application launcher and file finder stop dealing with clicking icons
  34. Tools: Meetings Join.me / Google Hangouts / OpenTok + Twilio API free and easy screen sharing and conference calls save commute time
  35. Tools: Todos/Tasks Omnifocus / Toodledo GTD implementation See what you want, when you want Pivotal Tracker / Assembla / Asana Agile implementation A structure for practicing agile Great for collaboration
  36. Tools: Hardware Laptop / Desktop Mac out your SSD & RAM Keyboard / Input Device Tablet Smart Phone
  37. Continued Learning thinkingserious.com asianefficiency.com timemanagementninja.com lifehack.org news.ycombinator.com dzone.com stackoverflow.com github.com
  38. Continued Learning Getting Things Done, Ready for Anything, Making it All Work 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus ReWork, Getting Real Do the Work, The War of Art Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better Creating Flow with OmniFocus Safari Bookshelf Online
  39. Continued Learning Back to Work The Big Web Show Mac Power Users Mixergy GTD Study Group *iTunes U Your Niche
  40. Key Takeaways Be action oriented towards measurable specific goals Find how to achieve zone time more often Move towards balance Create a custom system and iterate often
  41. “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” - Oprah Winfrey
  42. Thanks! If you have any questions, reach out, I’m happy to help! elmer.thomas@sendgrid.com @thinkingserious

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