Creating an Ideal Office at Home

Working from home has its own share of pros and cons. While it is a more feasible option for many, there are people who would choose to work in a proper professional setup without even a hint of homely feeling to it. The choice varies from person to person but recently there is a growing trend of home-office setups. People give their homes the touch of an office ambiance.

But people, who work from home, often complain about not loving their work or feeling distracted, hence not achieving their work goals due to lack of productivity.

There are some good news for exhausted home workers. You can actually create a space where you would not only be productive but also enjoy your work.

Fewer distractions, more work

Before you finally call one of your rooms your office, you should consider if the space fits your ideal home-office. Find a space in your house with the following characteristics:

  1. No distractions
  2. Room to accommodate your office essentials
  3. Enough storage space
  4. Enough room to easily move around

A cluttered space with distractions all around hinders productivity.

Design is secondary

Decorating your work space according to trends or fads is great; but, if it only disrupts your concentration and keeps you from your functions, then it does no good to your work environment.

It is very important to be practical and realistic. A home-office inspired by a design magazine is perfectly fine as long as it does not sidetrack your ultimate goals and work duties.

Ergonomic Office furniture

It is very important for your office furniture to be technically work-perfect. You would want your seat and desk to adapt to work style. Even if you are low on budget, don’t compromise on these two key office equipment. They are like the throne you will rule from.

The office desk and, even more important than that, your work chair have to be comfy enough so that you don’t get tired or exhausted easily. They should be adjustable according to your comfort needs. Your desk should be able to accommodate your monitor at the most convenient point.

Decorate without exaggeration

A plain, boring work space is never considered ideal for anyone. It is important to add accessories that would make your work station look attractive and pleasing to work at.

But don’t go overboard with the decor, adding everything you like. A few photographs, some paintings, and some real plants can add personality to your office.

Colors to stimulate productivity

If you have the budget and you really need something that infuses energizing vibes, change the color of the paint in your office. These are some of the colors and the emotions that they can induce:

  1. Yellow: Improve focus
  2. Red: for an energized quick start
  3. Green: for serenity
  4. Orange: to boost energy
  5. White: to declutter and induce harmony

With these workable tips you can make your home office a place where you would love to work. Make sure the room you chose gets enough light and air because these two elements can impact your mental and emotional state.

Creating a space you love to work at is not that hard, if you give it proper time and effort you can actually get the most ideal office in the comfort of your home.

Author Bio:

Sheerin Jafri is a passionate lifestyle and fashion blogger. She writes for Ostanding, a custom roller and roman shade dealer. Follow @shopostanding to get more updates.

12 Perspectives To Embrace This New Year

If you are like most productivity-aware people, chances are you already have penned down goals or “things” that you want to accomplish this year. Most have theirs when the last quarter kicked in last year.

You constructed these goals in a way that each one is geared towards you becoming a better person than last year – more or less. You probably have an execution plan on how to accomplish them in manner that WINNING is the only result expected.

You also made sure that your goals are S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Assignable/Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based. If your goals are non-SMART compliant, forget all about it, right?

Goals should be concrete and attainable and within targeted parameters. These determine the attainability of your goals.

If you apply the SMART criteria in attaining your goals, in no time – when December of this year comes – you’re going to be the better person that you aspired to be – Better Version of You: Smarter, Stronger, and Bigger!

But, if you are like most mortals, there will be times when you feel that you’ve set the bar too high. That much positivism you feel as the new year unfolds may cause you to overdrive. That surge of energy may make you set your threshold to unintentional heights.

Don’t be surprised if, by the end of this year, you feel like you have become the exact opposite of what you expected to become: Naive, Inept, and Unimportant.

There are personal goals unique to us that are not necessarily subject to the SMART criteria. Each one of us is unique in our own way – and, the same is true when it comes to how we construct our goals.

Yes, making your goals SMART-compatible will make those goals highly attainable. But the SMART criteria are only effective to specific goals – Concrete Measurable Goals.

For everything else, these perspectives will surely make you see your goals in a different light…

1. Don’t Give Yourself A Deadline

A concrete goal must have a target date of accomplishment. That’s true specially with concrete things like finance and some personal development goals. “By the end of the third quarter this year, I should already have a saving of X amount of dollar in my savings account toward my planned out-of-the-country vacation by the end of this year. In order to save that amount, I will be saving X amount of money every day, and I will limit my visit to Starbucks.” That kind of goal needs a concrete deadline because the end of that goal is time-based.

We have goals that are immeasurable by all accounts. Goals like “I want to have a rock star career” are abstract and cannot be qualified using the SMART criteria. So, you need to define for yourself what a “rock star career” is. You should be able to breakdown what makes a rock star career and translate that into attainable, concrete steps (get training, active networking, etc.).

But do you have to put a deadline on yourself? No. Because becoming a rock star does not happen overnight. Sure, you can accumulate some amount of knowledge and gain friends within a definite amount of time but putting a deadline to that will limit the territory you can conquer.

Becoming something big, like a rock star in any form, is a continuous process, and thus requires patience. If things do not fall in the right places in the time frame that you wanted, don’t feel like you are running out of time. Don’t feel like you’re nearing the edge of the cliff. Deadlines are there to guide us through our plans. But if they start to make you miserable in relation to what you want to achieve in life, you know what, screw deadlines!

2. Life Is Not About Winning

In the olden days, the ultimate measure of greatness is the magnitude of your conquest. Who has the biggest empire? Who invaded who? Who controlled the most strategic points? Those symbols of conquest are translated nowadays in terms of material measures like the size of houses one is capable of buying, the type of cars one drives to work, the number of fancy vacation one books in his calendar, etc. Bigger goals render bigger trophies. Dream big, they say.

But who are you trying to impress? Move on. Life is not about winning. It’s not about winning at all. The true measure of success can be found in your heart. And no amount of material things can satisfy that thing.

3. Say “No” more often, Say “Yes” Even More

Running out of time? Nearing a deadline and you feel like you haven’t done anything toward a goal? So, you think that saying “No” to anything that doesn’t help you advance to a goal is the key to achieving your goals within certain amount of time. That might be true. Freeing yourself from commitments you don’t really care about can free up time that you can use for things you care about.

Life is not about winning. So reach out. Have a list of “What-or-Whom-Can-I-Say-Yes-to-Today?” Say No but say Yes more often!

4. Stop Out Winning Others

Who’s keeping a tally of high achievers? CNN Money. Forbes. Wall Street. Larry Ellison. Mark Cuban. Warren Buffett. Or, even Tim Ferriss. Are you in the same league? If you answered Yes, please proceed to out winning all you want to out win. Becoming better has nothing to do with out winning others.

5. Life Is Not A Competition

Don’t feel like you have to prove your worth to anybody. Don’t feel like the society – or your social circle – is pressuring you to becoming something. Finish first, finish strong.

That’s not the name of this game we call life. No, let me take that back. Life is not even a game we play. Life is something meant to be lived, not played. Live up to your potentials. But don’t compare that with what people ahead of you have achieved. For one thing, you didn’t know what kind of battle they fought.

6. The Only Competition Is You

The only thing that stand between you and greatness? You. Start from you and end with you. Then you see You. There is no competition. There is only You.

7. Not Winning Is OK

Do you feel like you’ve been losing left and right? You only feel so because you treat life as if it is a game that you play against everyone else and that you need to win every time to keep your sanity. Haven’t achieved anything significant the past year? What is “significant” to you?

We might not necessarily think about this now but small wins might end up to be our biggest wins down the road. Define winning and losing in your context. Don’t let big wins by others define your personal meaning of winning.

8. No One Cares If You Fail Or Succeed

Losing a big bet? Failing to achieve that quota that would have guaranteed promotion and fatter paycheck? But who cares? Who really cares? Get back to the track and try again. Remember, don’t put a deadline on yourself. Sure, “they” want you to win now. But win in your own terms.

If you’re all for the Win, then Failure cease to matter.

9. Fail Often, Try Often

Winning motivates you. Failing determines your character. Have a definitive character. Fail often.

10. Stop Winning Others

In “How to Win Friends and Influence People“, Dale Carnegie said “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” That’s one of the many ways to win friends and influence people.

But guess what’s better way to attract more people? Be You. Setting your mind up to win others is a losing strategy.

11. Set Free Goals Instead Of Measurable Ones

SMART Goals bring you success and happiness. Failed SMART Goals? Unhappiness and feeling of worthlessness. Make a bucket list. Focus on your “Someday List”.

12. Or, Don’t Set Goals At All

When you begin to understand that life is not about winning and out winning others give you nothing but emptiness, you begin to realize that goals are not really necessary. Live life the way it is meant to be lived. Live life as is. Aspire to become Goal-Free.

Well, these perspectives sound like a list of “Things That Make One A Loser.” Take it with a grain of salt.


7 Ways to Create A Productive Workplace

A company should always secure the productivity of their business. Because a loss in productivity can be a major problem. In order to achieve an efficient workplace for your company, you should build the morale and productivity of your employees. You must also minimize complaints and disruptions so everyone can focus and concentrate on doing their work effectively.


Here are some guidelines on creating a productive workplace environment:


Smile To Everyone Policy

It may look like simple, but this policy is hard to implement since people are too shy to be kind and approachable. But you should set this rule to smile to everyone and you will see the amazing result to all the employees. Sending back a pleasant smile to your co-worker will you the chance to know them better. Smiling to everyone in your office can be a good start of the day, it can give positive energy to everyone and can help them to work hard.


Top-Down Communication

Always have a transparent communication to every employee of the company. Make their role in the company be cleared for them by explaining it properly and make sure that they understand what are expected from them. Misunderstanding that comes from vague communication can easily avoid by proper communication of every person involved in the business. You can achieve good communication by training your people to listen and understand  every word that other people will say. This practice will help people in your company to build relationships and respect.


Reward and Encourage Teamwork

Make opportunities for every member of the company to do their best at work by having rewards to encourage them. Also, do not forget to thank and acknowledge effort of all the members if there is a success in one project. Appreciating and praising all the team members create a healthy and productive workplace. Make every member of the team feel safe knowing that they can count on each other.


Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive environment for the workplace can improve not only productivity, but loyalty of employers to the company. You can establish a positive work environment by checking if it is hostile. By developing and implementing policies to prevent discrimination and harassment can also improve your workplace. You will feel more safer at work. And feeling secured is enough for the people to be more productive and creative at work.


Boost Energy

Effectiveness of every human force can be achieved when there are creativity and concentration. Give some free time for your employees to work out. Bring some easy and useful exercises that they can do at the office to boost their energy at work. Make sure that your staff members are moving throughout the day and not just genuinely committed to their desk-based work. Let them be active and energetic by giving them freedom to work in different areas of the office or set schedules for walking meetings.


Efficient Office Tools

Do not let your employees complain about the limitations of the tools they are using. Provide them with efficient office tools that they need like a desktop PC and other gadgets that they are most comfortable with. Working with the tools that works properly will let them be more productive.


Look Beyond Technology

Of course, it is very important for all business to have the best technology solutions to improve their productivity. But it is not the most important asset that they need, keeping their employees engaged and happy with their work is the key to create more productivity at work. That is why you should always boost your people’s morale. Remember that a happy workforce creates productivity.


Creating a more productive and engaging environment to work takes a few simple steps. Small changes can lead to big differences. Always create an environment that brings out the best in everyone. An environment where people will love to come and work hard.



A girl who loves adventure! Dawn Atkins is a college student who always finds time to enjoy life by traveling, mountain climbing, and island hopping. She also works as a content contributor for as her part-time work. It is Dawn’s dream to travel the world and climb Mt. Fuji.

7 Ways to Make Your Mornings a Productive Start

Coffee Drinking

Photo courtesy of

Mornings aren’t that easy for most people. Morning means having to wake up early, do a routine, and deal with traffic on the way to work or someplace else.

These things can surely make people cranky and hate mornings, which affect their demeanor in doing important tasks for the day.

Your morning doesn’t have to be a bad start. Here are seven productive ways to start your morning right and make it a good one:

1. Prepare your needs the night before

If you’re in need of something to wear the next day, or prepare your things and food, you better do it the night before. This is a great time-saver, and your mind is still aware of what you want to do the next day.

It’s also helpful that you prepare a list of the major tasks you need to accomplish for the next day. This can save you time thinking about what was that important task you must do.

2. Wake up earlier than usual

If you wake up at around 5:30am, try waking up 15 minutes earlier. This can give you time to do more things in the morning. Waking up earlier than your usual call time is proven to jump-start your day right.

This psyches your mind that you have to wake up early and do things on time. Plus, you won’t feel so hurried in going to school or work because you made it a point to wake up really early.

3. Eat a hearty breakfast

A good breakfast can fuel you properly. Choose something that you can prepare the night before or right in the morning, like toast, butter, cheese, cereals, fruit, and coffee.

If you’re not used to eating breakfast, now’s the time to make this your morning habit. Studies have shown the benefits of eating a regular breakfast. Plus, preparing something sumptuous along with a hot cup of coffee can perk you up and get you out of bed sooner. Breakfast is something to look forward to in the mornings.

4. Take a good shower

A cold shower can be energizing. It wakes up your senses and makes you feel refreshed afterwards. Take a 5-10 minute shower to help you start the day. You cannot deny that fresh and clean feeling after a shower.

5. Focus on your first tasks for the day

This is when your to-do checklist comes in handy. Write down the three most important things you must do and focus on that. Take it one at a time and focus on that one task you’re doing.

In this way, some items in your checklist can be ticked off come lunch time, and you can do other things in the afternoon that might need attention.

6. Take a break

Working for a long stretch in the morning doesn’t really amount to accomplishing anything. It doesn’t hurt to take breaks every so often, like for 15 minutes. Breaks can help you deal better with your workload, and doesn’t make you feel so harrowed.

This is especially beneficial for those of you who aren’t really morning persons. A simple break, like closing your eyes for a while, stretching, or even a nap, can help you regain your senses and prepare you for other tasks later on.

7. Reward yourself with a good lunch

You surely deserve a treat with a good lunch meal by yourself or with your friends. That can energize you for the late afternoon after all the hard work you did in the morning.

These small ways can ensure you of a productive start in the morning.

About the author:

Eliza Sullin is a college student and a freelance writer for She learned to deal with her morning habits and she hopes this article can help others as well in starting their day right. During her free time, she likes reading books and spending time with friends.

Essential Ways To Be Productive When Working From Home

Productivity Tips When Working From Home


How can you be productive when you are working from home? People often think of their home as a place where they take the time to relax and simply be themselves. It is a place where we let loose and have some downtime.

It is important for any worker to take the time to recharge his batteries and not to bring his work to his home but there are times when a worker wants to take a side project or try to become his own boss by becoming an entrepreneur.

Those things are not easy to do especially if you have a regular job that is both demanding and stressful.

Sometimes you simply spend your time during the weekends watching TV and some movies to relax. You do not want to think about the things that you really want to do because it is hard for you to be productive when you are working at home.

There are just too many things that can cause you to stop working and simply enjoying the company of your friends and family. To overcome those distractions here are some essential ways that anyone can do to be more productive when they are working from home:


1. Write A Good Plan

If you really want to be productive when you are working at home, it is important to have a plan in mind and then write it on a piece of paper or on your notebook so that you will not forget about it. When you are writing your plan, it is important to be realistic about it.

You also have to have a time frame for your plan; it cannot be open-ended so that you will really get to work on it. As a writer, I often think about writing my own best-selling book and I realized that planning for it makes sense in a way that it really helps me monitor my actions if it goes in the direction of my goals and so that I can make my dreams come true.

2. No Time, Make Time When Working At Home

A lot of us are not productive when we are at home or even if we are at work because we often make excuses. One of most common excuses that we make is that we do not have the time to reach our goals or to make our dreams come true.

If we really want to make those dreams come true, we have to make time to get it done especially of you are working at home. All of us are given the exact amount of time in a day, what separates those who are productive is their ability to make time and simply make things work. Make time for your goals and dreams.

3. Overcome Your Distractions

A lot of times our distractions get the better of us when we are writing our plans or our goals. Sometimes distractions keep us from reaching our goals and making the most of our day when we are working at home.

The key to overcoming distractions is to avoid them as much as possible. Another good way to overcome distractions is to think about your dreams and your goals. When you do that, you will have a sense of what you really want to achieve and what is more important. The TV and going out are one of the most common distractions out there; sometimes the easiest way to avoid them is to keep yourself busy with things that make you better and productive.

Those are some essential ways that you can be productive when you are working from home. It may not be easy and it will take some considerable amount of willpower but if you want to make your dreams come true you have to be willing to sacrifice and simply work hard at it.

About the Author:

Jemi Hewitt is an experienced online business consultant and writer who works at ; she cares about providing useful advice to people to help them improve their lives. When she is not busy writing articles, you can find her helping different charities in her community.

5 Tips On How To Be Productive By Working Smarter

A lot of people think that to get ahead in this world and be productive you have to work hard; and, to some degree, they are right but it is not the only way.

There is a better way to the whole work hard mentality and that is to work smarter.

What is the work smart mentality? Why is it better than working hard? Working smart is about finding creative ways to solve your problems or concerns.

It is about finding a better way to do things that will make you more productive. It is better to working hard because in essence you do not have to exert too much effort to get things done.

How can you be productive by working smart? Here are some useful tips that you can do to be productive in your workplace by working smart:

1. Learn To Innovate

It is important for any worker to be not afraid to innovate especially in one’s workplace.

It is tough to introduce new ideas to your colleagues or even to your boss but if it is really good or it can help solve a problem in your workplace, why not give it a try.

Being innovative is about being observant and finding solutions to the problems in your everyday lives.

2. Write Realistic Goals

Part of being productive is setting up goals. When you write down your goals, it is important to be realistic.

What I mean by realistic, is that it should be measurable and it should have a time frame. It should also be achievable.

Some people like to shoot for the stars but it is important to think about what you can do that is within your reach in that way you can have a higher chance of achieving it.

3. Have A Good Plan For Your Work   

Some workers do not plan for the work, they just let things be. It is important to learn how to write a good game plan on how your can make your work easier and better.

You need to think ahead so that you are better prepared for things that may caught you off guard.

A good plan can help you fight stress in your workplace because you are not surprised by unexpected happenings at your work.

4. Learn To Fail Forward

We all make mistakes and sometimes we fail at things. Some people would take things too seriously when they fail or make a mistake that they fail to realize that the one of the best ways to be productive and be successful is to learn from your mistakes.

The key is to learn from your mistakes. As a writer, I have made a lot of mistakes in my career but it made me better. It made me realize that I should learn to fail forward.

5. Ask The Right Questions 

A lot of people fail to ask good questions from their colleagues or even from their boss and that is why they work hard at something instead of working smart at their task by simply asking the right questions. By asking the right questions, it can help you avoid mistakes and can save you lot of time in your work.

Those are some amazing tips on how to be productive by working smart. We need to work smart instead of exhausting ourselves. Working smart can help you save more time to enjoy life better.


About the Author:

Elizabeth Terry is one of the experienced essay writers in her company; she likes to provide helpful advice to people out there. When she is not writing articles, she participates in different charitable causes.

How To Effectively Write Notes and To Do’s

I admit it. I’m a bit tired of living a digital life. So I began embarking on this digital-to-analog journey. You might have read some of my posts here about Moleskine and Field Notes.

I’m struggling. I can’t seem to find better ways of taking notes.

To say that I’m having a hard time in my digital to analog transition is an understatement. My two biggest problems? Organization of the notes and Indexing.

I’m sure there is a better way of taking notes out there! And I must find it!

Then there comes Bullet Journal. This system solves most of our – us analog note takers – problems on organizing and indexing notes on paper.

Here’s a Getting Started video on Bullet Journal.


The Etch Moleskine Cover And Twist Precision Pen by Allegory

Disclaimer: I received these items from Allegory in exchange for my review. That didn’t influence my opinion of these products. Check for more information.

I’ve always been fascinated by things made by hand. I admire the craft and appreciate the effort put into creating them.

The art borne out of the palm’s creative touch echoes a form of poetry that is mute and solemn.

Such are the Etch leather cover and Twist pen made by Allegory.

Etch cover for moleskine cashier

If you are like me, you always keep a small journal notebook despite you having an always-connected smartphone. I have an HTC One that I use for communication and productivity. I use my pocket journal notebook to keep  track of thought and ideas that might  be useful now or in the future.

[ From Amazon: “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” ]

I usually have a Moleskine Pocket Notebook. But it is not really pocket-sized in the truest sense. I cannot put it in my pant’s pocket without discomfort. Putting it in the back pocket is almost impossible. If I’m on the go, I would bring a Moleskine Cahier pocket notebook which I can just slide into my cargo short pocket.

Allegory Pens just came out with a slick kangaroo leather cover for the Moleskine Cahier notebook (3.5 x 5.5 inches) called “The Etch.” I didn’t know kangaroo leather makes a good material for notebook covers.

An expensive kangaroo leather cover for a simple notebook (Moleskine notebooks are expensive also) could be an overkill for some people. But there are other people who are just like you and me who put so much value into their old-school notebooks.

The Etch is made for people like you – yes, you the reader – and me.

Etch by Allegory

Here’s the comparison between the Moleskine Pocket Notebook (hard cover) and Moleskine Cahier with the Etch cover:

Etch Cover with Moleskine Cashier

The Etch cover has 2 card slots at the back:

Card Pockets in Etch Leather Cover

But I might give it a second thought if I really want to slide my debit and credit cards in there. Each slot can accommodate up to 3 plastic cards. There is nothing that secures the cards in place. I don’t recommend keeping your cards in those slots if you use it on daily basis.

Update 7/22/2013: I’ve been carrying my Etch for a month now, and the 2 “test cards” I put in the slots stayed there. The slots are deep enough to keep your ID or credit cards. After all, the Etch was designed as a back pocket notebook cover.

[ From Amazon: “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” ]

If you use the side pocket in the Moleskine Cahier, you’re in luck because the cover design of the Etch allows access to the side pocket at the back of the cahier notebook:

Side Pocket Allegory Etch Cover

With the release of Etch comes also the new addition to Allegory Precision Pen Collection – The Twist:

Handcrafted Wood Pens

According to Allegory, these pens – The Twist – are “made from Beech reclaimed from shipping crates that were used to ship windmills from Europe.” So whenever you hold this pen in your hand, you’re not just holding a writing instrument but a piece of history. How cool is that!

The pen is a bit heavy to my liking because I’m used to pens that are made of plastic. The elegance of the polished wood and metal compensate for that.

[ From Amazon: “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” ]

Don’t worry about running out of ink because this pen is refillable with standard ballpoint refills:

Refillable Allegory Handcrafted pens


Here’s a couple of close looks:

close look allegory pens pens made out of reclaimed wood


Here’s another look of the pen:

Another Look at Allegory Twist

Here’s how the pen and notebook look like together:

Allegory Pen and Leather collection

allegory Etch and reclaimed wood pen

If you are into notebooks and pens and love Kickstarter, Allegory has a Kickstarter campaign for the Etch cover and Twist pen. You may want to support them.

Why Your Adventure To Keep A Journal Notebook Failed

Moleskine and Field Notes are two of my favorite notebook brands. I write stuff. I keep notes, lists, and ideas. I have Evernote and OneNote but I rarely use them.

And I only started using digital notes with OneNote extensively when I started writing my tech book project. For everything else, I use a notebook.

You don’t want to let any good ideas to slip off your head because of information overload. If you are like me, your brain is always busy processing stuff.

[ From Amazon: “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” ]

I process hundreds, even thousands, of information in my head at any given time. I have a full time job, side projects, and personal life (family and friends) just like normal humans do.

I have to keep track, therefore, of work tasks (workflows, deadlines, etc), project milestones and progress, budgets, mortgage, bills, and what not.

My notebook is an extension of my brain. I love it this way because I don’t have the distraction of having to deal with the technology layer of a simple task such as recording a thought on a smart phone or tablet.

Recording to a notebook is almost instantaneous — find the next empty page, then write; and, you’re done.

Keeping a notebook is a challenge to many. And I understand why.

[ From Amazon: “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” ]

Here are some of the reasons why you fail at keeping a notebook as a system of recording your thoughts and ideas:

1. You write notes and ideas you need to retrieve right away. If you keep records of things you need in a couple of days and write tons of notes more in that short period, chances are the information you need might have been buried in the notebook black hole.

2. You use a notebook to record information you need at your finger tips on short notice. If you have pages and pages of information and you don’t have any way to retrieve that in short amount of time, then using a notebook is not very intuitive.

3. You depend on index mechanism to search for information. It just doesn’t work with an analog notebook.

4. You use your notebook for your daily to-do list. If you’re wondering why your notebook is so convoluted, chances are to-do lists are part of the clutter problem. If you’re using your notebook to remember how many tray of eggs or how many gallons of milk to buy, you’re doing it wrong. The proper place for most to-do lists is not your notebook but things like the hipster pda or loose 3×5 index cards.

Can GTD and Pomodoro Work Hand in Hand?

GTD vs PomodoroThe short answer is no. Let me explain why.

First, let’s take a look at the stark contrast between the two productivity principles:

GTD Focuses on the Outcome <> Pomodoro Focuses on the Task

GTD deals with the collective tasks. Pomodoro works one task at a time.

You cannot just marry the two systems and forge a partnership between them in which they can work together as one. GTD is quite the opposite of Pomodoro.

GTD practitioners may find Pomodoro too limiting.

There is not much flexibility in Pomodoro. The 2-minute rule in GTD finds no room in the Pomodoro system.

The core of GTD sits on the “Five Stages Of Mastering Workflow”: Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Do. In GTD dealing with a task has an impact on the other tasks. You have to maintain certain amount of discretion to maintain the workflow of your collective tasks.

[ From Amazon: “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” ]

In Pomodoro, those 5 stages are 5 separate tasks (or more if divided into smaller portions). There is only one stage in Pomodoro: Do. In the heart of Pomodoro is an effective mechanism of estimating task completion. There is truly a comfort in knowing how long it takes to accomplish your tasks.

Can GTD and Pomodoro work hand in hand?

As thought systems, they are incompatible. You cannot just focus on one particular task and maintain that same focus for all your other tasks.

Pomodoro is singular in its approach; GTD is collective.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Tragic