I have read the post Get Everything Done & Still Have Time to Play by Jackie Ashton recently and adopted some strategies into my process.

Before I plan the tasks daily by allocating them into time slots in a calendar, it is tedious and time-wasting. It messes up my agenda, which is intended only to contain the events that I must do on time. And it makes me nervous and exhausted to follow a pre-defined schedule every day.

My new process is much simpler. I review my life objectives first and group them into categories. Then I evaluate their importance in my current life stage and allocate my energy in percentage into them.

I categorize reading into 3 different categories:

  • Skim Reading: This includes the feeds I subscribed in Inoreader, websites I frequently visit and articles shared from my friends. I quickly skim them using fragmented time, usually less than half an hour in total per day, and save the articles which worth reading to Instapaper.
  • Insensitive Reading: Instapaper sends me 20 unread articles to Kindle every morning. If I can spare at least 10 minutes, I will read them on the Kindle.
  • Challenging Reading: Papers are definitely in this category. There are also articles hard to understand, I will print them into PDF. I schedule the time in advance, usually one hour or more, and read the PDF files on Sony Digital Paper.

I’ll share the detailed workflow and the IFTTT applets used in the process.

It is a headache to find an available keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS X. I used Option + Letter and Shift + Option + Letter before, since they are preserved for inputting special characters. It has some problems:

  • Emacs and terminal require a modifier for Meta. I choosed Command. It means if I want to use application shortcut with Command in these applications, such as Command+Q to quit the application, I have to use the right one.
  • I always forget the shortcuts. Although I have listed them in a sheet, it is a pain to keep it synchronized with the shortcuts defined every where.

I switched to a new solution using keystroke sequence shortcuts recently. All my global shortcuts start with Command+M (⌘M). A menu is displayed when I typed prefix. If I forget the shortcut, I just need to glance through the menu.

Mendeley is a research management tool for desktop & web. It has clients for Linux, Mac, Windows and iPhone and a Web interface. Mendeley can manage any documents, but is better to work with PDF. The file meta data are synchronized though Mendeley server. The attached files (PDF or any other formats) can also be synchronized, but the free account has a quota of 500MB. However, the attached files directory and underlying sqlite database can be synchronized manually.

This article demonstrates how to quickly switch to a window using gpicker and wmctrl. You type significant letters of workspace name, application name or title and gpicker provides a list of windows you most likely mean to pick.