‹ Geoff Ruddock

Tags / tools

I was looking at my Anki deck stats the other day and realized that I have been using it for just over three years now. During that time I have added 20k cards and reviewed 140k. On average I spent 17 minutes each day to review 130 cards. Since this amounts to over 300 hours of my life at this point, I figured it would be worth reflecting on this habit and deciding whether it is a worthwhile investment of time going forward.
I recently came across a neat Chrome extension called SingleFile which saves webpages as HTML files, but first waits for lazy-loading javascript, images and CSS to render. It doesn’t work perfectly—it sometimes includes the blurry version of lazy-loaded photos unless you first scroll to the end of the page—but it works lightyears better than anything else I’ve tried.
Once a year I try to reevaluate my “personal tech stack” to see if I am using fundamental tools as effectively as possible. Not just bigger tools such as todo lists, calendars, and note-taking, but also the smaller utility apps that get used so frequently they blend into our daily work routine. Our fluency with the tools we use every day is the foundation of personal productivity, so it makes sense to optimize even small interactions such as switching between windows. With that in mind, here are three key Mac apps that make me a tiny bit more efficient but do so very frequently.
I’m a big fan of Blinkist, which is a subscription service that provides really well-written summaries of popular non-fiction books. These aren’t the SparkNotes you remember from your high school days—each summary is split into thematic bites, and the information is presented in a form that is already partially synthesized. Each day Blinkist offers free access to one of their new summaries through Blinkist Daily. I find that the curation of books they use for Blinkist Daily is very high-quality, and I can usually find at least 2 summaries per week that I am interested in.
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