You’ve been on your laptop for what, like an hour now? Two? Ten minutes? The point is: we all spend so much time on our laptops and iPhones that we might as well make the experience as enjoyable and streamlined as possible, right?
All of this coming from me – someone who still is getting used to the world of laptop extensions, apps, add-ons, and plug-ins. You know how some people use the Spotify desktop app to stream music or the Twitter desktop app for tweeting, and then their blah blah blah app for their blah blah blah? I just want to know if I’m the only one who still archaically types each letter into the search bar…
2017 is the year I join the rest of the world in technology’s advances and advantages. Since January, I’ve acquired some pretty cool minimalist laptop extensions that I won’t be living without on any future laptop, and I’m 90% sure that you might like them for your own laptop too.
How often do you make an effort to stretch? If you’re me, not often. After a previously designated amount of time, Stretch Timer locks your screen and tells you to use the time to stretch.
You would think that if we all just had a little more self-control, we wouldn’t need to download extra services to help our crazy selves out, but what ends up happening is that we get too invested into the next task on our list that we never end up taking a break at all. If someone’s freezing your computer for a minute for you, your day will most likely be more enjoyable, and flexible. Tee-hee.
Ommwriter is a downloadable writing tool that I use to jot down my ideas. TextEdit can feel a bit too dry, and WordPress a little too business-oriented. Ommwriter feels futuristic, and because it doesn’t underline when you’ve made a mistake or grammatical error, it frees your mind to write without a filter. Cliché Tip #1 to Becoming a Blogger (or any type of creative writer) is to “find your voice.” You find your voice by writing – even if half the things that come out are a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.
Like something, but have too many tabs open? Happens all the time. You can save them to Instapaper and then when you have “nothing to do” you can go back through all the tabs you saved. Those things that haven’t yet earned their place in your bookmarks folder, but that are still worthy of a browsing session later when you don’t know what to look up. I just logged in to my Instapaper from three years ago and found a French blog 20 Casual, Everyday French Phrases You Oughta Know, a short film called I’m Not An Accent, and What The Heck Is Aperture? from a photography blog. Maybe you find those interesting too, but don’t have enough time to read? Just Instapaper em for later…or for three years later.
Each blog I’ve posted in the past three months has been written using this technique. If I can’t come up with anything interesting to say after 25 minutes, it’s time to give it a rest. I’m using this technique right now actually with 17 minutes left. It’s a good way to shut up and focus on what you have to do and stop what I call “tabbing” – when you have so many things to do that you click from tab to tab hoping one of your tasks grasps your interest, only to find yourself just moving from tab to tab getting nothing done. Focus Keeper and the overall Pomodoro technique helps me handle the thousand things I have to do by getting one thing done at a time. And it looks like it now costs $1.99 for their timer? Hmm.
I know if I’m turning on Spotify, I’ll be singing along to Ashanti or thinking I was born in the Bronx rapping some Cardi B lyric – in other words, not in the right mindset to churn out blog ideas, edit YouTube videos, or respond to emails – Last week I literally sent an email saying “Ho” instead of “Hi.” There are many sites like Moodil to listen to ocean waves, tropical rainstorms, or random cricket sounds like you’re out camping, but this one seems to be the most stream-lined. A clear mind means clear thoughts, and whether you’re writing a research paper or writing a blog, you’ll sure need some of those.
You know when you’re really thirsty for those deals, but can’t be bothered flipping to Page 3 of the Google search results? Honey does all the work for you. For example: you’re checking out on Amazon with a cart full of stuff you probably don’t need, and then you see the Honey button. You click it, and oh, it just saved you $10 from that promo code hidden on that one promo code site.
You’re probably someone who loves travel or someone who loves beautiful things, so why do we accept the plain search engine browser as the first site we see when we open Chrome or Safari? Change it to Momentum and you start traveling from your computer – the sand dunes of the Sahara, the redwoods in California, or the architecture of Paris appear each time you open up a new tab. Use it to remind you that life is so much more than what we see from the screen of our laptops, and that you are someone who can go to those places. First step, getting the momentum going.
What are some of your favorite minimalist laptop extensions, add-ons, plug-ins, or apps?
I need some fresh ones.