The Huge Flaw in Design of Digital Media

This is the default of the “new tab page” on Google Chrome for Android:

What you can see is that next to the necessity of a search bar it also provides frequently visited sites and news articles below. And this type of design, at least in my opionion, is deeply flawed. Chrome is not the only browser doing this, though. Why?, you might ask. Let me elaborate a little:

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About Regaining Focus

Ambitions and motivation are the fuel that start our engines of progress. Initially, we set course to new destinations and aspire to become the person we always wanted to be – or at least a better version. But life doesn’t work linear. Over time our excitement decreases. And often, life throws stuff at us to block our path. Doesn’t matter if it is about the death or illness of a close friend or family member, falling in love, breaking up, being stressed out by work/college/people/things. The result is still the same. We lose focus.

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Phone-Only For A Week – What I Learned

 I used to work hard to not use my phone by any means. But last Monday I started a challenge which was contradictory to my ambitions. Why should I not use the most brilliant idea of the 21st century: A pocket computer which is always with you. I asked myself: Do I need anything besides the phone in my life? Here’s what I learned:

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27 January Update

Hi everyone. I made some subtle changes to the blog by changing the theme to something a little more colourful. I also want to experiment with the type of content I publish on this blog. Hope you’ll enjoy it! Today I want to start one of these experiments. I want to give some regular updates on things I learned in the past week(s). Sometimes I stumble upon amazing thoughts and ideas but they don’t end up filling the pages for a huge blog post. So I never tell anyone. But they still remain useful. That’s the idea, sharing small productivity/minimalism hacks.

Here’s a small list of things I changed and/or learned in January:

  • Logging your progress within your digital notebooks is a pretty great tool to not forget half of the things you’re supposed to do (see here for further info)
  • Reading is more fun than watching YouTube
  • Algorithms (like the YouTube algorithm) don’t improve the quality of content, just the quantity
  • Bryan Lunduke (62,000 subscribers on YouTube) stated, that most promotions on social media were a waste of energy and time since his videos with thousands (to Millions) of views will only have about +10 clicks if he promotes them on social media. “Why would anyone stop scrolling through Twitter to watch a video on YouTube?”
  • 10 minutes a day for cleaning will end up saving you hours of extensive work on the weekend (at least if you have a small apartment)
Aside

5 Tips on Digital Note-Taking

1. Create a Log to capture your progress

Have you ever forgotten something important about a project? Write it down in a log and put updates about your project in there. You will never forget something important again.

For example:

2019/01/27

  • Wrote an article about digital note-taking
  • Found some helpful examples
  • Made a silly meta-joke

2. Link Pages for Reference

(This might only work in OneNote.) Wouldn’t it be great to create your own little Wikipedia for your projects and notes? Well, if you link certain words within a page to another page in another notebook, you can easily re-create this experience in OneNote yourself. This will solve the struggle of searching for something, since you cross-reference to it anyway.

3. Keep It Simple!

If you take notes in lectures, you might end up with a wall of text that is discouraging to read. Keep it simple. Just write down the essentials and try to focus more on the lecturer itself. As long as you understand your notes (only YOU have to), you’re fine.

4. Create Sources-lists

Sometimes you find something interesting on the internet which might even be related to your studies. Put a link to these sources in a single page. It will save you a lot of time, especially if you have to write a paper.

5. Don’t Waste Time on Fancy Designs

You want to write down stuff, not win a designer competition. Just write those thoughts down. You’ll likely write summaries, flash cards or create other forms of learning material anyway. In the end, it doesn’t even matter *sings along Linkin Park song* *feels embarrased to use an asterisk within an article*

I Challenge You to Clear the Clutter (While Being Lazy)

I cover minimalism on this blog quite a lot. It is almost like I write these articles to myself, to remind me of great advice I should consider. Then I reconsidered whether other content creators I admire do follow their own advice and succeed becoming the best person they strive for, or not. Probably they do a pretty decent job, but they are still human. People mess up. Some mess up quite a lot, some just a bit. But messing up is an inevitable byproduct of growth. You can’t if you don’t mess up and learn from mistakes. Continue reading

Minimalism and Daily Planning

One of the most useful skills I learned attending university was how to schedule my day and manage a lot of time-consuming tasks within a small available time frame (which was even more cut down since I commuted for most of my studies). However, a lot of times I would find myself frustrated with not meeting my own set goals and expectations. These day-to-day failures also proved to be very effective in promoting procrastination. In early 2017, however, I started my minimalism journey and had some useful insights from the greatest minds in this day and age.

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Markdown – Distraction-Free Writing

Have you ever felt that formatting kills your momentum? Do you sometimes feel like changing the layout of your essays, blog posts, etc. feels a little like extra work that you would rather spend in more useful things? I certainly did. Then, some day, I stumbled upon a formatting language which was so easy to use that even I could remember it and so fast and intuitive, that I just instantly fell in love with it. Meet Markdown:

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