Tips to use apps more effectively

We couldn’t get the information we wanted a long time ago. While that’s no longer the case, today, we struggle with problems like maintaining focus and discovering critical information. Here I share some of the tricks I employ to eliminate some of the noise and clutter. My intention is to update this post, adding more apps and tips.

Web browsers

Be careful about the amount of time you spend on web sites, especially the addictive ones. Many applications monetize your attention and time, so they use algorithms to steal more of both. Some browser extensions help you browse more intentionally. For example, I’ve developed a minimal open-source extension for Firefox using which you can set a countdown for websites. Other extensions provide additional functionality, like productivity reports.

YouTube

Change your landing page to only see videos from subscribed channels ordered by time. Manage your subscriptions so that you get high-quality and highly relevant content. Control the number of subscriptions so that you get a limited number of videos per day.

You also don’t want to miss high-quality content on related channels. If you have finished watching the videos on your timeline, return to your homepage to get recommendations from YouTube.

Gmail

Email is a powerful tool when used right. By default, it is so cluttered that you must work continuously to maintain its useful state.

For emails that you don’t want to receive, unsubscribe. If that doesn’t work, use “Filter messages like this” feature, and choose the delete option.

For emails that you opted to receive, use labels and create clutter-free inboxes. For example, I use “Filter messages like this” feature on all emails that I receive from my newsletter subscriptions and apply the “Newsletter” label.

For emails that are not important, but you want to keep anyway, also create labels. This time, select the skip inbox option. The browser application gives you the ability to hide the label from the menu.