I’ve been able to supercharge my motivation and productivity lately — using a new method that doesn’t involve Evernote (shocking, I know!) or any digital tool at all. It’s a productivity method I gleaned from a talk that John Cleese gave on the subject of creativity some years ago. I’ve used it to decide what types of projects I want to be involved with, to better communicate my approach and to generate new ideas for ongoing projects. 

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I felt so proud of checking off the last priority thing on my Evernote daily to-do list yesterday that I had to screencap it to preserve the productivity goodness for all time. While I was at it, I thought I’d share my Evernote to-do list setup and how I use it in my daily process as someone who works in marketing.

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With this simple shortcut, you can instantaneously copy an Evernote note link to your clipboard, ready to paste into an email, Facebook post, or tweet.


⌘ + /

That’s it! While in the note you want to share—recipe, article, to-do list, collection of documents/attachments, photos, etc., simply hit “⌘ + /” and VOILA! “Note URL copied!” The note link will be copied to your keyboard, ready to “⌘ + Tab” to your previous window and “⌘ + V” paste into a message of your choice.
Pasted a few recent recommendation links into a note for a pal,
and with the stroke of two keys, ta-da: note URL copied!
Pretty much the fastest, most useful Evernote shortcut ever.
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Evernote Web Clipper saves content better than bookmarks.

Is your browser packed with bookmarks to read later? Do you use a service like Pocket (formerly Read it Later) or Bitly as a way to save links to visit later? Have you ever pinned on Pinterest or posted a link on Facebook as a reminder to yourSELF to read something later? It’s okay, we’ve all been there—but there’s a better way to save articles and websites of interest: Web Clipper for Evernote.

Evernote Web Clipper is available for all major browsers (and Internet Explorer (*zing!*)).

The Web Clipper is my new favorite Evernote application/extension. The control over how much of a web page it clips, the ability to direct it to a specific notebook or tag it right there while you’re saving the web page is invaluable. And of course, in Evernote, once it’s in, it’ll never take up future space so you can save it forever. You know, in case you suddenly want to tell someone about something you recently read. Whip out your phone and type in a keyword or tag and BOOM, derailed conversation thread saved!

Let’s answer a few questions…

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Productivity tip of the day: take advantage of keyboard shortcuts on your iPhone and never type your email address again!

If you do a lot of mobile browsing, you’ve likely mistyped out your email address about a hundred billion times. “There’s gotta be a better way!” Well, there is, Kevin!

The iPhone OS allows you to set custom keyboard shortcuts. Your email address is an absolute no-brainer for this option, although you can set them for any frequently used word or phrase. In this example, I’ll use “#portsbkfstclub,” since that’s something I type frequently and have to check each time to make sure I’ve spelled it correctly.
Here’s how:
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Ever want to get an Instagram filter on a photo without sharing it publicly on Instagram?

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Austin Kleon tweeted this brilliant hack awhile ago, and I’d thought I’d share it with you all, in case you aren’t already following him on Twitter (which I suggest you do). Don’t worry, he’s cool with stealing.

  1. In your iPhone Settings, turn on Airplane Mode.
  2. Instagram photo as normal—but when you “Share” it, it will fail. Just tap the “X” and Remove Upload.
  3. The photo is now on your Camera Roll in your iPhone’s Photos.

That’s it! (Don’t worry, I also Instagrammed this tip.)

Personally, I usually use Camera+, as I recommended in a previous post, because it gives much more control and filtering options. However, this trick can be quicker, or come in handy if you want the specific look of an Instagram filter you love.

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A few months ago, I learned about Coffitivity. It is a tool based around the notion that some people work better with the ambient noise of a bustling coffeeshop around them. I like Coffitivity a lot. I like even more that they’ve built in a volume level that can be adjusted in tandem with the volume of your own music, making it likely that you’ll at least give it a try, and that you’ll hopefully keep using it even if you are a music listener.


Thanks to Netted by the Webbys, I just discovered another new service: focus@will. This site offers channels of various genres of music for focusing and productivity—and the kicker is, they are all ambient, wordless, lyricless tunes, which is optimal for not losing focus.


I’ve created Rdio playlists for writing—some classical, some movie soundtracks (which are great for writing fiction, and which I lean heavily upon for NaNoWriMo in November), but this is one-click access to curated ambient music, which is way easier than culling your own wordless tunes.

So there you have it—two new productivity tools for writing, working, and getting things done! I love finding this cool tools, so please let me know what neat-o productivity hacks YOU have discovered!

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