Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Ten Lifehacks (Plus One Bonus)

Since writing my entry about getting things done, I’ve been thinking a lot about so-called “lifehacks.” Essentially lifehacks are little things you do that make life easier. Arienna over at Blogaholics commented on my original entry, specifically focusing on blogging as a lifehack. This got me thinking a little more about some specific things I do (or have done), to simplify my life. I decided it was worth writing some of these down, as they might help someone else. So without any further ado, we present ten official NoahBrier.com lifehacks (in no specific order and with one bonus):

1. Copy all your numbers from your phone and email it to a GMail account. Now, not only are all my numbers backed up in case your phone gets lost, but they’re also completely searchable from any computer.

2. Keep daily notes/thoughts in text files. I tend to split these up into three categories: notes, thoughts and quotes. Text files are easy to manage and completely searchable.

3. Use del.icio.us to keep track of your bookmarks. That way you can access them from anywhere and they’re searchable (and tagable).

4. When using tags on sites like del.icio.us and Flickr, remember the tags are for your use. This means that you should tag them with whatever makes sense for your life. Tags are a tool to help you organize your thoughts. Don’t worry about using multiple tags, or having too many tags. If it’s going to help you organize/retrieve that information, just do it.

5. If you use iCal (which I do at work), set your mobile phone email address as one of your emails (figure out your address here). That way, if you want to send yourself a text message reminder about an activity you can. (I imagine this works with other calendar programs as well.)

6. The combination of Firefox, Bloglines and Tabbrowser Preferences extension make browsing RSS a snap. Simply go through your feeds, click on the links you want to read further and let them load in the background. That way you can go through all your feeds, find the interesting nuggets (that you don’t just want to read in Bloglines) and save them for later. Makes having a lot of feeds much more manageable.

7. If you use Firefox, get yourself Spellbound, it spell checks any text box. It’s much easier than using the spell checker in most web-based email services.

8. If you listen to a lot of MP3s, download the Musicbrainz tagger (or Mac equivalent). It takes a bit to figure out how to use, but once you get it going it will fix all the tags on your MP3s fairly automatically.

9. If you play a lot of Minesweeper, use both mouse buttons to clear surrounding squares once you’ve identified all the mines in an area. It’s a simple trick, but one that a lot of people don’t know about.

10. If you like to read a lot of stuff online and find yourself running out of time, try printing the extra stuff out, stapling it together and reading it other places. Just throw it in your bag and wait for some free time.

Bonus: Get yourself some velcro shoes. They’re coming back in style and they save you all that wasted tie time.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but until then how about adding your own to the list. Just add a comment.

March 23, 2005