Espanso text expander

Editing the default phrases file for espanso in Sublime Text 4.

If you are not already using a text expander application then I highly recommend that you start. It will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of keystrokes every month.

As the name suggests, a text expander application is a utility that runs in the background and looks out for you typing predefined phrases which it then replaces with usually a longer text version.

For example, when I type --@e, my text expander replaces this with my full email address: gareth@garethjmsaunders.co.uk, saving me 25 keystrokes.

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An overview of my planning and productivity system in 2021

Google Calendar, Microsoft OneNote, Trello and Todoist

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called An overview of my planning and productivity system in 2019. I was discussing it with a couple of people last week and thought it was probably about time that I updated it to reflect how things have evolved during that time.

During the last few years, my basic tools have not changed. As I said in my last post, for a long time I tried to limit myself to using only one task management application. I would periodically switch between Trello and something else (Outlook tasks, Wunderlist, Todoist). Eventually, I realised that I could use different tools for different jobs. For me, a good organisation system should enable you to do the following, and this is what I use:

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Microsoft To Do review

Screenshot of Microsoft To Do

As many may know, I am a big fan of Todoist and have written a few blog posts about Todoist. But a few weeks ago I installed Microsoft To Do and used it exclusively for a few days to see how it compared.

Within two days I returned to Todoist. I wanted to capture a few thoughts about why.

(Note: it would appear that either there was a significant update to Microsoft To Do in the last two weeks or my laptop was only able to install an older version because a few of the niggles I had with it appear to have been resolved in the latest version, which I installed on my desktop PC.)

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Organising tabs by groups in Google Chrome

Four tab groups in Google Chrome

Generally, I am a bit of a tab minimalist when it comes to my browsing habits—I don’t often have more than about five or six tabs open at a time.

At work, however, I am working with two teams (Kronos and Odin) and I was recently looking for a method to neatly group tabs relating to the two teams plus my general work stuff (email, HR system, Jira, Trello, etc.) and personal productivity applications (calendar, email, contacts, task list, etc.)

As I switch between teams quite regularly, I was finding myself taking a little too long to search my various tabs for the right one. Enter Google Chrome’s built-in tab groups. Now everything is much easier to find.

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Eisenhower matrix in personal projects—what does urgent but not important mean?

Something that I’ve been playing around with for the last few months in my to do app of choice, Todoist, is seeing if I find value in using the Eisenhower matrix to help me prioritise tasks.

But I have encountered a stumbling block when I consider this for use in a personal context: what do I with the “Delegate” label (urgent but not important)?

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