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Editing To-Do Lists On the Go: Integrate Toodledo With Captio

Editing To-Do Lists On the Go: Integrate Toodledo With Captio

    One of the biggest problems with to-do lists is a system. How are you updating your lists and how do you keep track of them? For this problem I have found a solution, which I will share below.

    First: we all know the potential of to-do lists. We all (should) use them and we all probably know enough about GTD to use them effectively. If not, I will explain a couple of concepts quickly. After each concept there is a link you can follow to read more about it.

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    • Systems. You need a system to keep track of your to-dos. You simply can’t remember to remember what you should do and when. Therefore, there are multiple systems which can help you keep track! More on productivity systems.
    • Batching. If you want to get really productive, you should tackle your to-dos in batches. For instance, when you are out and about you should not only get your groceries, but go to the post-office as well. The same with email. Don’t respond all day to every email you get, but take care of them twice a day, all in a row. You will get in the flow and you will be able to do your tasks much faster. More on batching.
    • Prioritizing. Which is the most important task on your list? Now you need to make that your priority over the other tasks. The thing with a busy work-day is that you are distracted all day. By getting a phone-call or responding to an email you will feel busy, but you aren’t, because you didn’t have the time to actually get some work done. Read more: Mastering the Art of Prioritization

    Now that we tackled the basics of to-do systems, keep in mind how it works while I explain a system I personally use which works great for me. After that I am going to guide you step-to-step on how to set it up.

    Using Your Smartphone To Manage Your Tasks

    I currently use two simple iPhone apps to submit tasks and to keep track of them. The first is Captio – a note-taking app (and nothing more). You write down whatever you want and it will be sent to an email address. For Android users there is Jotter in the Android Market.

    The second app is Toodledo for iPhone. For Android users: there isn’t a native Android app, but the third party apps will work just as well.

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    The beautiful thing about Toodledo is that it gives you an email address where tasks can be mailed to. These emails get processed by Toodledo and will pop-up in your task list when you open up the app. What we are going to do is set up Captio with this email address, to enable yourself to send to-dos very quickly to your to-do lists.

    Of course, doing this by email is possible as well, but in the settings we put in the Toodledo email, so you don’t need to remember it.

    Now, with a couple of quick shortcuts you will have everything you need for optimum to-do list control!

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    How To Set Up The System

    Actually it is really easy. Log in at toodledo.com and navigate to this page. Copy the email address you find there and fill that in at the Captio settings. Now when you send a note from Captio it will go immediately to your to-do list.

    Now it’s gonna get fun. Why? Because you can set values within this note, which you can all find here. You can set priorities, due-dates, folders and contexts all with special syntax. A couple of examples I personally use:

    • Read Martin Luther King’s speech %read – The “read Martin Luther King speech” is the task. The %reading is the tag I gave it. Tags enable you to differentiate tasks from each other without a lot of hassle. Now when I open up Toodledo I can sort tasks by the tags and I can batch things. I use tags like %email, %checkout and %pay.
    • Pay phone bill %pay #today – Again, the tag. But now I added a due-date as well, which is today. By setting a due-date on that day you will get a reminder and it will be on the hotlist within the app, so you know you have to do something quick.
    • Call Tom for our meeting #tomorrow =4:00pm :1 hour – This is for a meeting tomorrow, at 4 pm. I need to remind Tom 1 hour ahead, because he will be late otherwise!

    If there is need for editing you can always open up the Toodledo app and edit it from within the app, the only thing Captio does is enable you to send out tasks as fast as the wind. It might seem a lot of work to set up at first, but after using it for 3 tasks you will understand the of effectiveness of this system. You only need two actions  (booting up Captio and sending the task) instead of over ten tasks from within any to-do application.

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    Now, by using this system you’ve created a bulletproof way for getting your to-do’s in place. Will this work for you? Have you created a better system yourself already? Share it in the comments!

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    Last Updated on October 17, 2018

    7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

    7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

    How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

    If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

    Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

    So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

    1. Meditate

    We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

    Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

    Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

    Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

    Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

    If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

    And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

    2. Get plenty of sleep

    If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

    If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

    How much sleep should you be getting?

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    Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

    Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

    Yes, there are.

    Try these three things:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

    3. Challenge your brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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    4. Take more breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

    However, I was wrong.

    Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Let me explain.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

    What’s the answer?

    Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

    5. Learn a new skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

    6. Start working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

    Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    “But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

    Not a problem.

    A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat healthier foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – improves memory
    • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
    • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Final thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

    You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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