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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 11 – Helvetindex Cards

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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 11 – Helvetindex Cards

    As we head into the final days of our 12 Days of Giveaways promo, we’ve got some cool analog tools to offer. Today we bring you the excellent design and craftsmanship of Helvetindex Cards, which will not only help 5 lucky Lifehack readers get things done — but will give them some quality looking material to do it with.

    But before we get to that, let’s take care of announcing the winner of yesterday’s 12 Days of Giveaways winner. We had a ton of responses to this one, which was an Evernote prize pack and a copy of the must-have companion book to Evernote, Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials.

    The question we asked was:

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    “How will you use Evernote in 2012 to stay more organized and become more productive?”

    And the winning comment was left by Anne Geissman Cartwright, who said:

    “My life is about to go topsyturvy–my husband and I are launching a complete remodel of our house. But the rest of my life will continue on: freelancing as a book editor; taking classes at the local college (I just finished up with some graphic design and Emergency Medical Technician training), working in Search & Rescue. I need to stay on top of my schedule, my finances, various sorts of information. The mere idea of having everything I need for my Search & Rescue and EMT work always available in one handy place makes me quiver with delight. But to have everything else at hand as well, and organized–oh, bliss! I’d love to make Evernote a regular, can’t-do-without-it part of my life.”

    Congratulations, Anne — I hope you get as much out of Evernote as I have. I’m an avid user; it’s a mainstay on all of my computing devices. I’m sure it will help you give your productivity a boost — and with all you’ve got on the go, it sounds like a boost will come in handy in 2012!

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    Now…on to today’s giveaway!

    About Helvetindex Cards

    No matter how you slice it, paper is still a big part of a lot people’s productivity systems. There’s no compatibility issues, no software upgrades needed and it’s both portable and disposable. I’ve been using index cards as part of a Hipster PDA capture tool for years, and the cards I used were as cheap as they came. Oddly enough — or perhaps not — I treated the tasks on the cards as poorly as I treated the cards. Silly, perhaps…but it’s how it went. So I stopped using them and went to a different method of paper capture. I started using higher quality goods and stock, and soon everything I captured on them had more quality attached to them as well. But there were still no index cards that matched the quality of my other paper products, so I kept my binder clips in a drawer, unused.

    Then Aaron Mahnke created Helvetindex Cards.

    These cards are made of high quality stock and are a pleasure to use. There are spaces at the top of the card to mark with dates, topics or whatever your system dictates. Helvetindex Cards don’t force you into a system, they let you bring them into yours. I’m still working through my pack of 100 cards and my binder clips now have something to hold on to again. My Hipster PDA is back where it belongs: with me at all times…along with the Helvetindex Cards that I use to make it.

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    How to Enter

    In order to enter to win one of the five bundles of Helvetindex Cards, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

    “When do you find yourself reaching for paper over digital tools — and why?”

    Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, so but you need to give us two items that you like the most – no copying and pasting!

    The Fine Print

    Employees of Helvetindex Cards and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The prize can only be shipped to addresses within the continental United States and Canada, so keep that in mind when entering. The winning entry will be judged by the Stepcase Lifehack editing team and winners will be notified on the platform in which their winning entry was placed (either on the Lifehack.org Facebook wall or by email through our commenting system here the website). For those entering contest with a comment on our site, in order to be considered eligible, you MUST leave a contact email when leaving a comment (it’s the only way we’ll know how to contact you). Entries must be submitted by 10 am Eastern the following weekday and winners will be chosen by 12 pm Eastern time on the same day. The winner will be announced the same day on Lifehack.org, and will be notified beforehand.

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    Good luck!

    (Photo courtesy of Helvetindex Cards)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

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    5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

    The environment of a typical office or a quiet library may sometimes lessen your productivity as the unchanging views fail to stimulate your senses and keep your brain running. If you are the kind that dislikes absolute silence or minimal noise when working, these unexpected places to work may boost your productivity level!

    1. Coffee shops

    Research has shown that an adequate amount of ambient noise stimulates your senses and keeps you alert. Where else better to find some chatter and clatter to boost your creative juices? Working in the coffee shop also guarantees something else: unlimited supplies of caffeine!

    Caffeine wakes you up by fooling adenosine receptors and speeds transmitting activities up in your nerve cells.If you do decide to try this place out, make sure that your work computer is facing the coffee shop customers so you will be less likely to procrastinate or go to inappropriate sites because people are secretly watching you.

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    If your workplace requires you to be in the office, try this website and/or phone app that provides you with sounds from coffee shops around the world. Want to work at a cafe in Paris? No problem, it’s just a button away.

    2. Cafeterias

    Similar to coffee shops, company cafeteria or food courts provide consistent noise and the smell of food. The aroma of food makes you look forward to your next break and should motivate you to complete your work.

    The act of eating likewise keeps your brain alert and produces dopamine. But make sure only to snack and stay around 60% full so that each bite is rewarding and invigorating. Snacking every 90 minutes should keep your brain balanced enough to focus on the work at hand.

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    3. Empty University Classrooms  

    Whether or not you’re an university student, we have all been a student at some point in our lives. And when you’re in a classroom, your brain is primed to stay focused because you have been conditioned to concentrate in class. In comparison to your bedroom, where your brain is primed to relax, sleep and have fun, the environment of the classroom triggers your memory to stay alert (unless you never listened in class) and work.

    If you do decide to try working in an empty university classroom, be sure to bring a studious friend. Once you see that your friend or coworker is working hard, you would feel guilty for procrastinate and be more competitive.

    Ever heard of environmental context-dependent memory? Research has shown that environmental context influences the way we encode information. If you study in the same place you first learned the material, your chances of recalling the information are significantly increased. Use environmental cues to your advantage so you spend less time doing more work!

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    4. Outdoors

    Fresh air, sunlight, cool breeze. Talk about getting your vitamin Ds the natural way. A healthy body is crucial to being productive. If you have a porch, use it to maximize your productivity!

    On a cool day, the crisp air is good for waking your brain up. If your work station is indoors and poorly ventilated, the build up of carbon dioxide will cause your brain to be less active, hence, less productive. Try to bring some work to a park nearby or an unsheltered town square where you are exposed to the sun. Fresh air will vitalize your brain and the warm sunlight will bring a smile to your face.

    5. The Shower 

    Many people experience their “Aha!” moments when they’re in the shower. Why is that? The hot water helps with circulation and improves blood flow to your brain, giving it more oxygen and nourishment to break down your work block.

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    If you aren’t motivated to work or feeling bored, a good shower will not only open up your pores, but also give your brain a boost of energy. Keep a waterproof white board and markers in the washroom so you will never lose those wonderful ideas again!

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Franke via unsplash.com

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