Back to WebinarsOrganize Your Space with TextExpander and Shift

Organize Your Space with TextExpander and Shift

With springtime around the corner, TextExpander and Shift are looking at spring cleaning a little differently this year; instead of tidying up our homes, we’re tidying up our office space and mental space, to create focus in our workplace.

From optimizing your desk setup to clearing off your virtual desktop, our experts will help you overcome the overwhelm that comes with disorganization. The strategies and tips you’ll learn from this webinar will help you set yourself up for success so that you can focus on the work that truly matters . . . and get it done faster, so you can take more time for yourself.

Key topics we’ll be covering:

  • Optimizing your desk setup so you are always meeting-ready
  • Reducing browser overload
  • Developing habits to keep you on track
  • Building efficient work systems so you can get your work done, faster

Meet the Presenters

Michael Foucher

Michael Foucher

Director of Product, Shift

Rex Mann

Rex Mann

Training Enablement Manager, TextExpander

Watch the video


Rex Mann: Well, welcome today, we are going to cover some some tips on how to like prep your physical space to be the most productive stay fresh how to do some or some tips on automation and also some levity.

Rex Mann: Also, digital tips how to avoid zoom fatigue and tab overload also talking about automation in the digital space, not just the physical space.

Rex Mann: And then some mental tips talking about the planning phase talking about working smarter and not harder and how to get your start your day off the most prepared as possible, so that you can just keep winning all day.

Rex Mann: So let's talk about your physical space, how to make it your own and how to find moments to treat yourself to a bit of rest or refreshing.

Michael Foucher: Alright, thanks REX um so probably, like many of you two years ago, when this thing called the pandemic started.

Michael Foucher: And all of us had to move back to our House and set up these temporary offices and and if you didn't have one in your House and then all of a sudden, like me, I found myself, I was on zoom like six hours a day.

Michael Foucher: And it was it was a little overwhelming and.

Michael Foucher: I don't know how many of you, if you had a laptop or whatnot the video cameras on these laptops and desktops are actually not very good, they do not often put your best foot forward.

Michael Foucher: So I was tired of looking at my face for six hours a day and it's.

Michael Foucher: Not very good experience, so I had a DSL are sitting in a bag that seven to bag, for you know 99% of the year until you went on a big holiday pull it out and I thought well you know what i'm gonna.

Michael Foucher: try to do something and use that and I did some research and figured out a way to connect up a nice camera and some good lenses to my computer that's kind of what you're seeing now but.

Michael Foucher: You know, one of the things that happened is you know this is how it looked you know at 720 P terrible, this is, I like to call it, and you know I connect to that up and now you know you get to view me and 10 ABP glory, for better or worse, depending on your opinion.

Michael Foucher: But one of the things you know it seems like Okay, why would I do this go through it, but.

Michael Foucher: For me it just made me feel a little bit better about putting my best foot forward and if you're going in business meetings or whatnot it just.

Michael Foucher: It seemed to help and it, you know, one of those small conference that took a little bit of effort, but after it was done.

Michael Foucher: I I don't look back and I feel much better about that you know quite an investment in that expensive camera that used to sit in the bag.

Michael Foucher: 99% of the year, and if any of you have that problem you know mentioned it in the chat if you have a you know, an expensive camera sitting there you don't use, let us know because.

Michael Foucher: did an opportunity to put it to some good use.


Rex Mann: I also think it's important to find ways to stay fresh throughout the day and one of my biggest tricks or my tips.

Rex Mann: is to use a virtual camera so once you followed michaels tip to get yourself a really nice today dp glory camera.

Rex Mann: You can also then smooth out the face with a virtual camera so a virtual camera is a piece of software that kind of sits between the camera and whatever.

Rex Mann: conference software that you're using so it would when i'm in zoom instead of saying like use my camera built into my display I say use.

Rex Mann: snap camera so I use snap camera as a virtual camera it allows me to do some fun things like it refreshes your skin a little bit or you can even inject a little bit of levity into your meetings with different.

Rex Mann: I guess you'd call them filters so maybe sometimes you want to be an anime character, or you want to have a pixar face, so this is a really fun way to maybe have a fun meeting.

Rex Mann: be a comic book character, if you like.

Rex Mann: If, for me, is it injects a little bit of fun into my meetings during the day, but also when I need to be serious, I still look fresh, but even if I don't feel fresh and I think that's really fun and important.

Rex Mann: Like Michael mentioned earlier, you know it was it's not just about how it is for the other people on the call it's about how it makes it feel about you feel about yourself.

Rex Mann: So when you look at the camera and you see in your eyes don't look as as tired, as I feel it's a little boost to your day.

Rex Mann: Another way that I stay fresh and is to use a face mask, so I am addicted I only have three at my desk right now.

Rex Mann: But throughout the day if I need a little bit of pick me up I just missed my face I really like take a moment close my eyes.

Rex Mann: take a deep breath inhale that fragrance and let that reset me so that I can tackle whatever project I need to do next, especially those projects that you don't want to do that you've been putting off having a little moment of Zen can give you that little push to get through it.

Rex Mann: I also leverage or combine that with an oil diffuser and you know whether the benefits are psychosomatic or not.

Rex Mann: It does make me feel better It makes me makes me feel more motivated So for me, using a smell like mint makes me feel more energized and I feel like ready to tackle a project.

Rex Mann: So finding those things that work for you, that give you a little zing that give you a little bit of uh huh I release moment I think it's really important to have those in your in your arsenal so that you can whip them out whenever you need that pick me up.

Jennifer Burnett: yeah hey wrexham what we have some questions about what the virtual camera is that you're actually using.

Rex Mann: yeah so it's called snap camera and here i'll actually just pull it over so we can see it so when you use it, it allows you to go through and pick different.

Rex Mann: filters, you can even make your own so like if you wanted to make it branded for your company and have like fun stuff floating around so you can even do like.

Rex Mann: A it can watch where your faces so it's it's related to the same company that does snapchat or it is the same company that does snapchat and so, once you download it you just change that.

Rex Mann: When you're in zoom for your camera selection you just select snap camera and it passes that through to your to your computer it can work on your snap camera works on your computer.

Rex Mann: I don't know if there is a phone version of it, but I imagine there may be, but it definitely works on your on your actual computer so on windows and MAC.

Rex Mann: So it gives you those benefits, I mean we all i'm sure on our phones are used to using filters, so this gives you that ability here in your zoom meetings or your team's meetings or Google hangouts you know you can still have a nice fresh face or something fun without a lot of work.

Jennifer Burnett: yeah and I dropped the link to that in the chat so everyone can access that snap camera link in the chat.

Jennifer Burnett: cool Thank you.

No worries.

Rex Mann: Oh, there we go.

Rex Mann: So now we'd like to talk about wrangling, the digital wilderness, so I think a lot of times we end up letting technology tell us what to do, or we adapt to.

Rex Mann: Work with the technology, how we are perceiving it to to force us to to interact with it.

Rex Mann: But I think it's really important to start from the premise that like you're going to work for me and we're going to be collaborative in the sense that, like whatever I need is what i'm going to how we're going to go through this don't adapt your process for your technology.

Rex Mann: adapt the technology to work for your process.

Rex Mann: So one thing that I do in this way is I automate things and I am a i'm a huge tech nerd so i'm all the time trying to find something new that I can use to make something smart, that was not.

Rex Mann: So one thing that i've done is in front of me is a window that i'm a bit too short to reach to open and close it, especially since my desk is sort of in front of it so it's it makes the link even a little bit further, and so i've put a smart server on it, so it spins and twists the one.

Rex Mann: Well, the ones gone, but it would twist the one if it were there, you were placed the one with it, so I can ask my virtual assistant.

Rex Mann: siri to open and close the window, so it will literally open and close the blinds from fully close to all the way open or I can say open it at 30 degrees and you know angle, the blind just exactly how I wanted, so I can.

Rex Mann: Use natural light as well in my lighting setup for for zoom calls, but also, I can't deny that it's a huge little like a little I get really excited whenever I do it because I just walk in in the morning i'm like please open the window.

Rex Mann: And then also I was able to like say if I leave the House go ahead and close that window and so now we're going to make a few more we're going to try to we bought like.

Rex Mann: A little arduino board to program them and little wi fi chips and service to put together and make more of them, for your blind, so you can replace.

Rex Mann: You don't have to buy all new blinds you can actually add smart technology to things you already have so that's where we kind of like try to operate.

Rex Mann: Also i've had i've added like tons of smart lights around in my setup so that when i'm not on a call and have the lights up bright, I can have it do a nice little cool.

Rex Mann: Relaxing Evan flow if I want just something to like whatever makes you feel more productive and playing around with it.

Rex Mann: I think, is it always a fun thing to do and don't be afraid to tinker.

Rex Mann: So if you have an idea i'm certain that there's someone out there in the forums and the Internet that can give you a direction to head down so i'm a hardcore editor i'm always looking for new stuff for smart home I use home bridge to get.

Rex Mann: Smart devices that wouldn't normally work in my apple home kit system to work in there.

Rex Mann: So, like you can really like it's it's almost like an addiction once you get started, or like if if you are, you are aware, pringles once you pop you can't stop.

Rex Mann: So, once you start getting a few smart devices it just it snowballs from there you have everything needs to be smart at that point.

Rex Mann: it's that it's so bad that I even have my coffee pot on a smart outlet, so I can wake up and be like turn on Mr coffee.

Rex Mann: And, and then you can roll it into a theme like I can just say good morning and it opens my blind turns on my coffee pot and starts my favorite podcast and it's a great way to like.

Rex Mann: Be energized and have a little bit of excitement or fun at the very beginning of your day and if you're looking for a good podcast.

Rex Mann: Recommendation I highly recommend hidden brain it's one of my favorites.

Michael Foucher: REX, are you aware of the new standards coming out called matter.

Rex Mann: Yes, i'm so excited for it.

Michael Foucher: yeah why don't you let everyone know what that is.

Rex Mann: yeah so it's a new smart home automation standard and big giants have signed on to it like apple and Google and what it's based on the thread technology which, if you're familiar with other smart home technologies like zig be or Z wave it's just a 2.4 gigahertz um.

Rex Mann: I guess area of the spectrum right that, like allows devices of different manufacturers and.

Rex Mann: and different types of devices to communicate with each other and the cool thing about thread is that each device can act as its own router or border router so like it repeats the signal, so you theoretically there's more.

Rex Mann: It there's less opportunity for things like this, when when a smart devices wi fi only maybe your router says like hey you you're not doing anything right now why don't you go ahead and like log off.

Rex Mann: And then that creates a delay from when you ask your smart device to do something and it responds, because it has to like wake up, essentially, and then do the tasks that you've asked of it.

Rex Mann: But thread allows things to stay connected and with with wi fi networks like there's like say that, depending on your, this is a very.

Rex Mann: dense topic, but like depending on your router and all of that, you might have like let's say 10 spots for something to be connected and so having that thread technology allows you to not worry about those 10 spots, that you have open essentially.

Rex Mann: And the matter together with all of that leveraging the thread network should mean that you any smart device will work in any ecosystem so where you know you might have had a device that only works in Google home.

Rex Mann: Now leveraging the thread technology and back end and for a lot of device, it should just be a firmware update.

Rex Mann: Now you can add a Google only device into an apple home kit set up or add an alexa only device into a home kit or vice versa, and it should create.

Rex Mann: A lot more.

Rex Mann: interconnectivity which i'm super excited about because.

Rex Mann: i've definitely cobbled things together and force them to work as best they can use API calls and web hooks to make things work, so this should just mean you can sign in and it all works together.

Rex Mann: Does that sound like a good explanation my Co.

Michael Foucher: It does yeah i'm excited about it, too, because i'm a home kit household and anyone else who uses home kit.

Michael Foucher: The devices are great but they're often more expensive than the Google and Amazon ones, and this will.

Michael Foucher: kind of level the playing field where you can purchase less expensive items to add to your home and it shouldn't work so that's exciting and I think it will be a boom.

Michael Foucher: For the whole smart home scene, because people will no longer have these devices that they get and they can't use so i'm excited about it.

Rex Mann: i'm also hoping that it means that, like you can have better third party like Apps that control everything.

Rex Mann: Because I think all of the Apps that i've used so far there's like great aspects of each of them, but none of them are like a one ring to rule them all.

Rex Mann: Though I do think that he that comes pretty closely so if you've not tried that it's cool it works over top of home kit and allows you to do some cool like, especially for automation you can add some extra variables that aren't available to you, using the home kit APP itself.

Michael Foucher: yeah you can put the link to that in in the chat that'd be awesome.

Jennifer Burnett: Sure yeah definitely.

Jennifer Burnett: And then, Michael real quick before you before you.

Jennifer Burnett: Talk about tabs because we're going to talk about tabs here which i'm excited to talk about I do have a question from Gerald regarding a camera so he wants to he has a nikon.

Jennifer Burnett: DSL are and he wants to know if the El gato can link will work to connect that camera if there's a better easier way to do that.

Michael Foucher: Well that's that's an excellent question i'm not 100% sure if the can link works with that device but.

Michael Foucher: I am using the cabling for my Sony.

Michael Foucher: 6000 alpha 6000, so I would just look on the El gato website, to see if that can be supported.

Michael Foucher: For the capture.

Michael Foucher: And i'm pretty sure it probably will be some cameras like canon there are some DSL ours, that you can connect directly to your computer without having to use a capture card, which is nice as well, and I think cannon is one of those companies that does support that tech.

Michael Foucher: But I can say, I really the gap out of card has been great for me i've not had a problem with it.

Jennifer Burnett: Thank you, Michael no problem.

Michael Foucher: Okay, I think we can all, hopefully, and I will ask you if any of you suffer from tablet overload but.

Michael Foucher: there's a lot of challenges with with having too many tabs open, and I think many of us suffer from that if you if you're one of those people that has a browser window open and you have so many tabs that the only thing you see is the icon of the website and not even text.

Michael Foucher: A problem.

Michael Foucher: And what is the.

Jennifer Burnett: for that.


Rex Mann: The support group at the end of the call.

Jennifer Burnett: started it today.

Michael Foucher: So you know what is, what is the impact of that okay i'm clicking away there we go.

Michael Foucher: Well, the one thing is, you can feel overwhelmed and it remains it's hard to stay focused now, why is that well.

Michael Foucher: One of the challenges, because you have so many tabs open you just you don't even know where to find the stuff you had.

Michael Foucher: The other problem that has is that limits your screen real estate, you have all of these tabs open your overtaking your desktop and it becomes hard to locate anything that you're looking for.

Michael Foucher: And these days like web Apps you know people you think it's just a simple web page, but now you know you've opened up an APP now there's often.

Michael Foucher: You know, you can open up a web page and 10 to 20 or 30 megabytes of information can be downloaded to your computer it's essentially downloading an APP locally, on your browser and it's running logic.

Michael Foucher: Through javascript and other stuff on your computer if you have several of these open it begins to become a drain on your computer itself, this can be a problem and slows down a lot of things.

Michael Foucher: And this is one thing I want to hear in the chat how many of you get on a zoom call and someone says Oh, can you show me that.

Michael Foucher: And you go to show your desktop but, before you do you hesitate, because you look at your browser and there are these.

Michael Foucher: Hundreds of tabs up and you go oh my God I don't want people to see how my brain works and you began you begin to feel like Oh, I could open up a fresh clean tab and just show that.

Rex Mann: Like it out and put it in a different screen.

Jennifer Burnett: Exactly 100%.

Rex Mann: don't look at my shame.

Michael Foucher: So.

Michael Foucher: You know here's the question like, why do we do this, like what is it and.

Michael Foucher: And I also want to see if anyone can.

Michael Foucher: write in the in the chat what what the tabs on my little image here say yeah yeah there you go.

Michael Foucher: So.

Michael Foucher: You know, research has shown like we use these tabs as reminders of things that we have to do you know you open up okay I got a call the doctor look up the website I got to do this, he put all these tabs and they're all open and they're kind of like using as a task system.

Michael Foucher: And then often we keep them open because you know you might even forget what they're about you know i'm not spend some time doing that right, I don't want to have to refine it so i'm not going to close it i'll just leave it over.

Michael Foucher: And then over time it's like Okay, I put a lot of work into this it's kind of like a sunk cost fallacy like you've done all this work, I made all these tabs.

Michael Foucher: i'm not gonna i'm not going to close them because maybe I might need them.

Michael Foucher: And we often use them as like an external mental model.

Michael Foucher: You know, in my worst days of my tab usage, I would have several windows over one with you know 50 tabs on one research topic and another one over here, so we kind of use them to sort of map out our brain how we think we're we're working.

Michael Foucher: And then, finally, you know, over time, you sitting with these tabs for weeks at times and it's kind of like you have a sudden certain relevance like what Why did I do that.

Michael Foucher: And it's difficult to judge whether it's going to be valuable or not, and then you know you just leave it open and that's you know Those are the reasons why we do this.

Michael Foucher: don't worry we'll talk about ways to help you resolve this later.

Jennifer Burnett: So we do have a couple of questions about tabs i'm.

Jennifer Burnett: sure now felicity wants to know if there's a way to nest safari tabs into groups.

Michael Foucher: Oh that's interesting um.

Michael Foucher: I think that.

Michael Foucher: On safari 15 the latest.

Michael Foucher: They did start experimenting with groups and I don't know if they ended up pulling it or not, do you know REX.

Rex Mann: I don't know that it's a built in feature now, I think it wasn't I think it was in the beta I think you're right, but you now can leverage.

Rex Mann: extensions or add ons to safari so there may be something in the in the APP store, I will say that that's something that I looked into not too terribly long ago, and I did not find a solution.

Rex Mann: Because I was very I am like a hardcore safari user it's one of my favorite browsers and i'm deeply entrenched in the apple ecosystem so like it.

Rex Mann: carries over my passwords and my two factor authentication so like I wanted to be able to have my cake and eat it too, and I wanted to be able to organize my taps but I did not find something I think it was maybe like a few weeks ago was the last time I looked so.

Jennifer Burnett: Oh, I and I apologize felicity as specified I apologize, the question is, can you know the actual groups.

Rex Mann: Oh.

Rex Mann: I apologize can group 10 tabs together and safari okay i'm gonna have to give that a try I haven't.

Jennifer Burnett: changed thing.

Michael Foucher: I got a feeling that you can't nest the group's.

Rex Mann: Probably not.

Rex Mann: I have used I use i'm a heavy to do is to user, so I like offload things I want to save to do a lot to to like put them in a project and and keep my relevant leaks.

Jennifer Burnett: A call, we have one other question about tabs as well, so I actually I think it.

Jennifer Burnett: popped into the chat window as well, but when updates are occurring people are losing their tabs that they have open in their workspace the big frustration and time waster so is this a common problem or something that they are doing wrong is the question.

Michael Foucher: Well, I can answer if if I haven't used it in safari but if, when you're closing safari and you open it up and they're not there, that is probably a bug because they should remain if you've.

Michael Foucher: put some effort into putting the group together, they should remain so, I would say that I don't think there's anything you're doing wrong that sounds like a bug to me yeah.

Jennifer Burnett: And I can tell you, as a tab Queen and a PC user that when your computer does restart on its own, you know to do those updates.

Jennifer Burnett: In Google chrome you can go to history and reopen all those lovely tab you can just go to recently closed and all those babies right back in for you i'm not sure about that, but you can definitely do that on PCs.

Michael Foucher: yeah that's that's a feature chrome on on the MAC to as well.

Jennifer Burnett: Perfect there you go.

Jennifer Burnett: Well, thank you for.

Rex Mann: Something new I just I had to look and see the group, so thank you all for sharing that.

Rex Mann: No wonder I couldn't find an extension for it, it was built in.


Rex Mann: alrighty.

Rex Mann: So I also think it's important when you're doing all sorts of your physical and digital workspace.

Rex Mann: To have some fun, so I actually found a picture I have these mentally lines in my in my office here and it's so much fun.

Rex Mann: I will say it's addictive, you want to move them around constantly so you have to get lots of three inch tape to to move them around constantly but.

Rex Mann: it's something to have a nice little like moment so whenever I need to like recoup or need to distress before project or before starting a new task.

Rex Mann: I can turn these lights on to a cool light show I can find a mindfulness APP and sit down for five minutes and just listen and absorb the fun.

Rex Mann: And it kind of resets your brain a bit right, so that you can tackle that next project, probably the one that you didn't want to do with a little bit more excitement.

Rex Mann: And like I mentioned it does become addictive, so you have to add more and more.

Rex Mann: So that's where I do yeah i'm here the smart lighting, with a mindfulness APP for a moment of mindfulness and there's some cool ones that actually are aware of smart lights in your space.

Rex Mann: And will sync the music with the mindfulness APP there's also another cool APP I absolutely adore called I light show.

Rex Mann: And it will pick up from your spotify or your apple music what you're playing, and it will be synced the lights and you can say like I want these groups to be ambient light versus being like an active light that pulses with the beat.

Rex Mann: So sometimes when you're in a group and you're just doing your thing you can have like a light show to go with it, and you can feel like you're a rock star at your job.

Michael Foucher: So REX I also have the I have done annalise elements.

Michael Foucher: really love they're the ones that look like wood panels.

I have some to.

Michael Foucher: Just love them.

Rex Mann: they're so cool um have you used the music the sink on them yet.

Michael Foucher: yeah yeah.

Rex Mann: So neat and I didn't realize when I was getting them that they would have such a drastic color change.

Michael Foucher: Like.

Rex Mann: it's not a color light it's just temperature of white light, but it's a pretty substantial difference it's really neat.

Michael Foucher: yeah we won't we won't start talking about twinkly lights on your Christmas tree.

Rex Mann: I still am old school and have just regular lights, but mainly because my partner I can't ever seem to get him excited about it.

Rex Mann: i'm so i'm like waiting to pull the trigger and then this past two years, but I had a pre lit tree right in it, some of them sort of dying, I was like this is my year, this is my year to switch to smart Christmas lights.

Rex Mann: But we had already put the tree up and I was like I don't know if I want to take everything apart, to add smart life.

Michael Foucher: Well, I will see, you will not be disappointed with twinkly you'll be extremely happy.

Rex Mann: i'm gonna need to see some videos later.

Rex Mann: um so now that we've talked about the physical space your digital space let's talk a little bit about the mental space, because I think this is a space where we all maybe don't spend a lot of time to really prepare ourselves for success and so.

Rex Mann: i'm going to turn it over to Michael to talk about starting your day.

Michael Foucher: All right, thanks REX.

Michael Foucher: So one of the things I do is you know, use the 8020 rule try to find the 20% of the tasks that is going to get 80% of your work done.

Michael Foucher: We know that there are in those essentially are the typically the larger tasks, the more important tasks that you need to do, but let me tell you, if you tackle those first your feelings of accomplishment for the day go much higher.

Michael Foucher: And the other thing I do, which I find is extremely helpful and something i've really had to work on, is when I start the day I take time to write out the tasks that I actually want to accomplish that day.

Michael Foucher: You can do it on a piece of paper, I put them in reminders on my MAC because then it I can sort of I get the real feeling of satisfaction when I knock it off as done and it goes away, it makes me feel good.

Michael Foucher: But I find that is attack that's really, really important and like I mentioned, if you do the 8020 rule you're essentially.

Michael Foucher: You know I put shortest here, but really it's more than most important tasks get done first sometimes you slip into short one just to make yourself feel good.

Michael Foucher: Now minimizing distractions this is really important, and I can't emphasize this enough and now fortunately our tools are beginning to actually align to this need.

Michael Foucher: So at the os level.

Michael Foucher: I knew on the MAC and I did it for today there's a focus mode, you can just click on the button put it in put a time and then all of the alerts the desktop notifications are shut off they just won't come in and that's very, very important.

Michael Foucher: The other thing that you can do is, if you slack or teens is set it to do not disturb and you know for the periods that you want focus time.

Michael Foucher: And I would recommend to align that with essentially and i'll talk about this in another point later.

Michael Foucher: is blocking off time in the calendar, if you block off time and calendar, where people that you want to have focused time people can't book a meeting with you kind of.

Michael Foucher: align that with your slack notification as well, so people don't end up tapped on the shoulder and taking you out of your focus.

Michael Foucher: Another item that I suggest you do is essentially batch check items and what I mean by this is actually set up time in the day, and you can put it in a calendar reminder as well, where you.

Michael Foucher: Because you're focused and you're not checking your mail or getting these notifications slack notifications you're focused on a specific piece of work.

Michael Foucher: You can then take the 15 minutes to go Okay, now is the time i'm going to go answer those emails answer those slack messages the 15 minutes is done, you know i've put those away, and now I go back into a focus period of time again.

Michael Foucher: And then, like I mentioned earlier, blocking your calendar and align that with your slack notification, so I think it's critical.

Michael Foucher: Now.

Michael Foucher: The last thing I want to talk about is getting organized and by getting organized what I really mean is, you know kind of doing an inventory of your stuff you know many of us, you know I talked earlier about sharing your desktop or sharing your browser.

Michael Foucher: Many of us have desktops that are littered with files folders whatnot I have a bunch of folders I often put it there, you know we just have.

Michael Foucher: This idea for me anyways I put folders that i'm working on most often on the desktop because it's just kind of a reminder.

Michael Foucher: But you know we're not very good at going over time and sort of cleaning up putting them filing in the right place So the first thing you want to do, for this is set aside a specific period of time to actually do the cleanup.

Michael Foucher: And if you're going to delete stuff make sure you do a backup first, just in case you end up deleting something that you may need later.

Michael Foucher: The next thing is to do an APP inventory, many of us.

Michael Foucher: download Apps try things out whatnot and, over time, whether it's your desktop your phone.

Michael Foucher: You have Apps that you're not using go through delete the ones you don't need get them out of there.

Michael Foucher: i'm organizing your email and use the fast methods, the past method is just it's really just an acronym the F stands for file so email comes in, if it's something that needs to be file file it.

Michael Foucher: If you're like me and racks you probably have a bunch.

Michael Foucher: of rules that auto file many of your emails coming in that's what I like to do the next thing the a and fastest assign it if it's something that you can assign to a colleague or someone that reports to you do it right away, you know your triage in your email, as it come in comes in.

Michael Foucher: um.

Michael Foucher: And the S stands for store, you know if you want to store it in a place much like filing but it's you know, sometimes I put it as an archive method just archive it.

Michael Foucher: So it's there but it's not actually something that you've put into a specific folder you're just archiving it and then, finally, the T is for trashing.

Michael Foucher: You know, obviously spam obvious fam goes to trash but if it's something that you go I you know what i'm never gonna have to deal with this just delete it get it out and one of the things I do, and if you use gmail.

Michael Foucher: Many of us get you know we subscribe to newsletters or you sign up for stuff and you're getting newsletters from companies.

Michael Foucher: In gmail, you have the ability to click on a button that allows you to sort of block and unsubscribe from that email I use that all the time, these are good signals back to the company.

Michael Foucher: That you know, perhaps you know they shouldn't be sending that email, which is important.

Michael Foucher: And that's it.

Michael Foucher: i'm.

Michael Foucher: On this oh Sorry, I have one more I forgot, this is a very important item i'm using a password manager.

Michael Foucher: Again, this is really critical for keeping your life organized I don't know how many of you have a website, or have gone to, and you know you set up an account.

Michael Foucher: And you go to it later and you didn't save it and you can't remember it and you have to look forward to try.

Michael Foucher: A password manager, not only does it make you more secure, because these tools are can be very secure but it auto fills often when you go to that website and it saves you time and often can make you secure the same time, so it's a win, win, so I highly recommend using my password manager.

Michael Foucher: and

Michael Foucher: You know a lot of our browsers today have built in password management features and they're good and often are getting better.

Michael Foucher: The benefit of an independent password manager, is that they work with multiple browsers if you're having to switch on different desktops or whatnot it just gives you a little bit more independence if you're not tied to a specific browser.

Jennifer Burnett: Well, do you have any recommendations Michael on a password manager.

Michael Foucher: There are many good ones out there, I use last pass, but one password is good there's some Open Source ones that are excellent.

Rex Mann: fabulous now to and it syncs with windows now.

Michael Foucher: Which one is that.

Rex Mann: That the built in apple one I club, and it has built in two factor authentication now to like one pass.

Michael Foucher: Oh that's great.

mm hmm.

Michael Foucher: yeah.

Jennifer Burnett: Thank you.

Rex Mann: That word and i've not heard of that one before.

Michael Foucher: yeah bit word is excellent.

Rex Mann: It sounds very secure.



Rex Mann: So as Michael mentioned when you're getting started it's really important to plan and this is something that i'm really interested in i'm in my Grad studies, I focus a lot on the planning phase of learning.

Rex Mann: But it's also really important in anything that you're doing.

Rex Mann: And it's often times the most skipped over part of our process and whatever we're doing and, like some of the research studies were interesting they were following.

Rex Mann: The planning phase in sports or in athletics right and so even something as simple as visualizing the whole task before doing it has a profound impact on the accuracy and the success of the action so.

Rex Mann: When you think about in the context of your work day it can become even more impactful because you take a moment to identify the entire process and then from that you can build in automation you can build in shortcuts to the goal right.

Rex Mann: So.

Rex Mann: It isn't very important to give more time to the planning phase to sit down and do what's called process mapping so writing out from beginning to end, what steps are going to be taken.

Rex Mann: Especially focusing on what steps are mine What steps are from someone else or that needs to go into a different software solution or need to.

Rex Mann: process through a database of some sort and you see all of the in and out points of the process and that's where you can start to say like Okay, maybe I want to use Microsoft flow or zapier.

Rex Mann: Which are automation software that allow you to say, like, for example on one thing that I do.

Rex Mann: Is in slack if I get a message from a teammate that I think is really important, and I think I want to reuse it I have zapped setup that will take that text from the from slack and throw it and create throw it into zapier and create.

Rex Mann: A snippet for me and text expand or so, then I can go back later and just use an abbreviation to expand that text and use it with someone else.

Rex Mann: Another thing that I use a lot with zapier is.

Rex Mann: Moving data from our CRM into.

Rex Mann: into my notes for a client or keeping data connected and synced or getting it to automatically do a couple of processes that I would normally have to go through and click to do.

Rex Mann: When you identify those moments if they're repetitive anytime that you do something repetitive.

Rex Mann: Take a moment and sit down to think about can I automate this in some way, is there a solution out here that lets me.

Rex Mann: i'm not have to do this anymore, and I think a really great thing to do when you're thinking about these sorts of opportunities is to sit down and think about what do I not want to do.

Rex Mann: And really focus there, because if those are going to be those productivity sucks right like they're going to take away your motivation, so if you can take them off your plate you're going to have a better clearer cognitive space to work in.

Rex Mann: So i'm all about process mapping I think Jennifer can attest to that because i'm always saying we should process map that.

Jennifer Burnett: And then I can attest to that for sure.

Rex Mann: Also.

Rex Mann: effort does not always equate to productivity and, in fact, more often than not, it does not the harder that you.

Rex Mann: When you feel like you're being very effortful it's very likely that your amygdala is releasing certain group of quarter coins that are impeding your brain's ability to.

Rex Mann: sin or store and retrieve information right and so everything that you do there after becomes much more difficult so.

Rex Mann: take off the pressure release the valve and one of my favorite ways to do this is the Commodore method and it's called the Commodore method, because when invented.

Rex Mann: They folks were using the researchers were using a tomato timer and poma doro is Italian for tomato.

Rex Mann: And so I always every time I think of Commodore method, I think, if this tomato timer you see on the screen.

Rex Mann: And one thing you can do with that is like Michael said write out your tasks for the day and really identify the ones that are important, but our brains do love change and they love.

Rex Mann: there's this idea of the bathtub effective information so like, if you think of a cloth bathtub and.

Rex Mann: The person in their head sticking out and their feet are sticking out so that the beginning, in the end, or what we usually remember about what we're doing.

Rex Mann: And so, if we shorten the time between the beginning and end of a task, or of of something we're trying to learn, or something we're trying to accomplish.

Rex Mann: We have more productivity across the whole process of that micro process, you also, if you look in the literature right now there's tons of information on micro learning.

Rex Mann: And that's really like the future of how we process information we're very busy now.

Rex Mann: So if it can't be distilled down into a short bit the there's gonna be a lot of lost information there might be a lot of if we're trying to accomplish a task, there might be a lot of like spinning our wheels right.

Rex Mann: And so the Commodore method allows us to break large tasks into smaller little constituent pieces, so you start with your list of like I need to accomplish these five things today.

Rex Mann: And then you decide Okay, I think, for me, my attention spans about 15 minutes so i'm going to spend 15 minutes.

Rex Mann: On each of these tasks and i'll take a two minute break in between and move to the next one, when I get to the bottom, my list, I take a 1015 minute break go get a snack have a glass of tea and then start back at the top of the list, and you will see such an increase in your productivity.

Rex Mann: And there's some also extra cognitive benefits so there's this idea of interweaving of information and so when you're switching between tasks you're actually helping your brain create new neural pathways to disparate pieces of information so.

Rex Mann: Even though it may seem like there's not a relationship between.

Rex Mann: You know, creating is that for a process that that you do frequently and answering some emails.

Rex Mann: The fact that your inter leaving the tasks your brains going to make your connection or an association and it's going to be easier to do that task again in the future, because you have a stronger neural pathway, and I always think of neural pathways.

Rex Mann: As like highways and the more that you can say hey Brian This is important stuff it's going to keep adding lanes to that highway.

Rex Mann: So the the pompadour method or inter leaving and inter mixing what you're doing.

Rex Mann: tells your brain hey This is important, it relates to these other things let's build a really strong neural pathway here and now we can more easily retrieve that information later when we need to use it again.

Rex Mann: So I think there's a way to hack what you're doing I always like to think of like learning and working as something that's hackable.

Rex Mann: And so, find your flow find what works for you really pay attention to when not that you shouldn't push and persevere, when you encounter difficulty and we do grow through difficult tasks.

Rex Mann: But also recognize when the difficulty is no longer serving you if it's not improving, you are increasing your productivity that's a moment to re evaluate how you're approaching that task.

Rex Mann: i'm so into leaving into mixing definitely give it a try and see if you notice a difference and my other favorite jargon term is metacognition be very aware of how you're thinking and through that you will you'll find better ways to work and get in accomplish your goals.

Rex Mann: And that brings me back to automating it again spend some time with your virtual assistant.

Rex Mann: figure out what things that can do for you.

Rex Mann: I have, and sadly i've underutilized this but siri shortcuts on apple it can do so many things and i'm sure that there are plenty of things that it can do that would replace.

Rex Mann: me having to do it myself so definitely don't get in and check it out if you're on windows, they just made Microsoft power automate not just but recently.

Rex Mann: That allows you to have it control applications on your desktop and accomplish tests, you can train it to like click in certain places for you and I think this is a really great area.

Rex Mann: to grow for all of us, because we all have those things that we do on a daily basis, that we can train a program to do for us and to execute a workflow, if you will, so definitely spend some time.

Rex Mann: Working with your virtual assistant working with your ecosystems that you're working in you know and figure out what it can do for you at the time that you spend I don't think we'll ever be a waste amount of time.

Rex Mann: Also figure out how you can interconnect the different solutions that you use, so you know I mentioned, we use slack and we obviously use tactics Sander.

Rex Mann: And so interconnecting those two with a software solution like zapier is a really great opportunity to reduce the the tasks that have to do.

Rex Mann: So definitely spend some time again process mapping what all Am I using in a day, how are these interconnected are there, solutions that help me tie these together, and I think that's a really great way to save yourself some time and be more productive.

Rex Mann: And so that's my automate step.

Rex Mann: So it looks like that brings us to the end of our presentation, so today we've covered physical tips like how to stay fresh and leverage awesome cameras for some 10 ATP glory.

Rex Mann: How to automate some processes, both in your physical space and your digital space leveraging the technology you already have and how to interject some fun into your process so that like you're recharging yourself as you accomplish things.

Rex Mann: Michael let you talk about our digital tips.

Michael Foucher: For sure.

Michael Foucher: Again zoom overload.

Michael Foucher: If you have the chance to you know utilize a camera they have sitting around do it, and you know remember rex's tip on the virtual cameras is also excellent tab overload.

Michael Foucher: You know, we didn't really talk a lot about how you know, I have the solutions for that either, then, once you recognize that you have a problem and the challenges around it, there are tools out there i'll.

Michael Foucher: i'll do a shameful plug for shift.

Michael Foucher: It can actually help you manage tab overload to some degree, because it ends up putting some of those tabs into shift in a more more coherent manner, so you know, please feel free to check that out, and then you know i'm REX talking about automating.

Michael Foucher: We both love our smart tools and i'm using siri all the time to do things around the House i'm using voice commands for a bunch of things and then, if you're using tools to help.

Michael Foucher: automate whether it's a task manager like to do list I use apples reminders and notes all the time in my model to work everyone that's The one thing we found out about productivity it's a very personal thing.

Michael Foucher: Everyone has their own method, and I think these larger tips that we've talked about today.

Michael Foucher: Just help create frameworks to help you sort of manage this world we live in, where we're just overwhelmed with things that we need to do and get done so, these are just frameworks to help you get a hold of them and then back to you Rebecca let's talk about the mental tips.

Rex Mann: yeah I think it's really important to give ourselves grace and provide space for us to figure it out.

Rex Mann: And I think that's why we don't spend as much time mapping it out, making a plan doing that process mapping so i'm here to tell you i'm giving you permission to spend that little bit of extra time.

Rex Mann: And me about your day and figure out your opportunities to take some things off of your plate, if you don't ever give yourself that time your it's just going to continue to snowball and it gets harder and harder, as you move along.

Rex Mann: also remember that there is a limit to how much effort can can actually be useful so there's.

Rex Mann: That the jargon buzz word, for that is desirable difficulty, so if you want to look up research on that.

Rex Mann: they're tracking like how much difficulty is actually useful before it becomes something that is a detriment to the goal.

Rex Mann: So definitely work smarter not harder and like Michael mentioned started today's prepared.

Rex Mann: Take that minute that few minutes at the beginning of your day to think about what do I need to accomplish what are my heavy topics that have to be done, what are my.

Rex Mann: I would like to get this done but i'm not going to beat myself up if I don't um and finding processes that work with your own.

Rex Mann: style of cognition or you know, the idea of neuro diversity we're all different there's no one size fits all.

Rex Mann: So definitely be Meta cognitive and think about your how you're thinking and what's working for you and.

Rex Mann: and make if you need make notes about it, keep a little journal about like what's my workflow and how what's working for me and that will really help you refine your process and become like a super productive.

Rex Mann: process manager, if you will.

Michael Foucher: that's awesome.

Jennifer Burnett: and Michael I don't know if you saw there's a specific question for you in the questions if you don't mind i'll have you done that, thank you.

Michael Foucher: Ah.

Michael Foucher: that's great yes, if you have a specific APP that you want to suggest that's not in our.

Michael Foucher: In our repository of Apps that we have and we have close to 2000 now just go to.

Michael Foucher: Try shift calm and go to our support link and go in there and just write out a in our support form just to say a suggestion for a ticket.

Michael Foucher: I know I think JESSICA our customer success managers here if there's a better link that you want them to go into JESSICA one, and she just pop it in the general chat there.

Michael Foucher: If you're still online, but other than that just go to our support, air and our website and suggest an APP there and we will add it to our list and we're continuing to add.

Michael Foucher: Probably 20 to 30 every couple weeks.

Rex Mann: that's cool shift is awesome for sure.

Rex Mann: So that's the end of our presentation, please let us know if you have any questions, but also, you have our contact information here and links to our website.

Rex Mann: We will be sharing this recording with you and the slide deck so you can peruse it at your leisure but definitely reach out to us when you have questions, and let us know how these suggestions are working for you, we love to hear your feedback.

Michael Foucher: awesome and I did wanted to say there JESSICA did put us a specific link in the chat to suggest Apps which is.

Michael Foucher: You know, is better than just going to the general support forum, so please use that and I really want to thank Rex and the whole text expand her team.

Michael Foucher: for hosting us today and making this webinar happen it's been a real joy to work with you guys.

Rex Mann: Ditto, thank you for for doing this webinar with us it's been a great joy.

Jennifer Burnett: Definitely, thank you, Michael and the whole team.


Jennifer Burnett: And thank you for your hard work as well.

Rex Mann: Thank you Jennifer Thank you everyone, this is an operation society very sure.

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