Curated Resources

You will find below my top 3 recommended resources in each category, in order of priority:

Workflow Design

Mobile Apps

  1. Sunrise - this startup is trying to do for calendars what Mailbox did for email: reinventing a usually mundane task as a mobile experience
  2. Pocket Lists - a user-friendly and practical list making app
  3. FocusTime - helps you time work and break sessions a la the Pomodoro Method

Desktop Apps

  1. TextExpander - allows you to create keyboard shortcuts for the text that you type constantly, such as your name, the date and time, contact details, company details, 
  2. 1Password - saves all your passwords for websites in a single location, allowing you to sign in using a single universal password
  3. Skitch - handy tool for quickly adding notes and markup to any document or picture

Services

  1. Evernote - simply the best tool for saving (and later finding) any piece of information from any source
  2. Pocket - available on virtually all platforms, allows you to save online content for later reading or viewing, presenting it in a nice magazine-style format
  3. Focus@Will - plays music selected by neuroscientists to promote maximum focus

Reading

  1. Zen Productivity by Leo Babauta - this influential blogger explains his vision of what constitutes "Zen" productivity
  2. Eight Critical Skills for the Future by Thomas Frey - this futurist discusses how the skills of the future (all of which relate to productivity) involve managing these 8 areas
  3. Getting Things Done: The Science Behind Stress-Free Productivity by Francis Heylighen and Clément Vidal - quite a long read, this academic paper explains the science behind why GTD (the original model for Workflow Design) works

Videos

  1. David Allen explains GTD - explanation of the GTD method by the original pioneer in Workflow Design
  2. The Myth of the Overworked Creative by Tony Schwartz - thought-provoking talk on the fundamental rhythms that govern all life, and how ignoring them counters our productivity, happiness, and health
  3. 10 TED Talks That Will Make You More Productive - this is kind of cheating, but Chris Bailey has assembled 10 excellent TED talks related to productivity, that are well worth a viewing

Behavior Design

Apps

  1. Coach.me (iOS and Android) - the gold standard for goal-setting and habits, with guides to the most common habits and a strong community of people to learn from and be supported by
  2. Daily Goals ($3, iOS only) - simple app for checking off daily habits, with a calendar to visualize your progress
  3. Habit List ($3, iOS only) - very simple app for crossing off daily habits

Services

  1. HabitForge - set a goal, and put real money on the line to help you stick to it
  2. Stickk - similar to HabitForge, Stickk allows you to set a goal that is backed up by money
  3. Beeminder - uses some of the latest findings on habitforging to create a more detailed plan for forming a new habit, including a mobile app for check-ins

Books

  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - the authoritative book on habits, and one of the biggest drivers of interest in habits over the past few years
  2. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz - dives deep into the physiology and psychology of high performance in a corporate setting
  3. The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal - focuses on willpower, with practical exercises for how to strengthen it

Articles

  1. How Habits Work by Charles Duhigg - nice and short summary of the key takeaways from his book The Power of Habit
  2. 36 Lessons I’ve Learned About Habits by Leo Babauta - a gold mine of insights into the daily practice of habit change
  3. Two Types of Growth by Scott Young - explanation of the two main types of personal growth, and how habitforging is a strategy best suited to certain kinds of growth

Videos

  1. Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts - a Google engineer describes his approach to lean, quick experimentation in every area of life
  2. The 4 Ways to Successfully Adopt New Habits by Gretchen Rubin - Gretchen explains her model for explaining how different people respond to habitforging strategies
  3. Forget big change, start with a tiny habit by BJ Fogg - a deeper dive into the psychological mechanisms behind behavior change

Thought leaders

  1. James Clear - entrepreneur and writer on self-improvement in general, with a strong emphasis on creating sustainable habits
  2. Leo Babauta / ZenHabits - one of the most widely read and respected bloggers on self-improvement, with a special role for habits
  3. BJ Fogg - Stanford professor and researcher, who pioneered the use of "persuasive technology" for behavior change, including habit formation

Secondary strategies

  1. Mindfulness meditation: Lift's meditation guide
  2. Environment design: Workplace Strategies that Enhance Performance, Health and Wellness by Leigh Stringer
  3. Pre-game routines: The Art of Learning, book by Josh Waitzkin
  4. Energy management: The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Quantified Self

Apps

  1. Reporter (iPhone) - general purpose self-tracking app, allowing you to create mini-surveys to fill out periodically or when triggered by certain events
  2. Moves - app that tracks your movement via your smartphone, giving you a summary of your daily activity
  3. SleepCycle - popular alarm clock app that tracks your sleep activity based on movement during the night, and wakes you up at the optimum time

Services

  1. TrackYourHappiness.org - free and insightful service from a team at Harvard, that polls you a few times a day with scientifically formulated questions to evaluate your happiness, and the factors influencing it
  2. AskMeEvery - general purpose self-tracking service, allowing you to configure questions that you will be asked via email or text message
  3. iDoneThis - a "reverse to do list," allowing you to record what you accomplished each day rather than what you didn't accomplish (and optionally sharing it with your team)

Articles

  1. Data Occupations - interesting and influential look into the nature of the QS “movement”
  2. Forget the Quantified Self. We Need to Build the Quantified Us by Matthew Jordan and Nikki Pfarr - insightful summary of the recent evolution of Quantified Self, with commentary on user privacy, configurability, and decision making
  3. What’s Driving the Quantified Self Movement? - excellent overview of the main large-scale forces that are driving and shaping the growth of QS as a movement

Videos

  1. QuantifiedSelf.com video archive

Websites

  1. QuantifiedSelf.com - Articles, links, and videos from around the world
  2. Experimentable.com - Extensive guide to QS, including links to articles, blog posts, devices, and experiment design resources
  3. Personal Informatics Tools - Extensive, but not comprehensive database of tracking tools by category; great place to start your search for tools