How to take smart notes

While there are hundreds of thousands of books on the generic topic of writing, very few concerns themselves with note-taking—perhaps because it’s not considered an intellectually challenging task by many, or perhaps because many people don’t realise how bad they are at taking notes. Looking at a blank page and struggling to find inspiration? Experts … Read More

Programmed creativity: generate ideas on demand

We often see creativity as something that happens to us. There is a thought every knowledge worker or creative has had at some point in their work life: “I don’t feel inspired.” But this idea of creativity as something we either have or we don’t is a myth. In fact, creativity can be programmed. The … Read More

You and your mind garden

In French, “cultiver son jardin intérieur” means to tend to your internal garden—to take care of your mind. The garden metaphor is particularly apt: taking care of your mind involves cultivating your curiosity (the seeds), growing your knowledge (the trees), and producing new thoughts (the fruits). On the surface, it’s a repetitive process. You need … Read More

Interstitial journaling: combining notes, to-do and time tracking

Interstitial journaling is a productivity technique created by Tony Stubblebine. To my knowledge, it’s the simplest way to combine note-taking, tasks, and time tracking in one unique workflow. You don’t need any special software, but Roam Research makes it even easier to do thanks to the flexibility of daily notes. Interstitial journaling has had an … Read More

Getting compound interest on your thoughts with Conor White-Sullivan

Welcome to the third instalment of Mindful Makers, where we interview highly creative people and ask them what they think about creativity, productivity, and building products that matter in today’s connected world. In the previous editions, we chatted with Buster Benson and Khe Hy. Today, we are pleased to take a deep dive into the … Read More

A taxonomy of notes

Taking smart notes is one of the most efficient ways to increase your productivity and your creativity. But what kind of notes? Once you start considering all the mediums, techniques, strategies, and formats available to you when taking notes, the combinations are almost infinite.  This attempt at a taxonomy of notes was inspired by a … Read More

75 writing prompts for the curious minds

Many of Ness Labs’ readers want to write more. Oftentimes, people write back saying they would love to build a writing habit, but they don’t know what to write about. Writing prompts may sound cheesy but they’re actually a great way to get started. Here is a living repository of writing prompts you can use … Read More

How much work is enough work

Many people believe the more they work, the more productive they are. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. How much work is enough work? Is there an ideal number of hours you should work everyday? This is an interesting question at the intersection of productivity and time management. And the good news is: … Read More