Address Book / Google Contacts

Fix Your Address Book / Google Contacts

  1. Disable Contact List Auto-Complete
  2. Find the Duplicates & Merge Them
  3. Delete the Spam addresses
  4. Exclude Google Plus Followers from Your List
  5. Fill out All the Fields for Each Contact
  6. Clean Up the Contact’s Name & Address


Group Your Contacts

1. By Category

For example you can group contacts into the following categories:

  • Tennis contacts
  • Golf contacts
  • Bowling contacts
  • Club contacts
  • Neighbor contacts
  • Friend John Smith’s friends
  • College friends
  • Spouse’s college friends
  • Business partner’s friends
  • Work associates and their families
  • Church/synagogue/mosque, or community contacts, etc.

Before any event in which you are likely to run into any of these people, refer to your contacts list.

2. By Frequency

  1. Call – Daily
  2. Call – Weekly
  3. Call – Monthly
  4. Text – Daily
  5. Text – Weekly
  6. Text – Monthly

Schedule Out Time For Your Contacts In Your Calendar

  • You might also consider putting a ‘direct-dial’ widget on a homescreen page of your phone along with a Habit Loop Checkmark as will be discussed in Habit Tracking.



Setting Up Your Trello

The Trello Boards you need to create:

  1. Planner & Getting Things Done (GTD)
  2. Bucket List
  3. Meal Planner

1. Planner & Getting Things Done (GTD)


GTD is an organizational system. It doesn’t put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention. At its core, GTD stands on five “pillars,” or steps to getting and staying organized:

  1. Capture everything. Your to-dos, your ideas, your recurring tasks, everything. Put it in a pen-and-paper notebook, a to-do app, a planner, whatever you prefer to use to get organized. GTD doesn’t say to use a specific tool, but whatever you use has to fit into your normal flow. The barrier to using it should be so low that there’s never a reason for you to say “I’ll add it to my list later.” You want to capture everything as soon as it happens so you don’t have to think about it again until it’s time to do it.

  2. Clarify the things you have to do. Don’t just write down “Plan vacation,”break it down into actionable steps so there’s no barrier to just doing the task. If there’s anything you can do right away and have time to do, get it done. If there’s anything you can delegate, delegate it. Here’s a helpful video where David Allen explains how to clarify your to-dos so they don’t require more time to figure out what you meant than it takes to actually do the thing you wanted to do.

  3. Organize those actionable items by category and priority. Assign due dates where you can, and set reminders so you follow up on them. Pay special attention to each item’s priority, as well. You’re not actually doing any of the items on your list right now, you’re just making sure they’re in the right buckets for later, and your reminders are set. In short, this is quality time with your to-do list, inbox, and calendar.

  4. Reflect on your to-do list. First, look over your to-dos to see what your next action should be. This is where the clarifying step pays off, because you should be able to pick something you have the time and the energy to do right away. If you see something that’s so vague that you know you won’t be able to just pick up and run with it, break it down. Second, give your to-do list an in-depth review periodically to see where you’re making progress, where you need to adjust your priorities, and determine how the system is working for you.

  5. Engage and get to work. Choose your next action and get to it. Your system is, as this point, set up to make figuring that out easy. Your to-dos are organized by priority and placed in categories. You know what to work on, and when. They’re broken into manageable, bite-sized chunks that are easy to start. It’s time to get to work.



  1. Create a new board “Planner”
  2. Add the following lists:

4. Do a brain dump of everything going through your mind right now by making cards in the “Brain Dump / Incoming”

5. Add labels to each card

6. Add “checklist” to each card and clarify the next action steps that need to be taken

7. Move the cards into the appropriate list.

8. Prioritize them by moving them up or down in the list.

9. Start doing the items in your “Do Now / Next Actions” list

10. Revise and review your lists regularly. Do a continuous brain dump of everything in your mind.

2. Bucket List

  1. Create the following lists: (Why we create these lists in particular will become clear when we write our Personal Manifesto)
    1. Death
    2. 80
    3. 70
    4. 60
    5. 50
    6. 40
    7. 30
    8. 20
    9. This Year
  2. Start putting all your ideas / desires / goals into the list ‘Death’ as cards
  3. Make them as specific as you can
  4. Make them visual by adding a picture / photo
  5. If you have a specific timeline in mind, shift the card from ‘Death’ into the appropriate list
  6. If applicable, use the calendar Power-Up and add deadlines to the card

3. Meal Planning


Become Better At Using Trello

Lists / Google Keep

A Quick Overview Of Google Keep

Mark Tasks By Colour For Sections (And Avoid Red)


One of Google Keep’s core features is the ability to add a colour to each note or list. It takes just a couple of taps to choose from eight colours: white, red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue and grey.

Productivity expert Mike Vardy recommends colour-coding your tasks for easy reference. It’s best to keep it simple. For example, Vardy uses just four colours for four sections: personal, professional, “none of the above” and “finished”. In her article on fantastic Todoist filters to boost your productivity, our own Angela Alcorn recommends a similar approach of colour-coding your tasks.

Colour psychologist Angela Wright has spoken extensively about how colour affects your behaviour. Use her advice, but you should also avoid adding tasks in red. According to scientists, the colour red can keep you from performing at your best.

If you are using colours in your Google Keep notes and lists, you should definitely look at the Category Tabs extension for Chrome. With that, you can assign a category name to any colour, which shows up as a neat listing at the top of your Google Keep app. You can also hide any unused colours (like red, if you’re following what the study above says). This only affects the web app, of course, it won’t have any effect on how Keep looks in the Android app. But hey, it’s still one of the best apps to manage to-do lists on Android.


Add Tags To Your Notes For Easy Searches

Suggested Tags:

  • @home
  • @work
  • $15-minutes
  • $30-minutes
  • $1-hour
  • #Ideas
  • #Personal Projects
  • ADL (Anti-Distraction List; See below)
  • #30-second-note (See at bottom)

Lists You Need To Create Right Now

1. Most Important Tasks (MIT) List

Each day, after reviewing your GTD Planner, add the 3 Most Important Tasks that you absolutely must finish in the day to this list.

2. Unviersal Packing List

Get started by copy and pasting the following into a Google Keep Note. Enable ‘tickboxes’. Modify according to your needs. Archive the note.

  • Undergarments (pairs)
  • Ticket
  • IDs
  • T-Shirts
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Slippers & Shoes
  • Laptop and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • Kindle and charger / wire
  • Shaving Kit
  • Wallet
  • Switch off everything
  • Towel


3. Shared Shopping/Grocery List

Families can use shared Keep notes for running grocery shopping.

Google Keep Shopping List

Here are three ideas:

You can also set a location reminder for a place and it will automatically pop the list up as a notification as you walk into the store. Of course, this might not work at every place in the world and location reminders can be a serious battery drain!


4. Focus with an Anti-Distraction List

Establish a rule to offload any random thought or question to Google Keep that attacks your mind while working. Form a “Fire-Forget-Delete” mini-habit to shoot off your random musings.

“When is the TV show tomorrow?”

“How much should I budget for the trip?”

“What was the name of the manager in XYZ Inc.?”

Instead of searching for the answers right away, you can come back to them when you take a break. The Voice Notes feature on Google Keep is particularly effective for catching these offhand musings. It also automatically transcribes the audio to text.


Catch All the Wisdom with Book Notes

Amazon Kindle has its book highlights. You can easily export them to any digital notebook. But what about the physical books you read? Use Google Keep and its powerful Transcribe feature.

Click on the Camera icon in Google Keep. Take a photo or import an image from your photo gallery. You can crop the part you want to grab the text from in your camera app or the photo gallery. In the new note, click on the overflow menu (three vertical dots) and choose Transcribe Text. Google’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software goes to work and the text from the image appears in the note. Click Done. Your note should now contain the entire text from the book image.

Transcribe Text

Label your notes, or color code them. For specific quotations, I also set reminders in an attempt to remember all the stuff I read through the day.

Grabbing contact details from business cards is also a common use of Google Keep’s OCR.


The Life-Changing 30-Second Note

Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds — no more, no less — to write down the most important points. If you always do just this, said his grandfather, and even if you only do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.
Source: Robyn Scott on Medium

  • Label these notes with #30-second-note
  • Each night review these notes and file them away appropriately in your work journal / study journal / personal journal

On Your Phone

  1. Add Widget View: @work
  2. Add Widget View: @home
  3. Add Widget View: @anywhere
  4. Add Widget View: #calls
  5. Add WIdget View: #computer
  6. Add Widget View: #errands
  7. Add Widget View: ADL

Google Chrome

It is preferred to use Google Chrome than Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer as it allows you to use Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Keep, Gmail etc. as offline apps on your desktop.

1. Use Favicons Only In Bookmark Bar

  1. Toggle the Bookmark bar with Ctrl+Shift+B
  2. Add URL to bookmarks by pressing on the star in the URL bar or pressing Ctrl+D
  3. Right-click on the bookmark in the bookmark bar, click ‘Edit’, delete the ‘Name’ and press ‘Save’

2. Download Chrome Extensions

  1. uBlock Origin – Ad-Blocker –
  2. HTTPS Everywhere – To default website to HTTPS if available to make connection more secure –
  3. The Great Suspender – Suspend inactive tabs to save memory –
  4. Save To Pocket – Save articles to read offline (Requires you to install mobile app as well) –
  5. Save To Google Drive – Save webpages or images to Google Drive –
  6. RescueTime – Track time spent on websites –
  7. Reddit Enhancement Suite – Make browsing Reddit better –
  8. Imagus – Open full images by hovering on thumbnail -
  9. HackerVision – Invert colours for better nighttime viewing –
  10. Save to Google Keep –
  11. Google Keep – Make Google Keep available offline –
  12. Google Docs – Make Google Docs available offline –
  13. AutoText Expander – Create trigger shortcuts to auto expand into full texts –
  14. WikiWand – A Better Wikipedia –
  15. Tab For A Cause – See ads on your New Tab Page and donate the revenue to Charity –

3. Create Website-specific Search Prompts

  • im – IMDB
  • i – Google Images
  • w – wikipedia
  • d – Google Drive
  • in – Gmail
  • gr – GoodReads
  • yt – YouTube
  • c – Google Calendar – Add events to your Google Calendar

4. Other Tips

  1. Delete a URL/Search suggestion on Chrome with Shift+Delete
  2. Use Chrome extension Hola to bypass geographic restrictions

Google Calendar

The best approach is to respect your calendar, and to see it as your vision of an “ideal day”, and to put in your best effort to follow it – but to also recognise that sometimes thing crop up and you need to be flexible.


  • Preferably use Google Calendar as it is available on all platforms, syncs, is available offline and has integration with many services like Trello, IFTTT, Zapier, etc.

1. Work out what your calendars will be

A tried-and-tested classic approach is to break them up along the lines of areas of life. It would look something like this:

If you’re a fan of time tracking, you’ll recognize this alternative setup which lets you more accurately schedule in chunks of time in line with your time tracking categories:

Keep in mind also, that you can get granular within each category. For example, for “Work”, you can break down that particular calendar into multiple calendars – by department, by project, or by business requirement. As an example, at Asian Efficiency, we have 1 shared calendar that covers all company-wide events that involve everyone. Everyone also retains their own personal work calendar, which is attached their Google Apps account (but that’s for another article).

2. Set up your new calendars

The second step in color-coding and segmenting your calendars is simply to set up the segmentation.


  1. Know Your Shortcuts
  2. Use the Extra Fields
  3. Change Your Calendar’s Default Event Duration
  4. Strategic Alerts and Reminders
  5. Set Default Alerts for Events
  6. Import Your Favorite Subscriptions
  7. Add Additional Time Zones

Schedule & Set-Up Reminders

  1. Sleep
  2. Morning Routine
  3. Night Routine
  4. Weekly Review
  5. Monthly Review
  6. Annual Review
  7. Talking to friends, family, contacts
  8. Back-Up Day
  9. Re-assess values and life mission



Organize Local Drive and Cloud Storage

If you don’t have a cloud storage get one: Google Drive (recommended) or Dropbox

Create This Directory Tree in Your Local Drive and Cloud Storage (Google Drive / Dropbox)

  • __Temporary__
    • Use this folder to store files that you are only going to need temporarily
  • Personal Files
    • Archive
      • Movies
      • Songs
      • Images
      • Photos
        • 2016
        • 2015
      • Software
      • Documents
      • E-Books
        • Use Calibre to organize your digital library (Windows, Mac, Linux)
    • Education
      • Put in scanned copies (.pdf & .jpg) of your transcripts, certificates, diploma, etc.
        • To scan use Google Drive / CamScanner / etc. on your phone
    • Finances
      • Bills
        • 2016
        • 2015
      • Budget (To learn how to budget, click here, but for now just make the folders)
        • 2016
        • 2015
      • Insurance
        • Car
        • House
        • Life
      • Investments
        • Real Estate
        • Mutual Funds
        • Stocks
      • Taxes
        • 2016
        • 2015
    • Health
      • 2016
      • 2015
    • IDs
      • Put in scanned copies (.pdf & .jpg) of all your government issued IDs and a formal photograph
    • Personal Management & Lifelogging
    • Significant Other
  • Work Files
    • 2016
      • Project 1
        • Archive
        • Bills
        • Reports
        • Presentation
    • 2015
  • Personal Projects

Use a Organization Wallpaper on your Desktop

Source: LifeHacker

Download this wallpaper | Adam Dachis 2560X1440

Download this wallpaper | The Entropia Blog 1680X1050

Download this wallpaper | Adam Dachis 1920X1080

Download this wallpaper

Download this wallpaper | Gabriel Rodic on Flickr 1440X1024


Digital Security



Better Passwords

  1. Learn To Love Two-Factor Authentication
  2. Use three types of passwords:
    • Mild: For normal websites like DuoLingo, IMDB etc. – These could be the same password.
    • Strong: For websites like Facebook, Gmail etc. – These must be different but based on a site-specific rule.
    • Insanely Strong: For bank accounts etc. – These must necessarily be completely different, unique, long and random.
  3. Don’t use the same passwords. Use base password (ideally an acronym) plus some rule (like the first two consonants of the site name followed by the first two vowels)
  4. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Consider a 12-character password or longer.
  5. Avoid names, places, and dictionary words.
  6. Mix it up. Use variations on capitalization, spelling, numbers, and punctuation.


Two Methods From LifeHacker

Method 1:

Take a sentence and turn it into a password.

The sentence can be anything personal and memorable for you. Take the words from the sentence, then abbreviate and combine them in unique ways to form a password. Here are four sample sentences that I put together.

WOO!TPwontSB = Woohoo! The Packers won the Super Bowl!

PPupmoarT@O@tgs = Please pick up more Toasty O’s at the grocery store.

1tubuupshhh…imj = I tuck button-up shirts into my jeans.

W?ow?imp::ohth3r = Where oh where is my pear? Oh, there.

  • Even better is if the phrase is not in English

Method 2:

  1. Go to a random password generator site.
  2. Create 20 new passwords that are at least 10 characters in length and include numbers and capital letters (and punctuation if you’re feeling brave).
  3. Scan the passwords, looking for phonetic structure—basically try to find passwords that you can sound out in your head. For example: drEnaba5Et (doctor enaba 5 E.T.) or BragUtheV5 (brag you the V5).
  4. Type out the phonetic passwords in a text file, taking note of how easy they are to type and how quickly you can type them. The easy-to-type passwords tend to get stuck in my muscle memory quicker.
  5. Keep the phonetic, muscle-memory passwords. Toss the rest. Print out your text file with password keepers.


Guard Against Social Engineering, Phishing etc.

  • Do not use devices left behind
  • Do not leave unlocked and unencrypted devices behind
  • Do not give out personal information online or on calls to people you don’t know

Make Your Phone’s Lock Code More Secure

Back up Your Data

  • Schedule out a day every month in your calendar to back up all of your data



Make Your Facebook More Secure

Securing Your Web Browser Experience

  1. uBlock Origin for Chrome and Firefox
  2. HTTPS Everywhere (Firefox/Chrome) is a must-have regardless of what other security tools you opt to use. Once installed, the extension will shunt your connection to SSL whenever possible, and will try to find secure versions of the sites you visit. It’s a great way to protect your browsing without really lifting a finger.
  3. Browser extensions help mask what you’re doing, but they don’t take care of everything. To really privatize what you’re up to, you’ll also need a VPN. It’s hard to justify the work needed to get a VPN set up unless someone wants to intentionally hide something. Sure, you can use a proxy to hide your BitTorrent traffic, or just use a browser like Tor to hide some traffic, but if you want to use the internet all the time privately, you’re going to sacrifice some conveniences.

For A More Anonymous Web Browser Experience, Use Tor

Tor (Windows/Mac/Linux) encrypts your web traffic and bounces it across a series of other computers, known as relays, to keep their location and browsing private and anonymous. Granted, that anonymity only goes so far: traffic leaving a Tor exit node is unencrypted, so while traffic inside the Tor network is encrypted and anonymous, ultimately your browsing comes out of someone else’s pipe and looks like normal web traffic. Tor is built for anonymity with a nod to security—not the other way around.

Encrypting Your Emails

If you regularly deal in confidential / sensitive data, you might consider encrypting your emails.

Encrypt your Gmail using Mailvelope: Encryption turns your email into a code that can only be deciphered with a key, then sends it to the recipient, who can only read it if they have the same key.


Emails & Gmail

Organizing Emails

  1. Use filters, labels to auto-sort
  2. Take one of the following actions:
  3. Never leave a read email message in your inbox.
  4. Unsubscribe from any/all mailing lists that aren’t relevant or absolutely necessary.
  5. Use the multitude of preferences in the settings and Labs – like, red-star, red-bangs, “Send+Archive”, custom shortcuts etc.
  6. Use ‘+anything’ at the end of your id to create multiple Gmail ids. You can also use this to filter emails.
  7. Insert . anywhere in your Gmail id to create different kinds of filters.

1. Undo Send

2. Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

4. Auto-Advance

5. Unread Message Icon

6. Send & Archive

7. Apps Search

8. Default ‘Reply All’

9. Canned Responses

10. Quick Links