Stress is constantly present in our lives. We cannot be productive if we feel under too much pressure. So, we’ve prepared these twenty-three stress quotes to inspire you to face high-pressure situations with a level-headed attitude.
Learn to separate yourself from the pressures in your life and keep being on top of your game. Plan to integrate stress successfully in your life, not evade it or implement coping mechanisms that create dire long-term consequences. Switch your mind to a positive state of mind right now. You are in charge. Take control and power through!
Twenty-three Stress Quotes to Help You Power Through
1. “I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”
— Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
While there’s no need to give context to this quote, it’s merely powerful and inspirational; we’d like to emphasize this for you to remember when the going gets tough. “Nothing is worth diminishing your health.” Period. Shake the thought that what you’re going through is hopeless, irreparable, or impossible to get out of. These nine famous people have all gone through bankruptcy before knowing success.
Failure is more often than you think a precondition of success, so don’t let it pull you down. Use your mistakes, your errors, your omissions as stopping points to learn from. Just that. Nothing more. Remember this next time you feel down. Don’t project negativity you’ll only get more of it. There aren’t any alternatives, only one choice, to move forward, not to be put down.
2. “Perhaps the best way to begin is by making a mental list of the sorts of things we find stressful.” — Robert M. Sapolsky, Why zebras don’t get ulcers
“Why zebras don’t get ulcers” is an excellent synopsis into the physiology of stress. The parallel with the zebras is that while we’re not very well trained or innately good at it, these brave beings can use their sense of predictability to increase the feeling of control and are immune to stress.
They also seem to have fabulous social support, an optimistic outlook, and an exceptional venting system for frustration. Where we can all start in our journeys to reduce stress is by making a list of the things we find stressful and mentally rehearse better ways to deal with them.
3. “When you think about it, the real difference between animals and ourselves is that although we both experience stress, humans re-experience and ‘pre-experience’ traumatic situations.” — Joe Dispenza
Although there to help us avoid danger, our brains on stress don’t instantly switch to a state of homeostasis. On his blog, Dr.’ Joe Dispenza explains that the massive warehouse of memories stored in our minds, don’t always work to our favor. We, unfortunately, fall into our own mind traps by either fixing on the past or project negative experiences in the future.
Dr. Joe emphases that we need to learn to use our cognitive faculties in different ways. “When we can’t think greater than how we feel then it’s time to change,” says Dr. Joe. And this should be your cue to be more like animals and not go where the mind pulls you. His “Breaking the habit of being yourself” serves as an excellent explanation for how to do this.
4. “The one thing we know about stress is that it is inevitable, unavoidable and continuous. (…) Stress [however] is not contained in people or events themselves, but only in your reaction to those people or events.”
— Brian Tracy, Stress that motivates
Since stress is as inevitable as taxes or death, we’ll want to create the space and time for it to unroll and be fully in control regardless of the moment it arises. As Brain Tracy said, stress isn’t contained in the event itself; it’s our reaction that makes us feel bad. If you learn how to recognize these situations and adapt accordingly, you’re building a rare skill.
And it’s not just a skill; you’re protecting your health from severe mental and physiological disease. If you haven’t heard it yet, stress does kill. We’re not used to telling the difference between what’s really going on and what’s in our heads and we let unnecessary suffering in.
5. “(…) if you are looking to reduce your stress levels, you might want to start by getting more sleep. And a behavior you could adopt immediately is to start going to bed earlier each night.”
— Dean Dwyer, The willpower solution
Try this for two weeks, weekends included. Weekends are a fun time to unwind, but partying until daybreak interrupts your circadian rhythm and disrupts your sleep patterns. And it’s not that you won’t be able to sleep well, you’ll eat more and be less productive. Be the protector of your sleep, be methodical and firm about your sleep routine, you’ll feel better, and you’ll cope better with the situations you have to deal with.
“Surprisingly, the simple act of scheduling tasks on your calendar—instead of writing them on a to-do list—will free your mind, reduce stress, and increase cognitive performance.” — Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets successful people know about time management
Consistency and the pursuit of healthy behaviors to grow stems from the seemingly simple act of scheduling priorities. Doing it committedly and systematically will reduce stress, increase your cognitive performance, and free your mind to generate more creative solutions to complex and unforeseen problems.
7. “The constant stress of trying to decide what I should do in the middle of all I could do creates a constant tension.”
— Stephen R. Covey and A. Roger Merrill, First things first
By wanting to do good, the idea that we might be able to approach the problem differently thus better is continuously in the back of our minds. But “first things first.” By enabling systems or routines that are specifically set to deal with one thing at a time (measurement, execution, adjustment, etc.), you’ll clear the coast for productivity and generate an improved sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
8. “The most effortful forms of slow thinking are those that require you to think fast [thus stress].” — – Daniel Kahneman, Thinking fast and slow
In his book, “Thinking fast and slow,” Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman teaches about the two systems of thinking: one slow, that’s deliberate and logical, and another one fast, that’s impulsive and emotional.
In our everyday lives, we are often required to think fast, but take conscious and logical decisions all the while. Daniel’s quote reminds us that this is the most effortful form of thinking, therefore the most stressful. Below you’ll find Brian Tracy’s advice on how to do this effectively and reduce the stress of fast slow-thinking.
“Unbeknownst to most fun-loving bipeds, not all stress is bad.”
— Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek
We do need a little bit of stress in our lives. We need a bit of a challenge. The alternative is stagnation, boredom, or feelings of being unmotivated and uninspired.
Worst yet, when it gets to such points, some people engage in dangerous behaviors such as gambling, risky sexual behaviors or other types of addictions. Make friends with the stress in your life, tame it, and can call it eustress – the prefix “eu” comes from the greek “eus” meaning “good.”
10. “Take work as a game and enjoy it. Everything is a challenge. Just don’t go on doing it, dragging yourself because it has to be done.”
— Osho, Beloved of my heart
I know of people that have quit their jobs because they weren’t enjoying what they were doing anymore. Everything became a chore either because they had no control over the situation or because they failed to create challenges for themselves.
Once you reach the point where you’re dragging yourself to do something because it merely has to be done and you draw no value out of it, it’s just a matter of time until you’ll start feeling miserable.
So reach out to whoever is more equipped to lend you a hand in making enjoyable the work that you do. Don’t do it alone. You have better chances of success if you enroll someone capable of bringing in skills, mentorship, or emotional support.
“11. It was then that I realized what was the real cause of my stress. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do or how to do it, the problem was I had forgotten WHY. I had gone through what I now know is a split, and I needed to rediscover my WHY.”
— Simon Sinek, Start with why
Fixing your attention on your major goal, on “why” you are doing what you’re doing is a tremendous anti-stress aid. Simon Sinek wrote an entire book on it. Working towards your why or rediscovering it will give you focus and shield you from unwanted mind traps. If you don’t really like what you’re doing but you feel you have to make a living out of something, that’s okay.
You’re not alone. Just make sure you’re not stagnating, unhappiness will burst out of you eventually. Use the rest of your time and income to get to your WHY. Find like-minded people, reach out, learn from others, build your net support. You’re doing great, don’t worry, you’ll align with your why sooner or later. Commit to doing it.
12. “If you want to understand stress, begin by realizing that you carry around with you your own set of preconceived notions of how things should be.”
— Michael A. Singer, The Untethered soul
In many forms of therapy, the term “should” is often associated with irrational thoughts. Don’t let your subjective impressions reign over you, notice you’re experiencing one of those moments when something happened or something you can’t control is about to happen and that your brain is running on cortisol (the stress hormone).
We’re carrying it semi-dormant with us everywhere we go and each time you start feeling an inner turmoil, remember to send it back to sleep. You’re safe, no predator is after you, you can tackle whatever life is throwing at you. Notice the feeling and let it go.
13. “Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there”, or being in the present moment but wanting to be in the future. You can move fast, work fast, or run without projecting yourself into the future and without resisting the present. As you move, do it totally, enjoying the flow of energy at that moment. Or when you do nothing and the mind says “you should be working. You are wasting time” – observe the mind.”
— Eckhart Tolle, Power of now
If you practice meditation often, the idea of observing your mind isn’t new to you. Both Eckhart Tolle and Michael Singer, two of the authors featured here talk about this quality of observing yourself without judgment. They point out to this skill of witnessing you can develop to prevent yourself from being pulled by the energy created around you. You are not defenseless.
Once again, your mission is to stand up when you’re being thrown down. Don’t project yourself into the future by totally ignoring your present. While reading much about energy isn’t my cup of tea, I do find it’s a recurring theme some truly enlightened people often consider.
14. “In stressful situations, people defer to the person with the best plan.”
— Francis Shenstone, The explorer’s mindset
This quote is for all the parents, student leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs who need a reminder to hang in there and continue working on their plan. The explorer mindset is a recurring theme some very productive and accomplished people mention.
Nothing about stress management is easy, but the more thoroughly you approach this demand, the better. You’ll become a reliable source of advice and inspiration not only for yourself but for those around you too.
15. At midlife or midcareer (however we may define it), people gain more urgency for change, seeing it as a now-or-never proposition. They feel that they still have enough time to play out another chapter of their lives or careers but not enough to waste time in an outdated one.”
— Herminia Ibarra, Act like a leader, think like a leader
The urgency of change that you might feel midcareer or midlife or in random moments throughout your life creates a highly stressful situation. As the quote says, we’ll feel like there’s no more time to waste. Some panic, others feel hopeless, and the most successful take planned action.
Thus it’s important to understand time management. Kevin Kruse, another great author featured here, teaches us that time management isn’t about obsessing over to-do lists. When time management is truly efficient, is when we focus on great habits, value, and prioritization. Do you relate to this idea?
16. “Highly successful people don’t think about time much at all. Instead, they think about values, priorities, and consistent habits.”
— Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets successful people know about time management
As we’ve mentioned above and in a previous introduction to one of our productivity infographics, time management isn’t actually about to-do lists, but about creating consistent habits that add value. It’s about prioritizing routines that generate value. It’s quite hard for us to wrap our heads around the idea of adopting short-term behaviors without immediate results.
Delaying gratification is a hell of a concept. Willpower doesn’t just happen. That’s why consistency is the key to time management and reduced stress. Be consistent in pursuing healthy behaviors you’ll grow from.
17. “As others grow more intelligent under stress, I grow heavy, as if I were an animal on a chain.”
— Lillian Hellman, An unfinished woman: a memoir
Lilian’s quote is the voice of so many of us, from high-profile individuals who transform their burnout moments into Ted talks to my friends and colleagues on monthly progress meetings.
We don’t always feel equipped to deal with the pressures of performing, and we can’t help but compare to those that seem to know it and have it all. But even animals break out of chains or use their cages to make a comfortable bed to lie in. You’re allowed to feel down, you’re not allowed to stay there!
18. “My personal time and stress transformation started as I began to ask my suc-
cessful friends how they managed time.”
— Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets successful people know about time management
This quote is from Kevin Kruse’s excellent book on the productivity habits of billionaires, Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, and accomplished students. You won’t just read about their habits you’ll learn how to emulate success in your life.
It’s mainly about stress management and transformation straight from some of the most highly acclaimed and inspirational people out there filtered through the lenses of the author. If you haven’t already, go check it out, you’ll most likely enjoy it and benefit a lot from reading it.
19. “How do you free yourself? In the deepest sense, you free yourself by finding yourself. You are not the pain you feel, nor are you the part that periodically stresses out. None of these disturbances have anything to do with you. You are the one who notices these things.”
— Michael A. Singer, The untethered soul
It’s a relief to know that what you are experiencing is somehow separated by who you are. Viktor Frankl, a..
5 Best Electric Scooters for Commuting Conveniently
Going to school or work has never been easier nor cooler. Ever since these terrific micromobility gadgets have turned up we’re literally speeding up to the next best thing. But although your human natured enthusiasm might last little, your safety and budget shouldn’t.
Thus, I give you the five best electric scooters for commuting.
Why Buy An Electric Scooter when You Can Temporarily Rent?
If you’re considering buying one of these brilliant mobility innovations, it’s because you’re probably not in the range of dockless electric scooters available from Lime or Bird or the other guys in the bike-sharing industry. You probably want to move around faster, get past the traffic hassle or you might fancy your own cause all the cool kids have one now. You can tell me, I’m the occasional “gadget fashion” victim myself.
Anyway, “have no fear, Iwanttobeproductive is here!” We’re here to comb the internet for you and help you save time, money and, believe me, keep you away from a ton of frustration – there are literally thousands of electric scooter models if not more to pick from.
We’re rating these scooters based on: range of speed vs miles, charging time, weight limit, breaking systems, ingress protection, and additional perks.
Let’s get started.
The Five Best Electric Scooters for Commuting Compared
Findind the best electric scooter isn’t easy as there are countles aspects to consider. What are the standards by which you judge the best?
Well, these five scooters have been selected based on the ratio of price and battery range, charging time, and other important features.
When selecting your electric scooter it’s highly important to start by thinking about some basic conditions related to the use of the electric vehicle: the type of road you usually frequent, the regularity of its use, the additional maintenance investments, your weight, and even the weather conditions.
1. Xiaomi Mi Electric Review
With 2018 being the year of the scooter, it was probably a hit for Xiaomi. And their success continues to grow. Time and again, award-winning Xiaomi Mi Electric proves to be the best choice when it comes to electric scooters for commuting. The stability and control of this electric vehicle, especially on less favorable weather conditions, is unmatchable. It’s what I loved the most about it. But that’s not all.
The model has an impressive 18.6-miles autonomy, a reliable 3-seconds folding system, a disk brake placed on the rear wheel that combined with the absence of extremely bouncing suspension systems gives the stability and control we mentioned earlier.
The electric scooter’s handlebar is made of aluminum and can be comfortably maneuvered by teens and children, not just adults. The anti-slip handle, easy-to-drive acceleration (plus the battery level indicator) and the convenient kickstand are quality, “handy” extras. The set of light beams to a range of 20 feet. By connecting your smartphone via BlueTooth, you can view your speed, miles covered, and other details.
The scooter’s inflatable tires absorb shock much better than rubber filled tires and are easier to replace. It also has an IP54 ingression protection code, which means it endures dust and a little bit of water, but you shouldn’t ride it on rain conditions. The battery cannot be submerged underwater. IP54 stands for “Protected from limited dust ingress and protected from water spray from any direction, limited ingress protection” as indicated here.
– pretty heavy (26.9 lbs); – not easy to drive it with one hand; – a bit expensive.
Overall, we believe Xiami Mi Electric Scooter is the best choice for commuting.
Check below on the left the video review made by the guys at Newegg Studios and get a closer feel of why this electric scooter is the best choice for commuting, or if you want a more thorough and critical review from Now You Know, see the video on the right.
Unboxing and Testing the Xiaomi Mi Scooter - YouTube
Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Review - YouTube
If you want to see what other people have to say about this scooter go here.
2. Hoverworld Electric Scooter for Adults
I was a bit skeptical about the Hoverworld electric scooter at first. I couldn’t find other reviews online, but the price is lower than that of the Xiaomi scooter, with less charging time and a tad lighter? It got my attention.
Let’s review the Hoverworld electric scooter for adults and see if it makes the cut for the best deal offer.
At a weight of 26 lbs, with a “rugged aerospace-grade aluminum frame” the Hoverworld scooter is capable of bearing riders up to 320 pounds.
The model has a battery autonomy of 18-miles going to a maximum speed of 18 MPH. The scooter folds easily, it can be maneuvered by teens and children as well. And what people seem to appreciate the most is that the scooter is capable to go over inclined terrain as steep as 20 degrees.
The regenerative brake system comes in action at a distance of 13.1ft.
The scooter is UL2272 certified, which means the electric system was also thoroughly checked for fire safety requirements.
The vehicle’s tires are pneumatic so they can absorb shock as well as the Xiaomi scooter. The front lights are 1.1W with a 19.685 feet range.
– ride to 20 degrees steep terrain;
– regenerative braking system;
– 18.6 miles battery range;
– max weight limit 320 lbs;
– maintenance / customer support missing;
– no app support;
This scooter might just be the best deal you make if you’re shopping for a reliable scooter for commuting. Endures a heavier rider, has great battery autonomy and charging time, a lower price. It’s almost too good to be true. We need more reviews over a longer period of time to test its sturdiness and resistance over time but for now, we’re naming this scooter the second best scooter for commuting.
Unlike the first version of Ninebot, the Ninebot ES2 electric scooter has a higher autonomy and higher speed. The coolest feature of this electric vehicle is that you can attach an external battery for more autonomy, but that’s not all.
Let’s check out the many cool features of this prized electric scooter.
The maximum autonomy mentioned by the manufacturer is 15.5 miles, with a maximum weight limit of 220 lbs, and the electric scooter is equipped with three braking systems: mechanical, electrical, and regenerative.
The Ninebot ES2 has an ambient lighting system with lateral led light, a stronger motor (300W vs. 250W), solid tires, and a shock absorber on the rear wheel and it’s much cheaper than the E-Twow Booster USA Electric Scooter.
– fast charging;
– ambient lights;
– great motor;
– lightweight – 27.6 lbs;
– support a second battery;
– 3 brake system.
– lower battery autonomy;
– solid tires;
Performing excellently, being extraordinarily slick and stylish, the Segway Ninebot Es2 has quickly made the cut to our top five best electric scooters for commuting countdown. As you can see in the detailed review from the EBPMAN Tech Reviews in the video below, this electric scooter is a must.
New 2018 Segway Ninebot ES2 Scooter Review - YouTube
Although Tomoloo is mainly known for making hoverboards, their electric scooter doesn’t disappoint. At a competitive price, with envious features, this micro mobility vehicle is a top choice for those looking to get around faster.
Let’s examine the characteristics of the Tomoloo Smart Scooter.
What I like about the Tomoloo scooter is that it has enough space for my heels, it’s pretty slick, you can even switch the headlight coloring from the app, and the intelligent display is so high tech. I love it!
What else does this gentle beast have to offer? Well, for a price ranging between $400 – $500, the scooter seriously competes with Xiaomi Mi Electric and the Hoverworld’s scooter.
– ambient lights;
– great motor;
– 3 adjustable speeds;
– good battery autonomy;
– extended body.
– not sure about charging time.
The Tomoloo Smart Scooter has been the top choice for many people. You can’t really fault this scooter. It has all the features most reliable electric scooters have, it has a slick design and an extended body. Stand by for more updates on this review, and in the meantime, check out its video presentation below.
TOMOLOO Hoverboard with Bluetooth Speaker Smart Scooter Two-Wheel Self Balancing Electric Scooter - YouTube
For more reviews on the Tomoloo Smart Electric Scooter check here and search for the term “scooter.”
5. Gotrax GXL Review
What I like about the GoTracks GXL electric scooter is that it’s a high performing scooter within a great price range (under $300). If you don’t need an electric scooter to go over a longer distance, this baby has a 9 to 12-miles autonomy and a powerful motor you can count on.
Let’s look into it.
What’s outstanding about this affordable scooter is the cruise control, the lock mechanism, and its ability to endure all sorts of pavement and terrains. It has all the specifications of a more expensive electric scooter, but a lower battery autonomy: 250W motor, 220 lbs weight limit, pneumatic tires, fast charging time.
The battery charges in 3 to 4 hours and the LED display shows the scooter’s remaining battery life.
The battery charges in 3 to 4 hours and the LED display shows the scooter’s remaining battery life.
– same specifications as other more expensive scooters.
– low battery autonomy;
– it’s as heavy as other more performing models (27 lbs).
The GoTracks GXL is an excellent commuting scooter if you don’t have to travel long distances or have to make other stops on your way home. Check out Power On Fun’s review and unboxing video below.
GoTrax GXL Electric Scooter Unboxing and Review - YouTube
You can check more reviews here if you’re interested in a more hands-on review.
Maintenance Advice from One Commuter to Another
One of the reasons I picked a Xiaomi Mi Electric is that it’s an extremely popular scooter that has easily replaceable parts.
You don’t really want to buy an electric scooter for commuting to school or work with maintenance in mind. But you should. On the long run, you want to make the most out of your investment so getting a popular scooter is a good starting point. You know it’s been tested and retested by others for both weak and strong points.
So, now that you’ve picked your favorite electric micro vehicle for commuting, here’s how you maintain it:
Your battery is supposed to last two to three years if you charge it properly. Don’t charge it immediately after using it, give it about half an hour to cool down. But do recharge after each ride, no matter how short.
Also, don’t leave your scooter out in the sun for long periods of time as the high temperatures over 113°F (45°C) can severely damage the battery. High cold temperatures are equally damaging for batteries.
Most electric scooters don’t have specific ingression protection certifications, but even those that do have it, like the
Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit down so my girlfriend decided to leave her adorable cute dog, Chewbee, spend some time with me. Fast forward about two weeks, scan my heart and my brain and you’d see connections light up like 4th of July fireworks.
I promise you no doggo has been harmed in the writing of this article, I didn’t manage to bum her out as Joey did with Mozzarella when Rachel didn’t reciprocate his feelings. I sincerely felt that with the emotional support of Chewbee the sky was the limit.
The Positive Effects of Pets
You’ve probably heard by now about animal-assisted therapy. It is used in a wide variety of medical and behavioral fields, from patients with terminal diseases to individuals on the autism spectrum, to inmates behavioral problems and general well-being.
This meta-study looked at 250 individuals studies on animal-assisted therapy and they’re all hopeful, promising and insisting on the positive emotional support animals provide.
So in my personal experience, with each walk around the block I noticed that my neighbors who I’ve never ever exchanged more than hellos with were walking their dogs too. Since animals are more drawn to each other and social, when our dogs would start interacting, my neighbors and I too would start talking. An instant familiarity and an invisible bond I’ve never quite experienced before soon developed.
I was finding a lost sense of community, people were smiling more around me and no matter how low I was feeling a particular day I would get up and go out with my loyal buddy by my side.
The responsibility, the joy of daily walks, that morning and evening routine that pulls you out of bed, not to mention, that warm fuzzy feeling you have when they curl up next to you, accounted for so much in what I had accomplished the previous weeks.
But just by how much? I wondered.
Pets’ Effect on Productivity Results
As my work scheduled progressed naturally, I literally felt an invisible defensive barrier around me repelling stress. A Mayo Clinic study actually highlighted that the effects of petting a dog are quantifiable and that “they include increases in serotonin, dopamine, prolactin, and oxytocin.” At this point, we all know that these are the happiness hormones.
Feeling more energized, more outgoing, overall happier, obviously also made me feel more productive. At work, my intrinsic and extrinsic motivation felt aligned and I saw myself completing more tasks, thinking clearer, and going to more events.
I was rediscovering topics I’m passionate about, such as computational cognitivism and affective science. I got to read about how math can help us take simpler and faster decisions and how we are not at the mercy or our emotions.
However, productivity doesn’t just come from feeling social, joyful or… bookwormy.
Sometimes, the emotional support of pets comes in the form of routine, algorithms, and responsibility. Chewbee’s mess, her, at occasions, incessant barking, her resistance to let me put the leash on, often made me think “well, what else can you do now but accept it’s not going your way and be okay with it?”.
It was my very own form of meditation.
As Brian Christian and computational cognitivist Tom Griffiths explain in their book “Algorithms to live by,” you shouldn’t always consider all your options. You don’t have to go all the time for the best outcome. You can make a mess on occasion and let things wait.
Ever since I noticed my mood starting to improve with having a pet in my care, I’ve been dying to find out what else besides the joy of snotty kisses, furry hugs and long walks can these amazing animals give us.
And my conclusion is that if you’re pondering whether or not you should get a pet, don’t. They’ll change your life. You’ll feel happier, make better decisions and become more productive. What’s your experience or lack of it tells you about the effect of a pet’s emotional support on productivity? Comment below or get social with us on social media via the outlets found somewhere on this page. And thanks for reading!
Check out this new curated list of office gadgets that are nerdy-cool and undeniably practical especially for productivity geeks like you and me. Bet you wished you had one of these right now at your desk!
You know the latest buzz about people having a ton of notebooks and not using them? You’ll probably want to check the tweets if you don’t. So for those who are still in search of the perfect planner, we got your back, fellow daily planner buff. Onwards to the best daily planner reviewed!
Lateral Thinking: How to Bring More Creativity into Your Everyday Life
Your personal invite to think outside the box!
Author: Claire Newton
Do you feel like you could or should bring more creativity into your daily tasks, work and life? Are you a creative person? Perhaps you think in a more logical way embracing a more ‘outside the box’ approach only now and again? Then you should understand what lateral thinking is.
So what is Lateral Thinking?
Lateral thinking, a concept developed by Edward de Bono, is also known as ‘thinking outside the box’ or pushing the limits of your imagination. Coming up with ingenious and brilliant thoughts is often considered to be the opposite of linear thinking and a valuable skillset to enhance.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. – Edward de Bono
Perhaps you’re stuck in a familiarity rut doing things the same way day in day out producing similar results. Ready to shake things up? Grab a pencil pen of choice… we’re going in!
Do You Think of Yourself as Being a Lateral Thinker?
Children are natural lateral thinkers, I work with children most weeks and their imagination fuels my own creativity and that of the creatives I work with.
(c) North News
From an early age, we can pick up on signals from well-meaning adults and teachers and establish patterns of how we interact with the world and our work. Have you heard people use these phrases relating to children’s education?
“He’s very creative, there is no limit to his self-expression”
“She’s very logical, her maths is stronger than her English”
Do these statements sound familiar? Others might have already pinned you down for a lateral thinker, even if you haven’t yet. Which one the statements above sound more similar to you? How has it manifested in the job you’ve chosen? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Can You Be More Creative by Being More Vulnerable?
Yes! That’s the way to go. I work with people who can have a ton of self-doubt due to self-limiting beliefs they’ve taken on since early life, a lot of which are completely untrue. The best way through this block of creativity is to sharpen our self-awareness and get wide open and vulnerable to regular creative opportunities in our daily life.
Everyone I’ve ever worked with is a creative. It’s a bold statement but it’s true. Even those in typically ‘non-creative’ appearing roles. Creativity asks for colour in place of black and white, expansive clear space in the way of facts and ‘to do’ lists.
Which is why creatives I work with often change their working environments and tools. One artist I coach works in three completely different environments every single week – they know if ideas aren’t flowing easily there’s another way in. One has perfected four completely different artforms; creative writing, VR, book making and code.
Are you curious as to how and why these creative types can work across completely different creative mediums?
Want to know how to interrogate your own ‘usual’ way of doing things and add more creativity to your approach and workplace? What you need is CONFIDENCE!
Here’s an easy way to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Creativity Exercise to Get into a Later Thinking State of Mind
List 5 ways you could try mixing up the way your approach your daily tasks at work and at home. List the task you usually do first, then next to that how you do it and then next to that how you could do it more creatively.
Can you create a new recipe from scratch just from your head for dinner?
Can you clean your bathroom listening to a new podcast?
Get playful with these three exercises and just see what creative magic appears in your life when you do.
3 More Ways into Allowing Yourself to Be More Creative
1. Mix up your tools and influences.
I’ve just finished writing a huge funding application for a client for a programme of arts activity. Yay me! The online form is very text heavy and restrictive – the whole process takes around 10 days to complete.
The online form wants to know what will happen in a lot of detail, who we will work with and why, how much it will all cost. A logical thinker would probably approach this form step-by-step from the start working through it incrementally.
My approach combined a whole host of different tasks and mini goals to reach the big goal of pressing the submit button. I always knew I’d get there, but I never approach a funding application in exactly the same way.
New environments and tools are proven to stimulate our activity. Here’s the things I tried;
Sketching ‘Spider-grams’ using A4 Paper and a simple biro pen in a coffee shop;
Calling one of the artists I wanted to work with for a chat brought huge amounts of enthusiasm to a day I felt stuck;
Planning the project plan on my living room floor on a huge sheet of paper covered with post-it notes;
Using different colour Sharpies with a3 paper for creative ideas and arrows to connect them on my kitchen table.
For me, because filling in the online form can be quite tedious, I needed to feel suitably charged up to be able to write it because my writing always comes from a creative place!
I am more efficient in executing the funding application by flowing through various creative methods of completing it a lot of which don’t involve sitting at a laptop filling it in.
2. Change the Space You Work In
I move around every single day when I work and I use a mix of creative planning tools including my laptop, notebooks, my diary, post-it notes and huge sheets of paper. I also paint things – sometimes full walls, working through thoughts and problems as I change the colour of the surface, picking out flecks of dust as I go.
As a creative thinker, I am happy for everything to be spread out in order to bring it back together and find I get more of my best and most creative ideas this way. For me being bogged down with the ‘how’ it’s going to happen comes after the creative ideas of the ‘what’!
Work doesn’t have to be sat down at a desk, inbox tidy, stationary in order, inbox empty… it can be much more open than that and guess what… you’re in charge! (And if your environment is mainly desk based perhaps you can suggest an office ‘creativity’ day where you work differently to the norm? You could all take new photos for your company website, try some styled shoots or bring different materials into the board room?
3. Try not to get too attached to an idea or way of doing things
I believe if you think you have a good idea you have to be prepared for others not to like it or to start to move away from it yourself in place of something else.
I often say to my clients – let’s think of at least 10 ideas before you home in on that one you’re attached to. The process of writing out as many ideas as you possibly can opens up possibility and is the absolute opposite of locking yourself into just one too soon.
Try making a Pinterest board for an idea you have, following different accounts on social media, mixing up your podcast playlist, phoning five friends and running your idea past them all.
Lateral or Creative Thinking Links and other Suggestions
Check this newly released book, ‘Hashtag Authentic’ by Sara Tasker. Sara quit her NHS job to make the social media platform Instagram her fulltime career. A creative with an eye for photography and a penchant for whimsical storytelling she will blow your mind with her ways into being creative online.
Read this article all about our creative spirit and how to feed it.
Sometimes these lateral thinking ideas can be combined into one bigger idea and other times every single one is thrown away in place of a better one that comes out through the process.
Whether you regularly think outside the box, make art for a living or spend the day in-front of spread sheets and formulas, creativity is available to you. Try out some of the hints above and above all just create, creativity breeds even more creativity.
Based in Northumberland in the UK, Claire Newton is director of Creatively Conscious a company which aims to empower people to think in creatively using fresh and dynamic techniques to get the most from their work and life.
35+ Best Backpacks for College that Are Practical AND Fancy
Practical, picky, or pizzaz, boy, do we have the best backpack for you!
Here at Iwanttobeproductive, we’re always writing for the “eternal” student. We know that no one *has* to be more productive than a college student.
So, this time we’ve gathered over thirty-five of the best backpacks for college that are top notch, both practical, and (more often than not) stylish as hell.
Whether you’re a college freshman or you’re been around for some time, going from place to place all day means you’re probably carrying supplies around and you need a reliable backpack.
And it’s not just a book and a notebook, you probably have literally much more on your back. A laptop, your e-book reader, your phone, maybe lunch and don’t get me started on what you’re carrying around if you’re a girl.
Our EDC (every day carry) is much more complex than a guy’s EDC. We need all the compartments, internal space, pouches, and pockets, in the world. But in style!
And that’s the hardest part, isn’t it? We need it to be flashy, but also practical and functional. Yes, whatever backpack, bum bag, or purse combines practicality with design is a best seller in my book.
So, I gathered this list of the best backpacks for college with a focus on features, particularities, and price range and gave my personal rating at the end. You’ll find all sorts of college backpacks below, from your all black regular one compartment backpack to anti-theft, motorcycle, gaming, weird, funny backpacks you can add to a thirty items list.
Black backpacks usually make the best backpacks for college
Black backpacks are probably the general choice when it comes to backpacks, especially for college students. Both casual and sporty, we can wear them with anything we put on and the designs vary. So, go through the selection below and pick your favorite.
These are the featured price ranges: – low: anything under $35; – medium: $35 – $55; – medium – high: over $50 under $100; – high: over $100 – $150; – very high: over $150 – $250.
Acronyms you’ll find mentioned
N/A – not specified
H – Height W – Width D – Depth L – Length
Outjoy Black Backpack
Gender: Unisex Size: 11″ x 4.7″ x 17.7″ Waterproof: Water Resistance Weight: 1.79 pounds Price Range: Medium Features: Opens up to 90 degrees, has a ton of compartments, with two shockproof compartments, one for fitting 15.6″ laptops and another one for 10.1″ tablets or ebooks. It has an anti-theft zipped pocket to the rear side. A USB built-in port to hook it up to your power bank. On its strap, it has a suction base to place your phone and connected to the power bank.
My rating is For the medium-low price, cushioned back support, versatility, slick and anti-theft design. I believe this is the best backpack for college students in the black backpacks category.
Adidas Tote Backpack
Gender: Unisex Size: 26.7” x 41.3” x 13.3” Waterproof: N/A Weight: Very light, 12.6 ounces Price Range: Low Features: Lightweight and comfortable backpack, perfect to carry around. Two zipped pockets, one in front and one inside. Two open side pockets.
My rating is Black, great weight, stylish, minimalist, perfect fit, great price; the only small complaint about this backpack is that the water bottle pockets are rigid and not really secured.
Adidas Premium Tote
Gender: Unisex Size: N/A Waterproof: N/A Weight: 1.2 pounds Price Range: Medium-high Features: Two pockets, one in front and one inside. Two side pockets for water bottles/umbrellas.
My rating is Just like the lightweight Adidas Originals Tote Backback, the premium faux leather one looks really cool, but it’s a bit pricier.
Gonex 35L Backpack
Gender: Unisex Size: N/A Waterproof: water-resistant for light rain and it comes with a rain cover Weight: 2.2 pounds Price Range: Low Features: Waist (with zipped pocket) and chest straps, padded breathable straps, laptop sleeve, very well compartmentalized. Two external bottle pockets and an inner hydration reservoir pocket, many more pockets inside.
My rating is Very low price, this is the best backpack for college students who commute on bikes or electric scooters because it was designed for hiking. The waist straps are a god-sent.
HS Magnet Anti Theft
Gender: Unisex Size: 12.60″ x 17.71″ x 7.87″ Waterproof: Water resistant and repellent Weight: 1.66 pounds Price Range: Medium-low Features: USB charge port and headphones hole, noctilucent strips, private pocket, light-weight, anti-seismic, anti-theft, with compartments that offer a separated space for a 15.6″ laptop, and all your other gear and necessities like ebook readers, passport, wallet, charger battery, 4A file and books, pen, umbrella, your keys, etc. You also have a 60-days unconditional refund.
My rating is
I love it! At that price, I give it a 5/5 stars rating. .
Expatrié “Noelle” Leather
Gender: Mostly women I guess Size: 13.2” x 9.4” x 4.3” Waterproof: N/A Weight: 1.7 pounds Price Range: Medium Features: Three small compartments on the inside, one zipped pocket in the back exterior for safety. Can fit a 13” Mac and a textbook, but not much more. It’s pretty stylish, girly, but not the most practical backpack for college.
My rating is
I give it a 4/5; if you don’t need to carry a lot of things over long distances and you want a casual vibe, this faux leather backpack goes with everything you wear.
Coaste No Drag Motorcycle
Gender: Unisex Size: 5.91″ x 14.17″ x 5.51″ Waterproof: Yes Weight: Lightweight Price Range: Medium Features: This motorcycle backpack is not only cool as hell, it’s also very safe, being made out of ABS materials. It won’t deform in wind shear if you wear it on your bike. Has the capacity to reach up to 55L. It’s abrasion and corrosion resistant. Would love to the sight of this bad boy on the back of a rider.
My rating is No comment, it’s too cool.
Under Armour Undeniable 3
Gender: Unisex Size: 11.8” x 9.1” x 19.7” Waterproof: Water-repellent Weight: 1.5 pounds Price Range: Medium Features: Laptop sleeve for 15” MacBook Pro or similarly sized laptops, side water bottle pockets, two external zipped pockets.
My rating is
I give it a 4/5 stars rating for the foam reinforced panels, but it should come cheaper.
Adidas Classic 3S II Backpack
Gender: Unisex Size: 19.75″H x 12″W x 9.5″D Waterproof: N/A Weight: 1.2 pounds Price Range: Medium Features: Lifetime warranty, side water bottle pockets, laptop pouch, interior zipped pocket for documents, one external pocket.
My rating is
I give it a 4/5 stars rating for the lifetime warranty and the laptop pouch, but It’s a bit pricey for my taste.
Gender: Unisex Size: L12″ x W6″ x H17″ Waterproof: Water repellent Weight: Lightweight Price Range: Low Features: Opens like a suitcase 30 to 180 degrees, USB interface with a built-in cable for power banks charging, laptop and tablet/ebook reader padded pockets (up to 15.6-inch laptops), doubles as a carry-on.
My rating is 4.8/5 for the low price and all the amazing features. An optional waist strap would have made this backpack the perfect product.
Black Diamond Bbee 11
Gender: Unisex Size: 24” x 10” x 14” Waterproof: N/A Weight: 2 pounds Price Range: Medium Features: Outside zip pocket with organization panel. External daisy chain loops. Inner stash zipped pocket, bike lights slot, but what I like about this black day pack is that it has waist straps that go under the radar. Great for college students who are also bikers.
If you’re anything like me you’ll want to manage your work as efficiently as possible. To help you out, I’ve compiled the ultimate time management app list for all you productivity nuts out there. So, the apps I use and tested are grouped by type to make this entire thing more efficient in itself.
I’m sure there are a lot of industries out there in need of time management apps, but I’ve collected the ones tied to my line of work, namely the creative industry. A wide array of options are presented on this list, from online websites for various management tasks and Chrome extensions to help you save time, to mobile management apps for your mobility needs.
Most of them are free of charge cause I’m a cheapskate and the paid ones are funded by my employers. I have no other affiliation with them. In fact, the only reason I’m recommending them is solely because they’re practical and worth your money.
Go through the list and find exactly what you need. If you’re here, why not check out the inspiring infographic we did as visual support for this enormous resource.
Best Time Management Apps: for Android
1. Google Keep – Notes and Lists
Google Keep is one of the best list-making apps for Android due to its versatile features. You can easily add notes and photos to it, as well as record voice memos and have it transcribe it for you. It can even be used for party planning. Plus, its handy coloring and labeling system turns categorizing your notes into a fun and visual activity.
The reason why I believe the concept behind Sectograph works so well has everything to do with its uniqueness. The app displays your events, tasks, and cases for any given day under the form of a twelve-hour circular chart that assumes the guise of a clock dial. It’s like your Calendar up, but organized by hours.
What separates the Quickie Timer Widget from your Android smartphone’s timer is how fast it allows you to set timers. You don’t even have to unlock your phone to do it, as the widget can be accessed from your lock screen directly. All its features are accessible in one touch, and its notifications are pushy without being annoying.
As far as time management goes, Any.do has all your bases covered. The app allows you to color-label your lists, manage shared projects, organize and prioritize your tasks, and keep up with everything through the home screen widget. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about forgetting important tasks or events ever again thanks to its reminder setting.
5. Engross: Focus Timer & To-Do List with Reminders
Engross is more than your typical to-do list and reminder app. It employs the “hit me when you’re distracted” method that allows you to stay focused throughout your workday or study sessions. On top of that, it has an incorporated Pomodoro timer that is designed to dose your activity in a healthy way, as well as encourage you to recap and revise what you did at the end.
Timers don’t have beneficial effects on everyone as far as productivity is concerned. After all, we’re all wired a different way. This is where Wind comes in, an Android focus app that relies on a stopwatch rather than a timer. With the help of the same “hit me when you’re distracted” method mentioned above, Wind will suggest when it’s time you take a break.
With Sleep Timer, you can manage your time and productivity in a completely different way. This bedtime Android app allows you to fall asleep to your favorite music. You simply play your songs and set a countdown timer. Once it runs out, the music will fade out and stop. In this way, you will get a good night’s rest and prevent your battery from draining as well.
The Sleep Away sleep management Android application performs two main functions. First of all, it allows you to calculate sleep cycles and set your alarm depending on them, as well as set bedtime reminders. In addition to this, it also plays white noise for you as you doze off. It has three options for this, namely Campfire, Rain, and Heater.
Do you want to streamline your Android device so that it supports your productivity goals? The Automate app for Android designed by Llama Labs is your answer. The program allows you to create personalized commands that will make your smartphone or tablet more efficient.
Clip Stack is a convenient app that allows you to manage copied text on your Android smartphone or tablet more effectively. It saves all the text you copy to your clipboard so that you can access it at a later time and reuse it as needed.
Dragon Mobile Assistant is a free app for Android that allows you to control your device with voice commands. Its features include posting updates on social media, sending and receiving messages, setting reminders, scheduling appointments, writing emails, and many more.
Evernote is the most complete notetaking app for Android. It can capture notes of any kind, be it a checklist, an image, a voice memo, or plain text. The app saves them and makes them searchable through optical character recognition technology. It’s not my favorite, but it’s a very popular app, so it made the list.
Flowcharts and diagrams have remarkable potential for increasing your productivity. And, with Lucidchart, you don’t need any design skills to make them. The app offers a swift alternative to optimizing your tasks. Plus, it’s great for both personal and professional use.
The Nirvana for GTD® Android app follows the Get Things Done methodology with the aid of preset lists categorized under Next, Later, Scheduled, and Someday. Its inbox is aimed at capturing your ideas as you get them so that you don’t forget about anything important. Moreover, you can place a time and energy estimate on every task for better prioritizing.
Pushbullet is an app designed for the efficient sharing of information across devices and platforms. It’s a messaging app that allows you to send notes and files and streamline the process. Plus, its compatibility with iOS means that the exchange is possible even between an Android smartphone or tablet and an iPad or iPhone.
16. RescueTime Time Management and Digital Wellness
RescueTime is an app that records what you do on both your Android smartphone and your computer, creating a virtual map of how you spend your time on digital interfaces. In this way, you can find out which habits are productive and which aren’t, making it easier for you to manage your lifestyle in a healthier way.
Tide is a relaxing work timer app that allows you to select the duration of your sessions. It then proceeds to play soothing natural sounds, such as ocean waves crashing or the rain falling. You can also purchase additional tracks for 99 cents a pop, which is a useful option to have when you get bored of the options.
While it is true that the menu of your Android device does allow you to visit to all the files stored on it, accessing them efficiently isn’t an option due to its cumbersome design. The Solid Explorer File Manager app grants you access to everything you need in one place.
Are you the type of person to have multiple email accounts on various platforms that you use for both personal and professional purposes? Boxer is the ideal way to streamline everything on your smartphone and tablet so that you can send, receive, and manage messages in one place.
Toggl is incredibly user-friendly, which is why I consider it one of the best time-tracking apps for Android phones and tablets out there. You can record time to increase your productivity, or keep track of billable hours all the same. Thus, it’s not only great for people looking to optimize their workflow, but freelancers in general as well.
Clear is a to-do list and reminder app for iOS that has a simple gesture-based design that streamlines the process of keeping up with tasks. Users have the possibility to create separate lists and organize them, as well as set reminders for important events.
Instapaper is an iOS app designed for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apple devices that assists users in reading Internet content on mobile platforms. Articles are saved in the program and can then be accessed anywhere, anytime, regardless of whether there’s a functional Internet connection in sight or not. Thus, you will stay updated wherever you are.
Microsoft OneNote is one of the best notetaking apps for iOS, a digital notebook of sorts if you will. It is the ideal place to store all your ideas and thoughts, as well as jot down interesting information, news, or discoveries you might have made on a certain day.
The Tiny Calendar app for iOS is an intuitive program that syncs your Google and iOS calendars, while maintain a clean and user-friendly interface at the same time. In addition to this, it has features such as drag and drop, gestures, and language input that predict your intention and facilitate setting up a schedule.
The Productive habit tracker for iOS is the right app for anyone looking to read more, drink more water, sleep better, or hit the gym on a regular basis. With the help of its motivational stats and smart reminders, you won’t forget about your wellness anytime soon.
Planner Pro is the iOS app that has it all when it comes to time management and productivity. It combines three main features into one accessible location, namely Notes, Events, and Tasks. You can thus sync your calendars, establish priorities, set reminders, and jot down anything of importance during a given time slot.
Wunderlist is a multifunctional to-do list app for Apple devices that allows users to perform various tasks. Examples include creating grocery lists and sharing them with family members, planning vacations down to every detail, or working on collaborative projects.
If you want to do more than track time on your iPhone or iPad, HourStack is the way to go. The app is designed to help users plan ahead by creating entries for the future, as well as emphasize how well-utilized their time is. Thus, it’s a great alternative for those of us who want to become as efficient as possible in their day to day lives.
Harvest is an iOS time management app specifically designed for professional use. The program allows you to track time, manage your expenses, document your billable hours, and share invoices. It is also ideal for people that work in a team, as it connects and syncs everyone.
FreshBooks works in the same vein as the previous app on this list. It is a cloud-based app whose main function is to track billable hours and create invoices for them. Plus, it gives you the option to manage your finances in one convenient place, making it the perfect choice when you want to combine time management with a prolific professional life.
Are you looking for a multifunctional to-do list app with a clean and elegant design? TeuxDeux is just that. Its clutter-free Swiss interface offers a wide variety of features, such as voice to text, recurring to-dos, custom colors, editing options, and many more.
Feedly’s motto encourages users to “stay ahead of the curve” as far as your field of interest is concerned. It is a smart news reader app that groups content so that you can control what reaches you and what doesn’t. Steering clear of superfluous information means that you will be able to manage your time successfully overall.
SaveMyTime tracks your daily routine by asking you a few simple questions every now and then. you can answer them from your lock screen, which is convenient to say the least. In this way, the app gains a sense of how much time you spend being productive every day and aids you in saving precious time.
As described on the app’s download page, aTimeLogger is the ideal assistant for busy athletes, business people, and individuals who have intensive schedules in general. Every minute of their day is precious, and the app’s intuitive interface allows them to manage them in a more effective way.
The Smarter Time Android app is, as its name suggests, a successful way to become smarter about how you choose to spend your time. It automatically keeps track of your daily activities and creates detailed reports of what you do and when you do it. Plus, it has an inbuilt goal setter so that you can stay on top of your game.
Fitting a wide variety of activities in one day won’t seem impossible with a time saving and optimization app like TimeTune. The program allows you to create a routine for each day or week, as well as for odd numbers of days in case you work in shifts. You won’t lose track of your daily tasks ever again.
Here’s the rundown of our chase to find the best daily planner. Seven practical and creative planners are reviewed below starting with number seven. And we liked number one so much we’ve also reviewed it individually.
I love using paper planners, notebooks and journals. I’ve never made the switch to an electronic or i-cal system, it’s paper-based all the way for me! And I am always open to trying new planning systems and change my own every 3 months at least. I find planners help me stay productive in so many ways: I can visually plan out ‘to-do’ lists, weekly goals alongside monthly overviews, and manage my time really well.
My trusty Filofax comes with me everywhere, I’ve had it for 15 years. I use it as a diary and nothing else and I’m hyper-aware it’s a bulky resource to carry around just to manage my calendar.
So, I first got interested in daily planners when I learned about the bullet journal method. I started transforming notebooks into planning and productivity tools. I added post-its, pull-outs, color coding and found a system I was relatively happy with.
I did always wonder if there was a planner out there that would help me combine the way I work across multiple projects and manage my calendar so I was super happy to test out a set of daily planners and get in the opinions of my friends and family. The final rating on each planner is the mean of our individual ratings.
Here’s what we got:
The 7 Planners
The High Performance Planner (A4)
INSPIRE NOW JOURNAL – A5 Daily & Weekly Productivity Planner
“This is a really interesting piece of kit. I was very intrigued to use this planner. I can’t find a reason why you would need to use the app to accompany it, but I really like the idea of being able to microwave the book to delete your notes (up to 5 times).”
— Adam, The Bike Shop Alnwick
Great for tech geeks, writing secrets, and traveling.
What I liked
I really liked the idea of this notebook. It’s a really cool office gadget. You can connect it to Google Docs, Evernote, email and more to send your notes and it’s reusable.
What I disliked
The app to accompany it is unnecessary. If you lose the pen you’ll have to compromise for a “frixon” pen and those don’t last that long either.
#6 The Procrastinator Planner
Design and quality 6/10 ⭐
Productivity 7/10 ⭐
“This planner didn’t make me more productive because it’s kind of overwhelming to fill in and there’s not much space to write. I enjoyed reading the science though – interesting stuff.”
— David Venus, Movement Coach
This planner is 182 pages and promises to increase productivity. It includes text on the science and philosophy of procrastination too which is super interesting.
What I liked
The science – it’s really interesting to start to learn more about procrastination;
The sections – this planner has been really well thought out;
The daily and weekly planning sections;
The humor and the characters cheering you on.
What I disliked
The pages are very thin paper so only biro or pencil allowed here!
There’s not much space to write or spill your ideas out here so it’s not the best planner for creatives.
#5 Get Sh&& Done 2019-2020
Design and quality 8/10 ⭐
Productivity 7/10 ⭐
“I started to use it then realized I was just writing everything twice with my bullet journal! I would say there’s just not enough space per day especially as I like to break the day down into about 8 different things! It would be handy to have a month breakdown like the one they’ve added for the full year, before each month to help with planning. I’d give this planner 4 out of 10 stars. ”
— Amy, Artist
It’s lovely to have an A4 size planner – lots of space – but this feels like more like an A4 sized diary with a jazzy unicorn on the front than a daily productivity planner.
What I liked
The planner spans over 2 years which feels great as you can start to map out what’s coming up next… this feature would be particularly useful for mapping exams and deadlines;
The paper is nice and thick so you can use fine liners;
Always nice to have an inspirational quote on a weekly spread;
The vision board element is a nice touch (you have the opportunity to do this in year 1 and year 2).
What I disliked
It’s a large size and probably better for a desk-based tool than one to carry around.
#4 DO IT LATER – A 2019 PLANNER (OR NON-PLANNER) FOR THE CREATIVE PROCRASTINATOR
Design and quality 8/10 ⭐
Productivity 7/10 ⭐
“I prefer a simple planner design and this felt pretty overwhelming to use. I think I’d spend more time procrastinating reading all of the funny entries than planning anything. I prefer an electronic planning tool as I’m on my i-mac for work anyway.” ”
— Mel, Freelance Designer
Great for someone who wants to have a laugh at their desk.
What I liked
I really enjoyed the ‘pause moments’ like ‘connect with 10 insects and give each one a name, like Archie the Aphid…’ humor in a journal is well placed I think.
What I disliked
It’s just so busy and quite a ‘shouty’ design – not nice to open and look at when you have a very busy brain.
#3 Amazon Basics Daily Planner and Journal
Design and quality 9/10 ⭐
Productivity 8/10 ⭐
“• There is enough space for lots of tasks/notes, I hate it when things are small format. • This feels just right as it doesn’t take over my desk either so I can keep it out. • I really liked the appearance. It looks nice and neat! I really like and need that amongst the chaos of my desk! (pictured) • It’s broken up into appropriate sections and speaks to the way I work.”
— Paul Black, PR Director at Publishing House Andersen Press
This planner is 182 pages and promises to increase productivity. It includes text on the science and philosophy of procrastination too which is super interesting.
What I liked
I really liked this planner and journal and it’s something I would definitely use. Its sleek design is professional looking too. It encourages you to set weekly goals and daily priorities which is an excellent tool in productivity planning.
What I disliked
It looks gorgeous, but I don’t really have time to fill it in the way it’s designed.
#2 Inspire Now Journal
Design and quality 10/10 ⭐
Productivity 8/10 ⭐
“All in all, this journal is incredibly well thought out and I love the clear goals for the week including the habit tracker and past week reflections. I think having a reward each day for achieving goals is such a great idea too as creates momentum and motivation. I find quotes very inspiring and liked the daily quote too. This journal is a great all-rounder for life.
I’ve used planners that are more business focused and much prefer this format having something which helps you weave in all aspects of life especially for me as a busy solo mum to two with my own business.
The only slight criticism for me is the title. ‘Inspire now’ it feels much more of a productivity journal and think some might find it overwhelming rather than inspiring.
To me, it’s a journal for those who already understand the power of goals, morning routines, intentions etc. Those that are already on the path to success. All in all, a great planner which I would recommend to others.”
— Sarah Seed, Coach for Women
Great for working parents.
I couldn’t wait to open the Inspire Now Journal, the texture of the cover was so pleasing.
It was intriguing to see what was inside. I was really excited about using it! So, here’s what I found. The writer talks about a job in finance smashing salary targets of £140k, buying detached houses, fast cars, and reaching almost impossible goals like meditating every day.
This is a real dream board for a lot of productivity fans out there. It’s not what makes my cookie crumble, because I’m more on the artistic spectrum of productivity, but once again, other types of go-getters will really dive into the motivation of these little storyboards.
What I liked
The saving review tracker is good and I’ve not seen this in other journals. This helped me connect to my ‘why’ in the tasks I was doing for work. I also liked being able to plan for savings and set a morning and evening routine.
The paper is high quality and the colors are really nice too and thought out well.
It can be useful to have reminders on the same page as productivity planning, or you can combine them with a “reframe your to-do list” technique. I prefer customization.
What I disliked
It’s a bit repetitive and I don’t feel it helped me move on with my goals just gave me a place to write my ‘to do’ list every day somewhere pretty.
#1 The High Performance Planner
Design and quality 10/10 ⭐
Productivity 10/10 ⭐
“I found the questions really hard to answer but boy did they make me think. I really enjoyed planning out my daily chunks into times and being asked to reflect..
At the brink of menacing deadlines, some of us snap out of our procrastination mode and enter another more fascinating one: the productivity state of mind. Others just seem born with it.
However, as Adam Grant mentions the way we’re obsessing about managing our time is actually sometimes the problem with time management. So just make sure you’re giving your time and self-development superintending efforts the attention they require, not a drop more.
Consequently, use the infographic below to get the inspiration, guidance, and techniques you need to get the most out of your productive drive and your most productive time of day.