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Meta-Skills, Macro-Laws, and the Power of Constraints

Nearly every science-fiction novel seems to agree on one thing: in the future, work will be indistinguishable from art. Such wide agreement suggests that work is far more than a means of income generation. Even in a robot servant utopia, with all our practical needs taken care of, human work will still have a purpose.

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Experimental Habit Formation

A new framework for continuous learning One of the key challenges of living and working in the future will be continuous learning and experimentation. I’d like to propose a framework for this type of learning that is both feasible and focused on the individual: experimental habit formation. I believe it can help resolve one of

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The Holy Grail of Self-Improvement

By Tiago Forte The holy grail of self-improvement is a framework for self-directed experimentation and learning that can be used by the average person. The key question such a framework would have to answer is “How do people change?” In this post, I will suggest possible answers to this question by looking at the recent

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Immersion. Experimentation. Leverage.

A thesis on software eating the world This is an unauthorized summary of the 30,000-word blog series Breaking Smart, by Venkatesh Rao of ribbonfarm, which I believe to be among the most important writing in recent years on innovation, productivity, and problem solving. The series attempts to answer the question “What exactly does it mean to

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Emergent Productivity

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs The history of employment can be summarized as “companies vs. employees.” This tug-of-war was always viewed as zero sum: any gain by labor was, by definition, a loss for management and shareholders, and vice versa. This mentality is captured in the saying: “Employees work just enough to not be

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My interview on the Emerge Podcast

  Listen to my conversation with Daniel Thorson on the Emerge podcast: We spoke about using design thinking for individual improvement and empowerment, how to harness chaos and emergence for personal creativity, and the changing nature of knowledge work.

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A Review of Cal Newport’s Deep Work

This is my review of Cal Newport’s new book Deep Work (affiliate link), in which he makes the case that cultivating a capacity for intense concentration is the key competitive skill in the new knowledge economy. First, this is a well-written, thoughtful book with relevant stories and practical how-to’s for cultivating focus. I’m a fan

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A Conversation with David Allen on Quantifying Productivity

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. I recently had the privilege of joining David Allen on his members-only In Conversation podcast. This is the only public place you can listen to it (1 hour, download available): Our main subject

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The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs At the end of 2014 I received an email informing me that I had read over a million words in the ‘read it later’ app Pocket over the course of the year. This number by itself isn’t impressive, considering our daily intake of information is equivalent to 34 gigabytes,

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How to Use Evernote for Your Creative Workflow

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs This post was republished on the Evernote blog. To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. Let’s imagine how you would use Evernote if you had a brain. I previously explained how the standard tag-based approach basically contradicts everything we know

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