Most-Popular-of-Productivityv2Do you know what makes the Internet so great in my opinion? It is the thought of it connecting me with virtually everyone else on Earth. Well, everyone who has internet access, that is. And that we have access to an abundance of information like no generation before us.

I still love libraries, but I really don’t miss microfiche. (If you don’t know what that is, watch this YouTube video to get an idea). Finding answers is so much easier and a lot faster these days.

The internet is also great at delivering me with a lot of stuff I haven’t asked for – not saying I don’t enjoy it – like funny cat videos, epic fails, hilarious memes, insanely useful  lifehacks, animated gifs, etc.

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Yeah, you got it. Good job!  How dare I sidetrack you, even before I got to the core of this post?! (Please click above links responsibly.) So what is the point?

I like libraries (the brick and mortar ones), because I can browse and stumble over good information  for them being sorted. Unlike online, I can find useful stuff without having to ask a specific question. Even with sites like StumbleUpon, I still end up clicking through countless pages, because I don’t know what website comes next.

This is where blogs and websites like Darn Office come in. We are here to make your life easier. We deliver information about specific categories and try to present you with the best content. You should have it easy because we spend the time on the topics and hopefully present you only the best, most valuable information, *cough*…and distractions.

Today’s Topic

That is why I thought I start a series about what are the best of the most popular posts on blogs/websites for specific categories. This way you not only get introduced into websites you maybe didn’t know, but you can also immediately read their best and most popular content. I will give a short summary of each post to make deciding whether you like reading it easy for you. Many sites usually list their most popular posts somewhere; I will select one of them according to today’s topic:


I thought it is a good starter, not not only because there are so many sites out there, but productivity is also something we spend a lot of time thinking about. Often too much. So I hope this post will be something you can return to whenever you want to check out another blog or actionable tip.

BTW, the order of the following list doesn’t mean anything; it is not sorted in any way on purpose.

The Productivity list


Time Management Ninja

Popular Post: 19 Apps to Install on Your New Mac for Maximum Productivity
The title says it all. Although I am still pretty much stuck with Windows, the look of Windows 8, how much I like my iPhone, and seeing how happy my wife is with her iMac, makes me wonder if I shouldn’t switch to a Mac. A couple of the suggested apps also exist for Windows, but the surprising part is that of the 19 apps I’ve only heard of 7. Hence, this post is definitively worth reading even if you don’t own a Mac.



Popular Post: Goodbye Google: Why I’m Untethering from All Things Google
This is actually the opener to a series in which Mike Vardy describes his journey to a Google free life. I found this series very intriguing, just the idea of not being able to use any Google service evokes the pure panic in me. And oops! There we got it. Am I too entangled in Google myself? If Google stopped to exist tomorrow, what would it mean for me? Although the series is unfinished at this point it is very eye-opening to read how much Google has taken over our (online) life.


Pick the Brain

Popular Post: 14 Ways To Procrastinate Productively
This is not another post picking on procrastination as the ultimate evil for us productive folk. No, quite surprisingly it is the opposite. Believe me, a post telling you how to “procrastinate productively” is worth to not procrastinate on reading for long.


Asian Efficiency

Popular Post: Time Tracking: The One Thing That Will Tell You Exactly How Productive You Are… Or Aren’t!
This post introduced me to Toggl, which is a very simple tool to track your time. There are many ways to use Toggl. In this post Aaron Lynn describes how he uses it to track his personal time 24/7. Yes, all the time! Which is indeed an interesting experiment that I am replicating at the moment. For example to see whethr I spend more time online or in bed. I have a strong suspicion… Anyway, the idea is great, go and read the post.


Legal Productivity

Popular Post: 10 Tips For Better Google Search Results
Although the site’s focus is on insights into the business of law, these Google tips are useful for everyone who is still willing to use Google. Learn how to search one website only, get information about images, find similar pages, and seven more Google-hacks.


Productive Flourishing

Popular Post: 50+ Better Questions To Ask Than How To Be More Productive
The author Charlie Harling pulls a very clever trick. She wants you to stop asking yourself how to be more productive, better answer the listed questions instead. As a result, you will be more aware of your work and be indeed more productive. Trust me.


43 Folders

Popular Post: Getting Started with “Getting Things Done”
This is THE post that started it all. As one of the first posts written by Merlin Mann on 43 Folders, the introduction into GTD remains the site’s most popular post nine years later. And that for a reason. This is not just a post, it is basically the hub into GTD.  But don’t get lost! The attached list of resources is truly epic.



Popular Post: GTD is not Project Management
For a while I couldn’t understand the what was so great about GTD and even worse, I thought there is something wrong with me because of it. This is why this was such a great post for me when I read it the first time. It wasn’t me, it was GTD. Because it is not project management. Phew.


Pajama Productivity

Popular Post: The Greatest Business Productivity Blog Post Ever
The first thing you will see is a picture of a cow. Which for me clearly indicates the need to go back to the basics. You know, like in plow your land and you will harvest the fruits (or so or…uhm…maybe not…). Anyway, I like cows, too. And this post is a list of the important basics of productivity. Have you ever heard of the HOP test? Check it out, its #13.



Popular Post: The 5 Most Dangerous Creativity Killers
There is no way for me not to like this post. It is based on actual research, includes a great quote, is clearly written and most of all, it is interesting!



Popular Post: Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life
I guess I should have just put up a white rectangle as logo for Zenhabits. As much as I like the idea of miminalism, as much do I struggle with it. Getting rid of all the fluff to focus on the essential sounds so incredibly appealing and logic. But it is no easy task. To simplify, however, sounds so much less challenging and possible. Be warned though, this post is a challenge in itself. It is epic. Dig in!


Steve Spring (Live Your Life on Purpose)

Popular Post:Create Your Mind Map In 7 Simple Steps
Mind maps are an often mentioned productivity tool. In my experience a mind map is not a tool that is easily accepted. So either you love them because they work for you or you are just not the person for mind maps. Nothing to feel bad about. If you have zero idea why you should use mind maps then I suggest reading Steve’s post on the benefits of mind maps first. If you want to give mind mapping a shot, then this popular post gives you the how to.


Steve Pavlina

Popular Post: How to Stop Complaining
The habit of complaining is in my opinion one of the biggest productivity killers and a great inhibitor of success. Stop complaining, suck it up and move on. Of course this is not how Steve Pavlina addresses it, but he describes how to stop doing it.



Popular Post: Einstein’s Secret to Amazing Problem Solving (and 10 Specific Ways You Can Use It)
Good problem solving is essential for being effective in what you do. This is an excellent post that describes a very actionable strategy of how to go about solving problems. One of my favorite posts on this list!


Sources of Insight

Popular Post: How To Reduce Generalization, Deletion, and Distortion to Improve How You Think, Feel, and Act
Don’t worry about the complicated title. I don’t think I need to tell you how important communication is. This post is about “shaping your language for results”, meaning how you can use certain language to have a positive and empowering effect.


Scott H Young

Popular Post: Double Your Reading Rate
In this day and age you probably have a lot to read on a daily basis. Be it to stay informed about news, gain new knowledge, research for work, or just to get through all your emails – you name it. Increasing your reading speed is another of these evergreen tips either potentially saving you hours of time in your week or allowing you to read way more books than you are able to do now.


Nicholas Bate

Popular Post: BeBold101

Just as the title says, this one is about being bold. Exactly 101 times of being bold. How is this a productivity tip, you wonder? You need to be bold to change things up. Be bold!

Below are post from blogs that don’t display their most popular post (or I just couldn’t find them). However, I liked these articles so much that I think they simply belong in this list.


Personal Success Today

Good Read: How To Become An Early Riser And Enjoy The Experience
Becoming an early riser is an often mentioned theme for how to be more productive. There is great appeal in being productive at a time of the day when you usually slapped the snooze button on your alarm clock a second time. It can be very motivating and sets the tone for the day. John Richardson makes it quite appealing to start early.


Buffer Blog

Good Read: The Science Behind Why Small Teams Work More Productively: Jeff Bezos’ 2 Pizza Rule
In my experience are meetings with more than three people a waste of time. They are social get-togethers,  good for catching up, but the more people the less everyone will be able to contribute effectively. The post explains the science behind it. A must read for everyone who works in or with groups.


David Seah

Good Read:The Emergent Task Timer: Revised for 2013
Dave developed this nifty and very useful design of a task timer. He states that this form has been popular with people who work in reactionary jobs (for example tech support). Well, what should I say, look for your self.


Personal Excellence

Good Read: Your One-Stop Guide To Outsourcing: Why You Should Outsource and How To Get Started in the Next 20 Minutes
If you ever wondered whether and how you can benefit from outsourcing some of your work, then read this guide. Well, and you got to read it particularly if you never thought about outsourcing. The word guide is used absolutely rightfully in the title. This is an awesome resource about outsourcing with good real life examples.


A Better Mess

Good Read: Getting Things Done Is Bigger Than GTD
If you struggle with GTD then it this is a good post to read. Author Michael Schechter gives his personal take on how he deals with GTD.  


Monica Ricci

Good Read: Five Ways to Organize Kids Routines
If you are having kids and are looking for some actionable ideas about how to get them more organized then this is a good read. I am actually curious what you think about the chores for money idea. My mom used to try this with me for a while when I was a kid, which I guess is why I don’t think I want to test it on my kids.



Good Read: Be Wary of Seductive Productivity Blogs
A well meant warning has to be part of this list. I resonated a lot with this post and hence can only recommend reading it. I don’t think it will bust a bubble for you, does it?


One last note

This list is of course by no means anything close to being complete. Although I looked through way more websites than I listed here, if you cannot find your site or your favorite blog on this list, that doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like it. Most likely it is not included, because I overlooked or forgot it. But that is not the end! I am generally happy to amend this post with more examples. Please feel free to suggest them in the comments or via my contact page. I will add them according my time and whether I agree with the usefulness. No hard feelings. Thanks!

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