Productivity | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

Concentration and Diversification  

I like this thought of James Clear in his 3-2-1 Newsletter:

Concentration produces wealth.

Diversification protects wealth.

A Conference Call in Real Life

I used to take part in many conference call that were exactly as depicted.

These days I’m doing mostly video calls which are much better.

'This Is Small Talk Purgatory': What Tinder Taught Me About Love  

CJ Hauser in The Guardian:

But once I gave up on the banterers, my Tinder chats became uniform. The conversations read like a liturgy: where are you from, how do you like our weather, how old is your dog, what are your hobbies, what is your job, oh no an English teacher better watch my grammar winkyfacetongueoutfacenerdyglassesface. The conversations all seemed the same to me: pro forma, predictable, even robotic.

That’s when I realised that what I was doing amounted to a kind of Turing test.

How the Language You Speak Changes Your View of the World  

Panos Athanasopoulos says bilinguals view the world in different ways depending on the specific language they are operating in.

Scrum Product Owner Checklist  

Hans Brattberg from Crisp shares his mindmap.

The Best Productivity Apps for Mac

A Quora user asked for the best productivity apps for Mac OS. Here’s my answer:

There are of course the big productivity suites like OmniFocus and Things but I want to focus on the small helpers that save me several hours per week.


My number one pick is BetterTouchTool. It’s a small, free application that lets you map actions to various forms of input. Some of the trackpad shortcuts I use all the time:

  • Three finger swipe down → Minimize window to dock
  • Four finger tap → Close Window below cursor
  • Four finger click → ⌘W (Close tab/window)
  • Three finger click → Middle click (lets you open links in a new tab)

You can also define application specific shortcuts:


  • Five finger click → ⌘⇧T (reopen closed tab)
  • Three finger swipe left → ^Page down (switch to the tab on the right)
  • Three finger swipe right → ^Page up (switch to the tab on the left)


  • Three finger swipe right → ⌘⇧R (mark as reviewed)
  • Three finger swipe left → ⌘K (update view, i.e. remove tasks that no longer belong into the current perspective)

You see the pattern. The tab switching is something I add to every app I’m using on a regular basis. Similar to going back and forth in history (Finder, Spotify, …).

You can also trigger actions from the keyboard, a normal and a magic mouse, an apple remote, Leap and from the BTT iOS app.


Hazel is another tool I’m using on a daily basis. Well, I’m not actively using it. It’s running in the background doing its fantastic job.

Hazel asks you for folders to monitor. You can then define rules to apply on the files in this folder.

Some examples of my Hazel rules:


  • Archive old files
  • Rename and move PDFs from my banks, phone companies, … into the corresponding folders
  • Move files downloaded from Facebook to a special folder

Scan Inbox

(This is the folder in which my ScanSnap document scanner dumps all the PDFs it creates.)

  • Add date and time (extracted from the document)
  • Move bills to a special folder
  • Move processed files (scans that got a date and a description) to a special folder


  • Move Screenshots to a special folder


  • Move everything that’s not a screenshot but ends up here back to the Desktop


Alfred is a launcher that you invoke with a keyboard shortcut. It can do many helpful things like find files, eject volumes, quit programs. It also lets you define search engines so you don’t have to open/navigate to your browser to start your search.

You can define complex actions, called workflows, or download shared ones. My favorite one searches LEO (one of the best German English/French/Spanish/Chinese/… dictionaries) and shows the results in Alfred.

The Job of Leadership  

Ev Williams:

The job of leadership is to foster alignment and enthusiasm toward the right goal.

Jeff Bezos' Regret Minimization Framework

Jeff Bezos:

And the framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was a, […] what I call though what only a nerd would call, a regret minimization framework. So I wanted to project myself forward to age eighty, and so came out looking back on my life, I wanna have minimized the number of regrets I have.

I love this.

The Surprising Solution to Being More Productive at Work: Slow Down  

Joseph Stromberg:

This research has produced a number of specific tips: things you should do — or not do — to maximize the effectiveness of the hours you spend working. Here’s a brief guide.

The Case Against Time Zones  

Matt Yglesias explains where time zones come from and how we get rid of them.

How to Start  

Joel Runyon quotes advice he’s been given by Perry Marshall:

All you really need to do is three things:

  1. Commit to something
  2. Put your balls on the line
  3. Then figure it out

That’s all there is to it.

Joe Buhlig's Omnifocus Setup and Workflow  

Joe Buhlig describes his OmniFocus setup. Like Sven Fechner I especially enjoyed reading the part on contexts. Many of my contexts are quite similar. I never liked the name of my “Weekend” context and happily adapted Joe’s “After Work”.

How Maximizers and Satisficers Make Decisions  

Elizabeth Bernstein’s article explains how we make decisions:

Psychology researchers have studied how people make decisions and concluded there are two basic styles. “Maximizers” like to take their time and weigh a wide range of options—sometimes every possible one—before choosing. “Satisficers” would rather be fast than thorough; they prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word “satisfice” blends “satisfy” and “suffice”). […]

“The maximizer is kicking himself because he can’t examine every option and at some point had to just pick something,” Dr. Schwartz says. “Maximizers make good decisions and end up feeling bad about them. Satisficers make good decisions and end up feeling good.”

I’m a maximizer. Because I know that I can’t examine every option I try to find the minimum problem set that needs a decision at the moment.