Work & Productivity

Field Notes pocket notebooks have arrived!

It beats fumbling with my phone to take a quick note.

Wednesday notebooks and pencil
My Wednesday purchase from included a gift two pack of notebooks and a Field Notes pencil.

These have become a tiny obsession over the last two years as I have tried and abondoned several note taking and productivity apps. None have been as quick or flexible as a pocket notebook.

When at my desk I generally slap it next to my keyboard to jot down anything I need quicker than I could switch to OneNote, Evernote, Google Keep, SimpleNote or whatever.

When away from my desk I can fold it along the spine and scribble something during a “walking” meeting. Tiny notebooks are hardly a revelation, people have been using them forever.

Before you ask, I don’t put passwords or sensitive information in these things. That’s what a password manager is for. πŸ™‚


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Joseph Dickson is a WordPress Developer in Los Angeles CA.

Work & Productivityaside

Software I frequently use in web design

I use various Linux distributions while working on personal web design projects. Below is a list of my favorite software packages.

Desktop and Terminal

  • LAMP
  • WordPress
  • ssh
  • sshfs – (creates a mounted file of an ssh connection)
  • tar & gzip2 – (Manual backups via the terminal of my databasae and files.)

Graphic Design

  • GIMP
  • Inkscape

Audio and Video production

  • kdenlive – video production for cuts and transtitions etc.
  • audacity – audio editing, usually to clean up noise

Text Editors

This varies a little from distribution to distribution, I frequently favor what’s preinstalled with that system.

  • gedit – (never fails me when I need a good text editor, Gedit isn’t pretty but it’s reliable)
  • xed
  • Scratch – Elementary OS
  • Mousepad – XFCE Desktop’s
  • nano – Terminal


Besides a pocket notebook to contain frequently used commands I use the either of the following

  • Tomboy Notes
  • Notes for XFCE
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Joseph Dickson is a WordPress Developer in Los Angeles CA.

Work & Productivity

Focus yourself with “Airplane Mode”

I’ve discovered that my most productive work is done between the hours of 8 and 11 am. It’s when I do my best coding, feel as though I’m most creative and almost moving on autopilot.

How I Airplane Mode myself to maintain focus

My key to productivity includes switching the phone to Power Saver and Airplane Mode before my commute to work and leaving it there until 10 or 11 am.

During which time quickly I check and reply to email, review my projects for the day and usually knock out at least good hour of uninterrupted coding or design work.

Airplane mode & Power saver
I engage “Airplane Mode” when I need to focus.

Airplane Mode along with Do not Disturb blocks everything so my focus can remain on my task at hand. I find that notification spam is greatest in the morning. Apps are designed to build habits and push notifications on us as soon as we wake up pulling from important tasks.

Priority 0nly is a good compromise if you can’t risk being unavailable to selected contacts.

Priority only is a good compromise to allow alarms and important contacts reach you if being completely off the grid is not an option.

It works for me and might work for you

I’ve been doing this now for a few months and find that 8am to 11am is the sweet spot where I would normally get interrupted by meaningless notifications but never anything so important that couldn’t wait until I switch back on afterwards.

Don’t be afraid to miss notifications, they’ll be there waiting when you return.

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Joseph Dickson is a WordPress Developer in Los Angeles CA.