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Category Archive: Mindfulness

Why Dual Focus Email is Bad (Calm Inbox Video)

The last thing you want when it comes to your email is what we call “Dual Focus”. Dual Focus is a waste of your time. Dual Focus is frustrating and annoying. For example: Dual Focus is when you are trying to have a Zoom meeting and your toddler busts into the room. Dual Focus is […] »

3 Questions to Ask About Your Busy Inbox

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with email (and Twitter, too, for that matter). I love how they’ve allowed me to connect with folks, build friendships, and make things over the years, but I hate how email (and Twitter) can be such a draw for my attention and a distraction during my day. »

Email Lessons from Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte was a famous military commander with some interesting information management habits. But he died about 200 years ago (1821), long before computers, the internet, and electronic communication. So what could we possibly hope to learn from his life about handling email in our digital age? »

Shawn Blanc’s iPhone Home Screen, Summer 2020 Edition

Several months ago, I took all the apps on my Home screen and moved them over by one so that my first Home screen was blank. Now I’m trying something similar but different. I’ve placed just a few apps on the first Home screen, none of which have inboxes or infinity pools. »

Building My Bullet-Journal-Based Hybrid Productivity System

It's fun for me to find new and better ways to do things - especially if it involves Apple-branded technology. I love trying new apps and making my devices dance. But with everything going on in the world the last couple of months, I've also found it to be especially difficult to navigate emotionally, which is a big reason why I’ve started doing a lot more with pen and paper. »

Mindfulness Monday: Using Day One Templates to Create a Toddler Quote Book

If you tend to journal or document standard or recurring events in your Day One, entry templates are an easy way to save time. They also provide a cohesive, standard, and consistent look for all like-entries across your entire Day One. For those of us with a perfectionist tendencies, templates are the key to consistency. »

Work Doesn’t Happen at the Computer

We've arrived at the assumption that work only gets done on the computer. Humans have survived thousands of years without computers and accomplished some pretty incredible feats. Why is it we now assume computers equal getting work done? »

The Importance of Routine: A Habits Interview with Mike Schmitz

This interview is one of the many bonus interviews included in our new course, Simple Habits. The course is 25% off until Friday, May 29th. Your name and a short bio / info about you I’m Mike Schmitz, Executive Editor here at The Sweet Setup. I live in Wisconsin with my wife and have five […] »

How to Sustain Long-Term Habits

This Mindfulness Monday post is a video from Shawn Blanc, founder and editor-in-chief of The Sweet Setup In this short video, Shawn talks about: Maintaining momentum and motivation after the “honeymoon” period is over The role of automation in creating sustainable habits The balance of goals and habits in creating positive outcomes If you want […] »

Using Day One During Quarantine

Instead of going to Hawaii, we are staying home. My wife and I recently cancelled our 15-year anniversary trip to Hawaii. We’d been planning and saving for this trip since our 10-year anniversary. Alas, with the current state of the planet, we knew we’d have to cancel it, but we were putting it off. I […] »

Chuck Frey’s Simple 5-Step Process to Find Your Big Ideas On Demand

This Mindfulness Monday article is a guest post by Chuck Frey, creator of mindmappingsoftwareblog.com and author of several books on creativity including MaxThink, a creative ideation system that can help you be more creative and get unstuck. In this article, Chuck shares the key pieces of his own ideation system. »

How Dave Caolo Makes Apps Earn Their Way onto His Home Screen

In this Mindfulness Monday post, podcast and D&D enthusiast Dave Caolo joins us to talk about resisting the pull of social apps, his unique approach to apps earning their way onto his Home screen, and what baking cookies from scratch can teach us about focus and intentionality with our tech. »

Why Matt Ragland Starts Every Project by Planning on Paper

In this Mindfulness Monday post, YouTuber Matt Ragland shares about the boundaries he's established to maintain intentionality with his tech, his bullet journaling practice, and why he starts every project using analog tools. »

How Rosemary Orchard Uses Automation to Stay Focused

Rosemary is a tech lover and frequent contributer here at The Sweet Setup who lives in Vienna, Austria. During the day, she works as a web developer, but she can also be found at RosemaryOrchard.com and hosting Automators, a podcast about automation, and Nested Folders, a podcast about productivity. She loves to experiment with new apps and workflows, and the more automation included, the better! »

How Mike Schmitz Changes the Email Rules by Removing it From His Phone

In this Mindfulness Monday post, Executive Editor Mike Schmitz shares his moment of clarity with intentional technology use and how he continues the fight to shift expectations around email. I’m Mike Schmitz, Executive Editor here at The Sweet Setup and co-host of the Focused and Bookworm podcasts. I’ve asked quite a few people to share […] »

How to use mind maps when running a business and personal life

Recently, I shared with a couple of friends about the new mind mapping course we just released, and one of them (Brandon Wentland, who previously shared his sweet setup here started telling me about some of the cool ways he uses mind maps to run his digital marketing agency. »

Sharpening Your Mental Saw

In this Mindfulness Monday post, Mike shares part 3 in his series on capturing and developing ideas using mind maps. »

Mindfulness Monday: We Updated Our Best Mind Mapping App Review

I've been sharing recently about the system I use for capturing and developing ideas, and at the heart of this system is a mind mapping habit. Mind Mapping helps me develop my ideas so that I don't deal with writer's block and saves me a ton of time by making it super easy to get started whenever I sit down to write. »

How Isaac Smith Fights the Urge to Stay Connected

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we talk to Blanc Media Production Manager Isaac Smith about his intentional limitations, fighting the urge to stay connected, and his 6-month "dumb-phone" experiment. »

Doing a Digital Declutter

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we look at how to to maximize our intentional technology use by doing a digital declutter. This post originally appeared on our sister site, The Focus Course. If you want to join in by doing your own digital declutter, check out the 30-Day Digital Declutter Kickoff. I’ve long been a […] »

Creating Intentional Technology Habits in 2020

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we consider how to leverage our technology to create intentional habits. Last week, we published an interview with bestselling author James Clear about starting and building better habits. There’s some great insights in the interview about how habits work, and James shares some great tips about how to create them. […] »

Turning Ideas Into Action

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we talk about how to use your technology to develop your ideas and turn them into action. »

Technology, Margin, & the Lost Art of Authentic Connection

As the pace of our everyday lives continues to increase, it's only natural to look for an escape. As information and commitments are thrown at us without discretion at breakneck speed, we covet every opportunity to hit "pause" and disconnect. »

Create, Not Consume: A Mindfulness Manifesto

Creativity is not based on your artistic ability. It has nothing to do with your natural talent. It depends entirely on your perspective, and is vital to embracing an intentional approach to technology. We must all learn to flip the switch from mindless consumption to conscious creation if we want to reach our full potential. »

Apps We Love: Sleep Cycle

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we share how using Sleep Cycle can help you wake up well-rested. When I was 18, I had a seizure while standing in line at a McDonald’s. Fortunately, there was a nurse nearby and she kept me safe until the ambulance arrived and I was rushed to the hospital. When […] »

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we share some tips on how to set yourself up for NaNoWriMo success. »

Apps We Love: Brain.fm

Brain.fm is a special kind of music service designed for the brain to enhance focus and relaxation within only 10 to 15 minutes of use. »

Automating Habit Tracking with Streaks & Shortcuts

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we look at how to reinforce positive technology habits through automation using Streaks and Shortcuts. There is no shortage of high-quality habit trackers for iOS. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it. There are options for tracking your habits across multiple platforms, options for ramifying your habit tracking, and […] »

Apps We Love: Forest

Forest is an interesting iPhone app that actually encourages you to use your phone less. »

David Sparks Video Interview: How to Stay Focused and Productive

When it comes to juggling all the things in life, it can be a challenge. And so, who better to learn from than David Sparks? David — a.k.a. “MacSparky” — has a lot of spinning plates. David is a solo attorney, a prolific podcaster, a blogger, an author, a screencast tutorial maker, a dad, and […] »

How Shahid Ahmad Stays Focused on His Phone

In this Mindfulness Monday post, we talk to video game developer and podcaster Shahid Kamal Ahmad about the steps he takes to stay out of the Infinity Pools and stay focused on what's important. »

Changing Defaults

It’s 6:34 am. The sound of your smartphone alarm startles you awake. (Actually, it’s the sound of the fifth alarm you’ve set because you’ve gotten so used to snoozing them that it now takes several to finally get you out of bed.) You instinctively reach to grab your phone from the nightstand and perform your […] »

The Intentional iPhone Web Browsing Experience

A look at how a constrained browsing experience on your iPhone can keep you focused on what's important without losing any of the fleeting thoughts and questions that come up during the day. »

Apps We Love: Moodnotes

Moodnotes is a simple iOS app that helps you track and understand your emotional state. »

Jour: A Guided Journaling App for the iPhone

Journaling is one of the best habits you can create. It allows you to distance yourself from the emotion and business of the day by reflecting on the events that happened so you can achieve clarity on the situation and see things from the proper perspective. »