Chapter 8. Rands Information Practices

Your most precious asset is your time, and this chapter exists to save you time. You can start adopting the following set of habits right now to give yourself hours of your life back. Equally importantly, these habits will substantially increase your productivity by reducing stress, increasing focus, and ultimately improving the quality of the things you build with your hands.

Some of these practices pay immediate time-saving dividends. Some require small, consistent investment over time to achieve the desired effect. All require discipline. Some feel destructive. Many require working counter to the intent of the apps and services you use every day, because the collective goals of those apps and services often diverge from your goals.

You will have a strong negative and opinionated reaction to at least one of the bullets in the following sections. Your strong negative and opinionated reactions are a clear sign that you care about how you spend your time, so keep reading even if you’re mad.


Brace yourself. Some of these will hurt:

  • Make a copy of your bookmarks and store it somewhere safe. Now delete all your current bookmarks. Wiggle uncomfortably in your chair a bit. Breathe deeply.

  • Start rebuilding your bookmarks from memory a bit at a time, over multiple days. No hurry. Links to your web-based tools and critical documents belong in your browser bar. News, blogs, and other daily consumables belong in your feed reader because ...

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