Thomas Frank's Productivity Masterclass

Notes taken from watching his class here:

2. Manage Your Tasks

His system sounds a lot like GTD, in that you use a calendar for set events like meetings, while tasks go into a different system.

Organize into projects

3. Set Up Your Calendar

Short periods of time is for quick admin work.

Big free blocks are for Deep Work.

"Life Buckets" You have a lot of facets to life, friends, school, work, etc. He likes to color code his calendar so it's easy to tell at a glance how balanced his days are. You can also turn things off and on to see just one category.

Create hidden calendars for things like classes at your gym or trivia nights at your local bar. Keep them off but toggle them on when you want to see them.

4. Take Your Notes

"Your brain is for having ideas, not for holding them"

Keeping things like Files and receipts, instructions, etc in something like Evernote is good to have.

Common Pitfalls

Lack of organization - When there's nothing to categorize or deliniate the notes, it's hard to find stuff.

Lack of ease - If it's tough to get a note into the system,


Evernote is Thomas' pick, but I'm hesitant to keep going with Evernote because of the rumors of the company sinking.

He mentions Notion, and I think I'm going to make a full move to Notion at some point. Right now I use it to organize The Overlap Podcast I do with my cousin so that we have everything in one place.

I love the Scannable app that Evernote created, probably the best scanning app I've ever used. It made putting paper documents into Evernote a breeze. I want Notion to have something similar.

Building the System

Using Life Buckets again. Personal, professional, health, etc.

He uses the Evernote Notebook stacks to nest notebooks.

He pastes Emails into evernote to have them all in one place.

He keeps keyboard shortcuts in notes in his Evernote, too.

When creating notes that you might need to reference in the future, put keywords in the title or body that you think you'll search for later ("email", "receipt", "taxes")

Use templates.

Actions: Choose a Tool, Create Life Buckets, Start taking the notes

My personal note taking system is Bear. It's super simple to use, almost too simple, but reduces friction down to absolute Zero.