What works for you?

This page details my digital system – to inspire you to find your own system.

Read each area and let it spark ideas of what you could experiment with and what you want to refine in your own systems.

Let’s go!

Sam’s Tailored Information

Here’s how I receive useful information from different sites and apps:

Information from Twitter

I use Twitter to gain “future” information. 

  • I check it once or twice a week for 15-45 minutes.
  • I follow leading-edge global thinkers – usually under 100, often under 50.
  • At the time of writing, the majority of experts were blockchain tech or venture capitalists (people aware of and investing in what’s coming) or people involved in high performance.

Connecting with Experts on LinkedIn

I hardly use LinkedIn to gain insights as the newsfeed (that you see upon login) isn’t as useful or easy as Twitter (for me).

I use LinkedIn to quickly connect with world experts, stay connected with ex-colleagues and build valuable business relationships.

I use LinkedIn messages for conversations, gain quick answers and to quickly connect people.

Information via email, reminders & Google alerts

I’m subscribed to 10 emails from experts and organisations. They are filtered to a folder (I don’t see them in my email inbox). I see these emails when I have time to research (a couple of times a week). I do a bulk unsubscribe once a year (usually via unroll.me).

I set reminders for dates in the future to look at tweets or livefeeds from conferences. 

These Google alerts on leading edge topics appear as an email in my inbox once or twice a month when the topics are written about:

A few times each fortnight I’ll receive interesting links from friends via emails, Facebook messenger, LinkedIn message, Twitter direct message, Instagram or Whatsapp.

Information via Facebook 

I’ve unfollowed most of my friends and family on Facebook as I was logging in too often. I now login to Facebook twice a week and pickup news from:

  • one leading-edge, blockchain tech friend;
  • a futurist friend;
  • a cafe that posts daily photos at my usual surf break, and
  • a conservationist who posts updates about my home state (Victoria, Australia) and the mountain where I ski (Mt Hotham). 

Information via Instagram

I use Instagram mainly to see updates from friends and login a few times a week. I see direct messages from friends then.

Sam’s Digital Productivity

Here’s how I get more done:

Empty inbox

I’m a fan of having a clear inbox (“inbox zero“) and not spending too much time on email so I batch process emails once or twice a day.

I schedule emails to send in the future. The tool I use is Boomerang (check you’re comfortable with how they use your data).

Where and what to send

I usually choose where to send a message: for example, messages via LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger are faster (if the recipient uses these platforms) as they’re informal and there’s no email to archive / manage.

More often these days I send a message in a format for people ‘get’ the context and content quicker – for example a relevant gif for emotions, voice, words, or using voice to text (the microphone next to the keyboard) on my phone.

Alerts & Notifications

I like useful notifications so I’ve turned OFF all email and social media notifications, except:

  • I receive a phone notification when someone messages me on my iPhone or sends a Facebook or Whatsapp message
  • I receive an email (notification) when someone messages me privately on Twitter and LinkedIn

To reduce notifications and moderate my use, I’ve removed from my iPhone the social media apps and messaging tools. The exceptions to this are: the usual messaging and FaceTime apps, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and YouTube. If I want to access social media sites I go to Safari on my phone (and type twitter.com for example) or computer.

Apple Watch

I use my Apple Watch for driving and walking directions, as a faster way to add a meeting to my calendar, to add reminders, to check the weather, to set timers (great egg timer!), to pay for things, and to find my phone!


My iPhone and Apple watch is usually on silent, do not disturb or airplane mode. I don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.

I regularly delete apps from my phone to reduce notifications and feel lighter!

I use Voice / Siri – to set reminders for things in the future

To speed up my iPhone use, I either open apps or do internet searches via:

Headphones to learn & focus

I use wireless headphones (handy, long battery life, easy) to listen to:

Other sites and tips

Canva is exceptional for quick graphic design and images.

I use Calendly to have other people set meeting times with me.

Fast webpage use:

  • Ctrl-F to quickly find a subject on a webpage
  • Refined Google searches:
    • Changing the Google search to results written in the past month – especially when I’m learning new sites or tools whose functionality could’ve changed over time
    • Google images to find ‘that thing’ via images rather than words

Work where work is easier

I find spaces where I’m most productive: usually quiet spaces for quick emails and strategic work – such as a library, lounge, meeting room, officeFind spaces where I’m most productive.