Top Ten || January

Here are ten things I'm loving this month that will help you move the needle.

1) This 30-second ad featuring Will Ferrell

This is a not-so-subtle reminder to put your phone down and be present with the people you love most. It's neat to see a prominent cultural figure taking on the cause of responsible phone use, although it comes with a strong dose of conviction.

2) Gmail shortcuts

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Consider this an invitation to stop using your mouse or trackpad so much and start saving time. I've begun using some of these this month and can feel the seconds saved by sticking to the keyboard starting to add up. It's the little things.

3) The Evernote Scannable app

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I'm an avid Evernote user and love getting important papers scanned in and filed as quickly as possible. I tried this app some time ago and got rid of it. Downloading it again this month refreshed me--it's improved substantially. Capture almost anything with your iPhone and get it into your Evernote account (or into another service) in a snap.

4) "New Heart" from Mosaic MSC

Mosaic MSC is responsible for writing some incredibly refreshing worship songs (this isn't their first time on the Top Ten). 

Open up my eyes to see You
My mind to know You
My soul longs only for You
Let me hear Your voice resounding
Your words creating

A brand new heart in me

So good. Here it is on Spotify.

5) Multi-Port Charger

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I'm glad I got this for Christmas. It makes keeping your devices housed in one place easier and more convenient. I've made a closet the resting place for many electronics including my phone, and this simple tool helps keep them together without a bulky power strip.

6) The Ambition & Balance blog from Doist

From the makers of Todoist comes this great resource. They consistently publish great content, and I'm always excited to see when they've released a new post. They do a good job of providing tangible value to readers while also mentioning how their products are a part of the conversation. But they hardly ever seem to push their software too hard, and I appreciate that.

7) This running cap from Mizuno

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The last few weeks, even in Texas, brought some extra chilly morning runs. I don't know how Mizuno does it, but this hat keeps your head and ears warm even in some of the most frigid temperatures.

8) Turning off desktop notifications for new emails

In the daily battle to maintain control over your attention, eliminating unnecessary notifications can be a great way to stay focused. Professionally, I use Outlook. To remove the notifications coming to you, follow this string of actions: File > Options > Mail > Message Arrival > Uncheck everything under "When new messages arrive:"

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8) "A river without boundaries creates a swamp."

My brother shared this quote with me during our biweekly time of accountability and conversation. I'm not sure of its original source (maybe Angela Watson), but it's been rattling around in my mind. Our best intentions, goals, and pursuits become more of a curse than a blessing if we neglect to put up the intentional guardrails needed to keep us on track.

9) "Embracing and Enjoying Each Season of Life" from Becoming Minimalist

Joshua Becker provides great reflections on treasuring each moment and working hard to remain present with your priorities in proper order. "I wish I had put the phone away. I wish I had cancelled the work assignment or the speaking engagement. I wish I hadn’t wanted to be somewhere else."

10) This sermon from Kevin Washington, "Purpose and Providence"

If you are struggling to see God's provision and/or God's purpose for your life, spend 30 minutes with this message. Kevin spoke at my church last week, and the teaching he brought us from Philippians left me both encouraged and convicted. I can bet you'll feel the same way.