productivity posts on CNET


Brevity is the soul of email

You don't have time to sort through the hundreds of expert opinions on how to rein in a runaway inbox. That's why I did the sorting for you.

As I worked my way through about a dozen of these strategies for boosting email productivity, a theme arose: Keep it brief.

In that spirit and without further delay, here are the top suggestions of productivity gurus for avoiding email time sinks.

Don't let your inbox set your schedule I'm one of those people who visits his inbox before I have my coffee or open a newspaper in … Read more

Fitbit Force users report roughly 10,000 cases of skin irritation

Some side effects can come with activity monitoring with a Fitbit Force health tracker, but they're not sore muscles or an accelerated heart rate -- rather, they involve skin irritation around the wrist.

More than 10,000 people have reported skin irritation -- including redness, rashes, itchy and dry patches, and blistering -- from their Fitbit Force, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because of these issues, the CPSC posted Fitbit's official recall notice on its site on Wednesday. Now, all Force owners can get a full refund for their device.

The $129 Force, which is … Read more

Apple's hiring binge could point to more iPhone development

With a massive hiring binge in China and Taiwan, it looks like Apple is working to boost product production.

The tech giant has reportedly poached engineers from smartphone maker HTC and other companies to create new Apple teams in Shanghai and Taipei, according to The Wall Street Journal. It's said that the company now has more than 600 engineers and operations staff in China.

The Journal reports that the hiring push is due to Apple's focus on developing components for the iPhone and iPad, which could lead to more product releases more often.

"Apple is building an … Read more

Use to save interesting sentences on the Web

There are quite a few options for saving the content you read on the Web. The issue with many of them is that they can become overcomplicated in their attempts to help you. is a Web tool that will let you save just the sentences that really strike you as interesting.

To use the service, you will need to sign up on the Web site: Once you're signed in, just drag the provided bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar.

Now head off to read some of your favorite stuff online. See an interesting sentence you … Read more

Apple CEO Cook reiterates: New product categories in the works

Although Tim Cook has hinted in the past that Apple is looking at other product categories, the company's chief executive on Thursday left no doubt about his plans to look elsewhere.

"There will be new [product] categories," Cook told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Thursday. "We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff."

Cook went on to say that any "reasonable" person would expect Apple to be looking to break into other product categories.

There have been near-constant rumblings over the … Read more

Review: Coffitivity

Coffitivity loops coffee shop sounds to help those who work better with background noise.


Minimally invasive: Coffitivity resides in the upper menu bar and stays out of your way.

Volume control: Coffitivity's noise level can be controlled separately from your Mac's main system volume, so it doesn't underwhelm or overpower concurrently playing sounds.


Lack of music: It would be nice to have more variations, such as background music or cafe ambience from different regions of the world.

Bottom Line

Coffitivity's only purpose is to create ambient coffee shop sound, and it delivers. If you … Read more

Get the sounds you deserve with DJ Audio Editor

Most of us have a deep connection to our favorite music. While some are more laid back and take songs as they are, others like to tinker with their sounds. Not all of us can afford a professional recording studio, but now we can get all the tools we need in a quality mixer with DJ Audio Editor. This easy-to-use and well-organized music editing program will let you enjoy your favorite songs in ways, which you would never have imagined.

Manipulate audio files with tools that allow you to cut, join, trim, split, and mix audio files with a couple … Read more

Time-saving tips for the new year

Workers are more productive than ever. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "nonfarm business sector labor productivity" increased 3 percent in the third quarter of 2013 over the same period a year earlier.

Much of the increase in worker productivity can be attributed to technology. But as anyone who uses a computer at work can attest, technology giveth and technology taketh away.

These tips will help ensure you're on the positive side of the technology equation.

A 5-minute video that can save you hours Last spring, New York Times technology writer David Pogue gave … Read more

Networking and storage of 2013: Here are the great eight

The year is coming to an end, and of many products I've worked with during 2013, just a handful of them are really memorable because of a unique feature, function, or capability that each possesses. Note that these devices are not necessarily among the best of their type (though most of them are); they are just those I personally find most interesting.

I've listed each product below with the reason that makes each stand out from the pack. This list is sorted in the order in which they were reviewed, with the most recent on top.

WD Black 2 Dual DriveRead more

Keyboarding your iPad: Best keyboard cases

You don't need a keyboard for your iPad. But, if you're planning on an iPad being a laptop-replacing device, having one can come in very handy for getting writing done. I've played with a lot of keyboard accessories on the iPad, but these are my favorites.

Before the iPad Air, most cases would fit the second-, third-, and fourth-gen iPad models equally. That's no longer the case. So, having used several new solutions and written on each, I've broken my recommendations down into categories of iPad: Air, previous generations, and iPad Mini.

You could also, … Read more