Today, I wanted to give you a high-level look at what tools I use to organize my work and life and how I use them. The setup I’m about to show you is a product of 5 years of refinement. I still tweak some things, so there’s a high chance it will evolve further in the coming months.

Before we start, I wanted to mention that I’m deep into the Apple ecosystem. Some of the tools I’ll discuss might be Apple-specific, but I’m sure there are alternatives on other platforms. With that out of our way, let’s jump in!

High-level overview

My productivity system revolves around three key tools: Notes, Reminders, and Streaks. Each of these serves a unique purpose and works together in harmony. In the following sections, I’ll provide a brief overview of each tool and share some of the most effective ways I use them in my workflows.


For over a decade, I have relied on Apple’s Reminders app to keep track of my tasks. Although I’ve been curious about Todoist, I have yet to find a compelling reason to switch. In my Reminders workflow, I organize my tasks into four distinct lists:

I use four lists to group my TODO items:

  • General: This serves as the default list for all new reminders, many of which are created by Siri. I make sure that every item on this list is immediately actionable.
  • Remember: I use this list to store all items scheduled for the future that are not yet actionable. By keeping these items separate from my immediate to-do list, I can maintain a clear mind and focus on the tasks at hand.
  • Work: This list is a duplicate of the Remember list but exclusively for work-related tasks. I use it to manage my 9-5 job responsibilities.
  • Scheduled: This list contains all recurring reminders, such as daily, weekly, or yearly tasks. By keeping them in a separate list, I can easily track their progress and ensure that they are completed on time.


Linking my reminders to Shortcuts has vastly improved my day-to-day experience with the Reminders app. This integration allows for triggering shortcuts using URL schemas on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS (watchOS is not currently supported). You can learn more about it here . There are several instances where Shortcuts integration perfectly fits my workflow. Here are a few examples:

  • One of my daily reminders is to measure my weight in the morning. The linked Shortcut logs a sample for the Health app and marks the appropriate task in the Streaks app (more on that in the next section). The use-case is simple and saves me a few clicks every day.
  • Last year, I made meditation a daily habit. In this case, the shortcut starts a 20-minute timer, sets my Focus Mode to Do Not Disturb, and opens my daily session in my meditation app. Currently, I am using Waking Up , but all other major meditation apps also support shortcuts to some extent. Again, this shortcut is simple and saves me a few clicks. Starting my mindfulness session is always one click away! All other use cases follow the same pattern. As of now, I have eight recurring reminders that have a linked shortcut. Give it a try, it’s amazing!


Siri might not be the smartest voice assistant, but she does a great job scheduling reminders.

For me, there’s almost no time where I don’t wear my AirPods, or there is not HomePods around. Siri is available to me all the time. That’s why I started making a good use out of her.

There are a few most common scenarios

  • Adding unscheduled things, like groceries: I often notice that I’m running low on something while cooking. The easiest solution is to ask Siri to create reminder for me.

“Hey Siri, remind me to buy cereal.”

  • Adding scheduled items that need to be taken care of this day:

“Hey Siri, remind me to order X in 1 minute.” This way, when I’m back at my desk, I have my TODOs list ready.


Streaks app is one of my favorite pieces of software I use daily. It’s my first step when creating new habits, breaking bad ones or maintaining the good ones.

Streaks is the to-do list that helps you form good habits. Every day you complete a task, your streak is extended.

Most times, I maintain 12-18 habits. What I found to work the best is to keep a list of 12 TODOs and 6 TODONTs max. Anything else than that feels overwhelming. The time to complete for each streak varies. The shortest ones (e.g. “Take Meds”) take a few seconds, while others (e.g. “Practice LeetCode Challenges”) take up to 45 mins.


Notes are the final piece of the puzzle for me. I use them to store everything that doesn’t fit into Reminders or Streaks. I use them for daily plannings, weekly retorts, planning projects, storing information about things, and many others. In the following sections I’ll describe some of my most common use cases.

I won’t cover my high level system for organizing notes in this article. Maybe next time! I’ll say that I follow the PARA methodology. You can learn more about it in the Building a Second Brain book.


I’ve been a Bear Notes user for about three years. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done. Despite its quirks, I enjoy using it. If Was I starting today, I’d consider using Obsidian. It has some features I miss in Bear Notes, but it’s still far from getting me to move all my notes there.

Notion was never an option for me because of the proprietary file format. I like to keep my notes in Markdown.

Daily TODOs

That’s how I start my day. I have a note titled “✅ TODO ✅” where I put all my TODOs for the day. I usually split them into two sections: work-related and everything else. Here’s an example day:

## 16/02/2023
::Finished writing My Productivity Setup:: // 1-line summary of the day
// First section: work-related tasks
- [ ] Follow up with sam about missing translations
- [ ] Review open PRs

// Second section: everything else
- [ ] Finish writing My Productivity Setup
- [ ] Pay bills


For tasks that do not have a specific deadline, I maintain a separate note titled “Task Backlog.” It contains two sections where I group all the tasks that I might consider doing in the future. From past experience, I know that many of these tasks remain incomplete. To avoid clutter, I purge this list every few months.


A few years ago, I began conducting yearly retrospectives where I would summarize the past year in a few paragraphs. These retrospectives helped me identify my biggest accomplishments, failures, and overall reflections on the past year. I found them to be a great way to assess my progress towards achieving my goals. However, I realized that more frequent retrospectives might be beneficial. With a yearly schedule, I often forgot about the goals I had set for myself. To address this, I now conduct weekly retrospectives that take no more than 15 minutes each Sunday. Here’s the note template that I use:

# 2023 7/52 // year and week number

## Top Priority

### Success factors

## Biggest Wins

## Last Week Reflection

Top Priority

Your weekly goal can be anything you want it to be. It can be a system or a specific objective. The only requirement is that it needs to be achievable within a week. If a given task cannot be completed within a week, I try to break it down into smaller assignments. Here are a couple of examples from previous weeks:

  • Dedicate four hours to a side-project
  • Write a book review for
  • Learn a new skill or take an online course

The possibilities are endless.

Success Factors


Success factors are the key elements or variables that contribute to achieving a desired outcome or goal. These factors can be internal or external to an individual, organization, or project, and may vary depending on the context and the specific goals being pursued.

Biggest Wins

As the name suggests, this section is dedicated to listing my most significant achievements from the past week.

Last Week Reflection

This section serves as a catch-all for my thoughts and experiences over the past week. I typically spend a few minutes jotting down everything that has been on my mind and then expand on those ideas. Personally, I find this exercise to be quite therapeutic.



That’s it! That’s the high level overview of my productivity setup.