The current CEO of Microsoft (which caused a huge rise on the stock market) wrote a book called Hit Refresh. This post is a nice summer holiday post with linked resources for you to re-think your productivity and hit refresh yourself!

Let’s start with a 42 minute video from Scott Hanselman back in 2012 at WebStock. He is blogging for years and has more about productivity.

Webstock '12: Scott Hanselman - It's not what you read, it's what you ignore from Webstock on Vimeo.

Here are the books that I have read and recommend:

Pomodoro technique – schedule tasks in small blocks of x uninterrupted minutes

Hit Refresh – The book written by the CEO of Microsoft about their transition of the company

Deep work – A book guiding you to concentrate more

Getting things done – Title says it all. Prioritize tasks and create a system

4 Hour Workweek – Work smarter with these tips and life hacks

And the blogs that I have read:

http://sourcesofinsight.com/the-rule-of-3/ – pick 3 things to focus on. A bit like Warren Buffets advice

https://www.hanselman.com/blog/ScottHanselmansCompleteListOfProductivityTips.aspx – summary of the video from the start of this post.

With these sources I came up with my own subset of productivity tools/habits:

  1. Use Microsoft OneNote to collect data
  2. Use Microsoft To-Do on mobile and desktop to create your daily to-do
  3. Sync to paper to schedule Pomodoro’s
    • I have added the rule of 3 there but divided for personal and work goals


Here is my personal offline weekly sheet. You can download the Excel from my OneDrive account with this link:


Let me know if you have suggestions and what works for you.

Good luck!

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So my Surface pro 3 running the anniversary update and latest updates got hot. So hot that I got the white thermometer of death.

I borrowed this picture from this topic on Microsoft Community. I could not take my own picture, because I was too upset.

So I contacted the store where I bought the device and there has been a change with the return policy in the Netherlands. So I could not send it in for repair at the store. I had to contact Microsoft myself. After logging in with my Microsoft account I could register the issue without any issues. Microsoft mailed me an UPS label for the box and within a few days I got a mail with a trackingcode that a similar device was heading my way.

My SP3 was over 1,5 year old and like a lot of overheating sp3’s equiped with an i7 cpu.

Windows Store

Having a lot of applications in the store, made it easy for me to get back to work fast. Open live writer is now a store app too so that is nice! The only applications I had to download outside the store were:

  • Visual Studio
  • FileZilla
  • Skype (I know there is a preview uwp app in the anniversary update…)
  • Sql Server Management Studio
  • Office 365
  • Notepad++
  • Adobe cloud (and Photoshop)
  • Chrome
  • Firefox (and mozbackup)
  • Github for Windows
  • TeamViewer
  • Snip (office mix)


It would save me even more time if those were in the store. And if Visual Studio had some kind of installed extension restore option.

So I was supprised how fast and good the service for the surface is and how fast people can get back to work with all the latest software on Windows 10. Could be even faster if I would do a system restore. But I wanted a clean install with all the legacy sql, mvc, azure installers etc. Maybe it will be even faster in the future with using chocolatey or oneget and restore settings stored in the cloud (onedrive)


I hope this will cheer up people who have Surface heating issues. I was only a week without the surface.

Good luck!

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http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2010/09/24/1225928/839170-the-social-network.jpgAs a software developer, you need a headphone and music to get into the zone. If I have to explain what “the zone” is, you might consider skipping this blog. Mark Zuckerberg was in the zone in the movie the social network.

My current headphone is a on-ear Sony MDR-NC7 with active noise-cancelling. It was the cheapest noise-cancelling headphone and I wanted to check out if noise cancelling would work. So if you have a nice affordable suggestion for a new headphone (preferably with noise cancelling) please let me know in the comments below.

As a developer, you know how hard it can be. If you have an off day:

So here is a list of Spotify playlists for coders. Please feel free to share your spotify coding playlist in the comments!

  1. A soundtrack for coding, 9911 followers
  2. Coding programming hacking slashing – tracks I listen to while writing code, 2672 followers
  3. Chill coding musix, 2625 followers
  4. Music for programming, 1500 followers
  5. A soundtrack for coding: the 2am session, 1042 followers
  6. Coding tracks, 808 followers
  7. Coding music, 463 followers
  8. Coding for hackers, 386 followers
  9. Development on the beat, 348 followers

The “followers” data is from 21th of july 2014. I will try to keep this list up-to-date after each comment. Ow and please post a comment if you have a good affordable noise cancelling over-ear headphone tip!

Good luck coding/hacking/developing/programming!

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I have been interested in GTD (getting things done) for a while and have been using the Pomodoro technique for a while now. I am always looking for a good digital solution to manage my to-do lists. I have tried, Evernote, OneNote, ToDoIst, notepad, offline paper, Google keep (which is less mainstream, but does deserves it) and Google tasks. Matt Cutts recently blogged about his version and it made me reconsider my new tab page in Firefox (my main browser). I have the Speeddial add-on to have shortcuts like ALT+1 to go to tweakers.net etc. That gave me pinned sites on the new-tab which was awesome in FF4.0 (which is natively in firefox since version 22 or something). But as Matt points out, it might distract you and a to do list will force you to focus on the things to do. I have found on a blog that this url https://mail.google.com/tasks/canvas gives you your Google tasks full screen. In Firefox you can go to the famous about:config and search for “newtab” and change the url of browser.newtab.url to the previous mentioned tasks/canvas url.




The only downside to this is, that there is no native Google Tasks app for windows phone. http://www.windowsphone.com/nl-nl/store/app/gtasks/a56d575c-7253-e011-854c-00237de2db9e

and there is no way to have the OneNote tasks on the new tab page of Firefox. Perhaps having a blank page is better and opening a to-do list/application separately on the second screen. Let me know your 2cents.


Good luck!

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