Nowadays, most of us use multiple communication and project tracking solutions. This generates dozens, if not hundreds of daily notifications, often not very important. I work at Das Keyboard and I receive over 120 notifications a day, on my phone and my computer. This is a productivity killer. To remedy this, I configured the Das Keyboard Q software to light up keys on my RGB keyboard for notifications that matter to me. This way I can focus on my work knowing that my keyboard will tell me if something important comes up.
In this post, I would like to share how I configured my Das Keyboard Q to get rid of unnecessary notifications and boost my productivity.
First, I use my Das Keyboard Q to change colors to inform me of software development activities. Not clear enough? Let me explain.
We use Github to store our code, and Travis CI to test it. Stack Overflow replaces Google when we are looking for software development answers.
- Travis CI turns the
ENDkey green when the software builds pass, orange when the builds are in progress and red when the builds fail.
- Github will make my
Page Downkey blink red for every new notification (pull requests, issues, etc.)
- Any new message or response I receive on Stack Overflow will make my
Page Upkey blink in red
In addition, we maintain several websites – no need to say they need to be up at all times! So I monitor them like this:
- I use Montastic to monitor our websites. The Montastic applet turns my
PAUSEkey to green if everything is fine, and will make it blink red if any problem is reported.
- Server Ping, another Q applet, lights up the
F12keys to tell me if the URLs I monitor are up or down.
I also monitor the progress of my projects and watch for urgent emails:
- Trello lights up the
ESCkey every time an update is added to our project.
- Gmail turns the following keys to blue for all emails I don’t want to miss:
Bfor my manager on my professional email
Wfor my other boss – my wife – on my personal email
Tfor any member of the team
I also like to keep track of my computer’s activity:
- The CPU usage of my PC shows as a progress bar on the numeric keys from
9, with a color gradient from green to red
- The RAM usage lights my
~key with a color from green (0%) to red (100%)
Finally, I monitor some non-work related information that is important to me:
- As a triathlete, I like knowing the weather looks like in the next few days – my
F4keys give me a 4-day weather forecast in Austin. If there is a risk for a storm, I will plan to train indoor.)
- My family lives in France, so I also monitor the weather forecast there on my
- I follow stock tickers on my numpad, on keys from
- Because I’m sitting at my desk all day, I have set up a workout reminder that will prompt me to do a healthy workout break every hour. That could be as simple as moving around for a minute or two.
This is how I have configured my Das Keyboard Q (note that my stock portfolio is having a bad day…):
With this configuration, I can focus on my work and stop checking email and other project services so often. Productivity increases and I still get the most important notifications, but this time directly on my keyboard!
Learn more about the Das Keyboard Q Series.