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How to read more

In an average year, I read around 97 books. This year, my goal is to read 100. I often get asked how I get so much reading done and the answer is simple. I read all the time. And when I mean all the time, I mean many hours a day. To me, reading is the same as breathing. It is vital. In this blog post, I will share my best tips to help you read more. Pick the ones that work for you, and implement them today! Always carry a book with you The simplest way to make sure you read, a lot, is to always carry a book with you. Books can be bulky to carry, so I like to keep ebooks in my phone. With the Kindle app, ebooks are accessible on all your devices. Having a book handy at my fingertips mean that I can read in the subway, in line at the grocery store, waiting at the dentist, anywhere really. I know that I always have a good book with me and it helps me […]

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What I read this month – March edition

Another month has gone by! This one has been exceptionally good for reading! I’m now at 35 books read as of this morning, which means that I am 10 books in advance on my goal of reading 100 books this year! Amazing! Let’s dive into this month’s list! Oh She Glows Every Day A nice, healthy cookbook with gluten free and dairy free options. The images were gorgeous and I found a few recipes that I want to try soon! Gin: The Manual Now that I’m eating keto, I can’t drink those delicious craft beers that I liked so much. I’m turning to spirits and gin has been my go-to lately, along with whisky. This manual lists all the different types of gin, the history of this iconic drink and a few classic cocktails. I’ve been most interested in the different aromatic profiles of gin and it has made my tasting experience much richer. The Illustrated Walden This beautiful edition of the bicentennial classic Walden by Henry David Thoreau has been a charm to read. Illustrated with beautiful pictures of […]

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Life tracking : The apps I use

There’s a movement on the web called Quantified Self. The idea is to track different aspects of your life to measure your progress and hopefully improve over time. There are Quantified Self groups all over the internet, really, it’s a thing. With the rise of smart objects, there are now numerous apps and devices you can use to track your life. Here’s a list of the apps I personally use for life tracking. MyFitnessPal During my weight loss journey, MyFitnessPal has been very useful to track my weight, my daily calories and carb count, as well as my measurements, ketone production and much more. I pay for the premium version to have access to the macronutrient percentages at each meal, but I recently made the switch over to Carb Manager, a similar app geared towards the keto diet. The free version of MyFitnessPal should suffice if you only want to track your calories and weight. Renpho Smart Scale I recently switched from a standard scale to this smart Bluetooth body composition scale that tracks my weight, but also my fat […]

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The Waiting For list in the Bullet journal

One of the most used spread in my Bullet journal is my Waiting for list. I’ve been introduced to this idea in David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done as an essential part of the GTD methodology. When I got started using a Bullet journal, I quickly created this simple spread that has stuck ever since. This list is super simple. I keep track of what I’m waiting for, from whom, and keep track of when I’m expecting a response. Finally, I write down the date when I actually get what I’ve been waiting for. The Waiting For list helps you stay mindful of all the things that are pending because someone else needs to take action on something. By reviewing your list regularly, you are then able to follow up accordingly and make things happen. There are a number of ways that you can use to stay on top of your list. Start with a brain dump One thing that I suggest when first populating your list is to do a brain dump. Take a few minutes to reflect on […]

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What I read this month – February edition

Another month, another edition of what I read this month! Here’s all the books I’ve enjoyed during the month of February : 1. The 8th Habit After reading the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I wanted to dive deeper into the works of Steven Covey, one of the grandfathers of productivity. I did not get the same amazed feeling as reading the 7 habits. I felt that this one was more geared towards a business setting than personal development per se. Still, it contained a few wisdom nuggets. 2. Équilibrer le système hormonal grâce aux méthodes naturelles (French Edition)(Equilibrate the hormonal system with natural methods) I suspect that my adrenals are overworked, resulting in chronic insomnia since the holidays. Adrenal fatigue is a subject that has interested me a lot lately and I am in the process of going through some tests to diagnose my cortisol levels. An interesting read, focused on plants and natural remedies to improve hormonal function. 3. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life There’s a plethora of books on […]

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Embrace Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

In this day and age, our digital devices are more and more present and we spend more time on social media than ever. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘digital detox’, a term that’s becoming more popular these days because some of us are feeling overwhelmed by the hyperconnectedness of our time. The birth of a concept After releasing his book Deep Work, in which he advocates for focused, uninterrupted work free from distraction, author Cal Newport was flooded with questions from his readers. Deep Work is about professional life, but readers were searching for solutions in their personal lives. They communicated their overwhelm caused by the prevalence of technology and social media and their inability to free themselves from these many distractions. Newport, a digital hermit who decided not to partake in the social media craze, started to research our relationship with technology and came up with a solution : digital minimalism. In his brand new book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, Newport explores the consequences of the latest rise of technology and social […]

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A Miracle Morning Update

In July of 2014, I started practicing a morning ritual I heard of in a podcast. It immediately sticked. Turns out, hundreds, if not thousands of people were doing the same, waking up early and working on personal development every morning. This whole movement had a name, the Miracle Morning. (To learn more about it, read my first blog post on the topic here.) I practiced the Miracle Morning with devotion for 4 years straight. I loved it. I would start each day with a bit of meditation, which quickly improved my tolerance to stress, my overall wellbeing and my ability to focus. Avid reader as I am, I had more time to read each day now that I was up early. As a writer, the practice of journaling had a terrific impact on my craft and I was able to better reflect on what was happening to me at any time. Visualization and affirmations were not my strong suit, but I did it anyway. And exercising in the morning was perfect for me as, by the end of the […]

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What I read this month – January edition

I’m back with another edition of what I read this month! In 2018, I read 97 books, the same as 2017. In 2019, I want to crush my record and aim for 100 books! So far so good! 1. Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss, with 100+ Easy Low-Carb Recipes I’m always on the lookout for a good keto cookbook! If you’ve been following my weight loss story, I’ve lost 10 pounds in January. 2019 is off to a good start! 2. Dr. Berg’s New Body Type Guide: Get Healthy Lose Weight & Feel Great This book has been eye opening. It comes with a survey to determine your body type and suggests an appropriate diet for your body type. I learned a ton about hormones and their functions and opened up new ways to look at my health. 3. Three times a day, Tome 2 This is not a keto cookbook, but I like Marilou’s focus on clean ingredients. There are dairy free recipes, gluten free, nut free and they all look delish! 4. The […]

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Most popular blog posts of 2018

2018 has been an awesome year for Productive Happiness! I set an ambitious goal for myself to increase my readership by 250% and not only did I achieve that goal, but I surpassed it! All thanks to the awesome Bullet journal community as you’ll see in today’s list of the most popular articles published last year! 1. Getting Things Done in the Bullet Journal This comes as a surprise to me as it is the article that I promoted the least! It’s all about my use of the Getting Things Done methodology in conjunction with the Bullet journal. Popularized by David Allen, this productivity system is great when you have just the right tools! 2. How to Live a Level 10 Life The Level 10 Life is an assessment of your current life situation popularized by Hal Elrod in his seminal book The Miracle Morning. In this blog post, I share a free template that you can use to create your own Level 10 Life. It’s by far the most popular resource on my blog! 3. Different Bullet Journal Weekly […]

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My 2019 Bullet Journal Setup

2019 has just rolled around the corner. Time to set new goals for the blank canvas of this brand new year, time to choose our new resolutions. And time for a 2019 Bullet journal setup! Last year, after my journaling slump, I’ve decided to stick with a more minimalistic approach, which was reinforced when I read The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. Stripped down to its essence, the Bullet journal system is still elegant, yet very practical. You’ll see that my spreads are very simple, nothing fancy or elaborate, just pure function. Let’s dive in! The first thing I did before I setup my new year is to brainstorm what spreads I wanted to include. I drafted a simple list with things to include, and things that I’ve tried that I wanted to bring back. Here’s what it looked like. In the Bullet Journal Method, Ryder Carroll suggests to start a new notebook at the beginning of each year. I have to admit that, this year, I rebelled. My notebook was filled to a quarter only and it felt […]

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