From The Tips Box: Styluses, Distraction Timers, Evernote

From The Tips Box: Styluses, Distraction Timers, Evernote

Lifehacker readers offer their best tips for controlling your touchscreen with fruit, keeping distractions at bay, and getting better results with the Evernote Web Clipper.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Use a Grape Stem as an Impromptu Touch Screen Stylus

Gareth discovers a surprising everyday item that can be used as a stylus: a grape stem! Just pick off a piece and drag it along your phone to control it. Gareth notes that it seems to work with his Samsung phone, but not an iPhone, so your mileage may vary.

Use a Lamp Timer to Keep Online Distractions at Bay

Bryan cleverly keeps himself away from the ever-distracting internet:

I recently had the idea to plug my cable modem into a lamp timer and set dead times for the internet in my house. I’m working on my first novel at the moment, and found that every time I switched over to Chrome every time I faced a little resistance. So I decided to try unplugging the router, since simply disabling Wi-Fi only separated me from the ‘net by one click, but there were times when I’d either forget and make my girlfriend angry when she went to use it, or I would be sitting comfortably in my upstairs office and have to run back downstairs to turn it off. So by plugging our modem into a lamp timer, the internet is automatically off limits from 9 P.M. until Noon, and I don’t even have to think about it. That downtime has increased my productivity significantly.

More advanced timers allow you to set specific schedules too, so if you only write a few days a week, you can tailor modem dead time to your schedule on the days you need it. Some timers even come with surge protection and battery backups as well, allowing you to work in the event of a power failure.

Picture: Scott Hingst/Flickr

Use Print-Friendly Pages for Better Evernote Clips

Karloldreyes improves his Evernote clips:

I have a tip for a better way of using Evernote Web Clipper. I love this little gadget, except sometimes it doesn’t handle formatting or any other extra things like ads or flash very well. Plus, sometimes its hard to highlight exactly what you want. To circumvent this when trying to clip an article, try to see if the website has a printer friendly version of the article and clip that. This version usually has little to no formatting and other useless things you don’t want clipped like ads or comments.

Refresh F.lux When You Go On Holidays

Jeremy discovers a tiny trick to getting F.lux working properly:

I love using F.lux to dim my screen at night, but I realised this morning it was a little too dim in the morning and not getting dark enough at night. Turns out, it was because I was home for the holidays, and F.lux needs you to “refresh” your location when you go somewhere else. After going into its settings and pressing the location button, everything worked as it should.

Log in to comment on this story!