Make better decisions/Gmail label tip/One helpful idea


Recomendo: issue no. 294

Ten science-backed ways to make better decisions
If you’re facing a tough decision and can’t make up your mind, try some of the 10 pieces of advice from this 2007 New Scientist article. One tip I found especially interesting: “researchers found that sad people took time to consider the various alternatives on offer, and ended up making the best choices.” My takeaway from that is to avoid making a major decision when I’m elated. — MF

Quickly apply labels in Gmail
It took me way too long to discover how to quickly apply labels in Gmail. I used to apply custom labels to emails by using the drop-down menu — usually one by one. Then I figured out that if you have your labels set to show in the left panel, you can drag and drop messages into them, or vice versa — I drag the labels into my emails as I go through my inbox. Here’s a how-to on using drag and drop in Gmail. — CD

One helpful idea sent weekly
I’m a big fan of Clearer Thinking and have recommended several of their tests and newsletter before, and Spencer Greenberg, the social scientist behind Clearer Thinking also has a weekly newsletter that I click on as soon as it hits. Each week, he sends out “One Helpful Idea” and it’s short and sweet and it makes me feel smart. This week’s helpful idea was:
Many have made the argument that trying not to think about something makes us think about it more. As proof, they say: “Try not to think about a white bear. Gotcha!” But the way to not think of a white bear is not to “not think about a white bear” — it’s to think about a red plum.
You can view all the past issues and subscribe here. — CD

Zipper pen and pencil case
I bought a Lihit Lab pencil and pen cases a couple of years ago and my daughters, who both like to sketch, were envious. I bought them each one of their own. It neatly stores up to 14 pens and has additional mesh pockets for erasers, sharpeners, and other small items. — MF

Puzzle room fun
I completed my third escape room this week and it is now my favorite group entertainment. Better than a concert, or going bowling. You enter a series of elaborately decorated rooms that are packed with puzzles that your group needs to collectively solve before going further. Collaboration is more important than genius. I find it tons of exhilarating fun. Most rooms take an hour to an hour-and-half. EscapeRoom is a directory of 6,000 escape rooms around the world, with summaries and prices, and where to find one near you. I am biased, but Palace Games in San Francisco are rated among the top 3 best escape rooms in the world, and are worth a trek to play them. — KK

Free stuff
On my browser I keep bookmarked the Free Stuff page on Craig’s List, set to my locale (Location > For Sale > Free). I look there first when I need something. Almost everything will pass through sooner or later — from vintage bath tubs to cardboard moving boxes to baltic plywood. Yours for the hauling. It’s best if you can give it a few weeks or more to find what you want. — KK

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 03/6/22

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