Life Hack

lifehacker

The term life hack refers to productivity tricks that programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data. The original definition of the term referred to utilities that filtered and processed data streams like email and RSS feeds. Examples of these types of life hacks might include utilities to synchronize files, track tasks, remind yourself of events or filter email. As the meme spread, the definition of the term expanded. Today, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way might be called a life hack. The term became popularized in the blogosphere and is primarily used by geeks who suffer from information overload or those with a playful curiosity in the ways they can accelerate their workflow.

The terms hack, hacking, and hacker have a long history of ambiguity in the computing and geek communities, particularly within the free and open source software crowds. However, in the context used here a ‘hack’ is a clever trick or stratagem. British technology journalist Danny O’Brien coined the term after polling a group of productive geeks on the details of their work processes. O’Brien discovered a pattern among these super-productive programmers: that they devised and used ’embarrassing’ scripts and shortcuts to get their work done.

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