Hello, and welcome to another episode from Productivity Matters; the podcast that aims to help you to be better at getting things done.
If you're a seasoned listener, then welcome back and if this is your first time here, then thank you - I always appreciate you choosing to download and listen to little ol' me!!
In today's episode... Do you find you are constantly changing the apps you use?
Are you always on the lookout for something else?
Did you know that this could actually be harming your efficiency?
I'll tell you why, coming up.
There are literally tons of applications and services available, all vying for your attention to download and use, offering a panacea to high productivity.
Many of them are very good, but there are also quite a few that don't cut the mustard!
As you are being wooed, through great marketing, brilliant website, and lots of promises; no doubt you'll be tempted to download them and give them a try. And maybe, in some cases, this will be OK.
BUT - if you're already using a particular tool, and you're not unhappy with it, then why change?
You know the app and you already have your workflow and processes set up.
When you change to a different app, you will, without question, reduce your efficiency, as you need to learn new ways of working. You need to build it into your processes and this takes time and effort. Time and effort that could be spent elsewhere.
Why take a chance on slowing down your productivity, when what you have works well for you?
For an example, let's take a task manager. In fact, let's use Todoist.
I use Todoist daily - every day, without fail. I have new tasks, repeating tasks, along with reminders and notes. I have notifications set up to prompt me when a task needs doing.
I have projects setup, with tags and filters all in place.
I know the shortcuts to use on my MacBook, making it quick and easy to add a task.
I have connected Todoist with my email client (in this case Spark Mail), so I can easily add emails to my list of tasks.
My workflow is in place and I'm using it, as far as I'm concerned, efficiently.
Now, let's say I'm intrigued by another app, and decide to take a closer look. Give it a proper assessment.
In order to do this, I need to learn the functionality.
So, I download the app and create a new account and login.
Now, in all fairness, many apps allow you to import from other places, so getting my existing tasks into the new app should be quite straight-forward - that's assuming that it can be done. Hopefully, I might have found that it's possible in the marketing blurb I've read.
However, that's just one part of the jigsaw.
Next I need to replicate the projects, add tags and, if possible, create the filters that I want.
This all takes time. Then, I discover that I can't actually integrate the app with my email client.
I can forward emails to the task manager, but not integrate directly.
In short; I've spent time and effort setting up an app.
I've spent time learning how to use it.
I've spent time evaluating how it works for me.
I wish I hadn't.
I've wasted time and energy making a change, for changes sake.
There has been no significant benefit.
Now, I accept this may seem extreme; but this sort of thing happens all the time.
I'm a very happy user of Evernote.
I have been for years.
Then along came Notion.
It seemed to be all things, to all men, and maybe it is.
But not for me.
I don't have the time, or inclination, to delve into the many available functions.
There's too much in it, and it needs time; a lot of time, to get to grips with it.
What's more, the task management feature isn't fully-fledged, and so doesn't meet my needs.
Don't get me wrong - I looked at Notion; I still have it installed on my iPhone, and I occasionally look at it, wondering.. what if??
And then I stop.
I use Evernote (with the web-clipper).
I use Todoist with recurring tasks.
I have my workflow set up how I like it.
Now - never say never. And if Notion, or another app, comes along and offers EVERYTHING that I need, then I'll take another look.
My point is, why upset the apple-cart, waste time learning new features and functions unless they give a material benefit?
Build a process. Use the apps for the purpose they're designed and make the most of each one.
I also took a look at OneNote - even imported some Evernote notes, to see how it worked. But, again, I just couldn't make it stick. I always reverted back. The same thing happened with Bear.
Don't get me wrong; these are great apps; but having already spent time (and in my case, years) with Evernote; I couldn't see myself changing.
Todoist does everything I need.
- Recurring tasks
- Projects, tags and filters
- Integration with my email client,
- Integration with Google Drive (Dropbox is available too), so I can attach files
and so much more.
Evernote - whilst it's the 'old dog' on the block, it is consistent. I've been using it since 2011. All my notes are there. It's the first place I go to create notes.
Drafts is another app I use a lot - sometimes it's easier to just open it and type, then worry about it later; and with the iOS version of the app, I can send text to the most appropriate app. Either to Evernote, or create a task in Todoist.
Of course, there will be times when you need to change apps.
The one you're using is about to disappear! Hopefully not!
Or, you genuinely have trouble using it.
That has happened to me, when a previous email client was causing continual problems.
I moved to Spark Mail and have been happy ever since.
Although, admittedly, changing email clients is much easier than changing a note-taking app or task manager; or any other app that requires set up and integration into a workflow.
My advice? Change apps as a last resort; unless you have time available to evaluate and risk your work flow.
Changing apps will slow you done and reduce your effectiveness and efficiency, at least, in the short-term; at worst, you'll have to spend time changing back again.
If you have a routine / workflow in place, and it works for you, then don't change it.
You know the adage; if it ain't broke, don't fix it?
This is the same thing.
Stick with what you know.
If you have any questions about anything I've mentioned, then please get in touch; details are in the show notes.
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Thank you very much for listening, and until next time remember, Productivity Matters.
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