Being Productive


Hello and welcome to episode 15 of my Productivity Matters Podcast. 


What does being productive mean to you?  It’s all very well having some great apps to help you organise, but if they don't help you to actually be productive, then what's the point.


I’m Julian and on this episode I'm going to look what it actually means to be productive.


Coming up on Productivity Matters.

What is Productivity?

We need to get to the heart of productivity, if we're to understand how the tools and methods can help.


Productivity means different things to each of us; but one thing I think we can all agree on is that it’s the means to getting things done in the most efficient manner. 


It may be that the easiest way to do this is using good old-fashioned pen and paper.  A chart on the wall to track tasks.


However, as we know, and the main reason for this podcast, the tech world has been overtaken with software and apps to help you do something better.  Throughout business there are tons of methods designed to help navigate the swathes of red tape and challenges of project work. 


Tools

If you've heard previous episodes, then you’ll know that I’m a proponent of using the tools available. 


They’ve helped me to get organised and they should help you too. 


However, using apps is a habit forming process. Sometimes we actually need to remember that we have them; and with all the options available it can sometimes be easier to not bother. 


On the other hand. Do you actually need the app?


Does having an app make you more productive or does it, in reality, slow you down?  Until you have used the app or software for a while, it can seem to take longer to do something.


Consider you have a big task to complete.  Alongside it, there are smaller pieces of work that also need to get finished. 


What do you do first?


Well, and remember this is my opinion, what you should do is focus on that one big task.


The one that looks hard. Get it done and out of the way!


You’ll feel a great sense of achievement once it’s complete, knowing that, finally, you’ve got it done. 


Now you can work on all the smaller tasks.


Todoist


Let’s look at the apps that I use that help me. Now, these aren’t in a particular order, because what comes first? Is it the note-taking or the information?


I use Todoist for managing individual tasks. Now, admittedly, it took me some time to get into the habit; but now everything I need to do goes in there. 


There are quick entry methods to capture them and it takes little to no time to record what I need to do. I even forward emails to Todoist so the info is there.


In my Todoist, I have a number of projects; from work to personal and the Cubs group.  I have a project called ‘Routines’, which is broken further to Daily, Weekly and Monthly - this is for all the recurring tasks.  


Now that I’m in the habit, absolutely everything I need to do is entered, and it sits in the default ‘Inbox’ until I review them.  I have recurring task to review everything at the end of each day.  Whether that’s to prioritise them, categorise them or simply delete them, because they’re no longer relevant.


I use dates and reminders, so that I can stay on top of what needs to be done.


Evernote


Next, there’s Evernote. I’ve recorded a couple of podcasts about Evernote and it’s my number one choice for taking notes and capturing info for later use. I scan pretty much every official letter or document that comes through the post and I collate clippings from the web; using their Web Clipper; which is just brilliant.


It’s a terrific app for storing notes and thoughts and important information - instantly available. 


I can set reminders for notes, to pop-up at a certain time; and I have also created a Zap (through Zapier) that has that reminder appear in Todoist!


Email


Using a good email client will help manage the mail; I use Spark at the moment; on my phone and MacBook.  The Smart Inbox means I always have a Zero inbox - since I clear messages almost immediately.  


Then I use Fantastical 2 as my calendar; also on my phone and MacBook. I like the natural way that events can be created. 


Feedly and Pocket


For news I use Feedly and I use a recipe on IFTTT to add items to Pocket for reading later. 


Does that class as being productive? Well, it may not help to get things done, but it streamlines some of my workflow.


Thank You


And there you have it.  A quick look at some of the apps I use.  


Being productive to me means getting the best result in the most efficient way. The tools I’ve mentioned help me to do that. 


What does being productive mean to you? What motivates you to get things done? Get in touch via the Contact Me button at the top of the page.


I hope you’ve found this episode interesting.


Don’t forget to subscribe where you normally listen to your podcasts and until next time, remember, Productivity Matters. 

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