How Business Author Jim Collins Rocks Apple Notes

In this Tim Ferriss podcast renown management guru / author Jim Collins explains how he uses Apple Notes and Reminders and spreadsheets to get a ton of stuff done. This encapsulates perfectly why I have sunset my once constant dabbling in productivity apps. I have standardized on the default Apple apps. For me, the built in solutions are simple and elegant and they just work. Plus they always work perfectly with Shortcuts and they will continue to be around. Also his use of spreadsheets for tracking productivity, which this episode and the prior one covers, is another outstanding system. Tons in here starting with this passage…

Jim Collins: I am a, and people in our little system here know this, I’m a fanatic for simplicity. I’m not always so good at it, but I’m a fanatic for simplicity. I don’t like really complicated—I’m sorry to app makers and all that. I apologize to you. So how do I keep my to-dos? I use the Notes app on my iPhone and which also carries over to my iPad. And I have two versions of it. There’s the beginning of every year you sit down and you do your sets of threes, right? Top three things to get done this year, write them down. Top three things to stop doing or reduce significantly this year. it has to balance. Three for three. And if you have more than three in your top set, you don’t have any priorities. Truly.



Never done a top three anything, any year. It’s a lot more interesting to wander through the year getting fascinated by whatever shows up than it is to make a list of three or nine or zero things that will just turn out to be kindling a day later.

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Looking forward to listening to this episode. His previous one, if I’m remembering correctly, was quite interesting.

I guess I’d respond that there’s a difference between dabbling in productivity apps and actually using them to save significant amounts of time. That’s especially the case for those of us who don’t employ other people to help us process and prioritize the details of our goals. Software can substitute for human information work.