The best way is the one that works best for you. That said, it’s quite amazing how little may be revealed as actually important when one stops doing things with which one is typically busy, and how much time there is to do nothing when you do, and how much doing nothing can be extremely pleasurable (and affordable).
Agree with the idea of simplicity … The article stressed difficulties in the corporate environment, my take anyway.
That’s not my situation. Never the less app creep is a persistent issue for me. Following the trail of what’s new or being directed by enthusiast reviews is one cause.
Yup. I do everything these days in Apple Notes. This with dark mode, shortcuts and reminders has eliminated virtually all productivity apps for me. I had dozens. Now use none.. I use it for outlining too with tables and so much more.
I can’t quite do that because I have large teams and many strategic initiatives so I use Asana for my professional projects. However, I use Reminders for personal projects. I have also streamlined my apps: Ulysses for all writing that does not need to be heavily formatted (I use Pages in such situations) including draft emails that I can, like Drafts, send immediately to Apple Mail without opening the app., Apple Notes for all notes, Google Docs when collaboration is essential in a doc., Keynote for slides (but I use relatively few slides at this point in presentations–I rely much more on storytelling) DevonThink as my master repository, Safari and Apple Calendar. I very seldom use any other productivity related apps at this point. Those apps cover virtually all of my professional and personal productivity needs.
I’m somewhat the same. I dumped so much into OF and it still is a big benefit for me. But I’ve recently found that using a simple scratch pad for the day’s tasks (as well as some things in OF) is actually kinda nice. Physically scratching things off as done is nice.
How much content do you have in Notes (# of notes, words, links etc.) & have you noticed any changes in performance as you’ve scaled up?
Few hundred. No changes and the new ocr search and folder features in iOS 13 work fine. Some notes are long too. I use shortcuts to back some of them up to text occasionally.
I am not sure I would even put Devonthink into the category of a “productivity” app. It is a personal document database with immense capacity and search features.
If your work or project involves creating or managing information on a specialized topic approaching gigabytes in size, there is no competition to Devonthink - it is the only app on either Mac or Windows that does this task anywhere near as well as Devonthink. That said, if you work on such a large information dataset, it is unlikely you do so on an iPad, nor is it practical to use the Devonthink iPad app to sync the entirety of such a database.
These are quite a few assumptions about what one would do and not.
Yep, I agree.
I have simplified my filing system just keeping one folder per client, with all their notes, files and other bits stored ithere. I also have a “Library” folder where I keep CMS plugins, notes, etc, as well as code snippets, app manuals, images etc etc,
I basically now use Sublime Text with Codekit, (currently evaluating BBEdit 13) Drafts for quick capture, OF and mail templates Omnifocus for task management, Marked for previewing md files and Pixelmator pro (highly underrated IMO) for image editing. Everything else is just done in stock Apple apps. For the small amount of video editing I get I find Lumafusion on the iPad just about perfect.
I have definitely simplified my system, siloing information in multiple similar apps was just getting out of hand for me.
This is a cheaper, less time consuming, and more useful hobby than, say, golf…
Yeah, this is a great theory. However, walking out of the office at 1:30 PM, telling your boss it’s all done and you’re off to the gym/golf course/pub/whatever isn’t going to go over well in corporations. Employers will still consider they pay you for time, not output.
When working for yourself, or possibly, working from home, this balance may be easier to strike.
While this is true it is basically a flaw in our working culture and I sincerely hope that this attitude will change in the future.
Nice points; truth is in my view and experience that what really happens overall is that less people are required to do the same amount of work. It is the automation paradox you might say. The issue is complicated though and pure ‘productivity’ doesn’t address it really, not these days anyway. In my own case I made several major streamlines in various capacities over the years. They just cost jobs in the long run though, at the same time, we are producing a lot more than we were. Too much some might say. I don’t see the central issues as lying with IT as such.
I’m one of those people who has collected a large number of apps over the years. A colleague just purchased an iPad Pro and asked for recommendations and I told him I was going to cost him lots of money. As I started looking through my long list of apps I really only found a very few that I would call “essential”. I’m now in the process of weeding others out.
As much as I like simple and effective, there are times when a specific application is a time saver or super useful.
There is a time and place for automation. I have never delved in to Workflow app. I am a huge fan of simple.
There is a point to keeping apps that are useful and using what you have. Balance is a beautiful thing.
I highly recommend the two books by Cal Newport: Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. I have read both and found them to be compelling. And, as many readers on this formal know, Cal is an MIT level computer scientist—he is no Luddite.
I like trying new apps, it is like a form of entertainment. But when it comes to doing my work (software development), I’m actually pretty conservative in allowing new tools into my workflow. My daily code editor is still vim, which is how many decades old? I know there are probably better tools, but since I mastered vim many years ago, I just don’t think it is worth switching at this point. Besides vi is installed on every unix server ever deployed.
Both books have my support as well. I found Deep Work very compelling.
I don’t think the number of tools you use have much to do with deep or shallow work with the exception of interruptive tools like chat. Digital minimalism has more to do with social media and your personal life.
Your job description drives the variety of tasks you do (which correlated to the number of apps you use) and also to the percentage of them that are best done in deep focus. The degree to which you defragment your work week affects task switching costs more than the tool you use for each task.
I am certainly for clearing out ineffective workflows and barely used tools, but if your job or organization isn’t changing any time soon, studying and mastering all those tools you use seems at least as viable a path to increased effectiveness. You might even become more certain about the limits of what you’re using and add something new.