I’m an organized particular person. I’ve to be. Writing is a deadline-oriented job, and I’ve the working reminiscence of an aged goldfish. Gone are the times once I might retailer a whole week’s value of occasions, deadlines, and schedules in my head. Now, all of that stuff must dwell someplace tangible.
The drawback is, there isn’t a single app that may deal with nearly all of my wants. By my rely, there are no less than 10 productiveness apps I exploit each day to operate — and so they all suck.
There’s Airtable for work initiatives so my editors can see what I’m engaged on — simply one of many undertaking administration apps I’ve utilized in my profession. There’s additionally been Basecamp, Asana, Trello, and in a single occasion, a rickety Excel sheet maintained by sweat and tears. They all do the identical factor — present a big-picture view of a crew’s initiatives, completion standing, and deadlines. And but none have ever been sufficient to be the only technique of sustaining an editorial calendar at any of the publications I’ve ever labored at. There are all the time supplementary Google Docs, spreadsheets, and Slack channels. I find yourself spending an excellent hour day-after-day replicating the identical workflows and data in several codecs.
Most undertaking administration software program additionally doesn’t embody a chic built-in each day to-do listing. This is bananas. No undertaking is ever completed in a single step. If I’m writing a narrative, there’s testing and analysis, then there’s images and artwork, then there’s the precise writing, adopted by a multistep enhancing and publishing course of. Airtable, Asana, Trello — they’re alright for exhibiting everybody my progress, however this isn’t the whole lot I’m answerable for. There are dozens of subtasks, emails, and calendar occasions that Airtable doesn’t deal with. That’s not gonna work for my goldfish mind. So I find yourself needing a to-do app.
That’s led me down a rabbit gap of making an attempt a number of of the 1000’s of to-do apps on the market. But regardless of which of them I’ve tried, they’ve, at most, 75 % of the options I want or need — which is how I ended up with not one, not two, not three, however 4 to-do apps.
There’s Focus To-Do for work and private errands. It’s a mashup of a Pomodoro timer and a to-do listing — which has been very important in serving to me shake off my pandemic-induced mind fog. Then there’s Todoist. While I really like Focus To-Do, the one factor it doesn’t do is let me create lists that aren’t time-based or combine with my e mail app. Hence, why I nonetheless use Todoist to cowl Focus To-Do and Airtable’s gaps.
You know what’s worse? None of those apps are useful for stock administration — each when it comes to managing my evaluation items and my pantry. They’re additionally ineffective at sustaining databases. That’s why I additionally use Notion, an app I’ve an intense love-hate relationship with. While Notion is extremely customizable and comes with a ton of premade templates, it’s bought a big studying curve. I spent 4 hours constructing a number of databases simply to maintain observe of my bylines, sources, product stock, working logs, check logs, and meal planning. It works fairly effectively, but it surely’s additionally a complete time suck to take care of as a result of lord is aware of I don’t have the willpower to determine easy methods to automate this factor.
Just a few months in the past, I bought so fed up with the whole lot, I ended up shopping for an old-school planner. Unlike utilizing myriad apps, I might hold all of this data in a single referenceable pocket book. But the issue with analog notebooks is that the data in them isn’t simply shareable with folks or collaborators. So as soon as once more, I ended up including one more productiveness software to my arsenal.
A singular productiveness software that works for everybody is a unicorn — stunning, excellent, and utterly fictional
This is simply the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into calendar apps, note-taking apps, video conferencing apps, transcription apps, or communication apps like Slack. (By the way in which, any time somebody creates a brand new Slack or Discord channel, part of my soul dies.) But the story is similar. I find yourself making an attempt a bunch of various apps looking for the One That Can Do It All, solely to accept the one I hate least that does 75–85 % of what I want.
I do know there isn’t a excellent resolution. A singular productiveness software that works for everybody is a unicorn — stunning, excellent, and utterly fictional. Still, there must be some form of center floor between an unachievable fantasy and the present panorama. I’d fortunately accept two, perhaps three apps. Honestly, lower than 10 is all I’m asking for.
Until then, my cellphone and laptop computer will probably be a cluttered mess of productiveness apps that solely do half their jobs.
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