The story unfolds like this:
- Developers set out to tackle a problem and achieve success.
- They then move on to address another issue.
- Over time, they gradually lose focus as they attempt to solve an increasing number of problems.
- Eventually, they create a “one-size-fits-all” solution, convincing their users that it’s the answer to everything.
Now, I will share the tried-and-true technique I’ve discovered to be the best after decades of exploring various approaches.
Life continues to prove that this is the proper method, backed by concrete evidence:
- My productivity is at an all-time high, with tangible results.
- I attain these outcomes with a calm and peaceful mindset.
This, to me, is the epitome of a perfect productivity system.
Let’s see if this story can inspire you!
The First Step to Start Searching the Best Tools for Your Productivity System
The golden rule: stay specific.
Take a moment to examine your workflows and hone in on a straightforward and distinct aspect of them.
Here are a few examples to show what I mean by being specific:
- Information capture: Aim to be even more precise by differentiating between types of information, such as text, audio, or online articles.
- Task management: Focus on how you handle your personal tasks, setting aside those involving the rest of your team.
With your attention fixed on a clearly defined, specific part of your workflow, seek out apps that cater to that exact need.
What You Should Pay Attention to For Each App
Focus on understanding the core feature of any app.
Set aside the “add-ons.”
When a tool attempts to expand beyond its core feature, it begins to enter other apps’ territory.
This creates weaknesses, not only for the tool itself but also for its users.
At this point, the tool’s effectiveness suffers, as does the experience of users trying to use it for a purpose it wasn’t initially designed for.
A tool that aims to do everything ultimately accomplishes nothing.
I’ve experienced this firsthand, such as when I tried using Obsidian or Mem as my task manager.
Friction emerged, and that marked the beginning of decreased productivity.
Examples from My Own Life
I always choose specific tools.
That’s why I’m drawn to tools like 2Do, Things, Akiflow, or Sunsama.
They all focus on task micro-management, addressing how you handle your personal tasks in the realm of action.
They don’t overreach. They don’t attempt to facilitate collaboration or function as note-taking apps for meetings.
I’ll never forget what someone from Akiflow shared with me about their mission: “We want to become the best time-blocking tool in the market.” Period.
Clear, accurate, and straight to the point.
At the Paperless Movement®, we love to move from theory to practice.
Like you, we are business professionals striving to provide solutions that boost your productivity while saving you time.
That’s why we design and develop our own tools to simplify and expedite the process of building your personalized productivity system.
To support you with this theoretical approach, we created the ICOR® Framework.
The ICOR® Framework helps you examine the primary areas your productivity system should address and identify the best tools for each one.
This makes it easy to spot gaps or redundancies and streamline your search for specific tools tailored to your unique workflows.
The ICOR® Framework presents all possible combinations of four main areas that impact your productivity system.
First, we divide your world into:
- Personal: Tasks related solely to you.
- Business: Tasks that require collaboration with your team.
Next, we make another distinction:
- Action world (project and task management).
- Information world (knowledge management).
The ICOR® Framework displays all possible combinations of these four areas, allowing you to pinpoint the aspects that need attention without overlooking anything.
You’ll quickly notice what’s missing, what’s duplicated, and where you might be struggling.
Don’t hesitate to download the Miro ICOR® Framework template here and begin building your own productivity system with the finest tools available.
Study, comprehend, and identify the distinct features a tool provides.
Seek out specialists to address each aspect of your workflow.
Avoid all-in-one solutions, as they prevent you from utilizing specialized tools designed for specific functions.
Specialists are the key to unlocking your peak performance.
Your personal productivity system is simply a collection of specialized tools, each addressing a specific need, working in harmony like a finely tuned orchestra.
As a user, your goal is to maximize the core features of each tool.
Focus on those specific features and embrace them.
That’s how you can create a unique and exceptional productivity system. Your very own productivity system.