After many years of searching for a good productivity tool, here’s a summary of what I’ve learned:
In the past few years, I have found 5 major contenders (yes there are many, many more options).-
- Pen and Paper
- Plain text file (including Todo.txt, TaskPaper, even Google Docs)
- Wunderlist (and Wunderkit)
- Asana (more geared towards group collaboration)
At this point, I’ve settled on Wunderlist based on the following:
- It’s simple to use (Wunderkit and Asana are fine, but they are more complicated, and do more things than I need or want).
- It works on multiple platforms. In particular both Mac and iPhone. It is also usable on the iPhone – easy to view and add tasks as required.
- It can schedule tasks. This is hugely beneficial as I have lists of tasks, and filter down what I need to do by scheduling things to do “today”.
- It syncs to the cloud. Mostly important so every device you use it up to date.
- It categorises tasks into lists. Actually, sub-lists would be nice, but this is good enough for now. A lot of people don’t like Wunderlist as they feel they have to have sub-lists. But do you really? They could be coming soon anyway, but I just hope the people at Wunderlist keep the product as simple as possible.
Really I find the following to be the key elements to using a productivity tool well:
- It is your sole method of task capture and it eliminates all other ways through convenience and ease of use.
- It is easy to access where ever and whenever required (largely helped by having it available on an iPhone or smartphone).
- It is reviewed regularly (daily checks and weekly reviews). This takes discipline and has little to do with the productivity tool. However any tool that can make this process simpler is always going to better.
So there you have. Of course, you need to find your own productivity system and tool. Results will vary, but these may be some options to consider. As always, time is better spent “doing” than “planning” with such systems. Once you have something in place, give it a decent go (months) before chopping and changing. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in an infinite productivity tool loop.