Gaining Experience

There are a lot of times where I seem to create good workflows or actions. They sometimes come out of nowhere, and really elevate some of my productive life. And sometimes I create them for friends based on their original ideas.

Recently, I was helping Seth work through an idea, and it turned into an awesome evolution clipboard management. There’s a lot of useful tips in there and new ways of using Drafts and Workflow, so go read it. Now. I’ll be here when you get backā€¦
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The Sum of the Parts

This summer opened my eyes to trying new things with task management. I had a great, wonderful system, and then split it in two. Then I tried Reminders instead, and loved it even more when I got my Apple Watch. And life as I knew it was going along just fine. Until something just felt off.

I couldn’t put my finger on it. I was accomplishing what I needed, and there wasn’t really a hole in my system. Life had just gone from chaotic to simplistic. And maybe that’s why things felt wrong. I can’t explain why, but it just didn’t feel right anymore. I’m sure it’s a bit of a sickness, but I have come to realize I need to have some complexity in my life.

So I started thinking of what to do next. Did I need to try a new system? I’ve tried OmniFocus, Things, Due, etc. and nothing really stuck, despite those apps being great in their own ways. I thought about what made the Reminders experiment so great: the simplicity. But yet, when I needed to look at everything going on, it was cumbersome at best. I tried to make something work, but it just felt wrong to me. So maybe it wasn’t a problem of the tools I have and what I’m using, but rather how I’m using them (or not).

And it’s led me to a strange, crazy place.
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Bifurcation

This summer has been a busy one. It seems like the time of year that things will always get busy for me. I'm currently working on a global launch of a product in four countries, and with all the little differences and nuances in each place, it has been difficult to keep track of all my tasks.

Which is why I love 2Do so much.

But this summer has been really different for me. Instead of one thing to focus on, I have a bunch more. More than I've ever had to keep straight. And it's made even further complicated by personal life stuff. So there's been a need to re-evaluate what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it. Luckily, I have some amazing friends, and one in particular that has had similar issues and feelings this summer.
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Trials and Experiments

There are many times with many things where I can be afraid to try something new. Trying something not in my comfort zone can be downright frightening. Other times, I’m plagued by the friction that comes from doing the new thing. But for all of the reasons not to do it, I still want to try them: I’m curious about new things, new possibilities, and wonder if there are better tools out there for me to use. And I’m easily distracted by new, shiny things.

Recently, tried using new task management apps.1 There have been updates to several apps, most notably Todoist and OmniFocus. I wanted to see what benefits they could offer me over my current app, 2Do. There was a huge group of people that really started loving 2Do on iOS. Many users switched over. But for many [private] reasons, there had been a slowdown in development. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t worry me a bit; after all, it’s one person doing the entire app.

So in this slowdown, I wanted to experiment to see what else was out there. The first point of friction was moving select things over; most apps don’t have easy ways of export/import. The second was the nomenclature: can often get lost with naming conventions until I have an equivalency to something that I know, something that is familiar. With those things out of the way, I could try doing things in a new way.
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