Use What You Like!
This was originally written in September 2022 for the Hemispheric Newsletter as part of One Prime Plus for the Hemispheric Views podcast.
All too often, we get into these deep philosophically adjacent discussions about one app vs. another or that service vs. this one. The reality is that nothing in our daily life is one size fits all, and software/apps/services are no different. I have a like/dislike relationship with sharing “my setup” or “my workflow” online. I like the idea that my sharing will somehow lead someone to a better setup for their needs. The dislike comes from how unstable most of my setups are from month to month. Like many people, I genuinely enjoy trying different things and experimenting, but I will not stick with something simply because that is what I already set up. If alternate workflows form in my daily doings, I am ready to throw everything away and start over with different tools.
Two real-world examples
Example 1: Drafts
Here is an excellent example of what I am getting at. I wrote this blog post in May about Drafts workspaces and how I was capturing stuff on my Mac. Well, it’s September now, and very little of that is still how I operate. I have not been using Drafts for a couple of months, with Tot in its place. I spent more time on the curation and process than what was going into it. I have a nice flow with Tot and am very happy with how it has served my needs. So, is that blog post now worthless? I don’t think so; I believe it still provides value for that right person who comes along at the right time in their Drafts use. Fishing people will cast a bunch of nets in hopes of catching more; I do the same with software in a weird way, I guess.
Example 2: Things
I have used every task manager that has ever come out (and a lot that never actually launched). The one that I always came back to was Things. It seems like the best possible option for how I want to accomplish stuff. Guess what? Life changes over time, and so must the task list.
Task list shakeups generally occur for me when starting a new position or a completely different job entirely. The most recent change came with a new job in a new industry. The use of Things began to show holes very early. It was nice for me, but when it came to getting things in and out or collaborating, it was a bit on the siloed side. I then split my tasks between ‘personal’ and ‘work.’ Personal in Things and work in an Asana board. This setup worked ok, but I prefer everything in one place. I still maintain there is no “work-life balance” only “balance.”
I then began checking out all the apps again and landed on Todoist. It has both lists and Kaban-style boards, so I can tune things the way I want them. I also took this opportunity to simplify my task list organizational structure drastically. It was way too complicated to be maximally effective.
Let people like what they want! If we all used the same stuff, it would be very dull. Do I poke fun at Andrew for using every outliner under the sun simultaneously? Absolutely. Do I jab at Martin for using only stock first-party apps? Of course! That’s just friendly ribbing, and that is fully encouraged!
My Happy Browser Setup
My Happy Task Setup
Warning: Apps are subject to change without notice!