I’m a fan of productivity. I love having a system. What I mean by “system” is having an order to how I deal with all the inputs, thoughts, and attention grabbers that come at me everyday. How do you handle all those emails you get? Phone calls you receive? Interruptions at the door? If you don’t have a system for keeping track of everything life throws at you, things can quickly snowball in a negative direction.
It’s important to note that tools are just the means by which you implement your system. If you don’t have a system, its hard to maintain productivity. My system was developed out of the GTD system (or Getting Things Done) created by David Allen. While I’m not a copy-cat user, I have taken bits and pieces from his system to develop my own GTD system. The tools I use help me maintain that system. It is still a work in progress, but I can absolutely tell a difference in how productive I was before and after I began implementing my system.
My main tool is a software progam called THINGS. I chose this Mac software because of its easy-to-use interface, great search features, and great organizational structure. It’s simple yet intuitive. I have THINGS on my Mac, on my iPad, and on my iPhone, so its literally with me everywhere I go. I can sync within a wi-fi network so my inbox and project lists are almost always up-to-date. I go here to find my next action or project, and when I’m asking, “what should I do next?”
In conjuction with THINGS, I use EVERNOTE as a reference and notes tool. This is the place I drop any note or reference to any project that I’m working on, so I won’t forget it. This popular tool is so great because it works across virtually any platform (Mac, Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad, etc). Consider EVERNOTE a digital file cabinet that can hold almost anything you want!
I also use Google for my email, calendar, & docs application which keeps everything online and easy access from a lot of different devices. It’s important to note that while all of my tools are digital tools, that doesn’t mean if you aren’t a tech savvy person, you can’t be productive. All you need is a system to track what is taking up your attention. I’m curious…what does your system look like?