Articles tagged with: apps

Too Many Apps and Not Enough Productivity

Time to declutter your apps and save your sanity.

Too Many Apps and Not Enough Productivity

Smartphones are so much more now than a simple tool to make a phone call. We have more computing power in our pocket now than NASA had in all those rooms full of servers used to send man to the moon. So, the big question is, what are we planning to use them for? Are they serving us well, or are we serving them?
I read a review online this week of a new smartphone. The reviewer said he would pay more for the device if it did NOT place phone calls! He felt we could be more efficient without the bother of talking to another person. That was a surprise! I doubt I will ever adopt this philosophy, but it shows how different we all are in what we expect from our devices and the apps we install on them.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked by clients when we work on digital organization is: “Is there an app for that?”

What about Inbox Zero?

What should I do now?

What about Inbox Zero?

While writing my upcoming book about Gmail, Taming the Digital Tiger, Gmail Edition. A Step -By-Step Guide to Tame Your Gmail Account in No Time Flat, I was asked about Merlin Mann, the Founder of 43 Folders, and his concept known as Inbox Zero. Inbox Zero created a sensation in 2007, when Merlin showcased this concept at Google Tech Talk.

With the Inbox Zero philosophy, you process the email in your inbox using a few actions instead of allowing it to accumulate in the inbox. You read it, assign an action to it, and move it out of the inbox based on that action (more on this in a minute.)

In 2007, our digital communications were predominantly email based.  For most, it meant the email assigned to us at work. Now, we all have multiple email addresses. In addition, we have apps like Slack, Telegram, Messenger, Signal, and Twitter DM’s. And let’s not forget, text messages and chat tools inside other productivity apps. All this new technology since 2007. We have more choices for communicating and more inboxes than ever. Do you use voice messages or video messages? More inboxes!


The big productivity killer in your vocabulary.

Stop shoulding and start doing.

The big productivity killer in your vocabulary.

What should I do?

This question often leads to a discussion of what is “best”, and where can I find the perfect tool?
You want to do the right thing, the best thing, the thing that will make someone else proud. How does it make you feel when you ask yourself, what should I do? When you ask what should I do, does it lead you to do something or not?

Psychologist Clayton Barbeau coined the term, “shoulding yourself” referring to the intense pressure to do something in a certain way based on what we think we “should do.” The word should causes you to do one of two things, you freeze unable to move forward or you run away and avoid the work altogether. Either way, you are not doing the work. When I work with clients, I see some big emotions attached to shoulding yourself, like fear, guilt, and shame. Fear of the consequences for not completing the task; guilt for falling behind; and shame for not asking for help in the beginning when you knew you needed help.

Is There an App for That? Here Are Some Questions to Ask First.

Is There an App for That?  Here Are Some Questions to Ask First.

“So, is there an app for that?”
Most likely the answer is yes, there are hundreds of tools that will all “do” what you are looking for: tasks, calendars, to-do, scanning, notetaking, photo editing and many other things. If you are like some of my clients, you can open the app store on your phone in seconds, and find all the apps that do, “that thing you want” just as quickly.
When I am asked this question, I ask, why? Why do you need another app? Maybe this is the perfect question, but often the better question to ask first is: “What tools do you already have that do the same thing.”