In a number of forums I have seen questions about what is the best productivity system or app, particularly for adopting GTD.
There is no one single productivity system that works best for everyone. Some people prefer an electronic means and a good app so that everything is always available on all their devices. Others still prefer the pen and paper method so that they can record things instantly and because they find that writing by hand helps the thought process.
The key is to find what works for you and then to use it, not to spend too much time forever refining your set up in Evernote or searching for the latest app that is even better than the one you are on currently. They are a means to an end after all, not the end in themselves but can easily devour large amounts of your time without making you much more productive.
So find something that works for you and then just use it – to get things done.
I don’t think there is one app or method that suits 100% of situations. Maybe there is an app you prefer but is it always the same at your computer as when you only have your phone or tablet available and what if you are somewhere and only have a pen and note book. Actually I don’t think it’s too bad to have more than one capture mechanism as long as they all get routinely looked at during the capture part of your weekly review, so that nothing gets lost.
Getting things recording into your system quickly is important only so that things are not lost and you have the peace of mind of knowing that plus so that you have more time available for the doing part of the whole workflow process.
So if you are looking for the ideal GTD system / app then my guidelines are:
– There is no one ideal system, different people find different systems more intuitive and easy to get to grips with or suitable to how they are implementing GTD.
– The systems you adopt are driven often by the devices you have or where you intend to use them. No use selecting something that’s an iOS app if you have a BlackBerry or that is only available online on your PC browser if you want to use it on your iPad.
– Evernote is one of the more usable and flexible tools for many productivity systems including GTD and a system using Outlook and Evernote might be as close as it gets currently. At least both can be accessed on a wide variety of devices.
Perhaps I am waiting for the day when Microsoft add more GTD functions to Outlook as standard and perhaps increase the options of the task list, increase the power of the notes to be more like Evernote and perhaps make triaging your inbox faster and then it would be perfect.
Am I being too optimistic ?!
Until that day I’m sticking with an Outlook and Evernote combination. Although I might give GTDNext a try.