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Productivity Intervention

Trey Heath

I have long known that I have a problem. 

I am, and have been for many years, a productivity addict. I read workflow books, listen to productivity podcasts and constantly think about how to change up my system. 

Where my habit really starts to become destructive is when I get to the application category. I love productivity apps. 

Several months ago, I read a random blog post asking why so many developers create ToDo apps. There is a simple answer — I buy all of them. 

Just in the last few months, I've purchased FoldingText and Clear, changed up my workflow in an attempt to adopt each system just to see how I liked it. 

But in the end, no matter the app, I always come back to my scorned lover, Omnifocus. 

I've recently been spending a lot of time thinking about my addiction to workflow shake ups when I came across this post from

I know, I know this sounds insane, but here goes the super gimmicky three steps I plan to help me better use my tools, increase my quality of life and improve my personal productivity:
Step 1. I’m going to take a good, long hard look at what I use and determine what’s working for me.
Step 2. I’m not going to change any of that.
Step 3. I’m going to take all that time that would be spent experimenting and use it to actually do stuff.

This post was the kick in the pants I needed to overhaul my anti-productive productivity habits. 

But in order to move forward, I need to confess why I always fall off the wagon. 

1. Even though I love Omnifocus and know it's always been the top performer for me, I continually get overwhelmed by it. 

2. I have a nerdy desire to run all of my projects through a text only system like FoldingText, Task Paper or NValt. 

3. Local apps are my preference, but I often need to collaborate with others on many different projects which doesn't jive with an app like Omnifocus. 

4. I love note pads and having something that exists on paper resonates with me. 

All of these things push me to scrap my perfectly efficient Omnifocus system and jump into something else. 

In the coming weeks, I plan on going over each point and how I've been able to satisfy each urge while still maintaining a great system.

The Daily folds

Trey Heath

Peter Kafka from All Things D:

While the app boasted lots of digital bells and whistles, in the end it was very much a general interest newspaper that seemed to be geared toward people who didn’t really like newspapers. You can’t make that work no matter what kind of platform it uses.

It will be an interesting discussion on why The Daily folded — content, technology or market? 

The Empty Place

Trey Heath

 J.D. Bentley on comparing his design job to the work of his blue collar relatives:

I used to take pride in this separation. I used to feel like I was living in the future and they were living in the past. I used to feel like I was the better prepared to earn a living and to make something of myself. I used to feel my skillset was more relevant.
I know better now. I’m the weakest link in a line of hardworking laborers.
My great grandfather built naval ships in Baltimore during World War II. He farmed this very land for most of his life. My grandfather was a machinist and a mechanic. My dad a truck driver and delivery man. My brother worked at the sawmill, then in a local bodyshop.
And I never had a real job a day in my life. I sat around making websites like a pussy.

There are so many amazing things in this piece, but this really stood out to me. As a Southerner, most of my family has made a living working their ass off using skills our society no longer sees as important. 

I relate to this in my own work as, no matter how successful I become, I will never have a "real job."