Wow, this personal productivity thing is really catching on, isn’t it? Not too much of a surprise, I suppose. Today Thomas Weber, of the Wall Street Journal, has a nice write up of several Web-based productivity applications.
Along the way he makes a very good point I feel is worth mentioning:
Can a high-tech list help you accomplish more? I’ve been testing several in hopes of getting my own life better organized. I discovered some clever features and found that the shared-list capability works well for those who need it. But as with other organizational tools, from day-planner notebooks to PDAs, what you get out of these sites depends on how much you invest in their approach.
As with most the tools and processes we use to get more things done, be more productive and maintain a better work/life balance (which to me is the key to all this stuff) it only goes as far as you take it. All the tools and systems in the world won’t help you if you don’t put the necessary effort in, right?
I’ve been using Backpack and I’m growing more and more fond of it as I get in there and mold it to my working style. To be totally honest, at very first blush, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. But I applied myself to it and, after a slight learning/figuring-out curve, it opened up and quite a few useful ideas on how to use it popped into my head.
Now, after a few weeks of use, I’m finally reaping some rewards. But it was, by no means, instantaneous. Follow through and effort were needed, and more will be needed to get the most out of it. It’s like that with almost everything in life. At times I feel like all this productivity stuff could be just a placebo, and I imagine that, for some, it is. But then I remind myself that it’s up to me to make sure it works for me, and that no system and no tool, is going to help me on it’s own.
Remember that as you work (and it is work) to make yourself more productive, less stressed or whatever you’re in it for. Keep the goal in mind and put a little of your back into it.