Today was my last day at Tumblr.
I feel like I have tried every single app, software or digital tool on the market for productivity and todo lists, but I always end up going back to the tried and true pen and paper solution. This evening I came across this handwritten todo code that Word Notebooks adds as a guide to managed your lists.
Dots for bullet points, circles for high priority, one slash for in progress and a X for completed tasks. I might have to order a pack of the Swedish Camo notebooks.
Jason Fried, from Ignore Details Early On
[Y]ou know those days when you’re running around all day and doing stuff and talking to people and making calls and responding to emails and filling out paperwork and you get home and you‘re completely exhausted and you say to yourself, “What the hell did I actually get done today?”
Your Anti-Todo list has the answer.
If you’re part of a startup, I believe that your success might actually be defined by whether you are willing to be inconsistent. This means that actually changing your mind is not just a good trait as Jeff Bezos has mentioned, but “staying consistent” might actually be the reason your startup fails. I think this also probably applies to a much wider context than startups: I think your success might be determined by how willing you are to be inconsistent.
I’ve made the mistake of plunging headfirst into a business commitment that wasn’t fulfilling, spending more time trying to make it work than actually getting stuff done. I’ve felt red flags early on in a startup but waited nine months to listen to my intution. I’ve put off my own ideas to help others actualize their visions because it was less scary. — Amber Ray
If you can’t answer yes to all of the eight items on the list, it’s time to reevaluate the work you’re doing. Make something that you love.
Written by Amber Ray, go follow her on Tumblr.
In response to the glut and excess of todo applications, Jeff Atwood makes the case for ditching the list’s “soul-draining exercises in reductionism”.
Here’s my challenge. If you can’t wake up every day and, using your 100% original equipment God-given organic brain, come up with the three most important things you need to do that day – then you should seriously work on fixing that. I don’t mean install another app, or read more productivity blogs and books. You have to figure out what’s important to you and what motivates you; ask yourself why that stuff isn’t gnawing at you enough to make you get it done. Fix that.
For quite some time I have kept a simple, daily, mental (or sometimes handwritten) things to focus on list consisting of the three things that are priority for the day. If I start to get off track or tackle projects that are not a priority for that day it’s a good reminder to get back on track.
If I’m really honest I have to admit to being a habitual new book starter. My iPad is full of books that I start—and plan on finishing someday—only to find another one to read three chapters in. On a recent flight back from Dallas, I downloaded It Will Be Exhilarating by Studio Neat and read the whole thing from forward to acknowledgements during the short flight.
Although it is a fairly short book, it might be one of my recent favorites covering design, indie entrepreneurship, passion, and process.
“Make something because you feel invigorated when you work on it, and anxious when you don’t.”
First, second or serial entrepreneurs should take the time to read this article by Paul Stamatiou of Picplum. To often our entire process gets tripped up by focusing on the wrong things, letting our mood dictate our plans, or allowing indecisiveness creep in.
You can be so bad at so many things… and as long as you stay focused on how you’re providing value to your users and customers, and you have something that is unique and valuable… you get through all that stuff.- Mark Zuckerberg
From Zen Focus’ article Three Little Habits to Find Focus
The highly colorful and entertaining Draplin presents “The DDC 50 Point Plan to Ruin Yer Career”. Over 50 minutes he’ll take you through points covering No.6 Get out there and get dirty, No.15 Exhibit a little humility, No.40 Don’t worry about awards, No.43 Go pantless and No.50 Be thankful for everything.
Once you’re dealing with an app that has a dozen screens and hundreds of states, you can’t hold the whole product in your head like a poster. I noticed that our team was emailing around individual screens, talking about individual screens, and naming all the screens just to keep track. But we weren’t paying any attention to how the screens and features fit together.
We were thinking of the product as a set of screens. But there’s a problem with working this way: it’s not at all how people experience the product in real life. People use products in little flows that last anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. […]
A product is not a set of screens — it’s the stories those screens enable.
Don’t let your homepage or primary view of your app be like a great opening chapter to a novel followed by disconnected and boring rubbish. I think it’s time to look at my own process again and see what can be improved.
On a side note the Design Staff blog is a gold mine of a blog for designers, entrepreneurs and researchers.
Nearly all successful teams understand and value a design exploration approach to solving problems, but how do you productively critic designs when so many options are being explored regardless of job titles or seniority?
Design decisions should always be based on what’s appropriate for the task at hand. If you find your design is being beaten down, the best way to fight back is to counter with “Well, when would my design be appropriate?”. Conversely, before you take pleasure in destroying someone else’s hard work, first make sure that you can answer “When is this solution great?”. […]
Lastly, always remember the golden rule of critique: don’t be a dick.
Read the full post from Intercom and check out their slick new “customer relationship management and messaging tool for web app owners”.
Scott Belsky, Behance
All five of these habits are easy to pick up but will squeeze out every bit of your effectiveness. The first negative habit really stands out, and I have to constantly remind myself to create more than I consume.
Consuming more than you create
Effective people tend to create a lot of content. Content can mean a lot of things - but the rule is always the same, create more than you consume. Ineffective people, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time consuming the fruits of others’ labor. They are consumate lurkers.