My Own Words Productivity

The siren songs of “perfect” and “ideal”

This morning, I caught myself in a familiar pattern. Dissatisfied with the way a particular system was working ( in this case: the way I make, process, and keep my notes ) and I was considering some familiar alternatives. I don’t want to get bogged down in the minutiae here, so I’ll save you the Evernote vs. DevonThink vs. Personal Brain vs. etc… vs etc… ┬ádiscussion.

The thing that struck me about this experience was the way I was feeling paralyzed by the lack of a perfect solution. Evernote has a great mobile solution, but I’m missing Markdown support. DevonThink is great … but I lose OCR of my photos. Personal Brain is gorgeous, but it integrates poorly with my file system…

The reality is: I very rarely take mobile notes. I don’t NEED Markdown, I just think it’s cool. I don’t take photos that need OCR except for a few times per year. I’m feeling anxiety because I can’t create a system that will anticipate every scenario or challenge.

The way out, of course, was keeping a foot in reality – admitting that I’m not a crazy mobile notes user, admitting that there are cool features of apps that I simply don’t use. What I need is a system that works for when I’m working, the 90% of the time I need and use my notes. Sure, I may have to resort to “barbaric” practices like transcribing handwritten notes. (The horror!) But if I can save myself several hours now, and make 90% of my work time more efficient, I should be satisfied and call it a win.

Will other geeks marvel at my system? Probably not. Will I be able to write an ebook about my system that works for everyone? Nope. But will I get back to work, back to my life? Absolutely.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.