Who is this for? Those who fiddle and tinker to the point that all they’re doing is fiddling and tinkering…instead of actually doing.
It’s no secret that I’ve got a bit of a thing for testing out apps. Whether they are task management apps, notetaking apps, writing apps, email apps, or calendar apps, I tend to put many of them through the paces on a regular basis. Not everyone can do that without getting stuck tinkering or fiddling – and I fall prey to that roadblock now and again too. But ultimately I know what I’m expecting out of an app when I start to use it, which helps me decide on whether or not to keep them around.
Knowing what you want out of an app is critical, but knowing what you want to do with the app is even more so.
Take Evernote for example. It’s one of those apps that can do a whole lot, which is both its strength and its weakness. Its ubiquity allows it to be with you almost anywhere and anytime, but unless you use it intentionally then that ubiquity doesn’t really benefit you. When you start looking at an app like Evernote, you need to make a concrete decision on what you plan to use it for before you download it. How you come to that decision doesn’t really matter (I’d bet that reading sites like this one often shapes that decision), but you need to come to that decision in order to get the most out of the app from the onset. (By the way, here’s how I use Evernote.)
No matter what tool you’re using, you need to decide what you’re using it for before you add it to your workflow. Otherwise it won’t add to your effectiveness. Instead it will add friction – which is the nemesis of flow.