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Productivity

How not to over-organize things

I was recently browsing around Ali Abdaal’s blog page. Since it is a perfect example of over-organization, suddenly, I came up with an idea for my today’s blog post. I have been following Ali’s blog and YouTube channel for a long time now, and he has inspired me for many good things when it comes to productivity. I like his work in general, but I want to talk about something a bit different in this post. I think Ali is exaggerating a bit when it comes to self-organization and productivity.

If you have been following Ali for some time, you might have seen his video on YouTube where he talks about his favorite apps in 2021. Well, I believe all of those apps, in one or another way, improve his productivity. There are apps for following blogs, reading e-books, to-do-list, calendars, and of course, a lot of different note-taking apps. He explains fairly well which app serves him for what purpose and how useful each one is.

Since Ali was the inspiration for today’s blog post, I just took him as an example. Yet, I have also seen many other people who tend to do similar actions with the idea of being more organized and productive. However, so many people prioritize more the activity of organizing things rather than focusing on finishing the actual work. By the way, I don’t think this is exactly the case with Ali, but he is still the perfect example.

My idea of not over-organizing things is keeping things somehow organized, but at the same time, simple and easily manageable. For example, Ali uses several different apps just for the purpose of taking notes. One app is dedicated to handwritten notes, and the other one is for notes from books, and one works very well with the Apple Watch, where he can dictate notes at any time. This sounds great, and this might be the way of simplicity for him. But for me, there is only the OneNote app. It has just enough features to cover all my needs, and it is good enough to keep things simple and manageable. Of course, this strategy does not apply only to notes, but generally in anything.

So my main take-away from this article is to stay organized in any case, but at the same time make sure you don’t spend too much time or money on things that you only think are useful. So now there is the question; how can you know what is suitable for you? Nowadays, there are reviews almost for anything out there. So my recommendation is to spend some time understanding the new tool that you want to adapt to your workflow before you take action. Be critical as much as you can and ask yourself many questions on how it can save you time and make you more productive. Finally, take a chance to test it for several days or weeks, and if at some point you realize it is not useful anymore, get rid of it as soon as possible.

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