I’m quitting Things 3 (for a month)

January 4, 2022

Hi there. Happy new year!

I hope you achieved most, if not all, of your 2021 goals. And I hope you’ll achieve even more of them in 2022.

I achieved quite a few of my own goals last year and I am looking forward to working on my new goals.

One of my goals is to have a fantastic home office that doubles as a recording studio. My girlfriend and I moved into a new apartment just a few days ago, so I did start setting up a new office/studio. It needs a little work though—here’s what it looks like right now, as I’m writing.

(What a hideous lamp the previous occupant left behind…)

Anyway, I have some news for you.

I’m quitting Things 3.

Gasp!

Okay, okay, it’s just for a month. Well, for at least a month.

See, I love to experiment. In these newsletters, in my courses, and in my YouTube videos, I preach trial and error. When it comes to productivity, you should put on your scientist’s hat and test what works.

Some productivity tools and techniques will help you get more of your important work done. Others won’t. And you won’t really know which is which until you try it.

So, in the spirit of experimentation, for the entire month of January 2022, I will be using a paper planner only. I will not be using Things 3 or OmniFocus or any other task manager. I will not be using a calendar app on my computer or on my phone. I will simply be using a paper planner for both task and time management.

(The particular paper planner I’m using is the Karst Stone 2022 Weekly Planner, but that’s not important.)

I have a few goals for this experiment:

  • Identify some ways that digital task management might be hurting my productivity
  • Appreciate digital task management better by going without it for a while
  • Understand what it’s like to use a paper planner so I can advice people who use one as their main task and/or time management tool
  • Have fun!

I will also be filming how it goes, so sometime in February you’ll be able to see how I fared. So far, after half a day of use, it’s been… interesting. I’m having to adjust to having very little space to write down my tasks.

Now, if you’re on the older side, you might be chuckling to yourself. “Here’s this relatively youngster”—I’m 32—“using technology I’ve used for decades!” But I haven’t used a paper planner since high school and I have a lot more things going on than I did back then.

So let’s see how it goes.

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