“The Tool You Use Isn’t Important”

July 3, 2022

“The tool you use isn’t important.”


If you want to be more productive and organized, you need the right tools. There isn’t just one tool that works, but there are plenty of tools that don’twork.

Consider a DIY analogy: let’s say you’re building an IKEA wardrobe. You need to put in a bunch of screws. You could use a screwdriver or an electric drill with a screwdriver bit. Both will do the job. There’s more than one “right” way to do it. A hammer will definitely not do the job, though.

Now imagine you’re a construction worker. You have to put in thousands of screws today. The screwdriver is a bad tool. Your wrist can’t handle it. You need the electric drill.

(Note: the hammer is still useless, even though it is a “construction tool”.)

Back to productivity…

To manage your lists of things you need/want to do, some tools are like hammers. These include your calendar and your email inbox. They are in same class of tools (i.e. productivity tools) but are meant for something else. Other tools are like screwdrivers: they work, but are often not ideal, like Apple Reminders and Post-Its.

Then we have tools like the electric drill. They are meant for long-term, professional use. Here we have task managers like Things 3 and OmniFocus.

That said, even task managers (like electric drills) come in budget and quality forms. Great task managers like Things 3 and OmniFocus will work for almost everyone. Average ones like Todoist might work for some people, but lack crucial features for professionals.

(Learn why Things and OmniFocus are better than apps like Todoist at whichtaskmanager.com)

The point is: it does matter which tool you use! Of course you have to do the work. But using the right tool is a necessary—just not sufficient— condition for productivity.

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