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Boards on Monday, Trello, and Airtable. To-do lists in Smartsheet, Microsoft OneNote, and Apple Notes. When it comes to project management software and tools, it seems like I’ve tried them all in search of the most helpful and effective aids for boosting my productivity levels at work.

But over the years, across various career roles and settings, I’ve discovered that while productivity tools and techniques can aid us in our attempts to be efficient and productive, they aren’t the bottom line in and of themselves. For anyone who loves planning software (like me), the shine of a new tool dulls quickly after a few uses or when the learning curve is steep.

The constant search for a perfect tool can be distracting, time-consuming, and stressful. Plus, an obsession with optimization (the feeling that we’re falling just short of an ideal life) often leads to burnout. It’s even possible to procrastinate under the guise of creating a digital planning toolkit, from downloading new software, exploring new features, and transferring data from one tool to the next.


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