When an App is Just an App

· technology

In today’s world of technology, it seems that there is an app for everything. When it comes to making our life easier and simpler, many apps promise to do just that. A word of caution though.

The quest for that perfect time saving app might take up more time and effort than you like to admit!

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You download an app to your phone. You learn how to use it. You google for tips. You use it for a day or two, maybe even a week. Then one day your phone is in the other room charging, so you scribble your to dos down on a post-it note. Maybe you stick the post-it onto your phone so you don’t forget to enter it later. I think you can see where this is going. Fast forward a few weeks to where you read about the latest time saving app that has kept it’s users sane and may even have saved a few lives. Aaaaand….hit repeat.

So what's a just-need-to-find-the-perfect-app type of person to do?

Well the first and most important thing is to come to terms with the fact that an app is just a tool. A new car is not going to teach you how to drive, driving lessons will teach you how to drive. And the best running shoes out there will not win a marathon for you, training for the marathon is what will make you win. Tools can help you be successful and can even be key (because a pair of uncomfortable shoes could lose that marathon for you). What is important is that that you work on your skills, and that you learn what works best for you.

Personally, no matter how many times I have tried to use an electronic to do list, I inevitably come back to pen and paper. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I like the satisfaction of crossing the item off. Maybe I just like the ritual of writing it down. (Hello bullet journal!) Maybe I like crumpling up that list and throwing it in the trash when it’s done. I will admit that I am a “latest and greatest” junkie, also known as the “maybe there is something better out there” addict. I have always been the early adopter and ready to download the beta version of pretty much anything. But what I have come to realize is that I usually come back to the basics and what really works for me. There is no right way to stay organized and focused.

Time- tested methods

Now, there are time-tested methods (methods are different than tools) that have been proved to be successful. For example, it is well known that writing down your goals will help you to achieve them, and I am pretty sure that this is a required chapter in every self-help book out there. But it really doesn’t matter HOW you document your goals. You can type them out on your 1990 word processor, you can make a mind-map, you can make a dream board, you can have them written on your bathroom mirror. You can even download an app. I know because while writing this post I googled “apps for setting goals” and had discovered at least 30 before I reminded myself that I was supposed to be writing this post.Yes, there are some great tools out there, and they will help you to be successful. But first, you must know what works for you, what makes you tick, what keeps you motivated and on track. This is the method or process. Once you find a method that works, stick with it. Hone that skill. If you want to be paper free spend a small amount of time researching and then pick an app to use. If you keep finding yourself going back to writing things down – now you know that paper free is not for you. I personally use a combination of paper and technology to keep me on track and I’ll write more about that later. In the meantime, learn what method works for you, then pick a tool (just one!) and then move on to checking things off your list!

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