Don’t Put A Great Dane Into A Mini Cooper…

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Jonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart
Are you designing what you do based around how you work or are you trying to force yourself to work around a system?

When designing systems, people are quick to jump on the tools, and base the way they work on the features that they have. This is true with tools like Asana + Trello, where their strength is in the limitations of the app (because it's designed for a specific use case). This means people have crammed what they need into apps that don't support them.

This is because many course creators have made courses that are based around the tools in particularly Trello & Asana, and they use the best features of those tools, but it means you're reliant on those features- which can cause problems if you don't work in the same way.
You should design your system around you – not the tool. You're the one who works in it every day and if a tool dictates how you do things, the tool becomes the priority, not you. That's when you spend a lot of time just “adding more things” because the app is telling you about these additional features, without considering if they're best for you.

Then, as you understand more about how you work, you spend more time looking for hacks and workarounds to make a tool to work for you. This is true when the app owners’ priorities change or shift direction to focus on a particular niche or area and start adding features that just don't align with your needs.
A tool is just the vehicle you choose to drive in, and if you're trying to cram a Great Dane into an original Mini Cooper, you wouldn't take it to VW and say it's broken. It's just not designed for you and your needs.

You need to choose a tool that is the right size, and fit for you. It's great fun to test out the newest sensation, but just because it has shiny things you need to consider if it's the right vehicle for your daily needs.

A system is the way you work – so build your priorities around just that. You control the direction you drive in. Like you should be wary of relying on social media for your marketing, the same is said for what tools you choose to run your “productivity” system.

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