I’m a very busy person. I run a business, work for an employer, attend grad school, and manage to find fleeting moments of fun and sanity with my friends socially. Needless to say, I have to develop hacks to push my quest to achieve my own version of work/life balance. My favorite hack to keep my calendar afloat was the calendar app Sunrise. Sunrise has the ability to sync multiple Google, Outlook, and social calendars with my desktop, tablet, or phone. Alas, Sunrise sailed off into the sunset this August and will be integrated into Outlook after Microsoft acquired the app in 2015. While many bloggers are contemplating app substitutes for our favorite calendar, they’re ignoring a larger, looming question.
What do you do when your productivity hack no longer works?
- Consider whether the app is part of a bigger idea or system. While I do think some of my clients like to “wing” their task management systems, I usually endorse and counsel my clients to use established systems. Getting Things Done is popular with my academics and businessmen. The Now Habit is the productivity bible for creatives, while my tech clients love agile methods like SCRUM and Kaban. The great thing about following established systems is that you can swap apps and software programs easily. For instance, Trello is based on the Kaban school of project management. If Trello was no longer available, you could simply switch programs and still use your system.
- Determine whether or not some of your programs have “loops” you can manipulate to your advantage. I use Toggl to track the time it takes for me to complete tasks. I choose calendar apps (Google Calendar) and task management software (Todoist) based on my ability to create a “loop integration” between platforms and programs.
- Use recipe hacks to find alternatives or connect your new platform or program. Zapier and IFTTT are popular web automation systems that allow you to send tasks, communications, or collaborate across platforms. Both websites will have alternative systems, apps, and software programs to use if your favorite hack is eliminated.