On Buying the Latest Productivity Gadget

There is always a new gadget or system on the market that advertises itself as the latest solution to a professional’s time management needs.

How is a busy professional to adopt new technologies as they are invented, popularized and released? Should he or she simply buy each new gadget to test it out, and see what happens?

Unfortunately, this is what many have done, which explains the abundance of gadgets that have ended up in so many people’s drawers. From Filofaxes to PDAs to digital voice recorders to Treos to Blackberries – they all promised greater productivity.

However, a gadget that is used by a Novice, without any understanding of the underlying structure of a time management system, is only destined to fail. In other words, whether they are using paper, PC, PDA or something as yet uninvented, they are subject to the same 11 elements outlined in 2Time. Underlying each and every professional’s attempt to manage time demands is a set of principles that cannot be escaped. A professional must still capture, empty, toss etc. regardless of what they happen to do it with.

Once users have done the 2Time work, it is much easier for them to see the exact need that a new gadget could fill. In fact, users of 2Time often define the need before knowing whether or not the tool exists or has been invented – such is their precise knowledge of their own habits.

It is far better for them to use the 2Time approach to define a development pathway for themselves. By so doing, they develop an extraordinary degree of self-awareness regarding the state of their own habits, and which of the 11 practices they hope to improve.

For example, a PDA can be bought for its use in

  • capturing
  • scheduling
  • listing
  • reviewing

and maybe other activities.

The choice of how to use the tool is entirely up to the user, who needs to make an enlightened design choice that is in keeping with their particular system.

In this way, their own system rather than the new tool, defines their habits and controls their productivity.