Ok, you totally can, but you can’t buy it all at once. You can’t have someone tell you all of the “right” apps to buy, go on a shopping spree and expect that your world is going to be any better for the experience.
Like anything worthwhile in life, a workflow that helps you do your best work is discovered, not merely purchased. A solid foundation is built not bought.
All too often, we expect our wallet and our technology to solve our problems. They can help a lot, but dramatically upping your game doesn’t come in a box, it doesn’t come in a device and, much as I hate to admit it, it doesn’t come in an app.
If you’re struggling to find something that works, stop looking for an all-in-one solution. Go one challenge at a time, examine the solutions and find an option that seems like it fits with the way you like to work while ensuring it plays well with other applications. The best approach that I’ve found is slowly adding in applications that focus on a few key areas of your workflow (i.e. OmniFocus for tasks, Fantastical for calendaring, Evernote for reference materials, Gmail and Mailplane for communication), learning as much as you can about them and attempting to blend them all into a holistic approach that is optimized around the way you do your best work.
You can and should look at what others are doing, just know that what works for them will probably not work for you, at least in its entirety. There may be aspects of what they do that fit, but chances are you won’t just be able to take what works for someone else and apply it to yourself. Most, if not all of my workflow is “stolen” from others like David Sparks, Merlin Mann, Gabe Weatherhead, Brett Terpstra and more. In fact the only parts of my own workflow that are original are the connections I’ve made between their best practices.
I wish there was a fast and easy way to apply a workflow to your life. I wish there was a silver bullet, but truth be told, once I really put my head down and started figuring out the best way to do my best work, it took far less time than jumping from one person or company’s all-encompassing solution to another.
How have you gone about creating your own workflow?