Jochem Kossen

Productivity apps

An app for personal to-do’s.
An app for work tasks.
An app for work notes.
An app for personal notes.
An app for reminders.
An app for calendar items.
An app for text editing.

I changed from Microsoft Todo to Todoist as well. Each has half of my tasks.

Where are those notes on the to-do item I should finish by tomorrow? You know, the to-do item I’m unable to find. I’m not sure whether it was for work, for personal or both.

This is the opposite of productive. I’m lost. Lost in the pile of apps I have accumulated. It’s like a forest but I cannot find the right tree.

No, that’s not right. Forests are beautiful. My app collection is a waste dump. That’s not what I want.

I want to plant a seed, water it, nurture it. See it grow into a big strong oak tree that will blossom. I’d care about that tree.

What if I would use one app? What if I’d write everything down in a text editor? I could use plain text! A list of tasks in a text file. Notes in a single file per note. A journal file for daily journaling. A folder for bigger projects. Could it be this simple?

I’d know where to find everything. I’d know where to add tasks. I’d know where to write notes.

As a side effect, plain text is malleable. Changing the structure is easy. It can be edited with every device available. It can be searched by every app. It can be encrypted easily. It does not depend on commercial “cloud” services.

Plain text won’t require new hardware, ever! It will survive longer than [fill in any commercial app]. And it will not annoy the heck out of me with notifications.

Like the oak tree. It will be beautiful.

I will need to take care of it. Visit it every day. Prune it at the right moments. Make sure it gets the right amount of water.

And who knows, perhaps one day, it will even give acorns!

I need to put in effort. But that will only make me care more about it.

I will still use a calendar app. Calendars are great for visualizing time, for scheduling, and for inviting other people.