Back in 2006, one of the first posts on this blog was about digital tools (here is the post). As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I started this blog was to document my journey in the digital world, while trying various new experiences, from implementing productivity techniques like “Getting Things Done”, up to incorporating a raw food diet, or starting to run.
It’s almost 10 years since I wrote that blog post, so I thought it will be worth to see what happened since then in my world of digital tools.
I still use an iPhone as the immediate tool for communication and for responding to alerts. Obviously, the primary use is as a voice communication device, but it also serves as a good sentinel for various signals I may get on other (digital) channels.
It’s important to note that I drastically reduced the notifications I get from it. I don’t use the instant messenger notification anymore (being it Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp). I just check the apps from time to time, to see if there’s something for me. It became very silent and I like it so much more like this.
Also, I use the iPhone as the primary tool for task and project management (see below, the iAdd app).
I am still a Mac fan. Not an addict anymore, because a lot has changed in the world of personal computing in the last 9 years, but a loyal fan. I use my Mac for pretty much everything that has to do with content creation: from writing blog posts like this one, to recording audio or video (by the way, you should check out my YouTube channel Dragos Roua and my Gumroad profile, if you want to stay updated with these parts of my work).
I also use it as my main business tool, from where I create, process and archive almost all my business interactions.
A few years ago I had to admit I fell off the GTD wagon. At that moment, I began to create my own productivity technique. If you follow my blog regularly, you know that productivity technique, it’s called “ADD”. It comes from “Assess, Decide, Do”. I even wrote my own iOS app for this (an app which is available on the AppStore, if you’re curious).
I use iAdd as the first insertion point for important tasks or projects. That would cover meetings, small, regular projects like my morning routine, or my ultramarathon trainings, or simple errands. Whatever is more complex than that gets a new treatment, being included in my Mac Journal (see below).
I am also a long time user of Mac Journal and, over the years, I found a lot of uses for it. Of course, it serves very well its initial purpose, to be a good journaling application, but, beyond that, it became the place where I create and store my entire blogging activity and even my books.
Lately, I’ve been testing Mac Journal as a (very) slim task management client and it seems to do this job pretty well. It’s nothing fancy, just a list of stuff I had to do, written down every day, with the tasks already done eliminated for the next day.
I use it like this since I initiated the Connect Hub project, a year ago, because running such a business needs a different approach.
All in all, one of the best tools I use each and every day it’s the Internet in itself. I use it for communication (email and instant messaging), information (I don’t watch TV anymore for more than 4-5 years), for broadcasting value (this blog, or other channels, like YouTube) and even for daily business operations like invoicing and banking.
What Digital Tools Changed In 9 Years?
First of all, I use far less tools than before. I still remember the thrill of trying a new flavor of software every once in a while, in the search of the perfect feature versus complexity balance, but I’m not there anymore. I think this exhilaration gently consumed itself. I don’t regret that thrill.
Second, I see that I I’m heading towards simplification. I tend to bring many different types of tasks into the same tool, so to speak, such is the case with Mac Journal, which shows a lot of versatility in being a journaling app, a blogging app and a task manager app.
And third, I see that the entire internet made its place into the list of tools I use. That means it reached a certain level of maturity. Or, to be more precise, it means that I reached a certain level of maturity in how I group and process my actions around the internet 🙂
Nevertheless, I see that my digital tools are becoming less cluttered, simpler and easier.
Which is always nice 🙂
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.