Pick a tool and stick with it

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One of the most common productivity challenges is finding a tool to keep track of all the miscellaneous documents and information you gather on a daily basis. There are solutions such as OneNote, Google Drive, Evernote, and many others but nothing that is the end-all, be-all. Here’s my recommendation. Whatever your choice, and this choice comes from looking carefully at the tools and how they work for you (not the other way around), pick one and stick to it. There is nothing that will derail your personal productivity than having to track down that document or electronic receipt you need right now and not remembering what tool you put it in. I experienced that very problem recently looking for an eyeglass prescription and for the life of me wasted almost 15 minutes trying to figure out what system I loaded it into a year ago. If you’re going to switch between tools, make sure you either move everything or put references in your new tool as to what you left behind. What ultimately saved me was the search functionality in Google Drive (text search of an image no less). Could this be done in other tools? Absolutely. I go back to the core of this post…it’s less a matter of choosing the right tool and more a matter of choosing a tool you can trust. Tags, filters, categorization, notebooks, searching…they all are factors in being able to find what you stored. Think about how you use the information and how you will go looking for it months from now when you need it immediately. Efficiency is all about having what you need, when you need it, to do what is necessary.