Review of Todoodlist

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Productivity is a strange thing. It seems the more interested in it we are, the less productive we become!

That’s because we can spend our time looking for tips, tools, gadgets and gizmos to be more productive, while losing sight of the fact that we’ve mistake the sign-post for the destination. The point isn’t to stay abreast of the latest that technology has to offer in the field of productivity. The real destination is to get things done.

Doing it with the least amount of hassle or overhead is a huge plus, because it will help us get even more done!

Nick Cernis, in his wonderful e-book (Todoodlist), proposes a simple, yet revolutionary solution:

A return to pen and paper.

Now, this might seem like an uncivilized perspective, but you don’t have to be a caveman to appreciate the benefits of Nick’s approach.

If you’re anything like me, then I would assume you have two ears and one mouth. But that’s besides the point..

You may have developed an unhealthy obsession with finding the right tool for the job (of being productive, that is). You’ve tried out several web apps and softwares to help you manage your projects and to-do lists, but you’re always in search of that missing feature, which none of the applications you’ve tried seems to have. And so, you continue your quest in search of the perfect app that matches your every need.

You might have even considered making your own web app to fill the productivity void in your life. But if you think about it, aren’t you getting a little distracted from what matters most? Shouldn’t you be spending your time doing stuff than working on a tool for doing stuff?

And that’s what’s at the heart of our productivity problem: we’re too obsessed with how to get work done than actually getting work done.

With pen and paper, the focus is more on getting your work done than tweaking your productivity system.

You don’t have to search for features. You simply create them!

You have complete flexibility in how you write your to-do lists, how much information you include and pretty much every little detail involved in keeping track of the things you need to get done.

Nick begins his book with a look at some of the unhealthy issues that have cropped up in our obsession with productivity (and, more specifically, technology), then goes on to propose a paper-based system, complete with calendar and offline tagging!

My advice to you isn’t to use Nick’s system, but to use it only for inspiration. If you believe that it’ll work for you then that’s great. Otherwise, create your own system that serves your own needs. What I found great about Todoodlist is that it broke the mental chains that tied me down to technology, and made me appreciate the power that comes with plain ol’ paper!

And this is the greatest value the e-book has to offer: You don’t have to stick to using technologically-advanced solutions. You don’t have to keep up with the latest gadgets. You simply want to get things done. Find the solution that works best for you. I know many people who prefer to think on paper, but choose to use computer-based solutions because they feel that’s what’s expected of them!

Paper can act as a text file, a whiteboard, a mind-mapping tool and a cup mat ALL at the same time! Beat that, Microsoft!

The top 3 benefits that come with reading Todoodlist (for me, anyways) are:

1- Entertainment: I find Nick’s sense of humor extremely funny. I kept forgetting that I was reading a book on productivity!

2- Breaking the unhealthy mindset: Todoodlist brings to our attention some important issues about our mindset that we need to change, namely our obsession with technology and complexity. Nick makes a great argument for embracing simplicity and adopting a mindset that places the true essence of productivity as its focus

3- Inspirational ideas: Like I said, you’re not obliged to follow Nick’s paper-based system to the letter. Use it to jolt ideas out of you for making the most use of a paper-based productivity system

If you would like to buy the e-book, click on the banner below, which will take you to Nick’s site…


Todoodlist – Technology is great. Pencils are better

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nosayba October 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Very nice review, Haider!
And honestly, I LOVED the idea behind the book!! I got so excited reading your post that I actually want to get up right now and GET SOME THINGS DONE..

TO-DO the TO-DO!

2 Haider October 18, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Thanks, Nosayba! :D

I’m very happy to hear my review had that effect on you. I tried to make it useful on its own, even if people don’t get the book.

Besides, I think you’ve celebrated “I don’t wanna do anything” day enough! :P

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