Apps Won’t Solve Your Time Management And Productivity Issues.

Carl Pullein
5 min readJun 22, 2022

Over the last few weeks, an unusually large number of people have reached out to me asking for help sorting out backlogs, overwhelming task lists and massively double-booked calendars.

As I was helping to clear the decks, I realised there was a common denominator in most cases. The person had bought or downloaded an app and started using it without having a process.

Dumping all your tasks into a task manager and hoping by some miracle everything will be fine is not going to work. All that will do is give you a giant list of tasks — too many to do in one day, for sure.

If you are going to use a task manager to manage your tasks, you need a process or workflow in which the app will fit:

  • How would a task manager help you in your work and life?
  • What would you like it to show you daily?

Those are the fundamental questions. A task manager needs to show you what tasks you “should” be doing today and nothing else. Everything else is stowed away in holding pens such as; This Week, Next Week, This Month, and Long-Term and On-Hold. Anything you have decided does not need doing today can be hidden until its appointed day arrives.

Most task managers will do that, and at its very basic, a task manager needs to have the ability to set recurring dates, have folders or “projects”, and a dedicated Today view. But, again, most task managers will have these as standard features. This means it doesn’t matter what task manager you use as long as it ticks those boxes. Any additional features are unnecessary, which leads to a problem I see far too often with all productivity apps these days.

In the highly competitive productivity tool market, for an app to stand out, it requires two things. Something new to talk about and a YouTuber with a sufficient following to get people talking about it.

How many people started using Notion based on a video they saw on YouTube? Thousands, if not millions.

The issue here is all these additional features, while nice to have, do nothing to enhance your productivity or time management. Being more productive and better at managing your time has nothing to do with how many boards…

Carl Pullein

I help people learn to manage their lives and time better so they can experience joy and build a life they are truly proud of.