Too Many Apps

Too Many Apps
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Opinions Please

I find myself with too many apps and not knowing which is best for what. I obviously want to settle this issue. I own a residential remodeling company. I have been using Todoist for personal and some work tasks. Asana for work projects. Ulysses for notes. Ahhhhh! Too many apps.

What are your thoughts on using ASANA for all of these? I have also considered Informant but like the Kanban ability Asana has.

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Instead of looking at tools first, I recommend asking yourself a few questions:

1. What is your end goal?

In my experience, I end up using too many tools because I don’t have clarity on what I need to do in the first place. Remember, tools are a part of a system you’re building, and that system is made up of mindsets and processes you implement and use.

2. What approach are you going to use?

Are you using any methodology right now? GTD? Agile Results? Most Important Tasks?

You mention wanting to have a Kanban feature. Why is that?

Once you have your end-goal defined, then you can choose a method that can help you develop your system.

3. What features do you need?

After settling on a mindset to use toward a tool, then you can start picking the tools you need based upon the features of the tools that help your mindset.


A couple of specific questions:

  • Do you need to keep your personal and work tasks separate?
  • Are your projects pretty big that they warrant a separate tool to keep them in?
  • What kind of notes are you taking in Ulysses?
  • What would you hope to attain by moving them all into Asana?
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This has always been a sticking point for me. I either need my systems to be completely separate, or completely combined. Some tasks for X here and some there is when things start unravelling fast. Personally I’d recommend you try moving all your work things to Asana to start with, and see how you feel after a week or two.

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I’m more wary of buying the shiny new app when my current app works just fine. I was contemplating purchasing MindNode but then realized that I already have iThoughtsX. I was curious about getting Pixelmator Photo for iPad but Affinity Photos seems to working just fine. I don’t want to chase the shiny new toy only to realize that I already have an app for the specific function.

I imagine that we’d need to outline what goal we want to accomplish (writing, task management, photo processing) and then see if we already have an app that already does have that function.

I am also fatigued from buying the iPad version of an app as well as the Mac version of the same app.

I do very little graphic work. In my case, I’m content to have Affinity Designer and Affinity Photos on my iPad and sync with iCloud Drive to bring it back to my Mac. I don’t do enough graphic work to want it on both platforms.

However, I am a heavy OmniFocus user. So I’m OK with buying both the Mac and iOS versions. My life depends on it and I’m OK with a double purchase. If my job changed and I needed the desktop versions of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, I would pop for that too.

I do like using Asana or Todoist for work projects and using OmniFocus for my personal single one-off tasks and repeating tasks. It helps to delineate between the two areas of my life. I wouldn’t move my entire life to one task app without testing it first with a small handful of projects.

Try your experiment and tell us what you’ve done in a few weeks :wink:

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Are you using Asana with other people or creating artificial barriers in between your personal and professional tasks? If it’s the former, I don’t see a problem with continuing o use multiple apps. If it’s the latter–which is the situation I’ve been in for the last few months–pruning things might be useful.

I like what Justin recommended in a recent episode of Process: start with paper and graduate to increasingly complex task management systems from there. Even if that doesn’ end up changing anything about your current setup, at least it will give you clarity about why you chose the tools you chose, which is often enough to help ease the fear of missing out if you aren’t using different tools.

Also, “too many” is a personal measurement. There are people who think managing notes, tasks, and reference material in a single program like TextEdit is the way to go. Other people can use Agenda, Bear, and Keep It side-by-side even though they all serve very similar functions. You have to decide for yourself how many apps is too many and then adjust your system accordingly

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