Maybe you missed it, but there's been a slew of new productivity apps lately: Orchestra, Clear, Asana, and so many others. We haven't had this much productivity since David Allen coined GTD. So why the obsession with productivity apps?
- Email Overload - People are inundated with email. Most productivity apps today are really touting email connectivity, with the promise to help reduce the burden of growing email. Most are offering features around email forwarding. We're going to be seeing more of these email aggregators/hubs in the coming years, especially for niche markets. I could really see something like this for developers.
- Distractions - Work is piling up because there are too many distractions in our day to day. Between my Facebook alerts and Twitter stream, I am pretty flooded. Then add in the rss reader shoving thousands of headlines a day at me, throw in some random links here and there and 4 hours could be gone.
- Work Yields Work - All these tools we've got around us aren't just jockeying for our eyeballs though, some are actually helping us get more work done. But work is funny, it just yields more work. And the faster, more effective we are, the more work we find ourselves doing.
- Things Are Getting Too Technical - Things are getting very technical these days. We've been sinking in acronym soup for years now, and we are beginning to add a healthy dose of hardware with the rise of smartphones and tablet devices. In some ways the technical growth on these things are outpacing the learning curve, leaving many in the dust. We're so busy playing catch up with the latest and greatest technology that we barely have time to focus on the things we'd rather be doing.
- Keeping Up With The Jones' - When we aren't keeping up with the fastest processor or biggest display, we're keeping up with the latest design trends and entrpreneur cum celebrities. We've got to make sure our website has the hottest design, our clothes are the tightest and our gadgets are the latest. Maybe it's time to throw it all away and head back to the woods?
We are more connected than ever, which is awesome, but we should also remember that these pleasurable distractions are here to serve us, not the other way around. As artisans, creators and thinkers, it's our job to make the tools work for us.
Dev/Code/Hack is a technology and business blog by me, Par Trivedi. I'm a software engineer and I've been writing code and managing teams for over a decade. This blog serves as a way to share thoughts and ideas about the tech/startup community, and also to educate newcomers to software development.