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Are productivity tools actually making us productive?

By Gabriel Marte Blanco posted Mon October 10, 2022 12:59 PM


"Productivity" or "getting things done efficiently" is a topic everyone talks about; from being productive at your workplace to getting things done around the house, we always talk or think about it in one way or another. With the rise of technology and innovation, productivity software and tools have increased in popularity in our everyday lives. However, the question remains: Are these tools actually making us more productive?

We always look for new to-do lists, note-taking apps, or even tools to read our books while doing other things. While it all sounds nice, I have often found that the productivity tools I've used have made me much less productive than I could be if I used a traditional notepad for taking notes and creating a to-do list. Sure, productivity tools can help us get our work done or help us automate some parts of our tasks. Still, they often add extra obstacles that might negatively affect our performance and make us unproductive. 

The first obstacle that comes to mind is searching for the right tool. Unfortunately, searching for "the best" tool is time-consuming as there are many "productivity" apps and tools, making it challenging to find and settle on the right one. For example, we might look for a cloud-based note-taking app or tool to keep our notes and ideas in one central place. However, when we look, we have Notion, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and more apps, leaving us with way too many to choose from, creating a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction.

The second obstacle is the learning curve. Many new productivity tools are too technically advanced and have many different features, making it complicated to learn and implement these tools in your everyday life quickly. Sometimes we install an app on our phones but never use it because we have to configure the features, add our email accounts, or just spend time learning what each feature does, making it less attractive.

The third and final obstacle is that productivity tools are not meant to do our work for us, yet we often think otherwise. We can have the best productivity tool for to-do lists, and it can remind us to do a job a thousand times, but the work won't get done unless we do it, as productivity tools are meant to help us get organized or automate small steps of a task, not complete the tasks for us. 

While these obstacles might only be apparent in our everyday lives, they are also present in our workplace. Some of the daily work tools make us way less productive as it takes a long time to get used to them. So, are productivity tools actually making us more productive? Well, it depends. It depends on how we choose to use them, how fast we can learn, and how we interact with them, and if we can do that quickly, then there is a high chance that they will make us more productive.

When looking for tools to integrate into everyday life, we should look for tools that are easy to learnset up, and interact with, like IBM's Watson Orchestrate and its digital workers, making you productive in just a few minutes.