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How I Work

November 24, 2020

This is honestly more for me than for anyone else…

At times, I feel like there are too many tools to do the job at hand.

We all have hundreds of apps on our phones, iPads, and laptops nowadays. These can be amazing tools to help us accomplish things at a much higher rate. But, they can also be distractions from the actual work we are trying to get done.

I don’t know how many times I’ve sat down because I needed to brain dump, or get something done, but instead of doing that, I end up spending 3 hours migrating my notes to a new platform.

I’ve used Bear, Apple Notes, Notion, Notability, Trello, Things, a physical notebook, and so much more.

The goal of this post is to outline what I use when, to reduce mental load when it’s time to actual do the work.

To be honest… I just spent 20 minutes looking through my old Notion setup because I was reminded of it while writing this… 🤦🏼‍♂️

It’s important that with all of this, we keep the mentality of outcomes > process.

The outcome is the most important part. But it is critical to ensure that you are evaluating the processes you have in place to ensure those outcomes are being achieved in the easiest possible way.

Alright, let’s get to it!

Below you will fine a list of some of the tools I use in different situations:

Bullet Journal

I use a physical bullet journal system for daily todo items. I still like the feeling of physically crossing something off of a list or filling in a bubble.


This is the best note taking app I have found for iPad. I enjoy writing down notes during meetings and creating quick todos.


This is a great app for a simple flexible todo list. I have this hooked up with Siri Reminders so I can say 'Hey Siri, remind me to blah' and it will add 'blah' to my Inbox in Things so I can sort it.

Apple Notes

I seem to use this when I have to jot something down quickly on my phone... I could more than likely use Things for this, but it seems easiest just to jot it down here.


There was a time I used Notion for big life planning. I have a really cool dashboard page setup that allows me to drill into key life areas. I feel like I could go deep into this rabbit hole and go all in on Notion. This app has a cult following that has produced some incredible workflows and examples.

I'm still not sold on it being a way to manage things I need to do. I more use it as a way to document where we are going.

All posts written by Jaymes Downer who is VP of Product at F&M. Follow him on Twitter or learn about his work history on LinkedIn

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