Towards better productivity

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The notion of stress-free productivity starts with off-loading what needs to get done from one's head, capturing everything that is necessary to track, remember, or take action on, into what Allen calls a bucket: a physical inbox, an email inbox, a tape recorder, a notebook, a PDA, a desktop, etc. The idea is to get everything out of one's head and into a collection device, ready for processing.

Wikipedia page for David Allen's book, Getting Things Done

It's not funny how difficult it is to get things done sometimes. The average person is balancing a lot of stuff: projects, task lists, notes, priorities, etc. and this happens with stuff at home, work, school, or whatever else you are involved with. One needs an easy way to keep track of these things in such a way that it's easy to come back to it when required.

Of course, there are probably a quarter of a million applications that let you do this, and each one is great in it's own right. However, in my opinion, none of these are usable. This is not because they're lacking features or anything of that sort. It's simply because of one big rule they seemed to have missed:

I don't want my productivity tool to come in the way of my productivity.

As obvious as this may sound, it's not addressed by most applications available today. You would think that it's 2010 and all that, and this should be simple to do, but it surprisingly isn't. I don't want to login/register, organize things in folders, or tag them or any of that stuff you think will be good for me. I know what's good for me, and just let me do what I want to. Sadly, almost no application lets you do this.

To design a better application, the thought process was to let one record anything they want to in the simplest possible way. Unfortunately, making something simple is one of the hardest things to do. In the words of E. F. Schumacher, Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. This is not to say I'm a courageous genius; far from it. I just totally agree with the quote. Especially in this context, it is necessary to make things simple, and I had to find a way to do it.

I've just put up the first rev of Yanta Notes, based on the the ideas I've outlined above. It's a über-simple notes taking application that does one job and does it well. There are several features in the application, and I think they rock, but I've put in some effort to make sure that the features don't come in the way of simply taking notes.

I personally am very happy with it. I've already found myself using it rather heavily. I think I've done a decent job of making things easy to use, but that's my opinion. I would really like your opinion about it. Please do tell me what you think of it.

How to use:

  1. Go to yantanotes.com.
  2. Create notes for yourself.

That's it. That's the manual. You don't need to worry about saving, logging in, registering, or any of that stuff. Just take down notes, and close the window when you are done. It's really that simple.

When you come back, the notes will be just as you left them.

The road ahead:

There's a ton of features I have in mind. However, I want to get this app out so that you can use it, and give me your feedback. Based on what you need, we can decide what features we should implement next. I want to keep this process completely open, so I've got a forum where you can voice your opinions. That said, even if I add a ton of features, I can assure you that I will never violate my own rule — Make the process of taking notes as simple as humanly possible.