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Jan 12, 2023 by Aron Korenblit

Why the Problem Isn’t Your Tools–It’s You

Let’s start with a question I get a lot:

Which tool should I use? Asana, Trello or Airtable for project management? What about for event management? A CRM?

If you work in a company, this takes the shape of “why aren’t you using {insert tool that their team uses}”. On Twitter, it’s the constant debate between Notion, Obsidian, Roam, Logseq, Tana or whatever else is taking over the note-taking world.

You might think I have strongly held opinions here but I strongly believe that the tool you use literally does not matter.

What differentiates a good workflow (think content calendar/task manager/note taking etc.) from a bad one is whether you’re identifying what’s wrong with your workflow. And most importantly incrementally fixing it.

That is the only way your workflow will get better.

No amount of tool switching will ever fix your workflow for you. In fact, switching tools will make things worst!

If you’re wondering whether it’s your tool or you, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Can you share 5 workflow improvements you’ve identified and fixed in the last 5 weeks?
  • If I asked your stakeholders “What is the workflow to deliver XYZ?” would they all share a similar story? Could they chart it out independently?
  • Are your workflows documented for easy onboarding of new stakeholders?

If you answered YES to all of the questions above, then yes, maybe you’re hitting the limitations of your tool and should be looking at something else.

If you answered NO to everything above, the tool you’re using to manage your work isn’t the problem — you’re the problem. Switching tools won’t magically solve any of your problems. In fact, it’ll make things worst because you’ll end up with two problems: a janky frustrating workflow and a team that has to deal with the frustration of learning yet another tool.

Note: All of this is true unless you’re using spreadsheets. Spreadsheets suck, you should stop using for most workflows right now. Don’t @ me 😂.

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