How to do a productivity reset | Part 2 — Prune the Branches

Effective Faith
4 min readNov 19, 2023

In my previous post, I mentioned that any productivity system can become bloated and that the first step towards tidying all this up is to Kill the Bloat — getting rid of tasks as projects that are no longer needed. Today we move on to How to do a productivity reset | Part 2 — Prune the branches. This is where we move to cut back any parts of our system itself that are not needed, slowing us down and causing us to waste yet more precious time.

Prune the Branches — The Apps you Use

This is an essential part of keeping your productivity system efficient and tidy. There are so many reasons why we might end up with more apps than we need and this can be a killer for our efficiency and productivity.

Overgrown App Stacks

Some people are absolute purists when it comes to their app stacks. You are only allowed one notes app, one cloud storage service, one task manager etc etc. I am not such a purist but I do think there needs to be a very good reason to have more than one app in each type category.

Let me give you some examples of the ways the app branches get overgrown:

  1. You’ve always used Apple calendar. You’ve joined a sports team that organises everything in Google Calendar and your new job insists everyone uses outlook. You now events in 3 different calendar services which you use.
  2. You used Evernote for a long time but have decided to switch. You ported some notes across to Notion and did some stuff in there for a few months. You didn’t like it so now you use Obsidian. You still have an archive in Evernote and a few live projects still in Notion.
  3. You use UpNote for your notes but you’ve been using ClickUp Docs for projects.
  4. Most of your files are in Google Drive but you’ve got some stuff in Dropbox and some stuff in OneDrive.

Or, in a more generic sense, we are working with two apps for basically the same purpose. Both excel at different things and are incredibly weak in other ways so you continue to use both.

The more apps we have in our system, the more confusing it gets. More time needs to be spent maintaining it all. It increases…



Effective Faith

How to live effectively as a Christian in the 21st Century