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Author Topic: Fundamentals of Productivity: It's not Information Overload, it's Filter Failure  (Read 2263 times)

Paul Keith

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The video is old and isn't really talking about popularity but I just had an epiphany after viewing this and I thought: Why do systems rarely address this?


Software design-wise, I'm surprised how much I didn't notice the similarity between the success of productivity software and this statement.

It sounds so obvious. Some people will drop the slightest of productivity software if they can't have it on hand in mobile form. Most people will support and pay and praise commercial productivity software out of the sheer fact that the initial filtering mechanism matches with their world view and it doesn't matter how troublesome the system is for them.

Barring a new design that instantly cures their dilemma, they are more likely to push the square block into the round hole as long as the software/system continues to convince them that "it" works.

From a System PoV, it's not much of an epiphany especially for software developers. I mean you guys are the ones who meticulously track bugs and do all that monotonous complicated stuff.

You guys get it already that even a system that you're confident is 99% near stable can benefit from a bug tracker.

I'm not sure productivity systems developers get it so I'm listing it here.

Most importantly, I think it's a question to be fulfilled by groups within themselves.

I think to an extent, as open-endedly convenient modern productivity systems are, the popularity of GTD have cemented quite a few stable concepts.

Insert. Edit. Review. Almost all quality systems have that thought process now but there's no "Filter Failure" Mechanism.

It's IMO an important question that's noteworthy enough to be separated from the general "What if this system fails?" which can be commonly answered back with the equally generic "Always keep a backup of your blah-blah-blah contents outside of the new productivity system you're testing."

Mostly because it's an important step for the same reason specifying the steps of jotting down notes (even if that action is inherently accessible to us before someone told us to do it) was system altering to some.

The reality is, if a system fails without a filter failure mechanism, you're back to "trial and error" and back to giving up on the system or starting from a flawed starting point.

There's no standardized step within your system to allow the user to track and find out why they failed the system and without that, everytime someone fails your system, they're paralyzed and bogged down by the delay that it's almost a zero-sum game of whether you make the system fit you or die for a few hours/days/months.

Therefore this is an important next step in the development of productivity systems that might work better than the current systems.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 02:13:46 AM by Paul Keith »