It can be hard to find the right productivity tool. The good news is that with a new generation of DIY platforms, you don’t have to be a programmer to build a system that works for you. Here are a few things to consider before setting out. First, know the problem that you’re trying to solve. Your frustrations with your current tools are the best indicators of what you need, so jot those down. Then, if you find a tool that piques your interest, start using it on small tasks. You might have grand plans for an elaborate dashboard that will automate various parts of your work, but start with something easy, like a to-do list. Also, look for integrations with other important tools, such as your email client or phone apps that you regularly use. And be sure you have an escape plan. Because productivity tools come and go, make sure there is a way to export your work, and make a point of doing so regularly, if only as a backup.

This tip is adapted from “Create a Productivity Workflow That Works for You,” by Alexandra Samuel

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