I saw an interesting question asked by Tiago Forte, creator of the Building a Second Brain course:
"Do you know the way your mind works?"
I wasn't sure I could give a solid answer to this question, and wanted to explore it a little further. I decided to use this opportunity to try out the new Canvas feature inside of Obsidian.
Here's what I did:
I started by listing out each of the main productivity tools I use on a daily basis:
For each tool I listed out some key characteristics. I noticed a pattern between them as I did so: I use each of them to make some form of lists.
I thought about how I naturally write down notes, and the majority of the time it's in the form of a bulleted list. I can often reach a state of flow when I'm working with notes in this manner.
I do Sketchnoting inside of GoodNotes, and will often connect ideas using arrows. This suggests a flow between the ideas I'm capturing. In a sense, they're a visual way of creating the same kind of bulleted lists I make in my other tools.
My mind likes it when one idea flows into the next. I seem to like information presented in a linear manner.
Understanding this about myself is helpful when choosing the right productivity tools. If the tool allows me to create lists or flowcharts, then it has a good chance of working for me.
Struggling to find the right productivity tool? Start by thinking through how you most naturally record information. Do you like writing things in lists? Do you prefer stream of consciousness? Do you write things anywhere you feel like on the page? Do you sketch ideas out?
Knowing your natural preferences will help narrow your search for the right tools.
Here's some examples of tools in a few different categories to get you started: