Finding the Balance Point

There is a very fine balance point of maximum effectiveness between simplicity and complexity of systems. How much detail, how much cross-referencing, how much coding and categorizing is enough, without becoming too cumbersome? Most of what’s out there to help is grossly overbuilt. Once you realize that you only need to define your projects with the next actions on them and keep track of all that in a complete but simple set of lists, you won’t need to bother yourself with much else. You’re better off being a good carpenter with a simple, well-balanced hammer than a novice with a garage full of unused power tools.

– David Allen, David Allen Company Email Newsletter July 19, 2010

I started a pretty serious test-run this week of TaskPaper as my GTD app in place of OmniFocus, so reading this in David Allen’s email newsletter today could not have been more timely.  While it’s still too early for me to say for sure if I’m sticking with it, the allure of TaskPaper is exactly what David Allen talks about above.  It gives you exactly what you need, but nothing more.

Side note: The simple act of writing this short blog post has invoked a subconcious fear that Merlin Mann will come out of the woods running and screaming that I need to stop talking about switching productivity apps and do something meaningful.


  1. Anonymous

    Omnifocus got deleted in favour of Taskpaper for one very good reason. For me to get something done it needs to stay on that list befor my eyes everyday until it is ticked off.

    Omnifocus simply did far too good a job of hiding tasks in an interface. I found tasks which had passed their schedule date had a habit off disappearing off the radar all too easily.

    Taskpaper is wonderful, it syncs on all my devices in plaintext I can hack online if need be and it let’s me dip in and out of other lists I’m keeping next to my todo

  2. Ken Clark


    Thanks. I agree that TaskPaper is a terrific app. I used it for several months, and enjoyed it. I did eventually switch back to OmniFocus, but that is not a criticism of TaskPaper. OmniFocus was just the better app for my personal workflows. That said, I would wholeheartedly recommend TaskPaper. It fits a very different niche and mindset than OmniFocus and does work great.


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