The Beauty of Simplicity


Photo by: Noah Kalina

Now Do This is bloody genius!

It’s a productivity tool that gives you exactly what you need (& nothing more): the task you should be working on right NOW.

I now have one window open to just this page. And when I start to browse around online aimlessly, I’ll see this window and be reminded to get back to work. I totally underestimated this trivial tool when I first saw it a few months ago…. until I started using it this week, and baby, it works!

Today, I accidentally discovered a mysterious “about” link in edit mode, clicked on it and discovered that the site was created by Jakob Lodwick and William Cotton. I was totally inspired when I saw Jakob’s extremely simple homepage with just the essential links – including a mention that he created Vimeo(!!!).

What can I say, brilliant people create brilliant things, time and time again. And each time I find someone brilliant, I become inspired and infused with creativity. Through Jakob’s page and his sites, I am completely inspired by the power and sheer beauty of simplicity.. that and a sweet balance of style, function and usability.

Who or what inspires you? Please do share!

My Daily Routine

… has been changed to something like this:

  1. Sit at the dining table for 10 minutes to plan my day
  2. Review tasks from various life categories
  3. MITs – Pick out the 3 most important items I want to get done today.
  4. Optional Tasks – Pick out additional tasks that would be nice to finish today, but are not the top 3.
  5. Transfer the MITs into NowDoThis (and give it a MIT label.)
  6. Transfer the optional tasks into a tab called “Bonus Tabs”
  7. Start with the first item on my MIT list.

This way, I’ll feel like a superstar when I am working on tasks from the Bonus list. It’s very self motivational!

Tips Using NowDoThis

(via NDT blog)

1. Create Tabs – by starting sections with @

ie. Starting a newline with @later followed by a task on each line, creates a tab called later that you can switch to. Coolios!

2. Firefox sidebar

  1. Bookmark NowDoThis.
  2. Choose “Organize Bookmarks” from the “Bookmarks” menu.
  3. Select the NowDoThis bookmark.
  4. Click “More”.
  5. Select “Load this bookmark in sidebar.”
  6. Restart browser – close all the windows and start again.

“it’s a constant reminder of what i need to be doing instead of messing about on the internet!” -gankit

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11 Responses (10 Comments, 1 Trackbacks ):


  1. 1

    Really impressed with NowDoThis, and thanks to the tabs, solves the problem of showing the next action for any given project – with the benefits of still only showing you one thing to do at any one time.

    One thing that might improve it (but detract from the simplicity)… the ability to access your list from any computer. I presume it saves your list in a cookie, so you can’t access a ‘saved’ list from any other computer than the one you created it on.

    For those who don’t want another PC window to flick to (or sidebar taking up space), to see what you should be focussing on, the method I’ve been using might help…

    Put each task on a post-it note (only one per note). Then place them on top of each other (so you can only see one – the upper – at any time). That’s the task to work on right now. Once you’re done, rip it off the top and have the satisfaction of scrunching it up and putting it in the bin (job well done). The next task is there to begin.

    With this method (and it would work with NowDoThis), if you get an interruption, it is either more important than the task you’re working on (in which case cover your upmost post-it task with the new one), or, it is less important (in which case write it on a post-it and insert it into the pile in the appropriate position according to priority).

    Hope this helps or inspires someone!

  2. 2

    MIT’s = Most Important Tasks?

    If you like NowDoThis I think you’ll also be a fan of ToDoist if you haven’t used it already, I don’t know how I could live without it. Or at least, as productively.


  3. 3

    I’ll check it out Glen!
    Thanks! So far, the interface for ToDoist looks a little complex at first glance. I’ll play around with it!

  4. 4

    I clicked on the link and it said, “Take a nap.” So I did. It sounded like good advice to me…productivity is overrated. :)

  5. 5

    I love simple reminder pages like NowDoThis. I prefer having a larger system, but I like using Jello Dashboard in Outlook for my GTD implementation for similar reasons: my MITs can be set to be tagged separately and easily brought up so I know exactly what needs to be done.

  6. 6

    Just checked out this site. Since I am having an extremely stressful day at work I decided to add “breathe” to my list. To see the word “breath” in black with a white background is very calming. I seriously feel my stress level do down just a tiny bit :)

    As for what inspires me…my home city of New York. I love walking around and being surrounded by so much history and diversity. As much as I love my peace and quiet there is something about being part of a city that never sleeps that is very powerful.

    Happy Tuesday :)

  7. 7

    Hey did you guys know that Tina Su is the next generation of star bloggers? Come check it out =D

  8. 8

    Sid Savara,

    If you’d like to try a larger system than NowDoThis, please take a look at my website I have a newer version ready for launch very soon, but you will get a idea how the existing site might help you.

  9. 9

    This is also a very simple site and can be profound. It isn’t a productivity tool, but you type in what you believe at the moment.

  10. 10

    Thanks for the link and the incredible posts.

    I love DoItNow. It’s like a tool for “The Cult of Done.” Check it out. This guy is awesome. I have the manifeto printed and on my wall:

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  1. How to Achieve Anything & The Beauty of Simplicity « the fuzzbyte - Jan 20 09
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