An Open Love Letter to Complice
[disclaimer: Complice was created by my friend Malcolm Ocean, who I met in my first year residence at the University of Waterloo]
I came to you a jaded lover, burned by other “productivity” systems. Productivity was a mythical unicorn I was chasing. It eluded me and was only ever truly achieved by suave and cut-throat start-up kin. The other productivity systems (Astrid, Doit.IM, Google and Evernote) seemed as confused as I was about productivity, which came through in their treatment of me. They seemed like to-do lists attached to a calendar. But keeping track of what I wanted/had to do was never my problem. My problems lied in efficiency, work-life balance and most importantly progress. Was I actually growing as a person or if I was just remaining static?
And then there was the excuses. I am a prolific master of excuses. I can tell tales long enough to wrap themselves around my ankles, making me face-plant in the mud. The other productivity systems remained silent while I blabbered and spiraled away from what I wanted. They never cared about me in the first place.
But Complice, you knew me and loved me for my flaws. You set me up with another user so we could mutually encourage each other. We send our daily intentions and outcomes to each other via email. We meet in person at least once every four months to do a long-term review. Now, my excuses don't fall on deaf ears and I have an outside perspective on my growth. You gave me the LessWrong Study Hall where I could meet like-minded individuals and stay excited about my plans. You saw the problem with “Productivity for the sake of Productivity” and helped me maintain joy in my work.
Now, after almost a year with you, am I more productive? That’s hard to judge given no previous baseline measurement and a vague definition. However, I am more mindful of where my time is going and I love you for that. Here’s to another year of pomodoros, reviews and gaudily coloured goals.
If you try Complice and it doesn't work for you, please write about it. Malcolm and I would love to hear about failure modes. If it doesn't appeal to you in the first place, please reply to this post about why!