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Matt Ventre


10 Reasons I Was off NotePD for a While and Now I'm Back

Nothing bad, just the way it is sometimes.

[I used OpenAI's Dall-E 2 AI art generator for the title image]


    1. Making lists offline

    I made a lot of lists and did idea creation offline (whiteboard, paper, word processing doc, spreadsheet). Lots of these lists were so specific to a single personal event it almost made no sense to put them here (like when I'm coming up with 10 Fantastic Locations for a Dungeons & Dragons game I'm running, sometimes that's just in my notebook or trello). Do you want to see those kinds of lists? Maybe they'll help you design your game or your meeting or just make you think of a great fantastic place I made up.

    2. Laziness

    It happens to everybody. I just got lazy about making lists and flexing my idea muscle.

    3. Lack of Focus

    There was a period of on-ramping a few projects that took my focus away from idea making and into the work of managing clients and starting new business projects. Again, not an excuse, just the way it is.

    4. Summer

    It's been nice and I've been traveling. When I travel I use technology less so I usually list things in my notebook in my backpack. I could have transferred those here, but as long as I was making lists, that's the exercise, right? Maybe I should do both.

    5. Flaccid Idea Muscle

    It's like when you stop lifting weights after an injury or layoff. It takes a lot of effort to get back into it and maintain the habit again. Fortunately, I did not stop lifting weights. I just stopped making lists on and off. I'm here again. Happy to see you all, too.

    6. Got Too Comfortable

    When you get too comfortable, you think, "Hey, who needs new ideas, I got all this good stuff happening so those won't be necessary." Until the good stuff stops and you need the ideas to keep you going again. Don't get too comfortable like I did. I realized this NOW while things are going great so I don't have a double whammy of hard work when things start to go not so great.

    7. System Rehabilitation Process

    I've listed my system before, and during periods where my schedule gets chopped up or I'm focusing a lot on one thing too much vs. all others, the system breaks a little. It's designed to not totally shatter and leave me on the floor wondering what happened. So far, so good, but when the system does show cracks, sometimes those habits and processes fall off for a while. It's also design to be easy to start up and patch the processes back in again.

    8. Perceived Drop in Value

    Sometimes I don't know how much value these lists provide. When you doubt your value, you stop the press and pack it up. Never doubt your value. Even the silliest list might just make someone smile once on a day they're feeling down and that's enough for me. Every list can't be a million-maker machine.

    9. Lack of Energy

    Lists take brainpower. It's part of the reason you do this in the first place: working on any "muscle" requires energy. I just saw an article (haven't checked its accuracy) that says knowledge workers tire just as easily from brainpower usage than someone working in a more physically demanding job. Interesting if true! But when you're done analyzing and writing a bunch of complex strategies for a business, your brain doesn't want to do that list. Make it do it anyway.

    10. This one might seem petty, but I got too many emails from NotePD!

    I think I got desensitized to the product because my inbox was bombed with so many updates! And I have a filter running that categorizes them periodically for me so I can review them later. This is my fault for not tuning the email settings properly. Trust me: this is not a complaint about the product. This is my fault for not using the tools properly. NotePD makes it super easy to customize the frequency of emails and notifications. So, I just did that and I think I'll get the right amount of reminders and insight from all you great NotePD users.

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