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Apple: Simplicity is actually quite complicated

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  • Apple: Simplicity is actually quite complicated

    Says Apple:

    Simplicity is actually quite complicated

    Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.

    Very often, not least in forums such as this, when we talk about simplicity vs complexity, there tends to be a considerable lack of discrimination between whether it is the analysis that is difficult or whether it is the end result (e.g. a method or product) that will be difficult to actually use.

    We all want results fast, and want things to be simple (to use and live with), and we often tend to accept solutions that are "simpler than possible" in order to make it simple for us (to analyze and deliberate).

    There is a trade-off somewhere. Initial deliberation can eliminate a lot of unnecessary work and frustration at later stages (or for other people), but only up to a point. When the potential for simplifying the ongoing use of the end result (the method or product etc) has been exhausted we have almost certainly reached one of those points where further analysis has no value. But we often stop before we reach any of those points.
    Last edited by Folke; 10-02-2013, 02:19 AM.

  • #2

    I completely agree. In fact, here is some more chicken for the pot!

    "The main purpose of quality thinking in management is to: (a) give up the illusion of easy simplicity in arriving at quick cures to complex problems(b) patiently and persistently plow through the complexity and chaos (the 95% BS non-sense), and (c) arrive at the genuine simplicity on the other side (the 5% golden truths)." (By William S. Cottringer, Ph.D.)

    In terms of GTD applications and such, under-complexity may explain the loud groping sounds heard throughout the world of productivity-system fans far & wide.


    • #3
      This is great. BTW, I am a HUGE fan of Wunderlist, for my LM. For these reasons.

      Now that I have my categories and inflow processes pretty well nailed, it just flows and i LOVE to do, otherwise paintful knowledge-work. And to your point, I am able to focus on solutions and value creation versus the morass of "stuff" to navigate through to get to this point.
      Possibly relevant here: Many of my colleagues use more sophisticated tools for GTD, such as Evernote, using TSW configuration. Their argument is that they can take the initial email with them into their LM so it's there for ref.
      I keep telling them that it is worth it for me to have a separate tool (yes I need to toggle over to WL...big deal), so I can get AWAY from the initial email. I go through the GTD decision tree, decide on whether it's a project or not, and decide the next action, then I either trash or file in my ONE gen ref. folder, mostly never to look at again. I don't want the noise within it. If I need the details from it, I go back and find it. But I've found that if i do good thinking on the front end about Outcomes and Actions, I rarely need to go back to the original. I'm glad emails can't come over into the pure action space of Wunderlist. And yes, I value it's simplicity above all other criteria.


      • #4
        Originally posted by SteelcaseGTDr View Post
        'm glad emails can't come over into the pure action space of Wunderlist. And yes, I value it's simplicity above all other criteria.
        You know you can email into Wunderlist, don't you?