Pragmatic Productivity & Creativity

Creativity, Featured, Pragmatics, Productivity


Pragmatic Productivity & Creativity

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People talk a lot about ‘productivity’, both in order to achieve goals and, unfortunately in some cases, pretty much for its own sake. The distinction between Output Productivity and Busy Work is sometimes lost, which can completely undermine the point of striving for productivity itself.

David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ philosophy has been extremely useful for many people over the last couple of decades, but tends to address physical actions and achievements. In other words, handling a physical inbox of matters which currently hold your attention, or represent commitments you have made either to yourself or from third parties and whether personal, family or professional.

In recent years knowledge workers have turned their attention to also clearing the mind of thoughts and bringing them together for creative output and future reference. Knowledge workers now use imaginative and powerful Zettelkasten software to coalesce thinking and ideas into creative combinations and output.

When you add into the mix the more recent work of Tiago Forte, with his extremely well received work in “Building a Second Brain”, you will see there is much to consider in terms of putting together systems which make the most of the huge amounts of beneficial information out there, which you might leverage to achieve your objectives.

Taken in isolation each of these practices can be very beneficial and creative.

But in order to gain a greater degree of balance, effectiveness and mental calm, then combining these three complementary productivity philosophies effectively, and incorporating other supporting ideas, in the most minimal and efficient blend can prove highly effective.

That’s what I have badged (just for ease of reference) as “Pragmatics“.

It’s how I leverage modern technology with proven time-served, artisan techniques and philosophies to satisfy both imperatives.

Pragmatics has provided me with a series of paths of least resistance towards various outcomes and personal rewards. Reducing the friction of any given productivity philosophy and physical systems have always been key factors in achieving a successful series of outcomes.

So my notes within these pages are just some scattered thoughts which might prove useful to others seeking to achieve their aims and objectives.



Allen, D. (2015). Getting things done : the art of stress-free productivity. London: Piatkus Books.

‌Ahrens, S. (2017). How to take smart notes : one simple technique to boost writing, learning and thinking – for students, academics and nonfiction book writers. Sönke Ahrens. (n.d.). Zettelkasten knowledge and info management • Zettelkasten Method. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Jul. 2023].

‌Forte, T. (2022). Building a second brain : a proven method to organize your digital life and unlock your creative potential. New York: Atria Books.



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