Pragmatic Productivity & Creativity


Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

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.

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 two 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 offers the path of least Resistance to achieving your Personal Reward.

Here’s an example of one of my workflow systems so you can see the sort of thing I mean by all this: The Pragmatics Learning & Creation Cycle.



Allen, D. (2015). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (Revised). Penguin Books.

AhrensS. (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 6 Jan. 2021].

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