Simple Tools Lead to Better Focus

Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Like many others, I use Google Workspace for my daily operations at Unlike many others, I’m borderline obstinate when signing up for YAS (yet another SaaS).

Even the smallest companies today are overflowing with dozens of SaaS subscriptions (paid and free). However, they usually only leverage a small percentage of each one’s full capabilities. This leads to a lack of efficiency and productivity, as well as increased costs.

Meanwhile, if you are only using 10% of a product’s features, you could equally leverage a tool that has 10% of said solution’s features (i.e., fully utilize more simple tools). To this point, I rarely hear people talk about the impact of simple solutions on our ability to focus on the actual problems we’re trying to solve.

Complex tools with 1000 bells and whistles get overwhelming and time-consuming to set up and use. They come with a plethora of configurations that distract us from our actual work. Personally, I see people spend more time on “designing” their Notion, Miro, and AirTable projects than time producing a valuable asset.

Simple tools are easy to use and understand. They don’t require a lot of time or resources to set up, so they don’t distract us from the problem we’re trying to solve. This allows us to focus on the important aspects of the problem rather than getting caught up in the tool itself.

A great example of this is Google Jamboard, which comes included in a Google Workspace. Jamboard is simple.

When I started using Jamboard, I was surprised by how basic it was compared to other tools like Miro. But as I continued to use it, I realized that the simplicity of Jamboard was its greatest strength. It is easy to use and understand, forcing my team and me to focus on the problem we use it to solve — not get bogged down by the tool itself.

While most people agree that simple solutions are the best solutions, few people acknowledge the impact that our tools can have on the solutions we come up with. The tools we use can shape the way we think and the solutions we come up with, so it’s important to choose tools that align with our goals and values.

It’s a simple suggestion, but I’ve found that using simple tools like Jamboard can help teams focus more on the problem they’re solving than the tools they’re solving them with. Simple tools may not always be exciting, but they can be the most effective.