Timeshielding & Do not worry about your note-taking system

James Clear launches an app, Luminar lands on iPad, Learn from people who do, not those who preach, and a lot more in this week's issue of Creativerly.

Timeshielding & Do not worry about your note-taking system

My name is Philipp and you are reading Creativerly, the newsletter and publication at the intersection of design, tech, and how we interact with apps, combined with useful insights, articles, updates, and news. The newsletter built for the creative community.

Hey and welcome to Creativerly 264 👋

As I recently started to restructure Creativerly and opened up regarding the posts and content I write, I desperately feel the need to update my update page to inform visitors and readers what Creativerly is all about. When I started writing Creativerly five years ago, it was all about finding and writing about those productivity-boosting tools and resources. Once the pandemic took over our lives and people spend a significant amount online, working on different side-projects, striving for productivity, since there was nothing else they could do, it was the first time it felt a bit off to contribute to the idea of 'striving to be productive'. As we all got "stuck" at home, we got told to be productive all the time, since suddenly our down-time turned into the urge to create, and be productive. Which is a good thing to the extent it becomes toxic productivity, which is the urge that does not let you settle down, you feel guilty for doing nothing, or doing something that is related to not getting things done, not working on your projects, but rather read a book, play some videogames, listen to music, or anything else.

What made productivity even more toxic, is the fact that so many productivity-gurus were right in your face telling you how you could get done even more, which fueled guiltiness when focusing on the things we actually enjoy. Our free time is meant for resting, recharging, and focusing on ourselfs and the things we enjoy. Now, there are people who are thriving with their regular jobs and then using their free time to work and get done even more. I would say that the majority of us though does indeed enjoy down and free time as what it actually is.

The root cause for toxic productivity lies in culture. The representatives of the productivity hustle culture talking about working hard and all the things they are getting done, the projects and companies they are building, and why you need to work hard too to become successful, are the major creators and enforcers of toxic productivity. I want to embrace a healthy and calm relationship with your work and the projects you are dealing with. There is enough pressure coming already from our society.

There is no need to feel guilty about your down time or relaxing, leisure activities are not a waste of your time, do not take more work as you can do, just because you feel more work means being more productive, practice self-care, embrace doing nothing, and if it is hard to detach from your work and break the cycle of toxic productivity seek for professional help.

You are doing great.

Do not worry about your note-taking system

I love note-taking, journaling, and building and maintaining a knowledge base. Since I started taking notes about the projects I am working on, the books and articles I read, the podcasts I listen to, the events I am experiencing, and the struggles I face as part of my life, I improved and grew as a person. Starting journaling every single day and writing consistently has been one of the best decisions I have made. People who want to dive into the same realm often see themselves faced with productivity gurus, note-taking masterminds, and knowledge management geniuses preaching that you need to have a note-taking system to make the most out of your notes and your writing. If you have a goal that leads you into note-taking, journaling, and writing, you are all set, as the most important part about writing is simply starting to capture ideas, take notes, process what you consume, and gather the things that are important to you.

When I started note-taking, processing information, journaling, and building up a knowledge base, I intentionally did those things because I wanted to learn new things, remember and recall them, build and evolve my projects, and get the most out of the content I consume. Writing things down helps me thinking about the stuff I encounter in my life, no matter if it is related to personal or work stuff. When I am working on a project, a design, or a feature, writing down my thoughts is always the beginning of the journey and helps me immensely structuring my path before even starting to actually work on the project. When I am writing I am feeling the most creative. The heart of creativity and innovation is making spontaneous connections between seemingly unrelated things. Whenever a tool forces you to use a specific system, it is drawing the image that it requires the huge effort to set things up, plan everything, cataloging, organizing, before even getting the chance to do the creative work of creating spontaneous connections between everything you encounter.

I saw so many people sharing and talking about their systems that I questioned everything within my own system, although it has always worked, since I simply captured stuff that felt important to me. We should not worry about crafting and creating the perfect system, but rather just start capturing, taking notes, processing, and gathering things that are important to us. Instead of hunting for the perfect system, we should focus on strengthening the ability to systematically capture and review and deploy our ideas. It is important to remember that the essence of note-taking and journaling lies in the process itself, not in a rigid system or structure. By focusing on capturing and reviewing our ideas consistently, we enhance our ability to make meaningful connections and deepen our understanding of the world around us. Embracing the spontaneity of creativity and the fluidity of our thoughts allows for genuine growth and innovation, rather than being constrained by the limitations of a predefined system.

When we embrace the fluidity of our thoughts and allow for spontaneity in our creative processes, we open up new avenues for growth and innovation. Instead of fixating on the constraints of a predefined system, we should foster an environment that nurtures creativity and encourages exploration.

I am not saying that those systems which are getting shared and highlighted online do not work, but I believe it is fallacy that there are so many people thinking they need to adapt those systems to get started with note-taking, journaling, and knowledge management, just to realize after investing a significant amount of energy and time, that the system is not working for them.

The most powerful thing you do right away is start capturing what is important for you. No matter what tool you use for it, just make sure to revisit those things regularly, ask yourself if they are still important to you, if so add some more thoughts, try to make connections, and dive into your ideas and thoughts.

There is no need to worry about a system, or an app. As you are building a writing, journaling, note-taking habit, patterns will arise, and you will realize what actually contributes to your practices, suddenly a system will form itself or you will realize what extactly has not been working for you when trying out a specific system. Keep adding to it slowly. Maybe you start with linking your ideas, after some time it might need tags or folders, or you are fine without them. Just because someone or even app tells you that folders do not work, that we do not need them, since they are working against our thinking, does not mean that this is a fact. I could not care less "all you need is links", "you have to create a map of content", "stop using tags", or "start using tags". I always struggled to fit tags into my note-taking system, until I made the decision to not use them and then slowly realizing how I could use them to actually fuel and benefit my writing.

When it comes to best organizational and knowledge management system out there, it is the one that allows you to capture and create rapidly, support your thinking, and helps you keep track of the things that are important to you. There is no need to worry about not using any system, since as long as you are capturing and writing, you are doing the right thing.

upload in progress, 0
Your Mac. As good as new.

To make sure your Mac keeps as fast as possible, it is important to eep it free from junk, unnecessary system files, but also scan it for potential malware. CleanMyMac X is the all-in-one package to awesomize your Mac. It cleans megatons of junk and makes your computer run faster. Just like it did on day one.

CleanMyMac X replaces dozens of optimization tools for Mac. It can be anything you tell it to be: a macOS cleaner, a performance monitor, a malware remover, and well, a life saver.

Download CleanMyMac X for free or grab the full version for as low as €39.95 per year or €89.95 for the lifetime license.

This is an affiliate link to support Creativerly. If you are interested in putting your tool, product, or resource in front of over 2000 creative minds, consider advertising in Creativerly and book a sponsor or classified ad spot. Find all the important information at creativerly.com/advertise.

Fresh Updates & News


James Clear, the author of worldwide #1 book 'Atomic Habits', released an app called Atoms, which is based on his book and aimed at helping people to build good habits and break bad ones. Over 250,000 people have downloaded the app in the first 48 hours and it has been on the top charts on the App Store since then. This is such an amazing statistic sitting along the 15 million copies of Atomic Habits have sold worldwide, as well has the over 3 million subscribers James Clear's 3-2-1 newsletter has.

Luminar for iPad* →

Luminar is one of the most versatile, powerful photo editing tool out there, and it just announce that they cutting-edge tools and features are now available for iPad too. This means iPad users will be able to take profit of the incredible power of Luminar to edit their photos on the go. Luminar for iPad gives you access to convenient, AI-assisted photo editing packed into a fun and innovative design. The app offers the develop tool (for basic adjusments), key tools (like details, curves, crop, erase, etc.), AI-powered tools (like enhance AI, sky AI, and relight AI), filter collection, and Apple Pencil Support. Give it a try.

CleanMyPhone* →

MacPaw, the makers of CleanMyMac, the powerful tool to keep your Mac clean and safe from any junk to retain performance and power, just introduced and launched CleanMyPhone, an app that helps you trim chaotic photo clutter and clean up your iPhone.


The newest Raycast update introduced AI Chat 2.0. This major update brought a redesigned AI Chat, which now works as a fully detached window, it features a whole new sidebar with all your chats, there is a new sidebar button, chat settings have been moved below the main text field, and the action panel design has been improved.

Mental Wealth

Timeshielding: How to Do the Things you Actually Want to Do – “A topic that comes back often in conversations is time management. How do I write this newsletter every week, while managing a business, writing a book, and completing a PhD? Do I still have time to hang out with my friends and family? Can I share any tips around time management?”

Learn From People Who DO; Not Those Who “Preach” – “When it comes to valuable skills and training, we must learn from people who successfully executed what we aim to learn. And avoid those who can only talk about it. The other day I heard about a new marketing trick that many newsletters use to collect new subscribers. When I looked at the website of the service, I saw they featured a few prominent newsletters as “users” of them. So I thought, “Let me see what that looks like on their websites.” Guess what?! The first two I checked didn’t even use the service. They might’ve used it at some point, but they weren’t using it at the time I checked. I decided to not look into the service for one reason: Actions are more important than words."

How We Sort the World: Gregory Murphy on the Psychology of Categories – “The minute we are born — sometimes even before — we are categorized. From there, classifications dog our every step: to school, work, the doctor’s office, and even the grave.”

Scaling the design ladder: Seeing like a designer – “When the Web was still 2.0 and my UX design career was just beginning, it was fashionable to talk about design’s “seat at the table.” Design leaders appealed to senior practitioners’ responsibility not merely to their users, but to the design community as a whole: to build not just products, but company culture that could recognize and leverage design’s potential.”

Do not miss out on this ...

❉ Experience the ultimate vector editor for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Get started with Amadine*.

❉ Think tasks, not apps. Setapp* is you one-stop subscription to solving every task on Mac and iPhone.

❉ Fathom is cookie-free, GDPR compliant, privacy-first website analytics software. Get $10 off your first invoice and a 7-day free trial when you use this link*.

These are paid promotions or affiliate links to support Creativerly. If you are interested in putting your tool, product, or resource in front of over 2000 creative minds, consider advertising in Creativerly and book a sponsor or classified ad spot. Find all the important information at creativerly.com/advertise.



If you want to migrate off of Substack (for obvious reasons) I prepared a post about the best Substack alternatives suited for different needs. Substack has proven multiple times what dark place it is, but the folks running the company have also proven that they will not do anything about it, and rather double down on supporting the people who are responsible for the platform becoming such a dark place.

Read through The best Substack alternativesand get a glimpse at a variety of services to build, run, maintain, and grow your newsletter.

❯ Quick Bits

Till next time! 👋‌‌‌‌

Support: Do you have a friend who is looking for inspiration, news about design, and useful tools and apps? Forward this newsletter to a friend or simply share this issue and show some support. You can also show some love by simply clicking the button down below and keep this newsletter a sustainable side-project by buying me a coffee. ☕️ 🥰

Some of the links in my newsletter and my blog posts are affiliate links. Those links are marked by an asterisk. If you buy something through the link, the product will not cost you anything more, but I will receive a small commission which not only supports Creativerly and my work but also helps me to keep this publication a sustainable side-project.

Creativerly is proudly published with Ghost*.