What no one told me about the little picture

How often have you heard, “I can’t see the forest through all the trees?”

In reading the section on Trello in A World Without Email by Cal Newport, I have realized that I missed the point of Trello and a host of other tools because I was so focused on the forest that I had never realized it was made of trees.

Definitely embarrassing. My DnD group will never let me be a ranger again and the Boy Scouts will take back all my merit badges.

Newport explains that the virtue of Trello is that it allows a worker to focus entirely on a task because everything is in one place. This is valuable because task switching is very expensive. These tools allow someone to not be exposed or distracted by unrelated things and to not miss an opportunity to do related tasks while things are fresh in mind.

These tools won’t help me see which project most needs attention nor help me assure that nothing falls through the cracks. By always being focused on these criteria while evaluating tools, I totaled missed the way that these tools can provide critical advantages for other use cases.

Finally, a multi-billion dollar industry is no longer an utter mystery to me.

Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.


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