I have a love-hate relationship with productivity tools like time and task managers. The older I get, the more I lean towards simplicity and multiple solutions. I’ve also learned that you can’t force any of these systems on people. Everyone has their own needs and comfort level. However, one nice thing about the Momentum extension is that you’ll know right away whether it will benefit you. Even better is that it will take a few minutes to get started.
What is Momentum?
The developers of Momentum call their browser extension a personal dashboard. I can’t argue with that phrase, but I tend to think differently about dashboards. To me, dashboards have graphs, charts, KPI, numbers and trend lines. Where we do agree is that their design eliminates distractions and inspires you.
Momentum is a custom page designed for people who spend a lot of time in their browser opening new tabs. The extension works with Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari. Instead of getting the default New tab page, you’ll get a dashboard like the one below.
Each day the page changes and offers you a stunning image. You’re asked (1) What is your main focus for today? That’s a great question to ask. Some people may prefer answering that question when they end the day in prep for the upcoming one.
To the right (2) is a simple To Do area where you type your action items. You don’t have to worry about due dates, delegations, duration, categories, labels, attachments, contexts or pre-requisites. If you want to get fancy, you can drag and drop items to change the order. I tend to limit the entries to just what I want to get done in one day.
Update: Thanks to Steven Braham for reminding me Momentum now has a premium plan that allows integrations with various task management programs. You can read Steve’s article on using Wunderlist with Momentum to be more productive.
The other item that might capture your attention is an inspirational quote (3). It’s in a smaller font and at the bottom. Like the image, this changes each day. If you hover over the quote, the author’s name will display.
There are several other features in the top corners such as current temperature or an area where you can add links. Those items will appeal to some, but I’m content with the ones I outlined above. My feeling is the more that gets added, the less I’ll focus on that key item or my to do’s.
Although the system is minimalistic, it does have a Settings panel. Each of the features can be toggled on or off by clicking the gear icon. You can also double-click the temperature in the top right corner to flip between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
I also appreciate that you don’t have to create an account to use the service. The service is free, but account members will have the ability to sync items between browsers. I’d encourage you to give Momentum a try. If you want to see more details, take a look at the video below and then head to http://momentumdash.com/