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What Is Your Personal Productivity Style?
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personal productivity style

Everyone’s personal productivity style is not equal. Some prefer using color-coded lists to reach the peak of productivity while some see an Excel sheet containing a raw data as pure bliss.

When it comes to productivity styles, there are four: Prioritizer, Planner, Arranger, and Visualizer, says Carson Tate, founder of Working Simply and author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style.

According to Tate, each of one of us falls into four different productivity habits. The moment you discover your productivity style you can work in a much smarter way by using productivity tools to reach maximum efficacy and contribute the best to your team. Below you will find the four basic working profiles and the productivity apps you could use to reach maximum productivity.

The profiles aim to guide you towards using a more personalized approach using your strengths and approaches. You may mix and match, see what sticks with you and which productivity tools lead to improved online whiteboard/real-time collaboration at workplace


The Prioritizer’s thinking is uber-linear and analytical and pragmatic. It is fact-based and data-oriented, making them solve complex problems like it’s no biggie. The Prioritizer’s sight is laser-focused to the stated goal or outcome. To increase productivity, they will time how long it takes to complete certain tasks in order to plan their days more accurately.

Prioritizer’s are bossy and rigid and are much known for their competitiveness and enthusiasm. They resent tittle-tattle, missing data, or oversharing of personal information. Their emails are often a few sentences, or if possible, a few letters.

The Prioritizer is focused on the ‘what’. What’s the outcome, tell them the facts, the goals, the data.


Analyzing data
Complex problem solving
Goal orientation, decisiveness, and reliability

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The Planner thrives on sequential, organized, and detail-oriented thinking. They are often good at finding flaws in plans and process often overlooked by others. They are generally great at project planning and will ensure that work is completed on time. They’ll make lists, write tasks on ‘To Do’ list that have been completed, and just mark them off as done.

Planner is most likely to use schedules, organizers and to do lists to increase productivity. Their productivity style lies in structuring projects and tasks, and establishing order.

For the Planner ‘how’ matter: How has this been done in the past? How do you want me to do this now?


Action orientation and practicality
Finding overlooked flaws in plans or processes
Organizing and maintaining data and project plans

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The Arranger is intuitive, collaborative and people-oriented. They can easily anticipate the nuances of any situation and course-correct it if necessary. Building relationships, persuading or selling ideas, and facilitating team interaction comes at ease to the Arranger.

They will ensure that ideas are effectively communicated throughout the organization and that the project stakeholders are well informed on the project. They are also highly visual list makers and need the right tools to get their work done on time. They hate when people lack personal touch or rely too much on data or facts. Arrangers are natural communicators and love to talk, they easily express concern for others and give a lending hand to their team members.

If you’re communicating with the Arranger, the message becomes ‘Who.’ Who needs to be involved in the project? Who is impacted by the project?


Discerning how others will feel and understanding their underlying emotions
Facilitating project meetings
Persuading and selling ideas

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The Visualizer, is also known as a disruptive risk-taker, a brainstormer. They cannot do the same task for long and do an excellent job of juggling tasks and integrating incongruent ideas into a broad concept.

A visualizer has the tendency to overlook details. Their spontaneity and impulsiveness often lead to breakthrough ideas. Their emails tend to be long and detailed filled with ideas and concepts.

If you are communicating with a Visualizer, your message will be clearer if you focus on the ‘why.’ Why are we pursuing the project? Why are we doing this instead of the so and so way?


Creative problem-solving
Integrate ideas and concepts

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Once you know what your personal productivity style is, you can identify your colleagues’ and tailor your responses based on their style. For example, if your subordinate is a Prioritizer, you must answer their ‘what’ questions up front so they have a clear idea of what they need to do next. Or, if you’re working with a visualizer, you must make it a point to provide a big picture and connect them back to the strategy.

By answering the essential questions, ‘how, what, why’ for your boss or colleagues based on their productivity style, you can reduce workplace friction throughout the project, and communicate better.

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