Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

It Doesn't Matter What You Use

At its core, productivity is about doing things. Doing them in the most efficient and effective way possible.

It’s that simple, but then again it’s not.

The pursuit of productivity can become an obsession. Especially an obsession with tools. I’ve encountered far too many people who endlessly try to find the perfect task list app, the perfect tool for taking notes and storing information, the perfect technology to keep them on track.

What they don’t realize is that tool doesn’t exist. Well, not in the form they imagine.

It doesn’t matter what you use. What matters is being able to do what you need to do. What matters is that you’re comfortable with the tools that you’re using. That they don’t get in the way when you’re working. The tools which do that are often the simplest ones.

Consider, for a moment, Warren Ellis. Ellis is a writer of various things: books, comics, columns. He also has a weekly email newsletter. Ellis uses Sendy to distribute the newsletter, but he writes the HTML code by hand in Notepad. Yes, Notepad. The bare bones (to say the least) Windows text editor.

Sure, Ellis could use Dreamweaver or some other HTML editor or even a more powerful text editor to do that. But what would be the point? He’s comfortable writing HTML by hand. Notepad gets the job done. It’s that simple.

It doesn’t matter if your tool is simple or complex (though I lean towards simple). All that matters is whether or not you’re comfortable with that tool. Whether or not that tool slots easily into your workflow. Whether or not that tool helps you get the job done with a minimum of fuss.

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