Simple Tools

I am going to do a 2 parter here about the tools I use. I don’t think my stack is all that different from others, but what I do think I have is my lack of tools. If I can remove a tool from my belt I will. I drive to have the most simple setup I can because that lets m do my job, whatever that might be. I want to kick off this 2 parter with a bit about tools, and simplicity.

We can waste hours talking about tools, it takes nothing to set me off, but I was prompted by a friend today to talk about tools:

So, I want to know your tool belt, maybe more focused on day to day use, so like reading articles, sharing/saving bookmarks, keeping information/doc save, sharing documents/file across your devices and anything you can think off that makes your life easier

I love tools and tooling, but before we talk about tools you should read the entirety of 43Folders it’s the best tract every written about tools. It’s not really about tools, it is, but not like you think. If you aren’t going to read the site this will have to suffice as a paraphrase. As we move closer to tool nirvana. We realize that there is no such thing. What you really need to worry about is getting shit done.

From the about section on the site:

No Tourists, Please

We hope very much that you find things here that will help you do and make the things that matter to you, but 43 Folders is no replacement for actual work. Please do not use 43 Folders as an excuse to procrastinate. That would be so ironically unwholesome as to stagger the mind.

Your still here, cool. I know that I should be doing something else, and you probably do to, but whatever were all adults, right?

I like to think about tools like this. When your first learn how to use a hammer all you can see is nails, or something like that. That saying is mean’t to keep you from thinking that you can just use the same tool for everything. Thing is, the hammer-nail cunundrum never seemed that bad an idea to me. If I have hammer I really hope everything is a nail. Of course, I don’t want to stagnate, and only use a hammer, forever, for the rest of my life, but I don’t mind being accused of excess hammer use. Really, it’s okay with me. If, if, it means that I am being efficient in the use of tools, because the key to most of my tools is their simplicity.

My main tool, the tool that could make my wife jealous, in terms of time spent, would be Textmate. This tool embodies simplicity. The rest of my professional and personal pursuits ride in it’s wake. Even stock, with out any plugins I can get more work done insides it’s walls then all the other tools combined. Supposedly, there is going to be a Textmate 2 any day now - don’t hold your breath.

Why care’s about simplicity?

That is a good question. It can be easy to argue for simplicity, it sounds good. Things should be simple, right?

Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler


What’s really going on with simplicity is that you are deliberately clearing the playing field of everything that is not core to the issue at hand. It’s quite easy for cruft to be built into the system. So, to embrace simplicity is to embrace the act of getting shit done. Because you are giving your self exactly what is needed and no extra.

Textmate, like many of the tools I use satisfy this need. They get out of the way and let me do what it is I need to do.