Tool vibes

Feelings of attachment one may have to a particular tool, physical or digital, in that this tool invokes a longing for a particular way of getting things done. Adjacent to the Portuguese “saudade”.


I’m aware that the following terms may (somewhat) describe this concept:

  • FOMO: fear of missing out on a particular experience, often invoked by social media imagery and other content of people engaging in this experience
  • Chain of supply and demand
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Early adopter complex

Cause Discomfort of emotions

I’ve found that tool vibes are a very particular longing, one that is caused by the omnipresence of the objects that these tools help us access: our experience of time, our list of tasks, our goals, our vision.


  • Longing
  • Visually heavy
  • Problem solving is led by tool availability: I’ve transformed my own problem by jumping to a tool even if it didn’t entirely match, just to experience the relief of having solved my problem

Images that invoke tool vibes for me

John Dickerson owns the largest binder clip I’ve ever seen

Merlin Mann

That's all for now. Eager to see me add some more to this page? Feel free to nudge me.