Tools don't matter

Dan Russell told Lifehacker almost a decade ago:

I could reboot my work environment in just an hour or so with a decent internet connection, any laptop, and a stationary store.

I’m yet to convince myself that is a bad idea.

In my journey as a human with a personal computer, and more specifically as somebody who performs [[ Knowledge work ]], I’ve come to prefer platform- and application-agnostic computing over anything else. When I consider using a particular app or platform, I pay close attention to how it will let me work with the things I create. This has helped me keep my writing organized since 2005.

Like everybody else I have tool preferences, and I get Tool vibes from time to time. I prefer Spark over other email apps, I enjoy Obsidian more than other note-taking apps, and I will choose Mac OS X over any other operating system. Still, central to my choices is that I don’t want any long-term engagement with products that force me to limit my opportunities.

Tools don’t matter means:

  • I focus my attention on an object, not on the tool I can use to manipulate it (example: I keep a large collection of plain text files in my second brain. Over the years, I’ve used countless apps to manipulate these files.)
  • With analog writing, rather than fixing myself to a particular method of archiving, or a set of writing tools (which is what a part of me desperately needs) I mix up where and how I write.
  • I don’t use desktop or smartphone apps that require me to export my data and back it up independently (example: Evernote, Moodnotes)