A Wise Man and His Tools

Brett Kelly is one of the smartest people I know. And he’s not only smart, but he’s wise. The “well-beyond-his-years” kind of wise.

He has written a few pieces (this one on “fiddling” is a standout) on that thing I call “doing productive” and his most recent one creeps into the minimalistic writing app space. With the recent launches of iA Writer and Byword for various iOS devices – Byword for both iPad and iPhone while iA Writer, which has been on the iPad for a while, entered the iPhone realm – Brett hasn’t and won’t budge on what he uses. And that’s incredibly smart and wise. I say that coming from the same angle as those who review apps, because I have to as part of my work as well. I also have to look into productivity workflows and the like as part of my job, and Brett’s idea fits in nicely there as well.

Then there’s the new hotness of the new iPad, which arrived today. I watched a rather hilarious fake review of it on Funny or Die last night that hit on some really good points — especially since I watched it on my original iPad. Even before watching it, I had decided I was not running out to pick it up on “the day” nor am I expecting it to arrive on my doorstep anytime soon. And it all ties back into what a smart, wise man that I read regularly, respect and look forward to seeing on those very rare occasions I that I don’t need the new iPad.1

As a matter of fact, I don’t even want it right now.

And yes, I downloaded Byword for iOS because I use its counterpart on the Mac. But I won’t be using it for anything other than review purposes.2

The reasons behind both of these answers is because I am writing this very piece on my old pad using Writing Kit. I made this with what I had. I knew how to use it and have both the hardware and software set up as I’d like. With my current tools, I’m good to go. Sure, the new iPad and the new writing apps may be more efficient and effective than my current setup, making them all “lifehacks” in a way. You’d think I’d be all over them because of that.

Not so much.

You see, I have my hammer. I have my wood. I have my nails. I can make something with all of those things. I don’t need to buy better tools that I’m not familiar with, because that will slow down the building process. And I have the tools so that I can build now.

So I built this. I’d much rather connect with tools than simply collect them.

What are you building with your tools? Or are you not building very much – if anything – at all and just gathering a really nice set of tools? Ask yourself that before you buy that next app or device.

Because sometimes the best “lifehacks” are the ones that you already work for you, giving you more time to spend on “life” and less on “hacks”.

Photo credit: INDelight Photography (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

1Paging Dr. Kelly…
2 It may very well become part of my workflow because of its close ties to the Mac writing workflow I have going, but that’d be the only reason it’d find a place in there. And I’m in no rush to make that happen.