43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Screwdriver Narrowness Considered Harmful

Something I actually think about a lot just popped out in an email to an internet acquaintance who makes Mac software

One thing to know about me (and probably a surprisingly large number of your customers and potential customers): there's very little mutual exclusivity in my software world. For example, I use TextEdit, Vim, and TextMate pretty much every day and for completely different things. To me it's like having several screwdrivers. I could be that guy who insists there's only One True and Good Screwdriver, but I prefer to keep them all handy and just grab the one I need for the job.

Does that make any sense?

I mean I hear these territorial pissing matches on `foo tool` vs. `bar tool`, and how the fate of the world turns on making the right decision one time, and then becoming some kind of viral evangelist. Meh.

There's stuff like Quicksilver and OS X in general where you inherently have to choose a platform. But what about text editors, graphics apps--jeez, even _notebooks_? Am I the only one who employs a stable of several different tools for a certain kind of task? Esp. where one is clearly better at one portion of the task than the others?

How about you?

shivalemur's picture

I tend to use multiple...

I tend to use multiple tools just because I have to work with different operating systems - Linux, Windows, and OSX - depending on where I am and whose computer I'm using.

This is when text and HTML files really come into their own. There's a lot of great database-style programs under Windows - hierarchical note takers, to-do lists, calendars, music collection managers etc etc - that I've enjoyed using. However, virtually all of them have used their own file formats.

Another benefit of HTML and text files - they can be accessed via an ordinary web browser. I can't always guarantee I'll be on a computer with an office suite, PDF/PS reader, etc, but every system has a browser. Not so good for editing, but great if you just need to refer to something.

Anyone else use multiple web-based tools? Provided you have a net connection, you can't really get much more portable :) I find standard stuff like Backpack, Google reader, del.icio.us, Gmail and Flickr really useful.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »