Mindsets Before Tools

Jul 11, 2016
Joe Buhlig
~1 min

Every time I come across an article that compares applications or declares an app to be the best at something, I cringe. Very few of them explain the scenarios necessary to make their conclusion valid.

We all operate differently, and we all have different skill sets and ways of thinking about the tools we use. We have varying needs and that means there is no absolute on the best tool for a task. This is why I always say, “I don’t know” when asked what task manager you should use. I have no clue what your circumstances are and what you need from a list manager.

This is precisely why many people (myself included) recommend using tools you already know when taking on a habit or system. It eliminates the need to learn a new tool and a new structure at the same time. But it’s more than that. The new structure will push you to develop a new mindset. Over time, you will begin to think about the items within your process in a more nuanced way as your ideas and rationale behind it progress.

Tools can get in the way of developing this nuanced thinking. You may start searching for an app to solve procrastination when you actually need to name your tasks differently. You need to understand yourself, how you operate, and what you need before deciding a new tool is the solution. And you can only take on a new tool successfully when you know what it offers that will suit your mindset. That’s when the articles comparing software are helpful.

It is only when you can sit down and spell out how a new tool will help that you understand your mindset well enough to warrant a potential change.