Posts tagged

I have sitzfleisch. I’m just not sure what to do with it.

Emily Schultheis, “Sitzfleisch: The German concept to get more work done” (Sep 3, 2018)

So, now I come to the part where I make my plea: no new tools, please. If you are interested in improving how people work, you should devise methods for work, manners of behavior, and methods of decision making. Document your ideology and apply it with existing tools, so nearly anyone can follow along. Why don’t you use our best tool? Language. Increasingly, I feel documentation beats an app if you’re trying to shepherd an idea along. This approach seems to have worked pretty well for David Allen’s Getting Things Done and Josh Clark’s Couch to 5K. Of course there are innumerable apps supporting each method, but the ideas are bigger than an app, so you don’t need to download anything. Buy a notebook or put on your running shoes. Commit to the plan. They are not leaky buckets.

Consider making a program for people, not a program for a computer. I don’t want a new app to help me do work; I want different ways to think about work so I can get more done. It’s a nuanced difference, but I think it is an important one.

Frank Chimero, “No New Tools”

I came across this article by Frank Chimero on a day in which I spent my working hours migrating digital notes into another software tool. And what’s more, many of the notes are about new tools, for the computer as well as the mission field. The article quickly became a favorite. No new tools, please. We have what we need to do good work.

So we see the same essential point being made over and over again, since the middle of the nineteenth century at least. Ruskin, Illich, and Franklin all see that there are technologies that liberate human creativity, that enable human power, and, by contrast, technologies that enslave us, that force our very being into conformity with their codes and structures.

Alan Jacobs, “John Ruskin: Fit the Third and Last” (May 27, 2018)

In Jacobs’s final Text Patterns post.

This is how I make a book: by hiding from writing by drawing, or the other way around. …

So much of the business of writing is spent in avoiding it in a hundred different ways, and drawing is another of these. I push the computer away, get out the pad, sharpen the pencil and a nose starts to appear. (I always start with the nose, it’s in the center of the face.) And then, fairly quickly, someone is there in front of me. Ah, there you are. Who are you?

Edward Carey, “Drawing Inspiration,” The New York Times (Mar 11, 2016)

Productivity does not equal happiness for me. I do not seek it there.

Austin Kleon, “The loom” (Feb 21, 2018)

Alan Jacobs, “text three ways” (Feb 23, 2018)

John Piper, “Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why,” Desiring God (Nov 3, 2016)

Alexandra Dempsey, “Manoush Zomorodi: Unlocking Your Creative Potential with Boredom,” Freedom Matters (Oct 6, 2017)

Tyler Reinhard, “Getting Things Done with Semantic Notes,” Abolish Me (Dec 14, 2012)

Jeff Goins, “The System I Used to Write 5 Books and Over 1,000 Blog Posts”