Tools – See A Need Fill A Need

Your time and my time is precious. I am grateful for tools that help me get work done quicker and better. I was reminded today how grateful I am for these tools as one was letting me know that it was updating to fix some issues that were found recently.

Tools can be immensely useful but only if used properly or at all. Here are some of my thoughts on finding and using tools better.

  1. Decide today that you are going to try new tools
  2. Don’t try every new tool that you find
  3. Watch and learn from others around you
  4. Really learn how to use the tool
  5. Question the tools you are currently using
  6. Wish
  7. Build new tools

If you decide today that you are going to take the time and effort to use a new tool when you find one, it will be much easier than deciding right when you find it and don’t feel like you have the time right then or the motivation. If you tried every new tool that you found, you might not have time to actually do anything else. This depends on how many different tools you are finding and trying but it’s good to use some common sense in this area. Others may have found great tools that you didn’t know about and paying attention to what your friends and coworkers are using can help you find tools that you might not have otherwise. This also goes for how others use the same tool that you do. It always kills me to watch others use a tool and see that they are greatly under utilizing the potential of the tool.

Have you ever wondered why a tool works the way it does? Have you ever used a tool or an app and thought, “That was stupid.” Questioning current methods and tools helps us find and move on to better ways. Many years ago I was in a typing class in Jr High learning how to type. The teacher told us how the qwerty keyboard keys were arranged with the goal to slow down a typist to prevent typewriter arms from jamming up. I remember wondering why we were being taught a keyboard configuration made to slow us down. Unfortunately, no alternatives were presented at that time but several years later I came across dvorak! Dvorak was designed with the goal of being more natural and reflecting the common english language. I made the switch to typing using dvorak just over 3 years ago and I have never looked back.

Have you ever heard yourself or anyone else say, “I wish that…”? This is usually how the sentence begins when someone recognizes that there could be a better way. Don’t just let those realizations just float by you without thought or action. Do a Google search for a better way or tool to see if you can find one. Ask your friends if they know a better way. Ask an expert in the related area if they have advice on a better way or tool. If none of these return results, then it’s your turn to come up with a better way or tool. All the tools that I know of and use on a regular basis came to be because someone recognized that there could be a better way and made it so. One person can make a difference. You can make a difference by educating yourself, recognizing areas of need, and taking action.

I really enjoy helping others, finding better ways to do things, and building tools which is a big part of why I enjoy my job as much as I do. Here are some of the tools that I use on my Mac that make tasks easier and more enjoyable.