I do not see my relationship with technology the same way as being in a monogamous relationship with another person. To me, technology is a collection of tools that I use to perform some function, and are a what, not a who.
Which is a huge difference.
Unique Time of Life
I am at a unique place in my life. One where no one is forcing me to use particular apps, software suites, or devices. I have the freedom and time to experiment with new to me workflows, apps, or ideas. A feeling that is wonderful and even a bit scary at times.
As a result, I have tried, many of the newer, but more established apps like Notion, Craft, Nimbus Notes, and even Obsidian. While closer to what I am looking for, none are what I am looking for in an app.
Though Mem.ai and Logseq are damned close to what I am looking for in note-taking apps but need more work for me to use regularly in my daily workflows. As they move forward through their development stages, I will continue looking at them.
We Do Have Choices
All too often, we forget that we pay (one way or another) for the pleasure of using these amazing apps or devices. In many instances, we have more control over what apps and devices we use even at work or in school than we think.
Since I had that “aha” moment, I focus my time on products that do what I want. When apps don’t meet that criterion why should I continue to use them? If an app doesn’t work the way that I do, it’s time to move on to a different one that is closer to what I want.
If I do decide to use a different app or device, taking my data with me when I leave needs to be done hassle-free. Proprietary file management schemes which impede or stop me from taking what I have created within that app, stop me from using them once I realize what they are doing. Even if I really like that app. I have learned that I need to protect my intellectual property and future-proof it in such a way that makes it available if something happens to a particular app.
In the past, this would have been asking a lot.
Back when developers and companies would attempt to lock you into their product or tech silos by making it almost impossible or at least painful to move your data.
I have found a few apps that import data from other apps easily, but their export functions are less than user-friendly. I refuse to use those apps, even though they might be close to what I want from that app category. I understand why they do this, but I don’t have to play their game.
Luckily, we are in a time of exponential technological advancement. While there are many apps, that still attempt to lock us into a particular tech silo or file format, they are being thwarted by other apps that are being created which do not.
This is great news for consumers and users of technology.
My mantra is becoming:
So many new things to try, not enough time to try them all.
I recently finished reading Hell Yeah! or Hell No! by Sam Kyle. His book gave me a simple, but powerful benchmark to use for many things in my life.
The first place I started using this benchmark was the apps I have been using on my computers.
I asked myself “Are what I am using on my computers – Hell Yeah! apps?”
When I thought about it, most were not.
Looking back over the past few years, my apps were chosen, because they were reliable, familiar, and did what I wanted. When I looked closer…my needs are changing and I have to admit many bored me.
Great examples of this are Evernote, OneNote, Apple’s Productivity Suite, Google Workspaces, and Microsoft Office. All of which I have used extensively over the years and are apps that I can do a lot with. They are stuck in what might have been Hell Yeah! in 2010 or 2015, but not now.
All these types of apps or software suites have become like a pair of favorite but worn-out pairs of running shoes and need to be shuffled off to the closet. Coming out only if I need them.
What I am Learning
I am fortunate to be at a point in life where I don’t “have to” use a particular app, software package/suite, or device. I have the freedom to use apps or devices I want within my budgetary constraints.
This allows me opportunities to use technology that makes me go “Hell Yeah!”
While I have learned that the grass is not always greener on the other side. If an app or device doesn’t work the way I expect, there are others that I can use, or if I have to, go back to the reliable apps/software I have used in the past.
At least until something new is developed, that is what I am looking for.
This new mindset fits rather nicely into my ADHD tendencies.
After all these years of attempting to explain to everyone and even myself why I flit like a butterfly from app to app or change tech silos so often. I have finally embraced the idea that this flitting around isn’t a bad thing. I am happiest when challenging myself to see how something works or if it fits better for me than something that I am using.
I hope you enjoy my journey to find apps, devices, and tools that make me go Hell Yeah! Along with the occasional discussions about the joys of running and running shoes, since I am and always will be a running shoe geek.
So speaketh a technology butterfly, who believes that monogamy when it comes to technology is over-rated.
Are there any great second-brain, note-taking, or office suites that are new and make you go Hell Yeah? Let me know in the remarks.
Come with me now, the best is yet to be.