March 12th, 2021

A Product is Good When - Friday Notes 139

Around the 52 minute mark in The Pen Addict 451 Brad says that you know a product is good when you try other things and you keep coming back to it. Here are the things I keep coming back to.

Vim

I've tried PHPStorm, Atom, Sublime Text, TextMate...and so many other code editors. Every single time I think I may have found a good replacement for Vim I head back to it after a few months of frustration. My biggest stint away from Vim came when I left a job because we both didn't like working with each other and my boss said that "real" coders couldn't be using Vim in today's coding landscape.

I have no idea why I took that to heart because I hated working there, but I spent a year trying to like other code editors instead of sticking with the one that just feels right to me.

Now I use Vim and tmux which means I can code on my iPad or on my Mac and have the exact same environment.

I will no longer bother trying new code editors because it's simply wasted time.

Things 3

Task managers are in a similar boat. I've used Sorted, OmniFocus, Todoist, and many others. I continue to come back to Things 3 for a few features. First, Things 3 is low-key if you don't get a task done. None of this "overdue" stuff, the task simply stays in your Today view for you to do when you can.

The design is elegant and simple. It is one of the leading apps for iPadOS keyboard shortcuts.

The biggest issue is that the iOS app and the iPadOS apps are different apps so you must add your automations twice and detect which device you are on. I find this baffling, but you can get around it if you use the Things 3 Drafts parsing action.

The big thing that has me looking at OmniFocus longingly is the automation. Omni spent time making sure that you can run the same automations on any platform via their Omni-Automation framework. I may end up moving back to OmniFocus to check this feature out and do some videos on it, but expect that I'd be back on Things 3 eventually.

Cycling

My final love that I always come back to is cycling. Yes I've rock climbed, white water kayaked, ice climbed, run 50km mountain races, guided canoe trips, lots of hiking....but I always come back to cycling as my most of the time sport. I started really cycling around 14 and purchased my first "real" bike when I was 15.

I worked an entire summer for that bike and loved it for 10+ years.

I'm sure that I'll do other sports with most of my time again, but I'm back on a cycling phase of my life and very much missed the feeling of going fast and adventuring.

What stuff do you keep coming back to even after you try the alternatives?

I Shipped

Monday I talked about Making Sure Your Knowledge is Compounding. This is a video from my Getting Started with Zettelkasten Course on SkillShare and goes into the questions I ask myself when I'm working to connect notes into my system.

Today I'll talk about The Rules of Contagion. This goes deeper than just looking at viruses, and looks at how social movements catch on.

Over at The Sweet Setup, I walked you through Timeblocking with TickTick. While I don't use TickTick regularly, I haven't found a task manager that does a better job at integration tasks and a calendar view. If you want to time block in an app with your tasks, TickTick is the app to look at.