it begins with tinkering

For as long as I can remember, I have been a bit of a tinkerer. I’m constantly tweaking something in my setup somewhere. This is tangentially related to what I was writing about yesterday. Some of this might be a result of my work history. Several of my jobs were very metrics-driven. I had to meet certain standards of speed and accuracy while working in logistics. I had to increase yield of finished product and speed of delivery while working in kitchens. Everything was about continuing to make small adjustment and practicing to become more accurate.

And so I would tweak how I had things set up. Hold the knife this way. Set up jigs for cutting cables. Make small adjustments to the CNC code without breaking the program.

This mindset has carried on over to my work in ministry. I don’t know if it’s particularly helpful.

the perfect writing app failed me

Take for example, the never-ending quest for the perfect note-taking app. Recently, I had to cancel my subscription to Ulysses. I was very happy to pay for it but then I started to get sync errors and the team there simply blamed iCloud Sync rather than actually doing anything about the problem.

All of my writing was stored there, and it was set up in a way that made sense to my brain. It was where I drafted blog posts and made sermon outlines. I didn’t care that it didn’t support wiki-links (though if they decided to introduce that feature and also fix the syncing issues, I would be back in a heartbeat).

Why am I saying all of this? I’m saying it because I still find myself torn between various platforms and trying to figure out what to use. A lot of my work, at least in note-form, lives in Bear. I’m writing this post in iA Writer. I have stuff living in Drafts, which I recently started to use again.

And the reason why I’m feeling ridiculous about all of this is that I have some expectation that I need to be able to export, print, and distribute things. That seems reasonable enough but both Bear and iA Writer implement a hashtag system that lives within the note itself and there is no export option that removes the hashtags.

And that tiny little niggle is literally the only thing that makes me feel like I can’t go all-in with either of them.

That’s a ridiculous thing to think about though because, in reality, I am the only person who will ever see these notes. I almost never print them out and when I do print stuff, I move it over to Pages or Google Docs to format them and make sure they fit on the number of pages I need them to.

the ridiculous nature of my complaint

And so my fussiness is over an aesthetic issue with the most valuable function of either app. Using hashtags to organise things is quick, easy, and flexible. It means I can do things with smart folders and search. It means that I can very quickly find what I need related to a particular topic.

They’re just a bit ugly on the page.