Limit Tools In Progress

Tools help you get things done, but too many tools mean constant mental overload.

Every piece of technology you add has a very real cost of learning it and composing it into your toolset. One too many, and your workflow becomes a mess.

I’m not saying that you should stop learning new things; just remember that there are two sides to it. But I am saying don’t add a thing until you know exactly why you need it, and that it’s worth the cost. It’s also fine to play with something from sheer curiosity – just be honest about it.

An example is using too many Vim plugins. At first, you just see a cool plugin that does something useful, and you immediately install it, learn the basics and start using it – and life is good. Then it repeats twenty more times, and every time it happens the life gets a bit better in obvious way, but it also becomes a bit worse in an obscure way: your configuration becomes hard to maintain; functionalities don’t co-exist nicely with each other an with the vim’s built-in stuff; you get confused as to which plugin to use; there are too many shortcuts to remember…

At some point, you have to learn to pick just the few ones that are helping you the most, and drop the rest.

Remember it the next time you pick up a new tool.