Simplifying my toolset

I think I’ve already mentioned this previously, but it’s worth mentioning again — I’ve switched over to Windows completely and am using my Mac only for writing these posts. I know what you’re thinking — that’s one heck of an expensive typewriter! Indeed, but as they say, it’s crucial to make use of what you have instead of missing what you don’t. I’m just making the most of my available tools.

One of my biggest gripes is the lack of a damn good writing application on Windows. There are many, but they aren’t that great. After years of research and use cases, I’ve found Scrivener and iA Writer to be the best writing applications for the platform. On the other hand, the Apple universe doesn’t have any shortage of solid writing applications, which is why I type of a Mac.

That might change in the future as I’m mentally preparing myself to roll out of the “ecosystem.” It’s more complicated than I’d initially thought, but I’m getting there, starting with finding the most functional writing app on the Windows platform that syncs well with cloud storage services, like Dropbox or Google Drive. Most applications right now are a hit or a miss, and that’s one of the primary reasons why I’ve taken so long to transition… and still am a little hesitant.

I believe the future of apps is interoperability, which means they have to be functional and accessible from anywhere and everywhere. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the perfect application that matches those parameters. What makes it so hard for companies like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and a thousand others to develop a solution? Why do we have to choose camps? Why can’t we be operating system agnostic and still get our work done?

As I grow older, I realise that streamlining my tech is as important as streamlining my life. And all of that starts with challenging questions that will force you to make tough decisions to simplify your life. That doesn’t mean you have to struggle with your tools by having too many options or too little. It’s a tad easier to find an option that works for you regardless of where you are and what you do.

Right now, my tech stack looks like this:

  1. A couple of writing apps on Windows (iA Writer, Scrivener)
  2. A couple of writing apps on Mac (iA Writer, Scrivener)
  3. Adobe suite on Windows
  4. Evernote… it’s becoming clunkier by the day, but I like it more than OneNote, at least for now
  5. Entertainment — Spotify and VLC media player
  6. Notepad app
  7. MS Office Suite

Sure there are dozens of other apps on both my machines, but I rarely use them. The biggest question that I keep asking myself is: what can I do to simplify this setup further? The obvious answer is, ditch either my Mac or the Windows machine. And honestly, at this point, I’m leaning more towards Windows for my daily workflow than the Mac.

Interoperability and usability — focus on those keywords to eliminate (or at least reduce) your toolset problems. It’s a massive waste of your time.

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