It’s not about the tool …

I think it’s fair to say that I’m pretty impetuous. When we go swimming, I don’t edge in gently allowing myself to get used to the cold. Nope, I’m the one who’ll jump in, feet first (I’m no diver!)

When I decide to create a new thing or offer a new service, you can bet I’ll have designed the book cover or written the sales page within twenty-four hours – maybe forty-eight if one of the children happens to get sick!

And the same is true with technology. Which is why it should come as little surprise that, having discovered the wonder of the Morning Pages iPad and iPhone app, I’m now all over it. It’s brill!

That said, I know it’s not for everyone and last week my dad and I were chatting about alternatives. He had some frustrations with the functionality (or lack of!) and was thinking about what he might use instead. Evernote, a popular choice for many people, came up in conversation.

The funny thing is, I’ve tried really hard to like Evernote. I want to make it a useful part of my routine, there’s so much about it to love, but I’m just not a fan. I can’t even tell you why, I simply never stick with it.

But here’s the conclusion my dad and I came to: It’s not about the tool itself per se. The best tool is the one you’ll use consistently to do the thing you’re trying to do.

Take Morning Pages as the perfect example. Julia Cameron, the lady who gave the name ‘Morning Pages’ to this process of an early morning brain dump in her now classic work The Artist’s Way, is adamant that Morning Pages must be written by hand.

And, logically, I understand her thinking. But if it’s a choice between Morning Pages written using a keyboard or no Morning Pages at all, the keyboard gets my vote – every time!

She cites the example of lots of her author friends who write all their first drafts by hand. Each to their own I say. Personally, I like to type directly into Scrivener because the act of pouring the words out as quickly as possible, without allowing my conscious brain to interfere, makes for a fun process and stops me getting in my own way!

But what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. You have to find your own way, trial and error.

And yes, it’s great to read around, get advice and input from the people who’ve gone before us, but at some point we have to stop reading and start doing. And do so using whatever tool or technique will easiest allow us to do so consistently.

Consistency is queen my friend. It’s never about the tool.

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