The Right Tool for the Job

There has been growing discussion lately about apps of choice, why you should choose them, and which apps are better. I’ve talked about my affection for 2Do and Drafts at length, and I get asked often about moving to these apps because of what I’ve written. And while that is a humbling thing to know what I write helps people and is something that I immensely appreciate, I usually respond in the same way:

“[This app] isn’t for everyone. Use what works best for you.”

Today in the Club MacStories newsletter[^1], Federico Viticci published his thoughts on using the wonderful text editor app Ulysses on iOS. There’s a lot to love about the app: I used it recently to create the ePub for my article on 2Do, which made it a breeze[^2]. It’s very powerful, yet simple, and is a fantastic choice for a lot of people. I’m happy to see it getting positive reviews and hope it continues to improve. It’s a text editor that works well for a lot of people.

The other day, I wrote about using Drafts as a main text editor on iOS. I shared why it fits my needs and how it helps me write. It’s the app that makes sense to me on how I approach my writing, from the simple outline to a full HTML-coded post. I’ve been a user for a long time, and short of Agile Tortise stopping development[3], I’ll this app to write for as long as I can. How I feel about Drafts is the same as how Federico feels about Ulysses (and Editorial before that): it’s the app that feels right and makes me want to write.

And the same line of thought could be said for task management or email apps, streaming music services, backup systems, or even backpacks. There are so many options that it’s hard to classify what is the “best” solution out there. Every user has their unique needs that need to be met: fit, form, function, price, etc. If the “best” solution out there is $500 and you can only afford $100, then that isn’t the best solution for you. If a potential solution is missing something that is important to you, figure out a simple way around it or move on to something else.

Really, when it comes down to it, you need to be using the solution that works best for you, and makes you want to do the activity you’re trying to do. If you have a solution that doesn’t make you want to handle your tasks, doesn’t help to manage your email, frustrates you with the music choices that you are presented, doesn’t fit your backup needs, or doesn’t carry your gear the way you need it to at the price you can afford, then you need to find something else. Don’t base your solution on the needs of someone else. If what you are currently using doesn’t think like you do or work for you, then you need to move on and find something that does.

The Internet is a big place, full of a lot of people, different needs, a plethora of options, and even more opinions. Figure out what your needs are and do your research. View the opinions of others, but also understand what needs are being met by their solution of choice. Use these things to make the decision, but make it right for you — and you alone. Try something new, because it may surprise you. And remember that it’s ok to change your mind later and go back to something you know and love.

Using anything that doesn’t make you want to use it isn’t helpful to you: find and use the right tool [for you] for the job.

  1. I am a proud member and I highly recommend that you become one also. It has been immensely helpful on many occasions.  ↩

  2. I still want to see a way to make custom styles on iOS to match my website; it can be done on a Mac, though.  ↩

  3. Greg — please don’t ever do this  ↩