Impulse: Changing Systems As You Mature

Maturity is an interesting, elusive concept. What qualifies as mature? When do claim to have “matured?” Is it age? A certain amount of experience? Pure knowledge of history and random current topics? Etiquette perhaps?

I’m sure there are more intelligent people than myself that could very likely quantify maturity in some way and could give me a de facto answer here, but it’s likely subjective and difficult to determine definitively.

Regardless, I think it’s safe to say that maturity is something that occurs over time. And as someone who keeps an eye on my systems, I’ve noticed that as I mature, my systems mature as well.

I mean that in two ways. The first is purely through the iteration process. I have developed a system of working with email that has matured over time. Yes, I’m regularly critiqued on my practices, but it does exist and it is much better (for me) now than it used to be. Essentially, this maturing of my email system has led to a process of dealing with email that I’m comfortable with and feel good about.

But the second way systems mature is broader. They can become entirely different and have significantly more restrictive requirements. I see this in my push for simplicity and portability in tools. I want to own the data behind the tool and avoid the restrictions of custom file formats.

In other words, I want to be able to move from tool to tool without a big migration headache full of scripting and translation. That is primarily due to being tired of the moving process. I want to settle into a workflow and focus on the subtleties over learning macro feature sets.

This is why I have a text file-based notes system and regularly focus on simple formatting. If I do that, I can become more intentional with the what over the how.

Systems mature. Workflows mature. And we mature. Whatever that means.

My Links

Analog With Jeff Sheldon

This is open to everyone! I really enjoyed meeting Jeff and learning about the origins and details of the Analog card system he’s developed. Now I’m simple itching for mine to show up. Give this a watch and see how Jeff came up with and uses his Analog card system.

Automators 69: Joe Buhlig and Automating OmniFocus

Early last week I received a text message from my friend, David Sparks, that said he was recording an episode of Automators on OmniFocus the next day and wanted to know if I could make it last minute. Who says “no” to that? Not me.

Discussion for above Automators episode

Some interesting conversation and scripting is going on in the discussion thread for this episode. If you want to nerd out, go here.

Follow-up to Auto-Parsing Tasks in OmniFocus on iOS

If you’re having issues with the double-dash process required by the Auto-Parser, check out this.

Links of interest

Daring Fireball: Why Does the Apple TV Still Exist?

Why does the Apple TV still exist? – Six Colors

How to Know if Ice Is Safe to Walk On | The Art of Manliness

How I Time-Block and Plan in a Traveler’s Notebook – The Sweet Setup

Contextual Computing, Workflow Thinking, and the Future of Text – Ryan Boren

The mortality of software – Six Colors

On Beethoven and the Gifts of Silence - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

Context Switching: Why It’s So Hard to Avoid & How to Prevent It Anyway

Upcoming Events

[Team Analog] Teaching Kids to Bullet Journal - Wednesday, Feb. 24 @ 1 PM Central

My oldest daughter, Emma (8), is going to join us for this one. She’s super excited to show you her Bullet Journal. Proud dad right here.

[Team Analog] Finding Your Life Mission - Wednesday, Mar. 10 @ 1 PM Central

I know. I know. This is one of those things that people tell you to do but always seems like a nebulous hole of uncertainty. But that’s exactly why we need to learn about it. There is a set framework for deciding this if you’re willing. And there are a few key components that every life mission needs.

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