Don't Put the Tool Before the Craft
Terrible workmen often blame their tools...
Loved it! Nat, I've been a reader ever since I found you on Medium and later found your website. Your writing got me interested in everything from marketing, SEO to non-fiction books and Roam Research. Big thanks for shaping my life so much. :))
Great article, Nat! It's been interesting to see your thought progression from your Roam Research course to now.
Footnote Gold: "Jack should end up obsessed with finding magic seeds and die falling off a beanstalk or something." 🤣
I read a bunch of your old productivity posts and really enjoyed them. If you aren't familiar with Oliver Burkeman and his book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management For Mere Mortals you should check it out. I think the messages would really resonate for you. He's also got a couple of great podcasts with Sam Harris.
Hi Nate. I've been following you for about a year now, and have enjoyed watching your "transformation" into an author. This is by far my favorite piece since you've been on substack, and it's such a relief to hear you say this. Looking forward to more like it ;)
Honestly, reading your weekly email letter updates is like a ritual now. Good stuff! Don't stop :)
Thanks brother, I needed that
Excellent, Nat. You mean to tell me you got rid of that typewriter that made you money before there was the internet and tiny, silent keyboards? And no whiteout?
Solid facts. I've been coming to a similar & deepening realisation of this myself lately. Productivity obsession often reflects the delta between aspiration/compulsions and who you actually are. The least productive person I've ever read about, funnily enough, was Leonardo Da Vinci - who abandoned paid jobs and contracts to pursue whatever curiosity commanded his attention that day.
A friend on a similar journey is developing an aversion to task management software, and I find myself cutting unnecessary projects out of my life I thought I were essential, which then makes the day easier to just ensue. So far, feels way healthier and happier.
Thanks for articulating this more clearly than I could so I can share with others 😂 and also helps coming from a more credible source.
As a note, I think 'Breaking Up with Productivity Advice' is the major headline here.
Definitely feel this way now. A few months ago I stumbled upon the PKM/note-taking corner of YouTube, when Obsidian, Roam, and How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens were gaining popularity. It was interesting but I eventually just kept switching from one app to another. I realize now that my problem was that I had found a solution for a problem I didn't even have; I put the tool before the craft.
Fun read, Nat!
Great read. The best nugget was hiding in note 6!