September 6, 2013

The Right Tool

People tend to talk in absolutes when it comes to tools. This is the best phone, that’s the best camera, this is the best pen, that’s the best notebook, this computer, that car, this games console, that coffee maker… You get the point. Not all who claim something like “the iPhone is the best smartphone” are fanboys, but they’re talking in absolutes. As fanboys are prone to doing too, incidentally.

Photo by Robert S. Donovan (CC)
Photo by Robert S. Donovan (CC)

“The iPhone is the best smartphone.”

“The Moleskine is the best notebook.”

“The retina MacBook Pro is the best computer.”

All these statements are undeniably true for me at the moment. They’re not true because these products – the iPhone, the Moleskine notebook, the retina MacBook Pro – really are the best there are (although they very well could be), but because I have them right here with me.

The right tool for anything is the one you’ve got at hand. It isn’t important what you could or should be using, what’s important is what you’re using.

My shoe is the right tool for hammer in a nail, if it’s the only thing I can use at the time. If I’d have a hammer, any hammer, then that would be the right tool because it performs better. Until I’ve got a better option at hand, the one I’ve got with me is the best one. This is exceptionally true for photography (the best camera is the one you’ve got with you, more often than not the mobile phone) and writing (write with what you’ve got, which could be the iPad).

Use what you’ve got. They’re the right tools for you.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.