Chris Miller

Shallow Knowledge of Deep Tools

I have a lot of digital tools. It is a source of great sadness to me that I don’t use any of them to their full potential.

I tend to live in this in-between state with all of what I use, where I know enough to make them work and do the basic thing I need them to do, but I never go deeper to see what, with a little more time and effort, I could do with them.

Areas for improvement:

  • Neovim: I’ve been using vim in some form since 1995, and I still only graze the surface of what this tool is capable of. I watch friends do amazing wizardry with it, then I go back to plunking away like a chimp, doing everything in INSERT mode and shifting to a gui when I need to cut and paste anything from one app to another. It’s shameful.
  • Linux itself: I adore the Linux operating system. I use Pop OS right now, but the underlying programs are always a wonder to me. And yet, I’ve never spent the time to get to know how to use the command line beyond some of the basics, I know what sed and awk are, but have never used them. I feel like I am leaving a ton of productivity on the table not digging deeply into all that Linux can do for me.
  • Nextcloud: In my drive to get off of Google, I threw together a Nextcloud instance for my family to use, and it has been rock solid. I’ve used some of the plugins available to extend the system, but I’ve not integrated them well into my daily life. In a quest to develop better processes for myself, I want to make more effective use of this fully armed and operational…system.
  • Drafts: Drafts is an application on iOS that is a text processor. Basically, you write whatever you want with it in text, and then use macros to transform, send, save…all manner of things. I use it as a notepad most of the time, but there is a lot more that it is capable of that I’d like to learn.

There are SO VERY MANY ways to do things. I feel like I’m drowning in apps. One of my goals for this new year is to build simpler, more effective processes for myself so that I can get good at using the tools I’ve chosen. And with that comes the opportunity to improve my knowledge of the things I use shallowly ever day.

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