Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Tools or Toys?

Carpenters and concrete layers might occasionally try out new tools.
(I wouldn’t know, as I do neither of these things.)

But I somehow can’t imagine a carpenter losing a day’s work “playing around with a new hammer” in the same way someone in my line of work might waste a full day playing around with a new app.

Maybe I’m the only one who’s ever done that?

Here’s the problem. No one but a child would ever think of a hammer or a saw or a lathe or a screed or a wheelbarrow as anything other than what they are.

Tools. Not toys.

Apps can be tools (Evernote, ToDoist, OmniFocus, iCal, Outlook).
Apps can be toys (Angry Birds, Fortnight, Donut County).
Apps can be something in the netherworld between (Every social media app).

Knowledge workers need to make sure they do two things.

Be very clear on what is a tool and what is a toy and use them appropriately.

Remember that ultimately you are the tool

(In the good way. Not in the derogatory sense).