Singularly Simple

Craig Mod sharing this profound experience on Photography, hello:

Over the last decade, my rule as a creator — be it as a programmer, writer, designer or photographer — has been to use the simplest possible tool for the job. Use the simplest tool until you breach its potential. If you think you’re using the simplest tool and find one simpler yet, switch to that.

Connected to that rule of simplicity is a bias toward constraint. I’ve always shot with one lens. Obsessed over a single type of film. Worked for years with one type family. One specific CMS. A single scripting language. I am deeply suspicious of technology and find the easiest way to keep from creating is to trick yourself into believing some other tool — just that shiny thing over there — will make all the difference in how you work.

Amidst all the glitters and promise of new, can we really resist the allure of trying out different things? Are we to blame when the social norm is to own more rather than less? Before we can even explore half the features of our gadget, we are already head over heels, salivating over the much hyped new iteration. There are hundreds of camera apps, GTD tools and social platforms that fuels our addiction. There is a plethora of fine software together with many other duds. Driven by desire, we want to have them all.

Not because we need it, but because we can.

Do I really need Clear, Checkmark, Todoist, Begin, Fantastical and Calendars (by Readdle) when the default Calendar and Reminder app already do a competent job? At one time, I had three different calendar app – Agenda, Fantastical and Calendars. Four if you add in the default Apple calendar. Of course, they are all really good apps, thoughtfully designed and beautiful to interact with. But having so many redundancies for the same task is ridiculous.

Simplify, rather than add. I keep going back to this statement by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. It‘s a way of life, the value of doing more with less. To be free of the consumer-driven insanity of being shoved so many unwanted things.

Heeding the advice of Craig Mod, I‘m going to start by being simple. A post-it pad may be sufficient for my to-do tasks. Sledgehammer it is not, but neither do I really need it.