I love useful tools that make my heart sing. A new notebook or pen can brighten the darkest of days–even if it’s grey. I’m demanding about my personal technology, much of that is due to my background. I require my tools to fit all my particular and peculiar criteria, in addition to trustworthiness.

My work requires that I review and evaluate a range of tools for my clients. As this pen at work project expands, my research now encompasses many different stationary and planner items.

This can be problematic if your systems are new and you don’t yet have full confidence in them. It’s easy to get caught up in the lure of marketing and pretty photos and want something new. Why?

Yes, somewhere there exists that one right tool for you that pinpoints your issue from a different angle. Your discovery allows you to choose the steps necessary to finally become unstuck.

However, the siren call of the magical “thing” that claims it will create an immediate fix for all your problems can be a strong.

When our tools delight us, we are happier. Sometimes they also provide a tiny imperceptible shift in our mindset, allowing us to succeed at our tasks and goals.

But I know we need to be wary that we don’t end up on a quest for perfectionism instead.

Here are three things I try to keep in mind so I’m not dazzled by a new, shiny, magical tool.

  • A single specific tool often only fixes a discrete issue, not everything.
  • The photo may not tell the entire story, more exists outside of the frame.
  • Am I suffering from a case of fear of missing out?

While I love to use specific tools, and hope to review and offer specific favourites here, I’ve worked to create a robust and resilient personal toolbox.

This honed set provides me the freedom to swap out a tool as needed, my systems will continue to function. I can change to a simpler tool to prevent perfectionism overtaking my work. If it’s time to evaluate an updated version of a current tool, I can substitute to discern if it fits specific criteria. These tool changes behave similar to the spare tire on my car, at the end of the day they still help me get where I need to go, and after testing I can return to my defaults.

Does this method also help me upgrade to a higher quality tool? Yes. As I remain aware of the lure of magic glamor, I can evaluate to find what I need without being overwhelmed by the glitter.

additional resources