I found myself this morning installing Zettlr, because there are stories of people saying they “changed their life around” using the zettelkasten method (here’s an example). Apparently it’s the way to become 20% smarter and win Pulitzers.
Please don’t pay any attention to my cynical tone. It’s because I can’t get any value from it myself.
A great hammer in the hands of a master carpenter will save him time and effort and allow him to make better furniture than without it. He is understandably excited. “This tool”, he says to anyone who asks, “will allow you to make a four poster bed like never before and in just 3 days!”.
Then a poor doofus like myself comes around with no talent in carpentry but plenty of ambition and desire, and I think to myself: “Hey, the reason I am not a master carpenter is because I don’t have this tool yet. But what do you know - it’s only $100, so I’m going to buy it and be a great carpenter myself!”
So I buy the tool but I still can’t make anything better than the dumb wobbly stool I used to make before I had the hammer.
Where’s the 4 poster bed? Where’s the fame and the recognition of my talent?
Time goes by, the hammer rusts, and in my old age I regret, “If only I had this other tool, I would have been the best carpenter in the world.”
It’s not about the tool. It’s the hand that wields, the brain that thinks, the person who uses the tool.