A knowledge worker’s toolkit needs to be well rounded like a carpenter’s

Certain tools are needed for certain situations.

Sometimes you need a hammer and nail, other times a chisel. Sometimes a table saw and other times a framing square. Sometimes glue and other times a sander. Each has its purpose.

Likewise, experienced gardeners know to nourish the soil, not the crop. Healthy soil equals healthy plants. In knowledge work this could be repositioned as “nourish the system, not the outcome.”

As a knowledge worker there are many parts that make up our larger ecosystem, in the form of digital tools that fit specific use cases. Examples of needs might include:

  • Capturing thoughts
  • Processing tasks
  • Cataloging knowledge
  • Writing ideas
  • Referencing data and quotes
  • Sparking creativity
  • Collaborating with others

Sometimes one specific tool is better for a job than another.

Tools for managing information overload and improving how we think are on the rise.

Perhaps this is my way of justifying my use of almost a dozen different digital tools in my digital ecosystem when I know simplicity is better. While often true, knowledge work is complex and full of intricacy. Sometimes we need inspiration, other times we need data. Sometimes we need to revisit and tend to our past ideas, other times we need to capture new ones. It’s at the nexus of these needs and complexities where digital ecosystems reside.

Just like the soil on a farm, your digital ecosystem can either be healthy and lead to a bountiful harvest, or can be devoid of all nutrients and produce little to nothing of value. It all depends on where you focus your efforts.

Systems are a critical part of knowledge work but most people rarely, if ever, think about the systems they use let alone put in the time and effort to design better ones.

Do you feel comfortable tending to your digital ecosystem?

Perhaps you might like to explore my thoughts on Why I like Roam over Bear for improving my thinking.

Digital Tools I Wish Existed — Jon Borichevskiy

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