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I consider myself to be a prolific toolsmith. I also like to use and combine the tools of others to build new things. Naturally, many of my blog posts are about tools, just like the last one about my favorite writing apps. However, there’s a fine line between using tools and being obsessed with them.

When it comes to writing – or any creative endeavor for that matter – everybody wants to be more productive. Everybody wants to get things done. A lot of people believe that tools are key to being a successful writer, programmer, etc. The thinking goes like this: If only we could use the same shiny tools as popular writer X or famous programmer Y, we would be able to double our productivity and, as a result, accomplish amazing things.

Of course, it doesn’t work like that. Tools are not the reason why we fail to live up to our expectations. More often than not, the problem lies within ourselves. We get distracted. We lose focus. We procrastinate. After all, it’s so much easier to play with a brand new toy and feel productive than to actually sit down and do the real work.

Ask youself: What good is a writing app if you don’t write something in it? What good is a programming language if all you do is rave about how cool it is?

This post serves as a reminder – to both you and me – that tools are only a means to an end.

Now go and build something awesome.