The other day I wrote this:
Knowledge should reside in the notes, not in the software used to manage the notes.
I’m feeling like software has been hindering me more than helping me. I spend too much of my time building overly complex workflows in Emacs or Tinderbox or Obsidian or whatever. These crazy workflows often introduce dependencies and push the actual knowledge up into the process/software. This seems like a bad idea.
As a respite from all the complexity, I’ve been putting notes and logs into Bike Outliner. I tested Bike when it launched last year, but I was so deep in Emacs-for-everything mode that I quickly dismissed it. Too quickly I think.
I’ve always preferred writing in an outliner, and Bike is just so damn nice to work in. And it’s ridiculously simple. This simplicity might normally turn me off, but for the moment it is keeping me focused on the notes and not the tooling. I mean, there’s nothing much I can do in Bike other than write notes. This is a feature.
Sure, complex software can be used simply. Just ignore all those unnecessary features, right? Maybe, but there’s always the background hum of “what if I just…”, and I often underestimate how much that noise undermines the work.