Jack

DEVONthink or EagleFiler (or Finder?)

One of the many things I waffle about is the choice of software for managing my many PDFs and other files. I often wish I could just keep everything in organized folders and use my Mac’s Finder to manage it all. That sounds great on paper, but never sticks.

I’ve used DEVONthink for years because it is so mature and powerful. I continue to find new features or techniques even after all this time. It does everything!

EagleFiler comes into play when I’m feeling overwhelmed by DEVONthink. EagleFiler is much closer to the metal, so to speak. It’s basically a thin, smart layer over a set of folders. Everything is accessible “natively” and its capture and organizational features are simple and useful.

But after using EagleFiler for a while, I start to wonder why I’m not just doing everything in Finder. I mean, if we’re going to mess about with files in the filesystem, why not just do that then? What was EagleFiler offering me, again?

After a short time, I end up back with nicely organized files and folders and it’s such a relief not needing to deal with databases or any of that nonsense!

Except it’s harder to get things into the right place using just Finder. It requires me to, for example, save a PDF to my Desktop then find and open the destination folder, then drag it on in. This makes quickly capturing stuff cumbersome. Search is fine, but harder to use than in the other apps. And I miss the way DEVONthink would intelligently sort and rename files for me. So always return to using DEVONthink, until I end up back at the beginning.

Where are we today, then? Today, it’s DEVONthink. My feeling right now is that if I’m going to abstract myself away from the actual files, I may as well use the tool with the coolest, fanciest ways to do that.

However, I can feel the pull of a simple set of folders and files. I am thinking about ways of making 2023 the Year Of Less Software, so stay tuned. 🙂

It was meant to be a workbench but has become a writing desk

My “workbench”

I put together a workbench in the basement after moving into my wife’s house. It has all the things I might need for minor repairs or electronics projects. You know, in case I ever feel the urge to fix or build something.

I often imagine myself as someone handy with tools. Someone who is not just creative, but can actually implement his ideas. Or someone who can repair things. It’s fun to imagine myself as that person, but I am not that person.

Since the “maker” urge hasn’t arrived, instead of using my workbench as a workbench, I’ve been using it as a standup writing desk. I have my notebooks and paper-related doodads within reach on a shelf to my left. My pens and stamps and pencil sharpener are on another shelf in front of me. It’s working out well, so I don’t mind that it isn’t used for what I intended.

DevUtils for macOS

DevUtils is an “All-in-one Toolbox for Developers” available for macOS.

This thing has everything. I might regularly use only a handful of the available tools, but DevUtils sure makes them handy. It’s $29 for a license and is also available via SetApp.

Do I want to write or do I want to fiddle with my blog?

Apparently, the answer is…fiddle with my blog. (Or maybe write about fiddling with my blog.)

I spent (aka wasted) many hours yesterday futzing with WordPress and Hugo. The day began with thinking about moving baty.net back to Hugo. I love writing in Emacs and using Org-mode files for publishing.

I feel like I’m a static website person. I want my site to be nothing more than a simple folder full of HTML files on a web server somewhere. Mmmm, fast, lightweight, future-proof, secure.

I also want to post by clicking a button, typing, and clicking another button. I want images to be managed for me. I want analytics, comments, and easy upgrades.

So, basically I want HugoPress. There is no such thing. None of the web front ends to Hugo are any good, so that’s out. I just want both sets of features and to pick and choose on the fly. I can’t have that, so historically I have kept two blogs, one static, one (usually) WordPress. Then I can use each set of features as needed. Except that splits my content and I don’t want that either.

Instead of writing, then, I continue to waffle about platforms. I recently made the “and that’s that!” decision to go all-in with WordPress. Once running, WordPress is the easiest way to get words published, and that’s why we’re here, right? So there!

And yet…

Friday, December 16, 2022

This post is an experiment. I’ve been writing daily notes somewhere for a long time, but never using WordPress. Lately, it’s been on my Tinderbox blog at baty.blog. What if I just did it here instead?

Can you tell that I’m nearly catatonic today over blogging platforms? I am unable to decide what goes where and how. Crazy-making!

I’m testing the Independent Publisher theme here. I used it years ago and have always liked its simplicity. But, is it too simple? Later: Turns out that yes, it was too simple.