Get in touch

Action Items: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down and share their top 5 tools that keep them productive. We chat about our favorite to-do apps, calorie counting apps and apps that will make your meetings more productive. From simple tools to complex tools, we share our secrets for staying sane and productive at work. 

Transcript

Paul Ford I like Missy Elliott. And I like this kinda guy, I like this kinda guy. And it just— Ok, oh my God, cut this. Destroy it. 

Rich Ziade No, no, no, keep it in [music plays alone for 16 seconds, ramps down]. Paul, you know— 

PF Oh, hey Rich, how are you? Nice to see you. 

RZ Unconsciously— 

PF Hmm, keep going. 

RZ— we’ve actually sort of adopted a format on Track Changes, and it goes something like this: we bitch and yell and complain for the first 20 minutes and then try— turn it into [music fades out] something a bit more constructive in the last ten. 

PF Oh, yeah, yeah. Well this is what the— [angrily] “The hell with the tech industry, it’s a bunch of idiots!” 

RZ Yup and— 

PF And then we’re like— at the end we’re like, “Oh God, we’re marketing.” 

RZ “Well what can we do?”

PF Yeah, “Here’s how to understand this important thing.” 

RZ Often times I pause— 

PF Yeah, yeah. 

RZ We pause the recording and I say, “Ok, now we gotta take this—” 

PF Remember, remember: we have to give people something good to go home with.

RZ Yeah, something to chew on. 

PF Yeah. 

RZ So we’re gonna do it different this time. It’s gonna be all constructive productivity, this time. We’re gonna shove a listicle right through your ears into your brain. 

[1:10]

PF How many productivity things are we gonna talk about? 

RZ Five tools to help you work better. 

PF This is great. 

RZ So, by the way, consciously we’re not gonna pick tools like, [mockingly, tough bro] “Uh, Slack!” We’re not gonna do that. We’re not looking for link bait here, or ear bait. This is actual stuff that’s actually kind of just up and coming right now. So, tool number one! 

PF Tool number one. What’s the number one tool? 

RZ It’s called Whimsical. 

PF Oh that sounds nice. It’s a thing that lets me enjoy my life. It shows me balloons. [Rich laughs] Yeah. That’s what Whimsical is. Whimsical’s not about work. Where do I go if I wanna see Whimsical? 

RZ whimsical.com

PF Oh, that’s a good URL. 

RZ And . . . it’s a collaboration tool; it’s a visual workspace. 

PF It’s a flowchart maker. 

RZ It’s more than that. It’ll do flowcharts, wireframes, sticky notes, mind maps. You know what it is? It’s [holds the ‘s’] . . .

PF That’s what all the flowchart makers do. 

RZ They don’t do wireframing. 

PF Yeah they do. 

RZ Yeah, but that’s bullshit. 

PF Let me tell you— 

RZ Don’t call yourself flowchar— If you say OmniGraffle. 

PF [Aggressively] OmniGraffle! 

RZ Thanks for listening to the podcast— 

PF Yeah, there we go. 

RZ— everybody. 

PF There we go. 

[2:13]

RZ What is OmniGraffle? I’ll give you 30 seconds because it is like mentioning The Doobie Brothers. So, let’s talk about OmniGraffle [laughing]. 

PF Every time I open it I go [sing-songy], “Every day I’m graphallin’”. And it’s really bad. OmniGraffle is a flowcharting, diagraming prototyping tool that has been around for probably a decade plus, maybe longer. And it only runs on the Mac. 

RZ It’s legendary, actually. 

PF Well, it just was one of those early MacOS X— like there is this company, The Omni Group, and they make— they were a NeXT company and then Apple bought NeXT and was like, “Here’s the new operating system,” and they’re like, “Hey, we got it all for you. We actually write software for this craaazy cakes platform.” 

RZ Oh, I didn’t know the background. 

PF And so OmniGraffle was their diagramming and charting tool, and it defined the world of information Architecture along with Visio for quite a while. So I still, you know, as an old hand, I’ve still got a copy but, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t open it as opposed to how often I used to. I probably pop it up once every two months. 

RZ Yeah, I mean, that’s the power of tools like this is, you know, how did I find about Whimsical is I got shared an asset. 

PF Yeah. 

RZ And you can’t do that with OmniGraffle and that’s the angle, right? Which is someone could start a flowchart and say, “Rich, check it out,” and you’re not just getting an output. You’re not [no] getting an export of the flowchart. I’m in the game, like it’s the actual tool. The [and—] power of a web app that— 

PF Product Led Growth! People don’t wanna share software, they wanna share documents. 

[3:34]

RZ They wanna share documents and they wanna share living documents [yeah] where I can actually contribute. So I could go in and— 

PF Chat, conversation— 

RZ Make comments and et cetera. 

PF— spaces and things like that. 

RZ So Whimsical’s a good tool, we’re starting to use it at Postlight.

PF System diagrams, flowcharts, mind maps, architecture. It’s a way to capture that class of boxes and arrows kinda stuff. 

RZ And, you know, the beauty is— 

PF Wireframes too actually. It’ll let you mockup apps. 

RZ That’s right, it’ll let you mock up apps and you can try it! The beauty of these tools is the onboarding process is literally sign in with Google. 

PF What is— what is your reaction when you get an email and it’s like, “Hey! I’ve got a Whimsical document for you?” The first time. 

RZ Usually I collapse. 

PF Yeah usually I’m just like, [vocalizing frustration] “Argh! Not another frickin’ thing!” 

RZ There’s a lot of tools. 

PF Oh yeah. 

RZ That’s why we’re curating here, Paul. 

PF Oh yeah. 

RZ That’s what we’re doing. 

PF Yeah, that’s true, we’re gonna leave about 5,000 tools out of this podcast. So anyway, I loved you, OmniGraffle, you were good for me for a long time. 

[4:24]

RZ Whimsical is here. 

PF Yeah, I just don’t flowchart that much anymore. 

RZ Yeah, but you know what? I’m ok with it as another type of communication artifact. 

PF I love seeing them, like, but I just— No one is saying, “Paul, show me how this platform’s gonna work.” 

RZ That’s right. 

PF I do— I do it sometimes in proposals but then I just use Keynote or Google Slides or whatever cuz it’s usually adequate. 

RZ Alright, next one. 

PF Ok. Feeling productive already. 

RZ We’ve talked about this in a prior podcast. 

PF Mm! 

RZ One of the most dangerous things that can happen at the end of a meeting where everybody’s sort of pattin’ each other on the back and saying, “Good job,” and, “Nice work,” and, “That’s a pretty good idea. We should do that. That’s actually not a bad way to approach this.” 

PF You know how many hours of the last 24 hours of working time have been spent in meetings for me? 

RZ A lot. 

PF 24. [Rich laughs wheezily] I’m not kidding. 

RZ You got a break now, recording this podcast. 

PF [Laughing] Oh yeah, this podcast — We just had a sales meeting. I’m like, “Oh I kinda like this meeting cuz this is the meeting where we talk about what’s happening in all the other meetings.” 

RZ Yeah. 

[5:19]

PF All of my meetings are designed so that I can talk about what’s happening in other meetings. 

RZ But, to be clear, we’ve got a good system here at Postlight. It’s [chuckling] going well. 

PF No, we’re doin’ well. It’s just wild . . . that this is part of my life. Like, there’s no point— My job is not to go do work. That’s dangerous. My job is to go to meetings and then go to other meetings and share out and communicate the findings— 

RZ Your job is to empower others, Paul Ford. 

PF I know! I know. 

RZ That’s what CEO does. 

PF That’s how I do it. 

RZ You are not going to feel that good feeling of those calluses on your hands cuz you’ve been working on that treehouse— 

PF No, no, that’s the thing. 

RZ You want a treehouse? Open Whimsical, start drawing a [chuckles] treehouse and send it for someone else to build. 

PF That’s right. That’s exactly right. 

RZ Next tool. I was making a point and you sidetracked me but that’s ok. That’s the delight around recording this podcast, Paul. 

PF This is my 27th hour of meetings. 

RZ I know, I understand. 

PF So just, you know— 

RZ You get a pass. 

PF Take what you can get! 

[6:10]

RZ No good, clear next steps out of a meeting is [mm!] one of the most dangerous things because you just wasted an hour. 

PF Meetings are impossible, right? So, you write an agenda, it’s not gonna be the right agenda. You go in without an agenda, you screwed up, and you say, “Hey, what’s the goal of this meeting?” And it turns out there’s seven different ideas as to what the goal of the meeting is. 

RZ When you ask that question at the beginning of a meeting— 

PF Mm! 


RZ— you’re essentially saying, “Why the hell did you waste my time with this? And you better come up with a good answer right now.” It’s a very confrontational thing to say, I think. At the beginning of a meeting— 

PF Well, no, it can also be on gathering feedback but the thing a leader should say is, “Here’s what we wanna get out of this meeting.” 

RZ Yes.

PF And, “Does anyone have any thoughts?” 

RZ Oh, there you go— that’s a CEO [yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I know] right there, doin’ their thing. So the tool is called Navigator. 

PF Navi— is it navigator.com? 

RZ It is navigator.com. 

PF Yeah, you know what happened is there’s so much money in the world that the VCs are suddenly saying, “No, get the URL. It’s worth it. Spend the couple hundred thousand dollars.” 

RZ So, this tool essentially gives structure to your meetings. “We’re gonna hit five points, and we’re gonna have forked action items comin’ out of it.” 

PF So, it’s an agenda writing tool but instead of it just being a list, there’s actual little modules. 

RZ It kinda puts your meeting on Rails. 

PF That’s right. Well, not Rails, the software programming [not the software—] cuz then it would be really slow and it would take five seconds to load the page but [Rich laughs] more like rails— 

RZ Ouch! 

[7:31]

PF No, but it’s like we’re, “Hitting a decision point. We promised we would get to this decision. What was the outcome?” And then you have to document it. 

RZ Yes. 

PF So, it’s an agenda but then it’s also kind of a live agenda that you keep filling in which, you know, you could also do with a Google Doc for free and not add a lot of complexity but that’s not how product works. Product always has the fantasy that software will fix humans. 

RZ I mean the goal here is to try to get max value out of your time on that meeting. 

PF I’ll tell you what: I just don’t believe it. 

RZ Ok. Here’s the things it’s trying to do. I’m pitching this right now. 

PF Pitch me what’s it called? Notorious? 

RZ Navigator. 

PF Ok, very good. 

RZ Notorious is pretty good. So it has things like reminders to prepare. So you’ll get a ping. 

PF Oh, ok. 

RZ Cuz you want another reminder [laughs]. 

PF That’s right. That’s good. I like a good reminder. 

RZ Pre-reads: essentially some prep notes that you should read before you come to the meeting. Action item tracking. 

PF Docs. Call it docs! Don’t call it pre-reads. Ok, action items, things we’re gonna discuss. 

RZ Yup. Meeting summary. So if someone is the scribe, the notetaker in that meeting. 

PF Hmm. Fill that out. So we’re gonna create some knowledge here. 

[8:30]

RZ Yup. And a feature called time saver. When there’s nothing on the agenda you’ll get a notification to see if you’d like to give everyone their time back. 

PF Oh yeah, nobody does that. Can I describe a true power move I’ve seen? 

RZ Yes. 

PF So, remember when I wrote that thing for Business Week, “What is Code?” 

RZ Yes. 

PF Ok, so I was kind of living inside of Business Week at that point. The editor, Josh Tyrangiel, stood up and he actually gave me a ribbon, it was like a silly ribbon, like, “Pretty good,” is what it said, and that was nice. And everybody was really sweet. And he just went, “Look: you all need to know, I’m declaring meeting amnesty. All standing meetings are done. And, if you desperately need a meeting you can have one but no more standing meetings until you really know why.” Suddenly everyone’s supposed to clear their calendar. 

RZ We did something similar recently, by the way, and it threw us off for a minute. 

PF Oh so— 

RZ We have a couple of recurring meetings around staffing people, around sales— 

PF We can describe it to people, they’ll find it interesting. We used to have a meeting called Growth and Partnerships where it would be like, “Hey, how are we doing with sales? How are the current engagements going? Are we growing the company? What’s happening?” I was nominally in charge of that and Rich was there too and so it became like the number one information source about what was actually happening in the company, and so you were gonna need to staff your people if you were running a division and so on. And it became this moment of gridlock every week. 

RZ It did and it wasn’t feeling constructive anymore. 

PF So then, we start this new thing, Rich came up with an acronym, QORE, we’ll talk about it later but it’s Q-O-R-E. But it’s our first acronym, we’re very proud. 

RZ But it upended some of these recurring meetings. 

PF We decide— well, the thing was you have the G and P meeting and then you need to have the QORE meetings. 

RZ Yeah. 

[10:05]

PF And we said, “Alright, we’re shutting this one down.” 

RZ No, but there’s a staffing meeting which we’re not allowed to go to. 

PF That’s true, we can’t go to the staffing meeting. 

RZ And those all blew up. 

PF We blew up so many meetings and you know what we did that was great? We didn’t create an alternative or a solution or make it easy for anybody. 

RZ Because you know what happens? The needs are gonna surface anyway [yeah] and they’re gonna force some things to happen. 

PF I nearly did it. I was like, “Well, you know, we could replace this function with a monthly meeting.” 

RZ It’s very tempting. 

PF And you said, “Why don’t you just do it ad hoc? We don’t land that much business, why have a monthly meeting?” 

RZ Yeah. 

PF Like we only bring in about two new clients a month max, so why would you have a meeting? 

RZ Well that’s increasing! [Laughs]

PF It’s increasing but it’s like you don’t need a standing meeting for something that only happens kind of at random. 

RZ And, you know, that pushback is intentional. Sometimes I’m saying it and I’m not believing what I’m saying. 

PF Oh yeah, about 80% of the time. 

RZ [Laughs] But pushback is meaningful, actually [mm hmm] because what it is is it’s like, “Ok, let’s really test this.” Cuz I don’t the answer! I don’t have the alternative— 

[10:59]

PF No, but it would be great if somebody was like, “Well, you know what we could do?” 

RZ Ok, so anyway, related to all of that, Navigator is this tool that is really kind of trying to get you to use your meetings really well. 

PF We’re givin’ it a whirl. 

RZ We’re givin’ it a whirl. 

PF As opposed to Basecamp and Google Docs and so on. 

RZ Yes. 

PF I’m looking forward to it. 

RZ Alright, Paul, I’m gonna let you toss out number three. 

PF So, this one is one that nobody’s gonna use but we’re talking about things we use. I have talked about this on the show before: Emacs Org-mode. And, you know, here’s what’s funny: there are all of these wonderful tools and they’re good. Like, Basecamp’s good and they’ve all had lots of eyes on them and so on. Emacs Org-mode is a pure texting environment for writing and making to-do lists and I use it to publish content. And it’s like me, some academics, some programmers. 

RZ Let me ask you a question, first off [yeah], because that’s the worst product name I’ve ever heard. 

PF It’s really bad. 

RZ What is Emacs? 

PF Text editor. It’s got a lot of func— It’s for programming. A lot of of functions. 

RZ Ok so Emacs is a text editor tool, and we’re not talking about point and click here, let’s explain to people— 

PF No! 

RZ— is it free? 

[12:00]

PF It’s utterly free, it’s free software, GNU public license, it’s been around for 20 plus years, decades. 

RZ What is Org-mode? 

PF Org-mode is a set of programming libraries built on top of Emacs that let you do a[n] unbelievable number of productivity related things. 

RZ Like? 

PF Oh, I can create to-do lists, I can track time, I can set priorities and organize things by priorities, and everything is in a hierarchical outline. So at any point I can export my to-do list as a document, and then put into Google Docs. This sounds trivial but it’s super powerful and I wish more things had this pattern. Cuz what happens is I set up a to-do list and the to-do list itself is an outline of a document and as I finish parts of the document I mark them done. And then when they’re all done, I clean it up and I hit export, and it exports it to HTML or PDF or there’s another pipeline that can get it to Microsoft Word. And now the proposal, the statement of work, the complicated thing that I had to that was actually really thorny and needed me to treat it like a project is done and ready and out to the world. I use this when I’m writing articles, I use this when I’m writing statements of work, like all that stuff. 

RZ Worth noting: there’s a part of me that feels like you’re holding onto this because it’s nostalgic a little bit. 

PF There are thousands of users! This is a community. It’s maybe a little cult. 

RZ Yeah, it’s a little cultish. And— 

PF No, but the thing is is the clean output into all the different formats, like— 

RZ That’s the sell. 

PF It’s very fast and I have a lot of control over my own environment and then— 

RZ Very keyboard driven. 

PF It’s utterly keyboard driven and my brain is mapped to it but the weird thing—the reason it’s fun to talk about actually is that it should be an ancient legacy eyeroll of a thing but there are thousands of people using— 

RZ But it’s alive. 

[13:42]

PF Oh they keep developing it. It integrates with—If I’m writing something about coding, I can drop the code into the Org-mode file and then it will actually execute it and put the output in the Org-mode file. So like, if I’m like, “Here you should do this with SQL. Look at how this little program does these things.” If I’m writing one of my weird essays, I have the computer right there, inside of the buffer. 

RZ Right. 

PF That’s a hell of a thing. So anyway, brutal learning curve but if you’re a nerd, go watch a couple of interviews or some YouTube stuff and you’ll see that it is a hell of a world and actually there’s nothing else out there that does this thing

RZ orgmode.org. If you wanna go play with it. 

PF Yeah, yeah! 

RZ This is free. And there are YouTube videos on how to use it. 

PF It’s a good example of not throwing everything away just because stuff changed. 

RZ You also, I think, if you love control. I love going to the settings of anything as soon as I install it. 

PF Mm hmm.

RZ And if you love control I think this is the tool that provides that. Number four! 

PF Oh! This one’s a personal one. For those who’ve never seen me, I have a complicated relationship with my weight. Let’s just say that I could lose a few . . . hundred pounds. And there’s this app called Fat Secret . . . which I’d heard about. Now I wrote my own calorie counting app at one point . . . years ago. 

RZ Your style of procrastination— 

PF I don’t wanna talk about that right now. We’ll put it off for another podcast. 

RZ No! I’m about to compliment you . . . is remarkably productive. 

PF I call it the [Rich laughing] — I call it the stack. I have a procrastination stack . . . where each layer of the stack is actually a relatively serious project that probably will reach a lot of people and I sort of pile them on top of eachother and I can’t get— So it’ll be like I gotta finish my book but I need to write the CMS first. That is a[n] archetypal Paul Ford problem. And— it’s cuz of my stupid brain. Anyway, so Fat Secret, I have thought a lot about calorie counters. I’ve used a lot of them. You might have very complicated opinions about— 

[15:31]

RZ There’s one called Calorie King. Like the databases around the foods is pretty incredible at this point. 

PF That stuff is all good, I just gotta tell ya, like this app just works. And it’s not the prettiest thing and I see a few things I would change but having built my own, and then, you know what’s bad? Is when you build your own solution and then you’re like, “Well, I can never use another one. I need to update mine.” 

RZ Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

PF Throwing away your own software is really hard. 

RZ It is really hard. It’s like saying, “This dog is not friendly. I’m gonna get rid of it.” 

PF Look at how simple this thing is: I mean I just, literally, it’s like, “Hey, what did I have for lunch?” And I type in ‘ham sandwich’ and like, you know, my options come up, it gives me the nutrition facts, tells me all the stuff. I save it; checkbox, done. Can I add my salad in? It’s the simplest thing, it tells me I burned about 2,333 today. 

RZ Burned?!

PF It integrates with my Google Fit. 

RZ Ok, so you’re on Android. 

PF It’s also— 

RZ It tracks your steps and all that? 

PF It integrates with all that. It keeps [an] eye on you. 

RZ That’s awesome. Free? 

PF Yeah. You buy menu plans, stuff like that. 

[16:32]

RZ So, Fat Secret. 

PF I love the name cuz it’s just like yeah, let’s just all get over it. 

RZ Yeah, I like the name too. 

PF Cuz it’s just like, “Yeah, what are you doing here? It’s ok. Yeah, c’mon, chubby.”

RZ We said these are five great tools that are gonna help you work but, you know, we’re also here to live, Paul. 

PF Yeah, that’s right, well, listen: I’m not gonna get a lot of work done unless I lose some weight. 

RZ [Laughs] Ok, fair enough. Alright, we’re gonna close it with a fifth tool and a pleasant surprise actually. 

PF Oh, what do you got? What do you got? What’s the tool? 

RZ Oh, the tool is called Todoist. 

PF Oh, you love— this is your Org-mode. 

RZ This is my Org-mode and actually the depth of functionality in Todoist is real, it goes pretty far in. The mobile app is wonderful, the Mac app is the winner. 

PF Tell me about Todoist. What’s it like— 

RZ First off, I’m tossing— this feels like a cop-out. 

PF Start— I got a to-do list, start there. 

RZ You got a to-do list and the thing it does that I like is it does the smart typing where if you say, “Pay electric bill Jan 21,” just typing that in is gonna slot Jan 21. 

PF Oh it figures that out for ya. 

RZ Or if I say, “Check bank account every 28th of the month—”

PF Yeah, ok, so it’ll read your words [that’s right] and turn those into recurring events. 

[17:40]

RZ You couple that with— it’s a Mac app which— 

PF See I can do that Org-mode by hitting the calendar buffer, inserting a date with I can’t remember the keys— 

RZ Command-shift-option— 

PF No, it’s just actually the greater than and then you use a couple different shortcuts to get that kind of clarity and so it sounds like yours is easier. 

RZ A little easier. And the Mac app is practically invisible except [mm] for command-shift-space, which will bring up an add taskbar. The other cool thing it does is it keeps multiple lists. So if there’s movies I wanna just keep track of, you can put ‘em in. 

PF So it’s a to-do list with multiple lists that reads your words and— 

RZ Reads your words— 

PF— notifies you? Do anything else with it? 

RZ I wanna say one last feature it has. It has probably less features than some of these other ones. To-do apps are like the Mardi Gras of The App Store. It’s a little bananas. Like, there’s a few that are actually extremely simple. They’re like, “We’re not gonna let you look ahead beyond tomorrow.” But some of them are deeply, deeply complex and have all these features and whatnot and this is just right. And the other big surprise, Paul, is we’re actually gonna have the founder of Todoist on the podcast in a future podcast which is pretty exciting. Little start-up, I think they’re doing real well, and totally bootstrapped. So we’ll hear his story when he’s on. 

PF You know, one of the things as we’re talking about this stuff: you can really observe— there’s this contrast. Have you ever heard of the law of envelopment? 

RZ No, but let’s end this podcast sounding smart. So, go ahead, Paul. 

PF The law of envelopment is the observation that every application increases in size until it can send email. 

RZ Is that a real law? 

PF Certainly— it’s not federal. 

RZ No — [both laugh]. 

PF But yes, if you google ‘law of envelopment’. 

[19:17]

RZ That’s really funny. 

PF It’s totally real, right? Because remember there was that moment where like Microsoft Word, one day, it was like, “Send this document by email.” 

RZ Yeah. 

PF And, first of all, half the ones [chuckles] we’ve talked about love to send you email. Can’t wait to tell you about the update to the document. 

RZ See, that’s the thing, right? Like, that’s the counter but go ahead. 

PF Here’s what it gets at . . . which is that— So Emacs which I also [chuckles] use to read email is absolutely maximalist. It’s headed towards an operating system in the level its functioning. It’s got software all over. And then Todoist doesn’t do a lot. It’s here to do this thing for you and then get the hell out of your way. 

RZ Yes. 

PF Now I also love software like that. Like I have a little thing that reads my Google Calendar and tells me in the top right menu bar— I can’t remember the name of it— what’s coming up. And it is a great piece of software and I love it. 

RZ Very simple. 


PF Very simple. I love simple tools that do one thing. We do. 

RZ They are a wonderful thing. 

PF When we made tinysheet.com, you should go to that. But it really does seem like there’s two kinds of software developers: those who are gonna build a tool that will solve every single problem that a human might ever have; and those who are like, “I’m gonna just do this for you and I hope it works out.” And what’s interesting with both Whimsical and Navigator is that they’re right in the middle right now. Whimsical is groupware, you can put comments on things, like it could start going in a billion different directions. 

RZ It’s actually one of the hardest things to decide which [is] what direction am I gonna go? 

[20:42]

PF We see it. We have a client who came in and was like, “We need to figure out what to do with our product.” And it took ‘em 45 minutes just to show us— 

RZ The product! 

PF It had like Ajira built in. I mean it had messaging built in. All these sort of views and dashboards. And the product really only needs to do about one thing. I think that’s the hardest thing in the world because if somebody says, “Yes, we can just get a lot of libraries out and build that for ya.” You know, it’s gonna take another month but you can have an email client inside of your app. They’re like, “Well, that’s so great because then we can just have people communicate only using our app and that’s really powerful.” 

RZ Right. Right. 

PF And it’s like, “No, just live in the world.” 

RZ You know, the ‘less is more’ mantra a real one. I think it’s— 

PF Unless, you love a maximalist environment for doing certain kinds of things. Like Emacs is a giant beast . . . that took me years to tame and now I’m powerful because everything’s one or two shortcuts away. 

RZ Well you’ve invested in it, right? Like you’ve made the investment and now— 

PF Programming is like this. 

RZ— thousands of users are committed to it. Like Org-mode is not gonna come up with, “Hey, we’ve decided to shed a lot of features cuz that’s the right thing to do.” 

PF No! In fact— 

RZ There would be a revolt. 

PF The ecosystem and programming language— you know, everything is so that like you can deprecate certain things and replace them with others but it’s always getting bigger. Python 4 [.0] is not gonna be like, “We radically slimmed it down and took away all of the libraries.” 

RZ Yup. 

PF There’s always more to do. 

RZ Of course. 

[22:00]

PF And so there’s a mindset around like programming and building things where I wanna give you as many tools as possible. 

RZ Mm hmm. 

PF And then there’s the like how about this one tool? 

RZ Well I gotta say, Paul, this is one of the most optimistic, positive [music fades in] podcasts, we’ve ever recorded. 

PF Just a little happiness as you go about your day. 

RZ Yeah! 

PF Think about all the things. Simple tools, complex tools. We love ‘em all. 

RZ A dollop of kindness and generosity. 

PF Yeah. 

RZ And Paul, speaking of killer tools that boost productivity, we build some of those for some of our biggest clients, including big banks, media, health tech. 

PF Government organizations. 

RZ Government organizations. Really good, big sprawling— we’ve got some very cool announcements coming about the stuff that Postlight is doing these days. 

PF We really do. I have to say the work mix at Postlight is— 

RZ It’s lovely right now. 

PF It’s as close to ideal as possible. It is a mix of, like, raw, unbuttered capitalism dropped right down on your plate and absolute semi-socialist do-gooderism on the other side. Like, we are just riding this tiger. 

RZ Everyone’s having a great time. 

PF It’s good. 

RZ Yes. 

PF And which, actually, to that note: Product Managers; Designers; and Engineers, wonderful time to get in touch. Lots of good work for you to do. 

RZ Reach out to us. If you need our help or if you’d like to work here. 

PF hello@postlight— 

RZ hello@postlight.com. 

PF hello@postlight.com. And clients too! We’re always looking! 

RZ Have a lovely week, Paul. 

PF You too, Richard. Let’s get to work. 

RZ Bye. 

PF Bye [music ramps up, plays for four seconds, fades out to end].