Although there’s been a ton of services launching trying to help people do everything under the sun I’ve been finding myself going back to simple tools. One of these has been replacing Evernote with text files that are synced via Dropbox after getting annoyed with Evernote one too many times. It’s great, I edit files in Sublime Text and came up with my own naming format to make search easier. If that fails, I just use grep and find and almost always find what I’m looking for. Since the files are plain text, every Linux command is a tool. It’s trivial to do bulk search/replace using sed or compose one liners to do various filters and counts. It’s easy to sort files by time or size and being able to do a regex search comes in handy when you only have a vague idea of what words you used when writing a note.

I wish more services would approach their products the same way - only focus on one thing, do it well, and allow other services to integrate with it in a simple way. This belief has been the foundation of the Unix philosophy but sadly most businesses haven’t embraced it due to a desire to encourage lock in and increase switching costs. Hopefully this changes in the future.

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