personal productivity

From the time I started using mu4e, I have stopped thinking about having a curated address book. And I don't miss it. The way mu4e contact listing mechanism works is, most likely, by running a fuzzy completion system over all the email ids seen across all the mail directories (maybe filtering spams). And it works. There are other use cases unlocked by having a more complete and polished contact management system, like monica, but they are not important most of the time. You should be able to identify when they are and have a system flexible enough to adapt, but that's a different topic.

The real work, most of the times, involves creating content and not organizing them. Higher level tools like Google Drive are good examples of systems which embrace this idea. You don't really care about where the files go and are focused aggressively on creating. You still need good lookup mechanisms but those can be made afterwards too. I don't know anyone who does diligent naming, renaming, moving, copying, deleting etc. to keep their Drive neat. If you indeed start to do all the bookkeeping, your life will inevitably end up in a mess. Never mind the accidental data losses1.

There is a low effort, works most of the time for most use cases, system and then there is a high effort perfect one. As in many other cases Worse is Better. Specially in these janitoring tasks where perfectionism has high cost and low value. I have noticed this in many forms of information that I used to manage manually at the lowest level. Music, contacts, notes etc. While I still need to work on something for contacts, since I am pretty poor at keeping my connections happy, I have stopped envisioning grand plans that pay off in long term now. If I am not getting a usable feature upgrade within an hour of programming, I decide that I have planned too much and should stop.



One of which prompted me to write this