Tools: A Flexible Mindset in the Reviewing Phase

This is going to be a hard phase to discuss in terms of tools, because every craft and trade has the tools that best fit its activities. There are generic organization tools you can use to help keep you on target and keep your materials on hand, but the other phases have really explored those well enough for our purposes. But as far as actually completing your project or learning your skills, the tools are going to vary by what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

What I will advise is that you experiment. Listen to others who practice your craft or skill at all levels. What are they using? How do their choice of tools work for them? Try out those tools. Some will be free; many that aren’t offer trial periods that should give you plenty of time to decide if the tool fits your work style. That’s what you’re looking for: Does this tool support my work style? You don’t want to hottest new tool if it hinders your work. (It can have a steep learning curve if it’s clear it will make your workflow easier to manage down the road.) You want only those tools that genuinely assist in your work.

Of course, you’re going to have tools that you’ve worked with years, perhaps the entire span of your career, and it’s okay to keep relying on those if they’re still working for you. But it’s also helpful to periodically consider new tools, to see what’s out there. Often, new tool development accompanies changes in a craft or trade, so it helps you stay in touch with the evolution of your craft. Running a smaller project through a new tool to test it out also helps you build a mental agility as you look at different ways to apply your skills. (This can also be a great way to measure mastery – Are you able to transfer your body of knowledge to a new tool? It can be pretty eye-opening.)

So, I guess what I really want you to take away from this is: Find tools designed for your craft or trade. Learn how to use them comfortably and competently. But be open minded and try out new tools when you can, both to see what’s available to your creative community and to test your own knowledge agility. You never know when you’re going to find that right tool to tackle a new project, or to simplify a familiar process.

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One thought on “Tools: A Flexible Mindset in the Reviewing Phase

  1. Pingback: The Process of Reviewing | Genius in Transition

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