Mario Villalobos

Old Tools and New Tools

  • Notes

Earlier today, I opened Capture One on my Mac. Capture One is a photo editing application, very similar to Lightroom. I am and have been a Lightroom user for years, and I haven’t had any inkling to change that, but when I opened Capture One, I decided to play with it. I don’t remember why I opened this application or the circumstances that led to it, but I have to admit, I had fun with it. I grabbed a random Fuji RAW file from my hard drive and played with the tools, learned the interface, made my edits, and in all, I found the entire experience to be nice. Thoughts started swirling around in my head, and I started asking myself, Should I switch to Capture One from Lightroom?

Concurrently, I had been toying with the idea of incorporating Obsidian into my workflow in some way. Obsidian is a very powerful tool for those who keep and work with Markdown files, like I do. I had been and still very much am a loyal user of iA Writer. iA Writer, in my opinion, provides the best writing experience of any writing app I have ever used. I am using iA Writer to write this post right now, and it’s the app I have used to write every blog post I’ve written since my return to blogging in 2020. Quite simply, I love this app.


Obsidian is so nice! I love how it displays my Markdown files with its own “Live Preview” editing mode, I love how fast it is, and I love its vast amount and variety of community plugins. It’s a really nice app, and I really like it, but unlike with Capture One, I don’t have to migrate from iA Writer to Obsidian. I can use both concurrently, and I really like that. The only change I had to make was with my folder structure, and that was because my document folders were scattered all over the place, and that didn’t quite jive with Obsidian’s “Vault” concept. So I reorganized my files, and neither Obsidian or iA Writer cared.

My toying around with both Capture One and Obsidian had got me thinking about my tools again. A few months ago, I returned to using Scrivener because I missed a few of its more powerful features, something iA Writer didn’t have, and that experience has been fine, great even. I use Panic’s Nova to write all the code for this website, and I use Things to manage all my tasks. All these apps—these tools—are great and all, but at the end of the day, I have to sit down and do the work.

I’m a nerd, and I love playing around with new tools, with old tools, with tools in general, but these tools are meant to help me get work done. I can’t be like Julian Simpson and obsess over my tools, but I can be like Julian Simpson in the sense that he gets so much work done. Switching over to Capture One isn’t going to make me a better photographer, just like switching back to Scrivener isn’t going to make me a better novelist. At the end of the day, I have to use my tools to get work done, and I want to get work done.