Ask not what the program can do for you, ask for support to a concrete problem

Its like a finger, pointing at the moon.
If you stare at the finger, you miss all the heavenly glory.
Bruce Lee in “Enter The Dragon”

I love dealing with problems in workflows, with organizing work, with finding solutions to recurring time wasters and annoyances. And so do many people. If work is boring or complicated, if you need a break or cannot see the red thread anymore, it’s nice to shift to a meta-level and ‘improve’ the organization.

But organizing work is not doing work.

And frequently, it’s putting the cart before the horse. It’s not a question of “which cool programs are available” and “what can they do for me”. There are a lot of cool programs available, and they can do a lot of cool stuff. But no matter the functionality, what is important is that the program supports you where you need support.

Especially when it comes to scientific work methods and scientific workflow, I highly recommend ‘simply’ doing science for a while. If you take care, you will notice where you need support and that gives you the requirements to look for methods or programs that provide this support.

Personally, my Academic Work Flow changed a couple of times. It was not that suddenly there was this one cool program available, but that I moved along in science, found out where I needed support, and looked for programs/help that provided this specific support.

In this sense, happy reflection 🙂