Building a system before you have the stuff to go into the system can be fun but it’s not an efficient way to design.

I love an optimal workflow but it’s much better to first make a bunch of stuff with a sub-optimal workflow than to design an optimal one without any stuff.

A common experience I have as an unbearable software nerd: I get a peek at a system that a prolific person uses to create their prolific output and think “God, Microsoft Word? Are you an animal?”

I then go back to tinkering with my Grand System which has generated nothing yet.

While I do think it’s a tragedy that any person is still using Microsoft Word, I’m looking in exactly the wrong direction.

The purpose of a writing workflow is presumably to create writing. The purpose of writing is not to have the best writing workflow. That doesn’t make sense.

If you have nothing, no knowledge of any of the brilliant work software developers have done to make writing delightful, convenient, and extensible, and you use Microsoft Word to compose an essay every week, your workflow is technically more effective than my Dream Workflowâ„¢.

I’m comfortable with my current workflow for daily publishing and weekly newsletter-sending, but what’s really exciting is that I now have a lot of real writing that came from it. If and (let’s be honest) when I do want to tinker with this, I’ll be doing it in the right order.