Starting With Tools

Is there ever an end to new gadgets, software and new trendy methods being touted as the next great thing?

Probably not. So you may as well get used to new fads being thrown your way all the time. If you try them all, you would get nothing else done. If you ignore them, you risk missing a tool that could actually help your business.

What to do?

Keep your eye on the new tools and trends, and remember that tool adoption is the last step in any project or process.

Focus on Needs

To find the best tool for any given task or function, you must first know what you are setting out to accomplish and what you can realistically achieve. This takes several guises.


Always begin with the end in mind. Your path does not have to follow a straight line, and you want to be open for adaptation. However, what you need to achieve must be known before hand. Otherwise your actions are merely a consequence of circumstance. So begin with your top goals in mind, and don’t lose sight of these.


The way that you adapt your actions to unexpected situations, without ever losing sight of your goals, is through Strategy. Your goals can be achieved in many different ways, so long as you adhere to your pre-set guiding principles that you know will keep you true to your promises and abilities.


And you must be realistic about your available resources. This does mean financial but also: people, time, abilities and more.

When making a decision on a new tool or approach, start with these three which, grouped together, define your business needs.

But there is more.

Recognize your Wants

Knowing why you have certain goals and how you want to work and live is important here as well.


How do you work? In what environment are you most productive? What incentives motivate you? What are your virtues and what are your vices? The truth is that change is hard enough without trying to adapt your most fundamental habits. Take these into account and don’t try to adopt a practice that contradicts your most basic attitudes.


And be aware of what you like to do, and how you like to do it. Don’t try to re-train yourself on a system you know is doomed to begin with. Be realistic about how you can flourish and know that change is best achieved when it is incremental and balanced.

And then: Tools

An understanding of all of the above – mainly your Needs and your Wants – is essential to selecting the best tool or practice for the job. Plot the key points you extract from the above considerations, against the tools available for the job, and you will easily find the best tool for the job.

To Do:

  1. Create a standard list of business needs as a general starting point. This can be updated over time.
  2. Create a standard list of behavioral wants. Make sure these correspond to your business culture and goals.
  3. When a new tool is available for your consideration, start by analyzing you, and then analyze the tool.