Tools for Thought Are Necessarily Monolithic

I read Unbundling Tools for Thought and I find myself agreeing and disagreeing. They are correct that people over invest in tools for networked thought and can get stuck in an unproductive cycle of rebuilding the system over and over again. They are incorrect that the solution is to unbundle into multiple tools and interop between them—point solutions are good at what they do but don’t provide as much building material needed to make it a home.

A good tool for thought is necessarily monolithic. It must cover the surface area of your life in order to be useful (for me that’s personal and professional work). It must be flexible to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of how you think. The combination of coverage and fit means that an effective tool for thought needs to do a lot of things for a lot of different kinds of people.