2024: Keeping what works and shedding what doesn't

4 min read

I have a bad habit of jumping on the latest and greatest quite quickly. Whether that’s notetaking applications like Obsidian or Logseq, a read-it-later application like raindrop.io or Omnivore, or a text-editor like VSCodium or Lunarvim I have gone through quite a lot of change in 2023. In the year ahead, I would like to slow down and take better stock of what is working, and trim down what isn’t. In addition to just having less to generally worry about, this will also allow me to use annual pricing to save money.

Therefore, instead of declaring a certain “stack” that I plan to use in 2024, I instead thought that I would set out guiding principles that could aid all choices I make when it comes to software and systems. This gives me flexibility to still explore new things, while also ensuring that I don’t lose track of the glue that keeps it all together.


I originally came across the case for plaintext via useplaintext.email, which is a heavily opinionated piece about various email formats that users should follow. I don’t agree with all of it, however I do like the simplicity that plaintext email provides, and as protonmail has the functionality to allow this, I switched to plaintext formatting after reading the website. However, email is not the only thing that can be converted to plaintext. Rather, this ethos can apply to a ton of tools that I use. I have switched to budgeting via plaintext using a tool called Paisa and continue to take notes in plaintext via Obsidian. The configuration files for many other applications are also stored in plaintext, allowing me to easily take my customized setup to other locations.

Consolidating services

Over the past year, I have used a variety of service providers for the same service. In the year ahead, I would like to maintain a rule of one purpose one service. I should have all of my domains in one place, all of my notes in one place, and all of my code in one place. This cuts down on the mental overhead I have to do to keep track of everything, and reduces the chance that a zombie service stays in my stack when really it should be cut. This is especially important for file management.

Trial period, then commitment

For a lot of services, it is much cheaper to go with the annual option compared to the month to month. In 2024, I plan to try any new service out for one month, and then make a firm decision on whether I would like to sign up for a year or cancel the service outright. If it isn’t good enough to dedicate a year to learning, then perhaps it doesn’t have a place in the stack to begin with. Only through giving software an honest go can we truly discern whether it has a place in our lives.


As outlined in "Doing hard things: learning vim I would like to continue to practice and pickup vim in the new year. I am currently using the vim plugin within VSCodium to ease myself into the transition, but have found that I now have most of the keybindings down. I still have to think whether fully transitioning to something like Neovim is just me being stubborn or something that would actually increase my productivity. Within Obsidian I also use the vim keybindings and have found it to be fantastic.

RSS over newsletters

The next time I receive a newsletter in my email inbox, I am going to start mass unsubscribing. Instead, I have fallen in love with RSS as a methodology to receiving content. I have used FreshRSS and Miniflux and both are fantastic. For more on how this fits into my setup, please see “FreshRSS and Omnivore: A perfect match”

Donating to software in place of streaming services

Last month, I did a tally of the streaming services that I was subscribed to, and with the recent price increases, the monthly bill was beginning to add up. Since watching television usually doesn’t align with my values for how I would like to spend my time, I have a goal for the new year to repurpose that money and use it to donate to open-source software instead. To date, I’ve started with catppuccin, homebrew and cryptomator since these are all pieces of software that I have used personally in one way or another.