Build a Toolkit

Everyone has a toolkit and I’m often asked what I use. I am quick to offer up tools that fill a specific use or tools that have saved me many hours over my career. But I never say that one tool is the absolute best. I offer what I use and that it’s worked for me. There are many tools that do the same thing. The tools are as varied as the technicians who use them. Everyone has a tool they like and it’s likely to be different for everyone.

When asked for recommendations, I recommend resources I use to find the tools I’ve added to my kit. A good technician should be comfortable with their tools. I am comfortable with all of my tools because I’ve tested and used them. When I find a new tool, I open it and play with it to see how it works and if it will work for me.

There is nothing worst than being at a customer’s desk working on their computer and fumbling through the tool I’m trying to run. I make sure I know the tools I use.

Build your own toolkit. You will know your tools and as a result you’ll get more use out of them and they’ll make you better. And don’t be afraid to revisit your kit. There is a fine line between constant swapping and tinkering, but when you hear about a new tool that solves a problem you’re having it’s worth looking into it.

Make a note of it, then go back to it later when you have time. I keep a file in Evernote called Apps To Remember where I save anything I come across that I think is neat. I may not have a need for it now, but I could see it being useful in the future, so I save it. Then I know it’s there and I can check that list when I’m trying to remember what it was called, or when someone asks me if I know of a tool that does something and I can refer to my list.