What Is Psychic Friction

Too Many Options

Psychic Friction

Too Many Options

I was thinking today about why I really like certain things. Love MacDown, couldn’t live with Scrivener. Love Todoist, couldn’t live with Evernote. Love Netflix cannot deal with Hulu. Loved Apple software design circa 2009, cannot stomach currently 99% of Apple software. The list goes on and on.

I like things that make my life simpler and make it easier to live and enjoy. And without fail every latter on the list above, I THOUGHT was going to make my life simpler, easier and more enjoyable.

In every single case, I dove in the expectation that using this or doing that was going to make shit more fun. but they didn’t. And in every former case, I am overwhelmed with how well the thing does what it does.

So what is this Psychic Friction, the way I see it, it has a few parts and it is closely related to decision paralysis.

  • There are a lot of features
  • People say that the benefits are derived from this massive feature set
  • I expected to get the benefits

Instead what happens is I get seduced by the bells and whistles. Something good does have to be fancy.

Toilet paper is fantastic and it is just a roll of dead bleached tree.

Here is an excerpt from my journal on Psychic Friction.

I was thinking about Friction. I like things that remove Friction. I love MacDown. I don’t like Scrivener.. Well I have not tried it in a while but back then I was always trying to add steps and complexity. I wanted the “best” tool versus the best for me. MacDown formats on the fly and gives instant feedback. I don’t have to think about the formatting. In fact since the formatting is so intuitive I end up using a small subset and getting what I need done faster. No stopping my train of thought to type in long complex tags. Even Sublime cannot compete with Macdown. I like MarkDown as well but it keeps losing connection to Evernote. That created FRICTION. Evernote is another tool that is too great. Too much to do there. I get lost in the features and don’t get the stuff I need done, done. Too many features can create psychic FRICTION. I think it was coined as the paralysis of choice. Maybe my PSYCHIC FRICTION is a subset of that.

Psychic Friction Is Stranger Things

Psychic Friction fights AGAINST 80/20 but it masquerades as helping you. That’s what makes it suck so bad. You start thinking you are the problem, not the tool. If whatever you are doing is important and you want to get it done as painless as possible; it is never you, it is always the tool you chose. That is why Evernote is great for Evernote people but I cannot find a place for it on my shelf. For me it creates Psychic Friction, for Evernote people it does EXACTLY the opposite. Psychic Friction like the upside down from Stranger Things, everything looks similar and has similar function but just doesn’t work out for you there.

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