There’s the old line: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
There is a lot of merit to that saying, to be sure, but there are some cases when it is precisely that type of thinking which causes you to miss out on bigger and better opportunities. What if it isn’t broken? You seriously need to wait for something to stop functioning before you replace or upgrade the thing? I don’t think so.
Obviously, we all have a way in which we like to write. Many times, we find a processor and editor that we are comfortable with (like Ginger or Grammarly!), and then leave it at that. We stick to what we know. This is true to writers of all kinds, and probably humans in general. It is a comfort zone thing.
Well, I took a chance on a different kind of program a while back, and I liked it. So, this is one man’s opinion on why you should be using Vim as your text-editor software. It's considered a platform which is better suited for programmers, but this is not necessarily true.
What Is Vim Software?
Vim, a contracted way of spelling ‘Vi Improved’, is a free and open source editor, first created in 1991. It was written by Bram Moolenaar, and it functions as a kind of modern take on the standard ‘Vi’ editor, which was written by Bill Joy in 1976 for the Unix operating system.
There are a number of half-truths – for lack of a better term – surrounding this particular text editor. I feel the need to address some of these, and set the record straight. I want to preface this by saying that I enjoy Vim a lot. I had some time to fool around with it, and this helped it click for me. I know we all have our preferences, and you may find that Vim is not for you.
Vim is a pretty polarizing piece of software. Or so it seems. The internet is filled with testimonials of people who hated the Vim editor at first, but grew to love it. I am not one of those, by the way. I saw the Vim advantage from the start, because I immediately appreciated its maximum use of keys. Who needs a mouse if you are interested in writing?
Drawbacks & Benefits of Using Vim Software
Naysayers claim that using Vim will cause your productivity to take a hit. Sure, when you are busy learning it, you can expect to have some backlash. Remember this is only temporary, and that this would probably be true to any new software which you would want to start using. There is a good chance that once you gain some proficiency with this platform, it will boost your productivity. You need to think of these things long-term.
If you want to become a real master of Vim, then yes, it will take you a while. It's not your run-of-the-mill editor (like Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, for example), after all, and it can take time to learn its secrets and intricacies. But, as far as standard productivity is concerned, it is safe to say you will be up and running in a few days.
Take the time to learn the platform and its basic movement commands and it can seriously reward you. Your productivity will not suffer for long, if you are focused. Plus, once you're able to use it, your productivity may even grow.
The holy trinity of mouse-keyboard-monitor is great for some functions, I agree, but with writing there is something about the mouse that really breaks the flow of it all. For me, anyway. Which is why I consider Vim to be a major upgrade. It has a function on just about every key, and when you get them down in your head, you are flying all over that keyboard, making any and all editing and correcting along the way. I'm not quite there yet, but it is the potential of a unique writing experience which makes it worth the while.
Vim has a lot of plugins – tons, really – but don’t be tempted to use them in order to solve problems you are encountering. Remember, it's always best to let the program unfold before you. Look for the answer in the actual software first, whenever possible, because using too many plugins may have a negative effect. Instead of providing a helping hand, they will become an annoying buffer between you and the original software.
Vim is a text editor which requires some initial effort, but it can provide you with the kind of speed and adaptability which you won’t necessary find with other text editors. It was originally designed for Unix, but nowadays the thing runs on all platforms and operating systems.
I like working with my fingers. I love hearing that fast-fast-fast clickety-tickety-tack on the keyboard. I enjoy those moments when I feel like I am making my K-Series Logitech smoke from the spaces in between its keys. This is part of what Vim offers. Give it a shot! As one user wrote, it's a lot like working out. “Endure the pain,” she said, ”and you will see the benefits.”