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I've used vim for coming on 15 years now, so I feel that I may qualify as 'experienced'. My biggest productivity gain was giving up on endless customization after I had reached a certain proficiency (e.g., everything in the original article is rather basic vim usage) and comfortable workflow for specific development purposes (e.g. when switching to a new language, I spend some time setting vim up to solve the most glaring pain points and once it feels comfortable, I stop customizing). All the mucking about with various baroque plugins and ever-more-marginal keystroke-saving key mappings costs a lot more time than what can be gained from it. For example, I used to have a bunch of mappings that would insert documentation blocks in various forms. Just misremembering the mapping once a day causes enough workflow disruption to undo any gains from having them in the first place. Nowadays I just type comments / docblocks by hand. It's a few more keystrokes, but a lot more natural and flexible.

Also, staying as close as possible to the default settings makes it a lot easier to move to other environments and/or upgrade. Although now that I have my .vimrc in my Dropbox it doesn't matter as much as it used to.

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