October 20, 2016

Todos in the calendar

I’ve been playing around with putting todos in the calendar lately. Not as actual calendar events, that would be a potential mess, but blocking out time when I’ll work with a dedicated project or company, and then add tasks to that particular time period. It’s not a new way of doing things, I’m by no means the first here, but it has helped me to take better control of my days.

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June 26, 2016

Bingo wheel to productivity

Viviane Schwarz is using a bingo wheel to get stuff done. Throw in the projects, spin, and pick a winner. Set a timer and work on it for that amount of time. Rinse and repeat. I like it, it’s chaotic and just a little bit insane. She explains further in her The Setup piece:

It sounds quite ridiculous but it beats every other system I’ve ever tried for productivity; you just have to make sure the right balls are in the cage, throw in more if a deadline is approaching or take some out if something gets less urgent. Statistically, as long as it all gets done on time, who cares what order it happened in?

March 5, 2016

Federico Viticci’s iPad Pro

It should come as no surprise that I enjoy Federico Viticci’s updates on his iPad usage. The latest one, being the first after the introduction of iPad Pro, is no exception. Here are so many things to quote from this beast, so I’ll just point you to it. Brew a cup, and settle in for an interesting read.

  • Ashen Sky - A Novella

    Life is hard for Dirk, who’s stumbling through the wasteland. Out here, far from his family, Dirk makes acquaintances that lead him upon a path he didn’t know he yearned for.

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December 13, 2015

Distracted by the internet

Tony Schwartz, writing about distraction and the internet:

Beyond spending too much time on the Internet and a diminishing attention span, I wasn’t eating the right foods. I drank way too much diet soda. I was having a second cocktail at night too frequently. I was no longer exercising every day, as I had nearly all my life.

In response, I created an irrationally ambitious plan. For the next 30 days, I would attempt to right these behaviors, and several others, all at once. It was a fit of grandiosity. I recommend precisely the opposite approach every day to clients. But I rationalized that no one is more committed to self-improvement than I am. These behaviors are all related. I can do it.

December 4, 2015

iPad Pro full-time

Benjamin Brooks on going full time iPad Pro:

And now, just over a decade later, I am staring at this iPad Pro and thinking to myself: this is the same jump I made back in 2004. Yes, there will be somethings which won’t work, but I jumped because I knew that I had found the future of computing and I didn’t want to stay on the old crap I had before. It’s the same, but I admit it may be difficult for many to see this right now.

A lot of things in this post rings true to me. Switching to the iPad Pro full time is possible for most, albeit perhaps not entirely so for me if I want to stay fully productive. It’s something I haven’t wrapped my head around yet, but suffice to say, it’s easier with a Mac. Not as fun though, and I think, in all these posts and arguments pro and con switching to a tablet, people are missing some crucial use cases. It’s a half-baked thought for now, and I think I’ll be returning to it in the future.

November 17, 2015

Taking the iPad on the road

There’s no doubt it my mind that the iPad is enough for most people, and it has been for quite some time. Updates to iOS, especially the introduction of extensions in iOS 8, and the Split View/Side View updates in iOS 9, has made being productive with an iPad easier. That, and the apps, which are getting better and better all the time. With the iPad Pro, which I’m using to type this, eyes are once again on the iPad as a potential alternative for the traditional PCs, or at least as a laptop replacement. I’ve got a lot to say on the matter, but for now, I urge you to read Thaddeus Hunt’s three part blog post series on how he took an iPad Air 2 on the road, while still performing his duties as a freelance web designer: Part 1, part 2, and part 3.


Oh, and some shameless promotion while I’m at it. I’ll have some initial thoughts on the iPad Pro in the next issue of my newsletter, RE:THORD. It’ll be out soon, so if you’re not subscribing, now’s the time.

October 14, 2015

The device chain

Steven Levy has a really interesting piece, albeit perhaps somewhat fluffy, on Apple’s new iMacs, as well as the accompanied new keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. It’s well worth a read, and there are a ton of things to quote if one was so inclined.

I’m picking this one, which is Levy’s take on Apple’s Phil Schiller’s view on how the company’s devices add up:

Schiller, in fact, has a grand philosophical theory of the Apple product line that puts all products on a continuum. Ideally, you should be using the smallest possible gadget to do as much as possible before going to the next largest gizmo in line.

Start at the Apple Watch to keep your phone at bay. Then, on your iPhone, you do all the things that makes sense. Too small? Go to the iPad (and soon the iPad Pro), then to the Macbook. Finally, wrap it up on a 27″ iMac, or possibly a Mac Pro, if Apple would be so kind to release a proper Thunderbolt display with retina screen.

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June 8, 2015

Time management

From Kevin Hoctor’s piece on time:

Statements that begin with “I wish I had more time to…” are red flags for me. When I hear myself say something like, “I wish I had more time to exercise and get in shape,” it really means that I need to make time to exercise. Wishing it won’t change anything. I won’t magically have more time or extra energy by making that comment, so it’s useless.

Lots of sound advice in there. I find myself thinking more and more about time, and throwing away the excuses not to do things.

February 10, 2015

Of course you can work from a Windows tablet

Sean Buckley, writing for Gizmodo:

It started as an offhand brag, but turned into a dare. I was telling my Gizmodo colleagues why I loved my Windows 8 tablet: it’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s a fully fledged PC. Hell, I said, I could probably hook it up to a monitor and use it as my workhorse for a week.

Now I’m doing just that. It’s not as bad as you’d think.

There’s no reason why this wouldn’t work, even though it’s no Surface, but still an interesting read for tablet curious people.

January 19, 2014

The Preferred Device

There’s a lot of talk about how the iPad is almost the PC replacement that we all seem to crave, but not quite there yet. Famous tech writer MG Siegler broached the subject recently, stating that although he would like to not buy any more computers, he didn’t think the iPad (his primary tablet of choice as far as I can tell) was ready yet. In fact, he thinks the iPad’s years away from replacing the computer for all tasks, obviously painting i very broad strokes.

Promo image of the iPad Air
Promo image of the iPad Air

In some cases he’s right. I don’t see myself developing high end websites on my iPad anytime soon, although it is theoretically possible already. Siegler’s example, what a nuisance it is to publish (primarily) text content online using the iPad, compared to using the web browser, is a moot one. The comparison with the web browser workflow is also moot, because the tablet offers a different view altogether.

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