Quotidian Quest

First impressions on Setapp

Category: tech
#tech #creation challenge #setup

I think this is it. This is what the Apple App Store should look and feel like going forward. It's easy to install with all the possible apps just living in a folder until you double click to install.

The Setapp menue looks like a regular folder of application. They are really just small applications that show a preview of what the app is.

Honestly, I don't know how to put it into words because it was so, so simple and it had all the little applications that I wanted but couldn't bring myself to buy because of the price[^budge].

A preview of the TaskPaper app in Setapp

The super sad part about this is that I've taken on a new job where I have to use Windows all day. When I get home, it's family time. Coupled with that is this would be another subscription that I have to keep track of.

For the developers, I hope this works out that they get the money they deserve from all of those people who are sitting on the side lines.

  1. How am I going to tell my wife that I spent $45 on a text editor when I've got to worry about rent almost every month. 

Where to put the maybe-someday

Category: personal
#tech #notes #evernote

I felt I needed to unplug so I printed out what is in Omnifocus

Today, I did a review of my projects in OmniFocus. And thought about if I really, really wanted to keep certain things in there. The key to any good productivity system is having trust in that it is working correctly. If I have things in the system that I'm not going to do, then a part of me is going to subconsciencely fight against it.

So, why are things in omnifocus in the first place?

Well, these were things that I wanted to do at some point in time and it has become very easy to add things to the inbox. Anything that I put into reminders1 or send directly from Safari or the mail drop.

When I attempt to get organized, I typically try to use omnifocus because a lot of people in my circle of influence use it when they are feeling overwhelmed. I like it because I'm somewhat familiar with it. Also, when I feel like going back to pencil and paper, I can print out everything to act as a starting point.

So, where am I going to put all this stuff than?

I've been thinking about it a lot recently. For a while, I was keeping a couple text files that would have information about different projects that I would like to do. I'd access them via nvAlt.

A small sample of some of the notes that I keep

This allowed them to be saved in dropbox so that I could access them on different computers. The only problem is that a majority of the things that I was interested in starting would something that I found on the web (an article or how to).

I've thought about moving everything to evernote. It's a service that allows me to connect to my mac and also allows me to use windows as well. In fact, I've been using it more and more this year in order to help me track all the job applications that I submitted to the state government.

With Evernote, I am able to keep track of all the applications I put in so that I can review and follow up.

The reason that I'm not a fan of this is because I don't know what is going to happen with the future of the business. Although I have a premium membership, I don't think the new price is worth it for what I use it for. Nor do I think I can afford it the next time that renewal is up.

This leaves, me with Apple's Notes.app. It has really been making the rounds as far as praise from a lot of the people that I respect and has been fairly easy to use. The only problems that I'm worried about going forward with this the ability to add something to a pre-existing note when the list of notes starts to get longer. I like the fact that everything I put in it gets pushed to the server and is then on my device. I also like the idea of being able to have an easy way of sharing notes with my wife and look forward to more features in the future.

In conclusion, where am I going to put my notes.

Evernote allows me a place to sort things that I do not want to see in my review
Evernote allows me a place to sort things that I do not want to see in my review
I think I'll be giving evernote another chance for being the place that I keep my maybe-someday list for projects. Although there is some uncertainty in the future of the service, it still works at this point and I don't imagine that it will be difficult to leave it in the future. I even went back and tried linking some notes together and I think I can come up with some really nice uses for that going forward.

  1. This actually works too well because sometimes, I put geo location and times with the reminders and this doesn't get translated when it makes the move to omnifocus. I think this is just a training issue of me applying that information later on. 

Addiction to the iPad

Category: personal
#tech #parenting

My oldest daughter has fallen in love with our iPad. She has gone from being an avid reader to coming home and asking for it as soon as she steps through the door. Sometimes she even asks for it as we drive up to our home.

Part of me is proud about how she has mastered moving around on the device. I've sometimes seen her start a movie in Netflix or watching things on YouTube. My wife loves telling her co-workers how our daughters can do things that some adults have difficulty doing.

But that is part of the problem. My daughter can do things other adult have trouble doing. Things like place an item into an Amazon shopping cart and proceed to the check out, find "special" offers on Disney merchandise and then place her personal information in one of the forms.

Honestly, I've been lucky that she hasn't ordered hunders of books and horse toys.

Another aspect of this problem is that she's grown rather fond of a series of fan fiction trailers about the Lion King. Although at first glance there isn't anything wrong with seeing how people can take something and make it so much more. When she run over to me and says that certain characters share a different relationship and lineage that I feel is kosher that's when I got to step on the breaks.

Maybe, part of this is my fault for pushing technology and all it's wonderful whizz bangs without giver her some kind of limitations. But the geek in my wanted to see what she could do if she were to explore on her own. The part of me that says "you must always be a vigilant parent" lost to the part of that wants to let her be free and a kid.

That is what makes this part bitter sweet. I know the world isn't filled with magical talking animals. My daughter knows this too. But there is no need to disillusion her to the good in people and the good of moral character. She doesn't need to worry about wether Simba and Nala are really first cousins. She doesn't need to worry about a whole bunch of books showing up that she needs to pay for. She shouldn't worry about meeting some stranger on the internet. She needs to just have fun and be a kid.

My favorite new feature of facebook

Category: personal
#observation #tech

Recently, I noticed something new in the email notifications that I get from facebook. They have allowed you to reply to a conversation without having to log into the website! This is awesome because you can follow along with a conversation without leaving your "productive" environment.

Picture of an email in from a comment in facebook

How I use Email

Category: productivity
#personal #tech #email

Recently, Mac Developer Brent Simmons discussed on his blog about the importance of a good email client. Although, he said he wouldn't spearhead the project, he did start up a mailing list (ironic) for it. The list has been going crazy with people going back and forth over what the ideal mail client was and what should be in the 1.0 release.

One of the posters, Matthieu Cormier, has posted on his blog how he uses Mail.app and I thought it would be a good exercise to re-evaulate how I use mail and maybe that would help move the discussion along.
A diagram of my mail usage

Last year, I made the switch from .mac to gmail and it's been kind of interesting to see how Mail.app handles mail. Before this point I was having gmail send all my email to my mac address and then using Act-on to sort it into different folders. This worked alright when I was at home and had time to sort my email, unfortunately, I'm not always on my mac... and sometimes .mac was down. Screen of gmail Currently, I only use gmail and I've set up some labels and filters to manage it all. I have emails sent individually so that I can follow different threads quickly.

But I still enjoy working with a desktop client, if only for the sake of it flowing well with the rest of my "workflow" that includes working with omnifocus and a couple other tools that I like to use. If I can add one more issue against Mail.app that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that it doesn't allow you to color the heading on different threads. Screen of mail.app

Well, thank you for your time!