With this week completely focused on finishing phase one of a client project, I completely missed that it was the 1st of the month yesterday. So now that the working week is over and I’m sat back relaxing it’s time to sort out this month’s edition of my homescreens. I’ll tackle both iPhone and iPad at the same time, since the changes to both are identical and for the same reason.
- OmniFocus – Since the start of the year I’ve been using Things to manage my tasks, in the last month I’ve ended up switching back to OmniFocus. Partly because one of the porjects I’m working on has needed breaking down further than Things can cope with, and partly because of OmniFocus MailDrop.
- Outlook, Gmail, Inbox by Gmail and Mailbox – Recently I’ve been having some issues with the provider of my email, lots of servers down and unreliable delivery. As a self-employed person I need to be able to rely on my email never failing, and so my work email has now switched to Google Apps. I’m still deciding on my personal email setup.
One of the advantages of moving to Google Apps for Work has allowed me to test out a few email apps I couldn’t use previously, and also to combine my email with IFTTT so that it works harder for me. Part of that IFTTT integration has been to combine the Gmail channel with the email channel and my OmniFocus MailDrop address. I’m still refining things and trying to decide which apps to use, but I hope to be able to explain further how I’m making my email work for me rather than having to work to keep on top of it.
Always great to finish the week on high. Delighted that phase one of the new CMJ website is now live. ∞
It’s been an interesting start to the year to say the least, but one positive from it has been the renewal of my interest in both my own blog and the blogs of others.
I’ve been reading blogs, or personal sites would probably be a more accurate term in 2015, since I came across them in my second year at university in 2006. Back then I loved the idea of people publishing something to the internet and quickly set my own blog up. I came across a number of great writers who like me were just finding their feet in the world of Web 2.0. In the 8 years that have passed since then, I’ve had a number of my own blogs and lost my motivation/desire to post to them all at various points in time.
In the early days of the blog, there was what felt like a strong community. A group of people writing about what interested them in a way which was new and exciting. It was inspiring to see others sharing in this way and it made me want to do the same. In the years since I left Uni in 2007 there seemed to be a change amongst the blogs I read. They became focused and somewhat same-y in their content, it felt like the blogs lost their personalities as their authors pursued a desire to be better writers. A few of them managed to maintain the personality that drew me to them in the first place, but, many didn’t and as a result the blogs either died off or my interest in them waned. It was sad and with that homogenising of content my own inspiration and desire to write also dried up.
Over the last few months I’ve started to notice something different. Perhaps it’s just that my own mindset has changed, or it could be that I’ve been finding a bunch of new sites, or a reaction to the likes of Facebook who seem to want to be the internet rather than part of it. But the personal site seems to be rising like a phoenix from the flames.
Many of the sites are specialised, with focused content, but they no longer seem to be of one voice talking about the same thing all the time. They have personality. The posts, whilst often being focused around a similar subject, are varied and seem to be a reflection of the people who write them. It’s both inspiring and a joy to read these sites. They might be writing about a pen, a notebook or a new Mac, but they are doing it in a way which is interesting and engaging.
These personal sites have the polish and high standard that the web in 2015 demands, but they seem to be returning to the personality and interest that was so apparent in the the rise of the blog back in the mid naughties. It’s refreshing and I’m thankful for it. I applaud those behind it and I hope it continues long into the future.
My favourite notebook creators have just realised another limited edition of their Apprentice note books. The River Path Grass edition has just been announced ad it looks just as nice as the previous editions. I own all three of the previous limited edition apprentices and use one everyday (more soon) and they are becoming indispensable to me.
As I read Give a Damn by Bruce Layman I found myself nodding a long in agreement. Perhaps it’s just the way I’ve been thinking of late, or perhaps it’s because of the new focus I seem to be finding for my business, but something about it resonated with me. Resting well is important, I know only too well as I recover from the effects of doing too much in the last half of last year, but there’s a difference between rest and laziness. Doing something can, and should, be a part of that rest.
This weeks edition is a bit of a bumper one with a combination of interesting and geeky. There’s a look at what London could’ve been, some thoughts on work and showing up, a history of a typeface, a pen review and reflection with the benefit of hindsight.
This weeks edition, covers the new MacBook, a review of the iMac with 5K retina display, the struggle of packing the perfect bag, and the emotional rollercoaster of being a freelancer/self-emlpoyed developer.
Watch the new trailer for Star Wars Episode VII, full marks for the way they’re building excitement. I’m excited.
I was going to add this post to Sunday’s edition of The Week in Links, but felt it deserved a link of it’s own. Bradley Wiggins finished his road cycling career with Team Sky in this year’s Paris-Roubaix, or The Hell of The North, and embarked on his run in to winning his sixth gold medal at the Rio Olympics. Sponsor and producer of the kit for Team Sky, Rapha, conducted this interview prior to the race.
Chapeau Sir Brad.
This weeks edition arrives a bit later than normal. A combination of catching up on a little work this afternoon, watching my favourite cycling race (apart from Le Tour) and then being engrossed in final round of The Masters after church this evening has been the cause. If it’s a bit late in the day for you, you might have to make it these links your reading material for your Monday morning coffee.
This weeks edition has only four links, but they are packed with interest. There’s a short post to get that started that will of particular interest to those who run their own business, followed by a series of posts giving a few details into the behind the scenes of starting a new company (they make my favourite notebooks). Following my trend in recent weeks of looking into notebooks, there’s a review of the latest Field Notes colours edition, and then an in-depth article into the beginnings of the Apple Watch.
Sit back with a coffee and enjoy.
Most of the interest has been on my iPad this month since there are a few additions there and only one change on my iPhone.
Scanbot – I’ve recently begun using my iPhone to scan my shopping receipts and consequently Scanbot has found itself promoted to my homescreen in place of the no longer needed Rightmove app from last month.
Tweetbot – Despite the fact that it’s still not been updated to the iOS7/8 aesthetic, it’s ability to sync with my Mac and iPhone has forced me to bring it back to my iPad. I simply have too any hashtags muted in Tweetbot on my iPhone that not having it on my iPad was driving me nuts.
Adobe Comp – Adobe have been busy lately and have updated and introduced a new app. Leading the way is this new one, which seems to finally bring the kind of functionality to the iPad that I’ve been looking for. Since Adobe updated InDesign CC a couple of months back to introduce Creative Cloud Libraries I’ve begun use the extensively and I expect this new apps role in my design process to grow as a result of that.
Adobe Color – I’ve had this on my phone for a while, but a recent project had me sitting back in my chair with a cup of tea creating some possible colour schemes on my iPad. Again it’s integration with the other Creative Cloud apps is the killer feature.
CreativeCloud – Since I started my Creative Cloud license I’ve been making use of the 20GB of space I paid for to house my projects. The iOS app was always lacking though, but a recent update has improved it and joy of joys, I can now view multipage documents in the app.
When Creative Cloud was announced I was annoyed, I liked owning my software, especially when my livelihood is dependant on it, but I’ve been really impressed with the recent updates. Adobe have really stepped up their game in this regard and there’s no greater proof of that than the growing use of their apps beyond the Mac in my design process.
This week’s edition highlights just four things I think are worth looking at. The first is something I’ve never really thought about, but on reflection and with my interest in typography, should’ve been high up on the list. Following that is a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in in typography, an insightful look into a cycle for generating meaningful content before ending with an imaginative glimpse into what impact the Apple Watch could have on people’s lives. Enjoy your Sunday evening reading.
I read the official Steve Jobs biography with a great deal of interest. I enjoyed it, but it came in for a lot of criticism from some quarters. By all accounts Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender sets that criticism straight and it’s out now. I’ll be adding it to my list of books to read.
Having missed the last couple of weeks due to being away and then ill this weeks Week in Links has a few more than normal. There’s no real theme to this weeks, other than a continuation to some of the ongoing themes in this weekly post. Anyway, enjoy your Sunday evening with a glass of wine and have a read.
This post is a bit of a rarity, it’s the first link post I’ve posted since the reboot of this blog and I think it’s a fitting one.
I’m a big fan of my bible being a paper one, it’s great to be cut off and focused from the world while I’m reading it. I do however, like the utility of having the Bible on my phone and this new app called NeuBible looks absolutely stunning. It doesn’t yet include my preferred translation (ESV for those interested) but I will be certainly giving it a try. If you’ve never read the bible, this seems like a beautiful place to start.
I only have four links to share with you this week, they’re all loosely connected and perhaps show you a bit of an insight into my thinking at the moment.
Journaling and my daily schedule are something which I seem to be considering a lot at the moment. Journaling is something which I’ve long had a fascination with and have dabbled and used as a tool at various points in my life. At the moment, I’ve been doing a spot of journaling, but not with any consistency and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Consequently it was with great interest that I read Joshua Ginter’s post on his approach to his diary/journal and I may begin to adopt some of his practises, I already have a Baron Fig Apprentice in my back pocket that I use as a scratch pad.
The first of March presents a few changes to my homescreens over the last month, but the overall majority seems to have remained the same.
Overcast – Having said at the start of last month that I was happy with Instacast, I’ve gone through a bit of a podcast splurge. I’ve found myself listening to more podcasts while I work and while going for a walk, consequently I found myself wanting a means of listening to them from my Mac and Overcasts web player has provided that. I’ve also realised I prefer the icon over Instacast.
HSBC – This app has been on my phone for a while, but a recent update has made it more capable and it is steadily becoming my primary means of personal banking, hence it’s new spot on my iPhone.
Rightmove – This one will only be here for the next month at the most, looking for a new flat to rent has meant the app has received a lot of use and it warranted a spot here because of it.
This weeks Week in Links comes at a new time and on a new day. I had originally been posting these on a Saturday but it just didn’t feel right to me since Sunday seems to be more of a day of rest to most people.
This weeks edition follows what I would imagine will be quite a common set of themes for the series. Articles on working, writing and design, all of which are topics that fascinate me. There are some very thought provoking articles in there and the pinnacle of which is the interview with Jonathan Ive which is a long but worthwhile read with your Sunday coffee.
This weeks Week in Links is a bit of a mish mash, something to listen to, some thing to read and something to marvel at. Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy.