The Thief of Intimacy, Busyness ⇢

An excellent essay about how busyness robs us of day-to-day moments with those that we love:

Intimacy is what we all crave. We all want to be loved. We want to give love and receive love. We all crave for others to be with us. And that love is often the slow, patient kind. It doesn’t show up on any list of tasks that have been crossed off. There are no daily memos that recognize it, no annual reports of it. It shows up in the smile of my daughter when she sees me, in the way she puts her head on my shoulder, in how long she lingers before saying goodbye.

Weather Line 1.5 ⇢

Weather Line is my weather app of choice due to the way it displays daily and weekly forecasts graphically. It also includes precipitation predictions that are incredibly accurate.

In celebration of the update, the app is on sale for $1.99.

Custom Keyboard to Schedule Meetings ⇢

I currently don’t use any custom keyboards on iOS since I haven’t felt the need to insert animated GIFs or emoji in my texts or emails. But now there’s a new custom keyboard that truly feels innovative.

The team who make the Sunrise calendar app have created a custom keyboard that helps you view your schedule and quickly send potential meeting times without switching to the calendar app. MacStories has the details:

Here’s how it works: whenever you’re talking to someone and decide to arrange a meeting, you can switch to the Meet keyboard to take a look at your schedule. Meet is a custom keyboard that requires full access in the iOS settings and that works on the iPhone and iPad. By default, the keyboard shows Sunrise’s week view with a horizontal visualization of your schedule that you can scroll by day and hour. Once you’ve found available time slots, you can tap to create a potential event, indicated with a blue block. Tap as many slots as you want, hit Confirm, and you’ll get a link; usually, this link is automatically inserted in the text field of the app you’re using, whether it’s Messages, Mail, Slack – you name it.

While it helps if the recipient of the message has the Sunrise app, this is not a requirement.

I think I’m going to have to give this one a try to see if it fits into my workflow.

OmniFocus for iOS Goes Universal ⇢

In a release a few days ago, the OmniGroup has kindly consolidated many of the features of the different versions of OmniFocus:

That means that as of today’s release, you can do the following things on an iPhone:

  • Use OmniFocus in Landscape mode with a Sidebar (iPhone 6 Plus)
  • Use the Review perspective
  • Create Perspectives (Pro)
  • View perspectives with Project hierarchy (Pro)

This release isn’t just about bringing iPad features to iPhone—we’ve also added a couple of items to both iPad and iPhone that were pretty popular with our TestFlight testers (thanks folks!):

  • Show a custom perspective in the Today extension (Pro)
  • Completely customize your home screen and place perspective tiles in any order using drag and drop (Pro).

This is a welcome change, as some of these features were previously restricted to certain versions of the app. The new features also work as advertised and are very helpful for getting things done on the go.

Getting Things Done 2.0 ⇢

The updated version of David Allen’s classic Getting Things Done is now available:

David has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.

I’m looking forward to reading this.

Conference Room Mode on AppleTV ⇢

If you are using Apple TV in a professional environment such as a classroom or office setting, you can bypass the default menu with these instructions:

There is a way, however, to have the Apple TV boot into Conference Room mode by default. Conference Room mode is a view that hides all of the extraneous features and just provides information about how to connect to the Apple TV.

How Apple Makes the Watch ⇢

This walkthrough is a detailed narration of what we see in Apple’s Watch Craftsmanship videos. Of course, we only get to see a mere fraction of the process; I’ve tried to provide plausible explanations for the likely steps taking place between the processes shown on film, but these are assumptions and are included only to provide a more satisfying and complete narration.

I love behind-the-scenes stuff like this.

Making the Leap ⇢

One of my favorite people in the Mac community is David Sparks, aka MacSparky (@macsparky). David has a great blog, co-hosts a fantastic podcast, and he produces field guides that help people become Mac ninjas.

Today he announced that he quit his day job at a legal firm and has gone solo.

This is going to result in more and better content here at the website, on the podcast, and in the books. I’ll have more time to produce things I’m proud of. Some of it will be free. Some of it will cost a few bucks. There will definitely be more Field Guides (both iBooks and video formats) on things interesting to me and—hopefully—helpful to you.

Congratulations, David, and good luck!

Podcasts as Journaling Prompts

A few months ago I was listening to a particularly good episode (#14) of the excellent Analog(ue) podcast while driving. Myke Hurley (@imyke) was talking about his thoughts and emotions on his last day of employment in his “regular job” (he now works full time on the podcast network). As he was talking, I thought back to some vivid memories that I have of leaving places for the last time. I recalled the moment that I drove away from New York City after packing up everything that I owned and watching the George Washington Bridge get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. I thought about leaving the classroom at the last school I taught in before becoming a principal. I remembered leaving the rented house that my wife and I lived in and looking back at the nursery where our oldest daughter spent the first 13 months of her life before we owned our own home.

The Analog(ue) podcast is one that deals with “feels” (emotions) and as I was listening to Myke’s story I realized that I had the urge to journal about my own experiences. Once I had parked the car I opened up Day One (iOS, Mac), my journaling app of choice, and dictated a quick entry about what it felt like to leave. I now have those memories written down for posterity.

Since then, I’ve realized that nearly all episodes of the Analog(ue) podcast cause me to think about my own life experiences. Listening regularly prompts me to journal about things that I would not otherwise have thought to write down.

If you think journaling is not your cup of tea, I’d suggest listening to Analog(ue) and seeing where it takes you. For me, it regularly brings back a flood of memories or emotions that are worth taking the time to document.

5,200 Days in Space ⇢

This article from The Atlantic has some fascinating details about life in space. There was once such romance surrounding astronauts and space travel but it’s practically nonexistent today.

Spaceflight has faded from American consciousness even as our performance in space has reached a new level of accomplishment. In the past decade, America has become a truly, permanently spacefaring nation. All day, every day, half a dozen men and women, including two Americans, are living and working in orbit, and have been since November 2000. Mission Control in Houston literally never sleeps now, and in one corner of a huge video screen there, a counter ticks the days and hours the Space Station has been continuously staffed. The number is rounding past 5,200 days.

It’s a little strange when you think about it: Just about every American ninth-grader has never lived a moment without astronauts soaring overhead, living in space. But chances are, most ninth-graders don’t know the name of a single active astronaut—many don’t even know that Americans are up there. We’ve got a permanent space colony, inaugurated a year before the setting of the iconic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a stunning achievement, and it’s completely ignored.