135: State of the Apps 2023


00:00:00   Okay, mean recording going.

00:00:03   Let me put on some office mood lighting for Cortex.

00:00:05   - I didn't know you did that.

00:00:06   - Yeah, gotta put on some mood lighting for Cortex.

00:00:10   How do you Cortex?

00:00:11   Not with full bright office lights, shortly.

00:00:13   - Yep, big overheads.

00:00:15   Hate them, but you know, no choice really.

00:00:17   - That's terrible.

00:00:18   You wanna have something a bit more chill for Cortex.

00:00:21   Okay, so I'm recording.

00:00:23   Where, okay, my notes.

00:00:24   So I have them.

00:00:26   I put away the script for the nightmare

00:00:28   of that has been my life for the last nine months and open up cortex show notes instead.

00:00:32   Put that away, you don't want that right now.

00:00:34   Let's not think about that.

00:00:35   Do you know why, Gray?

00:00:36   Why?

00:00:37   Because it's time for State of the Apps.

00:00:39   It is time for State of the Apps.

00:00:40   State of the Apps 2023.

00:00:43   Oh no, that's the first time I've thought about 2023.

00:00:50   I know.

00:00:55   So in our state of the apps episode every year, we take stock of the apps and services that we use

00:01:00   on our devices for work, entertainment, just in general. We take a look at the things that we get

00:01:06   value out of, the things that we're enjoying, sometimes maybe the things that we're not,

00:01:10   but we can't get away from them, and we share them with you, the cortex ones. So this is like

00:01:14   the one place you know you can go every year to understand what the tools that we're using to get

00:01:19   our work done. And of course we use this as a new opportunity, the annual opportunity now to share

00:01:24   are our home screens, which I actually think for me,

00:01:28   I have a lot of home screens to share with you, Gray, today.

00:01:31   - Oh, how many home screens do you think you have to share?

00:01:33   - Well, I actually have more lock screens than home screens.

00:01:36   So I have three home screens as I tend to have.

00:01:39   I also have, I think, three separate lock screens

00:01:43   that I wanna show you as well.

00:01:45   'Cause that's one of the big changes, right?

00:01:47   We have lock screen widgets now,

00:01:48   which is the thing that we didn't have last time

00:01:51   that we did stay at the apps.

00:01:52   Yeah, iOS 16 has brought a ton of visual changes

00:01:56   to home screens and lock screens.

00:01:59   I think I'm mostly loving it.

00:02:01   It's really nice to be able to do

00:02:02   all of these customizations, but yes,

00:02:04   I also had the same thing of like,

00:02:05   oh wait, how many screenshots do I need to take today

00:02:09   before the show?

00:02:10   Ooh, a lot more than I have in the past.

00:02:12   I've got my selection ready.

00:02:14   I think I've got the same thing.

00:02:15   I've got like three, three and a half

00:02:18   like different ones to show.

00:02:20   (laughing)

00:02:22   - How do you have half?

00:02:24   How do we say half?

00:02:25   Maybe I'll see when we get there, you know what I mean?

00:02:29   Maybe we'll see.

00:02:29   - Yeah.

00:02:30   - Should we start with home screens?

00:02:31   - Yeah, I guess, yeah.

00:02:32   We should start with home screens and focus modes

00:02:35   and what's going on there, 'cause I feel like

00:02:37   that's sort of the broadest way of how are we using

00:02:42   our phones now after a big change to this entire system

00:02:47   on Apple's side.

00:02:48   I would say the focus mode stuff I'm really pleased about.

00:02:51   I really love what they did with focus modes this year.

00:02:55   Just making them so easy to set up now

00:02:58   because this is my main issue last time.

00:03:01   You should set up a focus mode

00:03:02   and you had to manually include every app and or person

00:03:07   that could break through the focus mode.

00:03:10   And for me, that's good for some stuff

00:03:12   but not good for everything.

00:03:14   Like I didn't wanna create say like a recording focus mode

00:03:17   because I would set it up, say, one time,

00:03:20   but then over time as the apps that I use change,

00:03:23   I would need to remember to manually include

00:03:25   the ones that I wanted to break through.

00:03:28   So now what I love is that with iOS 16,

00:03:31   you get to choose Opt-In and Opt-Out,

00:03:33   so you can say everyone and everything can contact me

00:03:37   except these things.

00:03:38   And so like having that optionality has been great for me

00:03:42   in setting up a couple of different focus modes.

00:03:44   I use some where it's Opt-In and some where it's Opt-Out.

00:03:47   It's actually made me use focus modes a lot.

00:03:49   I'm using them a lot now,

00:03:51   which is not a thing I was doing before.

00:03:53   - Yeah, I feel like you really lucked out

00:03:54   as like Apple addressed almost every single one

00:03:57   of your issues directly, whatever the last time is

00:03:59   that we discussed this.

00:04:00   And also like with this whole focus mode system,

00:04:03   I was just thinking about how this is what happens

00:04:05   when like you introduce a new feature,

00:04:08   but like Apple often takes a while to introduce a feature.

00:04:11   And when they come out with it,

00:04:12   like, oh, it's actually pretty good.

00:04:14   And then we all fear, like, will they not touch it now for five years because they think it's good enough?

00:04:19   And with this system, it's really nice to see that they've actually repeatedly touched the way that it works

00:04:26   and made improvements every year.

00:04:28   And cumulatively, that stuff really, like, it really adds up into smoothing out even just the smaller things.

00:04:35   Like your complaints about having everything be opt-in or opt-out.

00:04:38   Just changing that little thing can really encourage users to pick up a system, so.

00:04:43   I'm very encouraged and very happy to see that it's been continually improved every year

00:04:48   and it's like this year suddenly a bunch of stuff has really come together

00:04:52   and made it very very useful to people. So what are your focus modes Myke?

00:04:56   So my main focus modes that I have now I have travel, recording, and I also have weekend and

00:05:05   sleep. So I'll start with the weekend and sleep ones because at the moment all I'm doing with

00:05:12   with those is just to basically just remove Slack

00:05:16   and Discord from there and I just have another widget

00:05:19   in place instead.

00:05:20   It just removes a couple of apps.

00:05:22   It's not really that exciting.

00:05:23   And it also locks me to just the one home screen.

00:05:26   And I have these really set up as a notifications

00:05:31   focused stuff rather than home screen

00:05:34   and lock screen stuff at the moment.

00:05:36   So the key thing for me is email, Slack, Discord,

00:05:41   all of those notifications get suppressed.

00:05:43   So it's more about just de-emphasizing those applications.

00:05:46   I don't remove my ability to access them,

00:05:50   but I don't have them on my home screen anymore.

00:05:52   And any notifications that I get,

00:05:54   they get collected up into the like,

00:05:56   while in weekend focus thing.

00:05:58   So if I pull my notifications down,

00:06:01   I don't even see those immediately.

00:06:02   I have to like actively go in to look at them.

00:06:05   And it's more just about reminding me

00:06:08   that when I've got weekend running,

00:06:10   which is obviously every weekend,

00:06:11   and when I've got sleep running, which sets in every night,

00:06:14   that I should be using those apps and services less.

00:06:18   So that's pretty simple for me, like as a thing.

00:06:22   And I think I do want to set up some specific lock screens

00:06:25   and home screens for these that are more focused,

00:06:28   but I just haven't done that yet.

00:06:29   It's really like the main thing for me there

00:06:32   is just removing some work apps from my lock screen

00:06:34   and de-emphasizing the notifications.

00:06:37   And I also am sleep tracking now.

00:06:39   So it's something I started doing in the past month or so.

00:06:42   And so I've wanted to set up the sleep focus

00:06:44   to kind of get my devices in shape for that as well.

00:06:47   So I'm using the Apple Watch to do the sleep tracking.

00:06:49   - Right, so you're giving the weekend come on automatically

00:06:52   and the sleep come on automatically?

00:06:53   - Yeah, I don't use the like,

00:06:56   they have that like sleep alarm thing.

00:06:59   I don't use that because I wanna be able

00:07:01   to manually set my alarms.

00:07:02   And so they still make sound on my phone and my watch.

00:07:06   So if you set the alarms manually, it will still do that.

00:07:08   If you use Apple's bedtime alarm thing,

00:07:10   it will only buzz the watch,

00:07:11   which is not enough for me to wake up, I need both.

00:07:14   But I do really like having the both,

00:07:16   like I think I'm being woken up more easily

00:07:19   because the watch is an additional thing to help wake me up.

00:07:23   I've been enjoying that,

00:07:24   and I still wanna go a little bit further, I think,

00:07:26   into setting up some specific stuff.

00:07:28   Like I saw, as of the time of this recording,

00:07:31   16.2 is in beta,

00:07:34   and the new medications feature of health,

00:07:37   I really like, so I just put my medications in there.

00:07:40   And they are making a lock screen medications widget

00:07:44   to note the things that you have got left to take.

00:07:48   So I think that that might be really nice

00:07:50   for a sleep-focused lock screen,

00:07:53   because it will be there and will be as a good reminder

00:07:56   of you need to take your pills before you go to bed.

00:07:58   It's like a secondary thing, so I might set that one up

00:08:01   when that feature becomes available.

00:08:03   - Yeah, I might give that a try too,

00:08:04   because I actually just, I just use the medications one

00:08:07   for reminding me to take my vitamins.

00:08:09   I thought like, oh, let me just put this

00:08:11   in this little system here,

00:08:12   because for some reason, like,

00:08:13   take my vitamins is the to-do list item

00:08:17   that I will like blow off the most.

00:08:19   I don't like, it's just so funny.

00:08:20   My brain's like, yeah, sure, we'll do that.

00:08:22   We'll just like check this off now

00:08:23   and we'll get it in a second.

00:08:25   And then we never do.

00:08:26   So I thought like, oh, maybe if I try to put it

00:08:27   in a completely different system,

00:08:29   this will like help me.

00:08:31   And it mostly does,

00:08:32   but I still feel like the medications one,

00:08:35   like I was thinking about someone

00:08:36   who might actually have difficulty remembering to take medications as opposed to me who's

00:08:41   just being like lazy and weird about it. I do feel like it it needs to get turned up

00:08:47   one notch in terms of aggressiveness and remindingness and maybe the lock screen one is something

00:08:53   interesting to try there and just in terms of prominence. Yes before you go to bed like

00:08:58   here's a here's a visual nudge like you did not log taking your vitamins today and you

00:09:05   should do that. So that's interesting. I'll definitely give that a try when it comes around.

00:09:08   - The medications feature in its current iteration works best for people that stay on top of their

00:09:14   notifications like I do. So it works well for me because Adina hasn't enjoyed it very much because

00:09:19   she doesn't manage her notifications like a wild person like I do. Like people don't manage their

00:09:25   notifications the way that I do. Like I look at them all, I remove the ones that I don't want,

00:09:29   I leave the ones that I want to deal with. That is not how most people deal with their notifications.

00:09:34   So the medicine can get lost in there.

00:09:36   I think they should be pinning it.

00:09:37   I think it should be pinned to the top of the lock screen

00:09:39   until you do something to it.

00:09:41   - Yep, I completely agree.

00:09:42   That's why I wanted to give it a test.

00:09:43   It's like, ooh, how does this separate system work?

00:09:45   And it does feel like this should not get lost

00:09:49   in the list along with everything else.

00:09:51   There should be some kind of higher priority status

00:09:55   for this one in particular.

00:09:56   But hopefully that is also a feature

00:09:58   that Apple continues to return to

00:10:00   and make small improvements on.

00:10:01   It can make a big difference.

00:10:02   - They do that all the time now.

00:10:04   Yeah. All right. So the focuses that I've done the most with are travel and recording.

00:10:10   So I've got some screenshots for you here in the show notes. So my travel lock screen,

00:10:15   I had previously had a travel home screen set up that we've mentioned before that it basically

00:10:21   gives me a bunch more widgets, right? Like I use like a flighty widget and a fantastic L widget

00:10:25   and a tripsy widget, uh, as well as just like bringing the airline that I'm using. I put their

00:10:31   app on the home screen and the wallet app stuff like that right so that's like my travel home

00:10:36   screen. I'll take a screenshot of that and put it in the show notes just for reference too because

00:10:40   I actually think that's a pretty good one but I thought I would build a travel lock screen to go

00:10:46   alongside it and so what we've got is I'm using one of Apple's pre-built lock screen options that

00:10:54   they have now so they use this they have this called earth detail yes yes there's a couple of

00:11:00   different options you can choose, but it's basically like an animated globe as such,

00:11:05   right? Like I think it's using like the Apple Maps globe kind of thing, and you can choose to like

00:11:09   have a zoom level on it. And what it's showing you at all times is where you are in the world.

00:11:14   And I thought that that was pretty cool. There's like a travel lock screen because

00:11:18   I would be somewhere else and my little dock would be in another place. So I thought that

00:11:24   looked pretty cool. And then I've got some specific lock screen widgets to go alongside it.

00:11:29   So we've got the flighty widget, like the flighty lock screen widget, carrot weather,

00:11:34   and a widget Smith based step counter along with fantastic out across the top.

00:11:40   And I thought that they were just like good at a glance things for my travel.

00:11:45   Lock screen.

00:11:46   Wait, so I'm very intrigued.

00:11:47   What's the 44 days until which one, which widget is that?

00:11:50   That is flighty.

00:11:52   Oh, this is like a funny thing where I took these screenshots like a month ago.

00:11:57   We were going to talk about this in our previous episode, but we went

00:12:01   around way too long, so I just have reused the screenshots.

00:12:04   I didn't realize that Flighty will do the call down thing because of course, Myke,

00:12:09   I'm with you, this is obviously the best lock screen to use for any kind of travel

00:12:13   mode, so I've done the exact same thing and I put Flighty on the top as well.

00:12:17   It's like, yes, obviously that's the one you should pick.

00:12:20   Like I think that they basically made this one to be for a travel focus

00:12:25   mode. Like, it's gotta be, right? That's what someone put it there for.

00:12:28   It's perfect.

00:12:29   I have Flighty on it as well, but I just didn't know that there was a countdown because I

00:12:34   just booked my flights to America like two days ago and I haven't actually put them into

00:12:38   Flighty yet, so I didn't realize that it does like a cool countdown days until flight thing.

00:12:42   So that's really nice, I didn't know that. Can I ask what's the thing that you blurred

00:12:45   out on the very top? That's the Fantastic Hal one that's blurred out of like what the

00:12:49   next event is?

00:12:50   Yeah, that's the next event. Whatever it was, I didn't want everyone to know what it was.

00:12:55   Right, but it's too long ago now, you can't remember.

00:12:58   I can send you mine so you can see that we've basically done the exact same thing for the

00:13:03   travel screens because I think it's just obviously the most sensible one to do.

00:13:07   Oh yeah, look at that.

00:13:08   Alright, so you've got, oh that's a good idea, you've got your AirPods Max battery

00:13:14   on there.

00:13:15   Yeah.

00:13:16   Mmm, I might steal that.

00:13:17   Because that's when I care about the battery for those things the most, is when I'm travelling.

00:13:22   Yeah, for me, the lock screen widget that is the battery

00:13:27   where it automatically picks which thing to show you,

00:13:30   to me is like clearly the best lock screen widget

00:13:33   and should be by default in like every single one of them.

00:13:36   I think it's like the most sensible place

00:13:38   to show battery status for something

00:13:41   that you probably care about.

00:13:42   I don't know quite what their algorithm is

00:13:44   for rotating between things.

00:13:46   It doesn't seem like perfect, but it's good enough.

00:13:49   And I love it for keeping an eye on like,

00:13:52   "Oh, my headphones in my office are unplugged

00:13:55   and I can see now that, like, they run low

00:13:57   'cause, like, that's the one that starts showing up."

00:14:00   So, yeah, and I feel like especially when you're traveling,

00:14:03   I need to keep track of how charged everything is,

00:14:06   is, like, super high priority and feels like it just has

00:14:08   to be on a lock screen for travel.

00:14:10   -You know you can choose, though, right?

00:14:12   -Okay, so, we can get to that in a second.

00:14:14   Yes, I know that you can force an item,

00:14:17   but I think leaving it on auto is mostly the sensible decision.

00:14:21   Okay, I'm gonna try on auto

00:14:23   'cause my AirPods Max are not here

00:14:24   and they're not paired to my phone right now it seems.

00:14:26   So let me make the change,

00:14:28   but I'm gonna use that.

00:14:31   I did have a little complaint

00:14:32   that I wanted to levy for focus modes,

00:14:35   which is the switching between focus modes.

00:14:38   So let's imagine I am traveling on the weekend.

00:14:43   So I have my weekend focus mode automatically enabled

00:14:47   and I want to manually switch to my travel focus mode,

00:14:52   right, because I'm in transit.

00:14:54   But then when I arrive at my destination,

00:14:56   I would like to turn off that focus mode,

00:14:59   but I would like it to go to the previously enabled

00:15:02   focus mode rather than the default.

00:15:05   'Cause this also happens that like,

00:15:07   if I have my travel focus mode on

00:15:09   and the weekend comes around during the travel,

00:15:11   it's gonna flip over to weekend,

00:15:13   which is not what I want, right?

00:15:15   So I would like to be able to,

00:15:16   once you enable a focus mode, once it turns off,

00:15:20   even if it's turning off by an automation of some kind,

00:15:23   then it goes back to the previous one.

00:15:26   - Yeah, we're slightly jumping ahead

00:15:27   to the app recommendation section of the show,

00:15:30   but there's an app which I've been trialing

00:15:34   with shortcuts just a little bit,

00:15:36   but it's called Data Jar, and it's an app

00:15:38   that lets you store information permanently,

00:15:42   like as a little variable outside the shortcut system,

00:15:45   And I have actually been trying to solve this exact problem with that.

00:15:50   And I think it should be--you should be able to have Data Jar remember

00:15:55   not what is the current focus mode, but what is the last focus mode.

00:15:59   I've already set it up so it's like, "Oh yes, I can definitely have this little app

00:16:04   remember what the previous one was."

00:16:06   And I'm just now trying to work through the--

00:16:09   Okay, so when I turn something off, I want you to check with Data Jar

00:16:13   for what the last one was and then go to that instead of by default opening up the phone.

00:16:19   That sounds like it's going to be really complicated to set up.

00:16:22   No, DataJar is actually really simple.

00:16:24   Like I just came across it so I haven't had a huge chance to play with it but I think

00:16:29   it's like it is exactly for these kinds of problems where there's some sort of automation

00:16:34   that it depends on what was something like a little while ago not just what is the current

00:16:41   state of everything now.

00:16:42   So I've been kind of toying around with it, but it's like one of my, "Ooh, this can be

00:16:46   a really interesting app for automation going forward in 2023," and this feels like exactly

00:16:51   the kind of problem that I think could be able to be solved for it.

00:16:55   I'll mention that now as a little preview for the app section.

00:16:58   - A bit by Simon Stovering.

00:16:59   He made Scriptable, which I know is an app that's very popular.

00:17:02   - Oh, they're the same people who made Scriptable.

00:17:04   Okay, that makes sense.

00:17:05   That makes sense.

00:17:06   I didn't realize.

00:17:07   - My recording lock screen in focus mode is the one that I use the most.

00:17:12   I had a recording focus mode set up for a while and it basically turns off all

00:17:17   notifications when I'm recording a show and I usually enable this. I have a

00:17:21   shortcut that turns on my recording focus for X amount of hours and sets a

00:17:26   timer for me for the specific show that I'm doing. I was using that before but

00:17:31   now I get to tie in a lock screen to it which has been really good because of

00:17:36   the always-on display. So when I'm recording I put my phone in a dock I

00:17:41   I have a material doc from Studio Neat.

00:17:43   I put it in there, it just stands there.

00:17:45   So it's just off to the side.

00:17:48   And so I thought, well, what kind of information

00:17:50   might I want when I'm recording a show?

00:17:53   And so I have a couple of widgets there.

00:17:56   I have the calendar one again.

00:17:58   I have my Timery, lock screen widgets.

00:18:01   And then I have a world clock built with Widgetsmith

00:18:05   with a few different locations.

00:18:06   - Oh, that's how you, okay, that's how you did it.

00:18:08   I was looking at that thinking like,

00:18:10   This layout of the widgets is a little bit funny,

00:18:12   but you're using Widgetsmith to show the three different ones.

00:18:16   Ah, OK, right.

00:18:17   So it's two two-sized ones.

00:18:20   It's not four, right?

00:18:21   OK.

00:18:21   Yeah, but the way that Widgetsmith actually do it,

00:18:24   you can have more locations than that.

00:18:25   But I felt like three looked visually good.

00:18:27   And that's what I need the most.

00:18:29   It's just like the American time zones.

00:18:32   And then for this one, I'm using the Photo Shuffle lock screen.

00:18:36   So it's a lock screen that basically--

00:18:39   and I've one that Apple made where every time you lock the phone or unlock the

00:18:43   phone, it changes the image and you can do people, places,

00:18:48   and buildings for this.

00:18:50   Why not dogs? Dogs, Apple, come on.

00:18:52   Let me see, do they have a dogs one? I'd be surprised if they didn't.

00:18:56   But you have some customization for how the photo shuffle works.

00:19:01   It's people, nature, and cities. They're your categories.

00:19:05   But with the people one, you can choose specific people.

00:19:10   - Ah, that's good, okay.

00:19:12   - So I set my own up to just be pictures of my wife.

00:19:14   And so it just cycles through the faces album

00:19:18   or whatever that I have of her there.

00:19:20   I enjoy that.

00:19:20   And it's also visually different enough

00:19:22   that I realize kind of like that I'm in my recording focus,

00:19:25   which I also just like as like a visual.

00:19:27   So that one's a really good one too.

00:19:28   - Can you select multiple people under the people option

00:19:31   or is it just one person at a time?

00:19:32   - I think so.

00:19:33   I think you can set multiple people,

00:19:34   which will probably help with the dog's thing.

00:19:36   'Cause I think you could set animals.

00:19:38   Or am I remembering iPhoto?

00:19:41   I think I might be remembering iPhoto.

00:19:42   - You're remembering what I told you iPhoto used to do

00:19:45   10 years ago, and still would be in my bonnet.

00:19:47   - There you go, that's why that's in my mind.

00:19:48   (laughs)

00:19:50   - I put that there, right?

00:19:51   You're having like implanted memories now.

00:19:53   But no, I was thinking for your recording lock screen, Myke,

00:19:55   you should obviously, I mean, like your wife is lovely,

00:19:58   but you should have it rotate through photos

00:20:00   of all of your co-hosts for the recording ones.

00:20:02   Like that's what you should be doing, right?

00:20:04   You know what, that's actually not a bad idea.

00:20:07   Yeah, I think you should do that.

00:20:09   It should be all the people that you co-host podcasts with.

00:20:11   That's why I wanted to know if it can do multiple ones.

00:20:13   I could be smiling at you right now from your long screen.

00:20:16   I do have a few photos of you smiling, that is true.

00:20:19   It would be extra good if it could just pick out the specific people that I'm recording

00:20:25   with at any one time, but then I would need an obscene amount of focus moves to be set

00:20:29   up to do that.

00:20:30   And there's actually a limit of 10, I don't know if you knew that.

00:20:32   I did not know that.

00:20:34   This is like a small thing that I bumped into, which I do find slightly infuriating, but

00:20:39   pre-iOS 16 there wasn't a limit on focus modes.

00:20:44   And iOS 16, they introduced a limit of 10, which is actually a little bit tighter than

00:20:50   you think because it includes the two ones that are there by default, or the three that

00:20:55   are there by default.

00:20:56   Do Not Disturb, Driving, and Sleep.

00:20:58   So it's really a limit of 7 that you can choose.

00:21:02   I kind of wonder if that was like,

00:21:05   oh, this is there because of two people,

00:21:07   Federico Vitici and me,

00:21:09   like sending in like a million focus modes

00:21:11   and they're like, no, no, no, right?

00:21:13   This is too many.

00:21:14   But yeah, it was actually confirmed by Apple

00:21:16   that that was not a bug.

00:21:17   Like that was an engineering decision that they had made

00:21:19   that they were going to limit it to 10.

00:21:20   - It's wild because you can set up

00:21:22   200 custom lock screens.

00:21:24   So why can't you only do 10 focus modes?

00:21:27   - Yeah.

00:21:28   - There must be some UI issue

00:21:29   that like there's an area of the UI

00:21:31   that like maybe the control center thing

00:21:34   where they don't wanna scroll?

00:21:35   - No, but that doesn't make sense

00:21:36   'cause I already scroll on there.

00:21:37   - Yeah, most of the reason.

00:21:38   - I find this stuff super frustrating

00:21:40   and it's extra frustrating when it used to be one way

00:21:43   and then it goes the other way.

00:21:44   It kind of reminds me of a thing

00:21:46   that they did eventually remove

00:21:47   but there used to be a limit of 100 VIPs on mail.

00:21:51   And it was like, again, it's like clear

00:21:52   that someone just like picked a number

00:21:54   that they thought was really big that no one would surpass.

00:21:57   And I think like me and Gruber were complaining about that.

00:22:00   Like, oh, depending on how you run your email, like that's extremely frustrating to have this limit for absolutely no reason.

00:22:05   So anyway, just like FYI to anyone out there who's like, I'm going to do a focus mode for everything.

00:22:10   No, you're not like you're going to pick seven.

00:22:12   That's what you're going to pick.

00:22:13   Well, I mean, you can do everything if you have 10 things.

00:22:15   Right. Yeah. If you have seven things.

00:22:17   Can't you change the like because I don't have the driving one.

00:22:21   Are you sure you want to take a look like I thought that was like hard coded in there that you couldn't get rid of the driving one.

00:22:26   Do not disturb fitness, recording, sleep, travel, weekend.

00:22:30   - That's so weird, have you never driven?

00:22:33   - I remember removing it, but that was probably last year.

00:22:37   - Oh, that's interesting, okay, all right,

00:22:39   so I'm just looking now.

00:22:41   So, I mean, driving I will leave on there,

00:22:43   'cause when I'm in America, I do drive,

00:22:45   and I do find it useful to have.

00:22:47   But the driving one is different,

00:22:49   so you can delete that focus mode.

00:22:51   - Right.

00:22:52   - But do not disturb and sleep are hard coded in.

00:22:56   You can't get rid of those.

00:22:58   Okay, that's interesting.

00:22:59   Okay, so if you don't drive, you can have eight.

00:23:02   I didn't realize that, interesting.

00:23:04   - The last one I have to show you, lock screens,

00:23:06   is just my regular lock screen.

00:23:07   It's not too dissimilar from the other ones that I have.

00:23:11   I have FantasticOwl as the main on the top, right?

00:23:14   It's like the one big one on the top,

00:23:17   along with Carrotweather, Timery,

00:23:19   and a step counter in Widgetsmith.

00:23:21   That's my kind of like main lock screen,

00:23:23   which is not tied to focus modes.

00:23:25   - Okay, so that's the default open one there.

00:23:27   - Yeah. - Right, okay.

00:23:28   - So I wanna see yours now.

00:23:30   Do you wanna show me focus mode ones first?

00:23:33   I've seen the travel one.

00:23:34   Do you have any others?

00:23:36   - Yes, I'm also having a funny situation in my office.

00:23:40   So I've been really trying to do home automation this year

00:23:43   and partly with the lights and things.

00:23:45   But for this show, while I keep flipping through

00:23:47   the focus modes to look at things while we're talking,

00:23:49   the lights in my office are going crazy, right?

00:23:51   So it's like, I wanted all of these like chill,

00:23:55   I wanted like the chillest version of the lights

00:23:57   where it's like, I have everything real down low

00:23:59   and I pick these like blues and greens and it's very lovely.

00:24:03   But then every time it's like, oh, I went into sleep mode,

00:24:05   the office is completely dark.

00:24:06   No, I didn't want that.

00:24:07   Oh, I went to travel mode.

00:24:08   The lights went completely white and bright.

00:24:11   - I'm flicking around taking screenshots on my Mac

00:24:14   'cause like, you're traveling.

00:24:15   I'm like, I'm not, I'm not traveling Mac, stop it.

00:24:18   That's funny.

00:24:19   I guess if I've done that stuff and I don't remember,

00:24:22   things are flying off the handle all over the place.

00:24:25   That's really funny.

00:24:26   - Yeah, so it's just like, automation is great,

00:24:28   but it's like when you are talking about automation

00:24:31   and rapidly flipping through a bunch of things,

00:24:33   like it starts to get weird.

00:24:34   And every time the office lights either completely go away

00:24:37   or turn all the way on, it's like,

00:24:38   oh, you're a real mood killer here, office lights.

00:24:41   But that is also part of the thing I'm trying to do

00:24:42   with DataJar, is to like smooth that stuff out.

00:24:45   Like don't just look at the state of things right now.

00:24:48   remember like what were things like five minutes ago

00:24:51   and maybe chill out and don't change things

00:24:52   if you don't need to.

00:24:53   Okay, so let me send you some of my stuff.

00:24:55   I already sent you my sleep lock screen and home screen,

00:25:00   which I just basically have as empty as possible

00:25:03   and just pick it as like dark red for go to sleep now,

00:25:07   like this is time to go to bed.

00:25:08   - Oh, that's what they are.

00:25:09   'Cause okay, a minute ago I saw

00:25:12   that I had two images from Grey.

00:25:14   One was a blank lock screen with a couple of widgets on,

00:25:19   and one was a completely blank home screen,

00:25:22   and I was like, oh, here we go again.

00:25:24   Maybe I'm gonna find out later on

00:25:26   that your actual lock screen is like this again,

00:25:28   but I didn't wanna react to it in the moment

00:25:31   because it would have destroyed the flow of the episode,

00:25:34   but maybe we'll get back to that later on.

00:25:36   So this is your, so it's not black, it's like a red,

00:25:40   'cause that's good for eyes, right?

00:25:41   I've learned recently.

00:25:42   Yeah, I think red, like a very dark red just works well at night.

00:25:47   And I actually picked a little real dark red because it sort of makes the contrast with

00:25:52   the icons on the bottom less like the icons on the bottom seem brighter if there's absolutely

00:25:57   no color on the home screen.

00:25:59   So that's just why I have it kind of set as this like gradient red that they allow.

00:26:04   So my like sleep lock screen and home screen are super boring.

00:26:08   There's a thing that's happening there though.

00:26:09   So if you look at the sleep lock home screen, there's a funny bug that happens with this

00:26:16   little battery meter, the automatic battery one.

00:26:20   If you pick the lock screen widget to be the little circle battery, but like I do, it's

00:26:26   like, you know what I want?

00:26:27   One of them I want to be the watch.

00:26:29   Like I always want to know the watch before I'm going to bed just to keep an eye on it.

00:26:34   Like ooh, do I need to charge it up a little bit before I go to sleep?

00:26:37   But if you have one of them manually set to the watch, the automatic one, I think it's

00:26:43   like built in by default that it kind of like always goes to the watch if it doesn't know

00:26:47   what to do.

00:26:48   And so you end up with these two little watches.

00:26:50   I was gonna ask why you had two watch batteries.

00:26:53   Like you just want to back up like check like what is going on here.

00:26:57   Yeah and it like it creates this little like the phone is looking at you kind of look on

00:27:05   it.

00:27:06   There's a face in there.

00:27:07   And it's extremely hard to screenshot.

00:27:10   So I'm gonna send you something that I was trying to catch

00:27:13   like just while we're recording,

00:27:15   while we're talking about this like funny bug.

00:27:18   So here is just like the top of my work home screen

00:27:22   where I have the same thing where it's like,

00:27:24   this is like how the phone would look for me in the morning.

00:27:27   There's two battery icons,

00:27:29   one of which I wanna set to the watch in the morning

00:27:31   so I always know if to charge it

00:27:32   and one is the automatic other one.

00:27:35   But it very often, like when the phone is just sitting there, defaults to having both

00:27:39   of them.

00:27:40   And I put the activity thing in the center and then it really creates this like little

00:27:45   face going "Ooh!" like looking at me all day.

00:27:48   This lock screen has got like a rectangle.

00:27:53   This is like the mouth to me.

00:27:55   Yeah, yeah.

00:27:57   The activity in the center is like a funny thing.

00:28:01   Like Apple dims the circles on the activity meter in a way that I find really frustrating.

00:28:07   It's like performative privacy of like, "Ooh, if your phone is locked, we don't want anyone

00:28:12   to know how active you've been today if they found the phone," which is like, "Please,

00:28:16   Apple.

00:28:17   Like no one cares about this.

00:28:18   This is just you like going out of your way to show me how much you care about my privacy."

00:28:24   When like, "I'd much rather prefer that you encrypted my iCloud messages even if I

00:28:28   I used iCloud backup and like not you know prevented people from knowing if I exercised

00:28:33   this morning or not?

00:28:34   Can I just double down and say because you brought that up and that's like one of my

00:28:37   big bug bears and I 100% agree with you and I think it's absolutely ridiculous that they

00:28:41   have not made that a thing. So like you can look into this maybe you didn't know call

00:28:46   Texans but if you use iMessage in the cloud it's called like backs up your iMessages

00:28:51   syncs them across you're no longer end to end encrypted there is an encryption key that

00:28:57   Apple holds. And there is a bunch of technical reasons as to why they do this, but I don't

00:29:04   care. I want the encryption. Like if you want to have encryption, you can't have iMessage

00:29:10   backup. And this isn't the case for a bunch of other things. With health, that's not

00:29:15   the case. They don't hold the keys for that. But they hold the keys for iMessage, and I

00:29:20   want them to change that. So thank you for bringing that up.

00:29:22   Yeah, I mean, since this is a very Apple-focused episode, that to me is...

00:29:28   I think it's kind of the worst thing that Apple does, and I think it makes all of their

00:29:34   messaging about privacy sound like a lie to me, which is the thing that everyone cares

00:29:41   the most about.

00:29:44   I mean, I bet a lot of people would care way more about their iMessages than their photos,

00:29:48   right?

00:29:49   Like, those have got to be the top two.

00:29:50   But I think there are a lot of people who it's like,

00:29:52   "Hey, you have to pick one of these two

00:29:54   to be leaked to the world, your iMessages or your photos."

00:29:57   I think a lot more people would rather

00:29:59   have their photos leaked than their iMessages leaked.

00:30:01   - I think so, I would.

00:30:02   - Yeah, but yeah, so when I found out,

00:30:04   I was like, "Oh, Apple doesn't actually end to end

00:30:07   encrypt your iMessages if you use iCloud backup,

00:30:10   which they extremely push you to do for good reasons."

00:30:14   I was like, "That is appalling.

00:30:16   Like, I'm totally appalled by this."

00:30:18   And it really gets under my skin every time Apple talks about how they care about privacy.

00:30:24   And it's like, yeah, you're not saying out loud the one thing that people care about the most.

00:30:31   So when I first found out about it, I was like, Oh my God.

00:30:34   Right.

00:30:34   And I turned off iCloud backup on all of my devices and I was using just like the local backup on your computer.

00:30:39   But then I realized, Oh, it doesn't matter at all because if the person I'm talking with uses iCloud backup, like it hasn't prevented anything here.

00:30:48   So great, like I'm just, so I went back to using iCloud backup and I just live with it,

00:30:52   but I really hate it.

00:30:53   But it is also why like I call the activity ring hiding on the lock screen,

00:30:59   like performative privacy.

00:31:01   It's a thing that absolutely no one cares about, but I think Apple does because

00:31:06   it's like, look at us keeping an eye on your privacy.

00:31:09   We'll keep this private health data, how many times you've stood up today, you

00:31:14   know, hidden on your lock screen until it is unlocked.

00:31:17   And I find it annoying because then every time I look at the lock screen, like the little circles then color in

00:31:23   and I would like the whole purpose of having it there is I just want to see the information.

00:31:27   I don't only want to see the information when the screen is unlocked.

00:31:30   But so anyway, complaining about Apple privacy aside, here is what that actual lock screen looks like.

00:31:34   So to me, this is the like the most important how my phone looks mode.

00:31:40   And this is what I call core, which is my like morning work.

00:31:44   And this is the most, I mean, I guess aside from sleep,

00:31:47   this is the most lockdown mode of like,

00:31:50   I don't wanna get messages from anybody.

00:31:53   This is how the phone should default on any of my work days.

00:31:58   Nothing gets through,

00:31:59   and I just wanna have it be entirely work focused.

00:32:02   So I just have the couple of battery icons there

00:32:04   'cause I wanna keep an eye on like the headphones.

00:32:06   And like I said, I wanna have the watch

00:32:08   to know how charged it is.

00:32:09   I do like having activity there

00:32:11   because I often do most of my actual exercise in the morning,

00:32:15   so I feel like that's kind of part of what I'm doing

00:32:19   for the core stuff.

00:32:20   And then on my home screen, I don't use a bunch of apps.

00:32:23   I just have the widgets for OmniFocus

00:32:26   to show me the top-level stuff that I should be doing.

00:32:29   And then I have Timery, which is giving me a report

00:32:32   for today and the last X days,

00:32:35   so I can just kind of keep an eye on,

00:32:37   "Ooh, how am I actually doing in terms of work,

00:32:40   both for now and over the recent past.

00:32:42   So this is how I'm setting up like my core focus mode.

00:32:45   - So this is core focus mode.

00:32:47   Okay, so this is a focus mode, it's a pairing of the two.

00:32:50   Is that like your mind, Spaceship U?

00:32:52   Is that what this is?

00:32:54   - Oh yeah, it's not really on purpose.

00:32:56   - Okay.

00:32:57   - Yeah, the lock screen is just like,

00:32:58   it is from NASA and I think it's the inside of a satellite.

00:33:01   I just kind of think it looks cool

00:33:03   and I just strongly associate blue

00:33:06   with like all the important work.

00:33:09   So yeah, it wasn't intentionally Spaceship U,

00:33:11   but it's like Spaceship U adjacent.

00:33:13   - I couldn't personally use this image

00:33:14   because it doesn't line up, that line from the top.

00:33:18   - I know.

00:33:19   - Okay. - Yeah, I know, I know.

00:33:20   I've actually-- - I couldn't do it.

00:33:21   I couldn't do it.

00:33:23   'Cause it's too close, that's the problem.

00:33:25   - Yeah, for listeners, there's a little bit

00:33:26   of like a vertical line, which is like very close,

00:33:29   but not quite lined up.

00:33:30   It has been on my mind at some point,

00:33:32   I'm gonna like get this from,

00:33:34   there was like NASA's Instagram or whatever,

00:33:36   and like load it into Photoshop and actually adjust it,

00:33:38   Because I do like it enough that it's worth fixing around, but I originally

00:33:44   just set this when I was, when I was like starting to play around with the focus

00:33:47   modes and feeling like, Ooh, what am I going to use?

00:33:49   What am I not going to use?

00:33:50   And this one has just kind of stuck, but yes, I will at some point fix that

00:33:55   alignment issue because you're not wrong.

00:33:56   It's super annoying that it doesn't quite go right down the center.

00:33:59   And I also feel like with the new dynamic island at the top, it like extra highlights

00:34:04   it, like when I first set this up, it wasn't there, but now the dynamic island

00:34:08   is really like letting you know, like, hey buddy,

00:34:11   you can see how not in the middle this is.

00:34:13   - That's really rough.

00:34:16   - So you have just the one home screen here.

00:34:18   Yeah, Timery, Onif, Executor.

00:34:21   - Executor, that's the way I think of it.

00:34:23   - Is that a project name?

00:34:24   - No, that's just like the word that I have used

00:34:27   for a subset of OmniFocus tasks,

00:34:29   which are not project specific.

00:34:32   They are just the, this is what you should do,

00:34:34   ideally every morning.

00:34:36   So there are things like, okay, here's me running through, like, getting the office

00:34:41   set up every morning, and then it just lists, depending on what day it is, which thing I

00:34:46   should be doing.

00:34:47   So it's like, okay, this is the day where you should be walking on the treadmill for

00:34:51   an hour and a half while you talk the script out loud.

00:34:53   And then, like, after that, you should exercise for this amount of time, and then you should

00:34:57   do another draft at the computer sitting down for this amount of time, and then it's like,

00:35:02   take a 20 minute break, and then it's admin.

00:35:05   It's sort of like running through what is the theoretical best list of things to do

00:35:10   without being project specific on any one of them.

00:35:13   So it's like nudging me in the correct order of the routine.

00:35:17   And so I don't like I feel like it's like executive like the top level of tasks is kind

00:35:23   of why I named it that way.

00:35:24   But I've been using this for years and years as a non project specific reminder list for

00:35:30   what you should be doing first thing in the morning.

00:35:34   So like you, that alternates for me with like a weekend focus.

00:35:40   Here's the other one.

00:35:42   Oh, very leafy.

00:35:43   Yeah, so I want to have like two strong colors to again just like set up environmentally,

00:35:50   like how should the day feel like I'm just a big believer in trying to like make everything

00:35:55   kind of go along with a certain way and so for me green has always been really associated

00:35:59   with like, oh, this is the personal time.

00:36:01   And so I have it set up with the home automation stuff and with a bunch of shortcuts.

00:36:06   If it's Wednesday or I'm now doing Saturday as my other weekend day, like this is the

00:36:10   way the phone starts in the morning, which again is just like a nice visual reminder

00:36:14   of like this should be a day off.

00:36:17   And again I like to keep the lock screen reasonably simple, but I feel like for days off I'm

00:36:20   much more likely to go outside, so I just have a couple of weather widgets on there.

00:36:25   Mainly knowing for like if I'm going to take a bike ride I want to know what like the chance

00:36:28   of rain is going to be like for the day. And that's also why on my actual home screen,

00:36:33   I have a carrot weather thing like big and on the top because that's also just useful

00:36:38   for or like my wife and I are we going to go out to the park? Are we going to go somewhere?

00:36:42   Is it going to be an indoor sort of day? So I just like to have the weather big and prominent.

00:36:46   And again, it's also there to kind of nudge me in the remind direction that like it's

00:36:52   the weekend. Maybe you should go outside because you often don't on work days. If carrots

00:36:58   saying it's a beautiful day dude you should take advantage of that.

00:37:01   I mean and who wouldn't want to jump in this bush that you've got here on the home screen?

00:37:04   Big green bush with like I will say the thing about this bush it's like beautiful and green

00:37:11   on the top but there is like the abyss beneath it. Do you feel slightly threatened by my lock

00:37:18   screen image is that what you're saying? I don't like how dark it is between the leaves

00:37:22   on this image. Well nature is very scary Myke even when it's beautiful it's terrifying.

00:37:26   I guess it's like this home screen is like go outside but beware you know yeah I want

00:37:32   you to go like you should go outside but just be careful you know I get that it's a good

00:37:38   bounce. I will question I guess it's not for you right like that you have on the home screen

00:37:48   that you sent me there are two time re-widgets and what my initial thought was like do you

00:37:52   want to be tracking your time that much on the weekend but then I remembered you're always

00:37:56   tracking your time, right? Like that's the difference between me and you, so.

00:37:59   Yeah, so I have it slightly differently set up, like it's not as prominent,

00:38:03   but it's this thing of, yeah, I do always track my time, and that's partly, again,

00:38:10   because I am using it as like a reminder for how I should be, and so the two timer retrackers on my

00:38:17   weekend home screen are the same thing where I have one that's set up to track how is today doing,

00:38:23   and then the bottom one tracks like this a certain x number of past days.

00:38:28   And what I'm always trying to do is like approach a theoretical optimal thing.

00:38:34   And so what I want to see is, oh as the day is going on,

00:38:37   on the weekend day my today timer should be filling up with stuff

00:38:43   that it doesn't fill up with during the weekday.

00:38:46   So it's like, oh there's actually, I've added something this year,

00:38:49   this is again jumping ahead but I'll just mention it now,

00:38:52   where I track how much time I spend with my wife,

00:38:54   but this year I realized, oh, you know what?

00:38:57   I'm gonna break out a separate category,

00:38:59   which is like with wife, but outside of the house

00:39:03   as a little timer.

00:39:05   And so I really like having this

00:39:07   as like a separate kind of thing to track.

00:39:09   It's like tracking a kind of high quality time.

00:39:12   And so I just wanna see like, ooh,

00:39:15   if in the past 10 days, the time with wife time

00:39:19   has like racked up very high,

00:39:21   but none of it has been outside of the house.

00:39:24   It's just like a little nudge on the weekend.

00:39:26   Like, hey, maybe we should get out of here

00:39:27   and go do something.

00:39:28   So that's why I do have the timer retimers

00:39:31   like really prominent because I'm always trying to match

00:39:34   like the last X days is getting affected

00:39:38   by time recorded today.

00:39:40   And you wanna always try to like approach the optimal

00:39:44   of how things should be.

00:39:46   So the weekend days should be adding

00:39:47   like different weekend activities

00:39:49   like reading or going outside or taking a bike ride.

00:39:53   And then the workdays should be adding workday stuff.

00:39:55   And so that's why I do keep it around there.

00:39:58   - Okay, that makes a lot of sense.

00:40:00   - And then I just have an OmniFocus one,

00:40:01   which is like available tasks,

00:40:03   because sometimes there's like just stuff

00:40:05   that you need to do that's like not work stuff

00:40:07   and weekend days are days that it makes sense to do that.

00:40:10   So that's why I have OmniFocus available there.

00:40:12   We went through the travel one, that's the work one.

00:40:15   I got a couple others that are not interesting

00:40:17   to talk about just because it's like admin it's basically the same thing. I do have a

00:40:22   I didn't screenshot it because it's not visually interesting but I'm trying to have the phone

00:40:28   be always in a focus mode I feel like this is probably the best way to think about stuff

00:40:34   and so one thing I did set was a focus mode that I call open where it is the phone is

00:40:40   open to all messages from everyone.

00:40:43   - Wow, you enable that like for 20 minutes once a year.

00:40:46   - Yes, so that's like, oh, I'm expecting a call

00:40:50   from someone who's not in my phone book or whatever.

00:40:53   And so that's like, I can throw it into the open mode.

00:40:56   - I see, that makes more sense.

00:40:57   - Because that is a thing that comes up

00:40:59   every once in a while of like,

00:41:00   oh, you're expecting someone to contact you,

00:41:03   but for whatever reason, you don't know

00:41:05   in advance their contact information or whatever.

00:41:08   So I've gotten kind of caught out by that sometimes.

00:41:10   And so it's like, okay, I have an open mode.

00:41:12   like you're waiting for a call back from your internet prod or whatever, right?

00:41:16   It's like you don't know exactly that exactly that kind of thing.

00:41:20   Yeah, yeah, like oh there's a plumber coming to the house maybe and he might call you,

00:41:24   who knows that that kind of thing and I just I just use Apple's like default moon they

00:41:28   have a picture of the moon because it feels like oh my god if it's open you're just like

00:41:33   floating in space vulnerable to anyone at any point in time so that's the image that

00:41:37   I use for that.

00:41:38   But the other one that I think you might enjoy, I'll send this through, is I have a focus

00:41:45   mode called holiday.

00:41:49   He's born receding baby!

00:41:52   Now this is fun!

00:41:53   So the thing about holidays is that they should be novel, right?

00:41:57   Things should feel different when you're on a holiday than they feel normally.

00:42:00   You with a little love heart on the holiday name there, that's cute.

00:42:05   Yeah well it's also because like that's usually I'm spending that with my wife and so it's

00:42:08   like, "We're off somewhere!" And the holiday one, it's set basically so that it's like,

00:42:13   my wife can contact me, family can contact me, and if I'm traveling with friends, like,

00:42:18   those friends can contact me, but I specifically turn off, like, everything that's work-related

00:42:23   for the holiday stuff. And so, in the screenshot that I have for Myke here, I have like a fun

00:42:28   sort of pink sand background, which I've just used as the default, like, "This looks really different

00:42:35   for my wife and I have done a couple of weekends away this year and so just like flip it into

00:42:39   holiday mode and then for the couple of trips that I've done this is pre-focus mode but I was

00:42:45   still using shortcuts to do it I had the holiday mode like pick a wallpaper that matches the trip

00:42:51   so when I was in Hawaii like I had a very Hawaii shirt kind of background and when I was in Norway

00:42:57   I had like a snowy icy background and I don't know like this may sound dumb but I really think

00:43:03   there's a lot of value in even just like silly novelty on devices that are with you all the time.

00:43:09   And so like when I've done a weekend away and my phone is ridiculously pink, it somehow helps make

00:43:16   that little mini trip like feel more different during the time. And it's again like a visual

00:43:21   reminder of like this is how you're spending your time. You're focused on this this weird holiday.

00:43:25   It's even why I picked like this strange font for the time. It's like I just want everything

00:43:29   different. I probably should change the little battery widgets which is on the home screen.

00:43:33   that's not useful anymore, but I just haven't had the system come in since focus came out,

00:43:36   so that'll get swapped out with something. There's the weather, because that's what you want to know

00:43:40   on holidays. I have the maps on the bottom, which I've completely blacked out because obviously it

00:43:44   shows your exact current location, but that's super useful when you're on holidays. And then

00:43:48   I've mentioned this before, but I do find it really useful that when you're on a trip with

00:43:54   someone, it just feels like you end up with a bunch of these weird little like, "Oh, we need to pick

00:43:59   up some aspirin from Booth's kind of errands that like the two of you have while you're

00:44:04   on like this little trip. And so my wife and I have a like shared errands list that gets

00:44:09   used a lot during holidays of like, "Oh, let's not forget when we go here to pick up that

00:44:14   thing." And so I just like to have that on the reminders list. And it's just like, as

00:44:18   soon as we started doing it, it's crazy how much it gets used and also just how much nicer

00:44:23   it can make the trip that like, "Oh, both of us, we can remember to do this thing."

00:44:27   or she can add something to the list for me to do.

00:44:29   So it's not always pink.

00:44:31   It'll be different if I go somewhere else.

00:44:33   But this is my holiday focus mode.

00:44:36   I thought you might appreciate this one, Myke.

00:44:38   - I do. I like it a lot.

00:44:39   I like how bright it is.

00:44:41   The shared errands is smart too.

00:44:43   I guess maybe it's just luck

00:44:45   that it matches up color-wise with the home screen.

00:44:47   - No, no, you can pick it.

00:44:48   You can pick reminder list colors.

00:44:50   - But like, do you change it to like thematically work

00:44:53   with the current home screen for that trip?

00:44:55   - Oh yeah, yeah, I did that when we were in Hawaii.

00:44:58   The Hawaii lock screen was largely green,

00:45:00   so I just changed the little thing to be green.

00:45:02   - I love it.

00:45:02   - So you gotta color coordinate, Myke.

00:45:03   - I love how aesthetic you are here.

00:45:05   It's great, this is awesome.

00:45:07   Look at you go.

00:45:08   - Well, it's interesting because I think

00:45:10   with this focus mode system that Apple's introduced,

00:45:13   I also try to have my watch match all of this stuff.

00:45:16   And I used to do this with shortcuts,

00:45:19   where when you change focus modes,

00:45:21   you could have shortcuts sort of change stuff for you.

00:45:24   But boy was that a giant pain in the butt.

00:45:26   And I just, like Apple's made it 100 times easier now

00:45:29   to do this and so it feels like,

00:45:30   why not take advantage of it?

00:45:32   And I really do think it makes the phone much better.

00:45:35   And for me, this also feels a bit like,

00:45:38   almost validation of years ago,

00:45:41   I was just talking about how like,

00:45:42   I think this is really important for devices

00:45:45   that you have with you, like all the time

00:45:47   to try to make them different.

00:45:49   And you know, in early episodes of Cortex,

00:45:52   I know I got a lot of flack from people thinking I was crazy for having like, oh, there's two

00:45:56   iPads like a work iPad and a personal iPad and people like, what are you doing that for?

00:46:01   And now like software wise, Apple has made this possible more and more on your devices.

00:46:07   And I just like, I love it.

00:46:09   I think it's great.

00:46:10   And I can't wait for this to get rolled out, presumably to the iPad, I don't know, maybe

00:46:14   next year and like max the year after or something.

00:46:17   But it's so good.

00:46:18   Like I'm just so happy that Apple has has introduced this.

00:46:22   It's really nice to be able to have the home screens themselves change.

00:46:25   Like that's a feature I was never even really asking for.

00:46:28   And it was sort of around in the last version, but again, it was like.

00:46:32   Fiddly and hard to do, but now with the focus modes, being able to switch

00:46:36   the actual home screens themselves, it's great.

00:46:38   I love it.

00:46:39   Two thumbs up for this whole system.

00:46:40   And if listeners haven't tried focus modes, you should totally try it.

00:46:45   Like just, I think the very basic one of like, what's a workday like,

00:46:49   and what's a weekend day like and then what's you know the afternoon like those

00:46:53   are the basic ones and set them up and give them a try and you know pick

00:46:58   different fun lock screens so that it just looks visually different I think it

00:47:01   really adds something to your life and doubly so now that there's like an

00:47:04   always on screen for the phones like it's just increasingly present in this

00:47:08   way so shall we do home screens themselves now I don't really have home

00:47:13   screens to show you right because what like what we've gone through here is

00:47:16   is basically everything on my home screens.

00:47:19   - Okay, so there are no apps anymore.

00:47:21   It's either widgets or nothing, right?

00:47:25   Okay, so I've seen them all.

00:47:26   I understand, I understand.

00:47:28   So like, if you're, I get it now, right?

00:47:29   - You've seen everything, Myke.

00:47:31   - If you're always in a focus mode,

00:47:34   there is no home screen anymore.

00:47:36   It's always what is relevant.

00:47:38   All right, that makes sense.

00:47:39   - Yes, so that's what I've done.

00:47:41   I've kind of simplified away the home screen stuff,

00:47:44   And I'm just really using my phone to display whatever relevant

00:47:49   information is in whatever mode.

00:47:51   Like we can cover my home screen in three seconds, which is that I have

00:47:54   three little buttons in my dock that I've slightly changed from last year.

00:47:59   And those buttons are make a new note in notes.

00:48:03   The center one is for OmniFocus, which opens up a general list of I have a

00:48:09   reminder and then it asks me a couple of questions like, is this a due date

00:48:12   reminder? Is this a flag reminder?

00:48:14   - Oh, it's an ad, it's to add to a list.

00:48:16   - Yes, so it's to add to a list, yeah.

00:48:19   The three on the bottom are purely input.

00:48:22   So the middle one is for OmniFocus

00:48:24   and then it asks a bunch of questions

00:48:25   so it knows properly where to sort things.

00:48:27   And then the microphone one is for Cortex.

00:48:31   Like I've just found it like a thing this year

00:48:34   to really try to streamline,

00:48:36   oh, if I have a random thought,

00:48:37   just add it to the Cortex list.

00:48:39   And I use it enough that I thought,

00:48:41   oh, it makes sense just to put on the dock.

00:48:43   So that's it.

00:48:44   Like that's the entirety of my home screen.

00:48:46   A bunch of widgets and three input methods.

00:48:49   Notes, OmniFocus and Cortex,

00:48:52   which is going to a reminders list.

00:48:53   And that's it.

00:48:54   - Well, speaking on behalf of Cortex brand,

00:48:57   Cortex brand is on it.

00:48:59   Cortex, the podcast will occupy one of three buttons.

00:49:02   Here doc.

00:49:03   - Yeah, occupying the most limited real estate.

00:49:07   All right, what's your home screen look like, Myke?

00:49:08   - All right, so I have an image for you.

00:49:10   It's of my three home screens that are like my typical.

00:49:14   These are what I use.

00:49:16   This is how I usually order my phone

00:49:18   when it's not in a focus mode.

00:49:19   And most of my focus modes

00:49:21   are still pulling from this in some way.

00:49:24   So like I mentioned, I had like a travel lock screen earlier

00:49:27   the travel lock screen just takes over

00:49:30   the first of these three lock screens.

00:49:31   And then I have the other two still enabled.

00:49:34   It's just changing out one or the other, right?

00:49:37   So I think a lot of this will be mostly unchanged

00:49:40   from how it's been in past years, to be honest.

00:49:43   So I don't know if there's much excitement in here for you

00:49:47   to pick apart, but who knows what you might find.

00:49:50   - Yeah, I feel like this is pretty similar to last time.

00:49:52   You still got that fantastic wallpaper, which I always like,

00:49:55   which is from the hotel in California?

00:49:57   - Yeah, Beverly Hills Hotel.

00:49:58   - Right, okay, very fancy.

00:50:00   - In the little diner down there, which I love.

00:50:02   - I think it, what is the Cortex brand widget?

00:50:04   - That's Kraft.

00:50:05   - That is Kraft, okay.

00:50:06   - That's where I keep all my notes,

00:50:07   and I'm gonna talk about Kraft later on,

00:50:09   but that is how I can quickly get into notes.

00:50:13   I don't have the, you notice I don't have the craft icon

00:50:16   anywhere on my home screens,

00:50:18   and this kind of serves double duty of like,

00:50:21   one, letting me launch the app quickly,

00:50:24   or two, there's like the four most recently used notes,

00:50:28   and they tend to be the ones that I need most often,

00:50:30   like little things that I'm keeping track of,

00:50:32   or the current project that we're working on,

00:50:33   and then I can just jump into that specific note very easily.

00:50:37   Why activity as a gigantic widget on the third screen?

00:50:41   That seems like a strange decision.

00:50:42   - The fitness one.

00:50:43   - Yeah, yeah, yeah, the fitness one.

00:50:44   - I had a space available,

00:50:45   and so sometimes I remove the fitness one

00:50:48   if I have something that's going on at a certain time.

00:50:52   When we were doing the St. Jude fundraiser,

00:50:54   I had the St. Jude fundraiser widget.

00:50:56   - Ah, okay.

00:50:57   - And then otherwise I use fitness.

00:50:59   But I do actually quite like the graphs

00:51:02   that fitness produces.

00:51:04   I was finding myself looking in the app on the phone

00:51:07   quite a bit and so this was good to just get some of that information immediately available

00:51:12   to me. Because sometimes it's like, oh I'm already at say like, say it's like 20 minutes,

00:51:17   30 minutes of activity in my day when I haven't worked out yet. And I'm like, where did that

00:51:22   come from? And sometimes just looking at the time chart of exercise will answer that for

00:51:28   me, which is kind of interesting. It's like, oh it recorded that walk that I did today,

00:51:34   which sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it does.

00:51:35   So like, I just find that to be an interesting thing.

00:51:38   I like having it there.

00:51:39   And there's a couple of stacks going on, right?

00:51:41   So there's Carrot is underneath the Fantastic Owl widget.

00:51:46   I have a shortcut widget,

00:51:47   which is for some time tracking stuff

00:51:49   underneath the Timery widget.

00:51:51   And the Widgetsmith widget of the time zones that I have,

00:51:56   underneath that is a countdown timer,

00:51:59   which is usually my next vacation.

00:52:01   (laughing)

00:52:02   and that like switches over on its own.

00:52:04   So if I have a vacation coming up,

00:52:05   I'll put the countdown timer there

00:52:07   and that will sometimes flip over

00:52:08   and show me that instead of the time zone stuff.

00:52:11   - What are you using as the countdown app for that?

00:52:12   - It's also WidgetSmith.

00:52:13   - Oh, it's also WidgetSmith, okay, okay.

00:52:15   Yeah, I think this is good.

00:52:16   I don't have anything to make fun of.

00:52:17   I feel like you have a really solid system here.

00:52:19   So yeah, I think this is good.

00:52:21   And let's talk about the apps.

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00:54:15   So let's start with productivity apps.

00:54:17   Yeah, into the meat of state of the apps.

00:54:20   I read this into last year's episode

00:54:22   and I'm noticing already a change in you

00:54:25   because last year- - In me?

00:54:26   - Yeah, you had given up on To Do

00:54:29   and we spoke last year.

00:54:30   You were like, "Ah, I'm not using To Do app anymore."

00:54:34   But already in this episode,

00:54:35   I've seen visual proof that you're using OmniFocus.

00:54:38   So it seems like you've gotten that part

00:54:41   of your working life back in order again in 2022.

00:54:44   - Okay, yeah.

00:54:45   So yeah, last year must've been the nadir

00:54:47   of my lockdown time of life.

00:54:50   - You were just like, "Who needs it?"

00:54:52   You know what I mean?

00:54:53   (laughing)

00:54:55   I just do whatever the wind tells me.

00:54:57   - Yes, yeah, that was not a great period of time, no.

00:55:01   We can talk about part of that

00:55:05   in a little bit of a later section, but yes,

00:55:08   I've gotten much better about being back in the habit

00:55:10   of using OmniFocus.

00:55:13   And I think part of it is I've pulled out a subset of tasks,

00:55:18   which will not be going in OmniFocus anymore.

00:55:23   They're gonna go somewhere else,

00:55:24   which we'll talk about later.

00:55:25   But I think this is, a lot of times,

00:55:29   you wanna have real clarity

00:55:30   about what are you using a thing for.

00:55:33   And I was trying to use OmniFocus

00:55:35   for something that just never really was quite working

00:55:37   and always put in a bit of a resistance.

00:55:39   And so now it's much more clear of like,

00:55:41   Okay, I have reminders that are for how the day should be going.

00:55:46   And then there's like the specific kind of traditional to-do tasks of like,

00:55:50   "Oh, you need to pay this bill on this day" or whatever.

00:55:54   So I've got all that kind of stuff in there.

00:55:55   And then OmniFocus is just working for me much better.

00:55:58   And for a couple of things, I use shared reminders with my wife, as I mentioned

00:56:03   on the lock screen stuff earlier.

00:56:04   And that's basically it.

00:56:06   Like I'm back using OmniFocus.

00:56:08   I'm very happy about it.

00:56:09   I am wondering what on earth is taking so long about the next version of OmniFocus.

00:56:14   Like I think that they might be running into some trouble there, but like,

00:56:18   for me looking around for apps, it is still the same case of if an app

00:56:23   does not have defer dates, it's just like a total deal breaker for me.

00:56:27   Like I can't use it.

00:56:28   So I think Reminders is a really interesting app.

00:56:31   Like I think it's gotten so much better over the years and it's another

00:56:35   thing where they keep adding features.

00:56:38   And I could actually imagine being tempted by reminders in the future,

00:56:43   but until and if they ever add something that is like defer dates,

00:56:47   it's just totally out of the picture for me.

00:56:49   So I'm back on OmniFocus and I'm very happy about it.

00:56:52   - I'm still using Todoist and I have kind of committed to myself

00:56:56   that I'm not gonna change anymore.

00:56:58   No more changing, no more switching.

00:56:59   - Good.

00:57:00   - It's too disruptive and ultimately not helpful for me.

00:57:04   You know, like I remember, I think during our WWDC episode,

00:57:08   I was like, you know,

00:57:09   Reminders I think has everything that I want now.

00:57:12   I might move to Reminders.

00:57:13   And I played around with it and it actually does.

00:57:16   Like Reminders has, I think at this point,

00:57:19   everything I would need that I use in Todoist,

00:57:21   'cause I'm trying still to use the system simply.

00:57:26   Like for me, it's a task name and a due date and a project.

00:57:31   Everything gets that piece of information.

00:57:33   Sometimes I use some features that Todoist has,

00:57:35   but a lot of apps have, like subtasks,

00:57:37   or adding little notes or comments to a task.

00:57:40   But I try to use the system simply in that way,

00:57:45   which means that I kind of could use basically anything,

00:57:48   but at this point I have no desire

00:57:50   and I'm kind of making a rule with myself

00:57:52   to just stop moving around.

00:57:54   My only frustration with Todoist is nothing to do with them,

00:57:58   which is how much stuff I have in Todoist

00:58:01   on how much I'm putting in to my to-do manager,

00:58:04   but that feels more like a yearly themes problem

00:58:06   than a state of the apps problem, right?

00:58:08   - Yeah, I have too much to-do

00:58:10   is not your to-do apps problem.

00:58:12   That's totally a year.

00:58:14   - When I wrote that down, I did feel like

00:58:16   this is an interesting kind of app to make.

00:58:19   Like a lot of these apps, like to-do apps, email apps,

00:58:22   calendar apps, because it is very easy

00:58:24   for your customer base to be frustrated with you

00:58:27   for reasons that's got nothing to do with you.

00:58:28   It's just like being in that application makes them angry

00:58:32   because of the stuff that's in there

00:58:33   or makes them sad because of how much is in there.

00:58:36   And like they take it out on the app, you know what I mean?

00:58:38   Like, oh, I hate Todoist.

00:58:40   There's too much stuff in there all the time.

00:58:42   So it's like, it's just like a funny little aside

00:58:44   I came to as I was writing down,

00:58:45   like what do I like about Todoist?

00:58:47   What do I not like?

00:58:48   Oh, I don't like how many things are in there.

00:58:49   It's like, well, they didn't make that happen.

00:58:51   I did that.

00:58:52   - I resent my obligations.

00:58:53   So I resent you.

00:58:55   - But I'm perfectly happy with Todoist.

00:58:58   They continue to refine the app in ways that I like.

00:59:00   Like they've been making some visual tweaks

00:59:02   over the last year, which is nothing major,

00:59:05   but just like stuff that I think has made the app

00:59:07   look a little cleaner.

00:59:09   One of the things that I will always love,

00:59:11   and this is like a thing for me

00:59:12   of a lot of productivity apps,

00:59:14   where there's data entry involved,

00:59:16   natural language processing is incredibly important to me.

00:59:19   And you know, this app and Fantastical,

00:59:23   which is like the king of this for me,

00:59:24   of their natural language stuff,

00:59:26   it's just so important.

00:59:27   when I'm sitting on my Mac, I hit a keyboard command

00:59:29   and just start writing what I'm looking to do.

00:59:32   I will hit, for me, it's a command option space,

00:59:36   and that will pop up on my Mac, the todoist quick entry,

00:59:40   and I will just start writing whatever the task is,

00:59:42   and I'll use, you know, you learn the language

00:59:44   for organization, right?

00:59:46   So I can type in like, do this task at 2 p.m.,

00:59:50   and it works that out, but then if I wanna add,

00:59:52   like into a project, then I will just hit the hash key,

00:59:57   and then start typing the name of the project

00:59:59   and it will start doing autocomplete stuff for me, right?

01:00:01   So you learn some little tricks

01:00:03   with all of these natural language things.

01:00:04   But for me, that is so valuable

01:00:06   that I can just hit that and just go for it.

01:00:09   I wish there was something as simple on iOS,

01:00:12   but it's just, as you have done,

01:00:14   and I have done in the past,

01:00:15   you can just set up a shortcut for these things.

01:00:17   But for me, really, the Todoist app

01:00:20   is really easy to add stuff to,

01:00:22   so I just open the app and go for it.

01:00:24   But I really wish there was some way

01:00:26   that I could do this in Spotlight, say.

01:00:29   Like, you know, like I just pull down Spotlight

01:00:31   and just start typing.

01:00:32   - Yeah.

01:00:33   - And that there's some way that that can go into Todoist.

01:00:36   You know, I'm sure that there's something

01:00:37   that it can do for reminders,

01:00:39   but I don't want it to go into reminders.

01:00:40   You know what I mean?

01:00:41   So I wish there was a way to do this.

01:00:43   I know you can kind of do it with Siri,

01:00:45   but I don't like the way you do it with Siri

01:00:47   because you have to like say, in Todoist,

01:00:50   I don't want to do that.

01:00:51   Like I don't want to add that information.

01:00:53   So with all of these things,

01:00:54   I would then just prefer to just open the app and do it.

01:00:57   But there's just nothing that is as easy as the way

01:00:59   that I can add this stuff when I'm at my Mac,

01:01:01   which is just with a couple of keyboard commands.

01:01:03   - The Siri integration for other to-do apps,

01:01:05   like I'm glad it's there, but I also don't use it

01:01:08   because it's just annoying.

01:01:10   And I don't use the natural language stuff in Fantastic Cal.

01:01:14   And I think that's also why in Todoist,

01:01:16   it's just never really appealed to me

01:01:17   'cause it's not the way my brain works.

01:01:19   But I do, like the closest I get to that,

01:01:21   which is why I also use reminders,

01:01:24   I feel like Reminders is really great for like one-off things where I just have to go like,

01:01:30   "Oh hey, the next time I'm here, remind me to do that."

01:01:33   - Yeah, that is so cool. - Right?

01:01:34   Or, "Tomorrow afternoon, I need to do this."

01:01:37   Then Reminders is totally killer for that.

01:01:40   And it's like, "Sure, I could use OmniFocus,

01:01:43   but that's where now the friction is in a different way."

01:01:47   And Reminders is just like so good for,

01:01:51   I casually need to be reminded to do a thing at a time or at a place or the next time I

01:01:57   leave the house.

01:01:59   That's like the best use for me of Siri and integrated tools.

01:02:03   But I'm guessing this sort of is answering a question that I was having, which is when

01:02:07   you say no more switching and you were interested in reminders, I presume that the reason that

01:02:11   you went with todoist is that natural language stuff.

01:02:13   Like that's the thing that makes the difference for you for why you wouldn't use reminders.

01:02:16   It always pulls me back.

01:02:17   It's the, in my opinion, it's the best one at it.

01:02:20   You know, Reminders has it, I think OmniFocus has it,

01:02:24   but none of it is as good as the way that Todoist does it.

01:02:26   Like Todoist is so good.

01:02:28   Like with Todoist, you can set up really weird repeating

01:02:32   tasks with natural language.

01:02:34   - Like give me an example of that.

01:02:36   - So like I could say, remind me to take out the trash

01:02:40   on the first Monday of every month.

01:02:41   - That's pretty good that you could just type it like that.

01:02:44   - And you can just say first Monday,

01:02:46   and it knows what that means.

01:02:48   And I've added tasks that way.

01:02:51   - That's interesting, yeah.

01:02:52   I just had to do something in OmniFocus,

01:02:54   which was the same thing where it's like,

01:02:55   oh, remind me, it was like,

01:02:58   remind me the third Monday of every October about a thing.

01:03:03   And it's like, it's doable,

01:03:05   but it was like a bunch of clicks.

01:03:06   So it's interesting that you can do that kind of stuff

01:03:07   just by typing it.

01:03:08   - And Todoist has, and also has had

01:03:10   a really good help document, which like details,

01:03:12   like these are the commands you can use

01:03:15   to do some of this stuff.

01:03:17   So sometimes it is easiest to do it with the text

01:03:19   even than the UI.

01:03:21   And it also handles this stuff in a very graceful way,

01:03:24   which I enjoy.

01:03:25   So I have some tasks that are like first Monday,

01:03:28   but if I move them to the next week,

01:03:32   when I then complete them,

01:03:35   it will go to the next first Monday.

01:03:38   Like I've used apps where like at that point,

01:03:40   I've used apps that have done this in the past.

01:03:44   I wish I could remember which,

01:03:45   but it was a long time ago now.

01:03:46   that if you throw it off that schedule,

01:03:49   it just removes the repeating.

01:03:51   - Yeah, I've seen that, I know what you're talking about.

01:03:53   Yeah, yeah, I've seen that kind of thing happen.

01:03:54   - Where it's like, you dared to disrupt this,

01:03:56   now you don't get to use it at all.

01:03:59   I'll show you.

01:04:00   - Yeah, yeah.

01:04:00   - And that is the kind of stuff where

01:04:03   I then feel like I can't trust the system.

01:04:06   And if I feel like I can't trust the system,

01:04:08   then it's just too much of a weight on my brain

01:04:11   that I worry that every complicated task

01:04:13   I'm adding to the system is ultimately gonna let me down.

01:04:16   And this is never a way that I felt was to do this.

01:04:19   It is rock solid with this stuff.

01:04:22   And that's one of the things that has made me

01:04:24   come back to it time and time again.

01:04:26   And now why I'm like, no, I'm good.

01:04:28   I'm staying here.

01:04:29   This is the app that works the way that my brain works

01:04:33   and has literally never let me down

01:04:36   in the way that some other apps have.

01:04:38   I am using reminders more now for shared lists especially.

01:04:43   So very general stuff like grocery lists, home project lists, that kind of stuff.

01:04:49   Things that I don't really want in Todoist, which is by and large all work

01:04:55   with some personal tasks, but personal tasks that tend to have some kind of

01:05:00   like work relation to them if that makes sense.

01:05:02   Yeah, I get it.

01:05:03   But like the lists and reminders, they're all shared at the moment, all shared with Adina.

01:05:07   So it's just stuff that we're working on together or you know things like that.

01:05:11   And I think reminders is pretty good for that because it's also most of these things. They don't have due dates

01:05:17   They're just lists of things and for me

01:05:19   That can't work like for todoist everything goes in with a due date

01:05:24   That's how I work in todoist. Like I don't have tasks that don't have due dates

01:05:28   So if I need to have a list of tasks or reminders that won't have due dates

01:05:34   They need to go somewhere else for it to work within the mental model of my system, right?

01:05:39   So I've been using reminders for that and it is really good.

01:05:42   Like reminders has gotten really good.

01:05:43   And I think for me, it's going to become a,

01:05:47   you've got a shared list of someone,

01:05:48   reminders is where it goes.

01:05:50   - Yeah, it feels like that has to be the default tool

01:05:52   for that kind of thing.

01:05:54   It's just the best at it.

01:05:55   It's the easiest at it.

01:05:56   In past years, I've tried different things

01:05:58   for little shared reminders and ultimately it's like,

01:06:00   no, no, no, just use reminders.

01:06:02   It's so much better.

01:06:03   It's just baked into everything.

01:06:05   It's yeah.

01:06:06   If you're using shared reminders with someone

01:06:07   and it's not a reminders list,

01:06:09   I feel like you need a really good reason why you're not doing it this way.

01:06:12   When it comes to note taking, my systems have remained basically the same.

01:06:16   So Apple Notes is my central place for where I put all my personal notes,

01:06:23   notes that are shared with people.

01:06:24   Because again, Apple Notes does a good job with that.

01:06:26   Not very good at real time, but good for like mostly asynchronous sharing.

01:06:31   Like I'm going to add something later on.

01:06:33   Somebody else might add something, you know, that kind of thing, which is fine.

01:06:36   So before you go any further though, what exactly do you mean by a note?

01:06:40   Like, like how would you define a note?

01:06:42   I will not do this with you.

01:06:43   I won't do this with you.

01:06:45   I mean, like what is it?

01:06:47   I don't put like individual sentences.

01:06:50   Like they are typically lists of the text, paragraphs of text.

01:06:55   I can't, I can't do this.

01:06:57   No, leave me alone.

01:06:58   I just, I'm just asking like, what kind of things are you saving in notes?

01:07:02   All right.

01:07:02   So the main things...

01:07:04   - I genuinely always want to know.

01:07:06   - The main things for me that go in,

01:07:08   like my most important notes are the individual notes

01:07:12   that I have for each of my shows.

01:07:14   So I have an upgrade follow-up note,

01:07:16   connected follow-up note,

01:07:17   Cortex follow-up note, et cetera.

01:07:19   And in those notes goes links that I wanna share,

01:07:23   like to talk about on a show.

01:07:24   So like if I see something online, I'll add it to that.

01:07:26   And one of the reasons I've always loved notes

01:07:28   is how good the share extension is from anywhere in iOS

01:07:31   to just add it.

01:07:32   If I have an idea for a topic, I might start writing an outline in that note as well.

01:07:37   So there's like lots of things in each note.

01:07:40   In my Cortex note, I have like ideas for topics going back years that we've just not gotten

01:07:45   to yet, but they're all in there.

01:07:47   So I know that if I want to get some ideas for an episode of Cortex, I will go to my

01:07:51   Cortex follow up note and it's all going to be in there.

01:07:54   But I also have notes that are preparation for a show.

01:07:58   So when I was like, got my iPhone 14 Pro,

01:08:00   I was writing all of my thoughts in there for it.

01:08:02   So if I had to pull anything out for an episode,

01:08:05   I could do that.

01:08:06   So like me and Irina have in here,

01:08:07   like some notes for like our new home

01:08:09   and like things that we wanna keep an eye on.

01:08:12   Like we have all of the various pieces of information

01:08:15   we have amassed about how the house works, right?

01:08:19   Like stuff that the previous owner said,

01:08:21   stuff that we worked out on our own, you know,

01:08:23   like, so all just going in there as like a central hub

01:08:26   where we could search later on

01:08:28   and it would bring us to that note.

01:08:30   I have a note that I made called Smart Home,

01:08:33   which has a bunch of things in it.

01:08:34   There's some, what kind of products

01:08:36   do I want to add to the home?

01:08:38   Here's some links.

01:08:39   Here's a photo of like kind of flow chart

01:08:43   that I drew on a piece of paper of like,

01:08:45   this is how I want the security system to work.

01:08:47   So it's all kinds of stuff goes in here.

01:08:50   But I think one of the things

01:08:51   that makes me and you different

01:08:53   is related items are all within one note.

01:08:57   They're not like multiple notes that are then drawn together by something.

01:09:00   Yeah.

01:09:01   So I actually just realized something while you were talking again on

01:09:05   notes and how people use them.

01:09:07   No, no, but I, I, I'm going to say this out loud because I never realized this was a

01:09:13   feature, but it just dawned on me why and how you could use this in the way that

01:09:17   you're doing.

01:09:18   I never realized that if you're on a webpage and you go to share that with

01:09:23   notes that there's an option at the top to add it to a specific note so it will append at the bottom.

01:09:30   - I've been talking about this for like six years. Every year I mention this.

01:09:34   This is how this works for me. - No, no, but you've never like

01:09:39   said it this way and it's like I never realized this was a feature.

01:09:44   - Yeah, so this is so like the magic. - You've always talked about like having

01:09:48   a cortex note, like I get it, but I just, I think I always thought that the process

01:09:53   of adding like a link to the bottom of a page was more clunky than it actually was.

01:10:00   Oh no, it's so easy.

01:10:01   Yeah, I just had my mind blown, like I went into Safari and had shared with the notes

01:10:05   and like, oh at the top I can just pick something and it goes at the bottom.

01:10:08   I never knew that.

01:10:10   And then it does the little preview too, which I really enjoy.

01:10:13   And so like if somebody sends me a tweet and I add it via the share extension, it gives

01:10:17   me a preview of the tweet in notes so I don't even have to click the link right

01:10:21   to know if it's something that I want for that episode so this is why like

01:10:25   Apple Notes is is I'm this is such a part of my system for how I produce my

01:10:31   shows I've tried other apps and other apps have really good features and they

01:10:36   have like interesting things that they do which is like art but none of them do

01:10:40   this kind of like collecting of links like Apple notes does yeah it's like

01:10:45   It's so ingrained in how I work now.

01:10:48   Yeah, the way they do a little preview of whatever the link actually is, is quite killer.

01:10:52   It's a really nice feature.

01:10:55   And I can see that it can make, say, scrolling a long list of ideas for things to talk about

01:11:00   on any of your podcasts much easier, where you can also just visually see what it is.

01:11:04   There you go.

01:11:04   I never knew and no one ever told me that you could append to the bottom of a note.

01:11:08   I just didn't realize. That's quite interesting.

01:11:10   This is bullying.

01:11:12   No, it's genuinely not bullying.

01:11:14   - I have mentioned this every year.

01:11:17   - I know, I don't think you have ever said the words,

01:11:21   like when you share, it appends to the bottom of a note.

01:11:25   I don't think you've said that.

01:11:26   - I'm also still using Kraft.

01:11:30   I use Kraft for everything related to Cortex Brands.

01:11:33   So it's a lot of the same kinds of stuff,

01:11:35   but it's all siloed within Kraft.

01:11:38   You know, it's good for me for brainstorming,

01:11:40   it's good for mixed media, it's very good for sharing.

01:11:44   So if I have a note, I can share it with someone.

01:11:46   It's usually I'll share it with you, right?

01:11:48   Where I could be like, hey, look at this table

01:11:51   that I've got going on, like of this information.

01:11:53   And it's very good for like creating these links

01:11:55   that you can share with other people, which I really enjoy.

01:11:58   One of the things that they've added in the last few months,

01:12:01   which is awesome for me, is calculations to tables.

01:12:05   So they added tables last year,

01:12:07   but it was basically just, you could draw a table

01:12:09   and you could write in each box,

01:12:10   but now they've added functions and calculations

01:12:13   that you can apply to what's on those tables.

01:12:15   Because one of the things that I use Kraft for

01:12:17   is tracking sales for our products.

01:12:20   So I will go in every week and like write down

01:12:23   what our current sales totals are.

01:12:25   And now Kraft will automatically calculate

01:12:28   how many have been sold in the last week

01:12:30   based on our current total sales number.

01:12:32   And I like to have that.

01:12:33   It's just like an ongoing piece of information

01:12:35   so I can kind of try and draw out some trends over time.

01:12:38   Before I was having to open PCALC

01:12:40   and do the calculations myself.

01:12:42   But now I have it all in Kraft.

01:12:44   So it's very easy now to me to do that.

01:12:47   The formulas are represented really nicely

01:12:49   and I'm so happy that they added that

01:12:51   because for a while I was like,

01:12:53   "Should I be doing this in numbers?"

01:12:54   But then it's breaking the idea

01:12:56   of this stuff all being in Kraft

01:12:58   and I was like going backwards and forwards.

01:13:00   And then they finally added this feature.

01:13:02   So it's given me the one little last piece

01:13:05   that I was missing from my Kraft setup for Cortex brand.

01:13:08   - That's really nice.

01:13:09   I'm a big proponent of numbers.

01:13:11   I really like it as an app,

01:13:12   but it feels like it's too heavyweight for like,

01:13:15   I just want to add up a list of numbers

01:13:17   in this thing automatically.

01:13:18   So it's really nice that they added that.

01:13:20   - You're still using Obsidian, right?

01:13:23   - Oh, okay.

01:13:24   No, well look, if we're talking about notes,

01:13:27   well,

01:13:30   what is a note, Myke?

01:13:33   (laughs)

01:13:35   I feel like I don't know when you want to talk about Obsidian.

01:13:42   Obsidian to me is like a whole other universe of things.

01:13:45   I would say what most people mean

01:13:47   when they're talking about notes is,

01:13:50   I use the Notes app as an individual list of things

01:13:54   where it's like, oh, I just wanna remember this,

01:13:56   and then every couple of weeks,

01:13:58   I just go through everything in Notes

01:13:59   and like sort it into some other place where it belongs,

01:14:02   or it just acts as a reminder.

01:14:03   - So that, you said earlier that you had a thing,

01:14:06   a button on your home screen that you can press, right?

01:14:10   and it lets you add something,

01:14:12   a thought that you have for cortex.

01:14:15   Where is that going?

01:14:16   - Okay, so currently it's going into reminders.

01:14:21   And the reason it was--

01:14:22   (laughing)

01:14:24   - Of course it was.

01:14:25   Why wouldn't it?

01:14:26   You know what I mean?

01:14:26   What is a note?

01:14:27   It's also a to-do.

01:14:28   - I mean, can I explain myself like this?

01:14:32   - I would love you to.

01:14:33   Like, no, you need to,

01:14:35   but I first have to get out my emotions.

01:14:38   (laughs)

01:14:40   So this year for all of Cortex,

01:14:43   I've been using Reminders as my show notes.

01:14:47   And the reason I've been doing it that way

01:14:49   is because, sure, Reminders is a Reminders app,

01:14:53   but it's also kind of like the most simple possible version

01:14:58   of an outliner app.

01:15:00   Each item can be a little thing

01:15:02   and you can drag them up and down

01:15:04   and you have one level of sorting.

01:15:07   So you can have one little sub-level.

01:15:09   And so when I add a little note for Cortex,

01:15:13   it then shows up as like this individual line

01:15:16   on my Cortex list in Reminders.

01:15:19   And I, at the top, just have a couple of categories.

01:15:22   So I've got like state of the app.

01:15:24   So as the year went along,

01:15:26   if I was using some clever little app that I knew like,

01:15:28   oh, six months from now, when I'm not in Hawaii,

01:15:31   I'm never gonna remember that I ever used this thing.

01:15:35   I can just make a note of that.

01:15:36   And then I like fold it under that one heading, which is state of the apps.

01:15:40   And it's the same thing with the themes.

01:15:42   Like, oh, I had a thought about themes.

01:15:44   I can just fold this under that one level of themes.

01:15:47   And it's nice because in Reminders, you can also toggle that little triangle to

01:15:50   actually hide it so I don't actually see it.

01:15:53   So Reminders for me has been kind of the perfect level of organization for

01:15:59   Cortex Notes, for like the Cortex Show Notes stuff.

01:16:02   And then it's also nice because when we go through the show, I can just tick off,

01:16:06   "Oh, these are the things that we've discussed," and then they go away.

01:16:10   And the things that we haven't discussed can stay on that list of, "Oh, like,

01:16:14   oh, maybe this makes sense in the future."

01:16:16   And I can throw that into another little folder, which is like possible future stuff.

01:16:21   I actually really like this as a system for Cortex.

01:16:24   I do want to trial next year, possibly doing this in Obsidian instead for just

01:16:31   like a couple of very small reasons, but Reminders has been working great for this.

01:16:35   Like, and I'm very happy with it as a system for keeping track of stuff

01:16:40   that I want to talk about in Cortex.

01:16:41   And it's also just nice.

01:16:42   Like it's a clear, like here's this individual list.

01:16:45   Honestly, my biggest problem with Reminders is that for some incredibly

01:16:50   annoying reason, you can't like make the text bigger on the Mac app.

01:16:55   And it's infuriating, like sitting on my computer now, I'm like, I want

01:16:58   these words twice as big while I'm here recording the show, but Reminders is like,

01:17:02   "Oh no, no, no, we only want teeny tiny letters and teeny tiny sentences in our

01:17:07   Reminders app," which is genuinely like the thing that I find the most

01:17:10   frustrating about it. So that's where everything is going when I'm talking

01:17:13   about Cortex.

01:17:14   I can see how you got there, right? And like the way that you're describing it,

01:17:19   that does make a lot of sense of like, you have these pieces of information that

01:17:23   are short and you're just like adding to them. But like the way that that wouldn't

01:17:26   like what for me is I actually like to write in outlines and you can't do that right like you can

01:17:33   add the initial thing but if you want to add some context to it reminders won't let you do that and

01:17:39   so like that's what I do in the notes app right so like I'll open my cortex note and I might add

01:17:45   a sentence and then later on I'm going to come back and fill that out a little bit more in an

01:17:50   outline format so I have more like thorough thinking and thorough notes for

01:17:55   the show. So I can see how you got there but it really does feel like you've

01:18:00   established to me like an idea of how you want to track this information, give

01:18:05   you somewhere to over time add this stuff which I think is really good. I

01:18:09   wished that I would have thought that of that earlier for state of the apps

01:18:12   especially. I've had to do a lot of work over the last couple of weeks like

01:18:16   combing through my devices to find the apps that I like,

01:18:19   where I could have actually been adding them the whole time.

01:18:22   But reminders wouldn't work for me in this way

01:18:26   because I then wouldn't be able to do anything

01:18:29   with that initial information once it's in there,

01:18:31   in that application, I'd have to then take it somewhere else.

01:18:34   - Yeah, and that thing about being able to add sub layers,

01:18:38   like in an outline, that is the main reason

01:18:41   I've been thinking of maybe switching the system over

01:18:43   to Obsidian, which would allow me to do that more easily.

01:18:47   That is the main limitation of it.

01:18:50   But even if Reminders had just a single additional layer,

01:18:55   if it was a three-layer hierarchy

01:18:57   instead of a two-layer hierarchy,

01:18:59   I might be totally fine with just using it like this forever

01:19:01   because one subheading is all I ever need

01:19:04   for the Cortex Notes.

01:19:05   Whereas I do see in our Google Doc

01:19:07   that you often have boom-a-boom, five sublayers

01:19:10   of here's all the things

01:19:11   that I want to talk about with the thing.

01:19:13   That's what my Cortex Notes look like.

01:19:16   And just in a similar way, I think I mentioned it before,

01:19:20   but just in case I haven't,

01:19:21   I do also find reminders really great

01:19:23   for two watch lists and two read lists.

01:19:26   So when someone recommends something,

01:19:28   I have a little shortcut that will add the book or the movie

01:19:32   to the two watch list or the two read list.

01:19:34   And I also, this is really key,

01:19:36   in the shortcut that I have set up to do that,

01:19:39   It also asks me who's recommending this.

01:19:42   And I always really like to be able to remember like,

01:19:45   oh, this person recommended me the show.

01:19:48   And so like the reminders has a like notes section.

01:19:51   What are you laughing at there, Myke?

01:19:53   - This is how you keep track

01:19:56   of all the bad recommendations I give you.

01:19:58   - Well, I mean, look--

01:19:58   - This is why I've been on the knife's edge.

01:20:00   (laughing)

01:20:03   - Listeners, behind the scenes,

01:20:07   that have recently teased Myke

01:20:08   as having one of the worst batting averages

01:20:11   for recommending media for me.

01:20:13   - I think I've, have I saved myself a little bit

01:20:17   with severance?

01:20:18   - No, severance was really good.

01:20:20   Severance was really good.

01:20:21   - So I've got one in the good column.

01:20:24   I've got like, there is an army of debt,

01:20:27   right in the bad column.

01:20:28   It's terrible back there.

01:20:29   It's like the 300 back there, but.

01:20:32   - It is terrible, it is terrible back there.

01:20:34   You did save yourself a little bit with severance,

01:20:36   Especially because, we'll just say,

01:20:39   Severance had one of the most stressful,

01:20:42   nail-biting hours of television

01:20:44   I've ever watched in my life.

01:20:46   - Right. - I was like, wow!

01:20:47   - Good, it's the final episode, right?

01:20:50   Unbelievable. - Listen, I'm not saying

01:20:51   anything, look, no, don't spoil anything for people, right?

01:20:53   But it's like, I was literally sweating.

01:20:56   (laughs)

01:20:56   I'm like this, and this is like, that's amazing.

01:20:58   Like, it's amazing that I was able to do that, so.

01:21:01   So, yes, Myke, you've had a terrible batting average,

01:21:04   but like, wow, is that a real peak

01:21:06   that I would have totally missed otherwise?

01:21:08   - I had hoped that severance would be the thing to save me.

01:21:11   I knew it was like, and I took a real sweet,

01:21:15   'cause you told me, I believe when I recommended it,

01:21:18   like, if this one's bad, I'm done.

01:21:21   Like that's the end, no more recommendations.

01:21:24   But like, so I thought if anything is gonna save me

01:21:27   on this one, it was severance.

01:21:28   I'm pleased you enjoy it.

01:21:29   - Yeah, I mean, listeners, in your life,

01:21:31   you'll eventually find that some people become

01:21:34   excellent anti-recommenders,

01:21:35   that when they recommend something, you're like,

01:21:37   "Okay, great, this goes on the Do Not Watch list."

01:21:39   And then Myke was like, I was just telling Myke,

01:21:42   like he's real close to getting on that Do Not Watch list.

01:21:46   You had some phrase at dinner where you're like,

01:21:50   "I'm all in on severance,

01:21:51   "like I bet my entire reputation on it."

01:21:54   - I did say that, I said I will stake my,

01:21:57   I think you offered that as an option to me,

01:21:59   of like, I will watch this,

01:22:01   if you stake your reputation on it.

01:22:03   And I was willing to stake my reputation on severance.

01:22:07   - Yeah, it's a bit like, you know,

01:22:09   you're in the old West gambling hall

01:22:10   and it's like double or nothing, right?

01:22:12   I got, and you're like, I'm all in.

01:22:14   - I went all in? - So yeah,

01:22:15   that worked out well.

01:22:16   But yes, listeners, that's why you wanna keep a record

01:22:19   of who recommended you to thing.

01:22:21   And so you can like build up associations

01:22:23   with who recommends what.

01:22:24   And also genuinely, 'cause I'm just like super bad

01:22:28   at keeping up with friends.

01:22:30   It's also nice that when you finish something,

01:22:33   it kind of gives you an excuse to be able to tell someone,

01:22:36   like, "Oh, hey, I just finished this book

01:22:37   that you recommended, and I enjoyed it."

01:22:40   And it's just like,

01:22:41   it can be a nice little touch point as well.

01:22:43   - You didn't do that with "Severance."

01:22:44   You didn't text me and say that was great.

01:22:47   - Didn't I?

01:22:48   No, I told you.

01:22:49   No, I updated you at some point that it was going well.

01:22:52   - We spoke last week, and you said,

01:22:56   "I'm enjoying it so far,

01:22:57   but we'll see how it goes to the end."

01:23:00   And this is the first I've heard about it.

01:23:02   - Oh, did I leave you hanging until now?

01:23:04   I didn't realize. - I just didn't know

01:23:05   you finished it, right?

01:23:06   I didn't know what speed you were on.

01:23:08   - I mean, look, look, we're getting on a bit of a tangent here

01:23:10   but I do have a real asterisk of like,

01:23:15   I think they've written themselves

01:23:16   in a real dangerous position for season two, so we'll see.

01:23:19   But I'm still totally giving it to you as a win for season two.

01:23:21   - I believe, this is no spoilers, right?

01:23:24   But I've read something, if I'm remembering rightly,

01:23:28   that this was supposed to be one season.

01:23:30   And I think it was,

01:23:33   'cause Ben Stiller's production company

01:23:35   kind of made this happen, which is like a fun thing.

01:23:38   - Yeah, I don't know why.

01:23:39   Every time at the end of the episode,

01:23:41   it flashes, like it ends and it goes to custom black

01:23:43   and it says like directed by Ben Stiller.

01:23:45   I don't know, it just like made me laugh every show.

01:23:48   I feel a little bad about that,

01:23:49   but I was like, oh, Zoolander made this?

01:23:50   - 'Cause I remember when the first trailers came out,

01:23:52   because it was said that this show was happening.

01:23:54   It was like Ben Stiller is directing, producing,

01:23:57   and it has Adam Scott from Parks and Rec.

01:24:00   And I was like, "Oh, okay, this is gonna be fun."

01:24:02   And then the first trailer came out and I was like,

01:24:04   "Oh boy, what is going on?"

01:24:07   But I believe it was supposed to be one season

01:24:09   and the production company,

01:24:12   like Ben Stiller's production company

01:24:13   kind of realized what they had and they're like,

01:24:15   "No, no, this is gonna be more than one season."

01:24:18   And they stretched out that final episode to,

01:24:21   but yes, I don't know what happens after this episode.

01:24:25   Like I can't envision how it continues.

01:24:27   I'm really intrigued though,

01:24:28   'cause I love the first season, so I can't wait for more.

01:24:30   They are making more, so.

01:24:31   - If that's true, that there was a coherent story

01:24:35   which was turned into multiple seasons,

01:24:37   that gives me a lot more faith.

01:24:39   But yeah, with a lot of TV, it's like,

01:24:41   yeah, you can write something interesting and mysterious,

01:24:45   but that's not the hard part.

01:24:46   Like, the hard part is closing the sale

01:24:49   on your interesting and mysterious premise, so.

01:24:51   - Yeah, I would just be happy to have more understanding

01:24:54   of the world at large,

01:24:56   so they can just go in that direction,

01:24:57   and I'm intrigued, right?

01:24:58   'Cause there's just like so much stuff,

01:24:59   it's like I don't even understand how this world is.

01:25:02   Which is lost vibes, you get a bit lost vibes from it,

01:25:04   so I hope that they do a better job.

01:25:07   I mentioned FantasticOwl earlier on

01:25:09   as my calendar of choice, it's still the one for me.

01:25:11   I will say though, like,

01:25:13   starting to notice a little jankiness of FantasticOwl.

01:25:17   - Oh yeah?

01:25:18   - Which is a thing I've never noticed,

01:25:19   like never had before.

01:25:21   And this is especially happening to me on the iPhone,

01:25:24   where the app seems to be haunted sometimes.

01:25:29   - Oh, that sounds bad.

01:25:31   - It's scrolling on its own in a way

01:25:34   that I'm not asking it to do.

01:25:36   I will say, hit a date, right?

01:25:39   So I'm looking at it and I wanna see it next Thursday

01:25:41   and I tap it and I'm looking at it

01:25:43   and then all of a sudden it jumps back to another day.

01:25:46   - Ooh, spooky.

01:25:47   - Or sometimes I'll be scrolling

01:25:50   and it will say, oh, you're on the 10th,

01:25:53   but it's on the little calendar view.

01:25:55   But then on the list, it's showing me a different day.

01:25:58   I found this to be weird in the last little while.

01:26:01   It's a thing I've not experienced with the app before.

01:26:03   It's always been really rock solid,

01:26:05   but it's moving around.

01:26:07   The app seems to be moving on its own

01:26:09   in a way that I don't like.

01:26:10   But Fantastic Cal, still the best.

01:26:13   Calendars, it's the way that I work,

01:26:14   natural language and all that kind of stuff,

01:26:16   and I love it.

01:26:17   But bugs get into systems, who knows?

01:26:19   This might be just me.

01:26:20   Maybe I'm the only woman for haunted Fantastic Cal.

01:26:23   Who can tell?

01:26:23   (laughing)

01:26:24   - Yeah, I never really use it on iOS.

01:26:27   I'm only ever using it on my computers,

01:26:29   and I can't report that I have any hauntedness

01:26:31   in my fantastical.

01:26:33   But yes, we mention it every year,

01:26:35   but I also every year really feel the need to reemphasize.

01:26:38   It is such a stupidly good calendar app.

01:26:40   You're crazy if you're not using it.

01:26:42   - There's no better.

01:26:43   - The thing that is just the amazing

01:26:44   is the calendar groups and being able to just say,

01:26:47   okay, show me all the work stuff.

01:26:49   Show me all the stuff that I need to see

01:26:51   If I'm planning traveling and social engagements or like, it's just unbelievably good.

01:26:58   So yeah, I can't recommend Fantastical well enough.

01:27:00   Are you using the calendar sets with focuses?

01:27:04   No, I didn't know that was a feature, but I also feel like that does not wildly matter

01:27:11   for me.

01:27:12   That's a much more important feature for you.

01:27:14   But can you do that?

01:27:16   Tie that in with when the focus modes change?

01:27:19   So there's a new feature, a new API called focus filters that apps can tie into and allow

01:27:25   you to, when you're in a certain focus mode, only show you certain information.

01:27:30   So you can set this up that like when you're in a certain focus, iMessage will only show

01:27:35   you conversations from certain people and you can choose who you want it to show you.

01:27:40   In Fantastic

01:27:40   In Fantastic How you can have it show you in the app just certain calendar sets.

01:27:45   Timery has it that certain sets of timers will only be viewable to you in certain focus

01:27:51   modes.

01:27:52   I haven't played around with that yet.

01:27:55   It says I don't do any of these.

01:27:57   I don't do it because it took a while for them and now there's only really apps that

01:28:00   are starting to happen now.

01:28:02   But it's in the focus mode, it's called Focus Filters and you can tap it and it gives you

01:28:05   all of the apps that you might use

01:28:08   that will give you this functionality.

01:28:12   So you can configure a bunch of apps

01:28:13   to show you certain information

01:28:15   when you're in certain focuses.

01:28:16   I thought that could be interesting for you

01:28:18   as someone who's running these focuses all the time,

01:28:20   but this isn't something that I have used myself.

01:28:24   - I didn't realize that's where,

01:28:26   'cause I remember them talking about this,

01:28:28   and I just always assumed this would show up

01:28:30   as a setting in the app, but it doesn't.

01:28:32   It's at the way bottom of the focus settings themselves.

01:28:37   Interesting, I did not know that.

01:28:41   Ah, so that's where it shows you that you can pick stuff.

01:28:44   Okay, I'll have to take more of a, oh Safari tab group.

01:28:48   How intriguing.

01:28:49   - Yeah, so if you had like a research tab group

01:28:52   and a research focus mode, time together.

01:28:55   - Research, like there's just gonna be one tab group

01:28:58   under that, that's madness, Myke.

01:29:00   - Research, zed, zed, zed.

01:29:02   - Oh yeah, my research tab group.

01:29:06   Oh no, my lights just switched again

01:29:08   'cause I did touch the focus modes.

01:29:09   (laughing)

01:29:12   - Not the only one with a ghost.

01:29:15   - Yeah, let me go back to chill mode.

01:29:17   Okay, all right, I will investigate that later,

01:29:19   but that's very cool, I didn't realize that

01:29:21   and thank you for telling me where it actually is

01:29:23   'cause I might not have found it all year

01:29:25   if you hadn't mentioned that.

01:29:26   - And another good piece of follow up

01:29:27   from last year's state of the apps

01:29:29   that needs to be mentioned.

01:29:30   We spoke last time, you said you were still using

01:29:32   Calzones by David Smith.

01:29:34   And we both wished that he would just copy and paste

01:29:38   Calzones into Widgetsmith, which he has actually done

01:29:42   in the intervening year.

01:29:43   So Widgetsmith now has the time zone functionality

01:29:48   of Calzones inside of it, which I love.

01:29:51   And so now, this is especially good for me, which I enjoy,

01:29:54   I have the time zones widget on my lock screen, right?

01:29:58   When I tap that, it opens WidgetSmith in the Calzones view,

01:30:02   so I can move stuff around and see time zones

01:30:05   over a scrolling period of time.

01:30:07   So very happy that that's in WidgetSmith now.

01:30:10   - Yes, yeah, very happy about that.

01:30:12   We wished/bullied and begged,

01:30:16   underscored him to put that into the app.

01:30:18   And yes, he was very nice to do it, and I really love it.

01:30:21   That's the only thing that I use on that,

01:30:24   I forget what they call it, the Today View,

01:30:25   I think is the language for it.

01:30:27   when you slide over to the left,

01:30:28   like I have that as a list there,

01:30:30   which is just real handy to check.

01:30:31   And it was very satisfying to be able to switch,

01:30:34   'cause I think Calzones was the last thing

01:30:37   that was using like the super old,

01:30:39   original widgets interface.

01:30:41   And it had to exist in like this janky bubble

01:30:44   that felt like, oh, they must be running a virtual machine

01:30:46   to run this widget on this system.

01:30:48   So it was real nice to be like,

01:30:49   ah, here's the updated one from Calzones.

01:30:52   For anyone who does the time zone stuff,

01:30:54   let me just reemphasize.

01:30:56   The killer feature of this and what makes it so good is not that it shows you the time in different cities, but that when you tap on it, it opens up this like scroll-y view.

01:31:09   So you can look at say, like I've got six cities listed and you can scroll left and right and very easily see, oh, as the day moves on where I am, what are all the times everywhere else?

01:31:22   And it's just like, I've never found any interface

01:31:25   that is as good for quickly figuring out

01:31:28   when you're gonna do a call with someone

01:31:29   in a different time zone.

01:31:31   So it's not just the clocks, it's what it opens up to.

01:31:34   And that's why we were like,

01:31:35   please put calzones in the modern system.

01:31:38   And so it's great.

01:31:38   If you do time zones, like you need to get this for sure.

01:31:41   - I would just need to know, 'cause I checked this, right?

01:31:43   Four hours after we published last year's episode,

01:31:47   David sent us a video of him having added it

01:31:50   into WidgetSmith.

01:31:51   - Four hours.

01:31:52   - I believe he is the fastest developer in the West.

01:31:55   - It took him longer before he actually put it in

01:31:58   'cause he actually added a bunch of stuff to Widgetsmith,

01:32:00   like a bunch of, I think they're called tools in the app,

01:32:02   where there's now just like a lot more functionality

01:32:05   in the app that you can tie to some widgets

01:32:07   that when you tap them, they open up.

01:32:09   So there's like weather in there now,

01:32:11   there's like a full weather app inside of it now.

01:32:13   There's activity and step stuff,

01:32:15   there's reminders, functionality,

01:32:17   there's tons of new tools in the app.

01:32:19   I will just note something where it took you six months

01:32:23   to respond to that message, which is hilarious.

01:32:25   - Oh, right, that did.

01:32:27   (both laughing)

01:32:29   Listeners, that is evidence.

01:32:33   When I say, when you hear me say things like,

01:32:36   "I am bad at getting back to people,"

01:32:38   that's the kind of thing that I mean.

01:32:40   It's like, a message is sent

01:32:43   and half a year later I respond.

01:32:47   I am not proud of this.

01:32:49   I don't wish that I was this way.

01:32:51   Like if I could wish myself better than this,

01:32:53   I would be better than this.

01:32:54   But like sometimes you have to live with the person

01:32:57   that you are and yeah, that's real bad.

01:33:01   And I wish I could say that was some kind of crazy outlier,

01:33:04   but it is not.

01:33:07   - Hey, look, this is one of those things.

01:33:08   If everyone's true friends,

01:33:10   you understand each other, right?

01:33:11   And like people that are friends of you,

01:33:13   they know that you're this way.

01:33:14   And it's like, this is, you know, we all work together

01:33:17   and make each other better.

01:33:19   So time management, let's talk about time management.

01:33:23   Gotta talk about Timery as well.

01:33:25   'Cause like since last year,

01:33:26   Timery has had so many awesome new features added to it.

01:33:29   Few things that I'm really loving about Timery.

01:33:32   I'm loving using it on my Mac,

01:33:34   loving the menu bar app that I have running right now.

01:33:37   And it's the way that I most frequently set timers now

01:33:41   is from the menu bar.

01:33:42   And like, what I really love

01:33:43   is there's a recent time entries in the menu bar,

01:33:47   which is the way that I most frequently will start a timer.

01:33:49   So I just go down to recent time entries.

01:33:51   - I don't know, I never saw that.

01:33:52   - The last week's worth of stuff is in here for me.

01:33:55   If I wanna do show prep,

01:33:56   I usually go to recent time entries

01:33:58   and it doesn't take me very long to be like,

01:34:00   oh, show prep for Cortex and I'll hit it

01:34:02   and it'll just start the timer.

01:34:04   And you can also do some very basic things in there.

01:34:06   Like you can change the start time by five or 15 minutes.

01:34:10   There's like an edit parameter stuff.

01:34:11   This is a great menu bar app

01:34:13   and it's how I use Timer most now.

01:34:15   But one of the other things that I love

01:34:17   that Joe added to the app now is just like an auto-completing.

01:34:20   So when you start a timer, you can have it,

01:34:23   'cause again, I love working in text for these things,

01:34:26   you can just drop your cursor into like a description field,

01:34:29   which you can start typing.

01:34:30   So I could start typing like C-O-R for cortex,

01:34:34   and it will show me my recent timers for cortex.

01:34:37   It's an easy way to then just hit the one

01:34:39   that I'm looking for, as I can auto-complete

01:34:41   and just hit enter.

01:34:42   So that's really awesome.

01:34:44   It got lock screen widgets, obviously, which we're using.

01:34:46   The focus filter stuff that I mentioned is in there.

01:34:49   And the live activities, which we haven't spoken about yet,

01:34:52   but it's the new thing in iOS that works particularly good

01:34:55   with the always on display and the dynamic island

01:34:58   on the 14 Pro.

01:34:59   So now when I'm running a timer on my iPhone,

01:35:03   it's just always ticking away.

01:35:05   I love it.

01:35:06   I love this feature so much.

01:35:07   I think that it's such a great addition for Timery.

01:35:09   - You're talking about loving the,

01:35:11   it is called the live activity.

01:35:12   That's the one on the bottom where it just shows you here's the name and here's the timer.

01:35:15   Live activities and the Dynamic Island thing are the same thing.

01:35:19   They're all live activities.

01:35:20   Okay, so this is what I was wondering because I was digging around when the new app came out

01:35:25   and I got the new phone with the Dynamic Island.

01:35:28   I thought it was interesting, like everything in here is under one setting.

01:35:31   I wonder if behind the scenes Apple doesn't distinguish between the Dynamic Island and the Live Activity stuff

01:35:38   if it's all just the same.

01:35:39   So I guess that sounds like that is the case.

01:35:41   the case. Okay, that's interesting. Everything that happens in the Dynamic Island is a part

01:35:45   of the Live Activities API. Okay, so I should think about it the other way. Live Act, like,

01:35:50   Dynamic Island is a subset of Live Activities in a way. Yeah. Okay. It's one of the two

01:35:55   or three places on your iPhone that you will see a current Live Activity, right, because

01:36:00   you can get it in the lock screen, you can get it in notifications, which are essentially

01:36:03   the same thing, but there's two ways to get to it. And then it's also in the Dynamic Island.

01:36:06   make sense. I was, as I could often be, I was like quick on the draw for emailing the

01:36:11   developer and being like, "Hey, I want these as different settings." But the more I looked

01:36:15   at it, I was like, "Maybe that's not his choice, right? Maybe this is the way Apple's

01:36:18   just done it behind the scenes." I have to see, I have to get used to it a little bit.

01:36:22   I don't love having the big live activity thing on my lock screen with the Always On

01:36:27   display. The Always On display is interesting. I think it's a bit of a double-edged sword.

01:36:31   I mostly like it, but there are clearly cases where I don't, and this is kind of one of

01:36:35   them. But it is why, like you were mentioning the little menu bar for Timery, and that to me is

01:36:41   killer. Like I absolutely love that. And I don't use it, but I love just having that it can show

01:36:49   the icon in the color of whatever timer you're running. And I also just turn off the time

01:36:55   display. Like I don't want to see how much time has passed. But it's great while I'm working to

01:37:00   to just have a quick visual indicator that like,

01:37:03   yes, the correct timer is running right now.

01:37:06   I just like absolutely love that.

01:37:09   It's just like on my phone,

01:37:11   I think I might turn off some of that live activity stuff

01:37:13   'cause I find it too prominent and too distracting,

01:37:16   but the menu bar one is like, perfect.

01:37:18   That's what I want.

01:37:19   I just want a quick visual indicator

01:37:21   'cause I run everything from Spotlight

01:37:23   is how I like turn on and off timers

01:37:25   with a janky system that involves automator

01:37:28   running a terminal command to run a shortcut,

01:37:31   but it works for me.

01:37:32   And then I can just quickly see like,

01:37:33   oh, the color changed, great.

01:37:35   Like the correct timer is running.

01:37:36   I'm on a break now,

01:37:37   or I've switched from core work to admin work.

01:37:39   - In the Timery Settings,

01:37:41   there is a Live Activities set of settings,

01:37:45   and there are some options,

01:37:46   like showing the duration you can turn off.

01:37:48   So it would still show that there's a timer running.

01:37:51   But yeah, those systems are very interlinked of each other,

01:37:55   the always on live activity and the dynamic island.

01:37:58   You kind of can't choose one or the other.

01:38:00   You have to just choose if you want to run

01:38:02   live activities at all.

01:38:04   - Yeah, and that's why I ended up not like having a request

01:38:07   about, hey, can we change this?

01:38:08   Because I thought, oh, this probably does make sense

01:38:11   that Apple wants to just consider the concept

01:38:16   of there's something happening now

01:38:17   and we will choose how it's displayed

01:38:20   depending on what the user is doing on their phone.

01:38:23   These are not separate systems.

01:38:24   I think it's great for people that it exists.

01:38:27   And it is when I run timers on the phone,

01:38:29   weirdly satisfying on that little island on the top

01:38:32   to see the little timer pop up

01:38:34   and like the whole shortcut system work.

01:38:36   Like it's really good.

01:38:37   And I like that visual confirmation of like,

01:38:39   yes, the timer went through, it's running right now.

01:38:42   You can see that there's a little circle at the top.

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01:40:43   Are you still using Notion at Grey Industries?

01:40:47   Notion. Well, Notion Nation. Yeah, yes, I'm still using Notion. I say it like that because

01:40:57   this is one of these things where I personally still don't love Notion. There's just something

01:41:04   about the interface that still really gets me and there's also something where I find

01:41:08   it like weirdly hard to find stuff sometimes. I don't love their search. Like I could have

01:41:13   an endless list of complaints about Notion while at the same time realizing that this year

01:41:19   it really cemented itself as one of these "but how did I ever live before we used this tool"

01:41:28   kind of apps in terms of project management stuff. Like it's just been growing over the years for a

01:41:34   lot of the behind the scenes stuff in terms of admin and this year in particular with a couple

01:41:42   of projects, one of which has been frustrating me for like three quarters of the year now,

01:41:48   which I was complaining to Myke about a little bit. A project where it's like fact-checking

01:41:54   stuff that's going back 150 years between me and my assistant and fact-checker like

01:41:59   working together, it would just not be possible to do the current project that we're working

01:42:04   on without something like Notion to keep track of everything. So yeah, while I have an endless

01:42:08   list of complaints about it. It's like it's created in my brain a sort of new category

01:42:15   for basic tools that any team needs. Like you need something like Slack for everybody

01:42:25   to talk to each other. You need whatever your industry specific tools are. And you need

01:42:30   something like Notion, which is kind of like a database of shared knowledge, that's way

01:42:39   more ad hoc and flexible than something like Google Docs, which might be a lot of people's

01:42:47   first port of call for something like this.

01:42:48   So where a lot of stuff for relays is Google Docs.

01:42:51   Yeah, and sort of how you were mentioning with Kraft, like, it added a feature where

01:42:56   there's tables.

01:42:57   of the things that's just really killer for Notion, just to like express to people, like,

01:43:01   how do we use this is for fact checking the scripts and putting together a timeline of events.

01:43:09   It's like I can give the script to the fact checkers, they break it down into like, here's

01:43:14   all of the statements that are made in this script. But that can then go into a table. It's

01:43:20   like sort of like an Excel table, but not as rigid. And each fact can be categorized as like,

01:43:25   "Oh, we've cleared this, this is good, this has further questions," or like, "This totally needs

01:43:30   to be flagged and we need to double check it." And it's super useful on my end because then I can then

01:43:35   like sort all of these of like, "Show me the critical ones, so I'm going to work through

01:43:39   these first." And what's nice about it is then each little fact, if my assistant or the fact

01:43:46   checker have set it up this way, I can click on that fact and then it basically opens up like a

01:43:51   whole new document that can be all of the details about what's going on here.

01:43:55   Like it doesn't need to be squeezed into the table and if necessary like that

01:44:01   subpage can link to another page as well related to this so it's really just been

01:44:08   the best sort of tool that allows a team to go in depth on a bunch of stuff.

01:44:13   I know why that is useful and I know why people like the way that Notion works

01:44:20   like this where it's like things are like infinitely expandable right where

01:44:24   you can just keep clicking on things and opening new pages I can't stand that way

01:44:30   of working because for me it's like I never know how far down this is gonna go

01:44:36   and I don't like that. Where like I see this piece of information is there like

01:44:41   a whole 25 level stack of notes behind this like I don't know until I start

01:44:47   clicking. For me that just does not work. I don't like the uncertainty in a system

01:44:53   like that. I get why people do. I get why especially for the way you just described

01:44:59   that, I 100% see how that is incredibly helpful to you. There is just a table, but that table

01:45:06   can hold within it an infinite amount of information, which definitely makes sense for what you're

01:45:12   talking about with fact checking. Here's a fact, but here's all the research that

01:45:17   led to us saying that this fact is true, right? Like I 100% see how that helpful for you.

01:45:22   It's like hell for me.

01:45:23   Jon Sorrentino

01:45:24   Mm hmm. Also on there, what is surprisingly useful is sort of like you talk about was

01:45:28   it spark that lets you do those comment threads on an email notion has that same sort of thing

01:45:34   where there's there's a like, here's the fact here's all the information about the fact

01:45:38   and then also here's the sidebar conversation. So I can add someone and like ask for clarification

01:45:44   about a thing and it's just so useful and it's really great to like clearly have that understood

01:45:52   of like we pull this out of Slack. There is the little this is this is where like my frustrations

01:45:59   are the same frustrations you have that there there can be a little bit of a like where the

01:46:04   hell am I? Right? Like I'm in I'm in the middle of some kind of weird loading for the matrix and it

01:46:11   it could be anything. And it still always blows my mind if I'm just typing something

01:46:15   that is like, "Oh, hey, do you want to insert a database query here?" Like, no, I don't.

01:46:19   I was just trying to send a message where I'm asking a question, but like a fool, I

01:46:23   hit the slash button and opened up a portal into everything that could be possible. I

01:46:28   think what is also key with Notion is that you do have to have someone who is canonically

01:46:35   in charge of the order of this thing, and everybody else just has to deal with it. And

01:46:41   And for me, that's my assistant.

01:46:42   It's like, she's in charge of canonically what this order is.

01:46:46   Nobody else gets to rearrange pages.

01:46:49   Because if you have like everybody do that, it can totally be a disaster.

01:46:53   So it's like, I work within this system that she is overseeing that several people

01:46:58   use.

01:46:59   The other place that we use it for, which has turned out to be really great as well,

01:47:02   is Notes for Me to the animator.

01:47:05   Every time we go through a work in progress release, so like every time a video is rendered,

01:47:10   I then go through and like leave all of the notes for changes that need to be made.

01:47:15   And it's the same thing of like, it's great, because we can have a little conversation

01:47:19   in here about like, what did you actually mean about this?

01:47:21   Or I can just like put in a screenshot, and it creates this long list.

01:47:25   So yeah, I think I've really settled on this is a category of tool that's totally necessary.

01:47:34   There's things I don't like about it.

01:47:36   But I'm just I'm never going to think again about like, oh, maybe instead of notion, I

01:47:40   get everybody to use my insane Obsidian system."

01:47:43   Like, no, no, no.

01:47:44   That's not how this is going to work.

01:47:45   Notion is obviously the best tool for this.

01:47:48   There is a designated person who's in charge of all it, which is totally necessary.

01:47:52   And it actually is great.

01:47:54   The visual nature of it will appeal to way more people.

01:47:57   Oh yeah, yeah.

01:47:58   And genuinely, it has a ton of features that Obsidian never really could replicate in the

01:48:04   same way that are just better for what it is trying to do.

01:48:09   So yeah, I highly recommend Notion,

01:48:11   despite all of my frustrations.

01:48:13   And I'm really glad that it exists.

01:48:15   And particularly for a thing that we're working on this

01:48:18   year, it feels like without this tool,

01:48:22   the scale of fact-checking would just simply not be possible.

01:48:28   And the Tiffany project was the first time

01:48:31   I saw where this is useful for everyone to try to coordinate.

01:48:36   And it's really proved itself again.

01:48:38   So two thumbs up from a notion. It's great.

01:48:41   Every team needs something like this.

01:48:43   The moment you're working on something non-trivial that's separate from the

01:48:47   Slack where you're doing more day to day communications.

01:48:51   Yeah. Some of this stuff spread out,

01:48:52   the relay FM quite a bit where, you know,

01:48:54   we have a lot of pieces of shared information in various Google docs.

01:48:58   Cause like when we started our company notion didn't exist.

01:49:00   None of these tools existed when relay FM started.

01:49:03   As we record today, actually,

01:49:07   which is the 10th of November,

01:49:09   I've been self-employed for eight years.

01:49:12   - Oh wow, congratulations.

01:49:14   - It's my anniversary of being self-employed.

01:49:16   - Happy anniversary.

01:49:17   - Thank you so much.

01:49:18   We have still been using Airtable for some sales stuff,

01:49:23   but I'm not sure it's long for this world for us.

01:49:26   We keep outgrowing these systems

01:49:29   and Carrie, our VP of sales,

01:49:31   has been trying to sell me on a new one

01:49:34   that she wants to use,

01:49:35   so we're gonna try that out for a little bit.

01:49:37   so I might talk about that next year.

01:49:39   This stuff is so particular to the people that use it

01:49:42   and it's not scaling with us in ways that we want it to.

01:49:46   But we continue to use and have used forever Google Sheets

01:49:49   as like a really good way of keeping revenue stuff,

01:49:54   how much money is going through the company

01:49:56   on a monthly basis, like it's just easy to do calculations

01:50:00   and share them with a bunch of people.

01:50:02   And it's rock solid, works everywhere.

01:50:04   We've used Google Sheets since the inception

01:50:07   of the company and like outside of us building

01:50:10   our own tools completely, I can't imagine moving away

01:50:13   from Google Sheets.

01:50:14   But like that is a secondary thing that we've been

01:50:17   thinking about, like we have some, like a web app

01:50:20   for tracking advertising stuff, which we've been

01:50:22   building onto and it is a possibility that in the future

01:50:26   we build enough functionality into that that we get rid

01:50:28   of all of these sales tools and we just use that one.

01:50:32   Because then it just works exactly the way

01:50:33   that we want it to, but we'll see.

01:50:35   - But for now you're tracking all that stuff

01:50:37   in Google Sheets, is that what you're saying?

01:50:39   - Mostly Google Sheets, yeah.

01:50:41   It also runs as like a secondary backup to our own tools,

01:50:44   so we have like somewhere to check that information against.

01:50:47   So I'll give you like some examples.

01:50:49   So when we have a contract,

01:50:51   we have two Google Sheets that we book it into.

01:50:53   One which is like, here's how much that contract is worth

01:50:56   on a monthly basis, broken down.

01:50:59   And then our second Google Sheet,

01:51:01   which is like a kind of a calendar of all of our shows,

01:51:04   we book in like spots, right?

01:51:06   For like, these are the sponsor spots

01:51:07   that go into that calendar, right?

01:51:09   We then have other systems that refer to this information.

01:51:13   So we have our own sales system

01:51:17   where all of our hosts get their ad copy

01:51:19   and they see where the ads are booked.

01:51:21   That is based on that original Google Sheet

01:51:24   which has all of the month by month breakdown, right?

01:51:27   So like we have a contract,

01:51:28   the contract information goes here

01:51:30   and then it is replicated somewhere else.

01:51:32   So we then have these three places of information,

01:51:36   which allows for making sure there are no mistakes

01:51:39   because we can check against all of this stuff.

01:51:41   We also have FreshBooks, where we send our invoices from.

01:51:44   FreshBooks is also pulling from two places.

01:51:48   When we send out an invoice,

01:51:49   we're checking against our own sales tool

01:51:51   and against the Google Sheet,

01:51:53   which has got the monthly listing of all of the ad spots.

01:51:56   So like the value of them all.

01:51:58   So every time something's going into a system,

01:52:01   there's two other places that it could be checked from.

01:52:03   And we do this as like a way to make sure

01:52:06   things aren't getting missed

01:52:07   and that calculations are correct

01:52:10   and that everyone's got the ads that they need.

01:52:12   And so there's always these like three things.

01:52:14   So that's like my concern of like,

01:52:16   if we built our own tools,

01:52:18   well that's removing one of the three,

01:52:19   but we'll see, it's how we've worked forever.

01:52:22   And so now we're kind of like,

01:52:23   it's got this like church and state separation vibe to it.

01:52:27   Like the information lives in multiple places,

01:52:29   which means that if there's a mistake made,

01:52:32   we can find the truth, which is very valuable, right?

01:52:36   So like, if an ad spot is missed or somewhere wrong

01:52:40   or the value is incorrect,

01:52:42   the fact that we have multiple places

01:52:44   where this information exists

01:52:45   means we can find the answer and we always do.

01:52:48   - I feel like I'll take your word

01:52:49   that that works for Relay, which it obviously does.

01:52:52   I just always feel like in general information

01:52:57   being redundant in multiple places

01:52:59   is a bad sign, like that's not how things should work.

01:53:03   - I know, I know as I say it,

01:53:05   people like you're just duplicating work.

01:53:07   But what I do know is, I've had problems that I've fixed

01:53:11   that I don't know how I would fix

01:53:13   if we didn't have that information in one other place.

01:53:15   - Well, I mean, like wouldn't you use GitHub, right?

01:53:18   And it will, after people have pushed--

01:53:20   - Pushed and forked.

01:53:20   - Pushed to commit the tree, you can go back

01:53:23   and see where things went wrong.

01:53:25   - Or the changes to the tree.

01:53:26   - Use kits, yeah.

01:53:27   - You can see the rings of the tree,

01:53:28   - I think that's how it works.

01:53:30   (laughing)

01:53:31   So talking about like team stuff,

01:53:34   I need to talk about my email app.

01:53:36   - Okay.

01:53:38   - So I use Spark, I use Spark as my email app

01:53:41   because of its team sharing functionality.

01:53:44   Spark recently unveiled a big overhaul of the app.

01:53:48   - Uh oh.

01:53:49   - The biggest changes are on the desktop app.

01:53:51   They have a new desktop app, so they're old apps,

01:53:54   Spark 2 still exists, but they got Spark 3.

01:53:58   But when a service does something like this,

01:54:00   I wanna try out the new one immediately

01:54:02   because it's gonna change stuff.

01:54:03   And plus, even though the new app only exists on the Mac,

01:54:07   they've made changes to the old app,

01:54:09   which they need to make so it works with the new app.

01:54:12   So the phone, while the phone app looks the same,

01:54:15   it operates in some slightly different ways.

01:54:18   They've added a bunch of features.

01:54:21   Some, I've been using it for since it came out,

01:54:24   it's like a month or so ago now.

01:54:26   Some I've gotten used to and are good,

01:54:28   but some are bad and are bad in like fundamental ways

01:54:32   of like, this isn't badly architected.

01:54:34   I think you're just, your whole idea is poor.

01:54:38   So let me tell you some good stuff that they added, right?

01:54:41   Two things that I really like.

01:54:43   They are doing automatic categorization of email.

01:54:47   So like newsletters, notifications, and people.

01:54:50   It's pretty good at like when an email comes in

01:54:54   of putting it into one of these three categories.

01:54:56   And what I like about this is it is doing it

01:54:59   for all of my email accounts that I have in the app, right?

01:55:02   It's not doing them per account or whatever like that.

01:55:04   And it's relatively simple to move one to the other.

01:55:07   Easier on the Mac than it is on the phone

01:55:10   to do this right now, but it's possible to do.

01:55:12   It's also doing blocking of senders.

01:55:14   If someone sends me an email and I can block them

01:55:16   and or I can block the entire domain

01:55:19   from emailing me again.

01:55:20   This is very good at dealing with some of the issues

01:55:23   that I've spoken about in the past

01:55:24   of like the PR emails that I get.

01:55:26   - Right, right.

01:55:27   - So now I no longer see the,

01:55:29   "Hey, just checking in on this," a week later

01:55:31   because that person is now blocked

01:55:32   and I don't see them anymore.

01:55:33   So they're the good.

01:55:35   Now we get to the bad.

01:55:36   This is one that I think you will find

01:55:39   as frustrating as me.

01:55:41   You no longer archive an email.

01:55:44   - Uh-oh.

01:55:45   - You done an email.

01:55:47   - What?

01:55:48   What does that mean?

01:55:49   - So you mark an email as done.

01:55:52   - Okay.

01:55:53   - And it goes to the done folder.

01:55:55   And then if you want to put an email back in your inbox,

01:56:00   you mark it as not done.

01:56:02   - How is this different from archive versus inbox?

01:56:06   - Oh, it isn't.

01:56:07   - Oh, it's just a new metaphor for no reason?

01:56:10   - Yeah, for some reason Spark feel like

01:56:12   they need to change this word.

01:56:15   - They're like branding the concept of archiving a message?

01:56:18   - Yeah.

01:56:19   - That feels a little bit like what it is?

01:56:20   - So you mark an email as done or not done.

01:56:24   And then they actually now have changed the done section

01:56:28   to say archive, but it's got the tick next to it

01:56:32   that the rest of the app has.

01:56:33   So like they haven't even fully committed anymore

01:56:36   to the whole idea of done and not done.

01:56:39   - Okay, that I don't like.

01:56:40   - A lot of my issues with the app

01:56:42   is that they have this like opinion

01:56:45   about how I should be doing my email.

01:56:47   With like by default,

01:56:48   the app has a home screen on the Mac, right?

01:56:52   Which you can turn off,

01:56:54   But the home screen is like, as you can imagine,

01:56:56   like here's a field, how are you doing today?

01:56:59   And by default, they want you to only have access

01:57:02   to your inbox a couple of times a day.

01:57:04   - No. - No.

01:57:06   I don't need an app to tell me how to do email.

01:57:11   I will tell the app how I want to do my email, right?

01:57:13   Like you don't need to save me from email.

01:57:16   It is what it is.

01:57:17   Like I don't need you to impose your ideas on me.

01:57:21   Like this kind of stuff I find so frustrating

01:57:24   where like people always talk about opinionated software.

01:57:27   This is something we do not need

01:57:28   to have an opinion about email, right?

01:57:30   Like it is set.

01:57:32   The ways we use it are set.

01:57:34   You are not gonna change it.

01:57:35   Slack couldn't, you're not gonna either, right?

01:57:37   Like this is not going to sell more subscriptions for you.

01:57:41   Like this is their thing.

01:57:42   They've now moved like the app is fully subscription.

01:57:44   I've been paying for the team functionality

01:57:46   for a long time.

01:57:47   Now they've moved to a subscription model,

01:57:49   which is fine, I think, right?

01:57:51   But like they have rushed out, I think,

01:57:54   a new version of their application

01:57:56   to change their business model to subscription.

01:57:59   Because like the Mac app especially

01:58:02   is janky in a ton of ways.

01:58:04   As of recording now, there is no column view.

01:58:06   Everything is all in one window.

01:58:08   So you wanna look at an email, right?

01:58:10   - Oh, I was like, how would you, oh no, that's awful.

01:58:15   It's like the photos app, like you click on an email

01:58:17   and then-- - And now it's full.

01:58:19   And if you want to reply to the email,

01:58:21   it like pops up in a tiny little box

01:58:23   in the bottom right hand corner.

01:58:25   Now they're saying they're going to add column view,

01:58:27   but they shipped a version of their app with no column view.

01:58:29   - Why was column view ever taken out of an email app?

01:58:32   That's crazy.

01:58:33   - Well, okay, great.

01:58:34   Part of the reason is they've moved it to Electron,

01:58:37   which I don't care about,

01:58:38   but they've done this so they can be on Windows,

01:58:40   which I think is a perfectly valid reason

01:58:42   to do this architecture change.

01:58:44   But if you're going to do this architecture change,

01:58:46   don't take away things like column view, right?

01:58:50   So madness to me.

01:58:51   Like I cannot look at my inbox

01:58:53   and emails in the same place.

01:58:55   Like I even look at my inbox or I look at an email

01:58:58   and then nothing else changes.

01:59:00   Currently there's no printing in the application.

01:59:02   You cannot print an email.

01:59:03   - That's weird.

01:59:04   - Which for me, you must say, why would you wanna do that?

01:59:07   I get a lot of invoices, right?

01:59:08   Like receipts, I need them for my account.

01:59:10   So I print them as a PDF, save them to a Dropbox folder

01:59:13   and they go to the accounting software that I use.

01:59:16   I can't do that on the Mac version anymore.

01:59:18   I have to go to the iOS version.

01:59:20   And actually in general, there's a lot of weird jankiness.

01:59:23   But this whole opinionated thing, I just don't need it.

01:59:27   You don't need to do this for me.

01:59:29   I can work on my own with my email.

01:59:32   I've been using it for a long enough time

01:59:34   and I started looking at some other apps.

01:59:36   I've learned to live with the weirdness of it

01:59:39   and they have been making changes.

01:59:41   When it shipped, it had no dark mode,

01:59:42   but they've added the dark mode in.

01:59:44   I think that they're making some mistakes about trying to tell me how I should use email

01:59:50   and I just find this whole idea of like done rather than archive to just be kind of insulting

01:59:56   in a way.

01:59:57   You're not having a big grand vision here.

01:59:59   You're just changing a word and it's completely pointless when the effect is the same.

02:00:05   Ultimately, I've learned to live with some of the strangeness and I'm putting my faith

02:00:09   in them to fix the broken things.

02:00:12   I don't think they're going to fix the ideology stuff.

02:00:14   And I'll see how that probably continues to make the app

02:00:18   weirder in the future.

02:00:19   Right?

02:00:20   Like they've said that they're going

02:00:21   to have a brand new design for the iPhone app in the future.

02:00:24   And that might break me if they continue

02:00:27   to make that as weird as they've made the Mac

02:00:29   app in a bunch of ways.

02:00:31   But what keeps me here is how good the team sharing is.

02:00:34   I don't know what my future is for email,

02:00:36   but Spark has like gone from this stasis for me

02:00:40   to a question mark now because I think that they might be starting to go in a direction

02:00:45   that does not align for me, which is I use your app as a team focused email communication

02:00:51   tool. I do not use it as a "let's fix email" tool. Email's broken. You're never going to

02:00:58   fix it. Stop trying.

02:01:00   Yeah, it sounds like they're trying to move to a emails as to do items metaphor.

02:01:08   then they're not doing that right. Like if that's what they're gonna do then let

02:01:13   me do a bunch of stuff with it right? Let me set due dates or whatever. Let me set

02:01:18   a date on something rather than snooze. Let me set why not? Let me rearrange them

02:01:22   like I could in mailbox which is something I'll ask for forever. Like if

02:01:24   you're gonna go down that route like make it work more like a to-do app but

02:01:29   they're not doing any of that. It's just the button that used to be archive is

02:01:34   now called done and they've moved it into another part of the application

02:01:37   and like visually and changed the iconography for it.

02:01:41   - It's very frustrating when something that's core

02:01:43   and is perfectly fine does a major change.

02:01:47   Like I think we all know the dread

02:01:51   when you see an app you use be like,

02:01:52   "Hey, we've done a major read."

02:01:54   It's like, oh no, why is this almost always worse?

02:01:59   This is so much rarely better.

02:02:00   - At this point, like if I wasn't using the team stuff,

02:02:03   I would have moved to Apple's mail app

02:02:05   just so I could have some consistency in my life.

02:02:07   - Right, well, I was gonna ask, like,

02:02:09   what's your fallback if you have to move out of this?

02:02:12   'Cause like, that team stuff has seemed really critical

02:02:15   to your workflow for years. - It's critical, yeah.

02:02:18   - So I'm just like, I'm wondering, like,

02:02:19   what even is the next option?

02:02:21   - There are other apps that exist.

02:02:23   I use an app called Missive for a couple of days,

02:02:26   and it's just got its own set of things

02:02:28   that I really don't like.

02:02:29   One of the biggest ones for me is the notifications.

02:02:32   I like that if I get an email notification,

02:02:34   I can archive the email from the notification.

02:02:37   You can't do that in Bismf,

02:02:38   they just haven't added that functionality,

02:02:40   which is not a big thing,

02:02:41   but it's something that I do a lot and that bugged me.

02:02:44   There's a lot of little things in the application

02:02:46   which were like, this isn't the way that I do them.

02:02:49   Maybe I could get used to it, but I don't know.

02:02:51   So that one lives out there as like,

02:02:53   here's another one that has come recommended from people

02:02:56   of like, this is an app

02:02:58   that does like team communication stuff.

02:03:02   I mean, honestly, if Spark like goes away,

02:03:07   then I'm gonna have to redo the way

02:03:10   that I work with email completely.

02:03:13   And I don't know what that's gonna be yet.

02:03:15   Probably gonna have to go back to working

02:03:17   in the really inefficient way

02:03:18   of referencing emails in Slack chats.

02:03:20   - Oof.

02:03:22   - Which I really don't want to do.

02:03:23   - That feels like barbaric compared to what you were doing.

02:03:26   Yeah, that feels awful.

02:03:27   - So I don't really know what I will do

02:03:30   and it's why I will hang on for way longer

02:03:33   than I would normally to Spark.

02:03:36   Like I said, if I was a Spark user

02:03:39   without any of the theme stuff,

02:03:40   this change that they made, I would have left.

02:03:43   Because it's just like,

02:03:44   I just don't like the direction the app is going in.

02:03:47   And that's never a good feeling,

02:03:49   because I'm also getting at the moment

02:03:51   this sense of desperation for a business model change.

02:03:54   And that also never feels good.

02:03:55   Because I feel like they shipped this version of the app

02:03:59   sooner than they should have.

02:04:02   And I feel like they only shipped it

02:04:03   so they could have subscriptions for everyone.

02:04:06   And that makes me nervous because they didn't wait

02:04:09   until the app was ready to ship it

02:04:11   and change their business model.

02:04:13   - Oh, so you're right.

02:04:15   Okay, so what?

02:04:16   You're worried there's like just like a purely

02:04:18   a revenue problem is the reason that they shipped too soon.

02:04:21   - Uh-huh.

02:04:22   - Hmm, right.

02:04:23   - They have a brand new version of the app

02:04:25   only on one platform, right?

02:04:27   - That is strange. - Where they're saying

02:04:29   is coming to every platform and they've made architectural changes to the other

02:04:34   apps so they work together with the new version and the new version is missing a

02:04:41   bunch of really simple features and they're also keeping the old Mac app

02:04:46   around because they know this but they did this so they could say here's our

02:04:50   new subscription pricing for the app so that that whole thing makes me nervous

02:04:56   service, as well as the fact that I just don't agree with some of the decisions they're making.

02:05:03   So I'm just going to stick around for now, but I feel like now compared to every other

02:05:09   year I'm like, maybe I've got one foot out the door here, but I don't know where, that's

02:05:16   two.

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02:07:12   of this show and Relay FM.

02:07:14   I totally feel your pain with all that Spark stuff because under the writing apps category,

02:07:20   I went through this same journey with Ulysses and Obsidian.

02:07:25   The timeline here is, I think it was like two years ago, Ulysses did the same thing

02:07:29   where they came out with like, "Ooh, we have a whole new UI redesign for our sidebar."

02:07:35   And it was just, I don't need to go over it, but it was just the same sort of thing.

02:07:38   Like it was insane.

02:07:39   Who is this for?

02:07:40   Like, I can't imagine the user this is better for.

02:07:44   And it was really frustrating.

02:07:45   The previous year then, I was half using Ulysses

02:07:49   and half using Obsidian,

02:07:50   trying to see what is gonna work for me.

02:07:53   And this is the year where I actually went through

02:07:57   all of my Ulysses archive

02:07:59   and, like, moved everything over to Obsidian.

02:08:02   So now, like, this transition is complete.

02:08:06   I have absolutely nothing left in Ulysses,

02:08:09   none of the old projects I've been working on,

02:08:11   it's all been moved into Obsidian.

02:08:13   And I'm really happy with that as a system,

02:08:17   like as heartbreaking as it was

02:08:19   to have to switch from an app that I really liked.

02:08:23   The new one is much better.

02:08:25   And I'm so happy with like actually now

02:08:29   having everything in Obsidian.

02:08:31   And it is one of these apps where

02:08:33   the more you can completely have everything in it,

02:08:37   the more value it gets.

02:08:40   It's like a network effect for itself

02:08:43   of being able to reference all of your other little notes

02:08:47   or quickly connect different scripts in different projects.

02:08:51   So yeah, there's a way in which

02:08:53   now having everything in Obsidian,

02:08:55   I really like it because I can do things like

02:08:58   have an overview of like,

02:09:00   let me pull out everything that I've ever written

02:09:04   that might potentially be a script on any topic

02:09:07   and say, sort by size, which tells me like,

02:09:11   how much have I written about any of these individual topics?

02:09:15   Like it's really nice to be able to go through that

02:09:17   and then filter through projects and say like,

02:09:19   okay, this one is definitely dead,

02:09:22   it's never gonna happen, or like, oh, this is intriguing.

02:09:24   I've been adding more to this over the years

02:09:27   than I thought I have.

02:09:27   Like this note on this topic

02:09:29   is slowly getting bigger and bigger.

02:09:31   And one of the key things that I realized this year

02:09:36   about using Obsidian that has also just totally locked it in

02:09:40   has to do with what I was discussing about

02:09:42   with OmniFocus at the start.

02:09:44   Over the years, one of the constant frustrations

02:09:49   with OmniFocus as a to-do app for me

02:09:53   was trying to put in all of the little things

02:09:58   that relate to writing a script.

02:10:02   When I'm working on a project,

02:10:03   there can easily come up like 10 little things

02:10:07   while I'm writing a script where you go like,

02:10:09   "Oh, I need to just like double check that part over here,"

02:10:14   or go like, "Ah, what was that number?

02:10:16   Like how many of these things were there really?"

02:10:19   Or, "Oh, I should, I need to order the book

02:10:23   for this thing and then read it."

02:10:26   or like this section needs to wait until I've read

02:10:28   this other thing over here.

02:10:30   There's like, there's just a lot of these little things

02:10:33   and for whatever reason, it just never worked

02:10:36   in OmniFocus to do this.

02:10:39   It always felt like it was like a little bit too disjointed

02:10:43   when I'm writing that was also always too fluid.

02:10:46   Like those to-dos could come and go very easily

02:10:49   where it's not that the to-do was ever completed in a sense

02:10:52   but I just instantly realized while writing,

02:10:54   oh, actually I don't ever need to do that

02:10:56   'cause I've just cut this whole paragraph.

02:10:58   And so these three little like,

02:10:59   check these things in here, they've just disappeared.

02:11:02   And trying to go back into OmniFocus

02:11:05   and like, what were those three?

02:11:07   'Cause they're disconnected from the actual paragraph.

02:11:09   It was always just like a frustration point.

02:11:11   I never really had a good way to handle that.

02:11:14   But now in Obsidian, that is totally a solved problem.

02:11:19   And for anyone who knows the words that I'm about to say,

02:11:23   I have returned to kind of the dream of the thing that got me through college,

02:11:28   which was org mode on Emacs.

02:11:31   But basically with Obsidian now, there's a little system where when I'm typing,

02:11:36   if something comes up in a sentence that is basically like a little to do,

02:11:40   there's a writer's trick, which is writers have always typed like TKK,

02:11:45   which is a little set of letters that just doesn't pop up often in the English

02:11:47   language. And so writers have like,

02:11:49   as long as there have been writers using typewriters,

02:11:52   have used this as a trick to like,

02:11:53   oh, here's the thing that I need to go back.

02:11:55   But what's great in Obsidian is when I do TKK,

02:11:59   I have the computer automatically replace that

02:12:02   with a little formatting for a footnote.

02:12:05   And in the footnote, I can type whatever the to-do item is

02:12:09   for like, this is the thing that I need to check.

02:12:12   And then Obsidian has a way where I can search

02:12:16   across all of my notes in the entire system

02:12:20   for everything that is formatted like a footnote,

02:12:23   and it puts it in a little list in the sidebar.

02:12:26   So it acts like a pseudo to-do list

02:12:29   of here's all of the things.

02:12:31   And I can also sort them by like most recently typed,

02:12:35   which basically brings them up in terms of like

02:12:37   what projects are you actively working on,

02:12:39   not every single thing in the whole system.

02:12:42   And it's really easy then to work with to-dos

02:12:47   that I'm adding in line in the script itself.

02:12:51   And it's like fan (beep)tastic.

02:12:55   Like this is the solution to the biggest to-do problem

02:12:59   that I have had for years.

02:13:01   And no other writing app has ever been able

02:13:05   to perform both of these parts,

02:13:09   which is have a way to enter something that is like a to-do,

02:13:15   but also have a way to search across multiple projects in a really coherent

02:13:22   way so that it's easy to like burn through a bunch of these things.

02:13:26   And what is just so fantastic about this is one of the things I've been really

02:13:31   working on this year is trying to be really aware of work that I can kick to

02:13:38   my couch self who later in the evening is going to be sitting on the couch and

02:13:44   like is in a very low energy mode,

02:13:46   but he can do some stuff that's still useful work.

02:13:50   And so this is one of these ways where it's really great.

02:13:52   Like, oh, I can type with the script.

02:13:53   I can like throw in a like, hey, double check that number.

02:13:56   Or one of the ones recently is like,

02:13:58   I need a spreadsheet that tells me exactly how big

02:14:01   a subset of the states in the United States are,

02:14:05   minus their lakes, but not all of the states.

02:14:08   And it's like, that's a perfect kind of task

02:14:10   to do on the couch because it's totally brainless.

02:14:13   It's just like, hey, put together this little thing,

02:14:15   look up a bunch of numbers, copy and paste some stuff.

02:14:18   But that kind of thing, putting it in OmniFocus,

02:14:20   it would never have made sense

02:14:22   because depending on if that paragraph

02:14:24   just got blown away, then that to-do goes away as well.

02:14:28   So it's really nice.

02:14:30   I can be working in the morning.

02:14:31   I'm trying to focus mainly on the words and the story

02:14:35   and the overall flow of the script.

02:14:38   I can throw in these little to-do items

02:14:40   and then in the evening, when I'm being much lazier

02:14:43   but still feeling like I can do some useful work,

02:14:46   I can quickly pull up a list of all of these things

02:14:49   while they're in line and try to knock out

02:14:51   like the easy ones that I can do,

02:14:53   like while my wife is watching a movie

02:14:54   and I'm just sitting there.

02:14:56   Having those to-dos right in the script

02:14:59   where they are is killer

02:15:01   because even when I'm in this kind of low power mode,

02:15:04   I'll often adjust the wording of a paragraph

02:15:09   based on however that little to-do turned out.

02:15:12   So like that's also why it's really critical

02:15:15   to have those items in line.

02:15:19   Like here is the paragraph that it's related to.

02:15:22   And I'm just so happy about this.

02:15:24   Like I love everything about this.

02:15:26   - Why format them like footnotes?

02:15:29   Why not format them like to-dos?

02:15:31   I think you can have to-dos in Obsidian, right?

02:15:35   - Yeah, you can have straight up to-dos.

02:15:36   What I'm actually doing when I'm doing this search

02:15:39   is I'm looking for both the footnote formatting

02:15:42   and the to-do formatting.

02:15:43   The reason I'm doing it as the footnote formatting

02:15:45   is that when I export the script as a PDF

02:15:48   to either give to fact checkers or give to the animator,

02:15:51   I can like strip out all the footnotes

02:15:53   because like that stuff is mostly just for me.

02:15:56   So it's like a formatting issue of,

02:15:58   I wanna be able to give this to someone

02:16:00   without necessarily having the footnotes in there.

02:16:03   And it also just like, it sort of is much nicer to work with

02:16:06   the way Obsidian happens to be formatted.

02:16:09   In theory, I could totally do it as actual to-do items.

02:16:12   It's just while writing, it kind of works nicer

02:16:15   to have them be pseudo-footnotes.

02:16:17   - Okay, so they're functioning mostly the same for you,

02:16:20   but it's just a way it's presented, do you prefer?

02:16:23   - Yeah, it's 80% like a presentation format.

02:16:26   For each script that ends up being a major project,

02:16:31   like if we take the "Runways" video that went up,

02:16:33   what's really great in Obsidian is it can also now,

02:16:36   Like I've got this system just like totally, totally solid of

02:16:40   there is the script.

02:16:42   And I also have a little project file which links to the script,

02:16:47   but the project file also links to like my personal research on this.

02:16:51   And it links to a little file that I call like scratch where I put

02:16:56   paragraphs that haven't deleted them. Like maybe I'll bring them back,

02:17:00   but I think they're just out of the script for now.

02:17:02   So like I can copy and paste them over there.

02:17:04   And it's just really nice to be able in Obsidian

02:17:06   to look at the sort of project file,

02:17:09   which is an overview of everything that you want to do,

02:17:12   the research, the scripts,

02:17:14   like stuff that you've sort of deleted,

02:17:16   but maybe not entirely all at once.

02:17:18   And I will sometimes add little to-dos

02:17:22   in the project file as well.

02:17:24   And then I do use the regular to-do formatting.

02:17:27   But it's just like the main thing that really matters here

02:17:32   is realizing the scripts and the writing

02:17:36   and the personal research that I do,

02:17:39   they're all a coherent little unit

02:17:43   that just lives in this one app

02:17:44   and I can see it all the time

02:17:46   and not switching out to a to-do manager

02:17:49   that has no concept of where any of these things

02:17:53   are related to.

02:17:54   That has just been absolutely killer this year

02:17:57   and it's not something I could ever possibly have achieved

02:18:01   with Ulysses and it's just great.

02:18:04   Like I cannot express how much more pleasant it has been

02:18:08   to work with this and I feel like I've found the thing

02:18:11   that really works with my brain.

02:18:13   And the other thing that's really nice

02:18:14   about having everything together in one system

02:18:17   is also with Obsidian, often when I'm working on a script,

02:18:21   it's like, okay, I'm typing, typing, typing,

02:18:22   I'm writing, writing, writing.

02:18:24   It'll pop into my brain like, oh, actually,

02:18:27   the thing that I'm talking about here

02:18:29   that made me think of a good couple of lines

02:18:32   to add to another topic.

02:18:34   I was like, boom, boom, boom,

02:18:34   with just a couple of little keyboard hits,

02:18:37   I can switch into that other script, add that sentence,

02:18:41   and then flip right back into the thing

02:18:43   that I was working on.

02:18:44   And so this is one of these ways of like, oh great,

02:18:46   even when I'm working on whatever

02:18:48   the current main project is,

02:18:50   it's very easy and importantly,

02:18:53   super fast to switch into a different project,

02:18:57   add a couple of sentences,

02:18:59   and then like get right back into the main thing

02:19:01   without breaking flow.

02:19:03   And that's another thing that I've just never found

02:19:06   in another writing app.

02:19:07   Most of them kind of assume when you've loaded up

02:19:11   whatever document you're working on,

02:19:14   you're going to be there.

02:19:15   And it's like, no, no, I want to be able to,

02:19:17   in 10 seconds, get to a different thing,

02:19:19   add a sentence and get back.

02:19:21   And that's like, in almost every other thing I've ever used,

02:19:24   that's really hard to do.

02:19:26   or it's like literally impossible to do

02:19:28   without taking your hands off the keyboard,

02:19:30   which I don't want to.

02:19:31   So yeah, Obsidian, love it.

02:19:34   This is the year that has totally made it just like

02:19:37   so solid as the scripts, my research,

02:19:42   and then the last little piece

02:19:44   that I didn't know I was missing is throw in in-line to-dos

02:19:49   that relates to what you're working on

02:19:52   at the exact point that you're working on them.

02:19:55   Do you ever use Obsidian on iOS?

02:19:57   - It's funny that you asked that, Myke,

02:19:59   because do you remember how people were suggesting

02:20:03   that I use Git a little while ago

02:20:06   for all of my syncing needs?

02:20:08   - Yeah.

02:20:09   - I'm gonna, I'm like, I'm not really gonna bring that up.

02:20:12   Again, thanks everyone for suggesting Git.

02:20:14   It looks like a total nightmare.

02:20:16   I don't wanna touch with a 43-pole.

02:20:18   One of the things that has happened this year

02:20:20   is there's a trade-off that I've decided to make,

02:20:24   which is I can solve a problem I was talking about previously,

02:20:29   which is I want to be able to export a script as a PDF.

02:20:33   I want to be able to mark that up by hand

02:20:35   and then give that markup to my assistant

02:20:37   and have her make the changes directly on the text file.

02:20:41   For a bunch of reasons that we don't need to get into,

02:20:43   that was really hard to do

02:20:45   unless I switched over to using Dropbox

02:20:49   to manage my Obsidian files.

02:20:52   The trade-off there is if you use Dropbox,

02:20:56   you can't use Obsidian on iOS.

02:20:59   - It requires iCloud Drive, right?

02:21:02   - Yeah, you have to use it with iCloud Drive,

02:21:05   and then iCloud Drive was the thing that like,

02:21:06   oh, this is a total nightmare,

02:21:08   especially when my assistant is using a Windows machine.

02:21:10   It's like, no, no,

02:21:11   you are gonna totally bork your files that way.

02:21:14   And we tried to test it out, and yes,

02:21:15   it was like, it just was totally unworkable.

02:21:18   And so last month, I finally made the call

02:21:22   that while I do sometimes use Obsidian on the iPad,

02:21:27   I don't think I use it enough to be worth the trade off of like over the last

02:21:32   year,

02:21:34   basically never having done any of the handwritten stuff that I think really

02:21:37   adds a lot to the writing process. So I've switched over to Dropbox,

02:21:42   I've tested it with my assistant a couple of times so we know like this

02:21:45   actually works. It works really solidly.

02:21:48   we can near instantly type on the same document without problems.

02:21:52   You can have a document open and they can be typing in it and it doesn't cause problems.

02:21:58   The sync issues or anything like that, it's all happening live.

02:22:01   Yeah, so what happens is if she has the document open and I have the document open and she's typing,

02:22:06   I will see her sentences appear on my side live.

02:22:09   Where we would get into trouble is if we're both trying to type at the same time,

02:22:14   because Dropbox isn't doing that.

02:22:16   So as long as both of us don't have hands on the keyboard, there's no problem.

02:22:20   When you say live, you don't mean like Google Docs live.

02:22:23   No, no. That's why I said near live.

02:22:26   Near live. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

02:22:27   But this is also not a problem because there's never any scenario where with both the time change and the way I kind of like alternate which project I'm working on every day,

02:22:38   we're never going to have a conflict.

02:22:40   And also we've just set up the system that like at the very top she can just type the word like done or completed.

02:22:48   So I open the document on my end. I know she's over like she's finished whatever work needs to happen.

02:22:53   These things are very workable with the convention like a check in check out convention system.

02:22:57   Yeah exactly.

02:22:58   Right like me and you have that for the logic projects of the edits right like you won't touch it till I tell you to and I won't touch it until you tell me to.

02:23:06   me to. It's very simple. It just takes a message of like, I'm done, the edit's yours, and then

02:23:12   you'll say I'm done, the edit's yours. And in between those times, neither of us are

02:23:15   going to open the logic project.

02:23:16   Yeah, you just don't ever touch it.

02:23:17   You just don't need to touch it. Don't touch it.

02:23:19   Yeah. I even have that system with myself with Final Cut and Dropbox, where everyone's always

02:23:27   like, you can't have Final Cut projects at Dropbox. It's like, yeah, you can't if two

02:23:31   people want to open it at the same time, but like I routinely want to edit a Final Cut

02:23:35   project on a different project, but my check-in-with-myself system is I'm never allowed to open Final

02:23:43   Cut if Dropbox is syncing, right? Like if that little logo is spinning around, it's

02:23:47   like I am not allowed to open up Final Cut. But like ever since I set that rule, now I

02:23:53   haven't had a problem in years with like a syncing conflict with Final Cut and Dropbox,

02:23:58   though everyone says it's impossible.

02:24:00   So you know, the check ins, check out stuff really fixes stuff.

02:24:03   So that's like another check mark in favor of Obsidian.

02:24:07   And yes, I have to give it up on iOS, which is slightly annoying.

02:24:12   But if you have to pick like, what's the trade off here, I think this is the correct trade

02:24:17   off.

02:24:18   Now, I haven't actually used this that much because we've like just gotten it set up because

02:24:20   I finally decided I'm going to make that decision.

02:24:23   So we'll see how that goes over the course of the next year.

02:24:26   But I'm really happy about that set of trade-offs of, "Okay, I can go back to the hand-editing

02:24:31   of scripts."

02:24:32   Also really key is that I can share with her just the active projects and don't have

02:24:38   to risk like, "Oh, this entire weird database that is like the inside of my brain and arranged

02:24:45   very squirrelly."

02:24:47   She's not exposed to any of that.

02:24:50   And also it doesn't – yeah.

02:24:52   And it doesn't risk like getting messed up from her side of it either.

02:24:56   It's like no no we just have at most like five documents that are actually being shared

02:25:04   between us and that's perfect.

02:25:05   That's all we need.

02:25:06   It reminds me of like the Ark of the Covenant moment in Indiana Jones.

02:25:12   Like somebody opens that, they're sitting there just their face melts off.

02:25:18   I think a lot of tools exist on a spectrum of, is this a team using it or is it one person

02:25:25   using it?

02:25:26   And you can be in a real disaster if you're using like one one way or the other.

02:25:30   And Obsidian is very much on the like, this is an amazing tool for one person.

02:25:36   It's not a great tool for a bunch of people.

02:25:39   And like Notion is on the opposite end.

02:25:41   Like this is a great tool for a bunch of people.

02:25:44   It might not be the best tool just for one person.

02:25:47   But yeah, so anyway, not having to expose her to absolutely everything that's going

02:25:52   on in Obsidian is definitely a plus side.

02:25:55   I would be very surprised if they do not try to tackle the team problem and like create

02:26:01   a team system.

02:26:02   Yeah, they might.

02:26:03   Or I mean, if they want to be a successful long term business, they will go for that,

02:26:09   right?

02:26:10   Because that's where the money is.

02:26:11   You get companies to buy into this stuff, you're in the enterprise now, right?

02:26:14   That's true.

02:26:15   That's why all these companies go that way.

02:26:17   If they want to turn it into a big business, which I'm sure they do, I don't know, but

02:26:24   I don't know the people that make Obsidian, but I would be very surprised if they didn't

02:26:28   try to tackle the enterprise.

02:26:30   Yeah, I agree with that.

02:26:31   I'm just saying like in its current state, it's clearly a one person tool.

02:26:34   I just want to mention a couple of little add ons to Obsidian if anyone wants to try

02:26:38   it as my top recommended ones.

02:26:41   So Obsidian also has this whole complicated system of plugins that you can add which change

02:26:46   the fundamental way that it works.

02:26:48   And for me, my top four recommended ones are if you're a writer, you can enable typewriter

02:26:53   mode.

02:26:54   So there's a plugin that lets you keep the cursor in the center so that the text scrolls

02:26:58   up when you press the down arrow key and vice versa, which is just really nice to visually

02:27:03   keep the text in the middle.

02:27:05   And also so you can see what's before whatever you're writing and what's after whatever you're

02:27:09   writing always.

02:27:11   So I really like that.

02:27:13   There's a plugin which is called Advanced Tables, which allows you to just have slightly

02:27:18   more complicated tables than the default and also keeps those tables really tidy.

02:27:24   There's a plugin called Outliner, which makes, I guess the way they kind of describe it is

02:27:29   it makes outlines work much more like Roam.

02:27:33   So if you're a Roam user and you're thinking about going to Obsidian, like Outliner is

02:27:37   the number one thing that you should just install.

02:27:39   I really like it.

02:27:40   Also the thing that is making me think that I would use

02:27:44   like a note for Cortex in Obsidian

02:27:47   is being able to just like entirely through the keyboard,

02:27:50   do a bunch of outline stuff, indent, outdent.

02:27:53   And I think through Dropbox,

02:27:55   I should be able to have notes that append to a file.

02:27:58   That's also part of like why I didn't think

02:28:01   of doing this before is there was no way

02:28:03   to append to a document in iCloud,

02:28:06   but you can do that with Dropbox.

02:28:08   And then if you really get into Obsidian,

02:28:10   you should probably check out Data View, which is a plugin that allows you to do the thing

02:28:15   that I mentioned at the beginning, like more complicated queries.

02:28:19   Show me all of the documents I have tagged with script sorted by file size or sorted

02:28:26   by last modified.

02:28:28   Or you know, show me all of the ideas that I haven't marked as dead that are also non

02:28:35   zero file sizes like this kind of thing.

02:28:37   It allows you to do much more complicated queries.

02:28:39   So those are the things if you're going to use Obsidian, I would probably recommend installing

02:28:42   them.

02:28:43   They make it significantly more helpful.

02:28:45   And also my favorite theme is still the 80s neon theme, which is just awesome and makes

02:28:50   me feel like I'm a cool hacker every time I'm working on a project.

02:28:53   Also in this category, since this is sort of like writing and research, because I don't

02:28:57   know where else to mention it, I'm just going to mention Safari and Safari's tab groups

02:29:01   as a thank you to the team who has made this like man, tab groups have just have become

02:29:08   absolutely vital over the last year for all projects. Like, I love them so much and I was

02:29:16   trying to... I can't find numbers for these things, but I have some research projects where the tab

02:29:24   groups are insanely long. Like, I'm looking at one for what is my current project and there have to

02:29:32   to be 100 tabs at least open for one of several projects

02:29:37   that I have.

02:29:38   I just love them, the tab groups are great.

02:29:41   The fact that they sync is also really good

02:29:44   for this splitting the workday kind of thing

02:29:48   between when I'm on the couch and when I'm in my office,

02:29:52   where when I'm in researching mode,

02:29:54   I tend to open up a ton of tabs

02:29:56   and just keep adding and adding and adding stuff.

02:29:59   And then at the end of the day, when I'm on the couch,

02:30:02   I try to do the reverse, so like, go through and just close out the tabs where you looked

02:30:07   up something but you don't need to have this currently open.

02:30:11   And so it's a nice way in which a project kind of can be grown and trimmed and grown

02:30:16   and trimmed every day by like adding tabs and removing tabs, and it just wouldn't be

02:30:21   as easy to do without sync.

02:30:23   Like if they just lived on one computer, it'd be extremely frustrating.

02:30:27   But I will just say, the developers for Safari, I am begging you.

02:30:31   I'm gonna be down on my knees and I am begging you

02:30:35   to let me have the option to open new links

02:30:40   in a default tab group.

02:30:42   It still just kills me.

02:30:43   - This is so annoying.

02:30:44   It drives me mad.

02:30:46   - Okay, you're on my team with this now,

02:30:48   'cause when it first came out,

02:30:50   people were fighting against this.

02:30:51   They're like, this is not how browsers work.

02:30:53   And I'm just like, this is insane.

02:30:55   The thing that I keep thinking of is,

02:30:58   it's like if the developers for Notes were like,

02:31:01   "Oh hey, all of your folders and notes will sync with iCloud, but every time you make

02:31:07   a new note, it's going to be saved in a local folder on that device that doesn't sync."

02:31:13   And it's like, it's so frustrating.

02:31:16   It kills me.

02:31:19   And it like, it ends up causing me to feel like a janitor who has to go around and on

02:31:26   different devices constantly try to clear out whatever happened to get opened up locally

02:31:32   on the device. I hate it so much. So please, if this isn't an option by the next state

02:31:37   of the apps, I'm going to be so sad. Like this may be across every piece of software

02:31:43   I use my absolute number one requested feature. Please, I have a tab group called browsing.

02:31:52   Let all new links open in the browsing tab group and sync everywhere.

02:31:57   I'm begging you Safari developers.

02:31:59   I am begging you.

02:32:01   Let this be an option.

02:32:02   It's so frustrating.

02:32:05   So when I add entertainment as a new category, and in trying to think about this, I didn't

02:32:11   really have good recommendations that weren't also tied to hardware in some way.

02:32:17   You know, if you talk about like entertainment, like I can tell you that what streaming services

02:32:20   I use and what podcast apps I use but to me none of them were really like here's something

02:32:26   unique about this that you kind of is special to this app because really it's the content

02:32:32   more than the service or the app but I wanted to recommend Sonos.

02:32:37   The Sonos speakers?

02:32:38   Yeah.

02:32:39   Okay.

02:32:40   So we just got some Sonos stuff at home because we just moved and I wanted to kind of lay

02:32:45   out the new home to always be able to play music in the whole house.

02:32:50   - I've tried stuff like this with home pods,

02:32:52   but I don't really like the way that you share music

02:32:56   to home pods.

02:32:57   I don't like airplay.

02:32:57   I think controlling music on home pods is frustrating.

02:33:02   Like there's always this element of like,

02:33:04   I'm gonna send the music here.

02:33:06   - Oh, it's the worst.

02:33:07   - Right?

02:33:08   And now do I have control of other audio?

02:33:11   Then how do I control?

02:33:12   It's very annoying.

02:33:13   And the Thoroughly Considered podcast,

02:33:16   Tom and Dan had Adam Nussigor on

02:33:18   and they were talking about the Sonos Move, I think it is.

02:33:22   They have like a portable speaker, right?

02:33:25   There's like a big one.

02:33:26   They have like a small one and they have like a big one.

02:33:28   It's like a full speaker.

02:33:30   It is the Move.

02:33:32   And they were talking about that.

02:33:34   And then I kind of started looking into it.

02:33:35   I was like, I think this might be what I want.

02:33:37   So I set up Sonos last week.

02:33:39   It's great.

02:33:40   So I have a couple of speakers in the house at the moment

02:33:43   and the app is so smart.

02:33:46   in like a way that I can't believe they've been able to do it.

02:33:50   So you can sign in in the Sonos app

02:33:53   to multiple music streaming services from multiple people.

02:33:58   So in the Sonos app, I have connected my Apple Music account

02:34:03   and Adina's Spotify account.

02:34:05   And inside the application, you can choose the music

02:34:10   you want to play from either of those services.

02:34:13   It includes all of the stuff that you've added

02:34:16   to your service and the playlist that those services make.

02:34:19   So like Adina's Spotify playlists are in there,

02:34:22   my Apple Music playlists are in there.

02:34:25   And it's very easy to control what's playing where.

02:34:28   You could just choose in the app,

02:34:29   like press a button to play on this one.

02:34:31   And then you can just move one tap of a button

02:34:34   then play on multiple speakers.

02:34:36   You can group the speakers together.

02:34:38   It is really good.

02:34:39   It's very easy to control.

02:34:41   And the UI of dealing with the music,

02:34:44   searching for music, and it searches all of the systems

02:34:46   that are connected at once, right?

02:34:48   Like all of the services, I should say, that are connected,

02:34:50   it searches all of them.

02:34:52   It's really clever, and I think it's very smart,

02:34:54   and it's integrated very well with Spotify.

02:34:57   So if you're interested in the Spotify app,

02:34:59   you can just press a button,

02:35:01   and it will start just immediately playing the music

02:35:03   on the Sonos, like you just press one button.

02:35:06   And with Apple Music, I can control it

02:35:09   in the same clunky way I can control

02:35:11   Home Parts if I want to, right?

02:35:12   Like it has Airplay support, you can do all of that.

02:35:16   It also has like its own voice assistant built into it,

02:35:19   which is good for like starting and stopping music

02:35:22   if you wanna do that.

02:35:23   So here's a fun thing.

02:35:25   The voice that they have used,

02:35:27   you know, like all of these assistants have a voice, right?

02:35:30   Where it talks back to you.

02:35:32   Giancarlo Esposito is the voice.

02:35:35   You may know him as one of the villains of Breaking Bad,

02:35:38   one of the villains of Mandalorian.

02:35:40   It is, he's got a great voice.

02:35:42   - Oh, right.

02:35:43   - But it's super interesting to be like,

02:35:45   we're gonna choose this like really well-known villain

02:35:48   as the voice assistant, but it sounds great.

02:35:53   - It's an opinionated voice decision.

02:35:55   - Yeah, I mean, you've chosen one of the great voices

02:35:58   working today, but like just intriguing,

02:36:00   like how people recognize that voice.

02:36:02   I recognize him as like a terrifying villain.

02:36:06   So, but you know, you do use Sonos.

02:36:08   - He's a villain in the boys.

02:36:09   - Yeah, he's got a little niche he's carved out for himself.

02:36:11   - Great villain, but now also Sonos assistant voice.

02:36:15   But yeah, I am very happy with this purchase.

02:36:19   And also like, because we haven't got all of our stuff

02:36:22   set up, I haven't unboxed our home pods yet.

02:36:25   But I can also attach the audio from my Apple TV

02:36:29   to the Sonos too.

02:36:30   So like I had set up the Sonos system.

02:36:32   - That's what I was wondering.

02:36:33   - Yeah, and I can also play all my Apple TV content

02:36:36   through the Sonos too, and it also sounds fantastic.

02:36:39   So I might like, we haven't set up the HomePods yet.

02:36:44   I don't know if I'm going to.

02:36:48   I haven't decided.

02:36:50   I may just use the Sonos speaker instead of,

02:36:54   no, so they have all their own equipment.

02:36:56   Like I might get a Sonos soundbar and just use that

02:36:59   instead of setting up the HomePod pair that I had before.

02:37:03   I'm not sure yet, but I like it.

02:37:04   - When you're logged into Apple Music in the Sonos app,

02:37:08   Does it basically just show you your Apple Music library?

02:37:11   Like is it mirroring that?

02:37:13   - Yeah, I have access to all of it.

02:37:15   - Could you use the Sonos app as a complete replacement

02:37:18   for the Apple Music app and like never open

02:37:20   the Apple Music app again?

02:37:21   - I believe so.

02:37:23   - Hmm, okay, that's quite interesting.

02:37:25   - I can't confirm all of that for you right now

02:37:28   because I can't use the Sonos app

02:37:30   when I'm not connected to my Sonos system.

02:37:32   - What do you mean by that?

02:37:34   - Well, I'm not at home right now, all my Sonos is at home.

02:37:37   So like if I open the app now, it can't connect to the Sonos,

02:37:40   so it doesn't show me anything.

02:37:41   - Okay, I guess what I'm saying is,

02:37:42   can you use that app to play music

02:37:45   to your AirPods on your way home?

02:37:48   - No.

02:37:49   - Okay, so it does, okay, so that's the limitation.

02:37:51   It has to be connected to the speakers, okay.

02:37:53   - That you must be on the same network as the speaker

02:37:56   to use the Sonos app, because the Sonos app

02:37:58   is just a controller for the Sonos speakers.

02:38:01   - Okay, yeah, that's interesting,

02:38:02   especially being able to connect to the Apple TV.

02:38:04   That's very nice.

02:38:05   It has an AirPlay, it's got AirPlay stuff.

02:38:08   I think I'm gonna wait to see if Apple comes out with something else for the HomePods,

02:38:13   but if they don't, like at some point I'm gonna have to move,

02:38:17   and this is the first like, sounds reasonable option to move to that I've come across.

02:38:22   Yeah.

02:38:23   So yeah, that's a good recommendation.

02:38:25   This is sort of entertainment, but I don't know where else to put it.

02:38:28   I feel like last year you were talking about moving to more RSS.

02:38:31   Oh yeah, yeah.

02:38:33   I'm really glad that you suggested that.

02:38:34   I feel like that was a suggestion that hit me at the exact right time when I was open

02:38:40   to something like this of, like, "I'm frustrated with my internet experience.

02:38:44   I need to make it better."

02:38:46   And so I've tried to go all in on RSS, and I've done it by using two RSS apps.

02:38:54   I'm using Reader and I'm using NetNewsWire.

02:38:58   I'm using Reader to try to collect all of the interesting bloggers who I want to follow,

02:39:04   And it's been kind of delightful this year to discover, oh, blogs aren't quite as dead

02:39:09   as I thought they were.

02:39:10   Like there's a bunch of interesting writers out there who are like still doing traditional

02:39:15   blogs.

02:39:16   So it's been fun doing that.

02:39:18   I'd love it if listeners have any suggestions for interesting blogs to follow to leave them

02:39:22   on the Reddit because I'm looking out for new stuff.

02:39:24   That is one of the broadest.

02:39:27   Like do you want to give like a blog?

02:39:29   What kind of blogs?

02:39:30   Like, just, does anyone got website recommendations for me?

02:39:35   Just some cool new websites.

02:39:37   - Yeah, I guess, no, I guess, yeah,

02:39:40   what I mean by that is, I'll give an example.

02:39:43   Like, there's a blog called

02:39:46   A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry.

02:39:49   And this is like a guy who's a historian,

02:39:52   and he just writes really interesting articles

02:39:55   that go into detail about

02:39:59   something related to history usually vaguely logistics related. And he caught my attention

02:40:06   when he did a series about like how realistic could the military logistics of Lord of the

02:40:12   Rings be. And this is the kind of stuff that I just love where it's like someone really

02:40:18   digs into detail about like some topic that they care a lot about.

02:40:23   Yeah, when I say like, oh, I'm interested in some blogs

02:40:26   Like I'm looking for like interesting people who care a lot about something it to me

02:40:32   There's also just like totally excludes everything that's vaguely politics

02:40:36   I'm not interested in anyone who's like a pundit in any way

02:40:39   So I could just been trying to like build up a little collection of like oh these people are interesting

02:40:44   Writers in in the way that I don't know in a pre internet age

02:40:49   age, like they'd be writing a column in a magazine about like a topic.

02:40:53   But I put this into entertainment because I've really tried to train myself over the

02:40:57   past year of when you have that moment of like, "I'm going to go on the internet."

02:41:02   It's like, "No, don't do that.

02:41:04   Open Reader and see what is in here since the last time and like go through the interesting

02:41:11   people that you found on the internet to read their stuff."

02:41:13   And like that should be the default starting place.

02:41:17   But what has also been great is the reason I'm using two RSS readers is I'm also using

02:41:22   net news wire to track all of what would be my YouTube subscriptions.

02:41:27   So this is the same thing where I'm trying to train a behavior which is, oh, hey, when

02:41:33   you want to like, watch something, don't go to youtube.com and let the algorithm do it's

02:41:39   like here's the eight things that we think are going to be most engaging to you.

02:41:42   It's like no, no, no.

02:41:44   It's the same thing here.

02:41:45   Who do you think make interesting videos and just subscribe to them and then see when they

02:41:51   have something new?

02:41:53   And I'm just really liking this as the separate experience.

02:41:57   So this is what I've been doing in terms of like default reading entertainment for the

02:42:02   internet and default video entertainment for the internet.

02:42:05   Use two RSS readers and just like open them up, intentionally subscribe to something,

02:42:11   read and watch something, use much less of the like,

02:42:16   "Hey, an algorithm thought you might be interested

02:42:19   in this article or this video."

02:42:21   And it's definitely improved my internet experience.

02:42:24   So RSS, it's the new old hotness.

02:42:27   Thanks, Myke.

02:42:29   - Anytime, man, anytime.

02:42:31   (both laughing)

02:42:33   - Do you have anything else you want to mention

02:42:34   in entertainment?

02:42:35   - I don't think so.

02:42:36   I think I'm good with sonos.

02:42:37   I think that's my one good pick.

02:42:38   - All right, then let me just give three video game

02:42:41   game recommendations for this entertainment section.

02:42:44   I didn't know we were video game recommending. I mean now we're in a different world but

02:42:48   go on.

02:42:49   No that's that's entertainment. Where else would video games go if they were not entertainment?

02:42:52   Right sure.

02:42:53   The two are gonna be super quick. This is no surprise I feel sort of dumb mentioning

02:42:57   it but I am gonna say it again. Magic the Gathering! There's a Magic the Gathering

02:43:02   arena. It's f***ing amazing. Like I was just thinking about it today like people complain

02:43:06   about it forever. If you've listened to me for this long, if you've made it this far

02:43:12   in our State of the Apps episode, you may be a person who would like Magic the Gathering.

02:43:16   And it's still kind of amazing to me that the online version is as good as it is. I

02:43:21   think there's tons of stuff that's just like better in the online version and so yeah,

02:43:27   it's just like I've spent a huge amount of time on it this year. Haven't regretted

02:43:31   a minute spent. Love it. I've also mentioned Hades. Talked about it a couple of times.

02:43:36   Just want to like re-emphasize big recommendation.

02:43:39   I think we've been talking about it in more text.

02:43:41   Yeah, yeah, we have been talking about it more and more text.

02:43:43   So if you haven't listened in more text, Hades, Dungeon, Roguelike on the Steam Deck,

02:43:49   I've been playing it so much better than it has any right to be.

02:43:53   Just like highly, highly recommend one of the best games in the past many years.

02:43:58   And here's the one I really want to push.

02:44:01   So I stumbled upon a game a couple months ago.

02:44:04   It's called Dungeon Wars 2.

02:44:08   Dungeon Wars 2 is a tower defense game.

02:44:12   Now, this is a genre that I was trying to think of,

02:44:15   like, a metaphor where it feels like

02:44:20   when the iPhone first came out,

02:44:23   the tower defense genre kind of exploded.

02:44:26   Like, there were a bunch of these.

02:44:27   -Can I ask you, is it Dungeon Warfare or Dungeon Wars?

02:44:31   -Oh, yes. Thank you, Myke.

02:44:32   The correct name is Dungeon Warfare 2.

02:44:35   You're right.

02:44:35   This is the, like, I, when I looked at it on my iPad, it's that abbreviated name, but

02:44:39   yes, this Dungeon Warfare 2 is the full name.

02:44:42   So if you like tower defense games, I feel that in the last decade, this genre, the

02:44:53   best metaphor that I can think of is it's like a lake full of algae.

02:45:00   It's not dead, but it's not exactly alive

02:45:04   or interesting either.

02:45:06   - Yeah, it was like the game format for a long time

02:45:10   on iOS and iPadOS, right?

02:45:12   Like it was like so many of them and it was so popular

02:45:15   and then it just seemed to stop.

02:45:17   - With the exception of the Kingdom Rush series,

02:45:20   which has been like the uncontested top contender

02:45:23   in this for years now,

02:45:26   like I just think most of these games

02:45:27   are terribly uninteresting.

02:45:29   A lot of them are borderline scammy

02:45:32   and just like trying to keep your attention.

02:45:35   It's just awful and I've always been really sad

02:45:37   'cause I just, I love this genre so much.

02:45:42   You're just building towers and there's a bunch of guys

02:45:44   who are gonna try to run past them

02:45:46   and your towers are gonna try to shoot them down.

02:45:48   It's so simple but it can be really satisfying.

02:45:51   But I've been extra sad because Kingdom Rush,

02:45:53   which has been this like top contender,

02:45:55   it's always felt to me like the designers of Kingdom Rush

02:45:59   like something like they're they're getting something else out of tower defense games that I'm not

02:46:06   that they seem to be slightly more on the puzzle side like oh

02:46:10   We're gonna have a very small number of towers and you win by figuring out the exact right order to build them in

02:46:17   I was like, hey, you know what? I want out of a tower defense game a lot of towers

02:46:22   Like that's what I want to build. That's the whole thing that I'm looking for and Kingdom Rush always seems to push against that

02:46:27   So anyway, all of this is to say like I was on one of my sad trawls through the App Store being like,

02:46:34   "Oh, let me see if I can find anything interesting that's a tower defense game."

02:46:38   And I somehow stumbled upon Dungeon Warfare 2 and I love it so much.

02:46:43   Like it feels like the person who made this is like, "Ah, this is what I love out of tower defense games."

02:46:49   Lots of towers. They're really interesting. Like it's the first time in years I've seen someone

02:46:56   Do a bunch of interesting different stuff in the genre

02:47:00   So like if you have ever enjoyed a tower defense game, you have to give this one a try the other thing

02:47:07   That's unbelievable to me is how deep it is

02:47:11   Like the number of towers the number of upgrades the number of different abilities

02:47:16   They have the number of like these weird skills that you can add on

02:47:19   It also has a whole system where like you can increasingly make each level more difficult

02:47:26   but in interesting ways. It's like, I just love everything about it. And looking it up,

02:47:32   it seems like it's a one-person project. And it's again, one of these things like,

02:47:36   aside from the graphics, which are a little janky, it's crazy to me that a single person made this.

02:47:42   And it's like a several year old game. I don't think anyone is paying much attention to it. And

02:47:47   I just like, kind of wish that my recommendation here causes everyone who listens to go out and

02:47:53   like buy this game. It is fantastic, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Absolutely loved it,

02:48:00   have also sunk in so many hours on the couch playing this. It's great. Dungeon Warfare 2,

02:48:07   if you've ever enjoyed a tower defense game, get this one.

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02:50:31   It's time for our lightning round.

02:50:34   Lightning round! Boom. Again, lightning sounds that are not upgrade sounds. It breaks my

02:50:40   brain every time. I can't do it. Okay let's do some lightning round.

02:50:47   Sleep++. I started sleep tracking with my Apple watch and I much prefer a couple of

02:50:55   features of sleep++ to Apple's built-in sleep tracking. I like the layout. I find

02:51:00   the layout to be clearer. The way that Apple kind of draws the bubbles around

02:51:04   everything, it doesn't really show me the information that I want and I enjoy the

02:51:09   increased contrast of colors between like my you know when I'm awake when I'm

02:51:14   asleep you know kind of tracks that information. I also really like the

02:51:17   readiness score so sleep++ takes in a bunch of factors based on how much sleep

02:51:22   you've had and tries to make it like an assessment for how prepared you should

02:51:26   be for the day. I just like this information like it's like a fun little

02:51:31   thing and in the morning I might check it and it kind of I have been making

02:51:34   some decisions recently about maybe some of the things that I might get up to in

02:51:38   a day or being more forgiving of myself if I'm not so effective if I realized that I

02:51:46   did not get good sleep the night before.

02:51:48   So I've been enjoying that.

02:51:49   I was wondering what kind of impact sleep tracking would have on my life and I think

02:51:54   so far it's actually had a pretty good one if just in the fact that like if I've had

02:51:59   a bad night's sleep then maybe I will be easier on myself the next day.

02:52:03   I'm gonna recommend Tally. It's a dead simple app to just, like, count up a number every time you

02:52:10   tap on a screen. And I ended up using this in Hawaii when I was recovering from COVID,

02:52:17   and I was trying to build up my strength by just walking up and down the world's saddest tiny hill

02:52:24   a bunch of times. And so it was slow enough that, like, I would, you know, start thinking about

02:52:29   something else when I got back to the bottom of the hill and then forget by the time I got back

02:52:33   up to the hill again like, "Wait, how many times have I done this? Did I do this five times or six

02:52:38   times?" And like, I love an app that just does one thing really well as like, "Tally, if you need to

02:52:44   count something while you're probably going to be slightly bored and forget, this is the app for you."

02:52:49   CityMapper.

02:52:51   Oh, wow, I feel like that's a real blast from the past. I haven't thought of CityMapper in years.

02:52:56   What are you using CityMapper for?

02:52:57   Well, so the way that I came to Citymapper is I wanted to have access to something like an

02:53:08   Oyster card, which is our transit card, but on my iPhone. It boggles my mind that you cannot use an

02:53:16   Oyster card on an iPhone. Like you have to have the card. You can't add the card to your Apple

02:53:22   wallet and use it as NFC. I can't believe that that is still true. That's insane.

02:53:27   They just want you to use contactless. But I don't want to do this because then it generates like

02:53:33   40 transactions a month on my credit card statement, which I don't want.

02:53:38   So I wanted a way to be able to pay for effectively a travel card or something.

02:53:45   But even then, I had a travel card for a while, so I pay once, but then it's on an oyster card

02:53:51   and I didn't want the card. Then someone told me about the Citymapper pass which is exactly this.

02:53:59   It is a prepaid card which gives you travel around London but it is just the same price as I was

02:54:07   paying before but with Citymapper it's basically like a prepaid mastercard is the kind of way they

02:54:13   do it. It's really interesting how they've made this work. Citymapper itself is only available in

02:54:17   in a set amount of cities in the world and city map and pass is even more restricted

02:54:22   in where it's available. But they send you a card but you can choose to forgo the card

02:54:27   and have it in Apple Pay. If you have it in Apple Pay you have to choose to either use

02:54:32   it always on the watch or always on the phone. Again like it's complicated the way that they've

02:54:36   set this up but I just have it on my phone. I have it in the express travel thing so I

02:54:40   don't have to activate Apple Pay I just hold my phone near it and it just bings and now

02:54:45   Now I can go through the barriers and it's all set.

02:54:49   In doing that, I then started using CityMapper more as my transit app rather than Google

02:54:54   Maps and CityMapper kicks butt in London.

02:54:59   It wrecks everything else in how good it is at telling me to get from here to here.

02:55:07   So then I started using CityMapper more and they also have something you can pay for to

02:55:12   better routing, which I also do, and I'm super happy with it. Like it does things like it

02:55:17   gives really good options for types of transport and like connecting. It gives you really great

02:55:23   suggestions for where to stand on public transport for like, where is the best place to be for

02:55:28   the connection that you're going to make. And then their live activity that they just

02:55:32   added is incredible. It's incredible.

02:55:35   Yeah, I'm looking at these screenshots. This is really nice. Like if I was still commuting,

02:55:40   I would totally use this every day. This is great.

02:55:42   But they've always had a thing where when you're navigating from place to place, it

02:55:46   can send you push notifications for like, go right here if you're walking and then get

02:55:51   ready to get off the train, that kind of thing, right?

02:55:53   I stopped before, but now they've put this in a live activity, which is always there.

02:55:57   It's also in the dynamic island if you've got the phone unlocked, but it's showing me

02:56:02   you are 115 meters away from arriving at the station.

02:56:06   It's like one of the things I showed you.

02:56:07   There are trains in three minutes, nine minutes, 20 minutes.

02:56:11   and then like down the bottom,

02:56:12   your final arrival time currently is this

02:56:15   based on where you are.

02:56:17   And then when you're on the train,

02:56:18   like or getting on the train,

02:56:20   it's like get on in a minute and get on at the back.

02:56:23   And then when you're on the train,

02:56:25   it's like it shows a train line with all of the stops

02:56:29   and your dot moving along the line.

02:56:33   It's unbelievably good.

02:56:35   And then it alerts you like,

02:56:36   "Hey, the next stop is your stop.

02:56:38   Get ready to get off.

02:56:40   killer, so good, I am so happy with this.

02:56:45   I don't know what took me so long,

02:56:47   but City Mapper seems to be one of those things

02:56:49   that like if it's in your city and you start to use it,

02:56:53   you become one of these people that I have become,

02:56:55   which is a City Mapper person,

02:56:57   where I keep telling people how good City Mapper is.

02:57:00   I was at a dinner with someone who told me this stuff,

02:57:03   then I used it and now I am a City Mapper person

02:57:06   telling people to use City Mapper.

02:57:09   It is, I don't know how they're so good.

02:57:11   I don't know how either Google or Apple have involved them.

02:57:15   'Cause they seem to have a way of taking transit information

02:57:19   and doing so much more with it,

02:57:21   where I believe they're probably just taking

02:57:23   the same information that any of these companies

02:57:25   can have access to.

02:57:27   But the way in which they present it, excellent.

02:57:30   And they deal with things like we've had disruptions

02:57:32   for like, there's been rail strikes

02:57:34   and stuff like that in the UK.

02:57:35   And they give you a way of like,

02:57:36   if you need to get somewhere on a certain day,

02:57:39   we can route you for that.

02:57:40   Or when we're having our heat wave,

02:57:41   they had like a specific routing option

02:57:44   for air conditioned routes.

02:57:46   - Oh my God, wow.

02:57:48   - So good, like they're very reactive to things

02:57:51   and like update the application with these specific things.

02:57:54   - Wow, that looks really nice.

02:57:56   - Yeah, it's super good.

02:57:57   - I'll half mention what I've said before

02:57:59   is the closest thing for this for bikes

02:58:01   is an app called Bike Citizens.

02:58:03   It's not remotely this level,

02:58:05   but it is the same thing where it's like,

02:58:07   it's bike directions in the city,

02:58:09   but it like totally blows the regular recommendations

02:58:11   out of the water with a bunch of options.

02:58:13   Like I want the easiest route, I want the fastest route,

02:58:16   I want a nice balance of the two.

02:58:18   Things like Apple Maps are getting better for bike routing.

02:58:21   Like it's definitely improving, but it's the same thing.

02:58:23   Like every time I look at Bike Citizens,

02:58:25   I'm like, how has someone not bought this?

02:58:27   I don't really understand.

02:58:28   But okay, my next actual Lightning recommendation

02:58:32   is an app called Plant Snap.

02:58:36   So this came up in Hawaii where one day I woke up

02:58:41   and like something out of a nightmare,

02:58:43   the whole property was covered

02:58:45   in these like weird spiky pod plants.

02:58:49   And it was very strange.

02:58:50   You may remember that I messaged you some images of like,

02:58:53   Myke, you won't believe like what just turned up

02:58:55   in the garden.

02:58:57   It turns out like,

02:58:57   oh, they weren't really a problem or anything.

02:58:59   But anyway, I was discussing this with my sister-in-law

02:59:02   And she's like, "Oh, before you touch anything, you should probably use this app called PlantSnap."

02:59:07   And it's exactly what it sounds like.

02:59:09   You take a picture of a plant and then it identifies what it is and tells you about it.

02:59:14   And this is another one of these things that just felt kind of like magic, but it worked

02:59:18   really well.

02:59:19   Like, "Oh, I'm in this jungle.

02:59:20   Like, I see a plant."

02:59:21   You can take a picture of it and then give it a couple seconds to analyze it and it spits

02:59:25   back like, "Oh, here's this plant.

02:59:27   Here's what you need to know about it."

02:59:29   thing that looks like some kind of spiky nightmare thing. It's actually not a problem at all.

02:59:34   Don't worry about it. So if you're surrounded by a lot of unknown plants, check out PlantSnap.

02:59:40   There are some times in the lightning round there are things that come up which are like

02:59:44   there's just absolutely no world in which I would have imagined you would have picked

02:59:48   that, you know? I'm gonna mention SnapMotion. This is an app which will give you screenshots

02:59:58   of videos. So you open a video on your Mac in SnapMotion and it has a big button which

03:00:06   is a camera icon and as you're watching the video you can hit that button and it will

03:00:12   spit out files onto your desktop that are images. I use this to get the thumbnails for

03:00:19   our animated Cortex videos. So as I watch each episode of Cortex animated in SnapMotion

03:00:25   I'm hitting the button every time there's a frame which I think could be fun for a thumbnail

03:00:29   and then I look through them and choose the best ones and they're the ones that I will

03:00:35   use for the thumbnails for the videos.

03:00:38   So really lovely little app.

03:00:39   It's very simple and it does exactly what I wanted because before I was taking screenshots

03:00:44   and formatting them but this obviously just spits it out in the right size for a video

03:00:50   right? Because it's just taking it from the video and then I can just use those as the thumbnail options.

03:00:55   Okay, that's what I was gonna ask. So that's the reason is it's keeping the aspect ratio the same.

03:01:01   That's the main reason to use this over just screenshotting it.

03:01:04   Well, but also it's just easier. Like when I was screenshotting it, depending on the app that I was using, I use like CleanShot, right?

03:01:10   It's like, then I might have to format it a little bit like to get it the right size or...

03:01:15   And it's also like I have to pause and then you write like I pause here and I'm gonna take the screenshot play

03:01:22   With snap motion you never pause you just hit you just keep hitting the screenshot button

03:01:26   It's just throwing the screenshots onto the desktop. It's really it's just like really simple. Hmm. I love it

03:01:30   It's a great little app keeping with the Hawaii theme. I'm also gonna recommend and a half called luminous

03:01:36   It's not specifically for Hawaii, but there's a bunch of these augmented reality. Look at the sky

03:01:43   I've never understood this.

03:01:45   Yeah, it's like a strange genre of this, but I spent a little time trying to figure out which of these is actually good.

03:01:54   Because it's one of these things like a bunch of them are just terrible, like they're absolutely awful.

03:01:58   But Luminos is great. I think it's the best one.

03:02:02   And it really was quite interesting when I was in Hawaii to use this.

03:02:08   And the thing that was, that's different about Luminos, or at least that they did

03:02:13   better, is it allows you to look and track things that are below the horizon.

03:02:21   And there's, I, it's almost hard to describe, but it's a very interesting

03:02:25   experience to go out into the night and be able to look around with your phone,

03:02:31   see objects like not just planets and stars, but also a ton of things like

03:02:37   like satellites or the International Space Station

03:02:41   and kind of see where they are,

03:02:44   especially when you can do this weird thing

03:02:46   of like look through the Earth below the horizon

03:02:51   and see like, oh, there's a pattern

03:02:53   of like five Starlink satellites

03:02:56   that are going to be coming up over the horizon in a second

03:02:58   or like there's the International Space Station

03:03:01   like sort of through the Earth on the opposite side.

03:03:04   I've never been one of these constellation star people.

03:03:08   Like, I don't really care,

03:03:10   but the app is almost entirely free.

03:03:13   I think it's worth it for almost anyone

03:03:15   to just download it and try it once

03:03:18   as an interesting thing to look at the sky.

03:03:20   Like, I just, I really enjoyed it,

03:03:21   and I think that this is the best version

03:03:24   of this sort of app that exists.

03:03:27   - Moom.

03:03:28   - Moom.

03:03:29   - This is an app for arranging windows on the Mac.

03:03:33   So our friend David Sparks was bugging me for a while,

03:03:37   telling me that I should try something like this out.

03:03:39   And I did, and I have, and I really like it.

03:03:43   I don't use it very extensively,

03:03:46   but I use it for like a few set things.

03:03:50   I have a few keyboard commands now, like one will,

03:03:53   I have one for like kind of what I consider

03:03:55   to be the ideal window size for if I'm using something

03:03:59   not completely full screen,

03:04:01   but it takes up the majority of the screen,

03:04:03   but still with some space on the side.

03:04:05   I use this mostly for Safari.

03:04:06   So really it's like my ideal Safari window size.

03:04:10   Then I have a bunch of presets that will take windows

03:04:14   like 75%, 50%, 25% on each kind of left and right side.

03:04:19   So I have my main one and then you go one to the right,

03:04:24   it will make it 75% and 25% just splits the windows apart.

03:04:29   So then I can very easily in a couple of keystrokes have one window fill 25%, one window fill

03:04:35   75%.

03:04:36   And I have some preset ones that will take two windows and put them side by side to each

03:04:39   other and one that will basically put a window bang in the middle of the screen.

03:04:44   So these are just like simple keyboard chocolates that I have for things that I was finding

03:04:48   myself doing a lot to kind of help me out with some window management stuff.

03:04:52   Moom comes with a bunch of presets and it's also really easy to make them.

03:04:56   you basically have like a tile and you just draw

03:04:59   the amount of space you want each window to take up.

03:05:01   It's very simple.

03:05:02   You can also save like presets of window arrangement

03:05:07   in the application as well.

03:05:09   I found it to be very simple, very powerful,

03:05:12   and I really like it.

03:05:14   - Yeah, I'm just gonna second this as,

03:05:17   another one of these kind of apps,

03:05:20   like if you don't use something like this,

03:05:23   you don't know what you're missing out on.

03:05:25   My version of this is Divi, but they're the same.

03:05:27   Like, there's a bunch of apps that do this kind of thing.

03:05:29   And if you haven't used your computer

03:05:31   with a window manager like this,

03:05:34   you really are just like, "You don't know what you're missing."

03:05:36   The thing that I do, which I've really settled on

03:05:38   that works great for me for everything that I do,

03:05:41   is divide the screen into roughly fifths.

03:05:44   So there's, like, the left-hand side,

03:05:46   there will be an app that takes up, like --

03:05:48   Actually, is it fifths, or is it sixths?

03:05:51   -Or is it sevenths?

03:05:53   Yeah, I was just like, wait a minute, I'm just like counting five and I realized like,

03:05:58   oh that actually doesn't work. No, it's divided into one, two, three, four, five. Oh, it's divided

03:06:03   into sixths. Yeah, there we go. So I have something that's like two sixths on the left hand side,

03:06:10   three sixths, so about a half of the screen in the center, and then like one sixth all the way

03:06:16   on the other side of the screen, and like that little arrangement is fantastic for me in terms of

03:06:23   I can have two things that I'm working on that are pretty big, although one of them is slightly bigger,

03:06:27   and then there's a little strip for everything that's like the status of what's going on.

03:06:32   So I'll leave like OmniFocus on that little strip or Timery on that little strip or like right now

03:06:36   Skype is and like QuickTime recording the audio or in that little strip.

03:06:40   Being able to just move stuff around with keyboard commands on the screen into whatever works best

03:06:45   for you in terms of sizes and ratios like you just have to have this on your computer.

03:06:49   it's just required.

03:06:51   - It took me a while to be sold on it, right?

03:06:53   Like I was like, I don't need this, I don't need this.

03:06:55   - I know, everyone thinks the same thing they're like,

03:06:57   I don't need it, how much better is it actually?

03:07:00   And like, I think when I get a new computer,

03:07:03   that might be one of like easily the first three apps

03:07:06   that I put on there, like I need this immediately.

03:07:08   (laughs)

03:07:11   I'm just noticing that like the next thing

03:07:12   that was on my list is Tide Guide,

03:07:14   which again, where might I have been

03:07:16   when I needed to know where the tides are?

03:07:18   - That reminders list is paying dividends for you right now.

03:07:21   (laughing)

03:07:23   - Yeah, it really is.

03:07:24   If you're in a place where the tides really matter,

03:07:26   like say, I don't know, the middle of the Pacific Ocean,

03:07:30   there's a ton of tide apps.

03:07:31   Tide Guide, heads and shoulders above the rest.

03:07:35   - Wow, this is a beautiful app.

03:07:36   - It's so good.

03:07:37   Isn't it?

03:07:38   It's crazy nice.

03:07:40   You never knew that you could want so many options

03:07:43   for how and when you're displaying the tide,

03:07:46   but it's like, man, this is a thing

03:07:48   that I totally wanted and it really matters

03:07:50   depending on where you are.

03:07:51   It's just like obviously the best version of this.

03:07:56   So yeah, Tide Guide for tracking tides.

03:07:58   - I'm gonna go with Sticker Drop next.

03:08:02   So, iOS 16 added that feature of being able to like tap

03:08:06   and hold on somebody and you can drag them out, right?

03:08:09   - It's object detection is what it is.

03:08:10   - There you go.

03:08:11   And you can drag those images out and like do,

03:08:13   I don't know, do something with them.

03:08:15   Sticker Drop is an app that lets you drag and drop people

03:08:19   or things into this app and make them iMessage stickers.

03:08:24   - Oh, nice.

03:08:25   - It feels to me like really the only good use

03:08:28   of that new feature in iOS 16,

03:08:30   like I have not found a good use for it otherwise,

03:08:32   but this is like this way, your friend sends you a picture

03:08:35   and they've got kind of a funny look on their face,

03:08:38   you can now take that and use it as a sticker

03:08:40   and send it to them forever.

03:08:42   And this is what me and some of my friends

03:08:43   have been doing recently,

03:08:45   And Sticker Drop is so good.

03:08:46   - That's cute, yeah.

03:08:49   That is an actual nice use for that feature.

03:08:51   - You have an image that becomes a meme in a friend group,

03:08:54   which we also have.

03:08:55   Now instead of sending the image each time,

03:08:57   you can send it as an iMessage sticker,

03:08:59   like attach it to an image.

03:09:00   It's really good,

03:09:01   and it's revived iMessage stickers for me again

03:09:03   as a thing that I care about.

03:09:06   - I'm gonna group three things together

03:09:08   because they're basically the same thing.

03:09:10   They're the apps brain.fm,

03:09:13   Pizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

03:09:43   working, and the last one is just kind of like soundscapes to have on in the background.

03:09:48   And I just use these a lot.

03:09:50   The music in the two is a little bit different, which is why, like, depending on what I'm

03:09:53   doing, if I'm like, reading, I tend to use Pzizzy or Pzizz, and if I'm working, I tend

03:10:00   to use brain.fm.

03:10:02   And on iOS, they both work great with Portal.

03:10:06   So you can have like a background of, ooh, there's some like forest sounds, and then

03:10:11   have the music that's a layer on top of this. And a lot of times when I'm working or if I'm reading,

03:10:17   I'm using some combination of those three to just be listening in my headphones. And it really does

03:10:24   help keep you focused. It's like just to have something to listen to that's not as distracting

03:10:29   as even melodic music. It's just like a soundscape in the background. I use those three a lot.

03:10:37   Really like them.

03:10:38   Yeah, this is like a real blast from the past for me.

03:10:41   Paziz is 16 years old.

03:10:43   It used to be a hardware device.

03:10:45   It's pre-iPhone, obviously.

03:10:47   I didn't realize that, huh?

03:10:49   I'm going to recommend Lockit.

03:10:51   Lockit is a widget.

03:10:53   It's a widget for iOS.

03:10:56   And the idea is you use Lockit to send pictures to loved ones.

03:11:02   So you open the app, and you can take a picture of something

03:11:05   or yourself and send it to someone and it appears in the widget on their home screen.

03:11:11   So automatically will update and show them that image.

03:11:14   Oh, okay, huh.

03:11:16   This is an adorable app.

03:11:17   Me and Idina use it, we send funny pictures to each other and it's just like a little

03:11:21   treat.

03:11:22   You know, maybe every day, every couple of days, a new image will pop up on my phone

03:11:26   that she sent me.

03:11:27   I really love this application and I think it's like great for like friends and loved

03:11:32   and that kind of stuff, you can send people

03:11:34   little fun things every now and then.

03:11:35   It's added a bunch of features over time.

03:11:38   Like you can add little emoji reactions every month.

03:11:40   It makes a little video for you of the things

03:11:43   that you've sent back and forth.

03:11:44   You can send little messages to each other.

03:11:46   You can save the images.

03:11:47   It really is a great little app.

03:11:49   And you can send the little locket images

03:11:51   to everyone that you share lockets with

03:11:53   or certain people or certain groups.

03:11:55   It's really cool, really, really great app.

03:11:57   - So it's a really cute idea.

03:11:58   And it's a very cute name for it.

03:12:00   - Yeah.

03:12:01   That's a really adorable concept for something to do.

03:12:05   I like that, that's really cute.

03:12:07   Okay, so this is really dumb,

03:12:08   but there's two Apple apps I just wanna highlight

03:12:10   because they have minor features

03:12:13   that people might just not realize.

03:12:14   So we recommend the Find My app in the lightning rounds.

03:12:17   - Okay, I'm gonna give Apple some help here,

03:12:20   you know what I mean?

03:12:21   They need some music. - I am gonna give them

03:12:22   some help, but it is a thing where,

03:12:24   you know how you're like,

03:12:25   oh, you're a city mapper evangelist?

03:12:27   I feel like I've become a kind of evangelist for Find My

03:12:30   when people don't use AirTags.

03:12:33   It's like, listen to me,

03:12:34   you don't understand how absolutely life-changing it is

03:12:39   if you stick an AirTag on everything

03:12:42   you might ever care about,