114: The Garden of #AskCortex


00:00:00   Quiet on set. I'm ready to go.

00:00:02   Quiet on set.

00:00:04   [Laughter]

00:00:05   I don't know, I just turned off the few machines that make noise in this office.

00:00:10   I was like, it's quiet on set. Quiet everyone. Time to record.

00:00:13   Except I've never even heard you say anything close to that before.

00:00:17   [Laughter]

00:00:18   Lights, camera, action!

00:00:20   [Laughter]

00:00:21   We're rolling.

00:00:22   Yeah.

00:00:23   Rolling on sound.

00:00:24   That's it. We're rolling.

00:00:26   [Ding]

00:00:27   How you doing, Myke?

00:00:28   Good, I have some follow up for you.

00:00:30   Oh yeah? Follow up about your sleep? People were very interested in your sleep.

00:00:36   [Laughter]

00:00:38   [Sigh]

00:00:40   I've said it many times before, you never really know what people are gonna latch onto.

00:00:45   But oh boy, the people in- especially on Reddit latch onto my sleep patterns.

00:00:50   Everyone was very concerned, Myke. Everyone was very concerned for you.

00:00:53   I'm just happy we have so many medical professionals in our audience.

00:00:57   Who knew?

00:00:58   I wanna just follow up on something.

00:01:01   I mean, you can, people can take from this what they wish.

00:01:04   Surprise, surprise, there was a bug with the data.

00:01:06   Oh, okay.

00:01:07   Very surprising.

00:01:08   I appear to not have had 240 alarms in a week, because when I checked it a couple of days

00:01:13   ago, that exact same week, the 8th to the 15th of March, it said 84, which is a significant

00:01:19   difference to 240 or whatever the number was.

00:01:23   So basically, all I want to say is, yeah, I do have a lot of alarms every day.

00:01:28   It's nowhere near the amount, it seems, that was originally reported.

00:01:31   Still seems like a lot.

00:01:32   It is a lot.

00:01:33   It is a lot.

00:01:34   But I've been thinking about it.

00:01:35   Like, I overset alarms.

00:01:36   I don't need as many alarms on as I have.

00:01:38   Because what tends to happen for me, Gray, because if you have like a bunch of alarms

00:01:42   set like me, I have one 10 minute intervals, that's like the snooze interval.

00:01:46   So what usually happens is I get like four alarms at once and just dismiss them all.

00:01:51   you've snoozed them and so they're overlapping? Is that what you're saying?

00:01:54   Yeah. Oh okay. Why don't you just snooze the one alarm? Right but because now it's

00:01:59   just as well insane. I've got two things going on here. I'm sure this isn't gonna make

00:02:02   my case any better but here we are. I'm in it now. I'm in it now. I can feel everyone hands

00:02:09   hovering above the keyboard. I set a lot of alarms and I snoozed them all right

00:02:14   and I thought to myself well I could just set one alarm and just snooze it a

00:02:17   a bunch of times, but my neuroses won't allow for that

00:02:22   because what if I turn off the alarm rather than snooze it

00:02:26   and now I've slept through the whole day?

00:02:29   - That is fair, it's very easy to do.

00:02:31   It's very easy to accidentally hit the stop alarm

00:02:34   versus snooze alarm, so I think that's a reasonable concern.

00:02:37   - I give myself an hour, right?

00:02:39   That is the agreement I've made with myself, right?

00:02:42   I have one hour from the first alarm until I wake up.

00:02:46   I can get up any time within that hour.

00:02:49   And I do.

00:02:49   Sometimes it's only two or three alarms and I'm up.

00:02:52   - Oh, very impressive.

00:02:53   - Sometimes it's 10.

00:02:55   - Less impressive.

00:02:56   - Give myself the best part of an hour

00:02:58   and my alarms will just keep going off until then.

00:03:01   That's just where I am.

00:03:02   I do have some good, I think,

00:03:08   objectively good follow up though.

00:03:10   I set a 30 minute daily time limit on Twitter.

00:03:14   - Ooh, very good.

00:03:15   I just thought to myself, why don't I do this?

00:03:17   You know, like, you want to spend less time on it.

00:03:20   I've just spent two hours talking about a system

00:03:22   that is supposed to do this.

00:03:24   So that's what I've been doing.

00:03:25   And obviously I've been keeping to it.

00:03:27   There's been a day or two where I gave myself

00:03:29   a little bit of extra time.

00:03:30   But now, like I'm down to like two and a bit hours a week,

00:03:35   down from like four hours.

00:03:37   - So you're getting the, the screen comes down

00:03:39   when your time is up and it says, no more Twitter for you.

00:03:42   - And then it's like, you can ignore it for the day.

00:03:44   I like one more minute, that's my favorite.

00:03:47   It's just funny to me that that's like,

00:03:48   "Hey, just one more minute, come on one more minute, please."

00:03:51   - The one more minute does make me smile

00:03:52   because it always makes me feel like a child

00:03:54   when I press it, right, that I'm asking

00:03:57   from my parents for one more minute.

00:03:58   - That's what it's written for.

00:03:59   - Yeah, and I know this isn't the case,

00:04:01   but it feels a little bit like it's a hangover

00:04:04   from the days when we used to have to save files

00:04:07   or something like, "No, you don't understand,

00:04:08   "I just need one more minute to press a couple buttons,

00:04:10   "wrap something up."

00:04:11   - There is something useful in that though,

00:04:13   'cause usually when I hit that,

00:04:14   I was doing something, right?

00:04:16   And I just want to finish the thing that I was doing.

00:04:19   'Cause I've been like composing a tweet,

00:04:21   like if you publish a show, put in a tweet out

00:04:23   and then like the thing pops up and I'm like,

00:04:26   I just need one more minute.

00:04:27   I was like halfway through something here.

00:04:30   What I do appreciate about Apple system is,

00:04:33   it like attracts me everywhere, right?

00:04:35   Even on the web.

00:04:36   So I like that.

00:04:37   I think it's smart that they do that.

00:04:38   - Oh, right, I forget.

00:04:39   I forget that they did do that,

00:04:40   that they have their different way of recognizing

00:04:42   that this is all the same service as Twitter.

00:04:44   That is a good feature.

00:04:45   For all of the complaining that we've done,

00:04:48   that is a good feature.

00:04:49   - And it's just been really interesting to me

00:04:51   to just take kind of mental stock of what time of the day

00:04:54   I'm hitting the 30 minutes.

00:04:56   It's like some days it's not even lunchtime.

00:04:58   Some days I don't see it at all.

00:05:00   I've still got a lot to learn about myself from this.

00:05:02   I've only been doing it for like a week and a half,

00:05:04   but I actually think it might be the right move for me.

00:05:06   - Yeah, no, I think that's great.

00:05:08   I'm glad to hear that you're doing that

00:05:09   and that it's working for you.

00:05:10   Again, this is the promise of the system, is to try to bring in alignment what sitting

00:05:18   down rational you wants you to do, and then what in the moment you want to do.

00:05:24   Getting those things into alignment, it's not always as easy as we wish it would be.

00:05:30   No.

00:05:31   So I'm basically making my computer shame me.

00:05:32   Which I'm fine with.

00:05:33   Yeah.

00:05:34   It's in the privacy of your own home.

00:05:35   Yeah.

00:05:36   Whatever.

00:05:37   You're punchy today.

00:05:39   You're sleepy, that's why.

00:05:41   Yeah, this is gray on five hours of sleep.

00:05:46   Yeah, we are recording this the day after you published a video, so...

00:05:51   It turns out that drinking coffee at 10pm to do a director's commentary

00:05:57   is not a great recipe for a good night's sleep, so...

00:06:01   That decision, that late night coffee decision is just killer.

00:06:05   You know, it happens to me a few times a year as well, right?

00:06:08   "Alright, I've got a thing and I just gotta do it.

00:06:12   I have no other way around this and I know the only way I'm gonna get through it is

00:06:15   I need that little extra.

00:06:18   But if I do this, everything afterwards is worse."

00:06:21   And I said, "Well, I'm sorry, but this is how I'm going."

00:06:26   Yeah, it's like this is what the drugs are for sometimes, right?

00:06:29   I was like, "Well, I'm gonna inject myself with this and keep going and pay for it later."

00:06:35   And now is later.

00:06:36   Great, I have some good news for you today. I had asked the audience for some Ask Cortex

00:06:41   questions. I like to touch on these every now and then. And I know that for you these

00:06:46   episodes are easier on you, which is good.

00:06:48   Oh, thank you, Myke.

00:06:50   Gonna hold my hand and we're gonna take you through the show today.

00:06:54   Oh, you're leading me through the Garden of Ask Cortex. That's delightful. It's also,

00:06:57   it's been a while since we've been in the Ask Cortex garden. So I'm very happy to be

00:07:01   here on a sleepy Saturday afternoon.

00:07:04   Although to be honest, the first question is kind of a big one. I apologize.

00:07:07   Vlad asks, "What do you think the state of the workplace will be after the pandemic?"

00:07:11   Oh, that's not a big question at all.

00:07:13   But I mean it though. It'll be the same. That's the answer.

00:07:16   I think everyone's dramatically overestimating this.

00:07:19   Uh-uh. I disagree with you.

00:07:20   Okay, why? Convince me.

00:07:21   Corporations have now realized how much money they could save.

00:07:25   I'm not sold on this argument. But go on. Tell me more.

00:07:30   This is a little bit informed by some conversations I've been having with people

00:07:33   that work in large businesses.

00:07:35   - Oh, intriguing.

00:07:36   - That there are lots of companies

00:07:38   who have let some of their workspace go.

00:07:43   And there are also companies that are realizing

00:07:45   that now some of their employees have had that sweet taste

00:07:48   of working from home life and won't wanna give it up.

00:07:51   So I do think that for a lot of companies,

00:07:54   not all, but for a lot of companies,

00:07:57   the workplace is going to be different.

00:07:59   There is gonna be more remote working.

00:08:01   There is gonna be less office space in general.

00:08:03   There will be lots of businesses that will return just as normal, right?

00:08:07   No doubt about it.

00:08:08   But I believe that there will be lots of businesses that will reduce the amount

00:08:13   of people that they have coming in.

00:08:14   So we'll have to change the way that the workplace is set up to have more

00:08:19   collaborative space, more meeting spaces and stuff like that for the people that

00:08:22   are just dropping in for the day.

00:08:24   I think there's going to be a lot of that.

00:08:26   So like there's some companies that I know in the UK, large companies, media

00:08:30   companies that are looking at this as their approach now.

00:08:33   The saving money thing, man, it's a real deal.

00:08:37   And also as well, I will say a lot of technology companies,

00:08:39   like American technology companies,

00:08:41   but they said that like, we now have a completely

00:08:43   do what you want remote working policy forever,

00:08:46   which just wasn't a thing that existed before

00:08:48   for a lot of these organizations.

00:08:50   - Yeah, yeah, okay.

00:08:51   So the saving money thing that,

00:08:53   obviously that's a good argument.

00:08:56   I just, I'm not convinced it'll hold over the long run.

00:09:02   And like my suspicion is this is also just partly about the way humans are.

00:09:07   And I think that as the pandemic recedes into distant memory, you're going to

00:09:14   have the same phenomenon where managers want their direct reports in a building

00:09:20   around them.

00:09:21   Butts on seats.

00:09:22   Yeah, butts on seats.

00:09:23   And I think the internal company politics of that, you know, look at this tiny

00:09:30   kingdom I oversee and the people who report to me and I'm so busy interrupting them all

00:09:36   day from getting their work done as a manager.

00:09:40   I just think that's a strong, irrational pull that I just expect will return and will come

00:09:47   back.

00:09:48   It's a little bit like I've been talking to some people who are convinced about, "Oh,

00:09:53   there's going to be so many people who are living out in the country and cities are going

00:09:57   to experience depopulation."

00:09:59   like, I don't know. There's a reason that people go to cities.

00:10:03   People don't just live in cities because there's job opportunities in cities. Like, there's

00:10:06   many reasons.

00:10:07   It's not an accident and like the gravitational pull of cities is like, yeah, sure, it's been

00:10:12   loosened but I'm pretty sure that if we draw a graph of city populations going 10 years

00:10:20   back and 10 years in the future, it'll be hard to even see the pandemic on that graph,

00:10:24   you know, for having any kind of impact.

00:10:26   So I don't know.

00:10:27   I hope that you are right.

00:10:29   I think that home working for people who can swing it

00:10:33   is a much better situation.

00:10:35   - Well, okay.

00:10:37   - What's that well?

00:10:38   - So there's another part of this which,

00:10:40   so I have painted the rosy picture for many people,

00:10:43   but you brought up company politics.

00:10:45   So there is gonna have to be a lot of change

00:10:49   in the way that companies operate.

00:10:50   And I think I could see there being an initial change

00:10:53   and then a bounce back from it a little bit.

00:10:56   Because if some people are in the office all the time,

00:11:00   some people aren't, what is the relationship change

00:11:03   for those people?

00:11:04   Like if there are six people in a team

00:11:07   and five of them are in the office

00:11:09   and then there's one person that works remote,

00:11:10   does anybody remember the remote person?

00:11:13   Do they end up feeling left out?

00:11:15   And then also what if certain managers,

00:11:17   they just promote the people they see all the time?

00:11:21   So companies that aren't used to this

00:11:23   companies that don't fully embrace it but just have it as a thing you can do,

00:11:26   if they have to go through the culture change, honestly, because otherwise...

00:11:31   That won't happen. That's not going to culture change for the companies.

00:11:34   It is a culture change. It is a culture change.

00:11:37   I'm saying that things are different, but what will not happen is that there's going to be some

00:11:41   kind of culture change where we're... And that's the problem.

00:11:44   Yeah, where, oh, we here, our culture here is to go completely against the human grain

00:11:50   of who you're talking to and scheming about, you know, at the water cooler. We're going to treat

00:11:55   the people who are remote in their cabins in Montana as equal players in this game of monkey

00:12:03   politics of getting, you know, one up on the other person. It's like, there's no way that's gonna go

00:12:08   away. So this is partly what I mean, like the gravitational pull of an office is just too strong.

00:12:15   If you're going to work remote, I think you just have to accept that part of the deal in that is

00:12:22   you are not going to be promoted as frequently. You are not going to be thought about as much.

00:12:28   And that's why I say for people who can swing it, like for some people, that's great, you know,

00:12:34   like that's a plus, not a minus. But for many people, like they don't want to have a job where

00:12:39   they are forgotten and never promoted. So this is why I think you're making a case for why people

00:12:45   will end up back in the office over the long run, even if it saves a company money.

00:12:51   Oh, I see. The point that I'm making is that I think there are two things that will happen.

00:12:55   I think there will be a change and then there will be another one. And I think the place that

00:13:01   we'll end up at, there will be more people that work remotely than they did prior to the pandemic.

00:13:05   But it is not going to be at the numbers that a lot of people think, which is,

00:13:09   hey, this worked fine. Yeah, it's worked fine because you will all remote.

00:13:13   So unless your workplace goes all remote, it's not going to be like this.

00:13:17   When people start going back to the office, you're going to see a different result to how it's been

00:13:23   for the last year. Yeah, I think for companies, it's like all remote or nothing is like the two

00:13:28   optimal solutions. I'm trying to remember, what is it? I think it's WordPress? Like they're an

00:13:34   entirely remote company with a huge number of people. And it's like, yeah, you can make it work

00:13:40   if everyone is remote and then that does mitigate the in-person politic stuff. But half remote,

00:13:46   half there, there's always going to be an advantage inside the company for the people who

00:13:51   are physically present. So we'll see, but I don't expect much change. In-person meetings,

00:13:57   handshakes, they're all coming back, baby. They're all coming back.

00:14:03   They're going to come back with a vengeance too. Handshakes will last a full 25 seconds.

00:14:08   Yeah, people are going to be so happy to do handshakes, they're going to do that aggressive

00:14:12   two-handed handshake, right?

00:14:13   Put the whole upper body into it.

00:14:16   Yeah, I've completely enclosed your hand in my hand for this shaking.

00:14:21   Uh, the handshake hug.

00:14:22   It's going to be handshake hug.

00:14:23   To make sure all of the surface contact that's possible, all of the germ transfer that can

00:14:30   happen, it's going to happen.

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00:16:32   Betty asks, "For busy people who get hundreds of actionable emails a day, how do you stay

00:16:37   on top of it when your full time job is not dealing with your email?"

00:16:40   Myke, would you like to answer this question? So I wondered if you, I mean, there was a

00:16:47   time in your life where you did have to deal with the email that you got, like maybe before

00:16:51   you were a YouTuber. When you were a teacher, did you get a lot of emails as a teacher?

00:16:54   Yeah, no, you got hundreds of emails as a teacher.

00:16:57   I mean, but this is why my answer is probably not helpful because my, my

00:17:02   answer would be along the lines of, yeah.

00:17:05   When I was a teacher, the name of the game was try to figure out what's

00:17:10   really actionable as in which of these things will cause me problems.

00:17:15   And everything else that is actionable now becomes actionable with a

00:17:21   bunch of air quotes around it, you know?

00:17:23   And for me, the real answer there is like brutal triage

00:17:27   of I only care about the things

00:17:29   that are going to cause me problems.

00:17:31   But I don't think that's generally good advice.

00:17:34   You know, I was in a very particular situation at the time.

00:17:37   So that's why I think whatever you have to say

00:17:39   is gonna be much more valuable

00:17:40   than what I have to say on this topic.

00:17:41   - I don't think it is, Gray.

00:17:44   'Cause I have the same advice.

00:17:45   - Okay. - Here's the thing.

00:17:47   Not all actionable email actually requires action.

00:17:51   - Okay. - In my corporate job,

00:17:52   I got more email than I get now.

00:17:54   Everything was done by email

00:17:56   and everybody thought they needed the answer, right?

00:17:59   This is part of the problem.

00:18:01   Actionable email, a lot of it is just people think

00:18:04   they need it to be actioned by you

00:18:06   more than you need to action that email.

00:18:08   So what I would say is for anybody who is finding this

00:18:13   happen to them and it's new,

00:18:15   you have to do a bit of training on yourself over time

00:18:19   of trying to work out what is the stuff

00:18:22   that truly requires your attention

00:18:24   and learning over time the things that you're able

00:18:27   to just ignore and see if they come back.

00:18:30   Like that's the real thing that everyone, I think,

00:18:35   ultimately learns who's in this position.

00:18:38   Like what are the actual real requirements

00:18:41   or what are the real things that need my attention

00:18:44   and what are the things that will just naturally go away

00:18:47   if I ignore them?

00:18:49   This is not, quote, actionable advice.

00:18:51   But it's just a thing that is the only way to deal with this.

00:18:55   I will tell you, it always feels like

00:18:58   there is more on the line than there is a lot of the time.

00:19:02   And I have found, like Gray has found,

00:19:05   that you can kind of let some stuff go

00:19:07   and it will just disappear.

00:19:09   The person forgot about it.

00:19:10   - Right, yeah.

00:19:11   Again, I think my bad dial is turned up slightly here

00:19:15   where it's not even things that would go away,

00:19:18   but stuff where it's like,

00:19:20   I can take the negative consequences of that.

00:19:22   Right, that's fine.

00:19:23   A bad thing will happen.

00:19:24   - But that's part of the risk factor

00:19:26   of trying to decide what needs to go away.

00:19:28   Is someone might say to you,

00:19:29   "This is unacceptable, why have you not replied?"

00:19:31   And then you need to reply, right?

00:19:32   Like, what are you gonna do?

00:19:34   - Then you stumble around,

00:19:35   "Oh, I was so busy, so sorry, I missed it."

00:19:38   - Oh, I never got your email.

00:19:40   - We have your read receipt right here.

00:19:42   Oh, uh.

00:19:43   - Can't fill in the keyboard, I don't know.

00:19:46   Yeah, this is a really tricky one,

00:19:48   but it is ultimately something you need to remember

00:19:51   that for most people, your job isn't answering email,

00:19:55   your job is doing your job,

00:19:56   and you've gotta try and find that balance for yourself.

00:19:59   One of the ways that actually really helped me

00:20:01   get out of this was I, for a while,

00:20:04   decided I was only gonna check email

00:20:05   for half an hour twice a day,

00:20:07   and if you're setting that kinda hard limit on yourself

00:20:09   and you get lots and lots of email,

00:20:11   you'd be surprised how quickly you start to realize

00:20:14   what you need to respond to.

00:20:16   If you limit the amount of time

00:20:17   that you actually have to spend on it,

00:20:19   because it's gonna keep building up.

00:20:21   Then you start to build your own filter

00:20:22   of what can just be removed,

00:20:24   what could be filed away for later, that kind of stuff.

00:20:27   It's tricky.

00:20:28   - Yeah, no, it's totally tricky.

00:20:30   This also just kind of goes back

00:20:31   to the previous question a little bit

00:20:33   and our recurring fascination with big companies

00:20:38   and the what is everybody doing here kind of question.

00:20:42   And I just remember thinking that a lot

00:20:44   when I got a whole bunch of teacher emails

00:20:46   is. It's like, oh, you log in and there's 200 messages, all of which are supposedly,

00:20:51   you know, requesting something from you. And just, just having that experience of,

00:20:55   what are all of these people who send these emails doing? Like, I'm not replying to them.

00:20:59   I suspect a lot of other people are also playing the same game that I'm playing. Like,

00:21:03   there's a lot of like turbulent flow in bigger organizations, I think, where the water is

00:21:09   fighting itself as it's flowing through the pipe and there's a lot of unnecessary motion.

00:21:15   And you just want to stay away from that.

00:21:17   Like you answer a bunch of emails and you just train other people that you are part

00:21:23   of this world of people who are sending emails back and forth all day long.

00:21:26   And that can quickly spiral up into a lot of busyness that accomplishes just

00:21:31   absolutely nothing in terms of the real hard, valuable things that need to get done.

00:21:38   Any day now Slack's going to save us from email.

00:21:41   Any day.

00:21:42   Any day.

00:21:43   Any day now.

00:21:44   [Laughter]

00:21:46   You probably missed this, but they had a horrific day trying to set up this, like,

00:21:52   a system that anyone can DM you from any Slack organization if they have your email address.

00:21:59   Oh, here we go. This is the "Slack wants to be Discord" phenomenon. Great.

00:22:05   Every company just wants to be every other company. Can Slack be Instagram? Can LinkedIn be YouTube?

00:22:12   I don't know you've seen they announced this a while ago that slack is creating stories. Are you for real?

00:22:17   I'm being serious. It almost looks like an April Fool's joke, but they're working on it stories like stories

00:22:22   That's I mean that would sound like an April Fool's it really when I saw it. I I genuinely checked like is this an old story?

00:22:30   But no, it's a real thing that they are apparently working on but they created this system of like, you know

00:22:35   Oh, you'll be able to basically want to be like the work chat app, right?

00:22:39   So grey industries could talk to relay FM people inside of those companies.

00:22:45   You just got to know the email address that's associated with the Slack.

00:22:47   And it was one of those like just typical catastrophe type things where they put this

00:22:53   out there and then they just got a ton of pushback because so say you wanted to contact me and you

00:23:00   knew my email address, right? And you would open up in Slack.

00:23:03   When you send the invite to me, you could say whatever you wanted in the invite.

00:23:06   - Oh, so I'm sending you an email.

00:23:09   That's what this is, right?

00:23:09   - It would either come to email or into Slack, right?

00:23:13   But the problem is you could say whatever you wanted to me.

00:23:17   So like from a harassment perspective,

00:23:20   you can't stop these emails coming

00:23:22   and you can say whatever you want.

00:23:24   - It's worse than email.

00:23:26   It's worse than email.

00:23:27   - Big backtrack.

00:23:28   - It's amazing.

00:23:29   - And they're like, "Oh, now you just can't customize

00:23:32   the invite, but you can still send the invite."

00:23:34   So they're moving down this path.

00:23:36   This is them trying to, I guess,

00:23:38   this is more of the push towards getting rid of email.

00:23:42   And it's just like, ah.

00:23:43   - That is an amazing full circle though of,

00:23:47   we won't be email, oh, it's worse than email.

00:23:50   And I just, I love all of the companies

00:23:51   trying to be all of the new hotness.

00:23:54   When can I clubhouse from Google Docs, Myke?

00:23:58   That's what I wanna know.

00:23:59   - It's probably not that far away.

00:24:02   (laughing)

00:24:04   Dylan asks, "How many iPads did the two of you currently have in rotation and what

00:24:08   are their purposes?"

00:24:09   B - What's your iPad in lockdown situation?

00:24:12   H - It's all change, really.

00:24:17   So like, I wasn't using – I haven't really used one for months.

00:24:24   I actually have just changed, like in the last couple of weeks.

00:24:27   I think it was after we recorded last, you referenced couch iPad.

00:24:32   And I thought, "Oh, I should do that."

00:24:34   So like my 11 inch iPad Pro now lives on the couch, and that's where I read my news and

00:24:40   like if I'm just hanging out on the couch that's what I use now instead of my phone.

00:24:44   And I find that to just be much more comfortable.

00:24:46   >> Oh my god, yeah, if you're using your phone on the couch, that's awful.

00:24:49   No, couch pad, best pad.

00:24:51   >> But I'd never really thought of it that way, because for so long my iPad has been

00:24:55   my work device, right?

00:24:57   Now I am 100% working on the Mac.

00:25:01   This is what lockdown did to me.

00:25:03   just been a complete 180 plus the new Macs are so good and I like the new Mac OS and

00:25:08   So I've just basically transitioned completely to working on the Mac again. So my

00:25:14   Big iPad Pro has been in the studio in a drawer

00:25:18   For the best part of a year. Oh, that's so sad

00:25:22   And I actually used it for the first time a couple of days ago because I had to read through some legal documents and it's that's

00:25:28   What this is perfect for it using the Apple pencil and making notes on a document. It's great

00:25:33   But other than that, I've been using the smaller one at home and I've now been using it more

00:25:37   because I've kind of like repurposing it again.

00:25:40   Now that I am pretty much set on the fact that I'm working on the Mac again, that's

00:25:44   just where I get my work done now.

00:25:47   Now I can start thinking about what the iPad again is for in my life.

00:25:51   It's interesting because it seems like we're on the eve of new iPads and it seems like

00:25:55   the best technology could potentially be coming to the bigger one and I don't know how I feel

00:25:59   about that because I don't think I want the big one anymore.

00:26:02   I just want the little one.

00:26:04   And I will just say, people have always asked us this,

00:26:06   I think that the smaller iPad Pro is the iPad Pro

00:26:10   for like 90% of people.

00:26:12   - Oh yeah, for sure.

00:26:13   - The big one is only if you are either A,

00:26:16   deciding you want to do your work from an iPad,

00:26:19   or B, if you're an artist.

00:26:20   I think they're really the only two reasons

00:26:22   to get the big one, other than that,

00:26:23   the 11 inch is perfect.

00:26:25   So for me personally, I think that's probably

00:26:28   where I'm gonna be now.

00:26:29   And so that means in current use, it's just one iPad.

00:26:33   It's my 11 inch iPad Pro.

00:26:35   - And it's now the couch pad.

00:26:36   - It's now the couch pad.

00:26:37   - As you were talking, I was just remembering

00:26:38   Steve Jobs brought that couch on stage

00:26:41   to demo the first iPad.

00:26:42   Like that's the home of the iPad is the couch,

00:26:46   right from day one.

00:26:47   Yeah, I have my couch iPad and I love it.

00:26:51   It's great.

00:26:52   And I've actually been using it a ton

00:26:54   for you recommended on our State of the Apps episode.

00:26:57   recommended Reader as a your RSS reader and it got kind of stuck in my brain and I've been slowly trying to

00:27:03   get back into the world of RSS and I've been really loving it and

00:27:08   part of what's great about it is it's just perfect to kind of blast through the internet using

00:27:14   That like as the RSS reader on an iPad on the couch. It's just perfect great for reading. I love it

00:27:21   I really love that feeling of oh, I'm at the end of the Internet

00:27:25   I don't have to keep going in circles anymore.

00:27:28   Like, I know that I've covered all of the places that I want to cover,

00:27:32   and nobody has posted anything new, so fantastic.

00:27:36   That's been one of the big uses of my couch iPad.

00:27:39   In the pandemic, the big victim has been my research iPad,

00:27:43   which for me has been basically untouched most of this time,

00:27:49   because like you, since I'm not going anywhere,

00:27:51   I might as well take advantage of the full desk setup

00:27:55   that a Mac provides. But also, the research pad was pretty much killed when I started playing

00:28:03   around with Obsidian, because if I'm exploring a topic and I'm reading a bunch of things around

00:28:09   a topic, I'm going to constantly want to throw in little notes into my new note system. And it's

00:28:15   like, well, you totally have to have a Mac to do that. So the research pad just languished forever

00:28:23   untouched. But just as of I don't know, like a week ago, maybe two weeks ago, Obsidian is

00:28:30   making their iPad version. Like I think they've really ramped up the order that they're intending

00:28:38   to do these things because I suspect the number one piece of feedback they got from absolutely

00:28:43   everyone was I love this, but I wish it was on iOS. And if you're part of the like VIP supporters,

00:28:50   you can get access to TestFlight. And so I put it on my iPad and-

00:28:54   Oh, they have it. Like they actually have a beta app now.

00:28:57   They have a beta for people to test. It is very beta. I installed it and synchronized my database

00:29:05   and lost 50% of the data. But you know what's great? This is-

00:29:10   Oh my God.

00:29:11   No, no, no. But this is the whole, this is the beauty. Like this is what I love about

00:29:14   this system. My whole database is just a bunch of .md files in folders and before I synced it I was

00:29:21   like well this feels like a dangerous operation let me just create an archive you know zip it

00:29:26   all together like have have an extra backup. Great! So it just deleted them? I think the problem was

00:29:33   a bunch of stuff didn't sync over you know maybe it would have synced over eventually but it didn't

00:29:38   on the first run and I also as part of the beta testing process it clearly didn't like I use

00:29:45   emojis in some of my file names so I can just visually distinguish some of the more important

00:29:50   files and it threw up an error like emoji files don't exist sync completed no problem though

00:29:58   thumbs up you know I was like no it didn't complete no problem but anyway they've already

00:30:02   released it a couple of versions and and now it seems to be working totally fine and this is

00:30:07   single-handedly revived the existence of the research pad in my life.

00:30:12   Well, it makes sense though.

00:30:13   Shouldn't we just be playing around with it?

00:30:14   Well, because if the research iPad was great when you were doing your research there, but

00:30:20   then when one of the key research tools became an application that had no iPad version, well,

00:30:29   goodbye research iPad, right?

00:30:31   Yeah, exactly.

00:30:32   Like, if you can't get to the data in the way that you want it, well, what are you going

00:30:35   to do?

00:30:36   surprised, but now I also wouldn't be surprised when the app is in a good state

00:30:40   to see the research iPad come back with a plum.

00:30:44   Yeah, and again, just like with reading with Couchpad, it's just a nice

00:30:48   form factor for

00:30:52   "I'm going through a bunch of stuff, I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, I'm just making some notes"

00:30:56   I really do love the iPad for that.

00:31:00   I love using it with the pencil, and it's also really nice to

00:31:04   I've always been a big fan of this, have physically separate devices that you can set up to have

00:31:11   limits on what they are used for.

00:31:14   I've always loved that.

00:31:15   I think it's very conducive to working.

00:31:19   So yes, I'm very happy to have that device come back more into my life because I've never

00:31:26   loved doing all the research stuff on the Mac.

00:31:30   It just feels like there's too many different sorts of things that are occurring here and

00:31:34   I want to be in a different, like, mental space when I'm doing that sort of work, which

00:31:38   is why it's great to be, you know, sitting at a desk but working on something like you're

00:31:43   working on a piece of paper.

00:31:44   So if this question had been asked three weeks ago, I would say that I have one we just used

00:31:50   for internetting and reading, but now I think I have two, which is the casual couch pad

00:31:56   and the serious work research pad.

00:31:59   Thanks to the Obsidian beta for now.

00:32:01   Which is like for me, I don't really feel like what I'm doing now is my definitive always.

00:32:07   One of the reasons that I loved using the iPad for my work is I could just take it wherever I needed to be and I travel a lot.

00:32:15   Yeah, iPad also really wins with mobility, which has not been an issue lately.

00:32:19   No, so I don't really know what the future is gonna be for me, but I've been enjoying using the Mac.

00:32:25   There's things that I love about the Mac, things that I don't love about the Mac,

00:32:29   but I do love that it's powerful and everything's right there and everything is available, but I

00:32:34   Don't like the messiness of the Mac. I don't really like windowing, you know

00:32:41   like it's just I

00:32:42   Can never get things how I want and everything's overlapping and it looks terrible and like what I like about iOS

00:32:48   There's only so many ways that I can arrange things

00:32:51   Yeah, but that's also the power I don't like any of the window snapping tools. Like I don't like them on the Mac

00:32:57   I don't know why, I just don't like it.

00:32:59   Because it just feels alien to me, which is very strange.

00:33:03   Like even though I don't like Windows overlapping,

00:33:05   when they don't overlap it doesn't look like a Mac anymore

00:33:07   and I don't know where I am. It's very strange.

00:33:09   [Laughs]

00:33:10   The messiness of the Mac is also the power of the Mac.

00:33:13   And it is still the one thing that I wish they could get.

00:33:16   Like, I always feel on my iPad that I want to be able to

00:33:20   easily switch between three things, not just two things,

00:33:24   and it always kills me.

00:33:25   like, "Oh God, it's such a pain in the ass to get this other window up on the screen at the same time."

00:33:29   Yeah, it does feel to me like there is a medium between iPadOS and macOS for window arrangement,

00:33:36   and it's not what either one of them is doing, there's something in the middle,

00:33:39   but I just haven't found it yet.

00:33:40   Yeah, yeah. I'd love the iPad to move a little bit more in the Mac direction, but I'm also very

00:33:47   very aware that that is a supremely dangerous request that risks all of the things that

00:33:54   make the iPad great.

00:33:55   We did have a bunch of questions about which notes app you're using now, and clearly you've

00:34:00   stuck with Obsidian.

00:34:02   Yeah, yeah, I'm sticking with Obsidian.

00:34:04   The more I use it, the more I like it.

00:34:06   You know, I've ended up now with hundreds and hundreds of notes in there, you know,

00:34:09   connected to each other in this nice way that Obsidian does.

00:34:13   Still don't understand it, you know.

00:34:14   I was thinking about this a couple of days ago and I still don't understand how it works

00:34:19   fully.

00:34:20   I don't know, think of it like freeform journaling.

00:34:24   There's not a set structure and that's part of what the advantage is.

00:34:29   I very often come across lots of stuff that I just think, "This is a fun piece of information,"

00:34:35   or "This could make a good video at some point."

00:34:38   and it's nice to be able to throw it in Obsidian in a way where there's a tiny bit of structure.

00:34:47   You know, the things, everything that goes in there now is connected to at least something else.

00:34:53   That's what I was gonna ask, like does every note always have a connection to something else?

00:34:58   Okay, I understand.

00:34:59   Yeah, at this point there's almost nothing that doesn't have a connection.

00:35:02   You know, when you start there's fewer notes that's different.

00:35:05   Again, I think most people who use it dramatically overrate the value of the connections,

00:35:10   and I think people like to show the pictures of the connections because they look pretty.

00:35:14   I don't really... I don't think that that sort of stuff is directly useful, but it is nice to,

00:35:20   in a note, be able to just connect it to somewhere else so that in the future you can,

00:35:25   you know, through serendipity, happen to find like, "Oh, right, I had something that was related

00:35:31   to this. So I guess the thing that Obsidian does for me that's perfect is it's not completely

00:35:38   structureless like throwing something into the Notes app where I would just have a ton of random

00:35:45   things, and it doesn't have the burden of loading information into Ulysses where I'm going to be

00:35:53   writing the actual scripts because I want to keep Ulysses relatively clean and with the smallest

00:35:58   number of active projects in it as possible. So it just hits a nice middle ground where I don't

00:36:05   feel like there has to be enough to be a sort of proto-script or "oh this one fact is too small to

00:36:11   bother with." It just it handles this in-between state of information really really well and I

00:36:17   think this is also the case where being an Electron app is the advantage that they could

00:36:23   could get it on the iPad real fast once they decided to actually do that. It does feel

00:36:28   a bit like a weird alien on the iPad like "oh you don't belong here"

00:36:33   Mykey looks like a weird alien everywhere like it doesn't look like any user interface

00:36:38   I've ever seen on anything.

00:36:39   No, no that's outrageous Myke. It does not look like a weird alien on the Mac. It's

00:36:44   a friendly faceless rock from space to help you with all of your notes I don't understand

00:36:49   what your problem is.

00:36:50   I'm not saying it is bad UI.

00:36:52   What I'm saying is the user interface--

00:36:54   - Is not for you.

00:36:55   - No, it just doesn't look like anything else I've seen.

00:36:57   Well, you know what actually it looks closest to?

00:36:59   Like the Adobe Pro apps.

00:37:01   - I guess I can kind of see that.

00:37:03   I can kind of see that.

00:37:04   - And so, you know, and one of the things

00:37:05   about Adobe's apps is they also don't look like

00:37:08   they belong everywhere because they are designed

00:37:10   to belong everywhere. - No, they don't.

00:37:11   - So they don't look like they belong anywhere.

00:37:13   - Yeah, yeah, that's totally fair.

00:37:14   But yeah, so to answer the other question about my notes,

00:37:18   it's Obsidian, really, really like it.

00:37:20   It's still hard to say what the actionable part of Obsidian is, but it's served me very

00:37:25   well and I'm still playing around with it a lot and figuring it out, and I'm very happy

00:37:28   that it's on the iPad.

00:37:29   - One day in the future when we record an episode in person again, I really want you

00:37:34   to just give me a very basic demo of how this thing looks and works.

00:37:40   - I can't show you all my secrets.

00:37:42   - No, this is why I'm saying a basic demo.

00:37:44   I don't want to see everything, but surely you can show me like a tree of some description,

00:37:49   I just feel like someone needs to explain this to me

00:37:53   and every explanation I've come across doesn't help me.

00:37:56   Maybe it's just not for me.

00:37:58   Maybe my brain just can't handle it.

00:38:00   - I can send you the picture.

00:38:01   - No, the picture's, the picture's don't help me.

00:38:03   - The picture everybody loves to see in their notes.

00:38:05   (laughs)

00:38:07   - I can look at pictures on their website

00:38:08   and I don't understand it.

00:38:11   - Yeah, but you haven't seen it

00:38:12   in the 80s neon theme, right?

00:38:14   So here.

00:38:15   - I wanna see that now.

00:38:17   (laughs)

00:38:18   - Yeah, that's right.

00:38:19   I thought you might like that.

00:38:20   Okay, so here we go.

00:38:22   This is the state of my knowledge.

00:38:24   Let me still send it to you over Skype.

00:38:28   I don't have my message on this computer.

00:38:31   Because Myke, this is the writing computer.

00:38:32   The only thing that it's used for is writing and as a server and podcasting and live streaming.

00:38:39   Yeah, the writing computer.

00:38:40   That's the only thing that's...

00:38:42   Oh, I also...

00:38:43   It's also my fastest computer, so I use it to do all of the processing and all of the

00:38:48   exporting of all of my videos as well so it does that too.

00:38:52   Just writing.

00:38:53   That's the writing computer.

00:38:54   It's all the different types of writing, you write on it, the files write to the disk,

00:38:57   it's all just writing really.

00:38:59   Yeah.

00:39:00   Oh my god, Grey, I hate it.

00:39:02   It's just a globe.

00:39:05   Yeah, so those are all of my notes and how they're connected to each other and I don't

00:39:10   understand what's complicated about this at all.

00:39:12   I like that there's a couple of just like singular dots on the outside.

00:39:15   They are the lost notes.

00:39:16   Yes.

00:39:17   aren't connected to anything.

00:39:18   So here's my question for you then.

00:39:20   So the notes that aren't connected to anything or the notes that are just connected to one

00:39:24   other note, how do you ever find them?

00:39:28   Like how do you know they're there?

00:39:30   Okay, let me pitch it to you this way.

00:39:34   Everyone likes to share this picture but no one who's really getting anything done I think

00:39:37   is using this picture.

00:39:38   It's just fun to look at.

00:39:41   Obsidian is very much like how on your computer you can just use Spotlight to try to find

00:39:48   whatever it is you're looking for.

00:39:50   That's very much what the actual interface is.

00:39:54   And so say I come, I'm reading and I come across an interesting piece of information

00:39:58   about like the Royal Albert Hall.

00:40:02   In Obsidian then I'll just, just like Spotlight, they have a Spotlight-like interface that

00:40:08   I can open up and start typing "Royal Albert Hall" and if I have a note already with that

00:40:14   name it'll just pull up and I can add this fun fact to the file that existed and if it

00:40:19   doesn't I can just create the file instantly at that moment and add the fact.

00:40:24   That's how 99% of the time I'm finding stuff is I'm not like looking around for it on this

00:40:31   giant mess.

00:40:32   I'm actually just using a spotlight type.

00:40:34   You're either searching, and if it exists, then great.

00:40:37   If it doesn't...

00:40:38   Because I guess the thing that you have to rely on,

00:40:41   and I'm not saying this is a bad thing,

00:40:42   but the thing that you have to rely on

00:40:44   is that you consistently create notes in a certain way, right?

00:40:50   Yeah, you have to name things what they are,

00:40:54   is the way I would say it.

00:40:55   This is why, you know, I don't know

00:40:57   what other people are specifically using it for,

00:40:59   but for me, when I'm trying to...

00:41:02   you know, in some ways my job is to try to collect all of the things that I find are

00:41:10   interesting about the world. And that's what I'm building up here is like a personal database

00:41:17   of everything that I've ever come across that I find interesting enough to make a note of

00:41:23   that I might think is useful in the future.

00:41:25   - But once you've created that Royal Albert Hall note, if you then find out something

00:41:30   else about the Royal Albert Hall, where you add it to the existing note that already exists,

00:41:34   or do you create another new note that –

00:41:36   Yeah, yeah, I would add it to the existing note.

00:41:37   Okay.

00:41:38   Yeah.

00:41:39   Because this was one of the things that confused me last time, that this has now helped. Because

00:41:42   my understanding was just like, every piece of text you ever write gets its own note.

00:41:46   Like that was what I took away from that discussion, and that didn't make any sense to me.

00:41:50   Right, and they're not separated sentences, no. They're not separated sentences.

00:41:53   That's what I couldn't get my head around. It's like, this is madness! But now – okay,

00:41:58   So what I'm kind of seeing is it's not too dissimilar, I guess, from the way that I would

00:42:03   make a note, but I think I would have still a lot less singular notes.

00:42:08   Yeah, and the way that the link stuff is useful is that there are situations when you're working

00:42:16   on something else, you can kind of see if you've connected to this thing from somewhere

00:42:23   else in the database.

00:42:25   draw that to your attention, you know, "Oh, you know, you're working on this video which,

00:42:31   you know, is related to this thing in London and in the Royal Albert Hall note you made

00:42:37   a connection to this other thing here." And so it's just like reminding you that these

00:42:40   two ideas are related or, you know, this might be a nice time to make an off-handed reference

00:42:45   to this other fact that's connected.

00:42:47   Does this happen automatically? So say you were writing a note about some street in London

00:42:52   and then you just wrote the words Royal Albert Hall in there.

00:42:56   Does Obsidian automatically link or alert you?

00:42:59   - Yeah, so even if I don't manually link those two together,

00:43:04   later on, if I'm working on the Royal Albert Hall note,

00:43:07   I can see that in other places I've mentioned this.

00:43:10   And it's like, oh, okay, there are connections here.

00:43:12   That's one of the things that's nice about the software

00:43:14   is trying to draw your attention to the connections,

00:43:18   even if you haven't always explicitly, in the way the program wants you to, made a connection

00:43:26   between two notes.

00:43:27   But things could get out of hand though, right? Like if you had a note called "the", would

00:43:31   it link to every other time the word "the" has been used in Obsidian?

00:43:35   That would be stupid.

00:43:36   No no no, I know it's super, I'm making a stupid example but I'm just trying to understand

00:43:40   it. But would it do that?

00:43:42   Do the backlinks for "the"? I don't think it would work that way.

00:43:45   Okay.

00:43:46   "The." Oh, okay. You have 50 notes that start with the word "the."

00:43:51   So it's only checking for if a note starts with the phrase?

00:43:56   That's the ones that it's just pulling up because those are the most likely ones.

00:43:59   Oh, okay.

00:43:59   So I've just... Okay, so "the." Shift to create.

00:44:04   Yes, so... Okay, so I have what they call "unlinked mentions."

00:44:09   Yep.

00:44:10   there are in my database 12,155 unlinked mentions

00:44:15   of the word "the" in the database.

00:44:18   - And so then what do you do to link those?

00:44:21   Please don't, but like,

00:44:21   what do you do to like, do you have to do something

00:44:26   or do you create a link from those?

00:44:28   - So the other thing I like about this

00:44:29   is that it's basically markdown with one additional feature,

00:44:33   which is if you put two square brackets around a word

00:44:36   that creates a link.

00:44:37   That is you explicitly saying,

00:44:40   I want to link to the note that has this as the title.

00:44:44   - So now if you put two square brackets around the word the,

00:44:48   there will be 12,000 linked mentions.

00:44:50   - No, no, I would have to go to another note

00:44:53   where the word the exists

00:44:55   and put square brackets around that word the,

00:44:59   and then only that instance will be linked to my note,

00:45:03   which is called the.

00:45:04   So the links are very deliberate.

00:45:06   they don't happen automatically, you have to say,

00:45:09   "I want to do this thing."

00:45:11   - But the app still does create a dotted line link

00:45:16   to everything, but you then have to go in and be like,

00:45:19   "Yeah, I want these to be hierarchically linked together."

00:45:23   But the application itself will highlight to you,

00:45:26   like if you've missed something, like for example,

00:45:28   if you go to the Royal Albert Hall one,

00:45:30   if you've missed one, you now could link that together

00:45:32   if you wanted to, the app is smart enough to tell you that.

00:45:35   Yes, there is a place where you can go

00:45:37   where the app will suggest if it thinks there's something

00:45:40   that isn't connected that you might want to.

00:45:42   That's what it will do.

00:45:43   - This is making a lot more sense to me now.

00:45:44   - Okay, are we finally beginning to get there a little bit?

00:45:48   Okay, good.

00:45:49   - The more I learn about it, the more I realize

00:45:50   I do not have a use for this, and that's totally fine.

00:45:53   I just was really struggling to understand what it did,

00:45:57   but I'm feeling like I'm getting it a bit more now.

00:45:59   And honestly, the example of the did help me,

00:46:02   because that was what I wanted to check.

00:46:05   is that the application is cross-referencing every single note with every single note.

00:46:10   Because I think that's what you, in my mind, that's what you would want it to do.

00:46:14   Because you're relying on this system to pick up pieces of information you've otherwise

00:46:17   dropped.

00:46:18   Yeah, and that has totally happened to me a few times as the database has gotten bigger,

00:46:23   where I've realized, "Oh, I phrased something in a slightly different way, and I have two

00:46:27   things that can be merged, or I didn't realize that I've already written something about

00:46:31   this."

00:46:32   But that feels like the superpower for someone like you.

00:46:34   And this is why I really like it, yeah.

00:46:36   If you've been going on a train here and a train over there and then at a certain point

00:46:41   they intersect, I mean, we're off to the races, right?

00:46:44   Now you've stumbled across something which could be super interesting in a way that you

00:46:48   wouldn't initially think about.

00:46:51   So as a person who is collecting pieces of information, eventually you get enough of

00:46:56   them to link together, you've got a cool story to tell.

00:46:59   Yeah, that's the idea of it.

00:47:01   Even if it wasn't serendipitously connecting things in this way, it would still be useful

00:47:05   just as a database.

00:47:07   But I view that as a like, the more that goes in here, there's a higher chance of this lottery

00:47:12   ticket paying off someday with an interesting connection that I didn't think.

00:47:16   But it's still valuable to use even without that.

00:47:19   And also just for me, the other thing I like to be able to do is connect the related videos

00:47:25   to each other.

00:47:26   So as any intense viewer of the channel will know, I love making little connections between

00:47:30   And this is one way where when I'm thinking about stuff, it's helpful to me to be able

00:47:35   to mark explicit connections.

00:47:38   Like "Oh, this video is related to that video at this point."

00:47:42   It's not really actionable, but I do find it helpful in some way just to be constantly

00:47:47   contextualizing how all of the videos are related to each other.

00:47:50   That was helpful.

00:47:52   Okay, great.

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00:50:00   Jordi asks "I'm wondering why you're so secretive about the exact number of theme

00:50:04   system journals that you order or sell each time.

00:50:07   You've mentioned a number in the past and I appreciate that but now it's cloaked in

00:50:11   mystery again."

00:50:12   Oh it is cloaked in mystery.

00:50:14   Why is that Myke?

00:50:15   That phrase, honestly the phrase cloaked in mystery makes me want to keep it a secret

00:50:18   more.

00:50:19   (both laughing)

00:50:21   - So this is interesting.

00:50:22   - How many journals are under this cloak?

00:50:24   No idea.

00:50:25   - Could be one, could be a million.

00:50:26   Depends how big the cloak is.

00:50:27   - Depends on how big the cloak is.

00:50:29   - This is a good question because,

00:50:31   like thinking back across it when I saw this question,

00:50:33   I was like, oh yeah, this is weird.

00:50:35   Because there have been times where we've been very explicit

00:50:37   about the number and times where we haven't.

00:50:39   I'll be honest, there is no real rhyme or reason why.

00:50:43   - Yeah, yeah.

00:50:44   - I didn't wanna talk about how many we ordered

00:50:46   the first time, the very, very first time, which was 200.

00:50:49   Because if we didn't sell out, I didn't want to look like an idiot.

00:50:53   - Right, it would just be embarrassing. - It would be so embarrassing.

00:50:56   And then there was a little bit of that for the second time,

00:50:59   where I think we ordered like 2,000 of them or something.

00:51:02   And it was still, that was still a hangover there.

00:51:04   And then the first time we ever shared the numbers when we made a bet on it

00:51:07   was when we ordered 3,000, which was the next time.

00:51:09   - That's right, that's right.

00:51:11   - So that was the point when we actually shared a concrete number.

00:51:14   So it's always been a bit up or down, and I've never really felt

00:51:18   one way or another about it.

00:51:19   So like I'm happy to share some numbers like now.

00:51:23   So should we talk about how many we sold version two?

00:51:27   - Yeah.

00:51:28   - So version two is what we've sold this year.

00:51:29   So all of these sales have been basically this year,

00:51:32   I guess starting in late November.

00:51:34   So version two we've now sold as of recording now

00:51:38   7,300 journals.

00:51:40   That's a version two, which has now eclipsed version one.

00:51:43   So we've sold more version two journals

00:51:46   in the last three months,

00:51:48   then we sold of all of the version one journals,

00:51:52   which was 18 months.

00:51:53   - Right.

00:51:54   - And that was just under 7,000

00:51:56   was how many we sold of the first one.

00:51:58   It was like 6,900 and something.

00:52:00   So those are the numbers.

00:52:02   People really like the second version.

00:52:03   (laughing)

00:52:05   As they should, it's fantastic.

00:52:07   - Yeah, no, it's going really well.

00:52:09   I think this is one of these things

00:52:12   that we just sort of slipped into

00:52:14   not talking about the numbers,

00:52:15   And the question's a good time to decloak the mystery of how many there actually are.

00:52:23   And they're just big numbers that are also a little intimidating when placing orders

00:52:30   and hoping to God they're not getting wet on a dock somewhere as they're delayed in

00:52:35   customs or whatever.

00:52:36   And you try to visualize like, how big is a box of several thousand journals?

00:52:42   It's probably pretty big.

00:52:43   And we've ordered 10,000.

00:52:46   Right.

00:52:46   That's also the terrifying part.

00:52:49   There's 10,000 on the way,

00:52:53   which we're hoping will basically last us the year.

00:52:57   That's roughly what we're thinking will be the case.

00:53:01   Well, you know, we'll have to see exactly how that goes,

00:53:03   but that's the next big order that's coming in

00:53:06   to try to have it so that people can always buy a journal

00:53:10   and have it shipped to them,

00:53:12   just like the way inventory management is supposed to work?

00:53:14   - I think we've solved it.

00:53:16   I think we've solved the stock problem now.

00:53:17   - You're confident in that?

00:53:19   - Yeah. - Okay.

00:53:20   I believe in you, Myke.

00:53:21   - I am genuinely, 'cause now, like,

00:53:23   I know how long it takes to make more.

00:53:25   And for me, I think the only time

00:53:28   that we're ever gonna be at a risky point again

00:53:31   will be December, January.

00:53:34   - Yes.

00:53:35   - Right, 'cause that's gonna be

00:53:36   the onboarding point for more people.

00:53:39   (laughing)

00:53:40   And so, you know, like I'm gonna spend a lot of time now

00:53:43   over the next nine months trying to forecast

00:53:45   how many shall I actually order at that point.

00:53:50   I have no idea right now, but it will be a lot.

00:53:54   Because again, like we are now in a point

00:53:57   where we can make these bigger bets

00:53:59   because the product is fixed or it wasn't before.

00:54:03   So one of the reasons that we had a lot of struggle

00:54:05   with version one and couldn't make an order of this size

00:54:09   that we've been making is because we didn't wanna keep stock

00:54:14   for a long time because we wanted to change it.

00:54:16   So we didn't wanna have so much stock

00:54:19   that it would take us two years to sell it

00:54:21   when in six months time we wanted a new version, you know?

00:54:25   So now that we don't have that, like it doesn't matter.

00:54:29   If we still have 6,000 of these in January of next year,

00:54:34   it doesn't matter because they'll just get sold then too.

00:54:37   - Right, yeah, we're not competing with the new versions

00:54:40   of our own thing anymore,

00:54:42   which does dramatically simplify the problem.

00:54:44   - So that's been a big help.

00:54:46   And now I don't feel the threat of embarrassment anymore,

00:54:50   right, because I feel pretty confident in what we've got.

00:54:53   So those are the numbers that we have.

00:54:56   Oh, actually a bit of follow up.

00:54:58   We was talking about the UK VAT stuff.

00:55:01   - Oh, right, yeah.

00:55:02   - Well, we still don't have a VAT number.

00:55:04   That's not the follow up.

00:55:05   - Oh, okay.

00:55:06   I ordered a journal when it arrived, no problem.

00:55:09   - Oh, great, fantastic.

00:55:10   - I can't say that that's gonna happen to you

00:55:11   if you order one, but it did arrive, so great.

00:55:16   - So yours wasn't stuck on that ship in the Suez Canal,

00:55:18   it made it through just fine.

00:55:21   - I had some people reach out to me to ask

00:55:23   if we would be affected by this.

00:55:24   (laughing)

00:55:25   And as far as I'm aware, no.

00:55:27   I mean, obviously the journals are made in Europe now

00:55:29   and the paper comes from Europe, but gosh knows, right?

00:55:31   They might be like some little component somewhere,

00:55:34   like some ink or something.

00:55:36   But as far as I'm aware, we are unaffected by the Suez Canal.

00:55:39   Yeah, the company needed one new debossing stamp

00:55:43   and it was in the Suez Canal.

00:55:45   But I will tell you, I really felt it when I saw that.

00:55:49   Because I now know what that feels like.

00:55:54   And I actually have a friend who has products on that boat.

00:56:00   Oh, god.

00:56:02   That's brutal.

00:56:03   On that exact ship, the Evergreen.

00:56:05   - That's awful.

00:56:06   - I know someone who has container ships

00:56:07   or products on that.

00:56:08   - I mean, if you see a picture of it, it's enormous.

00:56:12   - I mean, it's the size of a city.

00:56:14   - Yeah, those container ships, the size of them,

00:56:18   it just blows your mind, even in just a photograph.

00:56:21   And you start looking at like, okay,

00:56:23   how many containers can I count on the deck of that ship?

00:56:27   And then you remember, oh, right,

00:56:29   there's entire companies that convert those containers

00:56:31   into micro apartments for people.

00:56:33   Like, they're very big.

00:56:35   But I am hoping that it gets resolved soon before we have to ship anything by air again.

00:56:40   Oh, right.

00:56:41   Because I guarantee you that all shipping rates are up for everything right now.

00:56:45   Yes, I was like, "Why?

00:56:47   But Myke, if we're using airplanes, the airplanes don't get stuck in the Suez Canal."

00:56:50   Well, they might.

00:56:51   I don't know what's on the boats, but now all shipping, all freight shipping is going

00:56:56   to be more expensive.

00:56:57   I don't know.

00:56:58   That ship stuck in the Suez Canal, I haven't been able – like, I've been dying to really

00:57:03   dig into all of the details of it since I was only just able to see the headlines and

00:57:06   I was in my real crunch "gotta finish a video" period. But it's just, I don't

00:57:11   know, there's something like delightfully chaotic about the whole situation. Like it's

00:57:17   bad that a ship is stuck in the Suez Canal, but it's also kind of funny because it looks

00:57:21   ridiculous.

00:57:22   MATT: Oh, I mean, you've seen the memes with like the one little digger trying to

00:57:26   get the… right?

00:57:27   BRIAN and MATT laugh

00:57:28   BRIAN No, I haven't seen any of the memes.

00:57:29   MATT Oh, there's just this one little digger trying to get the, like trying to wear away

00:57:32   some of the stuff like the wall, like the bank, and it's like this tiny little digger

00:57:36   in this astronomically large container ship, like as if it's somehow gonna help.

00:57:41   I've got a lot of fun internet catching up to do around that.

00:57:44   It's been good.

00:57:45   This has been one of those rare things which unites people into making fun of something.

00:57:50   It's just so incomprehensible.

00:57:53   No, I disagree. It's the exact opposite.

00:57:55   Okay.

00:57:55   It's funny because it's really understandable. The problem is very basic.

00:58:00   Come in at this from different places, I agree with what you're saying.

00:58:02   You know what the problem is? There's a ship, it's too big, it's stuck.

00:58:07   Right? Like, am I just a weirdo here? There's something kind of delightful about it. It's like,

00:58:12   oh. No, it's very relatable. Somebody just made a little screw up. But what I mean is like,

00:58:16   the sizes and scale of things are just too much for us to comprehend. But the idea that somebody

00:58:22   made like, just did a whoopsie and now, like the entire globe's shipping has stopped.

00:58:29   Again, another reason it's relatable is, "Oh, great, we're stuck in line behind the person

00:58:34   at the grocery store who, you know, wants to take a long time or is trouble for some reason, right?"

00:58:39   It's like, it's the ship version of that, like, "Oh, great." Except the problem is the entire

00:58:44   world's supply chain is trying to pass through this one narrow canal. I don't want to place a

00:58:51   bet on how long it's going to take to get that ship fixed. I feel like I have no ability to bet.

00:58:56   Is it before the podcast goes out or is it a month from now?

00:59:00   I mean I saw something that suggested that we're gonna have it out this weekend but I don't believe it for a second.

00:59:06   You don't believe it for a second?

00:59:07   No, I just feel like this is not something anybody can estimate.

00:59:12   It will happen when it happens.

00:59:14   It's the one that I look at it as like, this will just happen when it happens and that's that.

00:59:19   Enjoy going around the Cape of Good Hope everyone.

00:59:22   Have fun with that.

00:59:24   Alex says, "What is something you wished you would have known earlier when designing your works up?"

00:59:30   I feel like this is a you question, but I have one little one.

00:59:33   My little one is, you need a charging station.

00:59:38   So even if you don't think you have a lot of things that need charging,

00:59:42   you have more than you think you do.

00:59:45   And it's a real pain in the butt to just try to have some random wires in random locations to charge your things.

00:59:53   So it took a while, but I think halfway through this whole situation at some point, I have

00:59:58   a little, it's just right behind me, but I have a little like multi-level open tiny storage

01:00:03   space thing that I got a 10 USB hub for and just like bought a bunch of wires and went

01:00:10   around my office and thought, "What's everything that needs charging?"

01:00:13   Great.

01:00:14   You're all gonna live on one of the shelves of this thing and you're gonna be plugged

01:00:18   in all the time, and this is where all of the things charge. And I made a ridiculously

01:00:24   big improvement to the tidiness and the readiness of my whole office, and I just kept thinking,

01:00:31   "I don't need a charging station." But I really did, and I think everyone should just pick

01:00:36   a shelf, put a bunch of USB cables on that shelf, and that's where all the things charge.

01:00:42   What about you?

01:00:43   I wish I would have known and there would be a global pandemic which has shut my studio

01:00:47   down for over six months.

01:00:49   Okay next question.

01:00:50   Next question.

01:00:51   Yeah I don't think that's the spirit of the question.

01:00:54   It's also not very relatable.

01:00:56   No.

01:00:57   Because I mean let's hope.

01:00:59   This isn't something you need to think about.

01:01:00   My office people got in touch again by the way.

01:01:03   Oh they did.

01:01:04   I thought was funny yeah I got another email.

01:01:08   You got in touch with us looking for some office space.

01:01:11   ready to accept customers let us know what you need and just dragged it into

01:01:18   the trash and didn't reply I'm into year two of my lease now Wow that's much

01:01:24   longer than I would have guessed it's very upsetting what percentage of that

01:01:28   time have you actually been able to be in the office less than half less than

01:01:31   half the real advice that I'll give and this is good for any environment is know

01:01:36   that in six months you will want to redo it so yes start paying attention

01:01:40   attention immediately from when you're working of the things that you would wish would be better

01:01:44   and just keep a note of them all so then when you get to the point after six months

01:01:48   where you hate your office you already have a list of things to improve it.

01:01:51   Yeah that's totally perfect and I think that that's bang on for me. I think whatever it was,

01:01:55   seven months, maybe eight months into this, I rearranged the desks and also changed all of

01:02:01   the storage. You're totally right Myke, that's a great one. When you think you're done,

01:02:04   start making notes on all of the things that annoy you and in six months change it.

01:02:10   You know, I barely started. I've genuinely barely started to get this studio to a point where I'm happy with.

01:02:16   I never actually got to do it.

01:02:18   Well, I hope you're taking notes.

01:02:19   I will be when I begin.

01:02:21   I'm so sorry, Myke.

01:02:25   It's just, you know, what are you gonna do?

01:02:28   Look, it's brighter days are coming up fast.

01:02:32   So, you're gonna get all the mega office you want.

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01:04:23   Theodore asks, great name Theodore, actually.

01:04:26   Yeah, you like Theodore?

01:04:27   Yeah, Theodore's a good name.

01:04:29   Anyway, Theodore asks, how would you describe yourselves when you were in school?

01:04:33   How did you manage your tasks then?

01:04:35   And how do your systems today differ from the ones that you had at the time?

01:04:39   What was school-age Myke like?

01:04:42   I feel like I don't have any idea what you were, what you were like as a young

01:04:46   lad working your way through your GCSEs.

01:04:50   I wonder if it would be surprising actually, if I describe, I kind of had a

01:04:56   couple of different stages of school, Myke. I guess the first stage was kind of

01:05:04   just like really followed all the rules and tried to get all my work done to the

01:05:08   best of my ability. Then I did the exact opposite.

01:05:12   Stage one is foreshadowing what stage two must be.

01:05:16   Yeah like stage one version of me was just like teacher's pet kind of and then

01:05:24   stage two was just acting out. Like I look back on myself then and I'm just

01:05:31   like why were you the way that you were? Like one of my things was like I wrote

01:05:36   all of my English coursework in a pen that had purple ink just to be annoying

01:05:42   just to be in it which is unacceptable so when my work was done I had to

01:05:47   photocopy it or to hand it in so it would be in black and I knew that I was

01:05:52   was gonna have to do this, but just kept doing it.

01:05:55   I just kept turning the work in.

01:05:57   It wasn't me that was photocopying it,

01:05:58   my teacher would photocopy it.

01:06:00   And this is like when I would be put into a situation

01:06:04   where I was having to stay after school

01:06:06   to do my English coursework, 'cause I just wouldn't do it

01:06:09   without being put in a room to do it.

01:06:12   - Right.

01:06:13   - And it was one of those situations

01:06:15   where I was probably, I knew this,

01:06:16   like looking back I understand it,

01:06:19   I probably knew it at the time where I was good in school,

01:06:22   right, like I was smart and I had good grades.

01:06:26   They could have been better

01:06:27   if I would have actually applied myself properly,

01:06:29   but I went to a school that kind of needed good grades,

01:06:34   so the teachers would have to put up with my (beep)

01:06:38   - Right, okay, I see, I see.

01:06:40   - Which like when I look back on it now,

01:06:43   like it annoys me that I was that way,

01:06:46   but it's just how I was, right?

01:06:48   So like, it was like, oh, you're gonna be in coursework class.

01:06:51   No, you're putting me in detention,

01:06:53   but we're not gonna call it that.

01:06:55   - No, coursework class, Myke, it's not detention.

01:06:57   - And you're gonna take the work that I put in pink ink

01:07:02   because you need that and you're just gonna photocopy it.

01:07:05   So that was up until the ages of like 16.

01:07:09   16 to 18 when I was in A levels, I just changed again

01:07:13   and just really wanted to do the best I could do.

01:07:16   So like it really, my problem was in the ages of 15 to 16,

01:07:21   I made a lot of friends quickly.

01:07:23   'Cause like the way that,

01:07:24   I don't really know how this sort of stuff works in America,

01:07:26   but when you go into GCSEs, you choose your subjects.

01:07:30   And so the classes get mixed up.

01:07:33   And so I was exposed to a lot of people

01:07:35   and then started to make more friends.

01:07:37   And then the making of more friends

01:07:39   kind of made me start to act out a bit.

01:07:41   - Oh, okay.

01:07:42   Your friends were a bad influence on you.

01:07:44   That's what you're saying?

01:07:45   - Yeah. - Okay.

01:07:46   Like what is that?

01:07:47   Like is there, what is GCSE?

01:07:48   How would Americans understand what GCSE level is?

01:07:50   - Yeah, no, don't try it.

01:07:51   It doesn't matter, look, like Myke was able to do

01:07:54   something a little bit more intense than electives

01:07:57   where he was able to have control over his schedule

01:07:59   for what classes he was taking.

01:08:01   And he took- - There you go.

01:08:01   You've just did it.

01:08:02   - He took classes that ended up with him

01:08:05   with a bunch of troublemakers

01:08:06   who also picked those electives.

01:08:07   - Correct. - Because humans

01:08:09   dramatically underestimate how powerful selection effects

01:08:12   are and this is one of those cases.

01:08:15   Which kids pick what classes?

01:08:17   It's not a random selection.

01:08:19   It tells you something about the kids.

01:08:21   That's what that is.

01:08:22   - But then when I did my A levels, which is 16 to 18,

01:08:27   I was much more,

01:08:28   well, I think part of the reason for me then was

01:08:30   I actually got to choose the things I wanted to do.

01:08:33   So I was just more engaged

01:08:35   because I got to choose the subjects I cared about the most.

01:08:38   'Cause the places where I tended to act out the most

01:08:40   was the stuff that I didn't care about.

01:08:42   - Yeah, I've always thought the whole A level system

01:08:43   the best part of the UK educational system, that at 16 you get to both choose and have

01:08:51   complete control over the schedule, and also dramatically reduce the number of classes

01:08:56   that are being taken. I think those two are a great combination.

01:09:00   MATT: And then a very normal thing people do is the second year to change it again,

01:09:03   you drop one. Like I did four and then dropped one for my second year.

01:09:08   That reduces a lot of student unhappiness.

01:09:11   Like, you can pick the things that you like, and you can also drop all of the annoying

01:09:17   surrounding parts that, you know, are what make it feel like you're going to school.

01:09:21   And instead you get to experience a kind of mini college.

01:09:24   Like, I think that the A-level system has a lot to recommend it, you know,

01:09:27   broadly speaking in the way that it works.

01:09:29   I did make one fatal flaw with my A-levels though.

01:09:31   Yeah?

01:09:31   They tricked me, right?

01:09:33   Oh yeah?

01:09:33   They're like-

01:09:34   How did they trick you?

01:09:35   You should do politics.

01:09:36   There's no coursework.

01:09:37   It's just exams.

01:09:38   Oh, that sounds great.

01:09:41   Right? And it's like, "Oh, wait, so much worse.

01:09:44   There were so many exams for politics that you basically just ended up doing the coursework

01:09:49   in a timed environment. It was terrible.

01:09:53   Plus, I didn't really enjoy politics that much.

01:09:55   Did get a couple of cool school trips, though.

01:09:57   So, wasn't all bad.

01:09:59   Right, so no coursework, 10 times as many tests.

01:10:02   But they just didn't mention that second part.

01:10:05   No, it's only exams, but not that like it's three times more exams than any other course

01:10:11   that you're doing. You just write, the exams are just essays. So it's like, I hate this.

01:10:16   This is terrible. I'm now writing my course, I can't drive time and environment, but maybe

01:10:20   I'd actually prepared for that in GCSE by not actually spending the time to do the course

01:10:26   work and doing it all against the timer anyway, because I was going to run out of time before

01:10:30   or I needed to have had it in.

01:10:31   So anyway, so I had some trouble years,

01:10:35   but overall I did try to do my best.

01:10:38   - That's very noble of you attempting to do your best.

01:10:41   I unfortunately was a terrible slacker

01:10:43   who never attempted to do his best at school.

01:10:46   - Oh, I was still slacking.

01:10:49   I would only do my best up to the level

01:10:51   at which I was willing to commit,

01:10:53   but within those parameters.

01:10:54   - Right, yeah.

01:10:56   I was, I was, uh, shall we say, not strongly motivated to do anything in school.

01:11:04   And, and yeah, I was as an extremely strategic slacker.

01:11:09   And it's one of those things in life where it just, it feels like everything

01:11:14   comes around, it all comes full circle.

01:11:16   And it's why when I was a teacher, it was 10 times worse of a strategic slacker

01:11:21   than I ever was when I was a student.

01:11:23   But it's like, oh, right.

01:11:24   The, you know, the kid who slacked off as a student is also a slacker teacher.

01:11:28   Like what a, what a shocking surprise.

01:11:30   Like he's only, only wants to know exactly what really matters, you know?

01:11:34   And I, I like in high school, I was always this pain in the ass kid doing

01:11:37   these calculations for exactly how much is this assignment worth and try to

01:11:43   constantly predict out what my grade could be like, you know, B.

01:11:50   B is an excellent target to aim for.

01:11:53   And like, higher than a bee is more work than it's worth.

01:11:56   Lower than a bee is no good.

01:11:59   So like, don't, don't spend one iota more energy than you

01:12:04   absolutely need to get that bee.

01:12:06   Like, bee plus is great, but it's a, you know, it's a sign

01:12:09   that you may be pushing too hard.

01:12:11   And so like, that was, that was very much my take on it in school.

01:12:15   And I feel lucky that it didn't bite me in the ass in some ways.

01:12:21   Like, you know, being a strategic slacker is...

01:12:24   it's a risky move.

01:12:26   Like, you know, you better not get anything wrong

01:12:29   because if you do, problems can compound really quickly.

01:12:33   And I just sort of...

01:12:36   I lucked out with that stuff,

01:12:38   but I did not enjoy being a student at all.

01:12:41   I thought basically everything

01:12:42   that the teachers were asking me to do

01:12:44   was pointless, busy work,

01:12:48   and adult me felt vindicated that child me was correct in this matter. That like, yes,

01:12:54   90% of it was total pointless busy work. All of this is to say it is not surprising that I had

01:13:00   absolutely terrible work habits when I left the education system and, you know,

01:13:07   stumbled around as a young adult for a while trying to figure out, "Oh, how do I actually

01:13:13   get things done that I care about when there isn't like this whole system and structure

01:13:19   around me. So that's what I was like.

01:13:20   So I think it's fair to say if you were listening to this show and you're in school,

01:13:26   you were doing a better job than both of us were because you are the type of person that

01:13:32   cares about having your life in some kind of order, right?

01:13:37   I mean, I mean, yes, but I also know that younger me would listen to this podcast

01:13:43   because he would know that the older me was the way that he is.

01:13:49   Like I remember being a kid and like, you know, because back then there were no

01:13:54   podcasts, but you know, you just hear people talking, you know, there's

01:13:57   interview shows or whatever.

01:13:58   And I just remember like always feeling like I was listening really hard for

01:14:05   Yeah, but how is this successful adult really?

01:14:09   And I always felt like my ears perked up a lot when I heard people say like,

01:14:13   just casual remarks about being a slacker in certain situations.

01:14:18   So I don't recommend this as a general path, but you know, you can't change the

01:14:24   nature of the way that you are to some extent, you've just gotta like, you

01:14:29   gotta work with what you've got.

01:14:31   And it's also again why, like I said, I like the A-level system because it sooner gives

01:14:37   students more control so that they can select things that they're actually interested in

01:14:43   and then be like, "Oh, now I have a reason to try to be effective in what it is that

01:14:49   I'm doing," as opposed to feeling like I'm in a prison system and I'm just trying to

01:14:54   shirk the pointless work that they're foisting upon me.

01:14:58   Devon asks, "How do you guys get back on track when your day's plans go horribly wrong?"

01:15:05   I like this "horribly wrong".

01:15:08   I like the assumption that if something goes horribly wrong, I have the ability to get

01:15:13   my day back on track.

01:15:15   That's what I enjoy most here, is that there is the assumption that that is what happens

01:15:20   to me.

01:15:23   So what you're saying is when the day's gone horribly wrong, the answer is just bail.

01:15:28   bail on the day?

01:15:29   LINDSAY: Well, if my day goes horribly wrong, the first thing that I would do in the attempt

01:15:34   of trying to bring any order in it is taking a real serious look at my to-do list and realizing

01:15:39   how much of it can be delegated to, like, can be moved to different days.

01:15:42   Like, that is the first thing that I would do, is like, taking a very real look at it

01:15:47   and being like, no, no, not what would you prefer was done today, like, what can you

01:15:51   actually realistically do today?

01:15:55   Everything else is moving.

01:15:56   Right, right. Not your fantasy day. Let's get real about what could happen in the remaining

01:16:03   three hours of productivity that you have left or whatever. Yeah, I think that's a

01:16:08   good idea. I mean, obviously, horribly wrong is a lot of things. I do think it is a real

01:16:16   skill to be able to know when a day is lost and just accept that. That is better than

01:16:23   and feeling bad for the rest of the day,

01:16:26   but it can be hard to know when to make that judgment call.

01:16:31   A thing that I've done over the past few months,

01:16:34   which has been very helpful is,

01:16:36   my problem is always getting started in the morning.

01:16:39   So while I am very protective of my mornings,

01:16:43   if a day goes wrong, it's because I'm having a hard time

01:16:47   like just getting going with what needs to be done.

01:16:52   And I have calendared out what my theoretical morning should be.

01:16:59   And you can very easily get into the situation of like, "Oh, I've dilly-dallyed for an hour,

01:17:04   and now I've already pushed all of these things back, and you just get this cascade problem."

01:17:11   So I actually have a little thing in OmniFocus, which is the dumbest thing, but it's the first

01:17:16   item that pops up after I've brushed my teeth and done all the normal boot up stuff is,

01:17:22   it says like, "If it's a late start, start at the beginning and go until exercise."

01:17:30   So I have a kind of blocked off what should be the beginning of the morning, which is

01:17:35   like two work sessions and an exercise session.

01:17:39   And that's, you know, maybe a third of what the theoretical morning should be.

01:17:44   But I've actually genuinely found this dumb reminder to myself that, "Hey man, yeah, you've

01:17:50   got a late start today, you know, you slept in or you just couldn't get going or whatever.

01:17:55   Cool!

01:17:57   But right now you can just start at the beginning and go for like three of these double units

01:18:05   and still have a victorious day, even if this is all that you accomplish."

01:18:10   And as is often the case when you set a kind of lower bar for yourself, it can be one easier

01:18:16   to start and you can end up doing much more than you originally planned to anyway.

01:18:20   So it is the dumbest psychological trick, but it's basically this way of telling myself

01:18:27   you can start at the beginning anytime.

01:18:30   You're not actually late for this imaginary writing appointment that you've put on the

01:18:35   calendar.

01:18:36   You can just start right now.

01:18:38   So that's one of the things that I do.

01:18:39   Well, it said double unit. You said double unit.

01:18:42   Oh, sorry. All of my time is broken down into units, which are 40 minutes. That's like the

01:18:47   writing blocks is how I think of that. It's like, okay, two double units of writing in

01:18:52   the morning is like a session of 120 minutes, a quick break, and then another session of

01:18:57   120 minutes, and then exercise. That would be the ideal start to a morning.

01:19:02   This idea of blocking out your ideal day kind of feels like there's some parallels to me

01:19:07   and my morning alarms. I'm never actually gonna wake up at 8.30 but I'd like to believe I will.

01:19:13   I'll disagree because I do hit the mornings more often than not and it sounds like you are planning

01:19:21   to fail with the first alarm. To be fair, I've talked about this before, like planning out a

01:19:28   theoretically perfect two weeks. Again, it's not like I'm creating a schedule that I'm really

01:19:34   holding myself to. I always think this is much more useful as a limiting exercise in terms of

01:19:40   thinking, even if you had the perfect two weeks, how much can you really get done if you actually

01:19:48   put it all on the calendar? And I think that helps constrain being over-ambitious in goals and

01:19:56   trying to be much more realistic. I can imagine it helps you be realistic about anything additional

01:20:02   you could put into a week too, right? Like if someone wants to have a meeting with you

01:20:06   – you're like, "Well I know I can't do it on these two days because even if I

01:20:12   was just doing the bare minimum of these two days, I wouldn't have the time for it."

01:20:16   Yeah, yeah. It's less about interruptions – I mean, especially in the past year, because

01:20:20   I haven't had any, which is delightful for the most part – and it is more just about

01:20:24   knowing like, "Oh, I only have so many hours of writing in a day, and only so many hours

01:20:30   of writing in a week, and by putting that down on the calendar, it can help constrain

01:20:37   – yeah, yeah, there's many interesting projects you would like to work on, but you

01:20:41   can't spread these hours over too many things, or you can't always chase down the most

01:20:46   exciting thing at this particular moment, otherwise you'll never get finished.

01:20:50   Again, like, that is always something that I am struggling against, but this is one of

01:20:54   the tools that is helpful.

01:20:56   You know, like I have it in Fantastic Al open a lot, is the theoretically perfect schedule,

01:21:03   but I'm not really trying to match that down to the minute.

01:21:09   It's again just more of like a guidance.

01:21:11   - Is it a separate calendar?

01:21:12   - Yeah, yeah, it's the way in Fantastic Al you can bring up those calendar sets, which

01:21:16   is one of the reasons why I love it.

01:21:17   - That's cool.

01:21:18   So you could turn it off if you're like "I need to be realistic about what I'm actually

01:21:21   supposed to be doing today."

01:21:22   - Yes.

01:21:23   I have it open to just sort of look at sometimes and to think about what's going to happen

01:21:29   this week, but yeah, it's not an actionable calendar.

01:21:32   When we're planning when the next Cortex recording is going to be or if I have to set up a meeting

01:21:36   or whatever, that calendar goes right away.

01:21:39   It's like goodbye!

01:21:40   And then I have a separate actionable calendar.

01:21:42   I'm sorry, we can't record this week.

01:21:44   I have seven theoretical writing blocks that I'm not going to do.

01:21:48   Yeah, exactly.

01:21:50   I think that I do have some element at this type of thing when it comes to my task list.

01:21:57   I have things in my task list where it's like, in an ideal world they would be done today,

01:22:03   but they don't have to be.

01:22:05   So it's not exactly the same, but there is this element of like, I kind of know when

01:22:09   looking at my list, like what are the things that actually need to be done today, and what

01:22:14   are the things that I could move if I needed to.

01:22:18   I couldn't really work with calendars that way.

01:22:20   Like for me, calendars are very much a source of truth.

01:22:25   - Yes.

01:22:25   - A lot of my work really is based on time, right?

01:22:30   Because I'm collaborating with people in real time.

01:22:33   So it means we both have to be where we're supposed to be

01:22:36   at the time we said we're gonna be there.

01:22:38   So I can't really have this like,

01:22:41   maybe I'll show up, maybe I won't.

01:22:46   My life doesn't really work that way.

01:22:48   But we've really, it's kind of funny,

01:22:50   'cause now this question has gone horribly wrong,

01:22:52   'cause we're not actually talking about the question anymore.

01:22:55   So how do you get your day back on track

01:22:57   when it goes horribly wrong?

01:22:59   I really think that one of these things is

01:23:01   you just gotta forgive yourself.

01:23:03   Right, like I had one of these days recently

01:23:07   when I lost an entire day trying to get our notebooks

01:23:09   from customs.

01:23:10   I just lost the entire day because I was asked

01:23:13   produce paperwork that I couldn't even conceive of. And so we had to spend the entire day

01:23:19   researching what on earth I was being asked to produce. And the real great thing that

01:23:26   can happen on a day like this is that you fix the problem, right? Because if you fix

01:23:31   the thing that was major that you go horribly wrong, then you can give yourself a pat on

01:23:36   the back and you don't worry about all the things you didn't do. Because it's like, man,

01:23:39   And I got through that one, but this isn't always the case and sometimes things can go

01:23:43   on for longer.

01:23:45   Sometimes you just have to be like, well, there was nothing I could have done about

01:23:48   this.

01:23:51   If it's gone that bad, like I don't even think you can get that one problem fixed that you

01:23:57   want for the day or the one most important thing you want to do for the day.

01:24:00   You kind of just have to let it go.

01:24:02   Not an easy one.

01:24:03   No, it's not easy at all.

01:24:05   And yeah, I completely agree with you.

01:24:06   That's what I mean by it's difficult to recognize.

01:24:09   the situation sometimes and just say, "Okay, this one got lost, but it's way better to

01:24:14   do that than beat yourself up over it for the rest of the day."