109: State of the Apps 2021


00:00:00   It is that time again, tradition rolls around. Believe it or not, we have hit that point in 2020

00:00:06   when we do our back-to-back episodes of tradition beginning with State of the Apps. Can you believe

00:00:13   it? We're here already. I cannot. State of the Apps is the official beginning of the end of the year

00:00:20   and I was completely shocked when we were talking about scheduling for the remainder of the year and

00:00:25   and you're like oh we've got to do state of the app soon like no we don't it's the first half of

00:00:30   2020 it can't be time for state of the app nope november december they're here you know it was

00:00:37   kind of funny to prepare for this i listened to last year's episode and there are just

00:00:44   whole categories of applications we're not going to talk about yeah wiped out like the amount of

00:00:50   time that we spent talking about like travel travel apps yes yes gone

00:00:57   when i was i did the same thing i listened to the uh last year's state of

00:01:01   the apps and it's it was funny to me how

00:01:06   even in an episode that in theory is like really self-contained of like oh

00:01:11   what what applications do you use on your phone and computer to get work done

00:01:16   There were so many times I was like, "Oh, young, naive Gray who doesn't know what's coming down the pipe!"

00:01:23   Right? Like, that happened numerous times. And yeah, like, the travel apps category, and even today

00:01:32   when I was going through some of the apps on my phone to make sure I have stuff for the lightning

00:01:36   round and like, "Oh, what are some apps that might not immediately pop to mind? Like, let me dig

00:01:40   through all the folders and see what's there." I almost thought, "Oh, I should create a category of,

00:01:45   like "Apps that I deleted because I'll never need them again" and it's like RunPee, the

00:01:52   app which tells you when to go to the bathroom in a movie theater is like "That's never

00:01:57   getting installed on my phone again, like goodbye RunPee!"

00:02:01   Like we were comparing our air miles.

00:02:05   Yes, yes, we compared our air miles.

00:02:08   Using Flighty.

00:02:09   Yes, well actually I mean I guess in theory we could compare air miles again for this

00:02:15   year it's just the numbers would be really small.

00:02:18   Well, actually you know what though, Grey? Mine are not as small as I would have thought.

00:02:24   Which is kind of weird. So last year... So this is using an application called Flighty,

00:02:31   which otherwise we were not going to talk about today but is an app that we both really

00:02:34   like but it's for tracking flights, which is not a thing that neither me or Grey are

00:02:38   doing. That doesn't mean nobody's doing them, of course some people are still flying, so

00:02:42   you are looking for a flight tracker you can go for it. So in 2019 I racked up 47,679 miles

00:02:51   flown around the world. In 2020 I did 16,985. Oh okay so what were your flights that you got in?

00:03:00   Well so I went to LA which definitely helped. Right of course. And then I had multiple trips

00:03:09   to Romania so we had to go back and forth from Romania a few times and that ended up

00:03:16   racking up some flights there so it wasn't a lot but I was surprised to see that it was

00:03:22   like I don't know a third just over a third.

00:03:25   Right okay let me uh oh all right I forgot about one.

00:03:29   So in 2019 my vastly less impressive number was 23,000 miles or my 0.9 times around the

00:03:38   world that I was determined to keep under one, but I am quite shocked that my 2020 numbers

00:03:44   were 0.4 times around the world at 11,000 miles. I forgot I did one business trip to

00:03:52   Germany in January, and then the one real trip that I did was I went out to Colorado,

00:04:00   good old Denver, Colorado to the weed research lab.

00:04:03   The weed place.

00:04:04   Yes, and so I went there, I flew back, like that's added basically what all of the miles are.

00:04:10   And then I arrived home on late February and went immediately into lockdown.

00:04:17   Didn't expect we would actually talk about Flighty.

00:04:21   If you are traveling, Flighty is a great app to track your flights, but don't fly.

00:04:26   Hey Gray, I wanna do a bet with you now, because now when it comes to November 2021,

00:04:33   we're both gonna listen back to this episode right?

00:04:35   right

00:04:36   so 2021's flighty stats

00:04:40   higher or lower than 2020 what do you think?

00:04:45   I'm gonna bet higher

00:04:47   ooh bold

00:04:50   I'm gonna bet higher that's that's my bet

00:04:53   okay I'm gonna go okay I'm gonna go with higher too for one reason

00:04:58   which is if we are able to start taking long haul flights again, i.e. that we feel comfortable to do

00:05:06   it, we have a pretty big first massive vacation planned that if we do it we'll be going to Hawaii

00:05:15   again. Oh yeah, okay right. So that's gonna wrap those miles up. So you know for sure.

00:05:19   Right. Yeah we've decided like we were gonna wait because we went to Hawaii for our honeymoon

00:05:24   and we were gonna wait for our fifth anniversary to go back.

00:05:27   But then, you know, having not been able to go anywhere for a long period of time

00:05:31   and we'll continue to not be able to go anywhere for a long period of time,

00:05:34   we decided that our first big vacation is gonna be going to Hawaii again.

00:05:39   - Oh, I didn't know that. I think that's a good decision.

00:05:41   - Yeah. - I think that's a really good decision.

00:05:43   - That, like, we want to repeat our best vacation.

00:05:46   - I approve of this 100%. For me, Hawaii is a horrible nightmare land

00:05:52   that I never want to go to, but for every other person on earth, Hawaii never fails to disappoint.

00:06:00   So like, I think that's a really good call to not wait.

00:06:03   Well technically, Hawaii doesn't disappoint you either,

00:06:06   because you know what you're gonna get and you don't like it.

00:06:09   It still feels disappointing, but yes. Yeah, if the world had been the way it was,

00:06:16   I think it would be right to like save that special location, but that's a good call to do.

00:06:22   I'm really happy to hear that. I think that's a good decision.

00:06:24   So that will be like, that will be our first major vacation.

00:06:28   Like genuinely we're hoping that we'll be able to take some kind of trips in Europe before,

00:06:32   a bigger jump as that, but we'll see. So I think if we look at this as like our optimistic view

00:06:39   going into 2021, then I would say that mine would be higher too because we're looking to make a

00:06:45   very long haul flight.

00:06:48   Yeah, I feel like my calculation here is not exactly optimism, but it's regression toward

00:06:55   the mean.

00:06:57   And so I figure this year has got to be the lowest number of air miles I have flown.

00:07:03   I mean, maybe since I moved to London.

00:07:07   That might not be literally true, but it's very close.

00:07:09   It's got to be one of the longest periods without you going home, right?

00:07:13   Oh yeah, for sure.

00:07:14   So that's the only thing I'm trying to think of is maybe my first year of teaching, I might

00:07:23   have gone home once and that would make it the least year.

00:07:29   Just when you're trying to do like calculations, you've always got to figure out what's the

00:07:33   base rate and it's like the base rate of flying this year is the lowest it's been in a long

00:07:38   time.

00:07:39   So just like knowing nothing else, the smart bet is the motion of this number will go back

00:07:44   to what the average is. And I do also think like if I'm going to fly at all, the probability

00:07:53   of a long haul flight being in there would be extremely high. And so one trip to the

00:07:58   West Coast blows a trip to Colorado out of the water. So I think I'm betting on being

00:08:02   higher.

00:08:03   Right, I get it because if you're going to take the risk, you're more likely to take

00:08:07   the risk to see your mum and dad than you are to like go have a meeting in New York

00:08:12   or whatever.

00:08:13   Exactly, exactly. Or just like business trips in Europe I'm not gonna do, but if I'm going

00:08:19   to get on a plane, the question of "Is that plane going to America?" is almost certainly

00:08:24   like 100% is the probability of like, if I'm getting on a plane, where is my destination?

00:08:30   That's my thoughts about it. I'm really glad that you asked this because this does make

00:08:34   me feel slightly more optimistic and I hadn't quite thought about it in this way, but yeah,

00:08:39   I feel very solid that the safe bet for both of us is more.

00:08:43   The only way is up, baby!

00:08:45   The only way is up.

00:08:47   This concludes the travel section of the State of the Apps.

00:08:50   The unexpected travel section!

00:08:52   Oh dear.

00:08:53   Alright, before we get into the rest of the State of the Apps, including explaining what

00:08:57   State of the Apps is in case you have no idea what we've been talking about up until this

00:09:01   point, I want to give everybody a reminder about CortexMerch.com.

00:09:06   CortexMerch.com.

00:09:08   The subtle tee and subtle sweater are available until December 1st.

00:09:15   you want to get one of the very tasteful, classy embroidered t-shirts that we make,

00:09:22   or sweaters, you can get them now in a selection of new colours. We have the original blue,

00:09:29   a new black option and a red or burgundy option for the t-shirt and sweater. These are available

00:09:35   until December 1st and then they'll be gone again for a while. So if you want to grab

00:09:41   grab one, I put my order in for mine. I'm excited to get my colors in so it no longer

00:09:45   looks like I wear the same sweater every day.

00:09:47   L: Yes, and this reminder to the listeners, Myke, is also gently reminding me because

00:09:53   I always forget until the last second of like, "Oh god, I've got to put in order!"

00:09:57   M: Yep, I did mention to Gray earlier that I would not be doing what I did for him last

00:10:01   year which was to put them back on sale three weeks later purely so he could buy them again.

00:10:07   That is not going to happen for Grey nor anybody else.

00:10:11   So if you want a subtlety, you can go and get them.

00:10:14   But it is worth noting that cortexmerch.com, we do have a selection of products that are

00:10:18   always in stock.

00:10:20   These are our original lines.

00:10:21   So it's the original logo tee, the original hoodie, which is a fantastic hoodie.

00:10:26   So yeah, you can go and get those at any time.

00:10:28   We have a small number of pins available as well.

00:10:30   So that stuff's available at cortexmerch.com at any time.

00:10:34   But if you want to get the subtlety or subtle sweater, you only have until the first of

00:10:37   December to do it.

00:10:38   Yeah, and the sweater is great.

00:10:40   When I crank my office down to freezing levels of air conditioning, I'm often using one

00:10:45   of the subtle sweaters to keep me alive in my frigid working temperatures.

00:10:50   I love it.

00:10:51   This is very interesting to me.

00:10:53   Why do you bring the temperature down and then just put more clothes on?

00:10:58   Myke, look, aren't you the one who was saying like, "Oh, you need the bedroom cold because

00:11:03   that's what the duvet is for."

00:11:05   It's the same philosophy, right?

00:11:07   That's what the subtle sweater is for.

00:11:11   Working in freezing cold conditions.

00:11:14   Look, if it means that more people will buy sweaters, then I won't endorse this thinking, but I'm still not completely on board with it.

00:11:21   Yeah, so anyway, in my closet, I've got eight of the blue subtle sweaters, I think, and now I'm gonna pick up some of the black and burgundy, so there's also a little bit of variety in my life.

00:11:32   So this is our fourth year for State of the Apps. This all started many years ago

00:11:39   when you wrote a blog post and then we ended up turning it into a regular feature on the podcast,

00:11:46   where we take a look at the applications that we use mostly to get our work done. We talk about

00:11:52   what we like about them, what we don't like about them, and how sometimes, and this year will

00:11:56   definitely be one of those times, how trends in our working lives affect the tools that we use.

00:12:01   Last year we started a tradition of sharing our home screens at this time.

00:12:06   Now that would have been when we would have shared our home screen but we spoke

00:12:11   about it recently with widgets and showed off our iPhone home screens in the

00:12:14   concept of widgets. But I thought what we could do this time is show off our iPad

00:12:18   home screens which I think is more useful for this anyway because there's

00:12:21   typically more apps on show and we can't pollute them with widgets as we maybe

00:12:26   would want so shall we who wants to go first I think I should go first okay

00:12:33   because here's the thing with with iPad stuff is as you correctly last year

00:12:40   pointed out there's really only two ways to run an iPad there's the boring way

00:12:46   and there's the exciting way you go the exciting way yeah and I go the boring

00:12:52   boring way. So I'm sending you a screenshot that I took this morning on my research iPad,

00:13:00   which is the more interesting of the two iPads.

00:13:03   Whoa, whoa. What has happened to you this year?

00:13:07   What do you mean? The background.

00:13:09   Oh, no, I feel like this is this is still the same.

00:13:12   Do you mean the same as what? I guess I don't know if I've shared the research

00:13:16   iPad screens. I don't know. I often like to try to have something that's more interesting

00:13:22   on the research iPad.

00:13:23   It was like a winter scape last year.

00:13:25   Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, okay. I know exactly the wallpaper, I know what the situation was.

00:13:31   Yes, that was also, I think it's because I was in a location as well where I was like

00:13:35   "Ooh, I want to feel all wintry, let me have a winter background."

00:13:38   Were you on location for that episode?

00:13:40   I think I must have been, or I may have recently been, which is why I had the iPad wallpaper

00:13:45   that way. I don't know exactly.

00:13:47   Yes, the wallpaper that Myke seems to be completely shocked by is just one of the standard Apple

00:13:52   wallpapers that they have for iPads, which just is some blue paint swirls with a little

00:13:59   bit of - with a dash of orange - is it space orange?

00:14:02   Who knows - on the screen.

00:14:05   And I don't know, for the research iPad, which is the one that I do like actual real work

00:14:10   on. I do like to have it be visually obviously different from the other and I don't know

00:14:18   research is I mean I say research iPad but it is still creative work in some sense so

00:14:25   I feel like it's a thematically appropriate wallpaper.

00:14:28   Yeah.

00:14:29   Your ear reaction was way overblown.

00:14:31   It was surprising. I expected to see either I don't know a really dark screen or a winter

00:14:37   landscape again.

00:14:38   So I'm going to share my iPad with you now.

00:14:41   And then I think we should talk about our categories of apps

00:14:45   and then maybe we can come back to seeing if there's anything on these

00:14:49   that that we still want to ask questions about.

00:14:52   OK, show me what you got, Myke.

00:14:54   All right. This should be very familiar.

00:14:57   I don't think my iPad changes very much.

00:15:01   OK, I've got the mic iPads.

00:15:03   You have your your wallpaper wallpaper again.

00:15:06   The one I really like there.

00:15:08   The photo of a wallpaper with the leaves, looks nice.

00:15:11   Looks less nice on the iPad, but that's mostly again,

00:15:14   the iPad's fault for iPads.

00:15:16   Don't let you make things look nice.

00:15:18   - Nope.

00:15:19   - It's not the wallpaper's fault, it's the iPad's fault.

00:15:21   - The way to make an iPad look nice is to do what you did,

00:15:23   but I don't, it's well known.

00:15:25   I like app icons on my home screens, you know?

00:15:28   - Yes, and without a doubt, the thing that I'm doing

00:15:30   is completely kneecapping the functionality

00:15:34   of the iPad for aesthetics.

00:15:36   So yeah, yours is vastly more functional.

00:15:39   Boy, like, okay, so you have a ton of icons as normal.

00:15:42   There is one that catches my eye immediately,

00:15:45   which is you have YouTube Studio on your home screen.

00:15:48   - Oh my God, are we doing this again?

00:15:50   - Did this happen again last time?

00:15:51   - Didn't you say you listened to the last episode?

00:15:54   - I did, did you talk about YouTube Studio?

00:15:55   - You said to me last year, "YouTube Studio?

00:15:59   "Why do you have that?"

00:16:00   And I said to you, as I said last time,

00:16:03   "Gray, I operate our fantastic YouTube channel from YouTube Studio, which is the Cortex YouTube

00:16:09   channel, where you may think as you're listening to the show, why would I want to subscribe

00:16:13   to the Cortex YouTube channel?"

00:16:15   Well whilst we do upload the audio of the shows to our YouTube page, we also upload

00:16:20   the wonderful Cortex animated series by HM Putek, which you should definitely go and

00:16:24   consume because those videos are absolutely fantastic.

00:16:28   So you should go and watch those.

00:16:30   So yes, you can try and maybe palm this off as good promotion for our YouTube channel.

00:16:34   No, it was not intentional at all.

00:16:35   But you did this exact same thing last time.

00:16:38   I feel like my brain must be completely resistant to the YouTube studio there, because I guess

00:16:45   whenever I see it, I think about, "Oh, Myke doesn't do those fun vlogs anymore, so why

00:16:50   is there a YouTube studio?"

00:16:51   That's just what pops into my head every single time.

00:16:54   I just like how predictable you are, I guess.

00:16:57   And it was like, again, it was not, you said, "Oh, that really sticks out to me.

00:17:01   Why do you have YouTube studio there?"

00:17:03   Well, I mean, I mean, that shouldn't be surprising.

00:17:06   Humans are deterministic systems and if presented with the same input, they're going to give

00:17:09   you the same output.

00:17:10   So that's not remotely surprising.

00:17:13   So we'll do this again next year, I guess.

00:17:20   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by FreshBooks.

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00:18:48   of this show and Relay FM.

00:18:50   Alright, shall we start jumping into some of our categories?

00:18:54   Sure.

00:18:55   So we typically break this down into two large sections being productivity applications and

00:19:00   writing and research applications and we also do a lightning round and we may touch on some

00:19:05   other things there and we mostly focus on these areas because these are the typical

00:19:09   areas where we have some level of overlap in our work.

00:19:14   So productivity obviously is a thing that we're thinking,

00:19:18   look at a lot and one of the big changes

00:19:21   in my productivity system this year is my move to OmniFocus.

00:19:26   - Yeah, so I'm curious for a little bit

00:19:28   of a retrospective here because I mean again,

00:19:31   like spoiler alert, I'm still using OmniFocus.

00:19:34   I'm sure no one is surprised by this piece of information.

00:19:37   So I'm just curious what your experience has been with this

00:19:42   and what you think of it as the relative noob

00:19:46   to this app of the two of us.

00:19:48   - Yeah, I mean, I had used OmniFocus in the past,

00:19:51   but I came back to it about six months ago.

00:19:54   This is something that more Texans already know

00:19:56   if you subscribe to Moretex.

00:19:58   I spoke about it when I switched back in June.

00:20:01   And at the time, the reason that I made the switch

00:20:06   was because I wanted to try something new out and OmniFocus had been recently

00:20:11   updated and I liked the visuals of it. Uh,

00:20:14   and our friend Federico had been working with his partner,

00:20:18   Sylvia on a selection of custom icons for OmniFocus,

00:20:23   cool perspective icons.

00:20:24   So you could like change the iconography inside of the application and all of

00:20:28   that just seemed really nice to me. So I thought, all right, I'll give it,

00:20:31   I'll give OmniFocus a go again.

00:20:33   And I was also looking to rebuild kind of my organization system for tasks.

00:20:38   And I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do it in a new application.

00:20:43   You know, like wrap all of these things up in one.

00:20:45   Yeah.

00:20:46   And ultimately the system that I ended up with was having still two kind of buckets,

00:20:52   but standardizing them more across my time tracking and my task management.

00:20:59   So to kind of give that a little bit more context, I have like these large

00:21:03   tasks that I do, and then sometimes we'll add tags to those tasks, right?

00:21:08   Like that's typically what I'll do.

00:21:09   So I'll have a project and then I'll add a tag and the tags in my time tracking

00:21:14   system are just the names of the shows that I do, everything else is a project.

00:21:18   Right?

00:21:18   So sponsors is a project, membership is a project, podcast recording is a project.

00:21:24   And if a show is directly related to that project, I'll tag it with that.

00:21:28   and that was what I thought I wanted to go with.

00:21:30   This ended up being annoying to do in OmniFocus

00:21:35   because it was too many taps to get anything done.

00:21:38   So what I ended up doing was,

00:21:40   'cause this was where OmniFocus actually came to help me

00:21:43   a little bit here, where I realized

00:21:46   I don't need projects and tags,

00:21:48   I need perspectives and tags.

00:21:49   So this is the great thing that OmniFocus does,

00:21:53   is basically allows you to create saved searches or filters

00:21:57   with lots of parameters and then you can name them and save them.

00:22:00   And they look like basically big buckets that you can put tasks into.

00:22:05   And then with the added benefit of allowing some tasks to appear in multiple

00:22:09   perspectives, which I really like.

00:22:11   So what I have now is everything has tags, everything's tags.

00:22:15   So I'll have all of my kind of big projects are tags.

00:22:19   All of my regular projects are tags.

00:22:21   All of my shows are tags, right?

00:22:23   And then I will just add multiple tags per item, depending on what it is that I'm doing.

00:22:28   And then if I want to drill down into just specific areas,

00:22:32   I've created a selection of perspectives that filter out those tags and show me tasks.

00:22:37   So, for example, I have a cortex perspective

00:22:41   and I have a cortex plus cortex brand perspective,

00:22:45   because sometimes I want to see the tasks that are for the show

00:22:50   and for our company. Right.

00:22:53   and so I can see them all in one place which would have been tricky to do

00:22:57   in other applications I think. So OmniFocus has been really good for that.

00:23:01   So I like the organization of it. I've always really loved the forecast view.

00:23:07   I know that this isn't a thing that you use but I've always really loved OmniFocus's forecast view

00:23:12   and I'm happy to have that back because it kind of works the way that I would like it to work.

00:23:17   I vastly prefer the OmniFocus iOS apps to the macOS app, visually and functionally.

00:23:23   Yeah, I can understand that.

00:23:25   Not a big fan of the OmniFocus Mac app. It honestly feels like a different application.

00:23:29   The iOS and iPad app feel the same, but the Mac app feels like another company made it.

00:23:36   It's really weird to me. So I don't use the Mac app very much. Mainly the Mac app is just,

00:23:43   I check things off or I add something if I've forgotten to add something before, you know,

00:23:47   like something just pops into my head and I have to add it now, but most of this stuff is done on iOS.

00:23:52   But I actually do not use the OmniFocus task entry UI on any of my platforms.

00:23:59   So on the Mac, I use the quick entry function.

00:24:03   Oh good, okay.

00:24:05   Which you told me to do and that's definitely the way to add tasks on the Mac.

00:24:08   going into the app and selecting new task, it's too many clicks for me to get something added.

00:24:14   Yeah, it's quick entry or bust on the Mac for sure.

00:24:17   And then I created a shortcut to do this on iOS. I basically created my own quick entry,

00:24:23   which I really like that shortcut. It works really, really well for me.

00:24:27   So all it does is it says like, what's the name of the task? When is it due? What tags do you want

00:24:33   on the sign and that's it and it's really quick and with the way that

00:24:38   shortcuts works with this kinds of stuff now on my iPhone it's nice and quick to

00:24:42   do and on my iPad I can do it all just from spotlight and it never leaves the

00:24:46   app that I'm in so that really works for me so I would say that I am mostly happy

00:24:54   with OmniFocus mm-hmm but at the same time todoist has been getting really

00:25:01   good. What does really good mean? Like what have they added? They've been adding

00:25:04   lots of features. Their widgets are amazing. They've created a lot of really

00:25:08   clever widgets. Like for example there's one widget that you can configure that

00:25:12   you tap it and it will open to the task entry with a bunch of preset things

00:25:18   filled in for you. Hmm. So like you could say like you had a

00:25:23   widget that was for cortex tasks or whatever you could tap it and it will

00:25:27   pre-filled projects and tags and all that kind of stuff, all pre-filled.

00:25:30   They've also created their Kanban system now that's in the application.

00:25:36   So being able to see your projects is in a Kanban view.

00:25:41   So Todoist is doing a lot of things.

00:25:44   So I don't know, I would be surprised if I get through all of 2021

00:25:50   without trying out Todoist again.

00:25:52   But at the moment, I feel pretty comfortable with my OmniFocus usage.

00:25:58   Yeah, it's interesting about adding a Kanban view, because that is one thing.

00:26:04   I'll usually do it on the Mac app, but rearranging a bunch of projects is always a little bit...

00:26:11   It's not that it's clunky on OmniFocus, but there's something about just seeing the list of things

00:26:19   where it doesn't quite work mentally for me sometimes,

00:26:21   and I'm trying to think about like, which of these projects am I focusing on?

00:26:24   And it is the thing where sometimes I think like,

00:26:27   the writing app I talked about last year that I switched away from Scrivener

00:26:31   has this feature where it's like, oh, you can have a list of things,

00:26:33   or you can see them as a bunch of cards, and you can rearrange the cards,

00:26:37   and when you're done rearranging the cards,

00:26:39   the list will show the way that it's been rearranged.

00:26:42   Like, I imagine that's the kind of thing that Todoist is doing,

00:26:46   Like you can have a list and then you can rearrange it in a Kanban system

00:26:49   and then still see it back as a list.

00:26:51   - Correct.

00:26:53   - As dumb as it sounds, what's the difference between looking at a list

00:26:57   versus looking at a bunch of squares with the same names as the things on the list?

00:27:01   It's like, I don't know, it's just different in my brain.

00:27:03   And that is one thing that I do wish sometimes with OmniFocus.

00:27:06   Like, I just like to rearrange these things in a different way.

00:27:10   So I think that does sound like a pretty good feature for Todoist to add.

00:27:13   I still use things for some large projects like posting cortex. It's still still what I use things for right?

00:27:21   And I'm never gonna give you up

00:27:23   Never gonna give it up never gonna let it down never gonna run around

00:27:29   When expecting that way

00:27:37   No, no, there wasn't I don't think I could have gotten the rest of the lyrics off the top

00:27:41   - So I could get it started, that's all I could do.

00:27:43   - Yeah, for the things that I used you for,

00:27:46   like take your pills, call your mom,

00:27:50   like they're just the types of things

00:27:52   that they're such low level tasks

00:27:56   and the way that I want to be alerted about them

00:27:59   is so different to any other task in my life,

00:28:03   that idea of tell me and they keep telling me

00:28:06   until I mark it complete, it's perfect

00:28:09   and the application is just nice and it's updated enough.

00:28:13   And you know, I'm never gonna find something I think

00:28:16   that's gonna do what I want for me in that way better.

00:28:19   Because sometimes you get to a certain point

00:28:22   of an application where you and the app,

00:28:26   you are completely in sync with what's going on.

00:28:30   So you have a thing you wanna do, you find an app for it.

00:28:34   And then as the app is updated over time,

00:28:36   the way that you're doing that work

00:28:38   just goes hand in hand with the way that the app is evolving.

00:28:42   So at a certain point, so many things have to happen

00:28:46   for a competitor to want to move you away.

00:28:48   It has to one, completely match your current system,

00:28:52   and then two, offer you something

00:28:54   that you didn't know you wanted,

00:28:56   and that's really difficult.

00:28:58   And so an application like Dew,

00:28:59   which is in essence so simple,

00:29:02   but that can be the difficult thing

00:29:04   of trying to move you away

00:29:05   because if something's super simple,

00:29:07   its feature set is just pure, right?

00:29:11   And it's not a complex task, so you don't really feel the need to

00:29:15   want to move away, and that's where I am with Dew at this point. I just don't think that anything's

00:29:19   ever going to shake me for the tasks that I use that for. It's very simple stuff.

00:29:23   Yeah, no, that totally makes sense. And that's the same split that I have

00:29:27   you know, but again, still using OmniFocus for basically everything. Dew

00:29:31   is great for the harass me reminder stuff. I don't use things

00:29:35   for a separate big project.

00:29:38   Every once in a while, if I want to kind of like, I don't know, brainstorm a little bit

00:29:43   about a project, I'll boot up things as like a clear piece of paper in a way, but I don't

00:29:48   really use it as an actual app.

00:29:51   I think maybe the thing that's different this year as compared to last year is that with

00:29:56   the redesign of reminders on iOS, that my default recommendation for people would be

00:30:03   to use that.

00:30:04   If I don't know anything about a person, I think I'd say like, oh, go with reminders,

00:30:08   use that as the default app and you will or won't very quickly run into limitations.

00:30:14   And then based on what you feel are the limitations of that, you can figure out what to do app

00:30:18   would work best for you.

00:30:19   But yeah, I think like, for most people looking to try a task management kind of app, I would

00:30:26   say like, just start with the inbuilt reminders.

00:30:28   It's much better now and is probably a good solution for at least 50% of people.

00:30:35   So when it comes to note-taking, I feel like I gotta ask you first.

00:30:40   No!

00:30:42   And again, having gone through what we've been through over the last few months, I can't

00:30:48   believe that note-taking has been a thing that we've spoken about multiple times in

00:30:52   state of the apps and you had your answers for it but I still didn't know your note-taking secret.

00:31:00   B: There was no note-taking secret. This again is just human communication is hard and when I was

00:31:09   listening to last year's episode having gone through the ticoy incident this year

00:31:14   and then having had our discussion about notes, what even are they? It was also clear

00:31:21   a number of times in that conversation where it's like, "Myke is not hearing what I'm intending to be

00:31:29   saying with this sentence." And so, it's just funny to listen to that and think like—

00:31:33   You know, it can't go the other way that you weren't hearing what I was saying either,

00:31:38   you know? It's not just on me.

00:31:39   No, no, no, no. I don't mean that it's on you. What I mean is like, we'll get to it later,

00:31:43   but in particular when I'm talking about Ulysses in that, it's like, "Oh, I'm clearly just talking

00:31:48   in my mind, the way that notes are weird for me, but none of this is being communicated to Myke.

00:31:55   Right.

00:31:55   Right. Like that, that's what I mean by that. Not like you're failing to understand.

00:31:59   The conversation is actually almost completely absent the concept of notes as people think of

00:32:07   them. But there were still times where I was like discussing this and I know now like, oh,

00:32:13   Oh, I see where this got totally messed up.

00:32:15   Okay, so the note taking--

00:32:19   - Saga, quest. - Situation.

00:32:22   Situation, yeah.

00:32:23   Oh!

00:32:24   - Oh, it's going well then.

00:32:26   - No, no, I just assumed that you would go first

00:32:29   and then I could try to plan this better.

00:32:32   But okay, so I've been using Obsidian,

00:32:37   which I've mentioned on the show a few times.

00:32:40   And again, I really love it.

00:32:45   I really, really do.

00:32:46   And I'll say again, I am not in the business

00:32:50   of giving App of the Year awards.

00:32:52   That's something you do.

00:32:54   That's something the upgrade-ies do.

00:32:55   Like, I just, this is not a category

00:32:57   that really exists for me.

00:32:59   But if I was giving an App of the Year award,

00:33:03   100% it would go to Obsidian.

00:33:05   No question about it.

00:33:07   Like, I think it's...

00:33:09   What are you laughing at there, Myke?

00:33:10   I have no doubt that it is a good app.

00:33:14   I know not only do you love it, our friend, David Sparks loves it as well.

00:33:19   But when I look at it, I can't conceive of it.

00:33:24   Well, I mean, this again is we're, we're brushing up another, like human

00:33:32   communication is hard and brains are different situation because again,

00:33:36   This is an app that is based entirely on words and writing.

00:33:40   Like endless just words and writing.

00:33:43   This is the only thing that the interface even is.

00:33:45   It's like, do you like words?

00:33:47   Great, we got a lot of them over here at Obsidian.

00:33:49   Like that's all this is, is just a bunch of words.

00:33:52   There's a bigger question here, which is a bit like,

00:33:55   what is the note system that I have?

00:34:02   I don't yet have a good notes system

00:34:07   in the way that people mean this.

00:34:08   Okay.

00:34:09   Right, I can't say like, oh, here's how I make my notes.

00:34:12   But still, the reason that I love Obsidian

00:34:15   is for all of the projects since the Ticoi incident,

00:34:20   I've been using it to try and write notes on those topics.

00:34:25   And Obsidian, again, allows incredibly free

00:34:32   form writing where, again, in my head, I think it makes sense to think of it as just like

00:34:37   the closest you can get digitally to sitting at a table with a bunch of index cards and just

00:34:44   writing on those index cards in whatever order and rearranging them. Like the user interface

00:34:49   is fantastic for allowing you to just rearrange a bunch of these cards and to make it trivially

00:34:55   simple to make new cards and also to make little connections between the cards. I think many people

00:35:01   who use the app get totally derailed by the connections and focus on that part of it too much,

00:35:08   but the connections are still useful for being like "oh yeah this thing goes to here and that

00:35:13   thing goes to there." So I still don't have a clear system for the notes, but one of the ways

00:35:22   that Obsidian has proved really useful to me is as the app which can help prime the pump of writing.

00:35:32   And so, you know, often the hard part with writing is getting started with it. And so this is like,

00:35:42   one of the tricks that I use for myself is, it's one of the reasons why I talk stuff out loud a lot,

00:35:47   is because it can be hard to sit down at a computer and just open up a script and be like,

00:35:53   "Okay, I'm gonna work on this script." And then you go, "Oh, well, where exactly? What am I gonna--"

00:35:58   You can get derailed by these little details, but if you tell yourself,

00:36:01   just start reading it out loud from the top. Within seconds, you're gonna find things that

00:36:06   you're like, "Oh, this needs to be changed, this needs to be smooth," or whatever.

00:36:09   But in order to do that, you have to have a relatively coherent script to be able to

00:36:14   read it out loud. It takes a while to get to the point where there's like readable paragraphs.

00:36:20   So before that stage, Obsidian is really useful because I can use it in the similar situation

00:36:28   where I sit down and I go, I don't have to write a script. What I am going to do is I'm just going to

00:36:34   add some information on this little pile of index cards that I have that's related to whatever this

00:36:42   topic is. And so that is extremely useful to me to be able to say like, "Okay, I'm working

00:36:50   on Project Rosalyn, here's the five index cards that I have on it, just open them up

00:36:56   and add stuff to this." Or like, there's a way in Obsidian where you can mark little

00:37:02   like to-do boxes, and so sometimes I'll add like a little to-do which says, you know,

00:37:08   find more information about this or like here's this document that you need to read.

00:37:12   So it's a useful way to start quote like "writing a project"

00:37:19   without the intimidation of "I am working on the script" and then very frequently what happens is within an hour of doing this,

00:37:29   I tend to naturally then transition into writing the actual script because it's a bit like, "Okay,

00:37:35   "Hey, I've been booting up all this information in my brain, and there's some things that

00:37:40   I want to start writing that are going to be the actual script."

00:37:44   So this is why Obsidian has proved tremendously useful to me, even without having yet settled

00:37:52   on what are like the formal rules for how this is supposed to work within my system

00:37:59   relating to notes.

00:38:00   So that is why I absolutely love it.

00:38:03   And it is also why in some sense the note-taking quest is still a failure.

00:38:08   I haven't accomplished that part, but I'm still in a much more useful place than I was

00:38:13   before.

00:38:14   I think fundamentally I still don't understand what you consider "a note" to be.

00:38:21   Um, okay, so I guess what I would say here is that the distinction for what goes into obsidian is they are much more purely factual statements.

00:38:40   Right, okay, but yeah, yeah, yeah, so this is what I need to understand. I think we're going back to atomic notes again.

00:38:46   Right.

00:38:46   Which is fine, but I still just want to get it, right? So when I call something-

00:38:50   - Which is fine, but you're exhausted.

00:38:52   - When I call something a note, right?

00:38:54   So like I have a note called Cortex Follow-Up, right?

00:38:58   And in that note goes links, thoughts, bullet points, lists,

00:39:03   all kinds of stuff, right?

00:39:06   But it is related to anything to do with follow-up

00:39:10   for the show.

00:39:11   And then when I sit down to start prepping the show

00:39:16   and putting things into our Google doc,

00:39:18   I refer to the Cortex follow-up note

00:39:22   that I have in Apple Notes,

00:39:23   and that's kind of where I get all my information from.

00:39:26   But it kinda sounds like

00:39:31   that's not what a quote note is for you,

00:39:36   like it's something different.

00:39:38   - Yeah, so what you're saying,

00:39:39   like the word I would use to describe that

00:39:41   is I would say that's a list,

00:39:42   like that's a running list of things.

00:39:44   - But it can also be paragraphs of text though.

00:39:47   - Yeah, no, I understand that,

00:39:49   but when I look at our show notes,

00:39:51   which we call show notes,

00:39:53   that in my brain is much more like,

00:39:56   here's a list of things.

00:39:58   And we may discuss some of these things, we may not,

00:40:01   but they're all headers

00:40:03   for jumping off points of conversations.

00:40:05   - Right, but my notes app also includes things

00:40:09   that don't look like that, but I still consider them notes.

00:40:12   So I might have larger pieces of text

00:40:15   which are relating to a project that I'm working on, like, it's quite different.

00:40:20   >> Mm. Yeah. So when I'm talking about notes in the context of writing a script,

00:40:30   what I mean is really, here are all of the factual building blocks

00:40:37   out of which a piece of writing can be constructed on top of.

00:40:42   Like, that's the distinction.

00:40:44   Right, okay. And you see though, it's still not there. What is the minimum amount of text

00:40:51   that you would consider to be, quote, a note?

00:40:54   I mean, a single sentence could be a note.

00:40:59   Right.

00:40:59   This again is-

00:41:00   Why, okay, why would you create a single note for just one piece of text? Why would it not go

00:41:08   with something else?

00:41:11   So the reason for that is because you don't know ahead of time which index cards are going to have

00:41:17   lots of stuff on them and which aren't. This also goes back to the whole concept of talking about

00:41:23   writing in terms of outlines where it always seemed ridiculous to me like, "Oh, you just

00:41:27   outlined the project before you write it." It was like, "Yeah, great, thanks. That helps me not at

00:41:31   all because all I need to do is know the structure in advance of the thing that I'm trying to create,"

00:41:37   which is the hard part. And so it's the same way with notes where I don't know in advance

00:41:43   which of these notes are going to end up being bigger and which are going to be smaller.

00:41:49   And lots of them end up being just a single sentence or two.

00:41:53   - But that's just through pure happenstance. Every note that you create has the possibility

00:41:59   to be more, but it's just this note just ends up being this one thing. So a note could be,

00:42:04   for example, this statue or this treaty, but it turns out you only needed one thing on that,

00:42:12   but you thought when you set it up maybe there's more to this.

00:42:15   B: Yes, exactly. So like I'm just, I'm clicking through my Obsidian thing right now and it's like

00:42:19   I have a note which is titled "The Senate Nuclear Option" and then the entire piece of information

00:42:26   on here is "A procedural move to reduce the number of votes needed from a supermajority to a simple

00:42:31   majority. The end, right? And the re- like the reason that never got expanded is because I

00:42:37   realized very quickly, "Oh god, this is awful and so boring and so complicated that I do not wish to

00:42:45   put any more information about this, like, in a script that I'm going to end up writing." It's

00:42:51   like, if this thing gets mentioned, this is about the level of detail that I actually care to ever

00:42:58   And in the final video that I did on this topic, I don't have, I never even mention this level of detail,

00:43:05   which is my note on what the Senate nuclear option is.

00:43:08   I just reference it in passing and move on.

00:43:11   But I don't know in advance that I'm only going to want this one sentence, right?

00:43:18   This could end up being like a multi paragraph thing.

00:43:21   So that's why they can end up being small.

00:43:23   And it seems sort of ridiculous to have a bunch of things that are a single sentence,

00:43:27   But again, this is where Obsidian is really good, where, you know, like on a full-screen iMac, I can open up the app,

00:43:35   and I can easily have 16 of these little index cards all open at the same time and see them all quite easily.

00:43:43   And that is one of the really nice features of this, and it's why I keep saying it's like having a bunch of index cards.

00:43:50   And so when I'm like priming the pump, I can open up Obsidian, have a bunch of these little notes around,

00:43:59   and very naturally feel like, "Let me expand on this one," or "Let me look into this one a bit more and start adding some information to it or not,"

00:44:08   and like, that's the way to like, prime the pump for writing, of getting started, of like,

00:44:14   "Oh, maybe this one does need me to investigate it a bit more," or, you know,

00:44:18   Maybe this one I can see I left a task for future me to fill in a detail about this

00:44:23   So I'm starting to get this more now

00:44:25   The difference between the two of us. It's not fundamental. It is organizational

00:44:31   so

00:44:33   If I was doing what you were doing, right if I was right doing a video script or whatever. I

00:44:39   would have a note and a bunch of headers in that note and

00:44:44   I would add information to the headers

00:44:48   That's just how I would work.

00:44:50   Previously I've struggled to understand what you even

00:44:53   kind of meant about recording the information.

00:44:56   I feel like I can get that more now, and I can see that

00:45:00   we will be recording typically similar types of information, we would just store them differently.

00:45:05   Where like, it would be madness for me personally

00:45:08   to have so many "notes" related to one thing

00:45:12   where I would have one note, not one note,

00:45:16   I would have a singular note where I would keep all of the information in it and would move it around.

00:45:24   Yeah, you're totally right, and I think this also gets to the thing we were talking about last time with Notes

00:45:30   about this concept of, oh, there's different apps for different people, and a huge amount of what they're about is how they structure things.

00:45:38   And so the way you're talking about it sounds to me much more like you are creating a thing that would be more like a traditional outline,

00:45:47   but you're just growing it in a more organic way, and then that feels like, yes, if you're doing that, then Rome or Notion might be more the tools that you would want to use.

00:45:57   They sort of, in their interface, are biased more in that direction than something like Obsidian is.

00:46:03   Okay, what's that "ehh"?

00:46:05   Well, in theory, yeah, but they won't get out of my way.

00:46:09   Yeah, I mean, forget that part of it, but like, what you're talking about for this sort of thing,

00:46:16   you could reproduce on a single piece of A4 paper, like you're writing headings and subheadings, right?

00:46:22   Whereas when I'm working on it, if someone gave me that A4 paper, I'd immediately want to cut it up into lots of smaller segments

00:46:30   and move it around and be like, I don't need this whole piece of paper.

00:46:34   In fact, I don't want the restriction of the whole piece of paper.

00:46:37   I want lots of little pieces of paper that are each going to contain smaller bits of information

00:46:43   that I can move around or group together over here or group together over there.

00:46:48   Which I think puts you, weirdly, more in this new school of "content blocks" than me.

00:46:56   Yeah, for sure. For sure it does.

00:46:58   And the other thing that's just different here, which again is a new addition to the workflow since the T-Coy incident,

00:47:04   is the process of explicitly creating a bunch of these little notes as an intermediate step between the primary sources and the script.

00:47:17   That's part of what's new here and why I think of this as like priming the pump.

00:47:22   Because you are taking the information and putting it into your system rather than when you write the script trying to rely on remembering something from the original document.

00:47:31   Yeah, or like, yeah, like I used to have, you know, Evernote is open next to my writing app and it's like, okay, I'm just skimming through or I'm looking at the highlights or whatever.

00:47:38   So that's why Obsidian is existing as this layer between primary source and script.

00:47:45   And it's also why I don't have a system because I'm also treating it quite fluidly.

00:47:52   Like I'm just, I'm not bothering with a lot of the heavy burdensome stuff about like,

00:48:00   "Let me link every note to the exact primary source and put it in a taxonomy of hierarchy."

00:48:05   It's like, I don't mean to do that.

00:48:07   And also that's too heavyweight when I haven't really decided what the system is.

00:48:14   So again, that's why this is just like a virtual stack of index cards that I'm rearranging and

00:48:18   writing sentences on. And where are those sentences coming from? They're coming from me reading the

00:48:24   primary sources and then immediately adding something to an index card. And that's also why

00:48:30   the index cards have variable sizes, because they don't know in advance

00:48:33   which are going to be big ones and which are going to be small ones.

00:48:37   Is the text only entered into Obsidian or do you put text in another way and organize it in Obsidian?

00:48:44   I'm writing directly into Obsidian. Again, it's a Mac only app. I'm just having it open on my Mac

00:48:48   and I'm entering the text in there directly. That's the way this happens.

00:48:51   But how does that work with the "research iPad"?

00:48:54   Yeah, okay, so the

00:48:57   All right, so there is an additional app

00:49:01   here, which is which is on my list, which is a I feel like an oldie but goodie, which is

00:49:06   is OneWriter, which is a Markdown app for iOS.

00:49:11   And just by happenstance, the way OneWriter happens

00:49:16   to work with Dropbox and Markdown files

00:49:20   lines up perfectly with Obsidian,

00:49:22   so that if I need to add something to a note

00:49:27   that is in my Obsidian database,

00:49:30   which really is just a bunch of Dropbox files

00:49:32   that are all Markdown files, and I am on my iPad,

00:49:36   I can use one writer to add to any existing index card that's there.

00:49:42   Right. That makes sense.

00:49:43   I don't do that a lot, but every once in a while I do that.

00:49:47   And it's nice to be able to have as an option.

00:49:49   Yeah. I know I would really be adverse to a note-taking tool,

00:49:54   which is an idea tool sometimes, as well as research tool that I could only access from one of my machines.

00:50:01   Yeah. And again, it is the biggest frustration by far,

00:50:05   but it shows like how much I like this app that I'm willing to put up with it.

00:50:09   When I say my, so when I say research iPad, I do mean this in a slightly

00:50:16   different sense, which is just that maybe like investigation iPad might be a

00:50:21   better word for this, but I use that a lot for the like the more exploratory

00:50:29   phase of looking into projects or just trying to find stuff.

00:50:33   And so I'll often have like a Safari window on that research iPad, which has 40 tabs open

00:50:41   that are related to some video project, for example.

00:50:44   And I try really hard to keep all of that, like, whenever I'm investigating something,

00:50:54   to explicitly take the research iPad, like, find the Safari window that's related to this project,

00:50:59   and like expand from there.

00:51:01   And then there's another phase which is when I'm priming the pump, kind of like going through those tabs,

00:51:10   adding stuff into Obsidian and trying to like close them down.

00:51:14   So you have like expansion and contraction.

00:51:17   There is one thing, I don't think this is possible, but I would love to know if anybody has figured out a way

00:51:23   that you can not have like iCloud tabs,

00:51:26   but is there any way to force Safari

00:51:30   to maintain state across different devices?

00:51:33   Like I would always want Safari on my Mac

00:51:36   to be the same tabs and things as Safari on my iPad.

00:51:40   - That is the world you're never,

00:51:42   I can't imagine you're ever gonna get.

00:51:43   That sounds wild.

00:51:45   - I know you say that,

00:51:46   but I have this feeling in the back of my head of like,

00:51:50   surely this is accomplishable with JavaScript or something.

00:51:53   Like there's a way in which if I just run a script

00:51:58   or a shortcut before I open,

00:52:00   can I like force sync Safari to always be the same?

00:52:04   I don't know if I can, but I feel like if that's possible,

00:52:08   if anyone can figure out a way to do it,

00:52:11   I am willing to run a shortcut or a script

00:52:14   before I launch Safari on any device,

00:52:16   if it can force state across all devices.

00:52:21   - All right, if you're willing to do that,

00:52:23   I'm sure there's a way to do it.

00:52:25   - Yeah, see, now it feels like it might be tantalizing.

00:52:28   - Well, 'cause I thought you were just talking

00:52:29   about some like mirrored syncing system,

00:52:33   where it automatically does it for you.

00:52:35   - I don't expect this is something Apple's ever gonna do

00:52:37   and Apple would be the one who would need to do it.

00:52:40   But I just wonder, it's like,

00:52:42   there's gotta be a way with JavaScript

00:52:43   that I can read the state of all of the tabs

00:52:45   like save them into a bookmark folder and have that folder opened up on another device or whatever.

00:52:50   Like there's got to be a way to do that.

00:52:51   That seems more possible.

00:52:53   But so yes, there we go.

00:52:54   Notes.

00:52:55   Obsidian.

00:52:57   Love it.

00:52:58   It's great.

00:52:59   It's great for priming the pump.

00:53:01   If anyone out there is a writer, I feel like this is a sort of like just a new tool to look for in your own workflow,

00:53:11   which is not that you're writing,

00:53:13   but that you're a pre-writing tool.

00:53:15   Like maybe that's just a thing to keep an eye out for.

00:53:17   And I feel like Obsidian is this kind of thing

00:53:21   that I didn't know could exist in the workflow

00:53:23   and has proved extremely helpful.

00:53:25   So, App of the Year, even though I don't give App of the Year.

00:53:29   - I still use Apple Notes, as I mentioned,

00:53:31   for basically all of my note taking.

00:53:34   - Now, Myke, what do you mean by a note?

00:53:37   - I already told you.

00:53:37   (laughing)

00:53:38   You can try and make this joke already,

00:53:39   but I have already told you in the episode.

00:53:42   And somebody asked recently, I think it was on Reddit,

00:53:45   how I organize my notes,

00:53:47   because like Apple Notes has folders and stuff.

00:53:50   I don't do this.

00:53:51   So I don't really have any organization structure

00:53:53   to my notes.

00:53:54   They're just sorted by modification date,

00:53:58   which most of the time is all I need.

00:54:00   Like I am typically only really adding them or moving

00:54:03   from about six or seven notes at a time.

00:54:06   Like that's what I'm going into most.

00:54:09   So most of the time I open notes and what I want is within view.

00:54:13   But other than that, I just search to get what I need.

00:54:15   Can you give me a couple of examples of what you mean by the six or seven?

00:54:18   Like what, what, what are your most frequent notes that you're willing to share?

00:54:22   So right at the, I'll give, I'll actually give you a rundown now.

00:54:25   So I have Cortex followup 2021 yearly theme upgrade, follow up connected,

00:54:32   follow up streaming gear research, MacBook pro thoughts, upgrade is 2020.

00:54:38   Panatic follow-up like that's my list as it's going down right okay, and so in here are notes

00:54:45   I use every single week

00:54:46   Which is all of those follow-up notes that that's basic but for me that just means like it is where all the links go

00:54:53   All the additional thoughts go where I write out some basic ideas for topics for shows every week

00:54:57   Then there's also in there some like projects right so like looking into different gear for streaming and the MacBook Pro one is a good

00:55:06   example of like if I have a new product that I am taking notes on to talk about

00:55:10   on a show I'll just create a note for that product throw all of my stuff in

00:55:14   there about that product and then we'll massage it and take it out to put into a

00:55:20   show document somewhere. So that's kind of the typical way of like

00:55:25   it's from the top down is the stuff that I'm using frequently or the stuff that

00:55:31   is important for right now, but if I need something later,

00:55:36   I'll just search for it, because it's very easy for me

00:55:40   to find what I'm looking for by search,

00:55:42   because I label things in a way that I need,

00:55:47   and/or just being like, oh, I'm sure I made a note about X.

00:55:51   I would just search for that thing and I'll find it.

00:55:54   So I don't use folders or any kind of structure like that,

00:55:57   because for notes, for me, it's just not a thing

00:56:00   that I need.

00:56:01   Yeah, it doesn't sound like you have enough notes that it makes sense to start to subcategorize

00:56:06   them.

00:56:07   Well, I mean, I have like the best part of eight or nine hundred notes in my notes archive,

00:56:12   but they're not all being used frequently enough.

00:56:15   But they're all there in case I need them.

00:56:17   Okay, the number is two orders of magnitude larger than I was expecting.

00:56:21   Okay, but search does the job for you.

00:56:25   Like I have notes going all the way back to 2015 in here.

00:56:28   I have 11th of October 2015, Notes from Lunch with Grey.

00:56:35   E-Myth revisited.

00:56:36   He's in there.

00:56:37   He told me to read that back in October of 2015.

00:56:43   Okay.

00:56:44   All right.

00:56:45   So, you know, it's all in there.

00:56:47   So if I searched, you know, if I ever wanted to be like, "Oh, what was that book Grey

00:56:51   recommended?"

00:56:52   I would find it.

00:56:53   Right.

00:56:54   Okay.

00:56:55   Notion for a few things that I want to separate out.

00:56:59   So everything Cortex brand related goes into Notion.

00:57:04   And there's a little more organization to it

00:57:06   because that's what Notion demands.

00:57:09   - Right.

00:57:10   - So everything is a little bit more organized there

00:57:11   into like categories and then notes

00:57:14   inside of those categories.

00:57:15   And also for some like mechanical keyboard related stuff

00:57:18   I've started to use Notion,

00:57:20   but Notion isn't the app that I want to use for this.

00:57:23   Can I just ask, are you using it like a database?

00:57:26   Is that the--

00:57:27   - For the keyboard stuff.

00:57:28   - Yeah, so you're using it as like a record

00:57:30   of here's the 100 keyboards that I own

00:57:32   and the components that went into them.

00:57:34   - I have inventory in there now,

00:57:35   and my ultimate thought is to try and have information

00:57:40   related to the products saved inside of there,

00:57:42   but I haven't really started to do that yet

00:57:45   because Notion still just doesn't feel

00:57:47   like what I'm looking for.

00:57:49   The app that I wanna use is an app called Craft.

00:57:52   okay i haven't heard of this. So this is a new entrant on the scene

00:57:56   it's like all of these other things that you've seen in that it's new and it's

00:58:01   got backlinks and it does stuff by content blocks and all that kind of stuff

00:58:07   everybody's thinking about notes? Because I'm thinking about notes. No it's not

00:58:11   that's not the reason but okay

00:58:13   but craft

00:58:14   it is the reason

00:58:15   for iOS and MacOS is actually a native application

00:58:20   Ah, okay.

00:58:21   Which imagine if, imagine such a thing

00:58:23   when it comes to notes in 2020.

00:58:25   That is a big advantage right away.

00:58:28   It's designed really nicely, it has collaboration.

00:58:31   This is one of the applications that I was trying out

00:58:34   in my real-time collaboration quest,

00:58:36   but it still didn't do the thing.

00:58:38   No, it wouldn't be instant.

00:58:40   But this has like split view and multi-window support

00:58:43   and all that kind of stuff on the iPad.

00:58:46   The only thing craft is missing for me right now

00:58:50   is the ability to create a table.

00:58:52   You cannot create tables in craft.

00:58:55   I understand they are working on it.

00:58:57   Once they add this feature,

00:59:00   I'm most likely going to move my keyboard stuff

00:59:02   over to craft.

00:59:03   So I'm keeping my eye on it.

00:59:05   It's a really nice looking application.

00:59:07   It's quite promising.

00:59:09   And who knows, like I might move more and more over to it.

00:59:12   It's got some really nice features

00:59:14   and it does stuff in a way

00:59:16   that I think makes a lot of sense for how I work.

00:59:18   and it's nicely designed and it's got a lot of modern

00:59:22   iPad and iOS features in it, which I think is really cool

00:59:26   and rare for applications in this space, honestly.

00:59:30   - Yeah, it looks really nice,

00:59:31   just looking at the screenshots of it.

00:59:32   - But they've got a lot of the features

00:59:34   that people want these days, you know?

00:59:36   So like, it's got backlinking and all that kind of stuff.

00:59:38   It's got collaboration, you know?

00:59:40   You can share stuff on the web

00:59:43   as well as just using it in the app.

00:59:45   So there's a lot of cool stuff in there,

00:59:47   but it's just, it's missing something

00:59:49   which is pretty important for me for the use that I want.

00:59:52   Because I wanna start this keyboard

00:59:56   kind of note taking thing with,

00:59:58   I have two tables, an inventory and a outstanding products.

01:00:03   Like stuff I've bought but hasn't arrived yet.

01:00:07   Like that's where it's beginning.

01:00:09   And then from there, I wanna be able to be like,

01:00:11   all right, so this is all the information I have

01:00:12   about this keyboard and this type of key switch

01:00:15   and all that kind of stuff.

01:00:16   So, but yeah, so that's why I'm keeping my eye on.

01:00:20   I hope that come 2022 State of the Apps,

01:00:22   I will have more to say on craft,

01:00:24   but I've not really been able to give it

01:00:26   the full on test yet because I keep falling down

01:00:29   a pretty early hurdle for me.

01:00:31   - Right, okay.

01:00:32   Yeah, that looks like one to keep an eye on.

01:00:33   - Yeah.

01:00:35   - It also gave me a slight heart attack

01:00:36   when you say 2022 State of the Apps,

01:00:39   but then I remembered that, yes, it's like cars.

01:00:42   It's numbered for the year ahead,

01:00:44   not the year that we're currently in.

01:00:46   - Yeah, and that was your choosing, not mine.

01:00:48   - Yes, no, I know, yes, yes.

01:00:51   - I would much prefer to call this

01:00:52   the 2020 State of the Apps,

01:00:53   'cause that makes more sense to me.

01:00:56   - Yeah, no, but my whole reasoning is like,

01:00:58   no, but you have to, people then when they find it,

01:01:00   they're gonna think it's a year old, right?

01:01:02   And so you sort of sneak it in like,

01:01:04   oh, this is State of the Apps for 2021.

01:01:07   - This is current.

01:01:08   - It just got posted yesterday, guys.

01:01:09   (chime)

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01:02:50   (beep)

01:02:50   Email.

01:02:51   - The wheel.

01:02:52   - So last year your answer was, "I'm not doing it."

01:02:55   (laughing)

01:02:57   - No, that wasn't, no, no.

01:02:59   - It basically was, Greg.

01:03:00   - No, no, oh, okay, well, okay.

01:03:02   Yes and no.

01:03:04   The thing that I found charming

01:03:05   listening to last year's episode

01:03:07   was the part where I said,

01:03:09   "Oh, I'm going to, for next year," the 2020 that has passed now, "for next year, I've got some

01:03:14   some thoughts and some some big plans for email and there's a way that I'm going to be using email

01:03:19   a lot more." And that was contingent on a couple of projects that would have involved a bunch of

01:03:26   people and travel and none of that happened. So the number of times I've seriously opened my email

01:03:34   app in the past year might be under a dozen so email is a thing that I continue to do my absolute

01:03:41   best to ignore and I just use the default mail app and I have I have nothing interesting to

01:03:47   contribute on this topic but that is not the world you live in. I was expecting you were going to be

01:03:53   like "ah I'm on top of my email" did I have a fever dream where you told me you were on top of your

01:03:58   email then? Why did I think that was the case?

01:04:02   I think it might have been a fever dream or maybe one of the times this year I got down

01:04:06   to inbox zero I just dedicated a day to it who knows.

01:04:10   Maybe you then said like I got it I'm on it now and then I just assumed that you were

01:04:15   back any email. Yeah like this is my quarterly email review.

01:04:22   My word Gray. I'm still using Spark.

01:04:27   It's gonna take, you know I was talking earlier about like how workflows shift

01:04:33   with application? It's like a lot to get me away from Spark now because of the

01:04:37   sharing. Right, the commenting on emails with team members thing? Yeah the

01:04:42   team sharing features, like robust team sharing features, are now table

01:04:47   stakes for me. And also for me to now want to move email application, I have to

01:04:53   convince somebody else to move email app as well.

01:04:56   - Ah, yes, yes.

01:04:58   Now it's a decision for the two of you,

01:05:01   not just the one of you.

01:05:02   - I have to be able to make a real good case

01:05:05   to suggest that me and Carrie move email apps.

01:05:09   So I don't think that that's likely.

01:05:13   The only thing that I have my eye on

01:05:15   and I have just one eye on it and it's not,

01:05:19   you know, it's just Glancing, is an app called Hey,

01:05:22   which is like a new take on email,

01:05:26   which I kind of don't like.

01:05:28   I also don't like that it's just their service

01:05:31   and that's the only email that you can have in that service.

01:05:34   So you either go all in or you don't, right?

01:05:37   Because I have one email app that has my personal email

01:05:41   and my business email,

01:05:43   and I have like two business email addresses,

01:05:46   and they all go into the one app, which is Spark.

01:05:49   But with Hey, all of those have to be either

01:05:52   at hey.com email addresses,

01:05:54   or they're enabling domain kind of email soon.

01:05:57   So you could have like mike@relay.fm, right?

01:06:01   I could have that in there,

01:06:02   but it would be instead of a Google email address,

01:06:06   it would be a Hey maintained email address.

01:06:09   Apprehensive.

01:06:11   - Yeah, I think you have every right

01:06:13   to be apprehensive over that.

01:06:14   That's a problem.

01:06:16   - Because I'm very confident Gmail is gonna exist

01:06:19   forever right like i know google have a pretty bad reputation of killing products but i think

01:06:25   there are three that are going to stick around google search gmail youtube yeah i feel confident

01:06:32   in those three so yeah i don't know i i don't know i know people that have gone all in on

01:06:39   hay and they love it and they keep telling me how great it is and how it's changed their

01:06:43   approach to email, but I just, I don't know.

01:06:48   - Yeah, the longevity worry is a very legitimate worry

01:06:52   for something like email.

01:06:54   - And also just like a big disruption,

01:06:58   this is a big disruption, like you are going in and saying,

01:07:02   I am moving my domain now.

01:07:05   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:07:06   - And you've got to hope that goes well,

01:07:08   because if email gets lost, it's gone, right?

01:07:12   And I just, I just, yeah, it's going to take a lot for me to, to want to do that.

01:07:17   Communication applications.

01:07:19   There's Slack.

01:07:20   There's just the Slack, right Myke?

01:07:22   Slack is, uh, it is Slack now and there's kind of no way they can get away from it.

01:07:30   This is what they are.

01:07:31   Slack, you know, it was supposed to be the cool thing that got rid of email.

01:07:37   And do you know what?

01:07:38   It did do that, but it just replaced it with Slack though.

01:07:42   That's the problem.

01:07:43   And so many years in, it is a fantastic tool,

01:07:47   but that fantastic tool has just filled the same hole.

01:07:52   - Yeah, yeah, without a doubt.

01:07:56   Slack feels like a giant lumbering blob

01:08:01   of a business monster in a way that many of these tools do.

01:08:05   And their cutesy sound effects can't cover that up anymore.

01:08:10   It just doesn't work.

01:08:10   - And you know what?

01:08:11   totally fine, right? Like it's doing its job. It's the business communication tool and that's

01:08:17   perfectly fine. But this idea that we all had that Slack was going to save us from a

01:08:22   thing we didn't like, just has not held out. And it's just, this is where the business

01:08:28   communication happens. Like business communication, which is much easier to manage because instant

01:08:34   messaging is better than email, just fundamentally, for the low barrier to entry and the speed

01:08:41   at which communication can occur, it's all so much better than email.

01:08:47   But you know, it's just the new way that we communicate in business settings is Slack

01:08:53   or Teams, right? You can just like find and replace here for Slack or Teams, right? Like

01:08:58   whichever one you're using, it's the same thing because they're by and large the same

01:09:02   products.

01:09:03   Yeah, yeah. I mean, the thing years on for me that Slack has done is that, yes, in some

01:09:07   sense it has replaced email, but the real value is the siloing for things. That is always

01:09:17   the problem with email. Email can be everything, right? It can be from anyone, and you can

01:09:23   have spam and all the rest of it.

01:09:24   At least with Slack, as you say, when I go into the company A, B, or C Slack, all I'm

01:09:31   I'm going to get is stuff related to what's happening inside of those companies.

01:09:35   Yeah.

01:09:35   Then, and that's a, it's a huge advantage and it is mind blowing to me.

01:09:41   Like how did I ever run my business in some ways before Slack?

01:09:44   Like, I think I remember having on iOS, like I used to use those thread

01:09:51   alert notifications all the time for design feedback and, and like working

01:09:57   with people for like, Oh yes, here.

01:09:59   I'm basically having an instant message conversation about, you know, custom

01:10:04   artwork that I'm having made in the form of an email thread.

01:10:08   And it was like, that was awful.

01:10:09   Uh, so like this Slack, you know, it is, it is what it is.

01:10:13   I'm very glad to have it.

01:10:15   Uh, and it has siloed all of that work communication into one

01:10:20   area where it can just exist.

01:10:21   And it is all better, but it's also, it's also not fun because

01:10:27   work isn't always fun and that's fine.

01:10:29   That's the way it is.

01:10:31   Discord, baby.

01:10:33   Let's all move to Discord.

01:10:35   Discord will be fun.

01:10:36   That's where the fun communications happen then.

01:10:38   Yeah, Discord is for the cool kids.

01:10:40   I am very aware of this,

01:10:41   the fact that I really like Discord.

01:10:43   I like it for a bunch of social things.

01:10:45   And I have had this thought recently

01:10:46   that if I was starting a new project,

01:10:49   like a professional project, I would use Discord.

01:10:51   Yeah, I feel the same way.

01:10:53   I do feel the same way.

01:10:54   It has a different set of tools.

01:10:57   Some of the things are easier.

01:10:58   some of the things are harder, but I just, I really like the overall application.

01:11:03   I like the way it works. I like how easy it is to jump from discord to discord.

01:11:08   I like that I don't have to create a new login every time I want to join a new

01:11:12   discord or create one. Um, I like how,

01:11:15   I like the moderation tools that it has,

01:11:18   not even just from a community management perspective,

01:11:20   but like even a small group perspective,

01:11:23   like that things can be managed quite easily.

01:11:25   I love the bots and how many bots there are for discord and how open that is and

01:11:29   how you can have it do weird and wonderful things. I actually, you know,

01:11:33   depending on your, your outlook,

01:11:35   the fact that it doesn't have threaded messages can be a good thing or a bad

01:11:38   thing. I don't really like Slack's threads honestly, so I'm fine with that,

01:11:43   but you know, your mileage may vary. Discord is the new chat app,

01:11:48   but honestly that just might mean that in a year I would hate it,

01:11:54   But Discord is where I would go now.

01:11:57   Yeah.

01:11:58   Well, again, this is the thing with Slack is going to save us from all the emails.

01:12:02   Like, yes, yes.

01:12:03   It doesn't save you from the work though.

01:12:05   Right?

01:12:05   Like the work still needs to happen.

01:12:07   Maybe Discord saves us from Slack though.

01:12:10   Right.

01:12:10   And then, but that's, that's the feeling is like, I think when people say this,

01:12:13   there's, there's sort of an implied it'll save me from the work.

01:12:18   Right.

01:12:19   And so you're like, oh, I'll use Discord.

01:12:20   It's more fun and there'll be less work.

01:12:22   It's like you still have to get the same amount of things done.

01:12:24   But I do think Discord has the advantage of having come along after Slack,

01:12:31   making design decisions,

01:12:33   seeing how Slack works. So yeah, there's a lot of stuff that's hard to pin down, but Discord does feel

01:12:40   smoother and less heavyweight in a lot of ways, and that's also the same reason I feel like

01:12:46   if I was starting from scratch today,

01:12:49   I would probably do all of my company communications on a Discord rather than on a Slack.

01:12:57   I actually think over the next couple of years there's going to be another boom in these

01:13:01   tools for so many reasons.

01:13:04   One, of course there's a market for it now because of remote working, but two, because

01:13:10   of the change in remote working, everyone's going to come up with their "We're better

01:13:15   than Slack and this is why" tool.

01:13:18   This was a thing that was around a few years ago because Slack was gaining prominence,

01:13:23   so people were like "we can build a better Slack" but I don't think there was a lot

01:13:26   of take up for it because everyone was like "we use Slack, what's the problem?"

01:13:31   But now I think these tools are so important that one, more people are using them so there'll

01:13:36   be more new takes on it, and two, there's investment.

01:13:39   Yeah, that's a really good point, I think you're right.

01:13:43   Obviously it takes a while for this stuff to get off the ground, but there's probably

01:13:46   a non-trivial number of remote teams

01:13:49   who are remotely working together

01:13:51   on their replacement for Slack,

01:13:52   like right now for sure.

01:13:54   Listening to this very podcast in the background, right?

01:13:57   Like 100%, that's the thing that's happening.

01:14:00   - It is 2020, so I've added a new communication app

01:14:04   to this list, Zoom.

01:14:06   I mean, I've used Zoom for years.

01:14:11   - Have you?

01:14:12   - But just not to the level that I use it now.

01:14:14   Can you explain something to me?

01:14:18   I do not understand, really, why

01:14:22   Zoom just completely exploded this year.

01:14:26   And it feels like, guys, we've had these tools all along and

01:14:30   I have just, I've had this real resistance to using

01:14:34   Zoom and get into these weird conversations with people sometimes like

01:14:38   "Why can't you just FaceTime me?" and they're like "No, let's do a Zoom call!"

01:14:42   "No, I don't want to.

01:14:44   I don't like or trust Zoom,

01:14:47   and I didn't like it from the moment I saw it."

01:14:49   But it's like, somehow this just instantly became

01:14:54   the thing that everyone uses,

01:14:57   and talks about like video chat was invented

01:15:01   the day Zoom showed up in March 2020.

01:15:05   - Well, Zoom's been around for a long time,

01:15:08   and it's been used in a lot of professional settings,

01:15:11   and it does some interesting stuff for like large group podcasts like Zoom can record, right?

01:15:16   For you. So I've done it in those kinds of settings. That's how I have been aware of Zoom

01:15:22   for a while because it was like a it has been a Skype replacement for some people that I work with.

01:15:31   Zoom worked because it had the lowest barrier to entry for joining a call.

01:15:39   It made it very easy to join calls. Zoom's real thing was that you could click a link and join

01:15:47   a call and you didn't need an account and you didn't need to download an app necessarily.

01:15:53   The way that it dealt with a lot of that stuff was much, much easier, I think,

01:15:58   than a lot of its competitors. Now unfortunately this ended up being a slight fall from grace for

01:16:07   Zoom because some of the ways that they were doing things to make them easy were not necessarily

01:16:12   secure and they have tightened up some of that stuff but at this point it doesn't matter because

01:16:19   Zoom has, because Zoom made it so easy for so many people, they have become the tool, right? So now

01:16:30   that they have actually done some work to make it harder to join a Zoom call because it's now more

01:16:36   correct in its security than it was before, it's now become the verb. So it doesn't matter now.

01:16:43   Zoom is the verb. So to video call someone in 2020 and beyond is to Zoom them.

01:16:49   Yeah. And that's just that. So I use Zoom. The one thing I like about Zoom is that

01:16:56   now everyone uses one application because before I would have calls with people and I had to have

01:17:04   Webex accounts, Zoom accounts, Google Meet accounts, Cisco accounts, like because you

01:17:10   would have a call and they would want to set up a call and it would be like join one of these

01:17:14   20,000 different services at least now everyone has a Zoom account so we can all we can all agree on

01:17:21   Zoom. Not me, I am the final holdout. Yeah but you know by and large most people that work with you

01:17:30   already have a thing but so like if somebody if you're meeting with someone for the first time

01:17:36   What do you use then?

01:17:37   The hierarchy here is FaceTime and then Skype. That's the hierarchy.

01:17:42   Okay. Because again, the great thing about Zoom is it's available everywhere, right?

01:17:47   Yeah, which FaceTime obviously isn't, but I feel like I haven't run into anyone yet

01:17:53   who doesn't have one of those two. I guess way lower down, like one in a thousand is Google

01:18:00   Meet, but that's incredibly rare.

01:18:02   I hate that one. I don't know why though.

01:18:05   [laughter]

01:18:07   I don't have enough experience with it, but I have that same feeling with Zoom.

01:18:12   Like, I don't have good reasons, but I just feel viscerally repelled by Zoom.

01:18:18   And so, yeah, I try not to use it if I possibly can.

01:18:21   - I mean, I like it for the stuff that I use it for in the sense that it has good features.

01:18:25   It's easy for my family to all get on a call if we're doing something.

01:18:30   It's easy to do group calls and it can be recorded in case somebody misses it.

01:18:34   and it's all done automatically. You know, like it does the job. I can see why it's worked for people.

01:18:41   You know, like it's very specific set of features that it has worked very well for the pandemic

01:18:48   and everybody else had to catch up. If they caught up. You know, like Slack, I mean,

01:18:56   geez, just doesn't have these features. And it's wild to me, which is one of the reasons why teams

01:19:04   has done so well for Microsoft because Teams has all this stuff built into it

01:19:10   mm-hmm which is also kind of funny because Microsoft on Skype I always

01:19:15   forget that I forget that Microsoft on Skype now I think Microsoft forgot

01:19:19   because they built a whole new like the calling in teams is not based on Skype

01:19:25   it's not Skype it's teams chat that's crazy but I think my understanding is it

01:19:32   for what it needs to be is better than how Skype would deal with it.

01:19:36   Is there anything I've missed out from communication for what's going on in your world?

01:19:42   Yeah, I'll just add one more thing, which is a sort of follow-up from last year.

01:19:46   It sort of goes to your not liking threads on Slack.

01:19:50   So again, within my own company, there's this little bit of a distinction between

01:19:55   Slack is for communication, but there needs to be somewhere else for the actual, like,

01:20:03   information or tasks or like what needs to be done.

01:20:06   It's easy to just lose stuff in the stream of people talking for like, "What were the actionable items?"

01:20:12   or, you know, "What's that piece of reference material?"

01:20:15   And so last year I was using Dropbox Paper as this auxiliary layer to Slack,

01:20:22   where like tasks and things would go in there.

01:20:25   This is also one of these situations

01:20:26   where you're working with someone else.

01:20:28   So my assistant eventually said

01:20:31   she wanted to transition away from paper to Notion

01:20:34   for this layer.

01:20:36   - 'Cause she's an architect, right?

01:20:37   - She is totally an architect

01:20:39   and she is part of the Notion nation.

01:20:42   And so she wanted to transition to Notion.

01:20:44   And while there are things

01:20:46   that I still don't love about Notion,

01:20:49   Notion, it is obviously the vastly better tool for her, which makes it the vastly better tool

01:20:56   for me as well. And so all of the like, back end data for my company all exists in Notion.

01:21:07   When there are things that my assistant needs me to do, like that's in a task list in Notion.

01:21:12   And it is really nice, like Notion's ability to say, like, here's a task, you know, here's

01:21:16   the document that you need to sign, it goes right here and to have some additional information

01:21:21   about it.

01:21:22   This is where Notion does stand strong with its ability to like create like an arbitrary

01:21:27   database entry for almost anything.

01:21:30   And so like that ability of being able to collaborate and communicate with tasks is

01:21:35   really fantastic.

01:21:36   And then that is also where again, I have transitioned to a lot of the communication

01:21:42   between me and my animator is like, we will discuss things in Slack, but all of the actionable

01:21:50   items like this needs to be changed or this needs to be bigger or smaller or like, you

01:21:56   know, whatever, all of that exists in Notion as well.

01:22:00   So it's like, boom, here's a list of tasks that we can collaborate on, like adding and

01:22:05   checking off things.

01:22:06   So I just find it really useful to try to keep that in mind when you're working with

01:22:12   people, that like, where communication happens is a separate layer from information and task

01:22:22   tracking, and like, don't confuse those two, and if you do so, you do that at your peril.

01:22:29   So I used to use paper for it, and now I use Notion for it, which was not my decision,

01:22:34   but was a very good decision.

01:22:36   Fantastical 3 is still my calendar app of choice.

01:22:40   Well, Fantasti-

01:22:41   Version 3 is the new version of Fantastical that has come out in the last year.

01:22:45   It's a great update. It gave me the two features that I wanted the most.

01:22:49   The iPad version is basically the Mac version now, which looks-

01:22:52   It just looks exactly the same, so I have all the functionality I want.

01:22:55   And calendar sets are also available now, so you can group together calendars

01:23:00   and just check which ones you want to see at a specific time, which I really, really like.

01:23:05   Oh, the widgets are also fantastic.

01:23:07   I love FantasticOwl, have done for years,

01:23:09   and it got a lot better this year,

01:23:12   which I'm really happy about.

01:23:14   - Yeah, I mean, there's nothing more to say

01:23:16   than it's the best calendar app by a lot.

01:23:18   It's fantastic, that calendar.

01:23:21   - Oh, wow.

01:23:23   I wonder if that's why they called it that.

01:23:25   (laughing)

01:23:26   I've also been using a tool called Doodle.

01:23:29   I've included this in case you ask

01:23:31   from looking at my home screen.

01:23:33   - Yeah, what's Doodle?

01:23:34   It is a tool to get a bunch of people to agree on a time to have a call.

01:23:41   Ah, okay.

01:23:43   So as the person creating the Doodle, I say like these are the days I am available and the times

01:23:49   and I would send it out to eight or nine people and they can all go in and check what they want to do.

01:23:54   Fantastic Count actually has this feature itself.

01:23:57   Does it? Oh, I didn't know that.

01:23:58   Yeah, it's called proposed time, but I haven't really played around with that yet

01:24:02   And I have a friend who tried to use this recently

01:24:06   to send a thing to me and he ended up not making the call

01:24:11   because it didn't add it to his calendar

01:24:13   the way that he was expecting.

01:24:15   But Doodle is a thing that I use

01:24:17   and also it's not presupposing that people use calendars

01:24:19   the same way that I do.

01:24:21   I don't even know if the people I'm sending these to

01:24:25   even use a calendar at all.

01:24:27   Right, like I'm not gonna make that guess

01:24:29   'cause people use their own tools differently.

01:24:31   this is just like, hey, here's the thing.

01:24:34   Now you can come to this meeting, however it is you were reminded of such things.

01:24:39   Right.

01:24:39   Ah, okay.

01:24:40   So, you know, cause it's like all you're doing is saying I'm also available at

01:24:44   these times and then when it's done, I then create an event.

01:24:48   So like, all right, great.

01:24:49   We're all going to meet at this time.

01:24:50   So.

01:24:50   Yeah, that's great.

01:24:52   I'll take a look at it.

01:24:53   I mean, again, this is one of these like mathematical things where you have two

01:24:57   people, it's not hard to arrange time, but the moment you have three people it's like,

01:25:02   it's exponentially harder and then four people and five people just explode so fast.

01:25:07   Right, and my issue is that the only thing I'm using this for is to arrange a monthly call

01:25:12   between 10 people. Oh my god. So that's why I started using Doodle.

01:25:17   It's amazing, it's even possible to arrange a call between 10 people.

01:25:23   Yeah, I agree. You remember when I said earlier about the fact that Zoom does recording and

01:25:28   that's good? It's because sometimes not all 10 people can agree.

01:25:32   Right, of course.

01:25:33   So the fact that Zoom can record those calls is great for the people that can't make it because

01:25:37   it is actually impossible to arrange a call that 10 people can make when the creator of the call,

01:25:44   that's me, only gives three days that they're able to do it on.

01:25:48   Yeah, that makes sense.

01:25:51   I'll just add a quick little thing here related to scheduling stuff, which is when we're talking

01:25:57   about widgets, David Smith's WidgetSmith has the time zone display on your phone, is what you were

01:26:04   using it for, to show you like, "Oh, here's the time zones in a bunch of different places."

01:26:07   And you asked why I still had calzones, and I hadn't thought about it at the time,

01:26:15   but one thing I do still really like calzones for is that when you open up calzones,

01:26:21   It lets you do this thing where you can slide the time zones around to see like,

01:26:25   "Oh, okay, when it's going to be 7 p.m. in London, you know, what time is it in LA?"

01:26:31   or whatever.

01:26:32   And so I still use calzones a lot for that.

01:26:35   And I don't think it will work.

01:26:36   Like just having the widget of what time is it now in another time zone is, is

01:26:42   actually not very often the thing that I want.

01:26:45   When I'm thinking about time zones, I'm often trying to do that mental calculation

01:26:49   of like, plus six hours a week from now, when is that for someone else? And so I use Calzones

01:26:55   for that a bunch for meeting scheduling and planning. In the Widdesmith app, there's a section

01:27:00   called Tools. And in Tools is a thing called Wild Time. And in that has a version, a simpler version

01:27:08   of what Calzones does. So that's what I do when I now want to work out a time. Can I get to that

01:27:13   in one tap? No. Okay well then I'm gonna, I mean look, they're both David Smith apps, so I'm gonna

01:27:22   keep using Calzones if it just takes me one tap to get to the thing because I feel like I just want

01:27:26   to open it and see it, but if he eventually abandons that in favor of his new favorite child

01:27:33   then you know I'll use the new system. The new favorite child just got a pretty cool update by

01:27:38   by the way, which is myth.

01:27:40   - Oh yeah, I saw that roll in my updates, yeah.

01:27:42   - There's like themes now, which is really great

01:27:45   'cause that's Dave leaning into what people

01:27:47   are using the application for.

01:27:49   - Yeah, that's definitely a good decision.

01:27:50   - Which is to make their home screens look nice,

01:27:53   and yeah, and so he's done more of that

01:27:55   and I really like that update.

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01:29:25   I wanted to include project management this year.

01:29:30   Okay, what are you thinking with this?

01:29:31   Well, I realized that I have a tool that I use for some stuff like this,

01:29:35   and also thinking maybe this is an area which I could use to some effect for other stuff.

01:29:42   Okay.

01:29:43   So Trello is the tool that I use for things that I would consider project management,

01:29:49   and there is one annual project where I manage through Trello and then one which is more ongoing.

01:29:54   So the annual project is the podcastathon. We arranged the podcastathon in Trello.

01:30:00   So this is shared between a bunch of people and effectively we're throwing all of our ideas in

01:30:05   there and then we're moving them around from column to column in Kanban system of how done they are

01:30:13   from idea stage to completion stage and if somebody needs to add things to it you can

01:30:19   assign them to it. You know Trello works pretty well for a project management in that kind of

01:30:23   a sense of like you have an item and it needs to move through a process to completion.

01:30:30   So we've to great effect actually have used Trello for this and then even for when it

01:30:35   comes to actually doing the like run of show for the Podcastathon event, we'll create

01:30:41   our columns and then move these ideas into each hour.

01:30:47   [

01:30:57   content that we will produce during the Podcastathon event.

01:31:01   And so then eventually, once all of the preparation for that content is complete, we can then

01:31:06   move it into its hour column of when it will appear during the eight hour event.

01:31:10   So that's a really interesting way to use a Kanban board.

01:31:12   I hadn't thought about that, but that's a great idea.

01:31:15   Yeah, I didn't.

01:31:16   It wasn't my idea.

01:31:17   I think Stephen set it up that way.

01:31:19   It was very clever.

01:31:21   But that's something, you know, we use it for that.

01:31:23   I mean we also use Trello for like a few other things at Real AFM like we use it for our

01:31:28   Annual company goals and projects that we want to achieve throughout a year

01:31:32   We put into Trello if we were working on a high-level project of some description

01:31:37   We might use Trello for that and also me and Adina have been using it for setting up the studio setting up mega studio

01:31:43   Mmm from a high-level perspective

01:31:46   I really like Trello for this kind of stuff because it's like, you know, you can step back and see

01:31:52   how everything's moving through a process of completion and I really like that a lot and or if you have

01:31:59   lots of mini projects inside of a larger project

01:32:02   So like when it comes to setting up the studio

01:32:05   The studio is kind of cordoned off into different areas, right?

01:32:09   So like we have a lounge and then we have like three desks and each of those

01:32:13   Areas has lots of little things that need to be done for it to become complete that area

01:32:19   So, having a column for each of these areas and then all of the different tasks listed

01:32:27   in each column, it works really nice.

01:32:30   So I'm aware of the fact that this is very basic project management, so I don't know

01:32:35   if this is the thing that I need to or want to look into more, but for big tasks like

01:32:42   these, I have valued Trello this year for that.

01:32:46   Mmm, yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense.

01:32:49   I'm kind of surprised that you don't manage your videos with a tool like this.

01:32:55   Because you are working with so many people now.

01:32:57   Trello is one of those tools that I have visited many times over the years.

01:33:02   And I've always been interested in Kanban systems.

01:33:06   I think there's something very nice about them.

01:33:08   And it fits with your index card, love.

01:33:10   Yeah, it seems like it should be right in the bullseye.

01:33:13   I also think there's, you know, back when I was, you know, working in the glass cube in the before times,

01:33:19   I think there's a reason that almost every company whose office I could peer into,

01:33:24   they had like a Ken ban board with a bunch of sticky notes that they were moving around, like,

01:33:28   it feels like it is the right tool for lots of things.

01:33:33   I've just, for me, never personally found it to be actually useful in the sense of,

01:33:43   I've used it a number of times, like I've tried using Kanban systems and Trello boards like for

01:33:49   video production process, but it's the only time it's this tool has for me felt like,

01:33:55   "Oh, I'm just playing with a task list, like I'm not really doing the thing, I'm just moving these

01:34:03   cards but I'm moving the cards after the fact." Like it just never felt useful. But with the

01:34:10   increasing number of people who are involved in the video production and the increasing

01:34:15   number of steps, particularly post-Ticoy incident.

01:34:19   This has been a thing that I've been talking with people about and I think it might make

01:34:27   sense to even just have like a very high level Kanban board to show like what videos are

01:34:34   in what stages.

01:34:36   So this is something that I just feel is investigating and is maybe a tool that I need to think about

01:34:41   in a different way where it's not like, "This tool isn't for me.

01:34:46   This tool is for creating clarity for the people that I work with."

01:34:52   Like where are the videos?

01:34:54   What looks like it's coming down the pike?

01:34:57   And so maybe this is something that should exist in the future.

01:35:01   The closest thing that I have to project management in that sense, which I think I've mentioned

01:35:06   before, but as in Slack, like I make a different channel for each of the videos and then I

01:35:12   explicitly number those channels so that everyone knows like you should be working on things

01:35:18   from one onward.

01:35:21   If like I put tasks or things to be done in multiple channels, like you always know which

01:35:26   one should happen first.

01:35:28   Yeah, that doesn't feel like the way to do it.

01:35:30   Yeah, but so the thing is, they're like, that is extremely high level, but it doesn't create

01:35:36   the concept of where in the process is this individual video.

01:35:42   Yeah, it feels like to me with that numbering thing, you have maybe started to naturally move

01:35:51   into needing a system like this. Like that some that you have now recognized that there needs to

01:35:59   be this like ordering and or progress. This is very normal I think for

01:36:05   adding a new tool or system that you've started to outgrow the process a little

01:36:10   bit or it's you're starting to like shoehorn something in, right? Or you

01:36:16   know or the other part which is what you're doing right here is you're using the tool

01:36:20   in a way that it's not intended to be used like so you're doing something to

01:36:23   Slack which that's not what Slack's for right which is what you were mentioning

01:36:28   earlier about like tasks in Slack?

01:36:31   - Yes, exactly.

01:36:32   - And moving them out to Notion now.

01:36:34   So yeah, it's maybe suggesting that,

01:36:37   even Notion could be.

01:36:39   - Yeah, well, I mean, Notion has everything inside of it.

01:36:41   There's Kanban boards inside of Notion.

01:36:43   So that may very well be the thing that happens,

01:36:46   is like, oh, there's a Kanban board

01:36:48   that just lives on a page in Notion somewhere.

01:36:50   Maybe that's what happens.

01:36:51   This is very in flux.

01:36:53   This is a thing that is also one of these areas

01:36:56   where I need to think about it because

01:36:59   the video production process is really fluid

01:37:04   and I'm always a bit cautious about

01:37:06   over structuring the video production

01:37:10   like a factory, like assembly line

01:37:13   is not really something that I want to do.

01:37:15   Like I do want to be able to be free to drop or pause

01:37:19   or delay projects and things like this.

01:37:21   So yeah, it's just something I'm in the middle

01:37:24   of investigating, but I think the way

01:37:25   have to think about it is like it's a tool that is clarity for others. It's not a tool

01:37:31   that's actually for me. We'll see. We'll see what happens in State of the Apps 2022.

01:37:36   All right, writing and research. Obviously these are two very different things for the

01:37:41   two of us.

01:37:42   Yes.

01:37:43   But things that we both do in our own way. So for me, research this year has really solidified

01:37:50   around RSS. It's stuck and I'm using Reader 5 now. I was using Reader 4 last year as a

01:37:56   new version of Reader, which is not vastly different, it's just like really, really beautifully

01:38:01   polished. The app added a bunch of features, but they're not features that I particularly

01:38:06   want but could be really useful for people in that you can now use Reader as your RSS

01:38:13   subscription tool via iCloud, which is very clever.

01:38:16   What do you mean it shares the RSS feeds over iCloud? It syncs them?

01:38:20   Yeah, so you can add them to reader and then reader syncs all of that to your other devices using iCloud

01:38:26   So you don't actually need to to have another service. Ah, okay, right, right. So I use like feed bin or feedly

01:38:33   I don't know what one I use but I use one of these services

01:38:36   Right. That just syncs with reader and it also like beefs up its read later support

01:38:40   So it has like a read later function inside of reader as well

01:38:43   so you can you need like an instapaper or something.

01:38:46   How do you think it compares to instapaper?

01:38:48   I don't know.

01:38:49   You've never used it? Okay.

01:38:51   I don't do that kind of thing.

01:38:54   Like I don't like have this thing where like I come across articles and I like send them

01:38:57   to a thing to read later because I don't use RSS for...

01:39:02   This sounds weird.

01:39:04   I don't use it for reading.

01:39:06   I know that sounds really strange.

01:39:08   Well, yeah, you must be you're skimming, right?

01:39:11   Like you're skimming, you're hunting,

01:39:13   you're looking for things, right?

01:39:14   That's what you're doing with RSS.

01:39:15   - Mostly I'm pulling stuff out and sending it to notes

01:39:18   to read later for actual,

01:39:21   when I sit down to do my research for a show.

01:39:24   I will read the occasional thing in Reader.

01:39:27   Like there'll be an article that I'll see

01:39:28   and I'll read that.

01:39:30   But I'm not really like as well known.

01:39:33   I'm not like this reading person.

01:39:34   So like I don't like come across an article.

01:39:36   I'm like, "Ooh, I must save that to read later."

01:39:39   Like I don't, this is not really a thing that I feel.

01:39:41   You know, like, oh, somebody shared this article on Twitter.

01:39:45   Must make sure I sit down with my morning coffee tomorrow and read it.

01:39:48   Like, I know that this is a very normal thing for many people, but it isn't for me.

01:39:53   So Reader is an absolutely excellent tool for me to, whenever I want to, go in,

01:40:01   see a bunch of headlines, maybe click through the occasional one to see if it's

01:40:05   something I want to, like I'll skim it.

01:40:07   Is this what I want to read more about?

01:40:08   yes, then I will use the share extension to send that out to Notes to add it to, say,

01:40:14   upgrade follow-up note. So then when I sit down to actually do my work for upgrade,

01:40:19   I have all my links, I open them all, read what I need. Right? So it's mostly a triage tool,

01:40:26   but it is the most effective way for me to ingest a vast amount of information in a short

01:40:32   period of time. I'm really glad that the RSS move for you has worked out. I almost feel

01:40:38   happy to know like RSS it isn't dead yet it's like it can still be done right a

01:40:43   professional can still rely on this protocol for what it was intended like

01:40:47   the ability to survey websites and collate them all in one place so I'm

01:40:52   really glad to know that that worked out. Yeah I'm very happy with it when it

01:40:56   comes to writing I mean the stuff that I write takes many different forms and

01:41:02   none of it is even close to what you do right and it's all very similar for me

01:41:07   So the app that I write the most in or the service that I write the most in is Google

01:41:12   Docs, right?

01:41:13   Right.

01:41:14   So the most writing I do on a weekly basis is outlines for podcasts.

01:41:20   And so that is all in Google Docs.

01:41:24   Before Google Docs, they live in notes as I explained earlier, but if I needed to write

01:41:28   a document, if I needed to write a blog post or if I needed to write something long form,

01:41:33   I'm still using Bear for that just because it works

01:41:37   and I've had Bear for years

01:41:39   and it's just a simple markdown app for me.

01:41:43   - I'm just curious, when you say write something long form,

01:41:46   do you have any examples this year

01:41:48   of the kind of stuff that you've written in Bear?

01:41:51   I'm just trying to imagine what that would even be.

01:41:53   - Sponsor copy is something that I would write.

01:41:55   - Ah, okay, that makes sense.

01:41:56   - And I don't do very much of that,

01:41:57   but I do it occasionally.

01:41:59   And if I'm going to do that, I will use Bear for that.

01:42:02   - Okay, yeah, that makes sense.

01:42:03   That seems like a good use of that tool.

01:42:05   - Yeah, 'cause it's like, you know, it's not long.

01:42:07   There's a few hundred words or whatever,

01:42:09   and it's nice to have just a simple application

01:42:12   that I can easily format,

01:42:14   because the tool that we put our copy into reads markdown.

01:42:18   So it will be formatted for me to read

01:42:22   or for whoever's gonna read the ad

01:42:24   in a way that is clear and makes sense.

01:42:27   - Okay.

01:42:28   - Are you still on Ulysses?

01:42:32   - Oh, last year it was like, Ulysses is amazing.

01:42:36   The developers do whatever I want.

01:42:38   - No, no, okay, okay.

01:42:39   So the sigh, that sigh is because,

01:42:42   yes, I am still on Ulysses.

01:42:46   And yes, by far it's the best tool

01:42:50   for the kind of thing that I want to do.

01:42:53   Okay, the sigh is because I feel like there must be a,

01:42:58   like in app design land,

01:43:02   There must be a word or like a law for this sorts of phenomenon, but it's where you have an app and the app goes through a redesign.

01:43:13   And it, it always feels like the rule for app redesign always trends toward less information displayed or less options displayed at any particular point.

01:43:29   So just, it feels like the first version of the app can show you lots of things.

01:43:34   And then as time goes on, it's like the opposite of what you would expect that

01:43:37   later versions of the app show you fewer things.

01:43:40   And so I have this tremendous frustration with Ulysses right now, which is they did

01:43:46   an app redesign a couple of months ago where I was sort of horrified at something

01:43:52   they changed and I kept thinking like, well, any day now in the next point release,

01:43:57   They're going to add the ability to change this around and like, and they

01:44:00   just haven't and it's killing me.

01:44:02   So the very short version of this is in Ulysses, for anything that you're

01:44:08   writing, again, like my constant obsession with index cards, I can have a script.

01:44:12   It's displayed to me as a, as a single piece of writing, but I can

01:44:18   subdivide it into little sections.

01:44:20   And each of those little sections, I can add things that are not part of the

01:44:26   script in a sidebar, so I can add like an extra little comment to myself or like

01:44:31   here's a reference image or here's a little reference document or whatever.

01:44:35   There's like a little sidebar and that sidebar would also show things like how

01:44:41   many words are in the overall script that you're working on, how long will it

01:44:46   take an average person to read this out loud, which is of course very useful

01:44:49   information for me. And this is always great but Ulysses did this redesign

01:44:54   where I cannot understand, I can't understand why, but what used to be a single panel on the right

01:45:03   hand side, they decided to divide it up into little, like four little tabs at the top.

01:45:11   So if you want to know the word count, you can click on one of the tabs.

01:45:15   If you want to know how long it takes to read out loud, you can click on another tab to see

01:45:21   that piece of information.

01:45:22   Oh, that's weird.

01:45:24   If you want to see the note, like the comment that you have on this section of the script,

01:45:30   that's a fourth tab. If you have also included a picture that is related to this section of the

01:45:38   script, that is a fifth tab. And so all of the things that I used to be able to see at once

01:45:48   have now like pointlessly been divided into five different sections that you can't, there's no way

01:45:55   to see all of them at once. And I find it totally baffling. Like I cannot conceive of who this

01:46:03   redesign is for because in the old version, if you didn't want to see one of the sections, like you

01:46:09   had an option where you could just uncheck it and be like, don't show me read out loud time. I don't

01:46:13   care and you know you wouldn't have to deal with that and that like there's just there's no ability

01:46:18   to customize this sidebar it's infuriating and the thing that's really frustrating about it is like

01:46:24   you know so right now I have a script in front of me where I'm writing about a thing and there is a

01:46:29   reference photo for this particular section that I'm writing so I have to click on the attached

01:46:36   photos sections to see that photo so say then I finish like I'm looking at that image and I

01:46:42   I rewrite the little section.

01:46:44   And then if I move on to the next section,

01:46:48   the sidebar of course stays on the show reference photo tab,

01:46:53   which means that when I get to the next section,

01:46:57   if I have written a comment on that section,

01:47:00   the only way I can know is to manually click on the,

01:47:04   show me the comments section.

01:47:07   Right, which is infuriating.

01:47:11   And also keep in mind, one of the things I very frequently want to know is what's the word count, right?

01:47:18   Or how long is this going to read out loud?

01:47:21   So if I ever click to see that information, again, when I'm working on the script,

01:47:26   I won't know if I've left a comment on any particular section until I manually click on the comment section.

01:47:35   It is f***ing infuriating!

01:47:38   Like, and I, I really cannot conceive of why was this change made or like

01:47:45   who on earth requested this?

01:47:47   It's, it's baffling to me.

01:47:49   So my big sigh there is it's extremely hard for me to imagine switching

01:47:57   from Ulysses for a bunch of the reasons, the way that it works.

01:48:00   I really like it, but this redesign has been brutal and I was just so surprised.

01:48:08   Like I kept waiting for the next version to come out that would adjust this behavior.

01:48:14   And as far as I can tell, the app is like, no, this is great.

01:48:17   This is totally the way it's supposed to work.

01:48:19   So that is my real frustration right now with Ulysses.

01:48:24   And it's, you were talking before about the beautiful synergy with the way you

01:48:28   work with an app and you know, the two of you, you're of one mind and you're getting

01:48:32   things done.

01:48:32   Yes.

01:48:33   This was the part that I didn't mention about that.

01:48:35   Yeah.

01:48:36   And like, I felt this way with Ulysses and particularly last year, the big

01:48:42   request I made was specifically for the ability to use all of these amazing

01:48:48   sidebar features of adding notes and images and seeing information about what

01:48:52   you're working on, like while you're working on it.

01:48:54   And it's like, Oh, I had seven glorious months until this redesign, which just

01:49:00   destroyed all of the value in the sidebar.

01:49:03   So, again, I'm really frustrated with that, but Ulysses still, for me, is the best.

01:49:11   It's still the best because of the way that you can divide up text.

01:49:14   It's the best because of the way it's really easy to rearrange things.

01:49:17   They're very lightweight but powerful ways to just say, like,

01:49:22   all of these things go together and these things don't.

01:49:26   You know, to mark different parts of a script to say,

01:49:29   don't include this in the word count because this is like meta information, you know, like there's

01:49:34   just so many nice things about it. It's very hard to move away but it feels a little bit like

01:49:40   I had a perfect tool and then it got pointlessly hobbled which is just a frustrating experience so

01:49:49   Ulysses is still the app that I'm using to write my scripts.

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01:52:19   Lightning round time!

01:52:20   Lightning round!

01:52:21   You wanna go first?

01:52:22   Uh yeah, I was just trying to think of how to make a lightning... what I was trying to

01:52:26   think there is... yeah but lightning sound effect that's not an upgrade laser sound effect

01:52:33   right?

01:52:34   I don't know.

01:52:35   Yeah I was like...

01:52:36   Right? Like what's lightning sound like? I don't know. It's hard.

01:52:39   Does lightning have a s- yeah it does. Thunder is the sound lightning makes, right?

01:52:44   Yeah like it's like a crack!

01:52:46   Yeah.

01:52:47   Pow! Lightning.

01:52:48   Crack pow.

01:52:49   Whizzbang.

01:52:50   Does it whizz and bang?

01:52:51   Zoom. I don't know. Look, it's hard. This is lightning sounds. Lightning round! Wham bam!

01:52:57   Okay, do you want to alternate? Should we do it that way?

01:53:00   Yeah.

01:53:01   Let's alternate with stuff really quick. Okay, I'm not going to talk about it right now because

01:53:04   I've talked about it so much last year, but lightning round, Fitbod is my exercise app,

01:53:09   which I also believe is a sponsor of this episode.

01:53:11   - Correct.

01:53:12   - But I cannot possibly skip over it in a state of the apps without mentioning it.

01:53:17   Fitbod is my exercise app of choice.

01:53:20   I loved it last year, and boy did I not know how important it was going to be this year

01:53:26   in lockdown time.

01:53:28   So without exaggeration, Fitbot is definitely the app that has made the biggest physical

01:53:35   impact on my life this year.

01:53:37   If you're looking for an exercise app, this is my number one recommendation to everyone.

01:53:42   Love it.

01:53:43   I'm not going to say anything about it.

01:53:45   Because at this point you have already said something about it.

01:53:47   I've already said something about it and I don't want to cross those streams.

01:53:52   Right.

01:53:53   Twitch I'm going with.

01:53:54   I've been watching lots of Twitch streams as I've been getting further and further

01:53:58   into the mechanical keyboard hobby over the last few months and the twitch app

01:54:03   on iOS is fantastic because it does everything you want it to do and it also

01:54:10   has really great picture-in-picture support which is so needed for Twitch

01:54:15   oh yeah that's really nice because twitch streams are usually very long and

01:54:20   usually for lots of lots and lots of stuff that you would watch a stream for

01:54:25   it's not like must focus viewing. Right? Like you can, lots of, a very normal way

01:54:33   to use Twitch is in the background and quote in the background of an iOS device

01:54:38   is in picture in picture, right? So you can still glance at it when you want to

01:54:42   but you can also be doing other things and Twitch was one of the first apps

01:54:46   that I used that took advantage of the iPhone picture in picture and it works

01:54:51   It's great for that too.

01:54:53   So the app has everything you want it to have

01:54:56   and also really does a good job of integrating the things

01:55:01   that it should to make it great.

01:55:03   Looking at you, YouTube.

01:55:04   - It's crazy YouTube doesn't do picture in picture support.

01:55:10   - I cannot believe at this point

01:55:11   that they do not have it available on iOS.

01:55:13   I believe it is on Android,

01:55:15   but even if it's just for premium, right?

01:55:18   Because you can do background listening.

01:55:21   I know.

01:55:22   If you're a YouTube Premium subscriber, you know, they have said that they were working

01:55:27   on it, I believe, a long time ago, but I can't believe they don't have it at this point.

01:55:31   My assumption is the only reason they haven't done it is because the way that they serve

01:55:36   their ads as separate video files, I can imagine might mess up what iOS wants to do.

01:55:44   Right, but that's why just do it for Premium then, if this is your problem.

01:55:47   Oh yeah, no, I completely agree.

01:55:49   I completely agree, but I think they're like, "No, no, no, we're not gonna do this until

01:55:52   we can make sure that you see an ad picture-in-picture without us having to, like, swap out the files

01:55:58   or whatever."

01:55:59   So that's my guess, but it's infuriating.

01:56:01   It's absolutely infuriating.

01:56:03   Okay, lightning round.

01:56:05   I have first VR app recommendation for lightning round.

01:56:11   We talked about VR.

01:56:12   This is definitely my year of the VR.

01:56:15   There's the classics like Beat Saber, which everyone will love.

01:56:19   You gotta play Beat Saber.

01:56:20   - Have you played Beat Saber?

01:56:21   I don't know how to ask you this.

01:56:22   Have you played the Beat Saber in like 360 degrees?

01:56:26   - Yeah, yeah, I've played it in that one.

01:56:27   - Yeah, super good.

01:56:28   If you've not tried that and you have a quest

01:56:31   and maybe you played Beat Saber a long time ago

01:56:34   on a different system or whatever,

01:56:36   in 180 and 360 degrees, it's a totally different game

01:56:40   and it's fantastic.

01:56:41   - Yeah, it is fun.

01:56:42   I also recommend, it seems like people might not like it,

01:56:45   but I've also really enjoyed the one-handed mode

01:56:48   sometimes like some of the songs I feel like it's, it's a fun, slightly different experience,

01:56:54   uh, doing it with just one saber instead of two sabers. But anyway, Beat Saber is not

01:56:59   my lightning round recommendation, even though it's played a surprisingly important role

01:57:03   in my life this year.

01:57:04   Why are you talking about it? If it's not your pick, just make it a pick!

01:57:10   No it's not, it's not the pick, it's this, we just gotta, we gotta side-d-route. My actual

01:57:14   pick for this lightning round is a VR game called In Death and it is fucking amazing.

01:57:24   It is a game where you are an archer and you are traveling through this weird infinite

01:57:32   church in heaven trying to clear it out from monsters and bad guys. It's just an incredible

01:57:40   VR experience. Like, they've designed everything really well. I have rarely met a game that

01:57:46   gets the difficulty ramp so perfect, where every time it feels like a challenge and the

01:57:53   game just slightly cranks up the difficulty with enemies. Whatever team did the, like,

01:58:01   graphic design memory constraints should deserve some kind of award, because it's like, they

01:58:05   They do not waste a single pixel or a single polygon.

01:58:11   Like it's the graphic quality is shockingly good given the limitations of the quest and

01:58:18   like the number of enemies that they can have on screen at once.

01:58:21   I've just rarely seen anything handle it so well.

01:58:24   And it is just super fun to be an archer who can teleport around.

01:58:30   Like the only downside is you learn how physically difficult it is to be an archer, but that's

01:58:36   also an upside.

01:58:37   S - Is it scary?

01:58:38   B - I mean I don't think it's scary.

01:58:41   You might find it a little scary, Myke, but I can say that if you just avoid what are

01:58:47   obviously portals to hell, then you can avoid most of the scary stuff.

01:58:52   S - Okay.

01:58:53   B - And you can still play it with like some enemies.

01:58:55   S - Alright, I'll try it out then.

01:58:57   I really mean it, it's just a very enjoyable VR experience, by far my favorite game on

01:59:05   the Quest that I've tried, and I've tried like everything on that store.

01:59:09   I have to mention it because otherwise it wouldn't be a state of the apps Timery for

01:59:13   Timetracking.

01:59:14   It's the best.

01:59:15   Yeah, of course.

01:59:17   What can we say?

01:59:18   We've used it for years.

01:59:19   It's amazing.

01:59:20   I just really want it to be on the Mac now.

01:59:22   Oh yeah, I guess I didn't even think about that, but of course it can be on the Mac.

01:59:27   As of right now, it is not on the Mac.

01:59:29   - Yeah, but I said it can be.

01:59:32   - It can be.

01:59:33   - It can be on the Mac.

01:59:34   - But it isn't yet still.

01:59:36   - With timing stuff, I'll quickly mention the timer

01:59:39   that I found last year, which I really like

01:59:41   and have integrated much more into shortcut stuff

01:59:43   is Just Timers.

01:59:45   It is an app that is just timers

01:59:48   with good shortcut supports.

01:59:50   And I've built this into just a ton

01:59:53   of my own time tracking shortcuts

01:59:54   to like start a 120 minute timer

01:59:58   or start a seven minute timer

02:00:00   when I also start tracking this time.

02:00:03   I really like it and I find it's a great companion

02:00:05   for time tracking.

02:00:07   - Air table.

02:00:09   So I've moved away from the old favorite

02:00:12   pipe drive sales management tool.

02:00:14   - Oh my goodness.

02:00:15   - We've moved everything to air table now.

02:00:18   - I'm shocked.

02:00:18   - So you know how--

02:00:20   - What about your tactile feedback?

02:00:21   - Well, okay.

02:00:23   pour one out for the great tactile feedback of, of pipe drive and it's button pressing.

02:00:27   I'm genuinely sad for you here.

02:00:29   You know how your assistant said, I would like to use Notion now?

02:00:34   Yes.

02:00:35   So my sales manager, Carrie, decided that she had used Airtable enough that

02:00:41   everything needed to live in Airtable and strongly recommended that we move

02:00:45   the final part of our sales management flow to Airtable away from pipe drive.

02:00:50   Basically it ended up being worthwhile to have just one database of all of our clients that can be displayed in the many different ways

02:00:57   The Airtable can display a database depending on what information you'd see which is really great

02:01:03   Except their iOS app is terrible. I hate it. I hate it so much. I hate it

02:01:09   So I use the website

02:01:10   the reason I hate it is Airtable's whole thing is like give us a bunch of information and

02:01:15   And our thing is you can view it in many different ways.

02:01:19   So you can view it as a spreadsheet, you can view it as a database, you can view it as a

02:01:23   like lots of filters, you can view it as a Kanban, our favorite word of the show.

02:01:27   Yeah.

02:01:28   But on iOS, none of these things work.

02:01:30   And they've always said like we're working on bringing them over for years and they've never done it.

02:01:35   So one of the great things about iPadOS is that you can use these complex websites now.

02:01:43   and so it's just a tab in Safari for me on iPadOS.

02:01:47   So it makes me so mad because what makes me mad is in the app, right, I'm going to open the app now

02:01:54   because I need to read exactly what it says just for the sake of it. "This view can't be displayed

02:01:59   in the iOS app yet. Please use airtable.com in a desktop browser to display and edit it.

02:02:05   Yet, yet, how many years has yet been a thing airtable?"

02:02:11   you know, yet is always true.

02:02:12   Just don't make an app if you're not going to bother adding the features to it

02:02:17   that make your service a thing that people want to use.

02:02:20   I don't use it on my iPhone at all, basically.

02:02:24   It's just on my iPad and on my Macs.

02:02:27   But this is one of those things where for her is such a great tool and the things

02:02:34   that Kerry has done with it make it, my frustration, not important.

02:02:40   because we do really have so much information all in one place now that is worthwhile.

02:02:47   But I hate the app.

02:02:51   Okay I'm going to lightning round a little app called Home Design 3D. Now it has a yellow icon.

02:03:03   The reason I'm mentioning this is because I'm going to find the exact link for you because the

02:03:08   The App Store is littered with absolutely garbage home design apps for like,

02:03:13   "Oh, how am I gonna lay out this room?"

02:03:15   Alright?

02:03:16   There's a million of them and most of them are terrible.

02:03:19   They're absolutely terrible.

02:03:21   But when I was planning what my new home office would be,

02:03:26   I realized at some point, like, I need to think about this with an actual app

02:03:30   that can lay out desks and arrangements and I can see it in 3D.

02:03:34   And everything was terrible until I found this one in particular.

02:03:37   So if anyone is trying to design a room in their house or their whole house,

02:03:42   let me save you a bunch of effort and just tell you which app to use.

02:03:46   It's called Home Design 3D, but they're all called Home Design.

02:03:49   So I'll give the actual link to Myke so he can put it in the show notes.

02:03:53   Okay.

02:03:53   I'm looking now and I don't think I can find it.

02:03:56   So I'm definitely going to need your help.

02:03:58   Oh, I guarantee you, if you search for Home Design, you're not going to find it.

02:04:02   Like that's why I'll give you the link.

02:04:05   Deliveries is one of the all-time great iOS apps for parcel tracking and it got a really nice visual update this year.

02:04:12   This has been an application I have really gotten a lot of use out of in 2020

02:04:18   because I have to get everything delivered now because I don't go out to buy things anymore.

02:04:23   Is Amazon an app? Can I pick Amazon?

02:04:27   If you wanna!

02:04:30   I'll tell you, I've opened the Amazon app more this year than the past five years.

02:04:35   Deliveroo is my next book.

02:04:37   Yeah, Deliveroo.

02:04:38   For sure.

02:04:39   So yeah, Deliveroo is a really, really fantastic iOS app.

02:04:44   Other quick little one is an app called DoubleTake.

02:04:48   This was demoed on stage at Apple last year, the year before, as one of their cool new

02:04:55   things that you can do with the new operating system.

02:04:57   It took a long time to actually come out, but it's the app that lets you shoot video

02:05:03   on two of the cameras at once on the iPhone.

02:05:07   Oh, double take by Filmic.

02:05:08   Okay.

02:05:09   Yes, double take by Filmic.

02:05:10   Did they never add this to the Filmic Pro app then?

02:05:14   So as far as I can tell, it is still not part of the Filmic Pro app.

02:05:18   Something bad happened there, didn't it?

02:05:20   That's what it feels like.

02:05:21   Because this was supposed to be a feature coming to Filmic Pro, and I guess it just

02:05:26   never did that.

02:05:27   This is also partly why I'm mentioning now is I feel like it just got spun off into its

02:05:32   own thing and many people might have forgotten this is even a thing that you could do because

02:05:37   it just never seemed to appear where it was supposed to.

02:05:40   But it does exist as an app and obviously this is a really edge case niche use but if

02:05:48   you want to record from two cameras at once you can do it and sometimes that's a really

02:05:53   useful thing to be able to do.

02:05:54   So double take lightning round.

02:05:57   I'm a simple man. I have simple needs. When it comes to Reddit, I use an app called Narwhal.

02:06:05   It's super simple and that's what I like about it and everyone says "Use Apollo!" and like

02:06:09   okay. Every time I download Apollo I feel like it's more than I want from Reddit. Because

02:06:16   every time I download it I'm like okay, this doesn't look like what I want it to look like

02:06:22   And I know I can get it to look like what I want it to look like, but at that point

02:06:26   I've just recreated narwhal again.

02:06:30   So I go back to narwhal every time.

02:06:32   It's really nice, it's really simple.

02:06:34   I don't use reddit very much.

02:06:37   I don't look at any of the popular subreddits, right?

02:06:41   Like I'm not, I don't like the front page or anything like that.

02:06:45   I just subscribe to a couple of subreddits and that's it.

02:06:50   And so Narwhal is all I ever need.

02:06:53   My next pick is going to be an app called Zero.

02:06:57   And Zero is maybe one of the simplest apps I've ever used.

02:07:03   It is just a timer that is specifically designed for fasting.

02:07:09   Many years ago, I successfully won the war on breakfast.

02:07:14   And breakfast was no more in my life.

02:07:16   and have been experimenting with expanding that battlefront to the war on lunch, which

02:07:22   we can all agree is the worst meal.

02:07:24   What, you're just planning one meal a day now? What are you doing?

02:07:28   Look, maybe, right? But if you are interested in fasting for whatever reason and you want

02:07:36   a little timer to keep track of it, it's a dead simple app but it's just nicely designed,

02:07:42   and so Zero is a fasting tracking timer.

02:07:46   If I'm looking at the right one, it doesn't look that simple.

02:07:49   It's got a lot of stuff in it, like coaching.

02:07:54   You don't need any of that stuff.

02:07:57   You want to give us money?

02:07:58   Great.

02:07:59   Now we can provide you with things that you almost certainly don't need.

02:08:02   You just use the app without any of the in-app purchase stuff.

02:08:05   Just a very nice little timer and it has a nice little widget to go along with it.

02:08:10   Peacock.

02:08:11   What I am picking specifically about my favorite calculator app is the most recent version

02:08:18   of PCALC on the Mac has added something I didn't know I wanted until it existed, which

02:08:23   is a menu bar widget.

02:08:28   In Big Sur, the old widget for PCALC can't exist anymore because Big Sur widgets are

02:08:36   the same as iOS widgets they've written in SwiftUI basically.

02:08:41   So James Thompson, developer of Pcalc, took the old widget and made it a menu bar item.

02:08:49   So now with a keyboard command I can bring down a calculator whenever I want on my Mac

02:08:55   and I love it.

02:08:56   Awesome!

02:08:57   I didn't know that was new, I need to add this.

02:09:00   Yeah it's super good.

02:09:01   Show widget in menu bar, check!

02:09:04   There you go.

02:09:05   Sweet.

02:09:06   Oh that's great.

02:09:07   It's a great little feature because then, you know, like I do command option C for Fantastical

02:09:13   and now command option P for Peacock.

02:09:15   You know, like these are just like two little apps that I bring down whenever I need them

02:09:19   and it works super good.

02:09:21   And you can also have it where the widget and the calculator can stay in sync.

02:09:26   So if you're like, oh no, I need to do something a bit more complicated here, you can just

02:09:30   open the full application and it will work.

02:09:33   I just think it's a nice little feature.

02:09:35   And like, it's just like a really great way that James has turned a negative into a positive.

02:09:41   Oh yeah, this is great.

02:09:43   This is fantastic.

02:09:44   Super good, right?

02:09:45   I'm going to use this a lot.

02:09:46   Very into that.

02:09:47   Very into that.

02:09:48   Okay, my final pick for the lightning round is barely an app.

02:09:52   It's an app called Dark Mode on iOS.

02:09:57   And it is an app that installs, but what it really is, is it's one of those extension

02:10:03   actions in Safari and it can force a sort of fake dark mode on a web page in the Safari

02:10:12   browser on iOS.

02:10:14   Wait, is this the same thing as the dark mode?

02:10:17   No, dark reader, okay.

02:10:19   No, but you're thinking of the thing on your Mac, right, which you install and just makes

02:10:23   everything a dark mode all the time.

02:10:26   By the way, just as a bit of follow up, many people wrote in to tell me, if you click the

02:10:32   the settings button in that dark reader app, you can uncheck enable on all websites, which

02:10:37   is what I wanted. So you can opt in to things being dark mode rather than opt out.

02:10:43   Oh, cool. I didn't know that.

02:10:45   Yeah. It's not very clear. I mean, honestly, I didn't even know there was a settings button

02:10:49   until until people told me there was one.

02:10:51   I think I've never thought about it.

02:10:53   It's got the word settings there at the bottom, but for some reason I completely missed it.

02:10:57   So yeah, I would miss that too, because I would just be looking for a little gear and

02:11:01   And it wouldn't matter.

02:11:02   It could say settings right here.

02:11:03   There's a gear right next to it, but the gear's not very clear.

02:11:06   It's not a clear gear.

02:11:07   Okay, that's good to know.

02:11:08   As far as I can tell, you can't replicate that sort of app on iOS, but this little dark

02:11:14   mode app, if there's ever a website like on my iPad where I know I'm going to be reading

02:11:18   a bunch of this, and the Apple Reader mode doesn't properly parse the page, this is always

02:11:26   my little fallback where you can hit the share square and there's the dark mode extension

02:11:33   button that you can press.

02:11:34   I don't know how on earth it does it but then it turns just that web page into a dark mode.

02:11:40   So I really like that.

02:11:41   Like I said, barely an app but boy do I love it when I need it.

02:11:45   I think you're gonna need to send me that one because this is not easy to find.

02:11:50   Yes this is another one where searching for the words is almost certainly not going to

02:11:55   to be helpful, so I will provide you with the direct link to this little applet.

02:11:58   I have two last picks for the lightning round. One is Carrot Weather because, like

02:12:02   Timery, I feel like I have to mention it. Carrot Weather is just one of the best

02:12:06   iOS apps ever made, continues to get better. If you want a weather app, this is

02:12:11   the one to get. And Alfred for the Mac. Yeah, yeah, Alfred's nice. It's one of

02:12:17   these applications that I use so much that I don't think about it, and so I

02:12:24   thought I would mention it. It's so many things. It's a replacement for Spotlight

02:12:29   and I've been using Alfred I think before Spotlight existed so it's got that for me.

02:12:35   But it also does so much stuff. Like one of the things that I really value is it's my clipboard

02:12:42   manager as well so it keeps my clipboard history when I'm on my Mac. So I can copy and paste

02:12:48   multiple things and then go to other fields and just bring up what I need and just drop them all

02:12:52   But yeah, Alfred is one of these applications.

02:12:55   It's like a Swiss army knife.

02:12:56   - Yeah, I forget that it's even a clipboard manager.

02:12:58   Like it does so many things.

02:13:00   - So much stuff.

02:13:01   - One of my main reasons for using it over Spotlight

02:13:04   is just a simple feature, which I don't know if it's the,

02:13:07   like I just have the keyboard commands in my default memory,

02:13:10   but it's like if I'm in Finder and I have a file selected

02:13:15   with just a couple of keyboard commands, I can say,

02:13:17   "Oh, open this file in Alfred."

02:13:22   And then Alfred gives you a bunch of options of like,

02:13:25   "Hey, what do you want to do with this file?"

02:13:26   And I can say, "Move it over here."

02:13:29   - File actions, they're called in.

02:13:31   - Yes, file actions.

02:13:33   It's so great to be able to like act on a file

02:13:37   that you have selected in the Finder and just,

02:13:40   I almost exclusively use it to move things.

02:13:43   Like when I'm just going through all the files

02:13:44   on my desktop to be able to say like,

02:13:46   like, okay, this goes over here, this goes over here, this goes over here.

02:13:50   Like, it's just so nice to be able to do that without having to open up the folder and like

02:13:54   drag and drop stuff over.

02:13:55   I use that a lot.

02:13:56   Alfred is great.

02:13:57   It's got so much stuff.

02:13:58   Like, another thing that I use it for all the time is if I need somebody's address or

02:14:03   contact information, you can view their contact and copy it really easily from Alfred.

02:14:08   But it's one of those apps that you spend 20 minutes, 30 minutes in the preferences

02:14:14   for the application and you will find three things that you didn't know that it did that

02:14:18   can make your time on your Mac even more valuable.

02:14:22   So that is State of the Apps for 2021.

02:14:27   Next time, yearly themes.

02:14:30   Get thinking about those themes, people.

02:14:32   Mm hmm.

02:14:33   2021 yearly themes is coming.

02:14:35   See you then.