47: Picking Up the Breadcrumbs


00:00:00   We have a secret. We have a secret that we've kept from our listeners, Gray.

00:00:04   We do.

00:00:06   It's not a big scandal. It should be. Should we make it out to be a scandal?

00:00:10   No, that's asking for trouble, Myke.

00:00:13   Okay, no scandals.

00:00:14   That's asking for trouble, no.

00:00:16   But we do have a secret. The last two episodes of Cortex were recorded back to back.

00:00:22   Mmm, they were.

00:00:24   We're optimizing. We were trying to optimize.

00:00:27   Right. Trying to improve our workflows. We're all about workflows improvement on this show.

00:00:31   So we recorded two episodes back to back. Now why did we do this, CGP Grey?

00:00:35   I feel like you are trying to blame this all on me, Myke.

00:00:39   I know. I was merely, merely looking for your insight

00:00:43   into why we would undertake an experiment of this nature.

00:00:47   Let's just say this is part

00:00:51   of Grey Industries

00:00:55   attempts at doing some experiments in time reorganization over 2017. Perhaps one could say

00:01:01   redirecting how time is spent in ways big and in ways small.

00:01:06   So this was a thing that

00:01:09   we decided to try and what I was very curious to see is if anybody would notice if there was any suspicion--

00:01:16   Not one person.

00:01:18   Any comments in the Reddit?

00:01:20   Nothing.

00:01:20   And I have to say yeah, I was pleased because

00:01:23   To me listening to that show the second show that we recorded immediately after recording the first one. I

00:01:28   Just kept thinking. Oh, it's so obvious. It's so obvious that this is recorded immediately after we make no reference to anything

00:01:35   That's happened in time. There were a few

00:01:37   Sections in there that I thought were a little weird

00:01:40   We didn't follow up at all on the previous show and the previous show I think was a show that kind of begged for some follow-up

00:01:48   Like more than maybe any other show that we have ever done. I really

00:01:53   really begged for some kind of acknowledgement of like kind words from people but like no there was nothing because we immediately

00:02:01   Recorded it after the very first one and I have to say I was pretty pleased that nobody

00:02:06   Nobody caught us in the act of a double recording now

00:02:09   I'll say this all the people that are gonna pop up in the reddit thread and be like, oh I knew it

00:02:14   I don't believe any of you not one of you

00:02:16   Yeah, no, of course not.

00:02:17   Don't believe you.

00:02:18   Don't believe you, because why didn't you say it?

00:02:19   Don't believe you.

00:02:20   Okay.

00:02:21   I don't believe it either.

00:02:22   It's one of the – it's like a cognitive bias that is occurring that you're now going

00:02:25   to remember that you thought it was obviously recorded at the same time, but you didn't

00:02:29   say anything.

00:02:30   It's like if you change bit rates on podcasts and people are like, "Oh, I could totally

00:02:33   tell," but they don't say anything until after you've done it.

00:02:36   Yeah, I've been in that situation.

00:02:39   Yeah.

00:02:41   You up the bit rate.

00:02:42   No one complains.

00:02:43   No one notices.

00:02:44   in advance, you'll hear howls of protest over their download limits on their cellular plans

00:02:50   or whatever. How dare you. Yeah, exactly. How dare you. But yeah, so I think it was an interesting

00:02:58   experiment. The fact that nobody noticed, I think, makes it essentially a success. Yeah, and I felt

00:03:05   that it came out well as well. I think we were both concerned that the episode wouldn't be

00:03:10   very good because obviously it's like a mammoth recording session but I was I was pleased with

00:03:17   the output. It did come out much better than I expected and I also think we were doing it under

00:03:23   the worst of all possible circumstances that we were recording a relatively serious first episode

00:03:29   and then transitioning into a much more normal second episode and I did really feel in that

00:03:34   that second recording like I was not quite on the ball and looking back on it when I

00:03:40   was doing one of the pass-through edits on it, I could hear myself not explaining things

00:03:46   as well as I might imagine that a freshman would have explained those things. But I could

00:03:50   be wrong about that because I'm always amazed by when I listen back to myself on a podcast

00:03:55   how poorly I think previous me explained the ideas in his head.

00:03:59   This is a regular occurrence for you. You always feel like you never do a good enough

00:04:04   job. But it just pushes you to be better and better every time, you know?

00:04:07   Do you not have that, Myke, when you listen back to the show? You don't have this experience

00:04:10   of feeling like, "Who is this idiot trying to explain things?"

00:04:13   It doesn't bother me.

00:04:14   Okay, but do you feel it at all? Are you aware that you do a poor job of explaining your

00:04:18   idea?

00:04:19   I don't have as many ideas to explain, you know? So I don't really worry about it too

00:04:26   much. It doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me because I'm very aware of the constraints

00:04:30   that we're in. I prepare as much as I prepare but I know that every now and then we're just

00:04:33   going to talk extemporaneously for a while. I try not to be too hard on myself. You're

00:04:38   a perfectionist. That's your problem.

00:04:39   I disagree with that. I'm not a perfectionist. I would just prefer that I explain things

00:04:45   much better than I actually do.

00:04:46   I'm not a perfectionist. I just wish it was perfect. That's all I care about.

00:04:50   Well, I mean, if we're getting into wishing territory, yes, of course. If I have a bucket

00:04:55   full of wishes over here that I can use, then yes, let's make things perfect. But actual

00:05:00   perfection requires infinite effort, which I am not willing to expend. But anyway, putting

00:05:06   all of that aside, I think even under non-ideal circumstances, I think it came out pretty

00:05:14   well, and so I would regard this experiment as a win.

00:05:17   So we're not talking about this purely so we can have like a gotcha moment over the

00:05:21   There is a there's a solid reason for this which is that it takes us a long time to record these episodes

00:05:28   we have currently

00:05:30   been on the phone for

00:05:32   90 minutes

00:05:34   Have we yeah because it takes us a long time to get ourselves ready to actually record

00:05:39   This is true by the time we have completed our boot up sequence and pre-flight checklists

00:05:44   so

00:05:46   If we record two episodes back-to-back in theory it is less time spent overall in recording the episodes

00:05:55   So that's kind of like the idea of it. Why are we doing this?

00:05:57   We're not gonna record every episode like this

00:05:59   But it's what the reason that we're doing this is it gives us more flexibility to put episodes out more consistently

00:06:05   Especially as you are looking at the way that you spend your time more analytically and more closely this year

00:06:11   So it is a way for us to see if like if we're under a time constraint

00:06:15   Can we still get episodes out with frequency and a way we could do that is by banking them more often?

00:06:20   Yeah, that's that's what we're looking at is

00:06:23   There are some points in the year where it's going to be

00:06:28   More difficult to record on a bi-weekly schedule

00:06:32   And so we wanted to see if this was even possible to do or if it turned out just to be too

00:06:38   Exhausting to try to do two episodes back to back and it's interesting to think about this in terms of any

00:06:44   any other kind of work. Like, I am really aware that

00:06:48   any day that I'm recording a podcast

00:06:51   is a very different day in my mind.

00:06:54   There's a meeting, essentially, that's taking place later in the day.

00:06:59   And so I'm always aware in the morning, like, there's this sort of constraint that whatever I'm doing,

00:07:04   it needs to wrap up by a certain time

00:07:07   because there's this meeting that's taking place that there needs to be a recording for.

00:07:11   And so that always kind of limits the potential activities that can be done on that day.

00:07:18   And then there are always things like, like you said, we have this whole process of

00:07:23   getting ready to record the podcast, sort of chatting about stuff ahead of time,

00:07:28   running through the show notes, doing all of these other kinds of things.

00:07:31   And so doing two at once is a bit like any other batch processing of work that occurs.

00:07:37   that I feel like batch processing is maybe one of the very first things about being productive

00:07:47   that I really learned a long time ago in the pre-getting things done world.

00:07:52   Which is like, do similar tasks together at the same time.

00:07:57   Don't switch between lots of different tasks, do similar things together.

00:08:01   And so this idea of recording two shows at once feels like that,

00:08:05   and you get all of these little savings of on a single day where you have a meeting you get two shows instead of one.

00:08:13   Or like even just today for some reason my audio equipment wasn't working quite right and I have to futz with it for a little bit.

00:08:19   It's like great, one futzing with audio equipment gets you two shows out the other end.

00:08:25   So I think there's a big win in being able to do something like this.

00:08:30   Again, because it was very exhausting, it's not a thing that I plan to do every single

00:08:36   time with you, but it is great to know that we have it as an option.

00:08:41   That it is there in lieu of a time when there wouldn't be a show.

00:08:46   That this is a thing that we can possibly do.

00:08:49   [

00:08:50   and marketing it was like an eye-opening moment for me like when when part of my

00:08:54   job was dealing with getting things printed so like getting things printed

00:08:58   to send to people and the surprise for me was in the fact that the amount of

00:09:04   things that you need printed didn't change the cost equally right you can

00:09:09   have a hundred thousand things printed and maybe that cost ten thousand pounds

00:09:13   but if you wanted two hundred thousand it might be twelve thousand pounds right

00:09:15   right and it was always very confusing to me it's like well there's more of

00:09:19   them. And it's because I quickly found out that so much of the cost is in turning the

00:09:23   machines on.

00:09:24   Right, right.

00:09:25   And once the machines are on and the plates are printed for the, like so things can be

00:09:29   stamped out or things can be inked, that's where a lot of the cost is going. So it is

00:09:34   in the startup costs and then everything else from there is cheaper. So it's like a similar

00:09:38   way for us. It's like by the time we get everything out of the way, that is a big chunk of the

00:09:42   time and then the rest is just what ends up getting put out. But we only need to do that

00:09:47   once if we record two episodes. So that was part of a realisation for me which I've

00:09:52   carried over into this work. And something that's important to me is that there is

00:09:57   an opportunity for the show quality to decrease if we do this. So there's a lot of work

00:10:03   that we're doing on the other end to make it work. There's one thing that I've

00:10:07   been thinking about that's more like themed episodes and these little standalone units

00:10:11   that we can release that will still be very interesting but can live on their own a little

00:10:15   bit more than some of our other episodes. We have done a couple of episodes out of time

00:10:20   now right? It was like an out of time and out of time too.

00:10:23   Out of timer.

00:10:24   Out of timer. They were consciously made like that and I'm

00:10:27   kind of running some ideas through my head that if we want to do this a couple of times

00:10:30   this year, how can those episodes be a little bit more interesting and special than just

00:10:35   a regular episode? So there is definitely thought into it and really this is about us

00:10:40   ensuring that we can make shows more often. Or at least not more often but more often

00:10:44   than we'd be able to do if we didn't do this.

00:10:48   Right?

00:10:49   Really, there'll probably be less episodes this year, but if we didn't do it this way,

00:10:53   there'd be even less.

00:10:54   So listeners, listeners, to pull back the curtain just a little bit here, right?

00:10:59   This is, this is also part of a negotiation about how many episodes are there going to

00:11:04   be over the course of the year.

00:11:06   Where I'm like, I don't want no episodes and Gray's like, please, please can we do some?

00:11:11   And I'm like, no.

00:11:12   And so that's kind of how it's been going, you know?

00:11:14   Yeah, it is true.

00:11:15   As you would imagine, that's the way it's going.

00:11:17   Yeah, I was attempting to make the show bi-weekly in the sense of twice a week, but Myke was

00:11:22   simply unwilling to commit to that.

00:11:24   I'm like, can we do two a year?

00:11:25   Right, yeah.

00:11:26   So we've had to come to some kind of agreement between the two of us.

00:11:29   It's been really tough.

00:11:30   It's been really tough.

00:11:31   It's been really tough.

00:11:32   But we got there, you know?

00:11:35   Yeah.

00:11:36   We had a bunch of CEO to CEO conversations and we got there like grown-ups.

00:11:42   Today's episode of Cortex is brought to you by Casper.

00:11:45   Hey there, if you're from the UK, you want to listen to this because now Casper is available

00:11:52   in the United Kingdom.

00:11:56   Casper is the company focused on sleep that has created the one perfect mattress that

00:12:00   it sells directly to consumers, eliminating commission driven inflated prices.

00:12:06   Casper's award winning mattress was developed in-house.

00:12:08   It has a sleek design and is delivered in an impossibly small box.

00:12:12   As well as their mattress, Casper now offers an adaptive pillow and soft breathable sheets

00:12:17   as well.

00:12:23   Casper's in-house team of engineers spent thousands of hours developing the Casper mattress.

00:12:28   It's obsessively engineered at a shockingly fair price and with an average of 4.8 stars

00:12:33   from over 20,000 online reviews, you can see it is a fan favourite.

00:12:38   Casper's mattress is made of supportive memory foam and it has just the right sink and just

00:12:42   the right bounce, plus it's breathable design helps you to regulate your temperature throughout

00:12:46   the night. Casper makes quality mattresses at great prices and they are designed and

00:12:51   developed in America. They have cut the hassle and costs of dealing with showrooms and they

00:12:56   are passing those savings directly to you, the consumer and that's why they can offer

00:13:00   great prices because they don't have to deal with all the infrastructure that's used to

00:13:04   dealing with this type of product.

00:13:07   Buying a Casper mattress is completely risk free. They offer free delivery and free returns

00:13:11   to the US, Canada and now the UK too with a 100 night home trial. If you don't love

00:13:17   it, they'll pick it up and refund you everything. Buying something like a mattress online seems

00:13:22   like a peculiar thing based on how we've been used to buying mattresses, but you shouldn't

00:13:26   have to worry about this. Casper understands the importance of sleeping on a mattress before

00:13:31   you commit, so considering you're going to be spending such a long time of your life

00:13:35   on it, they want you to have it at home, have it in your bed, have it with your duvet, sheets

00:13:39   and pillows and they want you to feel comfortable in it. Spend some time on it, make sure your

00:13:44   partner is happy with it as well. They want to know that this is a perfect product for

00:13:48   you so they give you 100 nights so you can try it for yourself.

00:13:51   You can get $50 or £50 towards any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/cortex and

00:13:57   using the code CORTEX. Terms and conditions apply, please see the site for details. Thank

00:14:02   you so much to Casper for their support of this show.

00:14:04   [Music]

00:14:05   Chris Many people have asked me to share more about

00:14:08   Todoist. We made reference to it last time about me moving to Todoist as part of our

00:14:15   burning down the tasks. Before I get to that, I will ask you for an update on your task

00:14:20   management situation. Is there a task management? I don't know if there is one yet.

00:14:26   David Yeah, no, I am a leaf on the wind.

00:14:30   Oh, you're just taking life as it comes right now, huh?

00:14:35   Yeah, yeah.

00:14:36   Oh, nice.

00:14:38   It's actually no, no it's not nice.

00:14:41   Oh, there's still no system?

00:14:45   I don't have a system.

00:14:47   That was a long time ago now that we spoke about this.

00:14:51   Yeah, I am still doing this thing where I'm a bit playing around with and just being very

00:14:59   informal and it's an interesting thing because talking to people in my life

00:15:05   again everybody else is coming from the perspective of this is how this is how

00:15:10   normal people live that you just sort of know the things that you need to do

00:15:13   maybe you write a few of them down but you don't have a real system for keeping

00:15:18   track of absolutely everything that is watertight under all circumstances and I

00:15:23   I simply don't understand how people can possibly live like that because I'm

00:15:27   trying to figure out how to work going in the future, which is just turning into a much

00:15:33   bigger project than I initially expected, but not having a current system in place that

00:15:40   is what I want it to be, I find it somewhat anxiety inducing. I am very aware of my brain

00:15:49   burning calories thinking about stuff that I know, like this is the whole thing that

00:15:55   my previous system got rid of is the like, "I don't have to worry about anything because I just know where everything is going to be."

00:16:01   And that is no longer the case, so I'm aware that my brain

00:16:04   wants to be more

00:16:07   anxious than it normally would be. But I'm viewing this as

00:16:12   an investment that is worth making in trying to

00:16:15   refigure out what it is that I want to do. But so no, I don't have a

00:16:20   Like, "Ooh, I've come down from the mountain with some answers." And I may never well do that,

00:16:26   I may just end up creating some squirrely thing that is just for me the way I want it to work.

00:16:30   But I can say it's been kind of interesting

00:16:33   living like a normie, I guess, for the past few months.

00:16:37   Yeah, it's been interesting. It's been an interesting thing.

00:16:41   I'm not completely normal though. I mean, you didn't fire your assistant or anything, you know?

00:16:46   You're not a normie, Gray.

00:16:49   Someone's picking up the breadcrumbs that you're dropping

00:16:52   yes, that is that is definitely true that someone is picking up the breadcrumbs that I am dropping and

00:16:57   Related to that the one the one change that I have made which

00:17:02   I can report on which it relates to this very section is that I have moved from

00:17:08   wonder list with my assistant to todoist

00:17:12   So I do have some todoist experience in this conversation

00:17:17   but we have switched our collaboration tool.

00:17:21   And I'll just say for vastly better.

00:17:25   It's a big improvement. And so that is one thing that has

00:17:29   definitely happened that is interesting. So what are your experiences with

00:17:33   Todoist, Myke? So I want to talk about a few aspects of it. So some

00:17:37   of them are the things that make Todoist superior and some of them

00:17:41   are more tricky for me as a previous OmniFocus user.

00:17:45   So the key reason that I decided I wanted to make this move, which I have

00:17:50   spoken about, spoke about it on the last episode, is the integrations. But now I

00:17:53   have more time to play with them. What makes Todoist interesting to me is that

00:17:58   Todoist has a fundamental understanding of the web. There is an API, there is a

00:18:04   web version of Todoist, and it is the fact that it has this understanding of

00:18:09   kind of modern automation conventions and stuff like that that is appealing to

00:18:14   me. OmniFocus is very shut off from the rest of the world. We've spent a lot of

00:18:20   time talking about this in the past like how excited we were when we could finally

00:18:23   have templates and that there could be code for OmniFocus so we could do things

00:18:28   with it from other applications but it's still on device. Everything is happening

00:18:33   on device and you have to ask OmniFocus to do something or plug something into

00:18:37   it. But to do is, things can happen in the background. You can have tasks added by

00:18:43   services where you've never even opened Todoist.

00:18:47   I have a workflow which I'll put in the show notes which I can run from anywhere on iOS.

00:18:53   I can add links to it.

00:18:54   I can add times.

00:18:55   I can add notes.

00:18:57   And Todoist is never opened.

00:19:01   Everything is just done in the workflow app from wherever I want to do it on the system

00:19:05   and the task is added in the background because it's added via Todoist's API.

00:19:09   But there are other things that I have hooked up.

00:19:12   some web automation tools like Zapier and IFTTT, they're able to add things. So I'm still digging

00:19:19   around with Zapier and I want to spend more time talking about this service specifically in the

00:19:24   future because it is like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This service is just incredible. Like,

00:19:37   I've built some some Zaps as they call them which are doing things that I've wanted for so long like

00:19:43   We use FreshBooks

00:19:46   for our invoicing

00:19:48   At relay.fm and I now have the ability

00:19:50   In our in a slack channel to see every time one of those people that we invoice one of the sponsors that we work with

00:19:57   Every time they they log in and do something in FreshBooks

00:20:00   FreshBooks knows this and now using Zapier

00:20:03   That information is piped into our slack

00:20:06   So we're able to see every time somebody logs in and looks at an invoice without ever being in FreshBooks, and Zapier is allowing that for us.

00:20:14   Yeah, it really allows you to connect a whole bunch of stuff. Like if you ever used "if this, then that" and then you look at Zapier.

00:20:22   I've been trying to slowly transition all the stuff that I have in "if this, then that" over to Zapier because it's so much more powerful.

00:20:29   Me too.

00:20:30   And when you're using Zapier, it makes, you know, Zapier is like a constructor set where you can build all kinds of things.

00:20:38   And it makes If This Then That look like it's...

00:20:40   Duplo.

00:20:41   Yeah, I was like, what are those Lego blocks that are for real babies? Like the gigantic Lego blocks?

00:20:46   Is that what it is? Okay. That's what it feels like.

00:20:49   You've got like the Lego stuff, Mindstorms, right? Like the stuff that you can actually build robots with.

00:20:54   Yes.

00:20:54   Over on Zapier and then you've got your little Fisher Price IFTTT over there in the corner.

00:21:00   IFTTT is great for getting your feet wet with this stuff, but the great thing about Zapier is

00:21:06   you can have one action trigger things in multiple other web services. There are multiple stages you

00:21:12   can build, it's really very powerful. Yeah and what I also like is that you can do the thing

00:21:18   which I've wanted If This Then That to do for forever which is have some very basic logic

00:21:24   operators. Like, if this occurs and also these filtering conditions match, then do the thing.

00:21:31   Like, that's, you know, just even just the tiniest amount of that makes it makes it so much more

00:21:37   powerful. So I've got to recommend that people try out Zapier and just as a little as a little

00:21:44   sidebar here, I feel like in my past couple months of exploring with stuff, really ever since I

00:21:53   started with using toggle and their API for doing the time tracking I feel like

00:22:00   I've had my eyes open to this whole world that I have been intentionally

00:22:05   avoiding. Yep me too buddy. Yeah which is like this this whole world of web APIs

00:22:12   and I had a real moment of realizing I need to learn a new skill here. I

00:22:20   I mentioned on two shows ago, or whatever it was, last show

00:22:23   An amount of shows in the past

00:22:24   An amount of shows ago because of the recording

00:22:27   That I was playing around with Trello

00:22:30   As a way to just visually move around work

00:22:33   And I'm really liking Trello, like it's an interesting way to just look at some stuff

00:22:36   And Trello is, like Zapier, like Slack, like Toggle, like all these things

00:22:43   It has a web API element

00:22:45   And so I was playing around with it, and as inevitably would happen any time I'm working with a tool,

00:22:50   eventually I realize, oh, there are some things that I would want to enter the same way all the time if I was using this.

00:22:56   It's like, here we go, like you're starting to build up some kind of template, right?

00:23:00   And I was playing around then with Workflow and looking and seeing, oh, how can I get the Workflow app

00:23:07   to automatically add a bunch of cards to Trello if I want to trigger a thing, right?

00:23:12   And I was disappointed because in the Workflow app there's only a few options for what kinds of information you can add to a Trello card and where it can go. It's relatively limited.

00:23:25   And it was this moment, it dawned on me, I thought, "Wait a minute, but what is the Workflow app doing? It must be talking to some kind of toggle API that exists out there on the web."

00:23:35   And so I googled around and I eventually found it and I realized, "Oh, okay.

00:23:40   Trello has an API where you can affect everything about the carts. Like,

00:23:45   literally everything is available there." And then I suddenly realized, "Ah, okay. All

00:23:51   of these apps are doing the same thing. They're using web URLs and the public

00:23:57   APIs to talk to each other and this is a thing that I need to seriously sit down

00:24:02   and learn as a skill because if I learn this skill then I'm not dependent on the

00:24:10   workflow app guys making a little pre-made template that's easy for me to

00:24:14   use it's like no no I can just program the thing directly to talk to the web

00:24:17   API's and I feel like that was the moment I realized like this is what a

00:24:23   lot of modern automation particularly on a device like an iPad is going to look

00:24:31   like. And I think that that was just a real realization that I feel like I've

00:24:35   had in the past couple months. Like, okay, this web API world, like this is way more

00:24:41   powerful than I ever gave it credit for. And I always used to be prioritizing

00:24:47   apps that could work on an airplane, that would work in offline mode, where I

00:24:50   wouldn't have to connect to any kind of web service. But I think something has

00:24:55   shifted in my mind to finally really understanding the value of these things.

00:25:01   Yep. Like, if I am using a tool that has an impact on my work, my feeling now is

00:25:10   it has to have an API because I am fed up of giving this data to a system which

00:25:19   keeps it. Because there is no reason for that to happen anymore. I should be

00:25:25   able to tie these things together and I am not close to what you're doing in the

00:25:31   level at which I'm doing this but I'm getting interested and so that's I

00:25:36   know I've started doing things where like I've had a problem that I wanted to

00:25:40   solve and I am now like in the mindset of like why don't I try and build a

00:25:45   thing and I've been doing that with some with some workflows like there I've

00:25:49   I've been able to build some workflows now,

00:25:52   which I would have previously just continued

00:25:55   doing things the same way.

00:25:57   And these services are becoming more and more important

00:26:00   for me as I continue to do my work,

00:26:02   and continue to optimize,

00:26:03   and with something we're gonna talk about later on

00:26:05   in the show with hiring an assistant,

00:26:07   is only gonna become more important.

00:26:09   Because I will have things now that will be entered

00:26:12   by somebody else into a system, right?

00:26:15   And there could be a case where I'm like,

00:26:17   Why doesn't this stuff just come to me instead of me going to get it and web automation and

00:26:22   web integrations will be an API as will be what allows all of that stuff to be pulled

00:26:26   together in an interesting way.

00:26:28   So this is where I want to go now.

00:26:29   Like I have all of this data that I give to systems.

00:26:32   I want these systems to be able to talk to each other if I want them to.

00:26:35   And I do want to say what you're doing here, I think is it's such a valuable skill to understand

00:26:42   Like just it's not programming like you're not a programmer here

00:26:47   No way

00:26:48   but this this kind of thing where you

00:26:52   you learn and you realize how to make the machine do something on its own or

00:26:58   How to make the different machines talk to each other this this kind of

00:27:03   very very basic, you know

00:27:06   programming ultralight kind of thing that an app like workflow allows or

00:27:12   something like Zapier allows you to do by visually rearranging objects.

00:27:16   I think this is such an incredibly valuable skill.

00:27:20   If you have never messed around with one of these kind of systems,

00:27:24   I think it's hugely valuable to just try and just play around with it a little bit,

00:27:31   just to get it into your mind that there may be something you're doing that with a little bit of effort

00:27:37   you can make

00:27:39   automatic or

00:27:41   vastly simpler. And once you get that hook in your brain,

00:27:45   you can really improve a lot of the ways you do things on

00:27:49   computing devices of all kinds. But I just happen to think like the Workflow app in particular is a great example of

00:27:56   visually rearranging stuff and there seems to be a bunch more tools like

00:28:01   Zapier that are doing this kind of thing of allowing you to visually rearrange stuff

00:28:06   even if you don't want to do the thing that I'm trying to do,

00:28:09   which is like dig into like, how is this JSON object structure?

00:28:12   Like you don't need to go that far.

00:28:14   Just knowing the basics already makes a huge difference.

00:28:17   It is these visual services that's helping me understand it, right?

00:28:20   Like I've tweaked things in some of my workflows,

00:28:24   which are like real API stuff, like I've messed around in the code,

00:28:28   but it's because the wrapper around it is helping me understand the context of the thing.

00:28:33   So like I'm able to kind of work it out in my brain with little knowledge because I'll

00:28:38   be like, "Oh, it's this step, which has got this code in it, and this step isn't working

00:28:42   the way I want it to.

00:28:43   So let me look at this."

00:28:44   And if this stuff's written well enough, someone like me can have an idea of understanding

00:28:48   it and also playing with it.

00:28:50   And whilst we're in this tangent, I've been thinking about this a lot recently, where

00:28:54   like you spend hours building this stuff, right?

00:28:58   Does it pay off in the long run?

00:29:00   This is a question that I think a lot of people have.

00:29:02   It's like you've just spent four hours

00:29:03   building this workflow with trial and error,

00:29:06   and all it's doing is saving you 30 seconds

00:29:08   every single time.

00:29:09   How long is it gonna take for that to pay off?

00:29:12   And the realization that I've come to is

00:29:14   it's not about the time, it's about the frustration.

00:29:19   - Yes, yes.

00:29:20   - It is about me pressing one button to do a thing

00:29:23   rather than opening two apps and then doing two things

00:29:26   and typing this thing in here and pressing send here.

00:29:28   It's about pressing a button and just having it done,

00:29:31   And it is the combination of the fun of building the thing

00:29:36   and having the sense of accomplishment of doing it.

00:29:39   And then every subsequent time

00:29:41   benefiting from that work that you paid in

00:29:43   and just making it feel like your work

00:29:45   is happening more smoothly.

00:29:47   It doesn't matter to me if I'm saving time.

00:29:49   That's not a thing.

00:29:50   It's about the comfort of my work.

00:29:53   - Yeah, there's also another aspect to this,

00:29:56   which I think is underappreciated.

00:29:57   But when you automate something,

00:30:01   you end up making it much easier to do that thing.

00:30:06   And so like, for example, with the time tracking,

00:30:10   like the whole reason that I'm able to do

00:30:13   this seasonal experiment that I'm doing

00:30:15   of trying to track absolutely everything

00:30:17   is entirely because automation allows the tracking

00:30:22   to be as simple as possible.

00:30:25   - Yeah, if I wasn't able to use workflow

00:30:28   from the notification center or from my watch

00:30:31   to trigger the toggle stuff.

00:30:33   If I was having to open the toggle app

00:30:35   or go to the toggle website every time,

00:30:36   I wouldn't be doing, this wouldn't be doing this.

00:30:37   - Yeah, exactly. - It wouldn't work.

00:30:38   - Exactly, this would never happen.

00:30:40   - I'm still using this for every task I do.

00:30:42   I'm still finding it very useful.

00:30:44   Like this feels like just part of my work now.

00:30:47   But if I had the friction of needing to open

00:30:49   a specific thing every time,

00:30:50   as opposed to just like pulling down

00:30:51   and pressing two buttons, I wouldn't be doing it.

00:30:54   - Yeah, that's one of the things that automation gets you.

00:30:59   is it's a bit like, I forget the name of it,

00:31:02   but in economics when the price of a resource

00:31:05   dramatically drops, you end up using so much more of it

00:31:09   and it allows you to do more things.

00:31:12   And it's not like, oh, the price of copper has dropped.

00:31:14   Like, are you, it was like, yes, we're gonna use more copper.

00:31:17   That's the whole point, right?

00:31:18   Like we can now do more things than we could do before.

00:31:22   Again, it's funny you mentioned it on the watch.

00:31:24   Like I'm so aware there's a couple of instances

00:31:27   where being able to use the workflow app from the watch in a couple of situations

00:31:33   means I'm able to very easily track some time that I wouldn't otherwise.

00:31:36   Like in particular when I'm reading at night,

00:31:39   like I'm reading the book and my phone is charging in the other room,

00:31:44   it's not in the same room that I sleep,

00:31:46   and I can just very quickly like press a button and then as I'm going to bed

00:31:50   just say like, "I'm done reading, stop the clock."

00:31:52   Like the day's over and the little workflow app just automatically does that thing,

00:31:56   Whereas otherwise I wouldn't be tracking my reading time at night if it meant that I had to get up

00:32:01   and go use another device that I don't want around me while I'm reading at night.

00:32:05   Like it's just, it's really great to be able to do that kind of stuff.

00:32:09   Like, I always kind of feel like when people dismiss automation,

00:32:15   it's like, I don't think you understand what's actually happening.

00:32:18   I think there's an idea in your head of people spending hours and hours automating some system for no benefit,

00:32:25   But you're only looking at the benefit in a very very narrow way.

00:32:29   Plus there's also just the skill of learning how to do this kind of thing and then being able to apply it to other stuff.

00:32:36   I'm honestly considering this as like a hobby.

00:32:38   Mm-hmm. One of my hobbies now is tinkering with automation because I find it fun.

00:32:43   I just get I love the feeling of like, "Yes, I did it!" Like I did it, you know, and that's that's that feels good.

00:32:51   So

00:32:52   Going back to Todoist, right? So this is like the biggest reason that I made this move and there are a couple of things

00:32:58   I'm taking advantage of right now, which I really like. One of them is having

00:33:02   Zapier or IFTTT, they can both do this, watch a Google Calendar and add tasks based on events that trigger.

00:33:09   So a practical application of this for me is every time it sees a podcast recording on my calendar

00:33:16   It adds a task to edit that show

00:33:18   Hmm very simple, right but it can do all of that stuff for me and I think to myself in the future of like

00:33:24   the ways that I could do this of like having this stuff then going to toggle and like how can all that work together and

00:33:31   These all these things can just trigger on their own

00:33:33   Right. So because I still press some buttons every time I sit down to record. I don't need to do that

00:33:37   Toggle could just start at the same time

00:33:40   Right because the calendar events I'm gonna be here at two o'clock

00:33:43   Right, right or whatever. So tell the waves more just may as well just start on its own

00:33:48   It's like there are little things like that. I know how I want to build from them

00:33:50   Another one is an integration which todoist build for slack

00:33:55   So I can be in slack and I can type forward slash todoist and I can just type in a task

00:34:01   I can type in a due date labels and projects and it just gets added. Nobody sees it. I just type it

00:34:07   I press enter it says yep the tasks in there

00:34:09   So this is like somebody's asking me in slack to do something and I never even leave slack

00:34:14   Oh, so you can you don't have to talk to the slack bot to do this

00:34:17   so you can just, like if you're in a general chat room,

00:34:19   you can just do this?

00:34:20   - Yep.

00:34:21   - Oh, that's very interesting.

00:34:22   - Yep, it's an integration that Todoist built.

00:34:24   So I can be talking to Steven and he's like,

00:34:26   oh, could you take a look at that invoice for me later on?

00:34:29   And I can just type in,

00:34:30   take a look at the invoice at two o'clock and press enter.

00:34:33   And it's just added, beautiful.

00:34:34   - That's very nice.

00:34:35   - It's beautiful.

00:34:36   - That's pretty nice.

00:34:37   - So this is the main, the biggest reason

00:34:40   that I made this shift,

00:34:42   because as much as I have loved using OmniFocus,

00:34:46   I think it's very clear they're never gonna add this.

00:34:49   But even if they're gonna add it,

00:34:51   it's gonna take longer for them to add this

00:34:52   than I'm willing to wait.

00:34:54   I'm at the point now where I'm starting to value this stuff

00:34:57   a little bit more than losing some of the features.

00:34:59   And there are features that I'm losing.

00:35:01   There are things that annoy me about Todoist.

00:35:03   There are things that I wish that it did better.

00:35:05   And there are things that I wish it did more like OmniFocus,

00:35:07   which is kinda not fair, but I have those wishes anyway.

00:35:10   - Yeah, that's totally not fair.

00:35:11   (laughs)

00:35:12   - Because that's, you know,

00:35:13   so like the things that annoy me about it,

00:35:15   things that I think aren't being done right is one thing.

00:35:18   And then there are just things that I think

00:35:19   they wish they did more like OmniFocus,

00:35:21   which is like, you know, that's not fair

00:35:22   to wish on a company.

00:35:24   So one thing that I miss is OmniFocus's forecast view

00:35:28   because this became so important for me.

00:35:29   So it was just this view in OmniFocus

00:35:31   which gave me a calendar, and on the calendar days

00:35:34   it showed me how many tasks were in each day.

00:35:36   And that just gave me at a glance how busy my week was.

00:35:40   Todoist doesn't really have this at all.

00:35:42   Like they have a next seven days, which I'm using,

00:35:46   but all it does is just shows a list of all of the tasks

00:35:49   for the next seven days.

00:35:49   You get no counters, 'cause you just base it on counter,

00:35:52   right, like I'd see like seven tasks on Monday,

00:35:55   nine tasks on Tuesday, two tasks on Wednesday, great,

00:35:57   I can move stuff to Wednesday 'cause Wednesday's not busy.

00:36:00   But now I kind of just have to look at this list

00:36:03   and it doesn't really work for me so well.

00:36:05   Something that Todoist has, which I do kind of think

00:36:07   is interesting and is working for me more,

00:36:09   is when you go to reschedule something,

00:36:11   It uses machine learning to tell you when your busiest,

00:36:14   that your least busy days will be,

00:36:16   so you can move stuff too, so it makes recommendations.

00:36:18   And that's really cool, right?

00:36:19   So another thing about the data is like,

00:36:21   it knows that like, either by trends

00:36:24   or just by like what my average task usage is a day,

00:36:27   like how many tasks I'm checking off,

00:36:29   it can recommend days in the future

00:36:30   where I'm not so busy to move stuff.

00:36:32   So I think that's really cool.

00:36:33   - Yeah, I think that's an interesting,

00:36:34   an interesting example of, again,

00:36:37   having the data done differently,

00:36:40   like the machine can recommend things to you in an open way.

00:36:45   And I have to say, I was curious when I saw that with Todoist.

00:36:49   Now, the way that I am using it,

00:36:52   which is primarily as a communication tool

00:36:53   between my assistant and I,

00:36:55   that's not really a practical thing,

00:36:56   but I think it shows an interesting direction

00:37:00   for how can this stuff go.

00:37:03   - Like, and I know that that's gonna get better

00:37:05   for me over time.

00:37:06   The more data I'm plugging into this,

00:37:08   the better that suggestion is going to get.

00:37:11   So that's like a long game that I'm playing with it.

00:37:13   But I do miss just because my system had kind of been built around this idea of looking

00:37:18   at the numbers.

00:37:19   But now, now that I don't have that, like I'm starting to think to myself like, was

00:37:26   this actually really a good system?

00:37:28   I don't think it was.

00:37:29   Cuz that thought that you're having right there, this is exactly the kind of thing that

00:37:33   I'm trying to think through with everything that I've done.

00:37:37   like there are many tools that I may have relied upon, but if you step away from them for a while,

00:37:42   you can view it with more clarity and say like, was this or was this not actually a beneficial

00:37:47   thing? And I could see like you always, it's interesting because when we would discuss using

00:37:53   OmniFocus that you always brought up the forecast tool as such a primary thing for you, whereas

00:38:00   I had a different feature which is my primary thing, but I never looked at that forecast,

00:38:06   That was one of the things that to me just I filed under totally useless. Let's see seeing that I have more or fewer tasks

00:38:13   represented as a single number on a day

00:38:16   Like I just never found that to be a useful tool to actually guide any decision-making process at all

00:38:22   I mean simply because like tasks are a vastly varying sizes

00:38:27   Yeah, so seven versus three versus twenty doesn't actually convey the information that you think it conveys

00:38:35   So like yeah, I'm just realizing that those numbers they're not that helpful

00:38:39   I do wish I had the forecast view just because it was a nice way to see where there were maybe gaps

00:38:46   Right, so like days that there were less busy, but the idea that I live to which was like plus seven tasks means super busy day

00:38:53   I don't think that that is as useful as I thought it was

00:38:55   Right because we'll come back to the to this in a moment

00:38:59   But to do is has quite some some interest in reporting features and that looking at my last seven days

00:39:05   every single day I was doing, I've done over seven tasks

00:39:08   so far this week.

00:39:09   But previously that meant super busy day to me.

00:39:12   So I also think that what I'm doing with Todoist

00:39:15   is I'm entering more tasks into the system.

00:39:18   With OmniFocus I was restricting the amount of tasks

00:39:20   that I would enter into the system

00:39:22   because of going over that number.

00:39:24   So now I'm adding more stuff into the system

00:39:28   which I think is making me more productive

00:39:30   as you would assume.

00:39:31   Because there are more things that are going in.

00:39:33   The more that goes in, the more that will get done

00:39:35   or less things that will get missed.

00:39:37   But now I'm not in so much fear of like,

00:39:39   oh, can't send it over seven.

00:39:41   So I think that that's been a,

00:39:42   that is actually while I miss the feature,

00:39:46   it has helped, I think, break a bad habit.

00:39:48   - What you're talking about here of like,

00:39:50   oh, this arbitrary number of seven.

00:39:52   This is, I mentioned last time

00:39:54   that I'm looking into Scrum a little bit

00:39:56   and I've been playing around with some ideas

00:39:57   about how this system works for organizing stuff.

00:40:00   And there's a couple of things

00:40:02   that I think are really valuable in this.

00:40:04   And one of them is really this focus on trying to get an estimate for how big your tasks actually are.

00:40:13   And then trying to, through measuring your previous activities, get a sense of how much can I do in a day,

00:40:22   not based on my feelings, but based on previous data.

00:40:26   And I think that's a really interesting idea and you can just see how there are very many

00:40:33   ways like this plus seven that you were running into where you can be getting a very false

00:40:39   sense of how much is on my plate for the day and how much can I possibly do.

00:40:45   So it's good.

00:40:46   I mean I don't know how to recommend to people because obviously everybody's system's different

00:40:49   but there is some real value in changing things even if you plan to go back but just as a

00:40:55   to help you reassess and see if you've got any maybe unhealthy habits in your system.

00:40:59   I do. There was a problem in the system that I didn't know was there.

00:41:04   This episode of Cortex is brought to you in part by Hover.

00:41:08   When you have a great idea for your new startup or business or blog or whatever,

00:41:13   you need to give it a great domain name.

00:41:16   And finding that perfect domain name is ridiculously easy with Hover.

00:41:20   When all you want to do is buy a domain name or email address,

00:41:23   you shouldn't have to opt out of page after page of add-ons that you don't want and you don't need.

00:41:28   That's why Hover offers only domains in email, so you can focus on getting a great domain name and getting back to working on your idea.

00:41:37   They believe you shouldn't have to pay for things that should already be included with your domain, like Whois privacy,

00:41:43   which keeps all of your private details safe on the internet. Many other

00:41:49   registrars require that you pay for such a service, but not Hover. They think

00:41:52   that's just part of what buying a domain name is. Hover is where I always go to

00:41:58   register my domain names, and it's where you should too. They're a fantastic service

00:42:03   with a nice, clean, simple, easy-to-use website. So to find that perfect domain

00:42:09   name for your idea, go to hover.com/cortex and get 10% off your first

00:42:15   purchase. Once again, that's hover.com/cortex to find out more and get 10% off your first

00:42:22   purchase. Thank you so much to Hover for their support of this show and all of Relay FM.

00:42:28   Related to this number thing, there is something that's frustrating to me that the

00:42:32   the badge that todoist shows on the application on iOS is just a straight how many tasks you have

00:42:38   have due for the day. I really want that to be overdue, honestly, because it kind of is

00:42:45   just a weird thing to me to be like, just shows the number 10. It's like that's the

00:42:49   total amount of tasks, not like total amount of tasks that are overdue. I'm getting used

00:42:53   to this because now this is kind of just giving me a rundown of how many things I have left

00:42:57   for the day. So again, it's like a change of the system, but I do still think that that's

00:43:03   weird not even to have that setting of being able to say like how many tasks are overdue

00:43:07   is how many tasks are just due for the day.

00:43:11   I do think that's a weird choice that they've made

00:43:12   to make that just a, you can't adjust this,

00:43:15   this is what it is.

00:43:16   - Here's, okay, so while we have been singing the praises

00:43:19   of APIs and open data, my biggest complaint

00:43:24   with using a bunch of these services,

00:43:27   like Todoist, Slack, and Trello,

00:43:30   is that they never feel like they're native citizens

00:43:34   on the operating system that you're using?

00:43:36   No, because they try and build applications that can work across systems.

00:43:40   Exactly.

00:43:40   Like they're consistent.

00:43:41   That shows itself in obvious ways and not obvious ways.

00:43:44   Like obvious ways, for example, if I'm scrolling in Trello,

00:43:48   it's clearly like a web page that's being rendered on the screen

00:43:52   and the frame rate drops like hell if I'm scrolling back and forth

00:43:55   in a way that a native app never would because it's doing something funny.

00:43:58   Or like it's so hard to pin down what it is,

00:44:01   but even just the way in Todoist when you're completing tasks

00:44:06   or adding things like it just doesn't feel like iOS because it isn't.

00:44:11   But it also shows up in I think exactly what you're talking about here where

00:44:16   there are a surprising lack of options very often when you're using these kinds of apps.

00:44:22   When there are apps that feel they should have tons.

00:44:25   Yeah, and this is a perfect example of it feels like what you want that app badge icon to represent

00:44:32   It feels like you should have a huge array of selections in here

00:44:36   but you don't and I think that is a side effect of

00:44:40   The company I think smartly trying to build an app that works universally across a whole bunch of platforms

00:44:48   And so to them almost any time spent on

00:44:52   Customization on a particular platform is almost wasted time

00:44:56   I'm aware like what I would love is a way to have that badge

00:45:00   Show the number of tasks that are currently assigned to me in the system, right?

00:45:07   Again, this is because I'm using it in a very different way

00:45:09   you are as a collaboration between two people and that's one of these cases where it's like I

00:45:14   Don't have a good way for that that

00:45:17   For the app to communicate to me through a little icon that oh my assistant needs me to get back on something related to

00:45:26   Tax documentation or whatever it is today. Like it feels like that should be an option

00:45:30   But it isn't it's not in there and I will just add since you missed the

00:45:36   Forecast from OmniFocus my biggest missing feature that I have to say

00:45:41   OmniFocus does so well

00:45:43   And I don't see any other to do app at all handle this is the concept of start dates

00:45:49   And I feel like start dates are so integrated into my mind that I like I

00:45:55   I don't understand how any of these apps work with like

00:46:00   I mean here's all I'm asking for like this. Let's let's say I wanted to add a task

00:46:04   Let's do like the simplest task in the world, which is like buy flowers for Mother's Day, right?

00:46:10   Like let's say something like this, you know and it's due

00:46:12   You know the day before Mother's Day

00:46:15   I don't want to see that task as open and uncompleted for the whole year running up to mothers

00:46:22   Like I want to say set the start date a week before Mother's Day. Like don't show me this task

00:46:27   until it actually starts coming up, right? Or if there's a thing that I can only do later in the day

00:46:33   but I can't do now like set the start time to be later in the day and

00:46:37   OmniFocus like nails this with the ability to only show you tasks that you can do right now and

00:46:44   no other application seems to do this very well and it is the one thing that is driving me kind of crazy in Todoist is

00:46:51   is there's always a bunch of stuff that looks like it's open and available

00:46:56   but very often I can't actually make any progress on this

00:46:59   until a later point in time and I wish there was a way

00:47:02   to hide it until I actually can do something about it.

00:47:07   Yeah I've seen people complain about that with other systems as well

00:47:11   I feel like this is one of those things that I don't think a lot of people are thinking about now

00:47:16   like it was maybe like a part as part of a system which people don't

00:47:20   I don't know why, but it's like I never even thought of this.

00:47:22   It's like it will just come up when it comes up by due date.

00:47:25   Even when you explain it to me, I'm just like, it's just there.

00:47:29   You just don't see it.

00:47:30   What do you mean you just don't see it?

00:47:31   But you do see it.

00:47:32   Like you see it in the system when you're looking at the list of open tasks.

00:47:35   Just don't look there.

00:47:39   I know what you're seeing.

00:47:40   It's like you go to a project or whatever, but you don't need to be in the project.

00:47:44   Just do what's due.

00:47:45   But I know there's a difference in the system, right?

00:47:49   I know, I know, this is like a philosophical distance and this is also a case where I know

00:47:55   that I'm in the minority because essentially no other to-do app makes this.

00:48:01   I've never seen anybody do this implementation as well.

00:48:05   It's the same as deferring.

00:48:07   I see people say they want defer dates, I'm just like, "Just move the due date!

00:48:11   Like what's wrong with you?"

00:48:12   This is in my mind.

00:48:13   It's like, "Just move the date!"

00:48:16   I do think this is also a little bit of a holdover from a certain kind of getting things

00:48:20   done thinking, which I'm still maintaining that I really like this, which is a due date

00:48:28   should be a real hard due date.

00:48:33   You shouldn't be using due dates for "I'd like to do this thing on this day."

00:48:38   That's the distinction here, and so a start date allows you to have a distinction about

00:48:43   due dates are really due dates. They're not these other kind of things.

00:48:49   But I am totally aware of like if I'm wanting to use any other system,

00:48:53   I totally have to hack my way around this. Like I did mention before,

00:48:56   I still use to-do to track certain kinds of tasks, like little routine tasks, and I just hack that whole thing where it's like

00:49:04   everything only shows up in my system when it's overdue. Right? So it's like just the due date means nothing, right?

00:49:09   It's just this is when I want the thing to show up not when it's actually

00:49:13   due so I think I think that's where this disagreement comes in is like a philosophical conflict over

00:49:20   What is the meaning of the due date?

00:49:22   This is an old-school thinking rather as you mentioned because I feel like everybody that I know that uses those functions like defer and

00:49:30   Start and stuff like that. There's people that that seem to have been doing this stuff for longer

00:49:34   Yeah, I think that is the case

00:49:38   Whereas it seems like most people are much happier with

00:49:42   Using the due date as a goal almost like oh

00:49:47   This is the day that I want to do the thing and it feels like it might be like

00:49:50   If you're of the school of David Allen or not, that's what I do think. This is probably a holdover from that

00:49:57   but this is this is one habit that I just I cannot let go because I'm like

00:50:01   It's like due date should mean something right like so like sometimes you get into an argument

00:50:06   with a person and they're using words like in a really sloppy way and he's like no words need to mean something like if we're

00:50:12   having a conversation and

00:50:14   words mean nothing like I don't even understand how we can have a conversation and I feel that way about due dates and system like

00:50:20   The date due date needs to mean something

00:50:22   Otherwise, I don't understand how to organize anything. Okay, grandpa. I know I know that's where I am

00:50:29   You kids with your with your due dates that mean nothing and your words that can mean whatever you want them to mean

00:50:36   It's just like okay, whatever just gonna yell at you from my porch. That's what I'm gonna do

00:50:40   One other problem of my switch to do this is 100% on me

00:50:45   Errors with the manual data transfer

00:50:50   Okay, human error, right? This is completely on me. So like I added some things incorrectly

00:50:58   So there was like some tasks that I had to complete and they were just like they were on the wrong repeating cycle or something

00:51:05   And so now I live in fear of like what else is wrong right something in here is wrong

00:51:13   And I don't know what it is, and I'll only know when it's too late

00:51:18   You know, but there's nothing you can do about that

00:51:20   I just freaking wish there was a system so I could move around easily

00:51:24   But no does it too late that ship has sailed

00:51:28   But I just wished that there was something you know we spoke about this last time like I just wished that there was like a system

00:51:34   like how there's calendars or a system, how there is email, right?

00:51:39   That these things are just there and you can move from app to app because they're

00:51:44   pulling from a database that everyone can share. You know?

00:51:47   Like how RSS is, you know? Like, I just wish there was a thing like that for tasks,

00:51:52   but there isn't and there never will be because it's too late now.

00:51:55   There never will be and I think the three protocols that we have, like RSS, email,

00:52:01   Email and HTML that are these universal protocols that are used by everybody I?

00:52:05   Think all three of those are are almost like a historical accident that we even got them in the first place

00:52:11   Not even long for this world anymore a lot of this stuff, right? Yeah, but it's it's they're really valuable because of that

00:52:19   But it's this is one of these cases where I feel like you run the simulation of the world over again

00:52:23   And we could end up in a world where there

00:52:25   aren't these common communication protocols and

00:52:29   And I do think that when you say they're not long for the world, I think on the user end,

00:52:34   in very many cases, they're not long for the world, but they're a kind of foundation that

00:52:38   will probably never go away.

00:52:41   And they are super useful, like HTML and being able to do this API stuff, like this is all

00:52:46   dependent on the very notion of loading and sending information to a webpage.

00:52:50   It's like, great, I'm so happy this is here.

00:52:53   But the ones we have, that's as many as we're going to have.

00:52:57   Exactly.

00:52:58   I mean like the idea of it is not long for this world

00:53:00   and that there will, no one's gonna make another one of these

00:53:03   because this isn't how companies get rich anymore.

00:53:06   It's proprietary.

00:53:07   - Exactly, yeah, I think we're never going to end up

00:53:11   with another one of these.

00:53:12   - Like how you doing with your Evernote database

00:53:14   over there, buddy?

00:53:15   You doing good?

00:53:16   - Yeah, I'm doing just (beep) great.

00:53:19   Let me tell you a story about how I wanted to rearrange

00:53:24   some tags on my iPhone in Evernote and then like,

00:53:27   Oh, oh great all the hierarchical information that I've put together on my Mac with the tags

00:53:33   Oh, none of that carries over to Evernote great. Thanks. Thanks Evernote

00:53:37   That's a story for another time. You're gonna hate this but my suggestion to you now is

00:53:42   start over

00:53:45   somewhere else and like everything new you add to the system goes in that place and

00:53:50   Everything old is in the legacy app and then over time you can let go Evernote

00:53:54   We can't have this conversation now.

00:53:56   Myke, you do not understand the kind of legacy costs that I'm dealing with here.

00:54:02   This is just...

00:54:04   Now you've explained it to me. I have an idea, right?

00:54:08   I can understand, but it's just not going to work for you, man.

00:54:13   It's going to die.

00:54:14   No, but do you know what the problem is?

00:54:17   The problem is, despite all of my frustrations, it does still work for me.

00:54:21   work for me. When I'm trying to search for something, this just happened the other day.

00:54:26   I'm working on a video and I wanted to do a quick search for a thing. And it's like,

00:54:31   "Oh, great. Some notes I saved from seven years ago turned up as a thing that was relevant

00:54:37   to something that I'm doing now." So that's the problem. The problem is it's actually

00:54:41   still useful to keep working.

00:54:43   There is still a system that can work, which is like RSS, like email, it's plain text.

00:54:51   so many apps that build on plain text and I know that you have images right but you can also save

00:54:58   folders of images and it's sloppy. Do you know how many OCR bootleg screenshots of books that I have

00:55:05   right like I know I know I have I have thousands of OCR pages from books that I have found

00:55:13   interesting like it's I cannot like that's the problem anyway this is your fault for bringing

00:55:17   up Evernote. I don't know how we got down another Evercore tangent here, but what I

00:55:24   was going to say originally is that while something like IMAP for Tasks will never exist,

00:55:32   with all of these public APIs and with your growing skills in web automation, there is

00:55:39   at least in theory the possibility that a future Myke when moving from Todoist to some

00:55:48   other program in the future, he'll be able to write something that can at least do a

00:55:54   basic transfer, right? That can comb through the database and then add tasks on the other

00:56:00   end to be double checked.

00:56:01   I did look into this a little bit, like, there are ways to move from OmniFocus to Todoist,

00:56:08   But it still requires you to go through and tweak some stuff.

00:56:12   Because they just don't talk to each other very well.

00:56:14   Like at all.

00:56:15   Even if you take the data out, the data OmniFocus gives is not really comfortable for Todoist

00:56:22   to accept.

00:56:23   So I still, I know for my own purposes, I still would have gone through every task and

00:56:27   made sure they were correct.

00:56:29   Oh yeah, yeah.

00:56:30   Again this is not for now Myke.

00:56:32   I'm simply saying like there's the possibility for future Myke.

00:56:35   Myke 4.0.

00:56:36   Yeah, two API-enabled to-do apps could have a much easier transfer between them than one

00:56:44   app that has an API and another app that doesn't.

00:56:47   Ah, yes, of course, I see what you mean.

00:56:49   It's not—Omnifocus was never going to do any good, but like, yeah, a future application

00:56:53   like both understanding the web could.

00:56:55   Right.

00:56:56   Yeah, you're totally right on that one.

00:56:59   The very best thing about Todoist also houses I think its very worst flaw.

00:57:07   So Todoist's natural language entry is incredible.

00:57:14   I press CTRL+N and I just start typing and then I press enter and the task is done.

00:57:22   And it has the due date, it has the projects all attached to it.

00:57:25   I love it.

00:57:26   how Fantastic.Al will change calendars to do a sustained task entry because you just

00:57:32   you type to it you have to learn the language of the application a little bit right like

00:57:36   what is it that you need to do to add something to a project what do you need to do to add

00:57:41   a label to it that kind of thing but it's brilliant but where it falls down is the way

00:57:48   that you, especially with repeating tasks, like there is a specific language, they have

00:57:55   a website, they have a web page, even in the application you can get a link which kind

00:57:59   of tells you how do you say every second Tuesday or how do you say every first of the month,

00:58:05   right? There are ways in which you say this stuff into the natural language and that's

00:58:12   pretty normal of this stuff, right? Where there is a language that it understands because

00:58:16   then it's going to get it right. And I totally understand that. And you have to learn the

00:58:20   language to be able to speak to it in that way. It's like the same with the Amazon Echo,

00:58:25   right? You speak to it in the ways that it understands and then you're good.

00:58:29   Right, right.

00:58:30   But the problem with Todoist is, with all of the repeating task stuff, there's no UI.

00:58:35   Yeah, I've run into this as well.

00:58:37   So you can't change a thing unless you speak to it. And that is crazy-making to me. Like,

00:58:45   I have spent like 20 minutes trying to get a task to repeat in the right way because

00:58:50   I keep telling it in the way that I think it should understand, but it's still getting

00:58:55   it wrong and I can't just click and then just press a button like I could do in OmniFocus

00:59:01   to get it to do that.

00:59:02   Now OmniFocus, I could set it that way, but I also couldn't speak to it, right?

00:59:06   So there's like a give and take with it.

00:59:08   And everyone that I know that uses Todoist is also frustrated about this, but over time

00:59:12   it becomes less of a problem as you learn more and more how to talk to it.

00:59:16   But they should also have the UI to be like repeat every second Tuesday.

00:59:23   Yeah, this kind of stuff is really funny because the natural language processing

00:59:27   is always "oh it's fantastic when it works, but when it doesn't work suddenly it's like

00:59:34   you're in the 1970s talking to the terminal." Right? You need to learn the magic incantations

00:59:39   to say to make it do the thing and it's infuriating.

00:59:42   The problems lie in when there isn't a defined language, when it's trying to infer your meaning.

00:59:49   This is why a lot of people I think get frustrated at Siri.

00:59:52   Siri I think tries to take more broad input, where the echo, you have to say things in a

01:00:01   specific way. So once you learn those things it's more reliable. So I understand why it needs the

01:00:06   specific language because then we're talking to each other in a way that we understand.

01:00:11   I'm talking to you right now. Half of my words aren't French. I have to speak to you in the

01:00:18   language I know you're going to understand. I get that. But not having a UI fallback

01:00:23   is just stupid, I think. I can't understand why you wouldn't have that.

01:00:27   Yeah, it is frustrating. Again, I'm using it in a very different way, but I was aware of that

01:00:33   really fast. The lack of UI for certain aspects of the task is frustrating. And it also seems like

01:00:41   you need this here so that I can learn when the language typing works and when it doesn't.

01:00:47   So there can be a little feedback loop of like, "What do you think I said? How are you populating

01:00:52   all of these fields based on what I'm typing into this box?"

01:00:56   - Very, very weird.

01:00:57   - I mentioned statistics. Todoist has statistics which are kind of cool,

01:01:05   kind of pointless at the same time. The pointless thing is something called karma. You earn points

01:01:10   over time and then you become like a mega expert like I don't really know why they have this system

01:01:17   do you know why they have this system gamification I know that's the reason it's it's it's like

01:01:21   gamification is just like machine learning right it's magic that you sprinkle onto every product

01:01:27   but the thing about it is is the gamification does work because you know there's a part of me

01:01:32   and it's like oh like I've just gone up a karma level like I am a master now you know like I am

01:01:39   currently an expert and next is master then grandmaster and then enlightened you know like

01:01:45   I'm gonna get to the enlightened phase and I don't need to work anymore I think that's what I think

01:01:49   that's what it's telling me they give you a big payout when you're done and then you've won you've

01:01:53   won the game of productivity I think that's how it works but what I do like is that the statistics

01:01:58   that they give you about like you can kind of tell it how many tasks you want to complete on an

01:02:03   average day and then it has like a baseline and you can see when you reach over the baseline you

01:02:08   you get streaks going and stuff like that,

01:02:09   which I think is kind of interesting.

01:02:10   I can see how many tasks I completed

01:02:12   in the last seven days,

01:02:13   and then on a weekly basis the last four weeks.

01:02:16   And I like seeing that because it's given me some trends.

01:02:19   But I'm using projects now, Gray,

01:02:21   something I've never done before.

01:02:23   But I'm using projects.

01:02:25   One of the reasons is because it's easier for me to do this.

01:02:28   I can just type it in, and it takes a second more

01:02:31   for me to type in the pound sign and then Kotex,

01:02:34   and then it's into a Kotex project.

01:02:36   and I'm finding this just to be useful mostly for knowing where to find things.

01:02:43   So I know I have a task in the future and instead of me searching for it I just hit

01:02:47   the cortex one and I know it's going to be in there.

01:02:50   And it's also interesting when I'm like "I don't really feel like doing this right now,

01:02:53   hey what's in my personal stuff?

01:02:55   What's in my personal tag?

01:02:56   They're easy things to do."

01:02:58   So it's interesting to me to kind of put things in these buckets which is GTD 101 using projects

01:03:06   but I just never done it before, so I feel like I've upgraded my system.

01:03:11   It's interesting to me that anyone could have used OmniFocus for as long as you did without

01:03:18   ever really using projects.

01:03:20   It's so based around the notion of there are projects that it's almost inconceivable how

01:03:26   you would even be using it without projects as a fundamental part of things.

01:03:32   So it's funny to me that Todoist, the application that seems like "Eh, projects, whatever, maybe

01:03:39   you have them, maybe you don't" this is the one that has you now using projects more.

01:03:45   Yeah, it's weird, but it's purely because of the entry.

01:03:49   I can get it in easier, I don't have to tap more stuff and spend more time.

01:03:54   See, it's just like automation, right?

01:03:56   You've reduced the friction to do something, and then you are more likely to take advantage

01:04:01   of it.

01:04:02   I am very pleased with Todoist overall.

01:04:05   Like with anything, I'm critical of it

01:04:07   because I really like it, so I want it to be better.

01:04:11   If I didn't have any complaints,

01:04:12   that's more of an issue, I think, right?

01:04:15   I wanna have complaints about the thing

01:04:17   because it means I'm pushing it,

01:04:18   it means I'm using it right,

01:04:20   rather than just being like, "Yeah, it's fine, whatever."

01:04:23   I don't have any feelings for it in that way,

01:04:24   but I have feelings for this application

01:04:26   'cause I think it's very good

01:04:27   at a lot of the stuff that it does.

01:04:29   But it has work to go.

01:04:30   but I am 100% sold. I'm not moving back to OmniFocus. Like this is my system.

01:04:35   I have absolutely no desire to move back.

01:04:38   I am completely sold on this because the things this app does better are

01:04:43   so much better and the things that it doesn't do as well,

01:04:47   maybe not as bad as I initially thought that they would be.

01:04:50   It's interesting. It's an interesting, it's an interesting verdict.

01:04:55   No more OmniFocus for Myke.

01:04:57   No, not. And I, as I said, I really,

01:05:00   I don't know what it would take for me to move back. Like,

01:05:04   I just don't think it's going to be on my horizon.

01:05:07   Like OmniFocus is a better iOS application than Todoist.

01:05:11   Hands down. That the apps are amazing. Like on the Mac,

01:05:17   it's just a web app or wrapper,

01:05:20   or like it's even more like funny than how it is on iOS where it's,

01:05:24   it's still an iOS application as you say,

01:05:26   but like it's it's not completely native.

01:05:29   It doesn't feel it doesn't feel native because they're trying to unify

01:05:32   this experience. But on the Mac, it's just like this is just like a straight up

01:05:35   web app. But I just love all of the bits around it.

01:05:39   All of the stuff that makes the application work is so interesting to me

01:05:43   because there's so many things happening in the background.

01:05:46   I'm just really I'm kind of just smitten about all of that, honestly.

01:05:50   Like I think that it is a much better system for Myke of 2017

01:05:54   than anything else is.

01:05:56   Yeah, it's been very interesting just to play around with this.

01:06:02   I have a hard time imagining using Todoist as my primary system, but I've just been very

01:06:10   interested to play around with it and to be using it as the communication device between

01:06:16   my assistant and I where we're tracking what's going on.

01:06:19   Is it just because there's not enough tinkering available?

01:06:22   It's a hard app to be particular with.

01:06:24   It's a difficult app to be particular with.

01:06:28   They do have filters, which are these ways of pre-searching through a bunch of tasks which are comparable to OmniFocus.

01:06:38   But I would say they are much less powerful than I first thought, because there's some weird limitations on combining certain kinds of queries that make it a little bit hard to use.

01:06:52   But yeah, it is difficult to be particular with, but I really do find myself just interesting and thinking about this whole concept of apps that are really web services with APIs.

01:07:13   and it is also a thing in thinking about the future, there may be some kind of thing that I could do where you don't even really have to interact with an app so directly

01:07:30   because you're able to write little things that interact with it indirectly in exactly the way that you want to every time.

01:07:38   I don't know where I'm going to end up. I don't predict that I'm going to go to

01:07:44   Todoist as my primary application in the future, but I do have to say as this

01:07:51   trial between my assistant and I, it has been

01:07:55   very successful, and it's a really great tool to be using between the two of us.

01:08:02   So I think it definitely has a place in my life going forward,

01:08:07   but perhaps not the primary place, but who knows? We'll see.

01:08:11   Like web APIs may be one of those features that over time just

01:08:16   becomes so increasingly valuable that it dwarfs all other considerations.

01:08:21   I've got to say like, if I was going to put money on this,

01:08:24   I will put money that you end up into doest because if web APIs are becoming

01:08:28   that more of an important tool for you,

01:08:31   you will just get more and more annoyed

01:08:33   that your GTE application, your task manager,

01:08:38   what I think of for me, and I think the same for you,

01:08:40   the center of all of my work has no hooks.

01:08:45   And really from what I've seen,

01:08:47   Todoist is the one in this area.

01:08:50   So it would surprise me.

01:08:53   You may end up building a weird system

01:08:56   that uses these web APIs to mock all of these due dates

01:09:01   and start dates and stuff for you, right?

01:09:05   - Of course, like that's exactly what I started thinking of

01:09:07   is like, well, if you can,

01:09:10   maybe there's a way to automate a solution.

01:09:11   - I bet you could, and that might be an interesting way

01:09:13   to deal with that.

01:09:15   Like you just enter a task into somewhere

01:09:17   and it will appear in Todoist at some point in the future.

01:09:21   But I would be surprised, honestly,

01:09:24   Like if in a year you're used to using something else.

01:09:27   'Cause if this automation stuff

01:09:30   is becoming as important to you as I think it is,

01:09:32   it would be surprising for me

01:09:37   if you then just let your to-do app

01:09:39   not worry about that stuff.

01:09:42   - Yeah, I don't know.

01:09:43   I'll be interested to find out what FutureMe does.

01:09:48   At least in the time that I have spent so far,

01:09:50   I have consistently noticed

01:09:52   I have conflicting needs and requirements for high level and low level looking at tasks.

01:10:02   There's something there that I haven't quite settled on, that I don't quite have requirements

01:10:06   for yet. There's something brewing, I don't know. We'll see what happens, but Todoist

01:10:11   definitely has a place in my life. We'll just see how primary it becomes or doesn't in the

01:10:18   future.

01:10:19   Thank you to FreshBooks for supporting this week's episode of Cortex. Life as a freelancer

01:10:25   can be challenging, but our friends over at FreshBooks believe the rewards are worth it

01:10:30   and they try and build tools that make this challenging life easier. You could be racing

01:10:35   to wrap up free projects whilst also trying to remember to track the time on them because

01:10:39   you're also working on building out a new productivity system, all whilst trying to

01:10:44   tackle that mountain of paperwork. And the working world is different now, the growth

01:10:49   of the internet means that there's more opportunities for everyone to be self employed. That is

01:10:53   why FreshBooks has worked tirelessly on an all new version of their cloud accounting

01:10:58   software that is tailored for those of us that work online and also helps us deal with

01:11:03   all of those huge long lists of tasks that we have every day. You'll be more productive

01:11:09   and more organised whilst also being paid quickly. FreshBooks customers get paid up

01:11:14   to 4 days faster on average and it's so simple and so easy to get your invoices sent out

01:11:19   there. You'll have online payments set up in just a couple of clicks and your invoices

01:11:24   will be built in their WYSIWYG interface, you'll see them exactly how your clients

01:11:28   going to see them too. No more guessing games involved in your invoices because with Freshbooks

01:11:33   you'll be able to see when your client has seen your invoice and you'll have a full

01:11:36   track of everything that's been going on with it. Every time you log into Freshbooks

01:11:40   you get notifications to update you on what's changed and what needs your attention. Freshbooks

01:11:46   has been designed with the usual question in mind of how is my business doing, no more

01:11:50   guessing games of what's owed or overdue, they let you know exactly and clearly.

01:11:56   Freshbooks is offering a 30 day trial of unrestricted free use for listeners of this show. Go to

01:12:01   Freshbooks.com/Cortex and in the how you heard about us section just type in the word cortex

01:12:07   so they know that you came to them from this show.

01:12:09   Thank you to FreshBooks for their support

01:12:11   of this show and Relay FM.

01:12:12   One of the things that happened

01:12:15   because of our doubling up of our episodes

01:12:19   was that between those episodes and now,

01:12:22   we put up the application to hire

01:12:25   an administrative assistant at Relay FM,

01:12:26   which is something we've been talking about for a while.

01:12:29   And I wanted to talk about it on the show,

01:12:30   but I also wanted to get it done.

01:12:32   And I figured maybe we'd keep the application open

01:12:34   until the show, until we recorded a new episode.

01:12:38   Then we got over 100 responses.

01:12:41   So we decided to shut it down.

01:12:43   Shut it down!

01:12:45   Too many. - You need an assistant

01:12:46   to help you get through all of those applications.

01:12:48   - Oh, I felt it.

01:12:49   I did put it in the show notes for last week's episode,

01:12:54   and I know that a bunch of people found it because of that,

01:12:56   because of the applications increasing

01:12:59   after the episode went out.

01:13:00   So we did that, but I felt like

01:13:04   over a hundred applications was enough.

01:13:06   That's that seems like enough to get started at the very least.

01:13:10   Yeah. And if it isn't well, we can just do it all over again.

01:13:13   But we had the application up for about a week or so. Um, and again,

01:13:18   just as like a refresher,

01:13:19   this person will be working with me primarily to help me with some of the

01:13:23   administrative stuff that goes around the business side of relay FM, you know,

01:13:27   so working with companies and helping me like with booking in stuff into systems

01:13:32   and things like that. So kind of helping me and assisting me so I can focus on

01:13:36   some other stuff. We made a really good decision when we put up this application

01:13:40   to create a standalone email address for this. Yeah, that's probably a good

01:13:44   decision. Because then I assigned them to this email address in a separate

01:13:48   application that wasn't my email app. So then I didn't have to see all these

01:13:52   emails coming in and that meant I could just kind of go and read them in chunks

01:13:58   of time, you know, as opposed to like them coming in constantly.

01:14:03   A hundred emails.

01:14:04   I really would have felt that, you know,

01:14:06   I really would have felt that increase over the week.

01:14:09   And then definitely things would have gotten lost in my email inbox

01:14:11   if if they were coming in just through the regular email addresses that we use.

01:14:15   So that ended up being a good thing.

01:14:17   And kind of maybe over like three or four sessions,

01:14:21   went through all of them, went through all of the applications.

01:14:24   Real walls of text like that gets

01:14:27   it's tough because I feel like you kind of have to pay attention, right? Like you really have to

01:14:34   pay attention to all of them. Yeah, like you are in a much more difficult position here hiring the

01:14:44   assistant than I was in hiring the animator. Yeah. Because with hiring the animator I'm asking for a

01:14:51   demonstration of your skill.

01:14:53   Mm-hmm.

01:14:54   I think with any kind of job hiring like that's actually what you

01:14:59   want. I was reading, I was actually reading some article about hiring where they were proposing this radical idea that if

01:15:05   if the job you're trying to hire for has an actual skill like have the person do some demonstration of the skill and it's like

01:15:11   yeah, of course. Like if you do that, like that's that's what you want to do. Like that's that makes things a thousand times easier.

01:15:18   But I do not envy you in this position because most jobs, there is no way that the person

01:15:26   can really demonstrate their skill in a meaningful way ahead of time.

01:15:32   You can't have this person demonstrate their ability to be an assistant for Relay before

01:15:38   they are the assistant for Relay.

01:15:41   There was one thing that we did.

01:15:43   I won't say what it was, but there was a requirement in the application that was not very overt,

01:15:50   but it was there, and the people that didn't do that thing, well, I was able to skip over

01:15:55   them.

01:15:56   Yeah, I mean, that's just a first pass filter for detail noticing.

01:15:59   Yeah, that helped.

01:16:00   Yeah, we've all done things like that, right, where there's a "is this person paying attention"

01:16:05   filter, right, and it matters.

01:16:06   Yeah, because that's going to be kind of important as time goes on, right?

01:16:10   Like the person that is going to be assisting me needs to listen to me.

01:16:15   Otherwise this isn't going to work so well.

01:16:17   Yeah, otherwise it's not going to work.

01:16:19   So I guess what I kind of want to know is being in this difficult position, not being

01:16:25   able to have a clear demonstration of skill ahead of time, how were you assessing these

01:16:33   applications?

01:16:35   One good thing was I read them all, Stephen read them all.

01:16:39   So we amassed a group of people that we both liked and we were able to cross reference

01:16:45   them.

01:16:46   So anyone that came up in both of us right, well that was a good application.

01:16:49   If they didn't, then me and him would maybe argue that person, right?

01:16:52   Who would go to interviews.

01:16:53   So that was one good part of it because there are some candidates where I've put a lot more

01:16:57   thought into them than others because I had to argue it.

01:17:02   So that was an interesting part of it as we were kind of discussing who should go to the

01:17:05   interview stage.

01:17:08   was just a lot of really hard and at some point mind-numbing work because

01:17:15   there is a way to write a resume or a CV mm-hmm that pretty much everybody

01:17:22   follows and because it's the way these things should be written there's a lot

01:17:28   of repetition an awful lot of repetition mm-hmm and for me the ones that really

01:17:36   stuck out was when somebody did something in the email or in the cover letter that made

01:17:45   them stand out. Because there were also a lot of people that were like, "I really love

01:17:50   the shows that you do and stuff, and this is what I like and so I don't know," which

01:17:52   is nice because they understand it, but that also became a thing that a lot of people were

01:17:57   using. So there was just a few candidates that what they wrote grabbed me, and I can't

01:18:03   why but it was just like I feel like I could work with this person like there was just a feeling in

01:18:10   the way that they were expressing themselves which was just something that made sense now this isn't

01:18:17   a weird notion to me because I've done this before I've hired people in the bank job so it's the same

01:18:23   kind of deal right that all resumes look the same you know within a margin but they all kind of say

01:18:31   a lot of the same kind of things. But it's the people that kind of just they display

01:18:36   something about themselves in the way that they explain themselves. For me, the explanation

01:18:42   part is what's interesting. How somebody talks about themselves. So it's so difficult, right?

01:18:48   But like I wasn't looking for someone who was too corporate, and I wasn't looking for

01:18:51   someone who was being zany for the sake of being zany. But it's somewhere in the middle.

01:18:57   I wanted that person to like in prose give me an idea of their personality and they were

01:19:06   the ones that kind of were able to jump through. So that was what made it interesting even

01:19:11   though it is hard work isn't the right word but it's like intensive work which is very

01:19:18   repetitive you know. So it was a tough process but the people that kind of spoke out to me

01:19:25   especially with the ones that were able to kind of shine in some way in a way that cannot

01:19:31   at all be quantified.

01:19:34   But that's what makes it interesting.

01:19:35   If you could quantify it, then it would be easy, right?

01:19:38   Everyone could do it.

01:19:39   Yeah, I mean, I would prefer that there was some way to quantify it, right?

01:19:44   Like it's, you know, like it's World of Warcraft and you're logging in, you can see, oh, this

01:19:49   person rolled a 20 in personal administration skills.

01:19:52   Great, right?

01:19:53   That is actually what I prefer, but that's not the world that we live in.

01:19:57   So how are you going to filter down then from the people that you have assessed fit the role?

01:20:02   We're interviewing. So we have a percentage of the applicants now that we have worked in

01:20:09   interviews for. I want to say how many there are.

01:20:11   I was gonna say what percentage, Myke? I want to know.

01:20:13   A percentage.

01:20:14   A percentage.

01:20:15   Of people. But what I will say is it's going to take us two and a half days to do this,

01:20:21   the interviews.

01:20:22   Are you doing the full who process that the full how to hire someone from the who book?

01:20:29   I'm only looking for a players gray. Yeah. No, I just want to speak to all these people because

01:20:35   The next part of it is how do we communicate?

01:20:38   So you're doing I presume like FaceTime

01:20:42   Interviews. Yes, that's what's occurring. Yeah

01:20:45   It was an interesting decision. Do we do audio or video? Mm-hmm, and

01:20:50   I've decided to do video primarily just so I can get more of a feel for the person

01:20:56   Although we will probably never communicate visually, right?

01:21:00   So me and this person will most likely communicate

01:21:05   99% of the time via text. Mm-hmm, but I want to get a sense of the person and

01:21:11   I think the easiest way to do that is to do this over video and I think it also gives that person the same

01:21:19   from us

01:21:20   Is they get to get more of a sense of us because they can see body language

01:21:24   They can see how we react to things like it's just more expressive

01:21:27   and I think it's just a bit more of an interesting way to do this as opposed to like just

01:21:32   exchanging emails back and forth or

01:21:34   Having a phone call. Yeah, it's it's a more

01:21:38   Broadband way of communicating than a narrow band way. Yep. There's less likelihood of things being

01:21:47   understood, I think, and I also just in case

01:21:51   this is something we do end up doing in the future,

01:21:53   I want to establish this as the first contact, you know?

01:21:57   Rather than like at some point in the future

01:22:00   being like, hey, can we have a video?

01:22:01   'Cause it can be weird, right?

01:22:02   Like if we only ever communicate,

01:22:04   but I just want to start off like this is the first contact

01:22:06   that we've had and then we move on forward from there.

01:22:09   - I'm realizing my assistant and I have never done

01:22:11   a video chat with each other and it would be strange.

01:22:14   - I probably never, ever, ever will.

01:22:17   never will. I can't see why I would want to do it but I just want it to be this way initially.

01:22:22   We're going to have a three-person call. We may as well do it by video. Everyone gets to see the

01:22:28   nice blue wall behind me, you know, the backdrop. Oh, it's a surprise. It's going to be in Mega

01:22:32   Office. Of course it's going to be in Mega Office, you know. It's a serious business here.

01:22:36   I don't know why it would be any other place, of course. It's been interesting trying to work out

01:22:40   the questions. I mean are you gonna ask like google style brain teasers? How many manhole

01:22:47   covers are there in New York City? Yeah it's like oh you have a bag of grain and a fox

01:22:52   and a duck on the shore and you're trying to cross the river but you can only take one

01:22:57   thing at a time what order do you do it? Is that what you're gonna ask people? Yeah it's

01:23:00   just brain teasers. I really want to establish the idea that the Riddler could be working

01:23:06   with them at any moment you know yeah right no it is purely i've looked at like i've googled

01:23:12   like interview questions right just to give like get like an idea like what are the standards

01:23:17   because i think there are reasons why people ask similar questions so i've got some of those in

01:23:23   there um and also just as a way to kind of like guide my thinking because there's a definite

01:23:28   practice around this whether it works or not people have done it for so long there must be

01:23:32   some benefit to it because honestly like interviews all of this stuff is so weird because you

01:23:38   just get these small slices of a person but then you start working with them every day

01:23:44   and then you find out who they are but I figure I may as well try and follow at least some

01:23:49   of the process that I've done before that I know has worked which is resumes, phone

01:23:55   interview or resumes and a face-to-face interview you know that kind of thing and what I expect

01:24:01   will happen is we'll go through all of this and there will be more than one person that

01:24:06   sticks out and then we'll maybe do like a second like phone call just to go through

01:24:10   some other little parts that may pop up because what I also know is the questions I ask in

01:24:15   interview one will be different to the questions that I ask in interview X, right? Like a few

01:24:20   interviews down the line. So there may be some like extra questions I want to ask certain

01:24:25   people to see what they're like, you know? Because it's definitely going to be an evolving

01:24:29   process as it goes over those couple of days.

01:24:31   Like I do not expect the questions to remain exactly the same because someone will say

01:24:35   something which will spark a question which, "Oh, that might have been good to ask the

01:24:38   other person."

01:24:41   But trying to work out like how to understand if I can work well with someone based upon

01:24:46   some questions that I'm thinking about in advance is very difficult.

01:24:49   Yeah, I mean this…

01:24:53   I've never done this kind of thing, but I imagine you must know that the questions

01:24:58   are a framework to get a sense of how well you can work together, right? The answers matter,

01:25:07   but they matter maybe 30% and it's more the way the person is explaining themselves.

01:25:13   I'm imagining that that's probably what it's like to do these kinds of things.

01:25:19   - It is. It's like the resume. The content of the resume is not important to me. It's the way it's

01:25:28   being presented to me. Like how is this person describing things? So it's like all these

01:25:32   questions. Most of the answers, they're not really that important because most people

01:25:38   will answer these things the same because they think they know what the answer should

01:25:42   be, but it's the way in which the person explains what they're explaining is what I'm interested

01:25:46   in. So we'll see. I don't want to talk about it too much, I want to give people tips, right?

01:25:50   Because it could be out there, Gray. No, you can't give interview tips.

01:25:56   The answer is number 62.

01:25:58   That's what you need to tell me, that's the code.

01:26:01   - Yeah, and as always with these things,

01:26:03   it's also a matter of who is your competition as well.

01:26:07   Right, like that's what's going on.

01:26:10   On my job interviews,

01:26:13   that was the thing that I was the most obsessed with,

01:26:16   was finding out who the other applicants were.

01:26:18   - Create like a virtual waiting room, right?

01:26:20   You know, like you go into a job interview

01:26:22   and everyone's sitting there.

01:26:23   - Yeah.

01:26:24   (laughing)

01:26:25   For this application, they won't have that advantage, but it's like, yeah.

01:26:29   I remember one job, I was able to see who the other applicants were,

01:26:33   and I was like, "Oh, I've owned this. I know I'm going to win this."

01:26:36   Because the game is about being better than these other people.

01:26:39   It's not necessarily about being the best.

01:26:42   Yeah, I thought that once. I didn't get the job, though.

01:26:46   See, I did get the job.

01:26:48   Yep, you know how to play the game better than I do.

01:26:51   No, you're the corporate master here, Myke.

01:26:53   Myke. So much of it is like I'm just seeing what happens because I don't really know what

01:26:57   comes after these interviews, right? Like what do we do next and then how does all of

01:27:01   this start and then how does me and this person start working together and when do we start

01:27:05   working together and what are the hours that we work together? It's all good. It's all

01:27:08   so up in the air. But now that we're really seriously approaching this as opposed to it

01:27:13   just being this idea that I've had it is interesting, genuinely exciting and quite a challenge.

01:27:20   Yeah, I have to say I'm really glad that you've started this.

01:27:23   Like this is a thing that we have had private conversations about for a long time.

01:27:27   Like, you need to get someone to help you.

01:27:31   But there is a time at which you can do it.

01:27:34   And it's like, the economics have to make sense.

01:27:36   And also for me, I needed the moment of like, I can't do this anymore.

01:27:42   Like, this is too much.

01:27:44   If I don't get someone to help me, things won't work as well.

01:27:48   Like that, for me at least, that needed to happen.

01:27:51   - I think that needs to happen for everybody, you know.

01:27:53   - 'Cause then you also get a clearer idea

01:27:55   of what you actually need someone to do.

01:27:57   - Yeah, it seems like nobody hires someone

01:28:00   right at the moment when it would be best

01:28:02   to hire that person, right?

01:28:04   - You hire retroactively.

01:28:05   - Exactly, every hiring that's ever made

01:28:09   is made at least six months later

01:28:10   than it should have been made.

01:28:12   - Yeah. - Right?

01:28:13   I think that's just a natural, that's a natural part of it.

01:28:18   It's like anybody who's listening to us right now,

01:28:20   if you're even thinking,

01:28:21   "Hmm, maybe I need to hire someone,"

01:28:22   it's like, yes, the answer is yes.

01:28:24   - The answer is it's too late for you.

01:28:25   (Gray laughs)

01:28:28   - So yeah, no one does it at the right time, I think.

01:28:31   - So maybe, Gray, actually I think very strongly

01:28:34   by the next time we talk, I will have hired an assistant.

01:28:39   - Ooh, very exciting.

01:28:41   Good luck to the assistant if they happen to be listening.