14: Conflicted About Email


00:00:00   Let me just run through my list of things.

00:00:03   - I can hear your keyboard too.

00:00:05   I'm starting to think you mic it, you know,

00:00:07   just to get the sound to come through.

00:00:08   - That's crazy talk.

00:00:09   Why would I mic my amazing sounding keyboard

00:00:14   so that everybody can experience the glory of clicky keys?

00:00:17   - I feel like it's getting louder over time.

00:00:20   - It is not getting louder over time.

00:00:22   - It feels that way to me.

00:00:23   It's like I remember like earlier on in Hello Internet,

00:00:25   it was like, you know, this little sound

00:00:27   that you could kind of hear in the background,

00:00:29   but now it's like it is the dominant sound in our show.

00:00:33   (laughing)

00:00:34   Do you type harder for Cortex?

00:00:36   - No, I don't type harder for Cortex, I don't think so.

00:00:40   (chime)

00:00:42   - So have you received your T-shirt, your Cortex T-shirt?

00:00:45   - I have, I have.

00:00:46   - I haven't got mine yet.

00:00:48   - The blue ones must be behind.

00:00:50   The gray superior ones have been shipped first.

00:00:53   - Well, no, 'cause Adina's has come

00:00:54   and she had a blue one.

00:00:56   - So it's just you.

00:00:56   Because the blue is in such high demand.

00:00:58   It's been nice to see people tweet at us with their t-shirts. I like that. I think it's nice to see people enjoying their t-shirts.

00:01:06   I especially like the blue ones. Yeah. Yeah, they're great and

00:01:08   Yeah, people look good in their shirts and I did get my two shirts because of course you need a backup shirt and

00:01:17   I immediately required a backup shirt because my wife saw the two monkey t-shirts and she goes

00:01:24   "Oh, what are these?" and then just picks one up and says, "This will make an excellent shirt for me," and basically walked off with one of my shirts.

00:01:31   There you go then. See, this is why I buy my girlfriend one.

00:01:38   I just buy her one and then she has it and then I can have mine.

00:01:42   I think it was on the last episode I

00:01:46   mentioned about what it would sound like if the show was slowed down. You remember we were talking about the slow music stuff.

00:01:52   Mm-hmm somebody in the reddit math sturk in the reddit did this and it is terrifying

00:01:57   Yeah, I actually I tried to download this earlier, but when I clicked on the file it was

00:02:04   64 gigabits it was some enormous file size. Yeah, and so I was not able to download it in time to actually listen

00:02:11   I don't know if it's different in different browsers

00:02:13   But I clicked it in Chrome and it just opened and started playing rather than trying to download

00:02:17   Oh, let me try that.

00:02:18   Go for one of the shorter ones.

00:02:20   The really long ones are just impossible to listen to.

00:02:23   Okay, I'm gonna try 32.

00:02:25   Alright.

00:02:26   I'm gonna click it too.

00:02:28   See what happens.

00:02:30   Oh god!

00:02:32   I know, right?

00:02:36   It sounds like we're in a cave and like, we're like, you know that kind of, doing that chanting?

00:02:43   Yeah, it would be like Gregorian monks from hell is what this sounds like.

00:02:49   Yeah, it's... it makes me feel uncomfortable to listen to.

00:02:53   Yeah, I have to close the tab. It is deeply uncomfortable.

00:02:57   When it gets to you at some point, it sounds really interesting.

00:03:02   Like, yeah, I've just skipped ahead and I can hear you.

00:03:06   Let me skip ahead and hear me.

00:03:07   I think you're scarier sounding than me.

00:03:12   "Oh, I have to close the tab!"

00:03:16   Yeah, I definitely sound scarier than you.

00:03:20   So, slowing down podcasts, not recommended.

00:03:24   I do like the top comment underneath

00:03:28   our slowed-down show is that, "This is what

00:03:32   super AI would experience when listening to human conversations."

00:03:36   I think that's about right. Just so slow.

00:03:40   Just like us talking normally, it's just a waste of time.

00:03:42   Yeah, exactly.

00:03:43   The computer just has to wait around for a subjective thousand years

00:03:48   to listen to you finish asking the question, "What's the weather like today?"

00:03:53   It's like, "Come on! I got it like 20 minutes ago!"

00:03:57   I do have to say as a small side note here, we mentioned offhandedly

00:04:03   the Windows sounds that have been slowed down a bunch of times.

00:04:07   Someone put them up on SoundCloud.

00:04:09   And I have actually been using those a lot as just background, not exactly music, but background ambient sound.

00:04:17   And I have found them surprisingly effective and good to work to.

00:04:21   So I just downloaded all six of them and I have them on a little loop that keeps repeating.

00:04:25   So I really like those slow window sounds. Slow music. It's really good.

00:04:29   So much music I can recommend to you.

00:04:31   How much of it is slow?

00:04:32   Well, all of it can be slow if you want it to be.

00:04:34   Shall we talk about Weezer and start another small civil war?

00:04:37   Oh, yeah, that was interesting. So we have a show on relay.fm called Top 4, which is Marco and Tiffany Almon,

00:04:42   and they talk about their favorite top four things. And they did a

00:04:46   Top 4 worst Weezer singles, which started like outrage on the internet, including you were very upset about

00:04:53   some of the picks, which was interesting to me because

00:04:55   it's music and you had an opinion on it rather than just its utility.

00:05:00   Well, El Scorcho is obviously a brilliant song, which is super fun to listen to.

00:05:07   Marco is just wrong. Well, I I wasn't that familiar with it

00:05:11   But when Marco put the clips in at the gurgling at the start. No, I'm I can't get on board with that

00:05:17   Marco is trying to make it look bad

00:05:21   That's because he didn't like it

00:05:23   But I'm gonna say El Scorcho has been climbing the charts on my personal iTunes

00:05:28   frequently played songs

00:05:31   Ever since that episode went out. I really want to see the play counts of music on your computer

00:05:36   I just want to see what that looks like. Haven't we talked about this before though that I listen to single songs on repeat?

00:05:43   Yeah, so that's why I want to see it. I want to see those numbers

00:05:47   I want to see what what kind of is in there that just seems very interesting to me like, you know

00:05:52   You see 200 200 201

00:05:55   That actually is not too far off I've said before most of the time it is

00:06:03   terrible pop songs that are just

00:06:06   catchy or I can I can just feel immediately

00:06:09   This is the song that I'm going to listen to over and over again while I'm writing or while I'm working

00:06:15   I don't know why but can you give me an example of one of these pop songs? Actually? Yeah, let me

00:06:20   What was the one I just I should be able to find I wonder how you even find out about them

00:06:27   Okay, I can only do one thing at a time here Myke

00:06:32   Side note here, just since I know that upgrading has been a little topic of discussion lately on the various podcasts

00:06:39   upgrading things. I upgraded my computer to

00:06:42   OS X, Snowseminity, just yesterday and

00:06:46   thought "Oh, everything looks great. Everything's nice and smooth." I went to open up iTunes

00:06:51   It says "Oh, no, you can't open up iTunes." And I thought "Oh, that's weird." Try to reboot, open up iTunes again.

00:06:57   "Hmm. No, it won't let me open up iTunes."

00:06:59   I wonder why it is I go and I look at my media folder and

00:07:01   iTunes is an empty folder with zero bytes in it with absolutely nothing. Well

00:07:07   How did this even happen just my entire iTunes just

00:07:14   nothing there wasn't even a library file in there or anything just

00:07:18   Just wiped off the face of the earth and I got it's not a smooth upgrade experience

00:07:24   Apple. Usually I get away from these things, but that's one that just bit me and was one of the weirdest ones

00:07:30   One of the weirdest ones yet

00:07:32   Oh, I know so I hold a second

00:07:33   Give me one more minute to find this and if I can't find it then we'll just give it up right now

00:07:37   My newly added stuff is filled with weezer songs that I added. Yep

00:07:41   Sounds about right. Ah, okay. Here we go. Here we go

00:07:44   I wanted to find it because I knew this one is particularly embarrassing

00:07:48   Great, because what I didn't want to try to do is like oh, let me pick one which is like not not too embarrassing

00:07:54   But try it out. I'll just I'll go with the last one which I listened to while working on the UK royalty video

00:07:59   And it was fight song by Rachel Platten

00:08:04   Do you know this song? I have no idea. It's just very much a pop song

00:08:11   It's exactly what you would expect it to be. I'll put I'll put a clip in the show. No, please don't put a clip

00:08:17   No, it's not necessary. People have to know though

00:08:20   I'll put a little clip in so people can get an idea of how this sounds because they can easily search it

00:08:26   I just like to bring the information to the people

00:08:28   Sometimes it's just you're making it a little too easy. You're making it a little too

00:08:33   You gotta work for it kids

00:08:36   Yeah, okay, so you don't you don't know this

00:08:40   Song no, I bet if you heard two seconds of it on Apple music you would know it. It's song

00:08:46   What's by Rachel Platten? All right, Rachel Platten. It's a picture of like it's a white. She's wearing a hat

00:08:53   She's looking to the side because you're a musician and you can't look directly at the camera

00:08:57   Go like 30 seconds in is where the chorus is gray. I cannot understand you

00:09:03   How does this help you work right now don't understand I want to like this is perhaps one of the most embarrassing things

00:09:14   that was put up on the podcast, right?

00:09:18   I want to be really clear.

00:09:19   - It's just like, it just,

00:09:22   'cause it just like basically kicked off with the chorus.

00:09:25   Right? - Right.

00:09:26   - And I don't understand you.

00:09:28   - Right?

00:09:29   This is basically like a teen girl ballad.

00:09:32   Right? This is what this is.

00:09:33   - This is like when you break up with your boyfriend

00:09:36   or your girlfriend and you have a song

00:09:38   that you need to listen to,

00:09:39   to make you prove that it's all okay.

00:09:41   - Right, right.

00:09:43   Now, I mean, I probably listened to this one song on repeat for many hours while writing the last video.

00:09:54   Just a single song on loop over and over again, and that's just the way it goes.

00:10:00   But what I want to be clear here is I am not advocating for, like, the quality of the song.

00:10:05   This is what I try to say when we have the conversation about music is,

00:10:09   There's some utility in this for me, which I don't understand and is hard to

00:10:14   articulate, but a certain kind of sound just repeated over and over again.

00:10:20   I don't even hear it after a while, but something about like just loop again and

00:10:26   again and again keeps me focused on the thing that I am doing.

00:10:31   But I don't hear it in the way that you hear it horrified the first time.

00:10:37   If I had to hear it horrified the first time the way you're hearing it right now, this would not work.

00:10:42   This is- I'm just- I'm continuing to listen to this underneath you talking.

00:10:47   Uh-huh.

00:10:47   I can't...

00:10:49   How- let me just suggest...

00:10:51   Some, like, music that I think might be good.

00:10:55   No, but it's- you don't- you don't-

00:10:57   No, but like, it's good and may serve the same purpose.

00:11:00   You don't understand how this works.

00:11:02   Like, this is good for some people, but like, you know, this is, uh...

00:11:05   Okay. Whatever you need, man.

00:11:07   You don't, you don't understand how this works.

00:11:09   How do you even find this music?

00:11:11   Like how did this come into your world in which a place where it was like, yeah,

00:11:18   no, I could work to that. Like where does it come from?

00:11:20   I don't understand.

00:11:24   In the past year or so,

00:11:27   the way new music has come into my life is that the various streaming services

00:11:32   that I use, I'll go to whatever their, their top list is.

00:11:36   like Spotify has like the global 50 top songs and every once in a while I just

00:11:43   I'll put that on and I kind of blip blip blip through and listen to some of them

00:11:46   and I don't know why but some song will just hit me as like yes

00:11:51   that is the song that fixes whatever's in my brain right now and I'll just

00:11:57   listen to it over and over again but here's the thing what almost always

00:12:01   happens is and I'm looking I'm looking through this list of songs like top

00:12:05   top-played songs on my iTunes right now. The song will be on repeat four hours in a row for several days and

00:12:12   then I will probably

00:12:14   almost never listen to it ever again.

00:12:17   It's like this very very temporary thing.

00:12:20   And I'm looking through a couple other ones that I have on here. Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey,

00:12:26   which I know was another one of these songs, is like over and over again, and I probably haven't listened to that again in months.

00:12:32   Yeah, there's just a whole bunch on here which are all of these like top songs that I haven't listened to in a very very long time.

00:12:40   I would like to spend just an afternoon in your brain. Like, no more, because I'm worried about what might happen.

00:12:48   But just one afternoon, just so I can... I just can't... I just don't understand.

00:12:55   I really don't understand. Especially this.

00:12:59   That makes two of us. I don't understand either.

00:13:02   [laughter]

00:13:04   I wish I could!

00:13:06   Believe me, I've tried!

00:13:08   All I know is that this

00:13:10   facilitates

00:13:12   long, good writing

00:13:14   sessions. And I have no idea

00:13:16   why. It doesn't make any sense.

00:13:18   This is just something that I've discovered over

00:13:20   the years. Find a top-

00:13:22   charting pop song,

00:13:24   repeat one four hours,

00:13:26   and sometimes that just really works.

00:13:28   There you go.

00:13:30   That's all there is to it. I don't understand it either.

00:13:33   I've lost complete control of this show now.

00:13:35   [laughs]

00:13:36   We've barely even started follow-up.

00:13:38   And here we are. I don't even know what's going on anymore.

00:13:41   I want to just recommend one album to you, right?

00:13:44   Just flick through it like you would the Spotify playlist.

00:13:48   But I just want to recommend it to you.

00:13:50   It's my favorite album at the moment, and I think that there's some songs in there that might be good for you.

00:13:55   It's by a band called Chirch's.

00:13:57   Mhm.

00:13:57   But churches is spelt with a V instead of a U.

00:14:00   Ugh, okay.

00:14:02   Okay, and it's called Every Open Eye. That's the name of the album.

00:14:06   Just try a couple of the songs on it. Like, just skip through it, see what you think.

00:14:11   But I think there could be something good in there for you, maybe.

00:14:15   Oh, and it's all capital? Churches with a V?

00:14:19   With a hamburger menu for their E as well? Okay.

00:14:23   Yeah, that's the logo, but that's not how you type it.

00:14:26   This sounds very 80s, Myke.

00:14:30   There's nothing wrong with that.

00:14:32   This is super modern 80s.

00:14:34   It's got a lot of synths in it.

00:14:36   Yeah, see, this is exactly what I would expect a hipster like you to listen to.

00:14:41   [laughs]

00:14:44   You're only sawing because you know it's true.

00:14:46   Oh, I know it's true. I saw them at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris,

00:14:50   which was probably the most hipster I have ever been.

00:14:54   Mm-hmm mm-hmm. Are you familiar with Pitchfork magazine? No I don't know what

00:15:00   you're talking about. Okay. I don't know your hipster world Myke. Nobody does.

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00:18:17   Let's talk about the iPad Pro.

00:18:19   Alright, we're doing a show.

00:18:20   Yeah, we're going back to that.

00:18:23   Kim pointed out to us via Twitter, a very good point, we were talking about the iPad

00:18:27   Pro and why couldn't Apple just store the pencil inside the iPad Pro? And Kim mentioned

00:18:32   that the pencil is thicker than the iPad. So there you go. That's why I can't do it.

00:18:37   And I think we both, as soon as we saw this, was like, "Oh, yeah, of course."

00:18:42   Yeah, when I saw that comment in the Reddit, I felt really dumb.

00:18:45   Yeah.

00:18:46   I would like to see there still be a place to put it in the case.

00:18:51   Yeah, yeah.

00:18:52   Looking at the pictures of their external keyboard, it still seems to me like there's

00:18:58   a way to fit the pencil in there, but perhaps not in the actual iPad Pro itself.

00:19:04   And then also there were some reports this week that some people from Pixar got their

00:19:11   hands on the iPad Pro.

00:19:12   Apple took the iPad Pros to Pixar artists and there's some photos of them using it and

00:19:18   a couple of people have been tweeting about it and commenting on Instagram and stuff and

00:19:22   have both said, so we have Michael B. Johnson who's Dr. Wave on Twitter who's really, really

00:19:27   cool.

00:19:28   He does technical stuff at Pixar.

00:19:29   And then Don Shank as well is an artist there and they've both been quoted for saying that

00:19:34   the wrist detection is perfect and it doesn't

00:19:38   it splits your like you know splits apart the pencil input and the wrist

00:19:41   input and it doesn't get them confused which

00:19:44   is exactly what we were looking for so a little bit more hope gray yeah i

00:19:49   know i i'm still i'm still feeling like i want to believe

00:19:54   with yeah an x-files style poster in my room except it is the apple

00:19:59   pencil not a ufo on the poster that's how i'm

00:20:03   feeling about it right now and...

00:20:05   And like there's a pic- one of the pictures I put a link in the show notes to an article

00:20:08   on Mac Stories which sums this up but they embed the Instagram photo in there and you

00:20:13   can see how small the writing can be on the on the screen.

00:20:17   What do you- wait what are you talking about?

00:20:19   Alright if you go to the link in the show notes.

00:20:22   Okay.

00:20:23   To the Mac Stories link there is an embedded Instagram photo by the artist Don Shank and

00:20:29   he's kind of signed the picture that he's working on?

00:20:32   Oh, okay. Do you see that? Yeah, I see. So that's exactly the type of size, comparatively,

00:20:37   that I would want for handwriting. Mmm.

00:20:40   Because you could fill up a page like it's a piece of A4 paper, right?

00:20:43   Mmm. It's promising. Yeah. I mean, I'm feeling good about it. I'm feeling good about it.

00:20:48   So we'll have to wait until November. Yeah. I'd feel a lot better if I could have one in my hands right now to actually try out.

00:20:56   I just want to know, who at Apple do I need to bribe to make this happen?

00:21:02   If anybody out there can help with this, we are very much open to this.

00:21:09   Very open.

00:21:10   We will go anywhere we need to go.

00:21:11   We are very open to this scenario.

00:21:13   You just let us know.

00:21:15   We won't even talk about it.

00:21:17   We just want to see.

00:21:19   That's all.

00:21:20   We can meet in an alley or something.

00:21:22   Whatever you need.

00:21:25   wanna know. I can second that. So a couple of people have written in to let us know

00:21:30   what turning off spotlight suggestions does. Alex put a blog post together which

00:21:35   I'll put in the show notes which kind of shows some comparisons of what you lose

00:21:39   so if you turn off spotlight suggestions on iOS yes you do lose the news but you

00:21:44   also like as we want but you also lose things like search results from Bing

00:21:49   YouTube and Wikipedia. It turns off sports scores as well. But you know, as we know that

00:21:55   it doesn't do, it doesn't turn off some of the stuff that we want, which is like searching

00:21:59   within apps. I'm perfectly happy with this trade-off.

00:22:03   Some of those things might be useful, but without a doubt I'm on the same page. I am

00:22:07   happy to make this trade-off to get rid of news stories on my iOS search screen. I would

00:22:15   make almost any trade-off on that screen to get rid of the news.

00:22:18   Because I think for me and you it is the trade-off of yes we lose a bit of utility by not having

00:22:23   to go to Google, right, which is not massively difficult, or we have news that we don't want

00:22:30   to see enter in our brains and messing with stuff.

00:22:33   Yeah, exactly.

00:22:34   It's just a way to get derailed when you're trying to do something else.

00:22:39   It feels like having the news there is almost like my phone is working against me.

00:22:44   Say, "Oh hey, I want to do a thing."

00:22:46   And then the phone says, "Oh, wouldn't you rather get distracted by this other thing?

00:22:51   No phone.

00:22:52   I would not like to get distracted and please don't show me that."

00:22:55   Yeah, it's like, "Oh, I know what I need to do.

00:22:57   I just need to search for where Dropbox is.

00:23:01   What about murder instead?

00:23:03   Do you want to know about murder, Myke?"

00:23:06   So it's, you know, I don't need that.

00:23:07   Thank you.

00:23:08   Yeah, or just anything.

00:23:09   Just anything.

00:23:10   It's just whatever is there is going to be distracting.

00:23:12   So happy to make that trade off.

00:23:14   But for those who wanted to know what else it turns off, this person's found out for

00:23:18   us.

00:23:19   So thank you.

00:23:20   I want to talk about everybody's favorite topic.

00:23:22   Email!

00:23:23   I just want to see, because we spoke about email a lot a couple of weeks ago.

00:23:32   We spoke about email...

00:23:33   Way more than we should have done.

00:23:36   But we did.

00:23:37   Way less than the amount of mental space it occupies in my mind, but way more than most

00:23:43   normal people probably talk about email. But it was also a long time ago because it was

00:23:47   before the whole summer traveling thing was our email talk.

00:23:51   Now you are kind of back to work in a fuller capacity now. I want to see if you're still

00:23:58   using the email system that you'd set out for yourself. So I want to see if it was still

00:24:03   working. So it seemed like you'd cleared a lot of your backlog and you'd instituted a

00:24:07   a system in which you'd get topic suggestions and you kind of did your best to steer people

00:24:14   towards a gated system where they would email and it would go to your assistant and would

00:24:20   then come to you. And I want to see how that is still working for you.

00:24:25   The reason that I knew the last time we talked about this was before my travels this summer

00:24:30   was precisely because I wanted to try this out at a time when I knew I wouldn't really

00:24:37   be looking at email very much and to be able to have stuff going off to my assistant instead

00:24:43   of having it go straight to me.

00:24:46   That front-end part of it has been very successful from my perspective.

00:24:52   I have noticed that the decreased volume of total email has held.

00:25:00   So I don't get as many just random emails from people wanting to suggest a topic.

00:25:07   It seems like people really do still use that topic suggestion place on the website, which

00:25:12   is amazing to me.

00:25:13   I would not have predicted that it would have worked in that way, but it definitely has.

00:25:19   I mean, secondly, there's some other things to talk about with email today,

00:25:22   but having the ability to use my

00:25:26   assistant as a,

00:25:27   as a top level triage slash filter

00:25:33   has been very helpful, has been extraordinarily helpful.

00:25:38   The only downside is that

00:25:40   I still actually do have now a bunch of email to go through because

00:25:47   I did spend most of that summer just not really looking at email and trying not to deal with

00:25:53   anything that wasn't being sent directly to me by my assistant.

00:25:57   And so I was like, "Oh, if you go away from email for a while, there's still a whole bunch

00:26:00   of stuff that's built up."

00:26:04   So I don't feel like I'm in a squeaky, clean, "Oh, look at me, I'm amazing with email situation."

00:26:09   I'm feeling really frustrated by email, but the changes that I have made are definite,

00:26:15   definite improvements.

00:26:16   Have you given your assistant the power to actually respond or do anything with it?

00:26:21   Or are they just merely a triage machine so far?

00:26:24   I basically started this by setting out a couple of bullet points of

00:26:28   "Here's the kinds of things that I expect are going to be coming through this public forum.

00:26:33   Forward me things that are interesting and/or actionable and just...

00:26:40   I don't want to see the rest." That's the way this has started.

00:26:44   Interesting is a really interesting metric because I would expect that many

00:26:52   people would find things interesting that you wouldn't. Like business deals.

00:26:59   You know, like somebody writes to you and they're like "we want to give you half a

00:27:03   million dollars to talk about Ford" and you might not find that interesting.

00:27:09   Maybe you would have that amount of money, I don't know. But somebody who's

00:27:13   looking at it objectively might be like, "Yes, Gray definitely wants to see this."

00:27:16   So if you had to like work on that over time, like, "No, this is not interesting to

00:27:21   me," kind of stuff. Well, this is exactly what has gone on over the past few

00:27:25   months. She forwards me things and we've been tuning together what is

00:27:31   interesting and what is not interesting. But this works because I

00:27:37   trust her judgment as a person. But this is also why I couldn't

00:27:41   possibly do this with a very advanced Bayesian filter, because a Bayesian filter can't really

00:27:49   pull out this kind of stuff.

00:27:51   And it can't learn.

00:27:52   Yeah, well, I mean, you can retrain a Bayesian filter, but it's going to be limited in what

00:27:58   it actually does.

00:27:59   And it's also a bit like diamond mining, of like, what are the interesting things that

00:28:03   are going to be rare items in a large sea of stuff?

00:28:07   It would be very hard to train anyway.

00:28:09   So the way this has worked is that we have a shared document that has been added to over

00:28:15   time as different situations have come up.

00:28:18   This document is a thing that we're building together where she forwards me things and

00:28:22   I'll either say "oh yes, this is the kind of thing that I want forwarded on to me" or

00:28:25   "no, I don't want to see this" or what I also have a little bit of is "here's how you can

00:28:32   respond in a standard way to this kind of thing".

00:28:35   So that's what we're building up.

00:28:38   This sounds very much like systems that some of my friends who are app developers use for

00:28:45   customer support.

00:28:46   Oh yeah?

00:28:47   How so?

00:28:48   Just like the idea of working with the developer on standardizing some responses and being

00:28:53   like this is how you need to deal with this type of query and question, creating documents

00:28:57   of responses.

00:28:58   Because the customer support person may not know the app intimately or they may not understand

00:29:06   how some of the functions work, but they're good at what they do, which is responding

00:29:10   to people.

00:29:11   So they may have to ask the developer a question about why does it work like this, or how does

00:29:15   this feature work, or is this a bug, are we fixing this?

00:29:19   And then they standardize responses that are then sent out to everybody else.

00:29:22   So there's a little bit of work every now and then to set things up, but then it reduces

00:29:27   the net amount of work over time, because those responses aren't needed to be given

00:29:33   by the developer or you in this instance on a case-by-case basis. You just need to do

00:29:38   it once.

00:29:39   Yeah, that's I guess what we're doing here is setting up something like this.

00:29:43   And when your assistant responds, does she respond as herself or as you?

00:29:48   I never want someone to respond as me. I don't like the feeling of that. I don't want someone

00:29:53   to get an email that looks like it's from me but that I haven't actually sent. I do

00:29:57   I do reply to people sometimes, and I'm only laughing because every once in a while I do

00:30:03   just randomly respond to some email.

00:30:06   Catches you at the right time, right?

00:30:08   You're already in email, it pops in, and I do this too.

00:30:11   Like, because sometimes like last night I, somebody sent me an email whilst I was in

00:30:15   my email app and I responded like immediately and they were like, "Whoa, what's going on

00:30:19   here?"

00:30:20   It's like, well, you just called me at the right time.

00:30:22   That's exactly what happens.

00:30:23   there was someone just the other day who sent a funny thing,

00:30:26   and I can't not reply to this, and I just replied.

00:30:30   But it's not a regular thing.

00:30:34   So email is always a little bit random.

00:30:37   Yeah, so we're building up this document together.

00:30:39   But when I respond to someone,

00:30:41   I want them to know that if you got an email from me,

00:30:45   it was me sending it.

00:30:47   - Yeah, okay. - Yes.

00:30:48   I sent you this thing back.

00:30:50   I don't want someone, I mean, even I deal with this even a little bit with the mailing list of,

00:30:56   I'm even a bit uncomfortable with automated emails where my name is at the bottom,

00:31:02   where it's like, oh, this is like, there's just something that feels a bit weird to me about this stuff.

00:31:08   So I'm very hesitant to have things represent themselves as me if it's not really me who's doing it.

00:31:16   So no, she will reply as my assistant.

00:31:19   She does not reply pretending that it's me

00:31:22   responding to things.

00:31:23   - Are you noticing, now that you've set up

00:31:25   this new kind of contact form,

00:31:27   are you noticing that people are addressing you

00:31:29   differently in the email?

00:31:30   Are they talking, are they seeming to know

00:31:33   that they're talking to somebody else before you?

00:31:35   - There seem to be, or at least maybe more

00:31:37   in the beginning than there are now,

00:31:38   but a not insignificant number of people

00:31:40   who know that they are talking to my assistant

00:31:42   and address it to her as opposed to to me.

00:31:45   but I'd say it's maybe 50/50 of people using it that way.

00:31:47   - Give me an example then.

00:31:48   I wanna know some of the stuff that goes in this document

00:31:51   that you two are sharing together.

00:31:53   - Okay.

00:31:54   - Is this like a Google doc?

00:31:54   Like how are you doing this?

00:31:56   - I'm doing it with, of course, the best solution ever,

00:31:59   which is Apple Pages.

00:32:01   - All right, get out of here.

00:32:02   (laughing)

00:32:05   Just give me an example.

00:32:06   I don't wanna hear about that anymore.

00:32:07   - I know, I know you love Apple Pages.

00:32:09   - It sucks, it just sucks so bad.

00:32:11   You can't see the documents on iOS.

00:32:13   Like, what is this nonsense?

00:32:15   Anyway, you just keep going.

00:32:17   - I use Pages because it is extremely convenient for me,

00:32:21   even if it is horrifically inconvenient

00:32:24   for the other people I work with.

00:32:25   - Yeah, it's really convenient for the document owner.

00:32:27   - Yep, that's me.

00:32:28   - But anybody that has to share it,

00:32:30   they can't see it on any device other than a PC or a Mac.

00:32:34   It's horrific.

00:32:37   Just, I can't believe that they were able to get away with it.

00:32:40   - Yeah.

00:32:41   Okay, so here's how this started out.

00:32:44   I have at the top of this little document

00:32:46   the rules that I began with.

00:32:48   Here's what we're going to work starting from.

00:32:51   - Rule number one, don't ever send me an email.

00:32:53   (laughing)

00:32:55   - Actually, rule number one was

00:32:59   anything that looks like an emergency,

00:33:01   contact me over iMessage@

00:33:03   and then I give her the address to contact me at.

00:33:05   Because one of the things that I've been trying to do

00:33:09   is also loop her in on discussions

00:33:13   with other people in my life.

00:33:14   So for example, my lawyer or my tax accountants,

00:33:19   those people now know that they can also reach her,

00:33:23   which might be faster way of reaching me.

00:33:25   So that's why this number one thing is there.

00:33:27   Like if there's something that looks like it's a big problem

00:33:29   that I need to deal with right now,

00:33:31   get in touch with me directly through iMessage.

00:33:33   Like that's the top level in my communications tier.

00:33:37   - Such an executive.

00:33:38   This thing, yeah, here's the thing.

00:33:41   I'm imagining that people are interested

00:33:45   in hearing about this stuff,

00:33:47   but I just have to say to the listeners,

00:33:49   it's very weird to find myself in a position

00:33:52   where I'm even doing this kind of stuff.

00:33:54   - It must feel uncomfortable.

00:33:56   - Yeah, it's strange.

00:34:00   It's a very weird thing.

00:34:02   I don't know, maybe a topic for some other time,

00:34:05   but I have found myself thinking a lot about

00:34:07   Like how do people manage people?

00:34:10   You know, how do people accomplish things

00:34:11   when they are not the ones directly doing things?

00:34:13   It's all tied up.

00:34:15   But yeah, it is very strange to find myself

00:34:18   in a situation where it's like,

00:34:19   oh, I'm talking on a podcast

00:34:20   about how I handle email with my assistant.

00:34:23   Like this is, it's very weird to be me in this moment.

00:34:28   But I think what I'm trying to think of is

00:34:31   I know that a younger version of me

00:34:33   would have been interested to hear something about this.

00:34:36   And so that's why I feel like, okay, we can talk about it.

00:34:38   Like there's something to discuss here,

00:34:40   but it's still very strange for current me

00:34:42   to be talking about this stuff.

00:34:45   But anyway, big diversion there.

00:34:47   Rule number two was, like we said before,

00:34:50   anything that was interesting and/or actionable,

00:34:54   forward to my main email address.

00:34:57   And I gave a couple of examples,

00:34:59   one of which was, say, a domain expert

00:35:02   offering their assistance on a future project.

00:35:05   So the kind of thing that sometimes happens to me is someone who is an expert in a field

00:35:09   gets in touch because they think something is interesting that I might want to do a video

00:35:13   about.

00:35:14   And that kind of email is exactly the sort of thing that I was a little bit worried about

00:35:19   missing in the past once I realized like I'm having a hard time actually staying on top

00:35:23   of my email.

00:35:24   That's that's the kind of diamond mining that is very valuable for me to have some help

00:35:30   with.

00:35:31   pretty much everything else should be discarded, but her personal discretion overrides that rule.

00:35:39   So when in doubt, forward anything to me, and then we're going to go from there and figure out how to deal with it.

00:35:44   And so now as time has gone on, we have built up a small list of, like, frequently asked questions.

00:35:52   For example, a very common thing that people ask is they say, "Oh, they want to translate my video."

00:35:57   and I have a standard reply that she sends out about, "Okay, if you want to translate the video, here is where you go, you can submit captions here, and this is how this works."

00:36:07   So that way I don't have to reply to that every time that it comes through.

00:36:11   We have a bunch of standard replies for people asking about using the videos, so I get a lot of questions where people want to know if they can use a video under various circumstances on a website or where else.

00:36:23   So I have a generic reply that she sends out, which is,

00:36:27   here's where it's okay to use the video,

00:36:29   here's where it's not okay to use the video,

00:36:30   like what the circumstances are.

00:36:32   So those are the kinds of things

00:36:34   that we've built up a little bit over time

00:36:36   for how to handle the emails that are coming in.

00:36:39   - So since you've instituted the contact form,

00:36:42   have you noticed a change in where the email is coming from?

00:36:46   Has it tipped over yet that most people

00:36:48   are coming through the contact form,

00:36:49   or are they still contacting you directly?

00:36:52   That's a little tricky to answer because, of course, part of the job of my assistant

00:36:57   is to shield me from a large number of emails that are going through the public contact

00:37:02   form.

00:37:03   Do you have access to or are you ever signed into the email address that they go to?

00:37:08   They're actually all logged in a spreadsheet is one of the ways that that's set up.

00:37:12   There's like an IFTTT which is logging all of these.

00:37:15   So I have a copy of all of them but they're in a place where I don't ever have to actually

00:37:20   look at them directly, but if for whatever reason I want to go through them I can.

00:37:25   And so I have on occasion gone through that and looked just to make sure that the reverse

00:37:30   isn't happening where there's something that I find interesting but for whatever

00:37:33   reason she doesn't and didn't forward it to me and then I could point it out and say

00:37:37   oh this is the kind of thing as well.

00:37:39   So I have gone through that on occasion just to see what's there.

00:37:43   Just as a little bit of training.

00:37:45   Yeah.

00:37:46   It's just like a spam filter, right?

00:37:47   once in a while you just want to take a quick look through your spam and see if there's

00:37:50   anything that's in there that shouldn't be.

00:37:54   But I still get a surprisingly large amount of email that is coming directly to me from

00:38:01   people, but this is where I feel like I'm not on top of email because I have an enormous

00:38:07   number of those messages to try to work through.

00:38:11   And I have a lot of frustrations with email, Myke, lately, that I do want to talk about.

00:38:18   But I'll just say, broadly speaking, in my mind, there are three layers of triage to

00:38:27   me.

00:38:28   Top level, the most important thing right now, is emails from my assistant.

00:38:32   That's like the top one.

00:38:33   I always want to try to turn those around as fast as I can.

00:38:37   In a funny way, people can get in touch with me much faster through the public contact

00:38:42   form than they sometimes can by actually trying to email me directly.

00:38:45   Because in theory, all of the email that comes from your assistant should be good.

00:38:52   Exactly.

00:38:53   There's something that I need to do about it.

00:38:55   There's something there to be taken care of or that is important.

00:38:59   So on my Mac, on my main computer here, you can set up these smart inboxes.

00:39:05   And my top smart inbox is my assistant.

00:39:09   So I have a little recurring checklist where I want to try to clear that out as much as

00:39:14   possible.

00:39:15   Opening it up right now, I have six messages in there from her to clear from yesterday,

00:39:20   which was the last time I took a look.

00:39:22   Directly below that, my next layer of email, are people in my system, in my contacts that

00:39:29   have been explicitly marked as VIPs.

00:39:32   So these are people who are important in some way in my life.

00:39:36   Looking at that right now, I have about 30 messages from people who are classified as

00:39:41   VIPs.

00:39:42   I'm not gonna ask.

00:39:43   Don't ask.

00:39:44   I'll just, I'll make up my own story.

00:39:46   Yeah, you can do whatever you want, man.

00:39:47   I will, I will.

00:39:48   Below that level are contacts.

00:39:51   So this is anybody I have in my contact book, but who is not explicitly marked as a VIP.

00:39:59   And then the next level below that is anybody who's just not in my system.

00:40:04   So these are emails from people who I don't know at all.

00:40:08   Looking at my inbox right now, there are 122 messages from people I just don't know at

00:40:14   all in the inbox.

00:40:17   So in theory, when I'm going through email, what I want to do is clear the email from

00:40:22   that top level of triage down.

00:40:25   That's what should happen.

00:40:27   always work that way because emails from VIPs, by definition, they're always hard.

00:40:33   It's like, "Oh God, like my lawyer is a VIP.

00:40:37   What is this that I have to deal with?

00:40:38   Oh, this contract, I can't read this.

00:40:40   It's so boring."

00:40:42   But this is the way I would like it to work.

00:40:44   But what I wanted to talk a little bit about today is that I have become really aware that

00:40:49   I don't like doing email on my computer.

00:40:54   You mentioned on the last show, why do I like doing things on iOS, and it's hard to say

00:40:59   why sometimes, but I have noticed that the place I like to go through email the most

00:41:08   is my phone.

00:41:10   And this is causing a lot of problems for me.

00:41:14   A lot of conflict.

00:41:15   My phone is where my brain, for whatever reason, wants to do email, and I can find no satisfactory

00:41:23   way to do email on my iPhone.

00:41:27   Have you considered that the reason that your brain likes it that way is because it's

00:41:32   so difficult to do so therefore when you do email on your phone it's never really done

00:41:36   that well.

00:41:37   It's kind of just like your brain's like "yeah the phone's great because I can't

00:41:42   do it!"

00:41:44   You are partly correct because one of the things that I like about doing email on the

00:41:49   phone is because it's harder to type, I'm much more aware that I feel less obligated

00:41:56   to reply in detail.

00:41:57   I really like doing email on my iPad for a lot of the same reasons.

00:42:03   It just feels like a more enjoyable experience.

00:42:07   I don't like doing email on my Mac, but if I have something that's super, super long

00:42:11   and detailed, then I probably will just wait until I'm on my Mac to do it.

00:42:15   So it pretty much plays to exactly that, right?

00:42:19   I'm much more happy with archiving email and responding very quickly to email when I'm

00:42:27   doing it on my iPad because it's a lighter system, it's a more convoluted system to get

00:42:33   stuff done at times, which means that it enables me to not feel bad about deleting an email

00:42:41   about responding to it or something.

00:42:43   Exactly, exactly.

00:42:44   So you are right, it is the very restrictions of the phone which do make it easier.

00:42:49   Now occasionally you run into problems where it's a real pain, where someone needs an attachment

00:42:52   and boy is that a hassle to try to send someone a thing.

00:42:55   So it doesn't always work out perfectly, but yes, the restrictions of the phone actually

00:42:59   make it nicer.

00:43:01   One of the things that for me is a big deal, this is just going to sound crazy to some

00:43:06   people, but I like on the phone that when I'm looking at a message, I cannot see the

00:43:12   list of other emails.

00:43:14   that I'm working on is just the full thing on the screen and it's not

00:43:18   rational but seeing that long list of email I find is anxiety provoking is not

00:43:27   the right word but it's that's what it is a hundred percent anxiety it's an

00:43:31   anxiety distraction like it's distracting because when you look at it

00:43:36   it makes you feel bad in your stomach there's a lot of things here all of

00:43:39   which are important there are people waiting on me for things you know there's

00:43:43   stuff that needs to get paid or it's just it's a lot of things and so I find

00:43:48   it this relief on the phone it's like okay this is the email that I'm working

00:43:52   on and now what we're gonna talk about is where I know we are a little bit

00:43:55   different and when I press the archive button the next email just comes up and

00:44:01   now I'm dealing with this thing and it's it's it's a very clear one at a time

00:44:06   sequential moment. Yeah see the thing I'm half of the way there with you like I

00:44:13   I like to have to just focus on that one email,

00:44:16   but when I deal with it or archive it,

00:44:18   I like to go back to my inbox so I can make the choice

00:44:21   for what I want to do next,

00:44:23   rather than being presented with the next email.

00:44:26   That isn't necessarily the one that I want to look at.

00:44:29   - Right, this is definitely a working style

00:44:33   that's different between the two of us,

00:44:35   because I, without a doubt,

00:44:37   I want that decision just taken away from me,

00:44:39   because I know that my behavior on the computer

00:44:42   is to just start cherry picking easy emails, right?

00:44:45   Where I look at this big long list and I think,

00:44:47   oh, this one's really easy to reply to.

00:44:49   Oh, I can just archive a whole bunch of these.

00:44:51   Meanwhile, there's something from my accountant,

00:44:53   which is labeled super important reply now

00:44:56   you're going to prison.

00:44:57   And it's like, oh, I don't want to open up that one, right?

00:44:59   It's like, click, click, click,

00:45:00   like let me go through these other ones.

00:45:02   So I kind of like the decision being taken away

00:45:06   on the iPhone.

00:45:07   - Oh, for me it's 100% because I don't want to deal

00:45:10   with the account anymore.

00:45:12   - Yeah.

00:45:13   - The reason I like it is the reason you don't like it.

00:45:15   - Right.

00:45:16   So yeah, that's, there we go.

00:45:18   You wanna make sure to avoid the one from the accountant.

00:45:22   Oh, that one's not fun at all.

00:45:23   Oh, this email about a new show on the network,

00:45:25   that one's fun, let me do that one.

00:45:27   - Boring.

00:45:27   (laughing)

00:45:28   And then it gets looked at.

00:45:30   - Yeah.

00:45:30   But so, the reason I feel conflicted about email

00:45:36   on my iPhone is this goes fundamentally against

00:45:39   this principle that I have of I don't want my iPhone

00:45:41   to be a distracting thing.

00:45:43   And I'm aware that if I have email on my iPhone,

00:45:47   there's always the possibility of doing email on the iPhone.

00:45:50   And for years and years, I have not had email on my iPhone.

00:45:54   But I feel like, okay, I'm just gonna try this

00:45:56   for a little while and see how this works.

00:45:58   - Oh. - Right.

00:45:59   The initial results are not great,

00:46:01   because then once you have email,

00:46:04   email needs you to have other things.

00:46:06   It's like, oh, I've never had Safari on my phone.

00:46:08   But if you have email, the number of times

00:46:09   you wanna open up a link to look at something

00:46:11   enormous and so I find myself turning off the parental restrictions to allow

00:46:16   Safari to exist for a while and then Safari just kind of sticks on my phone

00:46:20   I go okay this isn't this isn't really great but I just I feel this conflict

00:46:25   that I go through more email on my phone then if I have to do it on my desktop if

00:46:32   I have to do it on my desktop I will leave it for weeks and just never open

00:46:36   it and then I open it up and there's a huge number of problems in there whereas

00:46:40   Because if I have it on my phone, I'm way more likely to—I have this little timer,

00:46:44   which is a 20-minute administrata timer, which is just like, "Okay, click, start the timer,

00:46:49   I'm going to do 20 minutes of just administrative crap, and I'm on my phone."

00:46:53   It's like, "Okay, quick, grind, grind, grind, go through all of this."

00:46:56   My poor assistant discovers there's all of a sudden ten email replies in the space of

00:47:00   a few minutes, as opposed to a normal person who would spread it out.

00:47:04   But I find that really effective, and so I'm in this conflict of, "I don't like making

00:47:09   my phone more distracting, but I'm also obviously getting through email better if I have it

00:47:16   on my phone. So this is the conflict for me that is impossible to resolve.

00:47:21   Brief sidebar. What app do you use for timers?

00:47:25   I'm using Do for timers.

00:47:27   Okay, good. Why didn't I thought about that? Okay, excellent. Well, I'm just trying to

00:47:31   use a timer system for some things. So like working on editing something. Let's just do

00:47:37   this for an hour and then go just like else right I'm trying to work on that

00:47:41   kind of system a little bit more so I was wondering what you were using

00:47:45   because I want something of a watch complication yeah I use do and I run my

00:47:50   whole life on timers and it's broken down into I mean the main ones I use are

00:47:54   20-minute timers and 40-minute timers are what I find are the most useful for

00:47:59   me there's just you know through experimenting about how long does it

00:48:02   take my mind to get distracted or how long feels too long or too short but

00:48:07   20 minutes is perfect for me for this kind of thing, like an email dash.

00:48:13   And having the phone on me makes a difference because I will find myself in situations where

00:48:19   you just have some time, but not necessarily a lot of time, like you're just waiting for someone,

00:48:24   or, you know, these moments in life. And then I'll find, yes, I will actually open up my phone

00:48:29   and I will try to go through email at this point, and then have done something instead of having done nothing in that time.

00:48:36   So you're in a bit of a state of flux right now then because you're making some significant

00:48:42   fundamental changes to the way that you use your devices. Like if we go back to earlier

00:48:46   on in the show, like the first couple of episodes, you were very, very strict about some of these

00:48:51   apps and now it feels like now that you're seeing a little bit more utility in why you

00:48:55   should have Safari and email on your phone because your systems are changing, that you're

00:49:01   willing to make the compromise.

00:49:03   I'm willing to try this for a while.

00:49:06   If I have to make a prediction now, my prediction is that future me decides to go against this.

00:49:14   That future me decides that the trade-off of having gone through email more effectively

00:49:19   is not worth the distractibility of one more thing on the phone.

00:49:24   That's what current me is predicting future me will say, but current me can't predict

00:49:28   the future perfectly accurately.

00:49:30   So this is why I'm willing to give it a try and to do this thing differently because I

00:49:34   can just feel this way that my mind wants to work and I have found it not to be incredibly

00:49:40   effective in life to be working against your own brain.

00:49:43   You know what?

00:49:44   If your brain wants to listen to teen ballad breakup songs while you're writing, keep it

00:49:50   happy.

00:49:51   You just do it.

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00:51:40   igloo for continuing to support cortex and relay FM. I'm in a state of flux myself right now

00:51:48   but it's kind of different to yours but it ends up in a weird way leading to a similar problem

00:51:54   and or solution required. So the app that I love for email and that I use is called Mailbox and

00:52:05   it is currently owned by Dropbox and it feels to me like this system is not being advanced

00:52:15   the clip that I would like.

00:52:17   Ah, the classic

00:52:19   "our app has been bought by a larger company

00:52:21   and now exists in

00:52:23   Purgatory forever" situation.

00:52:25   They were adding loads of stuff, they were making

00:52:27   a new Mac app, but the iOS

00:52:29   apps are not being

00:52:31   advanced, which

00:52:33   is concerning

00:52:35   to me. Like for example,

00:52:37   they haven't got a lot of the new iOS 9 features

00:52:39   like Split View and stuff like that.

00:52:41   So, I am now in a

00:52:43   in a position where I believe that I need to look at a new email system.

00:52:50   So one of the reasons I use Mailbox is it has a bunch of features like the ability to

00:52:55   snooze email.

00:52:56   So you can say come back tomorrow or come back next week.

00:53:01   And lots of lots of apps use this but Mailbox is the only system that I have found that

00:53:05   has an app on every platform I use.

00:53:07   So those like snoozing things and stuff like that are observed across platform.

00:53:12   So if I go to the Mac, I'm not going to see my email looking differently to my iPhone

00:53:17   because the way that the email is snoozed is very weird and they have to kind of hack

00:53:21   around with folders and filters and stuff that you don't really want to see.

00:53:26   So like if I open the mail app, the Apple mail app on my Mac, it looks completely different

00:53:32   to mailbox on my phone because I can also reorder email in mailbox which I quite like

00:53:36   because I can move things around.

00:53:38   So they don't look the same and I don't like that.

00:53:40   So Mailbox is currently the only system that I've used that has something everywhere.

00:53:43   But I'm feeling like I need to move away.

00:53:46   And at the same time, something that I'm realising, especially having this conversation with you

00:53:50   today, is that snoozing email is actually a bad thing.

00:53:54   Because I have some email that pops up every week that I snooze for another week.

00:53:59   So all I'm doing is just hiding it.

00:54:02   So I actually think that I need to force myself out of this habit and end up with a better

00:54:09   system at the end of it. But the first part of that is finding an iOS app that I'm happy

00:54:15   with because iOS email apps on the whole never make me happy.

00:54:20   Okay, Myke, if I open up my phone right now on my home screen, I'm looking at seven

00:54:26   different email apps.

00:54:27   You're being really effective there. So much email. If you have seven email apps,

00:54:32   you have seven times more email.

00:54:34   I have Dispatch, Cloud Magic, Spark, Fastmail, Outlook, MailPilot, and the built-in MailApp.

00:54:42   Because I thought, "Alright, I want to get serious about trying to give email on my phone

00:54:46   a try.

00:54:47   Let me see what's out there.

00:54:48   Let me see what's available."

00:54:49   Now, in theory, like you, I would want email everywhere, but I realized immediately, like,

00:54:54   "Oh, if that's a requirement, there's nothing.

00:54:56   I just have to give that up."

00:54:57   There's Mailbox, but Mailbox is Gmail only.

00:55:00   The end.

00:55:01   Is that Gmail only?

00:55:02   Oh, is it?

00:55:03   I thought it was Gmail only.

00:55:04   Yeah, well, I mean, yeah, you're not telling me a happy story about how yeah exactly it's not gonna

00:55:08   It's not gonna be around it used to be Gmail only. No, okay

00:55:12   That's why I was thinking that but so I have been trying all of these email clients and I was I was trying to do

00:55:17   It in a systematic way and I was thinking okay

00:55:19   I have three requirements that I would like for an email client on my phone

00:55:23   Absolute number one requirement is when I archive a message it automatically goes to the next message

00:55:29   It doesn't go back to the email list. And this seems like a fundamental design decision that app

00:55:36   creators are coming from. Do you manage emails as a list or do you manage them as a sequence of items?

00:55:43   So that's that was the one that I want. I want a sequence of items, not a list, because I

00:55:49   personally don't find these interactions where, "Oh, I'm looking at a list of eight emails and I can just swipe to archive or quick swipe

00:55:57   this way. I just don't work that way. My brain does not like that and it still goes back

00:56:02   to the "oh now I have to make a decision about which email am I dealing with, which I know

00:56:06   full well I can't trust my brain to do." So I don't want to work that way.

00:56:10   The second requirement that I wanted was some ability to replicate the mail triage system

00:56:16   that I have on my computer. So I would think "oh surely mail's built-in app should do that."

00:56:21   No, because Apple does not respect smart mailboxes or smart anything on any of the iOS devices.

00:56:27   You want to use smart folders in iPhoto?

00:56:30   No.

00:56:31   Tough luck.

00:56:32   You want to use smart inboxes?

00:56:33   No.

00:56:34   Tough luck.

00:56:35   You're not going to be able to do any of that.

00:56:36   What is the email system that you use?

00:56:38   Where is your email?

00:56:39   Is it Gmail, Fastmail?

00:56:41   It's in Fastmail.

00:56:42   So I wanted some kind of triage system.

00:56:44   I thought the built-in mail app should do it.

00:56:46   It doesn't.

00:56:47   I was hoping to find that in some other email app.

00:56:49   story short that's just like asking for

00:56:54   cross-platform ability. Nobody does this. I

00:56:58   have found no way in any of these apps to

00:57:00   replicate the triage system that I want.

00:57:02   So it's like, "Oh, okay, number two

00:57:05   requirement, gone. That's just out the

00:57:09   door." That feels like a deal breaker. I will

00:57:15   continue because what I would also like,

00:57:15   And what astounds me is some integration with my contact book on iOS.

00:57:21   I can't believe how many email clients

00:57:24   don't have this integration where they don't even ask for permission to be able to see your contact list.

00:57:29   We're just like, "Oh, we're just gonna replicate everything all over again from start within our own email app."

00:57:34   Like are you are you kidding me?

00:57:35   It's like I have all of these pictures and information and everybody that I would like to see in my email client.

00:57:41   It makes things easier.

00:57:41   No, you're not going to get any of that.

00:57:43   And so trying out all of these apps has been mostly a very unpleasant experience.

00:57:49   Let me just outline quickly what I'm looking for now,

00:57:52   because I feel like I need to force myself to readdress my priorities,

00:57:57   because previously I was like, I need a system that's everywhere that does this snoozing thing.

00:58:02   But I actually think, and I've come to this realization this morning actually,

00:58:05   that snoozing is a bad system. I need a different system.

00:58:09   Maybe I need filters or folders or something.

00:58:11   So I am now basically looking for a system of maybe one or two apps, because nothing

00:58:20   is all platform that I've found, that work for me.

00:58:25   So I'm now looking for a good iOS app that is on iPad and iPhone.

00:58:31   So I want that.

00:58:32   If it's on iOS, I want one app that does, it has integrations with a lot of the other

00:58:41   systems I want to use like I want to be able to pull in Dropbox or attachments

00:58:44   and stuff like that. I want to be able to swipe on email lists to be able to

00:58:49   archive and to be able to mark as read and unread. My thing about wanting to go

00:58:54   back to the list, there were way too many apps that don't support this so I just

00:58:59   need to get used to it which is why I like the swiping so I can go back to the

00:59:04   email list just swipe that as unread again and carry on. They're kind of my

00:59:09   main things. I just want it to feel good when I'm using it.

00:59:13   That is hard to quantify, but without a doubt is a real requirement.

00:59:18   Yeah.

00:59:19   Because I won't say anything about them later.

00:59:21   I will just say that two of the apps on my list, Outlook and Cloud Magic,

00:59:25   I cannot fault anything about them in particular, except that they just feel unpleasant in a way

00:59:32   that I can't describe.

00:59:34   Interesting.

00:59:34   I don't know why that is. I just find that my brain does not like them.

00:59:38   And it's like email has to be easy, it has to be as pleasant as possible, and for whatever reason,

00:59:44   I don't like those things. So yes, that is without a doubt a difficult to quantify requirement.

00:59:49   The Outlook one is really weird because I'm getting lots of recommendations for the Outlook app.

00:59:55   It was previously an app called a Kompley that Microsoft purchased,

00:59:58   and on iOS it's very different to the Mac. But it does integrate your contacts as you want,

01:00:04   it integrates your calendar all within the same app, so you can see all this stuff whilst dealing

01:00:08   with email. Outlook is actually very high on my list because of the

01:00:14   recommendations that I've had from other people about it and I've used it a

01:00:18   little bit and it seems fine. One of the other things that I need is a unified

01:00:24   inbox across systems. So I use Gmail and I also use iCloud. So this kind of

01:00:35   rules out Google's inbox for me unless I am willing to, which I may do, to forward all

01:00:42   of my email into one account.

01:00:49   I'm only laughing because I manage everything basically from one account as well.

01:00:55   Everything forwards to one main account so I don't have the requirement of needing to

01:00:58   juggle a bunch of things.

01:01:00   But my experience with Gmail--I mean, I left Gmail a little while ago because I just thought

01:01:06   I can't deal with the way--Gmail doesn't play nice with anybody else, and I got kind of

01:01:12   screwed over by the way Gmail tries to talk with other email systems, and I thought, "You

01:01:16   know what?

01:01:17   I'm done with this.

01:01:18   I'm just going to stick with a regular, standard IMAP service that I can just plug into anything."

01:01:24   And so that's why FastMail is my back end.

01:01:27   I will not return to using Gmail as the primary location for all of my email.

01:01:31   So I will. It is mine. Um, I prefer,

01:01:35   I prefer Google apps to any other system that I've used. Um,

01:01:40   cause I've had problems with all kinds of guys, some real problems with fast mail,

01:01:43   uh, where it wasn't accurately managing spam.

01:01:47   And I had some sponsors like contact me via other means to tell me that their

01:01:53   emails were bouncing. So I was like, you are dead to me.

01:01:57   I'm going to Google. You have a unique

01:02:03   spam problem because without a doubt many of the

01:02:04   messages that you would get would

01:02:06   certainly look a lot like spam to an

01:02:09   automated spam filtering system. Yeah so

01:02:11   it was basically like it was saying

01:02:14   that my account storage was full because

01:02:17   it was it wasn't doing a good job with

01:02:20   the spam detection so I decided that I

01:02:22   wasn't going to work with FastMail

01:02:22   anymore. Because that just isn't a risk I'm willing to take.

01:02:27   Yeah, exactly. So I move back to Gmail and we use Google Apps, which I mean I

01:02:33   really like. But it kind of puts me in this situation where I'm like you, I'm

01:02:38   trying to find something that I'm happy with, knowing full well that there's a

01:02:43   couple of things that have to happen with this. I have to A) make some

01:02:46   considerations and changes and B) I also actually need to change the way that I

01:02:51   I deal with email, which is a very daunting task.

01:02:56   - Yeah, without a doubt it's a daunting task

01:02:57   because, I mean, the reason why we've been talking

01:03:00   about email for an hour, and we also spent

01:03:03   a whole other show talking about email.

01:03:04   - Two shows.

01:03:05   - Yeah, two shows talking about email,

01:03:07   and I'm sure this won't be the last time

01:03:09   that we talk about email, is because it is just

01:03:12   so connected to everything that you do.

01:03:17   Especially as a self-employed person,

01:03:20   is just this is the funnel through which everything else comes.

01:03:25   And you know, you,

01:03:27   everybody loves Slack and Slack is a great alternative to email within a group

01:03:34   of people that you're constantly working with,

01:03:36   but it doesn't change the fact that you can't possibly have everyone who ever

01:03:40   wants to contact you use Slack.

01:03:43   Slack is for people you know, email is for people you don't.

01:03:46   Exactly. Or people you just, you just can't,

01:03:50   practically have a Slack room for.

01:03:53   Like I would love to be able to put my accountants

01:03:55   and lawyers like in a Slack room

01:03:57   and be like you guys talk about some of this stuff

01:04:00   but it's just not going to happen, it's just not practical.

01:04:02   And so yeah, you're always going to be having stuff

01:04:05   coming in through email that you just have to deal with

01:04:07   in some way and it's difficult

01:04:11   because it's an always possible to be done task

01:04:16   especially when you start getting large numbers of emails

01:04:19   It's very hard to ever have it cleared out all the way after a certain point.

01:04:24   So yeah, that's why we're talking about it. That's why we will talk about it for forever.

01:04:29   Because it's connected to everything.

01:04:31   There is an app that I want to give a special mention to, which is called Spark.

01:04:35   Ah, okay. I have a couple notes about Spark. What do you have to say?

01:04:39   I really like this app. It has some nice customization stuff, and it has a smart inbox feature that I really like.

01:04:47   that doesn't really do much email manipulation,

01:04:50   like it's not doing anything crazy,

01:04:52   but it groups things together for you,

01:04:54   which are kind of like,

01:04:56   it reminds me of like the way that Gmail does this.

01:04:58   So it like, you know, I'm looking at the smart inbox now

01:05:00   and I have a little card which has all my new email,

01:05:03   then I have email that it classes and notifications,

01:05:05   and then just my red email in my inbox.

01:05:08   I like this system,

01:05:09   it bunches things up for me in a nice way,

01:05:12   but the problem is it is iPhone only.

01:05:14   So if they had an iPad app,

01:05:16   which I know that they're working on,

01:05:17   This is probably what I would be using right now, but they don't.

01:05:21   So it also has the best search I have ever used in an email app.

01:05:27   Because it does a lot of the processing on device.

01:05:31   Oh, it does it.

01:05:32   That's interesting.

01:05:33   It does.

01:05:33   It's very, very powerful search.

01:05:35   It finds things that I just can't find in other apps.

01:05:39   So that's one of the other big reasons that I want to be able to use this.

01:05:43   Uh, and I'm, I'm thinking as soon as they get this iPad app, it

01:05:47   will probably be where I go, but I need something in the interim.

01:05:52   Spark was on my list of three interesting ones to talk about.

01:05:57   And the bullet point that I have below Spark is winner of the best smart inbox.

01:06:03   Of all the ones that I tried, they do the best job because they don't try to overdo

01:06:09   it.

01:06:10   Too many of the apps you feel like, "How are you picking out these messages as important

01:06:14   messages and playing around with it, you can see that, oh, you're just learning my terrible

01:06:20   email habits of my desire to respond to easy things and not necessarily the things that

01:06:25   I actually need to respond to.

01:06:26   Did you know that Spark also has smart inboxes?

01:06:30   Oh, interesting.

01:06:32   See, I missed this.

01:06:34   This is very interesting.

01:06:36   Because I've used it in the past to create smart folders for feedback.

01:06:43   So anything that says "Feedback 4" it just goes into that folder and then you can put

01:06:49   it in the main navigation or you can just have it in the sidebar.

01:06:52   It's better than nothing.

01:06:53   It doesn't have the abilities that I would really need but it's at least moving in the

01:06:57   right direction.

01:06:58   Yep, but again, iPhone only.

01:07:00   Yeah, iPhone only, of course.

01:07:01   I also like Spark is one of the fewer apps that does the "I archive and you just put

01:07:06   the next app up on the screen" thing.

01:07:08   Of the seven or eight that I ended up testing, the majority of them did not do that so it's

01:07:13   okay, Spark has this, I like that. And I think it's pleasant to use as well. In that intangible way

01:07:19   that Outlook and Cloudmagic I did not like, I do like the way that Spark operates. So it's

01:07:24   definitely high on my list. Is it bad that I don't use and haven't tried Cloudmagic because I think

01:07:29   the name is terrible? Like every app I've got here, Outlook, Dispatch, Inbox, Spark, and Mailbox,

01:07:39   They all sound like email apps. Cloud Magic? I don't know what that is. It sounds like a game.

01:07:44   Myke, you're talking to a man who will abandon an app because of its change in icon.

01:07:48   You understand. You get me.

01:07:50   I'm perfectly on board that you don't want to use something called Cloud Magic.

01:07:54   And I had the same feeling of a resistance of even downloading it. I'm like,

01:07:57   "Cloud Magic? I almost hope I don't like it because I just don't want to have this as the

01:08:04   thing that I'm searching for for forever of like, "Oh, Cloud Magic for my email."

01:08:08   It is not rational, but this is this is the way humans are.

01:08:12   So my two other my two other maybe honorable mentions are Dispatch,

01:08:18   which does the same thing where it allows me to archive pulls up the next message

01:08:22   automatically.

01:08:23   It has a nice feature that I like where you can actually lock it for security.

01:08:27   So it won't open unless you have the thumbprint sensor, which is very nice.

01:08:30   It's pleasant to use.

01:08:31   It has a ton of options so you can change it around to be the way that you want.

01:08:35   So Dispatch wasn't bad.

01:08:37   I love Dispatch and it would probably be the app that I would use,

01:08:42   but it lacks another key thing for me, which I forgot to mention,

01:08:45   which makes your toes curl, which is notifications for email.

01:08:48   I have push notifications for all of my email because that works for me

01:08:54   and it fits the way that I like to work.

01:08:58   I'm very good at seeing a push notification and being like,

01:09:00   "I don't need to do with that, that's fine."

01:09:02   But I really, really want to know when certain emails come in.

01:09:05   And smart notifications don't really work

01:09:07   because sometimes I might really, really wanna know

01:09:10   an email that comes in from somebody

01:09:11   I've never spoken to before.

01:09:13   - Right.

01:09:13   - But it has a subject line like sponsorship inquiry

01:09:16   for Cortex and I want to deal with that immediately.

01:09:20   - Right, right.

01:09:21   - So push notifications for email

01:09:23   is something that's important for me

01:09:24   and dispatch does not have it.

01:09:25   It has a notification system

01:09:27   but it doesn't work the way that you'd expect.

01:09:29   It works via the background app updates

01:09:32   and it just notices when it has a new email.

01:09:34   So say for example, I have four email apps installed at the moment, they all have notifications

01:09:39   on.

01:09:40   When I get an email, it is like hell has broken loose at the moment.

01:09:43   So like for example, Outlook inbox and mailbox will be like, here's a new email and I deal

01:09:47   with the email and then 10 minutes later dispatch is like, one new message, but it's like it's

01:09:52   already deleted.

01:09:54   So I don't think that that's going to be the one that I go with.

01:09:58   My final honorable mention is MailPilot 2, which I do know has an iPad app.

01:10:05   I can't use them because when I archive a message on their system, it throws me back

01:10:10   to the list and there's no way to change it, and that is an absolute deal breaker for me.

01:10:14   I just will not use something that has that behavior.

01:10:17   However, I'm going to give some serious credit to the designers at MailPilot 2 because they

01:10:22   They were the ones that I think are trying to think about email in a different way and

01:10:28   they're trying to do the thing that everybody just kind of turns their email into, which

01:10:33   is a task list.

01:10:35   And so they're trying to write an app that says, "Let's just treat emails as though they

01:10:39   are tasks."

01:10:41   Oh great.

01:10:42   Yeah.

01:10:43   This may be it.

01:10:44   They have an app for every platform.

01:10:45   Why do I not know about this?

01:10:47   I don't know why you don't know about this.

01:10:49   Oh, and do you know what I like about it?

01:10:51   What?

01:10:52   - The WordPress app is eight pounds.

01:10:53   That's good.

01:10:54   - You wanna pay the developer.

01:10:55   - I want, but if I'm, if somebody's looking after my email

01:10:59   and it's a system that I really, really care about,

01:11:02   I don't wanna just pay them.

01:11:03   I wanna pay them a lot of money, right?

01:11:05   Because I want them to keep working on it.

01:11:08   This is my problem with mailbox.

01:11:09   They get nothing out of me.

01:11:11   So then they don't care, right?

01:11:12   So if they stop working on it, it's like, whatever.

01:11:15   But this is, oh my, okay, well I'm buying this one.

01:11:18   Even though I knew that I wasn't going to use it

01:11:22   because of this real deal breaker feature for me.

01:11:25   - Which is the exact feature I want.

01:11:27   - Which is the exact feature that you want.

01:11:30   MailPilot 2 people, if you're listening,

01:11:32   a checkbox to change that behavior might be nice.

01:11:35   I think dispatch allows you to change it.

01:11:36   They have options for everything.

01:11:38   I wanted to play around with MailPilot 2

01:11:41   because it was immediately obvious that they're the guys

01:11:44   trying to do something different with this.

01:11:46   For example, they've done away with the whole notion of new emails, so there is no new email indicator on that list.

01:11:55   So you don't have, say, a blue dot to all of the new messages.

01:12:00   And I thought, "Oh boy, that is a really interesting design decision."

01:12:03   So I played around with it, I used it for a little while.

01:12:05   Like I said, it's not for me because of this one deal breaker, but if you're going to try it, Myke,

01:12:11   I think you need to try it and go with the way they want you to use it.

01:12:17   Like, don't fight it, system. It's trying to do email in a different way.

01:12:23   I really should have checked or asked you if it had push notifications before I bought it.

01:12:28   You're just so excited.

01:12:30   Does it have push notifications?

01:12:33   I don't know. Where would I go to look for that?

01:12:35   It must have push notifications. What kind of email app wouldn't have push notifications?

01:12:39   No, it doesn't! No!

01:12:42   It's the same as dispatch, I think.

01:12:45   What kind of time delay are you talking about here?

01:12:49   Like, without push notifications, how long does it take you to get notified? An hour?

01:12:52   Yeah, a while.

01:12:53   That's... that sucks. That really sucks.

01:12:57   But can't you get that down to 15 minutes or so?

01:13:00   I don't know. I'll have to play around with it.

01:13:02   But like, I'm looking at a review on iMore and it's... and one of their cons is no push notifications.

01:13:07   That is a heartbreak hotel that I'm currently in.

01:13:12   I think you should still give it a try. It sounds like this is obviously the one that is closest to your heart.

01:13:18   For the moment, anyway.

01:13:19   You said you need something in the interim. You might want to just try it and see if their system works for you.

01:13:24   Yeah, I'll try it. Oh man, that's killer though. That makes me sad.

01:13:29   I'm gonna give it a go, but it's so important to me to have the push notifications.

01:13:33   But you never know if they if they if they're good at then if they're better than dispatch then great

01:13:39   But like dispatch is just like it sends you a notification like a couple of times a day. It's like one new message

01:13:44   It's not what I want. Like I want to see what the message is, right? Right. I'll give it a go

01:13:50   But man, I should check that before I put the money down because I might never use it now

01:13:54   Well if you feel sad about having put the money down my version of this story is I bought every email app for

01:14:02   iPhone that exists and in the end decided that the inbuilt mail app is the one that

01:14:08   I'm still going to use.

01:14:10   [laughter]

01:14:11   Oh, I nearly just spat water all over my Mac.

01:14:17   You know, there is a part of me, Gray, that's thinking that that might be where I end up.

01:14:23   Yeah, because the mail app, I archive, it goes to the next message.

01:14:28   Okay, that's great.

01:14:29   I love that.

01:14:30   I don't need any of the fancy "I can swipe on the message list" features that most of these apps do, because I just simply don't use that.

01:14:37   I can't triage in the way that I fully want, but I can at least triage by VIPs, which is vastly better.

01:14:48   And so I have my assistant as a VIP, so if I open up that VIP folder, her messages along with the other people's messages are in there.

01:14:56   in there, so in theory I should be clearing that first

01:14:59   before going to the rest of the inbox. And it also integrates with my contact

01:15:05   book. So of all of these things

01:15:10   I have supported the developers of many email apps,

01:15:14   but it looks like I'm still going to be sticking with

01:15:17   the inbuilt mail app for the time being. That's so beautiful.

01:15:22   So my plan currently is to try and cry over mail pilot.

01:15:27   I'm gonna wait to see what Spark does,

01:15:31   but I think the third party app

01:15:33   that I'm probably gonna give the most try with is Outlook.

01:15:38   And then maybe I end up with a mail app.

01:15:40   Which is very sad.

01:15:42   - Yeah, we'll check back in a couple months

01:15:45   and I will have just disabled mail on my phone entirely,

01:15:49   rendering this whole process moot

01:15:51   and you will still be using the default email app is probably where we'll be.

01:15:55   I will have just deleted my email accounts.

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01:18:26   and Relay FM.

01:18:28   So I had loads of topics planned for today and we have just ignored them all.

01:18:34   But we haven't ignored them all. We had two things to talk about, but as always, email

01:18:42   is just a black hole that swallows everything.

01:18:45   Yeah. I mean, it has made my work for next episode really easy, because I don't need

01:18:51   to do any prep, because we already have everything set, which is awesome.

01:18:55   Yes. Once again, I am always impressed by your show notes. I never put together show

01:19:02   notes that look remotely this good. You have all of these bullet points and hierarchies

01:19:06   and headlines and things. You are set for next episode, but yes, we did not intend to

01:19:13   talk about email this much.

01:19:15   So I think we should maybe round off today's show with some Ask Cortex questions, just

01:19:19   to give it a little bit of variety.

01:19:22   So I think I've picked out a few here that are relevant to the discussion that we've

01:19:26   spoken about today, as well as a couple of wildcards.

01:19:30   Salter on the Reddit asked, and I

01:19:33   think they were commenting on our iPhone home screens,

01:19:36   that you use several applications that

01:19:38   are superficially similar but serve distinct purposes

01:19:40   for you, like four notes apps, three to do apps,

01:19:42   four audio apps.

01:19:44   Do you feel that this segmentation helps or hurts?

01:19:46   Would you prefer each category reserved by exactly one app,

01:19:49   or does having activities rigidly segmented

01:19:52   keep you focused?

01:19:53   That's a fantastic question.

01:19:55   I will start.

01:19:56   - No, you go first.

01:19:57   What do you think, Myke?

01:19:58   - I think that this segmentation is useful for me

01:20:02   because I assign specific tasks and duties

01:20:06   to each of the applications.

01:20:07   And I feel like, so let's say for example,

01:20:10   my note-taking apps or writing apps.

01:20:12   So I use Byword and now the Notes app.

01:20:15   So the Notes app is where follow-up goes for the shows,

01:20:19   where shorter topics go.

01:20:22   And then if I'm writing a big blog post or something,

01:20:25   I like to keep it in byword,

01:20:26   'cause that's just where long form stuff goes,

01:20:28   so I don't get those two mixed up.

01:20:30   And then like, for example, when I say show notes,

01:20:32   I mean like links and little ideas,

01:20:34   they then go into Google Drive,

01:20:35   because that's where they're shared.

01:20:37   I wouldn't want all of those things in the same place for me

01:20:40   because I feel like the segmentation is useful for my brain

01:20:43   to be like, this is the type of work we're doing right now.

01:20:46   You know, this UI, you know what this UI means.

01:20:49   It means we're in this mode,

01:20:51   and that's what I like about it.

01:20:53   Without a doubt, I completely agree.

01:20:56   You should make a note for future shows, a future topic, to talk about

01:21:00   the various modes in which I work. I think I've finally discovered what my modes actually are.

01:21:05   This is a thing that's been on my mind.

01:21:08   So now I open the Notes app, which is the app that I use for that, and I create a new bullet point,

01:21:12   and I say "Grays, modes of working."

01:21:17   I am with you on this for the apps as well, for the same reason.

01:21:21   that the UI helps reinforce what this thing is for.

01:21:25   I used to condense things more.

01:21:27   So I used to use Byword for almost every single text file,

01:21:32   as in my current scripts,

01:21:34   I have just a lot of lists and things.

01:21:36   I used to just keep it all in Byword.

01:21:38   And I had a fancy system where I used different prefixes

01:21:42   on the file names to be able to quickly search for,

01:21:45   these are the scripts that I'm working on,

01:21:46   or these are just lists.

01:21:49   But over time, and especially as I transition more and more to iOS, I realized this is a

01:21:54   little bit clunky, like this works well on a computer, but it doesn't work as well on

01:21:59   the iPhone.

01:22:00   So that's why I have, as people see on my own iPhone screenshots, what look like three

01:22:04   text editors right at the bottom.

01:22:06   Pages, byword, and editorial, and then plus notes in my doc.

01:22:10   But they are all for different things, and without a doubt, it definitely helps.

01:22:14   Now with the new notes, I might have to mix things up.

01:22:19   Plus, also, since our last show, none of my markdown text editors have yet updated for

01:22:25   iOS 9 side by side and I just feel like, you know you were having that feeling with Mailbox

01:22:31   about like, oh, they haven't updated in a long time?

01:22:34   I was looking at Byword and thinking the same thing.

01:22:37   Like, it's been a long time since I've heard anything from you guys.

01:22:40   Yeah, I'm not confident in by word going forward.

01:22:44   Because their UI stuff, some parts of it still look like iOS 6.

01:22:49   Like the dark mode is atrocious. Makes me sad.

01:22:53   I don't mind the dark mode, but let me just say I was even looking through on the app store to try to find some alternatives to these things.

01:23:00   And where is the one that I found? I'll give a shout out in a way that I hope it slightly bribes the developer to make things exactly the way I want.

01:23:08   But I found an app which was called Envy Notes.

01:23:11   The letter is N-V.

01:23:14   Which is a markdown note-taking app with a dark mode.

01:23:17   It's like, oh, this looks right up my alley

01:23:20   as a potential bi-word replacement.

01:23:22   And it has a nice icon,

01:23:23   which of course is very important as well.

01:23:25   But yeah, so I am aware that there might be some reshuffling

01:23:28   with my various Notes apps coming.

01:23:31   - Why, what are you hoping to nudge the developer to do?

01:23:34   - Oh, there was a bug in his thing with using it

01:23:36   with an external keyboard that I sent him a message about.

01:23:41   But they're just...

01:23:45   Come on, Nicholas.

01:23:49   Sort it out.

01:23:52   He's gonna sort out that bug.

01:23:53   It was a deal breaker.

01:23:55   Nicholas, CGP Grey could be a user of your app.

01:23:57   Do you know what this means, Nicholas?

01:24:01   Do you know what this means?

01:24:03   Yeah, this is what I would like to use my mighty platform

01:24:03   to convince app developers to make their apps exactly the way that I want.

01:24:08   You could have a hand in creating these videos.

01:24:11   But yeah, so I'm on the, I'm scanning the horizon for more note stuff.

01:24:14   But I definitely, no matter what I do, I feel like there's always going to be

01:24:18   four levels of segmentation. There are files that I work with, with other people

01:24:23   which is the delightful pages. There's random scraps of whatever I'll figure out later, notes.

01:24:30   There's lists and general text files,

01:24:33   by word for the time being,

01:24:35   and there are scripts, which is editorial.

01:24:38   And I can't imagine ever collapsing those categories.

01:24:41   So I'll probably always have four text editors of some kind.

01:24:44   - An unpronounceable string of characters on Reddit asked,

01:24:47   how do you reserve, this is so perfect for today,

01:24:50   how do you reserve the time, effort, or energy

01:24:52   for things that are in the short term quite unproductive,

01:24:55   like searching the app store

01:24:58   and trying out multiple different systems.

01:25:01   How do you balance that time spent against the output?

01:25:04   I mean, this search has not been very good

01:25:08   because you ended up exactly where you started.

01:25:10   But how do you reconcile, like,

01:25:12   I'm gonna spend an afternoon just trying out email apps?

01:25:15   - Almost always, I actually do this kind of stuff

01:25:17   in the afternoon, because having learned from my own cycles,

01:25:22   afternoons are just not very productive times

01:25:27   for me normally.

01:25:28   I never do good script writing then.

01:25:30   I never really do quality work then.

01:25:34   And so I do not mind at all taking an afternoon

01:25:37   and saying, "Oh, I'm gonna explore a bunch

01:25:39   of different apps or a bunch of different systems."

01:25:42   Because if I find something that's good,

01:25:43   I feel like it's a net win.

01:25:45   But like definitely say 1 p.m. to like 4 p.m.

01:25:50   is gotta be the worst time ever for me doing work.

01:25:54   It's just the lowest quality stuff ever.

01:25:56   But that means there's a time always to do this sort of thing.

01:26:00   Or to do any kind of low quality but still needs to get done work.

01:26:04   Like email.

01:26:06   I agree with you actually, because the times in which I find myself wanting to do this stuff

01:26:09   is the times where I don't want to do anything else, so like in theory that work's never going to be good.

01:26:14   Yeah, exactly.

01:26:15   That time that I'm spending checking out email apps at 2.30 in the afternoon,

01:26:21   There's no universe in which I would have spent that afternoon writing a brilliant script.

01:26:26   The alternate universe is I would have spent this afternoon playing Factorio.

01:26:31   So I feel like, "Oh, I'm up." Right? It's better this way than it would have been the other way.

01:26:36   All right. And this has been a question that has been circulating

01:26:41   via the many feedback methods for a long time. And I have

01:26:46   I have also been interested in this but haven't asked.

01:26:49   Earlier in the show's run, when we were talking about

01:26:52   the stuff that you carry and you put in your bag,

01:26:55   you mentioned that you have caffeine pills in your bag.

01:26:59   Why do you have them?

01:27:00   Like, what purpose do the caffeine pills serve?

01:27:04   - Look at you, Myke.

01:27:05   You're just trying to make the people happy.

01:27:07   - I wanna know, though.

01:27:08   (laughing)

01:27:10   'Cause you drink a lot of coffee.

01:27:11   - Okay, I have the caffeine pills for a couple of reasons.

01:27:15   - Okay.

01:27:16   One of which is that there is not always acceptable coffee available.

01:27:19   And so sometimes you need the caffeine,

01:27:22   but there is just awful coffee available.

01:27:25   Just ground them up, drop them in the coffee. Right?

01:27:28   I wouldn't grind them up. What are you talking about?

01:27:33   You take the bad coffee, make it good coffee by putting caffeine pills in it.

01:27:36   That's how it works.

01:27:37   No, that's not how it works.

01:27:38   How it works is you drink water and you take the caffeine pills.

01:27:41   Oh, okay. You know, I must have misheard.

01:27:44   I think so.

01:27:45   That however, is the rare case.

01:27:49   The reason I actually started using caffeine pills sometimes

01:27:53   is for power naps.

01:27:56   Do you know about power naps, Myke?

01:27:58   - I don't know about power naps.

01:28:00   - Okay, so--

01:28:00   - Well, not the reason you used them.

01:28:02   I mean, I've heard of them before, but--

01:28:03   - So this thing works really effectively.

01:28:05   I have this bit of,

01:28:07   I have a bit of this like love-hate relationship with naps.

01:28:12   Now, I don't like naps because if I ever take a nap,

01:28:16   I feel just like the laziest son of a bitch in the world.

01:28:19   - I'm ruined.

01:28:20   If I accidentally fall asleep

01:28:22   because I never purposely take naps, and I wake up,

01:28:26   I don't even, I don't know what day it is,

01:28:27   I don't know what time it is,

01:28:28   I look at the clock and it says seven

01:28:30   and it's clearly 7 p.m.

01:28:31   I'm like, "Oh my God, it's seven in the morning

01:28:33   "the next day!"

01:28:34   Like, napping is the worst thing I can do

01:28:38   for my productivity.

01:28:39   - Yeah.

01:28:41   I have generally found that as well, that naps are just death.

01:28:46   However, enough people that I respect made some suggestions about trying to change around

01:28:53   your sleep schedule and incorporating a nap in the sleep schedule.

01:28:56   I'm like, "No, this is just disastrous.

01:28:58   This doesn't work."

01:28:59   But the trick is caffeine takes about 20 minutes to enter into your system and start having

01:29:06   an effect, really.

01:29:07   When you take that first sip of coffee, you feel like it works immediately, but that's

01:29:11   just your brain lying to you.

01:29:12   That's just part of the addiction.

01:29:15   The actual drug isn't taking any effect until about 20 minutes later.

01:29:18   I want another coffee now.

01:29:20   There's this trick that you can do with caffeine naps, which is you take a couple of caffeine

01:29:25   pills or you drink a cup of coffee right before you take a nap, and you take a nap for about

01:29:30   20, 25 minutes.

01:29:32   When you wake up, it really eliminates a lot of that horrible, horrible sleep sickness

01:29:39   that you can have.

01:29:40   So sometimes if I feel like I need to take a nap, I will always do it in this manner,

01:29:45   where I will take a couple of caffeine pills, I will go to sleep, I have a napping app on

01:29:51   my phone, what is it called?

01:29:53   It is...

01:29:54   I love that you have a napping app.

01:29:56   Yeah, it's called Power Nap.

01:29:58   It's by the same people who make that sleep cycle app that I used to use.

01:30:01   But so PowerNap, it does a similar thing where you can set a maximum time of 30 minutes

01:30:06   and it attempts to wake you up before it feels like you're drifting off into deep sleep

01:30:10   if it's like, "Oh, he hasn't moved at all lately. We gotta catch him before he falls off the cliff."

01:30:14   So that way I have found to be effective with naps.

01:30:19   That's the primary use for the caffeine pills, but really, Myke,

01:30:24   napping leads into a whole other topic which is all about schedules.

01:30:29   Which we'll get to another time.

01:30:32   Oh man, this power napping thing though.

01:30:34   I think that might be nice because I, Gray, my sleep, I sleep so poorly.

01:30:37   Like, I tend to fall asleep, especially recently.

01:30:41   I haven't completely... I've given in to jet lag

01:30:45   in that it has now set a new sleep schedule for me which is horrific.

01:30:49   So like, this happened to me a few months ago.

01:30:53   So now it's just like, okay, my sleep schedule is I sleep from 2.30 in the morning and I

01:30:58   wake up at 9, which is disgusting.

01:31:03   And I feel like maybe I should, because I like doing that in the way that I like, I

01:31:08   like going to sleep late because I get things done very late in the evening and I'm also

01:31:13   quite productive in the morning again, even though you wouldn't think that considering

01:31:16   how little sleep I have.

01:31:17   But I feel like I am having adverse effects to the lack of sleep that I'm having.

01:31:23   So I need to balance that in some way.

01:31:25   So maybe a nap is the way to do it.

01:31:27   But there's something – I feel like there's like a taboo around caffeine pills which I

01:31:32   can't shake.

01:31:33   I'm sure it isn't, but it feels like a dangerous thing.

01:31:37   Yeah, I think it just feels like it's like drugs.

01:31:41   But the way I was introduced to this was not actually by caffeine pills.

01:31:45   it was by "drink a cup of coffee before you go take a nap" and my reaction was "I

01:31:49   drink enough coffee as it is. I don't need to have a scheduled cup of coffee here."

01:31:54   So I substituted caffeine pills for the cup of coffee for the same effect. That's why

01:31:59   I did that.

01:32:00   Do you always sleep or do sometimes you just rest?

01:32:03   I am pretty sure that lots of the time I don't really fall asleep, but my brain is kicked

01:32:10   into some kind of low-power defragmenting mode. It's like something is happening,

01:32:15   but I'm not fully asleep, but I'm not fully unconscious either.

01:32:19   Okay, well, maybe people napped during this episode.

01:32:23   Yeah, I might have napped during this episode.