148: State of the Apps 2024


00:00:00   Welcome back to State of the Apps. State of the Apps. 2024 edition. Every year on State of the

00:00:06   Apps we talk about the tools and services that we use to manage our work and our lives. We've been

00:00:12   doing this for many years now. I'm absolutely horrified because I was like, wait a minute.

00:00:17   And I just googled myself, right? CGP Grey, State of the Apps. When did I do this? And I wrote that

00:00:23   article in 2014. Yeah, I didn't want to mention it. I did look this up that it has been a decade

00:00:31   since you wrote the article on your blog that became like the reason that we do this episode.

00:00:37   10 years of State of the Apps for me. Oh my god. Well, I think there was a gap of like two or three

00:00:43   years where there wasn't another one. And then I was like, that's a good idea. Let's do an episode

00:00:48   of Cortex about it. And then here we are. I'm doing a quick scroll down the list of like how many

00:00:54   of these apps have still survived. And the answer is not zero. That's surprising. You know what?

00:00:58   It might be fun actually throughout this episode, considering we are on like the decade of State of

00:01:04   the Apps. If there's any that you picked today that are on that original list, I think it would

00:01:09   be fun if you mentioned that. One that's definitely not Evernote. Were you positive in 2014 about

00:01:15   Evernote? Okay, here's what I wrote in 2014. Evernote is my dumping ground for lots of random

00:01:23   video related pre-research. I use it, but reluctantly. The real shock of today's episode

00:01:30   is if Evernote's found its way back. Anything could happen. Hold on to your seats everyone.

00:01:35   The traditional way of starting State of the Apps is with home screens. Home screens. Although now

00:01:42   it's home screens and lock screens and focus modes. And I think also standby this year.

00:01:49   There's a lot in this now. I mean, Mike, what even is a home screen anymore? Honestly,

00:01:55   that is becoming a harder and harder question. It totally is becoming a strange kind of question

00:01:59   about what is the home screen? What do we mean by this? Yeah, like as well from this year with

00:02:05   interactive widgets, home screens aren't even just static thing anymore. They're not just a launcher

00:02:11   anymore. They are actually a place to perform actions. Yeah, I haven't a ton of apps that are

00:02:18   doing interactive widgets yet, but it is suddenly realizing like the home screen is an app now,

00:02:25   kind of like that's clearly the direction it's going into. So what even is a home screen? How

00:02:31   is it connected to focus modes and your watch and everything else? It's like it's all kind of getting

00:02:36   muddled together and also partly being apps at the same time. So what do your home screens look like,

00:02:44   Mike? Right, well, let's start with my regular home screen. Okay. This is like the default home

00:02:49   screen. I also use these set of home screens for Do Not Disturb. And I've also included the

00:02:55   corresponding lock screens for these home screens in the image. So you can kind of get the whole

00:03:00   view. Yes, that's always so overwhelming when I click on one of these links to see all of Mike's

00:03:06   things. It's a visual treat. It's a little experience. It is visual. That is true. Yes.

00:03:12   I've gone way more widget focused this year. For a long time, I had like big widget on the top,

00:03:22   and I had a little widget in the corner, and then I had like 12 apps. This year, I've actually

00:03:28   reduced my apps to eight, and I have two square widgets and the large widget on the top. And this

00:03:35   is because of interactive widgets. So the widget I wanted to kind of like blow up everything for

00:03:41   was the Do widget. Tell me about your use case of Do. Do is one of these apps that for me has

00:03:47   disappeared over the years because mainly for me, like I was looking for an app years ago that

00:03:53   related to timers, but that also had really good shortcut support. So previous lightning round pick

00:03:59   for me was an app called Just Timers, which I'm still using to this day. Fantastic timer,

00:04:04   shortcut support, really good. And that just blew Do out of the water for me. It's like,

00:04:09   oh, I just never used it again. So it looks like you're actually using it as a

00:04:13   task manager here. Like what's your use case for this? Okay, so the types of tasks that go into Do

00:04:19   are always personal focused. So I use Todoist as my to do app, which I'll talk about a little bit

00:04:27   later on in the show. And I have a personal project in Todoist, but therefore like quite

00:04:34   large things. The stuff that goes into Do are very simple, often recurring tasks. So for example,

00:04:42   I have take out the trash, do the dishes, do my evening stretches, take my pills, text my mum,

00:04:50   like these little things that happen on a daily basis, on a weekly basis, go in here, like,

00:04:58   remember to set my time tracker when I go to the gym, remember to get cash out for my barber when

00:05:04   I see him next week, do my exercises, like these little things that are just, I don't want all of

00:05:11   these tasks messing up my Todoist to do list. And then also all of these types of tasks benefit from

00:05:21   Jews nagging, right? That you can set in Do, if I do not mark this complete, keep reminding,

00:05:28   keep reminding. And a lot of these things, they're like, it has to be done today. So like,

00:05:33   I want the phone to keep asking me to do this stuff until it's done. Like if I don't remember

00:05:40   to take the trash out, that's going to be a problem. I have to take out the trash, right?

00:05:45   So like, it's going to keep telling me every 10 minutes, have you done this? Have you done this?

00:05:50   Have you done this? So these are the kinds of things. And it can also be like a very simple

00:05:55   task that might be a one-off that will go in here. Like for example, I had to disable the

00:06:02   automation of our Roomba for a few days because we were having a treatment to the floor. And so

00:06:08   I disabled it and then I've put it back in there to enable it in like a week's time. And so that

00:06:14   kind of thing, it's just like a very simple thing. I want to make sure I remember to do it on that

00:06:18   exact day so I can have actually go out and do the cleaning. So that's the kind of thing. I'll

00:06:22   just throw it into Do and it will remind me every 10 minutes until I've done it on the day that

00:06:26   I've asked for. And one of the things about these Do tasks is that because they are frequent things,

00:06:33   often I just do them because I remember. So having them as a little widget, they're just there and I

00:06:39   can very quickly check them off from the interactive widget and I don't need to open the app Do.

00:06:44   So to me, this felt like a really good thing to just have there on my home screen all the time.

00:06:51   They're not work tasks, so I don't feel like the impending not having done work. And it's very easy

00:06:57   for me to just check these off and get them done. And so I like this widget a lot actually.

00:07:01   >> Hm. I feel like I've underappreciated the role that Do used to play in my life.

00:07:07   And I might borrow this from you. I think Do deserves a second view. I need to take a

00:07:13   look at that again. >> The other little square widget is Timery. And now the iOS 17 shortcuts

00:07:20   widget underneath has two actions rather than one action, which is awesome. And underneath that

00:07:26   little Timery widget is like the stack and I've got two Timery-related shortcuts. One is a shortcut

00:07:34   I have where I can just add an increment of time to my time tracker. So I can tap it and be like,

00:07:40   I just did 15 minutes of this kind of work, but I forgot to press the button. So I like that.

00:07:45   >> Oh, huh. Okay. I didn't realize that was a feature. That's nice.

00:07:48   >> You can build a shortcut like I built the shortcut years ago. It just like

00:07:52   looks at the current time, subtracts it by the amount of time that I've asked and then

00:07:57   adds it as an entry to Timery. And then I also have one more, which is my recording

00:08:02   or editing shows timer, where if I hit it, it says you're recording or editing. If hit recording,

00:08:08   it looks on my calendar and creates a new time entry with that as the tag, because I've set the

00:08:13   naming up correctly. If I'm editing, it just gives me a list of shows to choose from. And then I'll

00:08:18   choose that show and it'll start a timer based on that. Those are just like my two most often

00:08:23   time tracking shortcuts. And now they just live on that little stack underneath the Timery widget,

00:08:28   which I'm really happy about. And now the Timery widget has a nice stop button on it too,

00:08:32   which is great. >> Oh, you can stop it from that widget. Okay, great.

00:08:34   >> I like the little stop button. A bunch of the widgets have an option in the configuration

00:08:39   settings to add a stop button to them. This was a request that I gave to the developer, Joe,

00:08:44   that I felt like the stop button should be available everywhere, that a timer was incrementing.

00:08:50   >> Yeah, that's a good feature. >> Outside of that, there's no other

00:08:53   app changes here from year to year. And I've ended up with these eight as the ones that I'm using

00:08:59   most from my home screen. So it's Notes, Discord, Google Maps, City Mapper, the Camera and Instagram,

00:09:05   Messages and Slack. And then my dock is Todoist, Spark, Safari and Overcast. So that's all remained

00:09:11   very similar to previous years. >> Yeah, I think I'm always surprised that Discord is ranked so high

00:09:15   on your home screen here. But I know we have different use cases for that. Like every year

00:09:20   we do this, I'm like, Discord, really? >> It's work and social for me. Like the fact that I have

00:09:25   Slack there says I should have Discord there. The fact that I have Instagram says I should have

00:09:29   Discord. Because it's almost all of those kinds of things. It's like a social network in a way,

00:09:34   but it's also work. And it's also like it's an interesting straddling of all of this stuff.

00:09:40   I spend a lot of time in Discord now. >> I think the only one I would question is,

00:09:45   do you really need the camera on this home screen? >> People always say this, but I use camera

00:09:51   as both the camera and how I get to my photos. >> Okay, so you're using it for the recently

00:09:57   taken photos thing where you can open it up and click in the corner? >> Yeah, it's like a double

00:10:01   duty. >> Can't you get to the recent photos from your lock screen? >> You can. But if I'm using my

00:10:06   phone and I want to take a picture, well, I lock the phone. >> Yes, that's what I always do. >> Yeah,

00:10:09   see, that doesn't make any sense to me. Like I'm using my phone, oh, I want to get a picture,

00:10:15   press the lock button. Now press the camera button. Here we go. That's weird. Plus as well,

00:10:22   when you lock the phone, it turns the display off into always on display. So you have to tap the

00:10:27   phone to wake the phone, then press the camera button. That is inefficient. >> I guess you're

00:10:32   right. I was like, this is one of these like when you have shortcuts that you just, your fingers

00:10:37   know how to do and your brain doesn't. I was like, Mike, I don't need to tap the screen. Oh,

00:10:40   I do need to tap the screen in order to wake it up and then swipe over. I didn't even realize I

00:10:44   was doing that. >> You just like tripled my taps, you know? >> Yeah, no, that's true. >> Camera on

00:10:48   the lock screen, man. Steve Jobs was right. You know what I'm saying? He was right the whole time.

00:10:53   Get it on there. >> Okay, all right. I'll let you keep the camera. I will probably once again next

00:10:58   year be like, do you really need that camera there, Mike? >> Everyone always says it to me,

00:11:02   but I think it's a good thing to have. And right in the top, I have my long fantastic

00:11:06   L widget. Underneath it is the Carrot Weather widget. The perfect pairing. >> Carrot Weather

00:11:10   widget is like, you always got to find a way to sneak it on there somewhere or another. >> On my

00:11:14   second screen, I've got a bunch of widgets. So I have Notion widgets. I'll talk about Notion later.

00:11:19   I have a bunch of Widgetsmith widgets for photos, as well as Apple's photos. I have Peak, which is

00:11:27   another app I'll talk about later on, which shows me some health stuff. Then I have the best widget

00:11:31   as part of iOS 17, the Home widget, which is just like the best thing. >> Are you for real? Are you

00:11:38   for real suggesting that the Home app is the best widget? >> It's so good. >> Really? >> Let me tell

00:11:43   you what makes it good. >> It's like, sell me on the Home widget because I've tried it and it only

00:11:48   ever just shows me things I never want. It doesn't seem like I have any way to tell it which things I

00:11:53   use. >> Oh, CGP Grey. I'm going to change your life, man. You ready? >> Please, please do. >> Long

00:11:58   press on the widget, press Edit widget, untick Recommended and choose what you want. >> Oh my God.

00:12:06   >> This is why State of the Apps exists. It's for these nuggets of wisdom. >> You have changed my life.

00:12:15   >> That's why I love it. So now I have the four lights that I always want to be turning off most,

00:12:21   the two in the bedroom, the two in the lounge. I have the TV and the most active scene that I use.

00:12:26   It's fantastic. >> Oh, okay. All right. This is definitely going to change some things then. >> It's

00:12:31   so good. I love it because I hate the way it works in Control Center because especially what's

00:12:38   complicated for me is I have a home at the studio and a home at home. >> Right. >> And quite often,

00:12:45   even though it's supposed to change based on location, it doesn't. So I'm at home and I want

00:12:50   to turn on the light and I pull it down and it's showing my lights at the studio. This is not helpful

00:12:54   to me. There's no reason why this should be happening. They're not even remotely close to

00:12:58   each other. But then also just like the phone deciding what it wants to show you, I'm fine,

00:13:04   I suppose, but it's not what I want. The only downside with the widget is you can only toggle

00:13:08   things on and off, right? You can't adjust the amount of brightness, but I guess you could set

00:13:14   up a scene to do that. >> I run everything through scenes. Like my home philosophy is you should

00:13:20   basically never be controlling an accessory directly. Everything should be a part of a scene.

00:13:25   Like so I have a ton of scenes, but maybe that's also why I've tried that the home widget and it's

00:13:31   like something about my brain didn't even process that I could tell it like don't recommend. It

00:13:36   never occurred to me like untick that box. And so I was just disappointed that it was constantly

00:13:42   like, hey, do you want to like hard turn off your Apple TV with the smart plug that you put behind

00:13:47   it? Like, no. How about these scenes that you know that I'm telling you to set every day at this time?

00:13:53   Do you want to suggest me one of them? No, no, it never wants to suggest one of them. >> That's funny

00:13:58   thing as well for that smart plug controlling your Apple TV is your Apple TV is probably the dominant

00:14:03   home kit hub in your house. >> Yeah, the reason it's extra funny to me is because this is a

00:14:09   holdover from when I don't know if it was tvOS or what, but like when we first got the Apple TV,

00:14:15   it would just freeze quite a lot and the only way to fix it was to unplug it and plug it back in.

00:14:21   I got so tired of this, I bought a smart plug just so from the couch, right, I could press the button

00:14:28   to like physically cut the power to this Apple TV to then force it to turn back on. >> But if that

00:14:34   switch was in home kit, if you turn it off, you probably can't turn it back on again via home kit.

00:14:40   >> We have home pods though, right? Like so the home pods. >> Ah, their hubs as well. >> Yeah,

00:14:44   their hubs as well. We've got like a million things in the house that are acting as hubs.

00:14:48   But my wife and I joked that like buying that smart plug, eventually the Apple TV learns we have like

00:14:55   a hard threat here Apple TV, you better just freaking work. And it slowly was like, okay,

00:15:01   I guess I'll be a good Apple TV and not just completely freeze on you all the time. >> It's

00:15:05   the threatening plug. >> That's why it's extra funny to me that home kit was like really

00:15:09   aggressive about recommending maybe my least used accessory currently that like I forgot even existed

00:15:16   was always like front and center. Do you want to hard cut the power to the Apple TV? No, no home

00:15:21   kit, I don't. >> I then have abode, which is my home security system. That's a camera widget. They

00:15:27   also have an interactive widget for setting the state of the alarm system, which is pretty cool.

00:15:31   Then I have one of the new widget Smith widgets, which I love. So with the interactive widgets,

00:15:38   when I tap that photo of the pool, it slides up and shows me a countdown to my next vacation.

00:15:44   Because you can have these widgets stacked on top of each other now. So like you can take what were

00:15:51   two widget types that were in widget Smith and you can like put them one on top of the other. So you

00:15:56   can like have a photo hiding time zones. I have a photo hiding a countdown and stuff like that. This

00:16:01   is like one of the things that underscore put in as the interactive stuff. And I really love that

00:16:06   because I like having the countdown, but sometimes the image I wanted to use, text didn't look good

00:16:11   on it, but now I can have it hidden there. And like we did this for like the podcast of thorns.

00:16:15   So I had like an image of the podcast of thorns and I would tap it and it would slide up and show

00:16:19   me the time, which is also good for an event like that. So I don't see how many days it is all the

00:16:23   time. Just what I want to see. >> I didn't realize David had put that in widget Smith, but then,

00:16:29   I mean, again, as far as I could tell, he's built like an entire operating system inside of widget

00:16:33   Smith. Like the number of things he's done is insane. So is that like an inspirational photo

00:16:37   for you for your next vacation, this pool photo? >> Yeah, it's like, here's where you're going.

00:16:41   >> Ah, okay. >> You know, and then you tap it and it will show you. It's like, it's nice. So that is

00:16:46   my regular home screen. >> So when you say your regular home screen, does this not exist within

00:16:52   a focus mode? So this is just like the default state of the phone. >> Yes, I also use these home

00:16:57   screens in do not disturb and in my recording focus mode. >> Ah, okay. >> I have recording as

00:17:04   one of the options in here. So you can look at that and look like my recording one is exactly

00:17:08   the same home screens. I just have a different lock screen. So the lock screen of like my regular

00:17:15   home screen lock screen, that's confusing. I just have an image of it, you know, and I have

00:17:19   the very top lock screen widget is fantastic out. And then I have weather, I have widget Smith step

00:17:26   counter and I have a time re timer, like as the little circle one. And then on my recording lock

00:17:31   screen, I use the photo shuffle thing, which is the same as last time. And I just have like a

00:17:37   widget Smith time zone thing and a larger time re time tracker. >> Okay, huh. >> So it's basically

00:17:44   the same there. And I don't have anything special for do not disturb. Oh, it just, it's all the same

00:17:50   stuff as my regular lock screens. >> Oh, okay. So you mean like, this is just, it looks like this

00:17:55   for do not disturb as well. >> Yeah, nothing changes. Travel, my travel lock screen, which

00:18:01   is one of my favorite lock screens. I think this is exactly the same as before. So I have like the

00:18:07   globe lock screen because I think it's really cool show you where you're on the world. Oh, I added

00:18:11   the batteries lock screen widget, which was your recommendation from last time. >> This is funny

00:18:17   to me because my travel focus mode, literally exactly the same, right? It's like clock weather

00:18:24   battery flighty and the zoomed in thing for the earth. It's a little bit like the correct travel

00:18:32   setup just manifested itself into the universe like this is the correct answer for if you need

00:18:38   a lock screen while you are traveling, this is what you should just do. This is the one that looks

00:18:43   the best. Those are the most obvious options for what to have. >> Well, I think between the two of

00:18:47   us, we just perfected it. You cannot argue with the arrangement. >> It's unarguable. >> Yep. And

00:18:52   then the home screen itself, I use way more widgets here. So like I have four like widgets

00:18:56   and they're just like weather and calendar. I have to find my just like a stack of the things that I

00:19:02   might have and I can change those around depending on what I'm taking with me. Like what suitcase I

00:19:07   have, what bag I have. I used to have a notes note for both my scan of my passport and also my

00:19:15   packing list. This is now in things, which I'll talk about later. So I have a things widget

00:19:22   underneath the notes widget, which is where my packing list lives. And then, you know, for apps,

00:19:27   they're very similar to my usual apps, but I add wallet on there because you use a bunch of wallet

00:19:32   passes when you're in travel and also like airline apps. And I change those out depending on which

00:19:36   airline I'm flying. >> Right now, listening to you, I'm just, I'm totally stealing the find my widget

00:19:44   from my own travel setup. I didn't think about that one for bags and things, or like you can

00:19:48   even set it for people. Like if you're meeting someone, I think like I didn't consider that

00:19:53   and that's great. I'm going to add that one straight away. >> You know, we've spoken about

00:19:57   having air tags on the luggage and how helpful that can be. >> Yeah. Air tags on everything.

00:20:02   >> It's super good. And then just having them right there, it's just like a very quick and

00:20:05   easy way to get to that thing that I'm going to need. And that's what my travel lock screen is,

00:20:10   really. It's like a lot of widgets because it will give me information at a glance, but also very

00:20:15   quickly allows me to get to the apps that have the corresponding information if I need to dig into

00:20:19   them. You know, so I've got like these are all in stacks, but I have Flighty in there and I have

00:20:24   Tripsy in there. Like, so these are apps that have got that information in them and I can just get to

00:20:29   them as quickly as possible. >> All right. Well, when you're traveling, you're traveling to go on

00:20:33   vacation. >> Yes. >> Do you have a vacation setup? >> I do now because last year you showed me your

00:20:38   vacation home screen and lock screen. I was like, oh, that's a good idea. So I do that. And I would

00:20:44   say that this builds on the travel one. So I still have like a lock screen which has, it now has like

00:20:52   an image and this will be some kind of like image taken whilst on vacation somewhere. This is a

00:20:56   photo of Adina taken on a trip we took a couple of years ago. And I've got weather there, which is

00:21:01   very important. And I also brought batteries in because that's also very important when you're on

00:21:05   your vacation. And then on the home screen, again, I have the batteries widget, very helpful. I have

00:21:11   the Tripsy widget, very helpful. So I have Find My there and I have the basic apps that I'm going

00:21:17   to need while I'm traveling with two spots that are spare and that will be apps related to the

00:21:22   trip that I'm on. Like when I was at WWDC, I still use the vacation one and I would add the Apple

00:21:28   developer app there and the wallet app because I was going to need those. And so depending on the

00:21:33   trip that I'm on, I will add apps that are relevant to this vacation lock screen, which I find to be

00:21:39   like a very helpful thing to do. You know, like if you go into a theme park and they have an app,

00:21:43   you can put it on your home screen and it's there whenever you need it, you know?

00:21:46   Yeah, yeah. For any of that kind of like holiday stuff, you need that spare space for whatever it

00:21:51   is. Like I'm a big believer in spare space on your home screens and lock screens. I've just got to

00:21:56   say though, Mike, you're killing me here with the wallpaper being the same for all of these modes.

00:22:04   You change your lock screen wallpaper, but you don't want to change the background wallpaper.

00:22:08   Like I know you love that literal wallpaper that is your wallpaper, but doesn't that like mess with

00:22:14   your brain, right? That you're on vacation and the wallpaper is still exactly the same?

00:22:19   Not at all. Because the apps are different.

00:22:22   It grabs your attention, that wallpaper, right? It really dominates the scene.

00:22:26   So I feel like it has such an impact that you might want to change it for different,

00:22:32   but you just don't. I can tell you just don't. Okay.

00:22:34   It's like if you change all the furniture inside of your house, you know it's different.

00:22:38   If you leave the paint or the wallpaper on the walls, it's not like, you know?

00:22:41   I don't approve of this analogy.

00:22:44   I know you don't. I also, as I got halfway through it, realized I didn't know how I was

00:22:48   going to finish it. But the point still stands. I changed the lock screens. I don't know why I do

00:22:54   that. I just do that. Like it's fun to mess around with them.

00:22:57   No, you change the lock screens because you do it to mentally reinforce that you're in a different

00:23:02   mode. That's why you change locks. Yeah, but my app layout does that on my home screen.

00:23:06   I guess I'll just have to believe you. But it's like, I can't believe it's like,

00:23:10   oh my God, you showed me four focus modes in a row and the wallpaper is the same on all four focus.

00:23:15   Oh buddy, you got another two. Don't you worry. We're going to go for a perfect 10 here.

00:23:20   No, we're not. It can't possibly be a perfect 10.

00:23:23   We'll find out. I have a weekend focus mode now. This is new. Year of the weekend,

00:23:27   weekend focus mode. Okay, right. So it's a different thing that you're focusing on

00:23:31   related to your theme. I'm sure I'm going to click on this and I'm going to see a different wallpaper.

00:23:34   You're going to see the same wallpaper. No, God damn it.

00:23:37   You're going to see the same wallpaper. Mostly the same apps.

00:23:39   It's also a photo of Adina in front of that wallpaper.

00:23:42   That's my average, like that's the regular lock screen.

00:23:46   This is the regular lock screen. Really the main difference here is

00:23:51   I do actually need to change this. I've just looked at this now and realized I have not updated this

00:23:55   lock screen because I still have due there and I want to remove that and put the little due

00:23:59   widget in instead. So I need to change that around. I'm going to do that today actually.

00:24:04   It's kind of funny in preparing for this episode, I have made multiple changes to multiple lock

00:24:09   screens and this is one that has not been done. So I would do that. So the due app will be gone

00:24:14   and I'll put where I've got WidgetSmith right now, I'll put the due widget there as well and

00:24:18   a little stack. And then on the second screen here, it's just a kind of a simplified version

00:24:23   showing me the home thing, my widget thing and also BoxBox, which is a Formula One app.

00:24:28   So it has the times of the next races, which always happen on the weekends. So I want to know.

00:24:33   And then also the Sonos app. Is that a little picture of the racetrack? Is that what that is?

00:24:37   That's a visual layout of the racetrack. Yeah, it's cool, right? Yeah, that's cool.

00:24:42   Very Mario Kart. This app is really nice. Like I like it. It also has a live activity in there,

00:24:46   which I enjoy. So like there's a live activity for the race. If you are not watching or whatever,

00:24:54   you can enable the live activity and see who's winning.

00:24:56   I'm only laughing because like, oh, someone I know who actually uses the pitched use case of

00:25:01   live activities, which was like, you can follow the sports game. Because I'm just so not into

00:25:05   sports. My brain filed that away as like, ah, yes, what a lovely developer example of like how

00:25:11   to make a test case. It's like, no, no, people actually do that. Right. This is very important

00:25:14   to them. One of those people. Nice. Sports. Okay. So when you're going to sleep,

00:25:20   sleep's got to look different. Nope. Yep, it does. It's different widgets.

00:25:23   So everything's different. I only have one page for my sleep home screens. And basically what

00:25:33   we're seeing here is YouTube and audible are being added. So YouTube, I watch videos at night to wind

00:25:39   down. Same as audio books at night to wind down. And then I also have a little home, little square

00:25:44   home one. And these are the lights I need at night. Right. Make sure the lounge lights are

00:25:47   off downstairs and maybe the bedroom lights are on while we're getting ready for sleep and then

00:25:52   turn them off. And it's just like an easy way to get that done. Do you really find that YouTube

00:25:55   winds you down at night? That feels like a bad choice for I'm going to go to bed. So I'm going

00:25:59   to watch some YouTube videos like that. Yeah. That works for you? I mean, it's not all like,

00:26:04   Hey guys, you know, it's not all, you know, sometimes it's like, oh, watch me make these

00:26:10   knives. If that works for you. I just feel like the related videos are always there trying to just

00:26:14   like keep you focused on the app forever as opposed to something like audible. Great. You're

00:26:19   talking to somebody who doesn't pay attention to related videos. Oh, okay. I'm very good with

00:26:24   YouTube. Like I don't watch things that are on the front page. I just watch stuff from my watch later

00:26:29   queue. That's my world subscriptions. And then I only watch things from the watch later queue. So

00:26:34   it's very easy for me to ignore most of what YouTube is trying to give me. It's like, good try

00:26:41   YouTube. Do you want to watch shorts? We've got shorts for you, please. None of that stuff.

00:26:46   Okay, good. I still feel like, I don't know, for a sleep focus, you might want to have a,

00:26:53   like a dimmer wallpaper, you know, something that's just a bit more. Okay. Can I negotiate with

00:26:59   you here? Would you consider taking your current wallpaper, which you obviously love, but just like

00:27:05   I haven't even said it. I'm not interested in what you're just going to say, like put a little

00:27:13   vignette on it. Just, you know, pull the saturation down or so it feels more like bedtime. That's why.

00:27:18   I don't know why this really bothers me. I don't know why it bothers you either. It's fine. Like

00:27:26   it's not a problem. Okay. I also have some watch faces for you. I'm glad you can't put

00:27:31   wallpaper on watch faces. All right, let's take a look at your watch faces. I'm unhappy.

00:27:35   Oh yeah, really? I think like you and everyone else on earth. Because I have a new watch now,

00:27:41   right? I have the Apple Watch Ultra and the watches faces I've used before don't look good

00:27:45   on the Apple Watch Ultra. I used to like a lot of the round watch faces. The round watch faces

00:27:50   do not translate very well to the Apple Watch Ultra. So I've decided that the best thing for

00:27:54   me to do is just do what the Apple Watch Ultra wants me to do. And I use the modular ultra watch

00:27:59   face. And what I will say is while I do not like the look of this watch face, it is very

00:28:05   utilitarian. It is helpful because I have like a billion complications on this watch face,

00:28:13   right? So I have top left, carrot, then dew, then a fantastic cow showing me the date. Then I have

00:28:19   the big fantastic cow in the middle showing me my next appointment. Then I can see my activity rings.

00:28:24   I can get to my medications app and time array like ton of information, which is good. And I

00:28:28   can access the things that I'm doing most often right there. But I just don't like the way it

00:28:33   looks. But this watch is so huge. I figure I've just got to lean into it. I can't try and fancy

00:28:39   up anymore. This is just what it is. Let's rewind back in time. The Apple Watch has just been

00:28:44   released. And someone shows you and they go, someday, here will be all of the watch faces

00:28:53   that you can use. And then I was able to see the current slate of watch faces. I go, wow,

00:29:00   I can't believe how many they're going to have by next year. And then the time traveler would say,

00:29:05   oh, no, no, this is going to be 10 f***ing years later. Like, we've mentioned it a million times,

00:29:14   but it is just mind blowing to me still how limited and locked in time these Apple Watch

00:29:21   faces are. What you've just said is the truth of like, trying to make it look good is this endless

00:29:29   battle. And it always feels like they find a way to force you to decide between two different things.

00:29:37   And it's like, but no, I would like this watch face to do these two things. And it would look much

00:29:41   better. So it's like, no, no, no, no, no, like, you can have this part be colored, but not that

00:29:47   part be colored or like whatever it is. It's just incredibly frustrating. This new Apple Watch Ultra

00:29:52   face. Yep. Okay, we've got a new one, but it's still the same. It's still the same as all of them.

00:29:58   And yeah, it's just very frustrating. What I do like about this new one compared to some of the

00:30:04   other ones is like it has that ring around the outside and there's a few things you can do with

00:30:08   it. And I have it set to ticking seconds, which I do find to be helpful. Yeah. You know, a decade in

00:30:15   the future, but we can put a ring on it that shows you the seconds. Thanks guys. I also have a travel

00:30:21   watch face. These are the only two watch faces I have. Only two, interesting. What else is I've,

00:30:26   this is the first time I've ever set another watch face. So maybe I'll do more in the future.

00:30:30   Because before I really was just trying to make it look the best it could be when now I'm trying to

00:30:34   lean into the utility. Right. But this is my like traveling watch face. And I'll probably set one

00:30:41   up for maybe for vacations too, but this is the first one I've done. And the reason I did it was

00:30:46   because there was a flighty watch app now. And that's what the middle complication is,

00:30:51   but it's blacked out. But that's the, I put the flighty one there. So that it shows me my next

00:30:56   flight information. Then I also have removed due and added a quick access to my find items. Right.

00:31:03   So like I can find my air tags. And then in the bottom right, instead of time-ery, I have time

00:31:10   zone in London, like the time in London, or I might set it to where I'm going to, for example,

00:31:14   to have arrived there. So that is my travel watch face. This episode of Cortex is brought to you by

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00:33:37   All right, so the number one rule that everyone would know is if you're going to have different

00:33:45   focus modes and different setups for doing different kinds of things in life,

00:33:49   you want them to look different. You want them to be visually, immediately, obviously different.

00:33:58   You can do that with app arrangement is one tool, but it's not a sufficient tool. You want to also

00:34:05   try to use color and you want to try to use imagery so that it's just immediately obvious

00:34:12   that you are in a different mode. Communicate that instantly.

00:34:16   So I've pulled out the main focus modes. I've sent you a copy of all the different things that I have.

00:34:27   So on a high level, I have a lot of the similar modes that you do. So I've got like weekend,

00:34:32   I've got travel, I've got sleep, a do not disturb mode, and then I've got a mode for health,

00:34:39   a mode that I call core for what I think of as core work, like the most important stuff that

00:34:45   usually means writing. And then I have a mode called open, which is basically like my default

00:34:51   mode for the phone. Now, a bunch of modes. How do you distinguish them? Well, Apple this year

00:34:58   added these absolutely lovely planetary image backgrounds. And so I've decided to go through

00:35:05   all of my focus modes and pick one of the planets with a slight exception to represent each of these

00:35:12   modes. Oh, a planet? How on earth can you discern between the different shapes? Because the planets

00:35:18   look different. It's all the same shape and a black background. Surely these planets don't

00:35:22   look different. I've never bumped into a square planet before. No, I have not bumped into a square

00:35:28   planet before. But I will say, if you decide to go with this mode, you will realize we don't

00:35:35   actually have a lot of different colors for the different planets. There's obviously the standout

00:35:39   of Saturn, right, which has the rings that makes it more visually different. Earth looks quite

00:35:43   different. But then if you're like, oh, right, Neptune and Uranus look like basically like the

00:35:48   exact same planets. Mercury and the moon are quite difficult to tell the difference like at a glance.

00:35:54   So I've eliminated the similar ones. But it did make me feel like, ah, we could use more colors

00:36:01   in these planets, right? I could use more differentiation for different ones. Why do they

00:36:05   all have to be planets? Why can't you just use completely different images? Or like things that

00:36:10   all relate to the thing that is? Here's the problem, Mike. If you're trying to pick, like in

00:36:16   my case here, six, seven different wallpapers to represent these different modes, I would want them

00:36:25   to be distinct, but also related. And that's actually quite a difficult task to find wallpapers

00:36:34   that go together nicely, but also are visually distinct in their colors. And so this was the kind

00:36:42   of task where I was driving myself crazy, because I would find like, oh, I've got four good wallpapers

00:36:49   that work together. But these two just don't quite fit. And it's like, well, let me try to fix this

00:36:55   problem by finding a new set of six wallpapers that can work perfectly well. And so when Apple

00:37:01   came out with those planets, I made the decision for my own mental sanity. I was like, you know

00:37:06   what, I'm just going to work with what Apple gave me. There's enough choices here. So I'm just going

00:37:11   to stick with the planets for each of the different focus modes. And I think it looks really nice. And

00:37:16   there's enough of them that are enough different with the colors, that it can be just immediately

00:37:21   obvious which thing are you doing. Sure. So yes, this is what I do. For me, as you can see,

00:37:28   many of these focus modes are quite bare. So like, if we take a look at Do Not Disturb,

00:37:35   which I've used as the moon, leave me alone, right? Nobody come here. I just don't have anything

00:37:42   on my phone for the Do Not Disturb mode. Because the only circumstances in which I use that are

00:37:48   circumstances basically which I shouldn't be using my phone anyway. So like, we're recording

00:37:53   the podcast right now, but the phone in Do Not Disturb mode. I'm not going to do anything with

00:37:58   the phone because we're recording a show. I don't need anything here. So I'm just going to

00:38:02   not have anything on the screen at all. And I really like having it like that.

00:38:07   I mean, it's good to know when you do not disturb when the sun's gonna go down.

00:38:11   It's good to have a little lock screen, cut out the old sundown there.

00:38:15   Why are you making fun of me for that? Because you started it.

00:38:18   We were perfectly cordial. And then you're like, "Oh, look at your wallpaper."

00:38:22   So I assume the dock here, we have three shortcuts, I'm assuming.

00:38:28   Oh, yes, right. Okay, yes. The only thing that I can do in any of these modes

00:38:32   that have nothing on them is yes, the dock, I've got three shortcuts. Years ago, I used to have a

00:38:38   launcher down here, which brought up like a list of a bunch of different things that I could use.

00:38:42   And I decided, you know what, I can easily 80/20 or 90/10, which of these am I actually using

00:38:49   basically all of the time and just search for the rest and get rid of this launcher.

00:38:53   So I've gone down now to three things. They're all input shortcuts. So one is for OmniFocus.

00:38:59   One is for a new note. And one is for Cortex for something to talk about on the show.

00:39:05   So those are the three that I leave on the bottom as just like input. I have a thought,

00:39:09   it needs to go somewhere. Basically, all of the time, it's going into one of these three things.

00:39:16   I mean, there's a little problem that we'll get to later, which is like stuff should also be going

00:39:22   into Obsidian. But we can get to that at a later point. This is like most of my use case for just

00:39:28   about absolutely everything. So those are my items in the dock. So I guess later on, we'll find out

00:39:32   where they're actually going. Because that didn't sound so good. I also like that you've had what I

00:39:38   kind of consider as like the very typical shortcuts experience, which is like, I'll start one

00:39:43   shortcut. Now I'll make a shortcuts menu. Yeah. Shortcuts. And then I'll realize I don't use them

00:39:50   all. And so I'm just going to go back to the ones that I really need rather than like my multi

00:39:55   shortcut, the Omni shortcut, every shortcut possible, you know, and people end up like

00:40:02   paring that back over time. This is the exact same experience that people have when they get into

00:40:06   time tracking, right is the like, oh, I'll just track work. And like, oh, just see how many work

00:40:12   hours I do. And then it grows into like incredibly fine distinctions for absolutely everything. And

00:40:18   then you get paired back to like, no, wait a minute, it's really only four things I care about.

00:40:22   I don't care about everything in my life. I don't need to time track these really subtle differences.

00:40:27   So yeah. Hang on. Don't you track everything? I'm always running a tracker. But there's a

00:40:34   distinction here of like, how fine grained are the differences between the trackers. And I just see

00:40:40   this with everybody. And I also went through with time tracking is like, you wildly expand to like,

00:40:45   I'm going to time track the individual books that I'm reading. And it's like, really, right? You

00:40:50   don't need to do that. That doesn't make any sense. And people then pair it back and go like,

00:40:54   just reading is fine, right? Yeah, it's the same thing with shortcuts. Like you said,

00:40:58   you sort of explode into a billion number of shortcuts, and then you go,

00:41:01   yeah, but 90% of the time, I'm using these three and that's fine.

00:41:07   And then you also have a corresponding empty watch face.

00:41:10   Would we call this watch face empty? We have the weather on it.

00:41:12   Well, I'm assuming that the other ones maybe have more complications on them.

00:41:16   I just wanted something that was non distracting. I feel like I've just gone with, you know,

00:41:21   no numbers watch face, just the weather, basically black and white, matching the moon.

00:41:26   It's actually a slight subtle gray there. But yes, once again, trying to pair watch faces

00:41:33   with modes is exercise and disappointment. This is probably one of the better ones and we're going to

00:41:39   get to like sad, ugly ones later. Oh, I look forward to it. So we're next on the tour.

00:41:44   Which planet are we going to now? If we're on the moon, then I guess we'll go to Earth next.

00:41:51   Slightly disappointing because I could see that I have travel set up exactly the same way that

00:41:55   you have travel set up. So that's completely uninteresting. But I do cheat and I use Earth

00:42:01   twice, which I'm just like a little bit upset at having to use the same planet twice.

00:42:06   But Apple does provide this thing where you have two options, like the zoomed in Earth and the

00:42:11   zoomed out Earth. Yeah, because the zoomed in one is good for travel because it is showing you where

00:42:15   you are. I think that's kind of cool. Yeah, so the zoomed out Earth is what I use for my open mode.

00:42:22   And this is basically like the default mode on the phone almost all of the time. Basically,

00:42:30   the way my day works is like I start out in the core for like doing my actual work or it's the

00:42:36   weekend. And then in the afternoon, this rolls over into open mode. And I call it open. And I

00:42:43   use the Earth because this is the period of time in which notifications will actually reach me.

00:42:49   This is when you will communicate with people on Earth.

00:42:52   That's exactly why I chose Earth.

00:42:54   I like it because then in the other ones, look, if you are from Mars, I'll speak to you. If you're

00:42:58   not, I want to know. I get it. So yeah, so the open mode is the only time I'm having anything to do

00:43:05   with other Earthlings, hence the Earth mode. And I guess it also works for travel too, right? It's

00:43:10   like I'm having to like get through all of these other Earthlings around me to get wherever I'm

00:43:14   going. So this is the time where notifications can come through. Apps can have like badges and

00:43:21   things. This is the one that's the afternoon one. I don't have anything wildly interesting here.

00:43:27   Again, I like to try to keep things relatively simple. So yeah, I would like to ask on the

00:43:31   lock screen, what is the complication with the little flame? Okay, yeah, so on the lock screen,

00:43:36   I've got batteries, activity, the weather. The flame one is zero, which is that fasting

00:43:43   application that I've mentioned in previous years. So it's a little timer. And it just shows a little

00:43:48   icon which tells you like, which phase of the fast are you in? So that's just something that I have.

00:43:54   What does a flame have to do with it? Are you burning calories now? Is that what's going on?

00:43:59   That's basically what they mean is like, yeah, you're in the fat burning zone of your fast.

00:44:05   That's basically what it means. If I was doing that, and I was hungry,

00:44:09   I would not appreciate that little countdown. Yeah, I mean, this is like a whole other thing.

00:44:13   But yeah, I've just been sort of keeping track of this. This is part of my people know, like,

00:44:17   I've always skipped breakfast for forever. I guess this falls in the same category of I'm always

00:44:23   running a time tracker. And so this little timer of like, when are you done eating for the evening

00:44:30   to just start it with like slipped right into my routine super easily. Yeah, this to me is actually

00:44:37   the primary benefit because I feel like the danger is always evening time, but like you're snacking

00:44:42   for the whole evening. So this is also more about like, it's not really so much for me about when

00:44:47   the timer runs down, like, I don't care. And I will blow past this at all times, right? It's like,

00:44:52   oh, you've got two hours left to hit your whatever goal. It's like, I don't care, right? I don't care

00:44:58   timer. It's much more about making a little decision of like, okay, it's 8pm. I'm like done

00:45:05   eating for the day. And I know that because I press the button to start the little fasting timer.

00:45:10   So that's what that thing is. And then on the home screen itself, I just have the weather. And

00:45:16   I have an OmniFocus widget, which is showing me a list that I call now, which is basically

00:45:24   most of the things that are available to me just sorted in that kind of project slash priority

00:45:32   order. You got a lot left to do today. Yeah. 23 tasks. That's like three days for me.

00:45:38   That's rough stuff. Good luck. It's why I was intrigued by the do thing that you were

00:45:44   mentioning before is because I think I should experiment with pulling out some of the more

00:45:51   smaller personal tasks that might fit into this category of like, needs to be done today. It

00:45:58   doesn't really make sense in a major project, and it helps to be nagged. So like, I have a ridiculous

00:46:05   number of things in my OmniFocus. And so it always looks like, oh, Gray has like a crazy number of

00:46:12   things. But I rarely ever think that like, oh, I'm going to get to the end of this list today. Like,

00:46:18   that's just not how I use the system. And it's more like, they're ranked in priority, and you

00:46:23   just like work your way down the list. And a bunch of like, huge numbers of very small things like,

00:46:29   take out the trash, right? Take your vitamins or whatever, like a bunch of things like that

00:46:34   are in there as well. So it's just a different use for a task manager. Yeah, okay. So I guess we're

00:46:40   going to go to Mars next, which is obviously Mars is for sleep. Why wouldn't the moon be for sleep?

00:46:49   Okay, so I'm glad you asked, Mike. Why isn't the moon for sleep? Because it does seem like the moon

00:46:56   should be for sleep. But it's not for sleep, because in the actual real world, when you're

00:47:02   using your phone, the moon's color is basically bright white, like in the evening time, right?

00:47:10   It's the end of the day, or like you're getting ready for bed, and you look at your phone, and

00:47:13   there's a there's like a circle of a flashlight just shining into your eyes that is your phone

00:47:19   drawing the moon. So I basically chose Mars because it is the reddest planet. It is the like,

00:47:26   the darkest, sleepiest color of all of the planets to choose from. So that is why Mars is the sleep

00:47:32   focus. Okay, because it's a sleep focus, you don't have the image of Mars on the lock screen, just on

00:47:36   the home screen. It is very faintly on the lock screen. Really? Oh yeah, I can kind of see that.

00:47:43   Right, it's barely there. Because you have like the always on, it's like doing the sleep thing,

00:47:47   and the always on, I get that. It really, really dims the wallpaper in sleep mode.

00:47:51   Yeah, so you could easily miss it, but you won't miss it if you're actually in like a completely

00:47:55   black room. Then you're like, oh, you can actually see that it's there. But yeah, the sleep mode,

00:47:59   I have that setting where it dims the wallpaper, which, so here's the thing, I do like that for

00:48:04   the wallpaper, for dimming the wallpaper, but okay, Apple Watch frustrations. I have an Apple Watch

00:48:10   face for sleep mode. So this is the same face that you were talking about, like the modular Ultra

00:48:18   face. Is it? It is. So I actually really like this watch face. I think this is super classy. You get

00:48:26   like big, tall numbers in the middle. You can turn off basically all of the complications. But this

00:48:33   is the Ultra face. And I feel like if you remove basically everything, and expand the numbers in

00:48:42   the middle, I kind of think it's one of the nicest watch faces that Apple makes. But this is what I

00:48:48   was talking about before with Apple forces you to make decisions that are very frustrating. So I use

00:48:57   this face for sleep, because it has an option which says, oh, do you want this watch face to

00:49:01   go into sleep mode? You can make it red. So instead of having the time being white numbers,

00:49:08   you can make them red numbers. I love it. When I found that I was like, oh, cool. I can't wait to

00:49:13   use this watch face. And I'll just set different colors for all of the different focus modes that

00:49:19   I use. Now, you can have it white, or you can have it red. Those are your only two choices like God

00:49:26   damn it Apple. Let me make it like this, but yellow? No, you can't do that.

00:49:33   Because you can change the color, but it changes the color of everything except the numbers,

00:49:38   which are always white. Everything except the numbers. So frustrating. This again is the thing

00:49:46   of like, it's the most obvious thing that people might want to change. And they always get to you.

00:49:53   It's the same thing with the watch hands. It's like, oh, we can change everything except the

00:49:57   watch hands. No, you can't change the watch. It's so frustrating. I really like this as a super

00:50:05   simple digital watch face, but I use it on one other thing, but I would use it everywhere if I

00:50:12   could just change the color of the actual numbers. I was like, no, red or white. That's it.

00:50:18   Very weird.

00:50:19   Yeah. This watch on your wrist that has more computing power than has sent actual people

00:50:24   to the moon cannot draw these numerals in a different color. So frustrating.

00:50:31   What next? Take me to another planet, Gray.

00:50:33   So my very easy method just. So Jupiter, let's go to health.

00:50:38   Why?

00:50:38   I guess I'm realizing in this conversation with you, I feel like I have

00:50:41   strong feelings about the planets that you just don't.

00:50:46   No, of course I don't. Why would I associate Jupiter and health? Why would I do that?

00:50:51   Jupiter is like the biggest and burliest of all the planets, right? It's like, if any planet lifts,

00:50:56   Jupiter totally lifts, bro. Like it obviously does.

00:50:59   But maybe like Jupiter is just for show, you know, another planet is actually stronger,

00:51:04   but Jupiter just like bulks up.

00:51:06   I was actually just mentally flipping through the roster of planets and like,

00:51:09   who could that be? And like, no, I don't think anybody else does.

00:51:12   What about Saturn? Saturn's like holding the rings up.

00:51:14   Saturn is the planet that's like for looks, right? It's got the flashy rings.

00:51:18   Fair enough.

00:51:18   Okay. So for the Jupiter one, this is where things are actually kind of useful. So.

00:51:25   Jupiter's the coolest looking planet, right? With the frigging storm going on,

00:51:29   you're like, what are you doing, man?

00:51:30   The storm is very interesting.

00:51:32   It's super cool. It's like, oh, it's always there. It's like, oh wow. Okay.

00:51:36   So because Jupiter obviously lifts on the home screen,

00:51:39   this is where I have all of the apps related to health.

00:51:43   So particularly when I'm doing an exercise, it triggers to flip into the health mode.

00:51:49   So this is also like what you would have for fitness, right?

00:51:53   Yeah. I originally called this fitness, but I ran into a problem where Apple has

00:51:59   fitness hard coded as a mode and I cannot remember what it is now,

00:52:05   but that caused some problem for me with some automation.

00:52:09   The fact that it was like hard coded just didn't work.

00:52:11   I cannot remember what it was now, but I had to change it to a more generic name.

00:52:15   Yeah. I have a fitness focus mode, but all it does is just turns off my notifications, basically.

00:52:21   Right. Right.

00:52:22   Although it stopped working with the new watch. I don't understand why,

00:52:26   but that's the thing I need to work out for another time.

00:52:28   But yeah, I don't have anything special for it. It's purely just like,

00:52:32   I don't, I just don't want any notifications when I'm working out of any kind.

00:52:36   And I just leave it at that.

00:52:37   Yeah. So it's the same thing here. Like I feel like you, I just don't want any note.

00:52:41   Whatever it is, it can wait until after.

00:52:44   It will wait 45 minutes, right? Like it just will. And I just don't want the distractions.

00:52:49   Yeah. Completely agree. So I've got a Fitbot on here, which is my exercise app that I mentioned

00:52:55   before. Just totally love life-changing sponsor of this episode, I believe.

00:52:59   Yeah. Hugely important life-changing app for me.

00:53:02   I also have the regular Apple fitness one and I have the Apple health app on here.

00:53:08   The health app is ruining the aesthetic of this on screen.

00:53:11   God damn it, Mike. You're right.

00:53:13   Everything is fit. Even the fitness app, because it's got like the good

00:53:17   hue that fits with the other colors. And then health is just like, yo, I'm here too.

00:53:23   You know what? You're totally right. Okay. So I'm just like right now,

00:53:26   I'm going to add to omni item, like create shortcut because it's going to bother me.

00:53:31   Create shortcuts for health app. You're totally right. I can't unsee it now.

00:53:39   I feel like maybe like maybe if it was black with the heart that was pink,

00:53:43   that might look kind of nice. Cause then it would like fit with the fitness app a little bit.

00:53:46   Yeah. You're right. In the case this gets filed under bugs in omni-focus.

00:53:50   There's a lot of calculators. Pounds to kilograms, kilograms to pounds,

00:53:55   Smith plate calculator. I don't know what that means. Plate calculator.

00:53:58   There's a lot of things going on here. Okay. So what's happening here is the weights

00:54:03   that I use that I have at home, the power block stuff, they are in pounds, but in the UK,

00:54:10   this is crazy to me in most, but not all gyms, weights are given in kilograms.

00:54:17   But a surprising, like when I go on gradations, a surprising number of gyms actually use both

00:54:26   systems and you won't know unless you ask someone to be like, wait, what's going on with these

00:54:30   weights over here? Like 90% of stuff is in kilograms in the UK, but I would say 10% of

00:54:36   stuff is in pounds. So by sheer number of times I am most frequently exercising at home with my

00:54:45   weights that are in pounds, especially this year because of some of my theme stuff. I've also been

00:54:51   going to my local gym a bunch because they have equipment that I don't. Their most things are in

00:54:57   kilograms. So anyway, the long story short is in Fitbod, the setting for changing between pounds

00:55:06   and kilograms is in kind of a weird spot and changing back and forth in Fitbod is basically

00:55:12   kind of a pain. And even within the same gyms in the UK, I sometimes need to calculate between

00:55:19   pounds and kilograms. It's very weird. So I made a decision. I was like, okay,

00:55:24   what's the easiest thing that I can do? I should in theory, because I'm in the UK, just do everything

00:55:31   in kilograms. But since the weights in my house were pounds and also since I grew up with pounds

00:55:36   and still think in pounds, I was like, no, just like Fahrenheit, right? Like I'm holding the line

00:55:42   on pounds are the correct unit of weight. And so I made a bunch of shortcuts to just audible. Well,

00:55:49   look, I'm just, I'm not interested in your agreement.

00:55:50   I know, but here's the thing. You can say what you want and I just need to state that I disagree.

00:55:55   That's all. No one's going to have to try and convince anyone of anything. I just feel like

00:55:59   I need to just come out and in favor of Celsius and kilograms.

00:56:03   Look, Fahrenheit is the best in height. We all know this and pounds are the worst in height.

00:56:09   I'm actually quite movable on pounds. I don't, I'm not particularly wedded to pounds. I think

00:56:14   kilograms are fine. But so I spent a little time and I just made some shortcuts to do the quick

00:56:20   pounds to kilograms back and forth conversions. The reason I like kilograms is that the smaller

00:56:28   is a gram and there's a hundred and a kilogram. I've got some bad news for you about how many

00:56:32   grams are in a kilograms and what the word kilo means. And there's a thousand in a kilogram.

00:56:36   Leave me alone forever. But like you've got pounds and ounces. Like how many ounces are in a pound?

00:56:40   God damn it. We don't need to have this conversation right now. Okay. This is why I also

00:56:44   don't like feet and inches. It's like the similar thing. I was like, I can't remember all of this.

00:56:49   You know, I just want a simple thing of like there's 100 or a thousand who could know.

00:56:53   I just appreciate you demonstrating the mistake that all of my physics students did. I'm like,

00:57:02   this is one of these things that drives me crazy when people are like, the metric system is amazing.

00:57:05   It's like the person saying that is almost always a nerd and overestimates how rarely

00:57:12   normal people will make a mistake going back and forth. But the thing is though, great. Okay. I

00:57:16   made the mistake, but I can see that I've made the mistake very quickly. Right? I can't do the same

00:57:22   thing for feet and inches or like pounds and ounces. If I say it's six and then actually it's

00:57:28   nine, it's just not as easy to realize that I've made the mistake. Yeah. It's totally fair. Yeah.

00:57:33   Like making the mistake is fine, but like how quickly can you correct it? And like,

00:57:37   I will realize very quickly that, you know, if I'm trying to do something like, oh no, wait,

00:57:42   this is nowhere near enough, but with pounds and ounces, you could be really close.

00:57:46   Look, I made the mistake and I'm not editing it out. So I've at least got to try and defend

00:57:51   myself, you know? Yeah. No, that's, that's totally fair. That's totally fair. And the

00:57:55   conversion system is better. I just feel like everyone who doesn't, who didn't grow up with

00:57:59   Imperial overestimates how often you actually switch between the units. Like this is a much

00:58:04   rarer thing. I mean, I did grow up with Imperial. The UK has a weird mixed system. I don't know.

00:58:10   And there's this weird like counterculture of people trying to bring it back as well.

00:58:14   It's just like, get over yourself, man. It's gone. All right. Like Imperial's gone. Nobody

00:58:19   wants to deal in that anymore. Stop trying to bring gallons back into the equation. Yes,

00:58:23   but you've literally picked the example where again, the UK has this strange mixed system.

00:58:26   I know, but people want to bring gallons and quarts back for milk. And it's like,

00:58:30   what are you doing? Just like get over yourself. We've moved on. Oh, I'll agree with you there.

00:58:34   Yeah. That ship has totally sailed. Yes. No one wants to live in this world. Everything's in

00:58:39   liters and milliliters. Although I still kind of hate milliliters. There's a hundred milliliters

00:58:45   in a liter. There's a thousand milliliters. Where are we going? Ah!

00:58:51   Milliliters is like, why does this tiny bottle have such a big number? I hate it. I hate it so

00:59:00   much. This tiny bottle of water. How many milliliters? 300. Here's what I think we can all

00:59:06   agree on. None of these systems are good. They're just like different forms of okay.

00:59:11   What we can all agree on is you shouldn't have a mixed system, which a surprising number of

00:59:18   countries do. It's like the UK, India, Canada, like they've got these mixed systems. It's like,

00:59:25   guys, pick a side, right? Pick a side. Anyway, apps. Apps. Let's go back to apps.

00:59:32   Anyway, unit conversions. You know what? They're really annoying. So you can make shortcuts to do

00:59:37   it for you. I'll just point out the two you asked about there is like plate calculators and smith

00:59:44   plate calculators. So I was originally just doing the math in my head and I was like, well, this is

00:59:48   dumb, right? This is what machines are for. Just have the machine do it for you. And the advantage

00:59:52   of making your own little shortcut is when doing things like the bench press or whatever,

00:59:57   you can have the shortcut because I'm thinking in pounds, right? But it's like, I want a thing in

01:00:02   kilograms. Also then round to the correct unit of the plates in the gym that you're in and kind of

01:00:10   like spit out the number in a format that you want, right? Because you're putting plates on the bar.

01:00:14   So that's partly why I have these shortcuts there is like, there's the regular machines.

01:00:17   There's the smith machines, which I don't love. And for incomprehensible reasons,

01:00:22   they have a different bar weight than just like a regular Olympic bar.

01:00:26   I always feel like curse you smith inventor of this stupid machine. I hate it, but oftentimes

01:00:33   it's if I don't want to wait around in the gym forever, it's like this is the one.

01:00:36   - It's like the imperial version of the weight equipment.

01:00:38   - Yeah, I don't know what it is. It's like, I hate it. It's like, it's clearly designed so

01:00:43   that people don't injure themselves, but like, I just don't understand how it's been elevated

01:00:49   to be like every gym has one of these. And it always feels like it would be much better just

01:00:54   to have a regular Olympic bar here. That's what everybody wants. Nobody wants this smith machine,

01:00:58   but whatever. I'll use it if it's the only thing that's free. So that's why I have it there.

01:01:03   These are like shortcuts that do real work for me all the time, right? Like just I'm putting in a

01:01:08   number, give me the thing. Great. Boom, boom, boom. Those are the three plates I need. Put them on.

01:01:13   Fantastic. The last little thing there, which I'll talk about later in the year, but I've been very

01:01:18   intentionally doing a lot of like zone two heart exercise this year and on the list of things,

01:01:24   that's incredibly frustrating. It's like Apple doesn't track this as a separate metric. Like

01:01:30   they'll tell you after each exercise how much time you've spent in zone two heart rate, but there's

01:01:35   nowhere to get this data just as an aggregate out of the app. I was even looking into with shortcuts,

01:01:42   like can I manually pull out like the heart ranges and backwards count? No, you can't get access to

01:01:47   this. Very frustrating. So because I want to keep track of how much time per two weeks am I spending

01:01:54   in zone two, again, just made a little shortcut that asks me for a number of minutes, which I'm

01:02:00   getting at the end of the exercise. And then that shortcut just, boop, it spits it into a little

01:02:04   spreadsheet in numbers. So you're doing some manual entry. So you're going to the health app,

01:02:11   looking at your workout, it tells you the zone breakdown and then you're putting that in. That's

01:02:16   an annoying system, isn't it? I'm putting that number in. It's incredibly annoying. It's very

01:02:21   frustrating. It's like, if I didn't care so much, I wouldn't bother doing this, but I actually really

01:02:26   care about this metric. But every time it makes me curse the Apple health app. Like again, all year,

01:02:32   there's been this theme of like Apple health app, right? I give you like my anti app of the year

01:02:36   award. Like there's nothing that I use more that is also more frustrating. And this is like one of

01:02:42   these key things of like, you know this number. I know you know, because you're telling it to me

01:02:48   when I'm done with the exercise. I wonder if it's in the API. That's an interesting question. I

01:02:53   wonder if you can. Under school, can you let us know? Please, Dave, can you tell us? If anybody

01:02:59   knows, Dave knows. Yeah, he can copy paste some code just to make it work, right? Just like copy

01:03:03   paste the thing. So that's what I'm doing with input zone two there is just like throwing it

01:03:07   into my own spreadsheet. So then I can just see like, okay, cool. I'm like above or below the

01:03:11   average that I'm looking for with this number. Yep. Okay, so that's that's blowing past my very

01:03:15   easy method, just speed. So we're up to Saturn. So Saturn. Now Mike, what mode is going to be Saturn?

01:03:24   This one you must associate it, please. Well, I guess based on what you said, it's like the most

01:03:30   showy off of all of your focus modes. Do you have fashion focus? What is it? It's the weekend.

01:03:38   Saturn. Okay. For Saturday. Saturday. Yes, Saturday. That's where it comes from.

01:03:42   Don't you say that to me because I'll tell that to other people. CGP Grey told me.

01:03:48   Oh boy. Okay. There's not much to say here. Saturn is for Saturday for the weekend. Again,

01:03:57   another like pretty clear thing. I just want the weather. I have a little yellow watch face that I

01:04:02   kind of hate to match. That just shows me like the top thing in OmniFocus. I don't like this color.

01:04:08   For the watch face? Yeah, just in general, the yellow. I don't like it. Yeah. It's like puce

01:04:14   almost. Like it's not even really yellow. It's got like too much green in it. I feel like I don't

01:04:18   like it. This is a, this is kind of like a compromise color. Yeah. This is one of these,

01:04:23   like I've got too many things clashing up against each other. I've always used yellow as free time

01:04:28   in all of my calendar blocking and time tracking. This is a problem just with human eyes. We don't

01:04:34   perceive enough colors, right? You really only have seven and it's a surprisingly few number to

01:04:39   work with for lots of different things. So I go with the yellow. Saturn is like basically a

01:04:44   yellowy kind of planet. But if I actually, as I did with the little eyedropper, match the exact

01:04:50   color of Saturn to be the yellow that's going to be displayed, it doesn't look right at all. It

01:04:55   doesn't read as yellow on pure black. So yeah, this is my least favorite aesthetically. It's

01:05:00   a compromise. I acknowledge that. Well, like a goldy color, but that not do the job. I could

01:05:05   try something like that. Yeah. I might want to try that. The real frustration is when we go over to

01:05:12   the watch face that I can't quite get a yellow that works right for the focus mode. And so it

01:05:18   has to have like this little green dot on the top. This is another one of these things. Apple,

01:05:22   please, I'm begging you. Your watch faces are so ugly so often already. Do we have to show the icon

01:05:30   for the focus mode on top of the watch? It's just there to ruin the look of the watch constantly.

01:05:38   You know what goes on the top of the watch is the notification dot, right? Yeah. So why is there

01:05:43   now something else up there? Yeah. I hate that. I hate it so much. Why on the watch? Why does it

01:05:51   have to persistently tell me? Yeah. What focus mode I'm in. It's crazy because again, when you

01:05:55   pull up a control center on the watch, it's also right there. Like which focus mode are you in?

01:06:00   I don't understand. The only way to disable this as far as I could tell is to disable the watch

01:06:05   paying attention to focus modes at all, which completely cripples all of its functionality.

01:06:12   It's infuriating. I swear if I could lift up the screen of my Apple watch and with a pin,

01:06:21   manually like blind and break every one of the pixels that displays the focus mode and just

01:06:28   have them be permanently black, I would do it. I would do that to get rid of this and just deal

01:06:34   with like a black hole on the top of my watch. I hate it so much. I think we have one more.

01:06:39   Yeah. I was gonna say we've got the just the final one also boring, which is core. So we go out to

01:06:47   Neptune for core. Neptune, another perfect, perfect emotional planet here. Oh, great.

01:06:56   Like I've just gone to the home screen. They have such little on this home screen.

01:07:01   But just so you know, for the next 54 days, Saint Nick's Day is coming. Make sure you don't forget,

01:07:10   you count it down every day, you know, Saint Nick's Day. So Mike is making fun of me because

01:07:15   last year you recommended a little app called Up Ahead, which is just a simple little like,

01:07:20   hey, what's up next kind of app. And I really like it. And I am indeed counting down to Saint Nick's

01:07:28   Day. You laugh. I do. But it's very serious to me. Because Saint Nick's Day is for me,

01:07:40   basically the mark of the end of the year. Like all serious work should really be wrapped up by

01:07:48   Saint Nick's Day. It's not that like work doesn't happen after that. But this to me is really like,

01:07:54   big things are done now. And you need to set aside some time to actually enjoy the holiday season.

01:08:05   So that's why I have it there. That's why it's on my core work screen is it is a countdown of like,

01:08:12   how much time do you really have left for serious work? If you're going to have a video up in

01:08:20   December, you should really try to have it done before Saint Nick's Day. If you don't want to

01:08:26   ruin your whole month, right, trying to get this done before the end of the year.

01:08:30   That's why that's up there. It's the sixth of December. I didn't know this. I had to Google it.

01:08:36   And I'm just helping people who were like, what is Saint Nick's Day? Because I also didn't know what

01:08:40   Saint Nick's Day was. So I have Saint Nick's Day as the fifth of December, but different places

01:08:46   celebrate Saint Nick's Day on different days. And there's a Saint Nick's Eve, which is on the fifth.

01:08:52   Wait, so do you observe Imperial or metric Saint Nick's Day?

01:08:55   I observe Imperial Saint Nick's Day as all good Dutch descendants do.

01:09:00   Ah, okay. I wondered why. Like, why have I no idea about this? But I guess...

01:09:07   Again, as the child of a Dutch immigrant, Saint Nick's Day was an annual thing every time growing

01:09:12   up. It's like similar to how like, a lot of European countries, they celebrate Christmas

01:09:17   and Christmas Eve, like when people open their presents and stuff.

01:09:20   Yeah. So we also basically did Christmas on Christmas Eve for the exact same reason.

01:09:25   This is how things were done in the old world before we emigrated to the United States.

01:09:29   I have no idea what happened there where like, it's the same traditions,

01:09:33   but people do them on different days, like in the days off by one. Like,

01:09:36   I have no idea how that happened. And I need to know.

01:09:39   But yes, you're exactly right. It's like, Saint Nick's Day is kind of like Christmas. And this,

01:09:44   is it Saint Nick's Day? Or is it Christmas Eve? Or is it Saint Nick's Eve? Like this same confusion

01:09:49   has totally happened in different places. Well, only 54 days to go. So...

01:09:54   Don't remind me. I don't need to.

01:09:56   ...it does enough every day. I don't need to. You have an app that does it.

01:10:00   Yeah. So that's the core one. Then just lastly, my watch face for the core.

01:10:05   I'm kind of happy with it. Again, it's that ultra face. I think it looks pretty good in blue.

01:10:10   I've got OmniFocus in the center for what I need to do. And that's it. That's it.

01:10:14   What is that on the bottom right?

01:10:16   On the bottom right, that's the fasting timer again. In the middle is a very old app,

01:10:22   which is called Better Date, which just shows the current date, but it has a little progress slider

01:10:28   for how far you are in the month. I should probably have this more prominent because I'm

01:10:32   just constantly forgetting when it is. But I do like this one of like, "Ooh, we have a progress

01:10:37   bar throughout the month. How close are we to the end? I don't just want the number. I want to see

01:10:41   the little visual indicator." And so there we are. We've wrapped up the introduction to State of the

01:10:48   App. We've done an entire episode already. We could just be done and that's it.

01:10:54   But yet we just introduced it.

01:10:57   But we're not done.

01:10:59   [Music]

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01:13:18   support of this show and Relay FM. Productivity apps. The cornerstone of our productivity app

01:13:24   system is the to-do app. It is the to-do app. That is the absolute core. You know when I sat down

01:13:32   this year Gray to start my notes I thought to myself I'm very content with to-do-est as my

01:13:38   to-do app. Does everything the way that I want and I have no desire to move apps anymore. I'm

01:13:45   very happy with to-do-est. Gray how are you feeling? I'm feeling nervous Mike. Yeah. I'm

01:13:51   not gonna lie. I'm feeling a little nervous. Honestly I feel nervous for you. Really? Yeah so

01:13:57   the situation is obviously I've been using OmniFocus for years but also for what is now a

01:14:03   like growing percentage of those years I have been hearing about OmniFocus 4 which is in the works.

01:14:11   The OmniFocus 4 first look was published on May 10th 2021. Right. That was when they started the

01:14:21   beta for OmniFocus 4. That's when they started the public beta of it but I know like I spoke to

01:14:28   people in person about OmniFocus 4 before then when I was a bit like hey what's going on with this

01:14:35   thing? Yeah so the OmniFocus blog has been over this time like publishing updates about what's

01:14:44   going on and like how they're moving forward and the entire time they have been insisting that they

01:14:50   are like on schedule to release the next version of OmniFocus and that this is not any different

01:14:56   than the amount of time between the previous versions of OmniFocus and I think all of that

01:15:01   is true. I kind of take them at their word for this but the end result though is like boy

01:15:07   if it is going to be years between major updates it starts to become a problem and I feel like

01:15:16   the latest release of iOS and particularly Sonoma has just like pushed this really over the edge and

01:15:25   I was feeling like boy I just I hope OmniFocus is there like right after the OS goes out and it

01:15:34   wasn't and boy OmniFocus just feels so old and creaky on the current operating systems. They're

01:15:42   saying later this year. I know that they're saying later this year but I feel like it's really bad to

01:15:47   miss the iOS launch and the Sonoma launch. Even if that was always your plan like oh we're going

01:15:53   to do it later this year I just don't think it's good and it particularly doesn't look good because

01:15:58   there's no interactive widgets like none of that widget stuff works. The widgets that exist on iOS

01:16:05   like they are fine but they feel very crowbarred into the system and they just kind of don't look

01:16:12   good. They don't scale properly with anything. I will say todoists widgets are terrible. Okay.

01:16:18   They're really bad. They've always been bad but I don't want a widget of my todo app on my home

01:16:24   screen anyway but they are very bad. Yeah so like on my Mac I was trying to use the widgets but

01:16:32   like OmniFocus was showing up as a like you could see the square block that was getting rendered

01:16:38   for the widget like inside the round borders is like oof right that does that does not look good.

01:16:43   Wow. Anyway it's just one of these things of like boy they're just slowly adding up things

01:16:48   where it feels like this just does not work great in the system. Again I want to emphasize

01:16:55   I've stuck with it because nothing is broken but it just feels increasingly like oh my god

01:17:02   this is very out of step with the current operating systems and like little things just keep adding up

01:17:09   just like the the minimum physical size that OmniFocus will take up on the screen is like

01:17:15   quite large it's like trying to you know make it fit in the little corners can be really frustrating

01:17:20   so what I dream happens is like oh OmniFocus 4 gets released between the time that we record

01:17:27   this episode and when it goes live and I don't have to worry about anything anymore but the truth is I

01:17:34   am just concerned and I was concerned enough that last month I did a kind of tour of the other to-do

01:17:43   systems that exist I was like I just want to I want to like refresh my view of the field like what

01:17:49   is out here what's available this tour went all the way back to remember the milk. Oh jeez.

01:17:58   Let me survey everything that I would reasonably use. Remember the milk was extra hilarious because

01:18:06   I found my super old account and logged into it where it had to-dos left over from my teaching

01:18:13   career like to-do list archaeology of like wow look at this whole system that's amazing. I mean

01:18:19   the truth is though I have one just such an incredible deal breaker for to-do systems and

01:18:26   it is this concept of the start date and I am still just blown away by how many apps

01:18:32   don't have this implemented at all or implement it very badly like there are lots of things that

01:18:39   OmniFocus does that are great but like this to me is the key and it is the single thing that makes

01:18:46   it the hardest to move from absolutely anything else. So after my survey of the field I kind of

01:18:52   had to make a decision I was like all right assume that OmniFocus will not release this year. Will you

01:18:59   still use it? And the answer I came to was yes I will still use it because the other options are

01:19:08   significantly less appealing to me but boy I would not be happy about that. So I have not used

01:19:15   OmniFocus 4 for a long time I was on the beta but I let my beta expire at a certain point sometime

01:19:20   last year or whatever and I will be frank and say like I did not like the way the app felt to use.

01:19:28   They were moving to SwiftUI and that's what they have stuck with and the app just didn't feel right

01:19:36   to use and maybe they've changed it I don't know but let's just imagine that enough has changed

01:19:43   about the application that you don't like using the application anymore well then what do you do?

01:19:49   Because it is a new design like the design is changing like you can see it in the the

01:19:54   imagery that I've shared it is very similar of course to the OmniFocus that you know

01:19:59   but it's different. Yeah I mean I haven't used it in the beta I've only seen the screenshots.

01:20:06   I actually don't really have any problem with the screenshots I'm not quite sure

01:20:09   why people don't seem to like the design of that. I didn't like the way the app felt to use but again

01:20:17   it was in beta right like I've got to be fair and say like it wasn't finished and it was a long time

01:20:22   ago but there was just something about it where it did not have the pleasant feeling that I'd had

01:20:28   using the app before but who knows where it is right now I genuinely don't know. Yeah but this

01:20:33   is a problem with like so when I was surveying the field of to-do list apps this is a recurring

01:20:38   problem where lots of these apps because they have an idea of working with teams or whatever like

01:20:44   they're using different systems so some apps like did have start dates but it would it would be the

01:20:49   same thing where I feel like I just clearly don't like using this like this is unpleasant to use

01:20:55   in a way that is difficult to pin down like I can't exactly articulate why but I don't like it.

01:21:04   It's a funny thing like we used to say on the show that the market for to-do apps was infinite

01:21:10   but I think I was also quite surprised in how how remarkably unchanged this whole world is since the

01:21:18   last time I really went to look around like I kind of thought oh I'll find some new apps that I was

01:21:24   unaware of since the last time the answer's like no not really like it's the same few ones that are

01:21:30   the default answers for absolutely everyone it's like you've got OmniFocus you've got to-do-ist

01:21:35   and like and all of the friends and like these are the things to choose from so I might have to amend

01:21:41   that to be something like oh the desire for to-do apps is infinite because everybody always wants

01:21:47   them to work in their own specific way but maybe something about the actual market market just

01:21:53   can't support a large number of these things or there's other like non-obvious reasons why there

01:22:00   aren't a ton of brand new ones that have popped up so that's my situation is I am using OmniFocus

01:22:07   I will probably still continue to use OmniFocus but I am concerned at this point in time where

01:22:15   things feel potentially uncertain and even if there is a transition like I'll have to see what

01:22:22   it is actually like for the next version when it comes out later this year.

01:22:28   I hope for success for them and for you.

01:22:30   Me too!

01:22:31   I really do and I understand that like you know this takes a long time but it's I feel like they're

01:22:38   going in a different direction and I hope it plays off.

01:22:41   So that was a bummer.

01:22:42   Yeah.

01:22:43   Tell me about how you're happy Mike.

01:22:44   Oh yeah well I mean just in general to-do-ist does exactly what I need.

01:22:48   Lucky you!

01:22:49   Because I keep things relatively simple and you don't.

01:22:53   People have different systems I keep mine relatively simple you know tasks they all of

01:22:57   them have a due date and they all go in a project that is essentially all I'm doing and I like that

01:23:04   to-do-ist has a couple of views it can show me my tasks for today it can show me all my upcoming

01:23:08   tasks in a chronological list and then if I want to I can go into any of my projects it's just a

01:23:14   simple system but it works well for me so I'm happy with it you know.

01:23:20   Yeah and like a good to-do manager should in many ways be kind of invisible.

01:23:25   Yeah.

01:23:25   Like it's not the thing.

01:23:26   Exactly.

01:23:27   It's the thing that's pointing you to what you actually need to do.

01:23:30   Again I will ding them for the poor widget support I think that that is a very strange

01:23:34   thing that they haven't done it because a lot of people would like it and their widgets last

01:23:38   year weren't good anyway like the widgets that they added like it was just like a weird list

01:23:43   of things that was like cropped in a strange way just like lines of text as of right now they've

01:23:48   not added any kind of interactivity to their widgets I don't understand why but that's where

01:23:53   they are but the thing that I am most in love with when it comes to my to-do system right now

01:23:58   is the action button on my iPhone 15 Pro Max.

01:24:01   Oh okay.

01:24:03   So on the Mac it's very easy to put tasks into Todoist I just hit command option and the space

01:24:11   bar and it brings up the Todoist quick entry window and I can just add a task no matter what

01:24:18   I'm doing right there is no way to do such a thing when I'm using my iPhone I can have a shortcut but

01:24:26   I have to go somewhere else to activate the shortcut like if I'm in Slack and I want to

01:24:32   add a task to Todoist I have to leave Slack.

01:24:36   Oh right okay.

01:24:38   Or I have to pull down my notification shade slide to the left and hit a shortcut or whatever

01:24:44   or like pull it down and maybe I can hit the shortcut from the lock screen whatever but

01:24:47   there's always a leaving of the app to do this.

01:24:50   Enter the action button where now I can just press and hold the action button and it will

01:24:59   pop up a shortcut that I have written to add a task and it doesn't leave the app I can still see

01:25:06   things that are in the window.

01:25:08   Oh right okay so it's just pulling down the text entry from the top.

01:25:12   Yeah right and I just use the keyboard.

01:25:15   So this was a suggestion our friend Federico made when we were thinking about the action button

01:25:20   and I've kind of adapted it a little bit further as well so at first it was just like give me a

01:25:25   little Todoist task or some and I would do that but then it became like well what about if I want

01:25:33   to add something to do as well so what I've done is it says watch your task I tap out the name of

01:25:39   the task it says what time do you want it to be and I can put that time in natural language if

01:25:44   I want to it can make it look very simple and it says what app do you want to add it to and I

01:25:49   choose either Todoist or Dew and then it will just add it to the app that I've chosen so it's just

01:25:56   like a pretty simple shortcut that just uses the native shortcuts for Todoist and Dew to just add

01:26:01   in the information that I'm putting in a text box it's very simple and then also Federico built a

01:26:06   shortcut called multi button which lets you add a second action to the action button based on a

01:26:13   timer so like if you press the action button and like do the action or press cancel and then press

01:26:20   it again within seven seconds it will run a second action that you've chosen it's very clever currently

01:26:26   I have this set to reminders but I'm thinking of adding that into the first one I'll get to reminders

01:26:31   in a minute but like I'm enjoying playing around with the action button stuff Federico's thing is

01:26:36   super cool I'll put a link in the show notes too if you want to read more about it but my very

01:26:40   favorite thing is just how easy it is for me to add things to my to-do system now okay I think

01:26:44   you've totally sold me on what should the action button be yeah because I just haven't uh I'm so

01:26:52   bored by the colors and the new phone stuff so I haven't even like ordered the phone I don't have

01:26:57   the action or anything so I haven't really thought about it I've just like in a vague way I was like

01:27:03   what might one do theoretically with an action button and I was like I guess the camera the

01:27:08   camera makes most sense but you've totally sold me on no the correct thing here is input this is

01:27:14   a button for inputting into other systems especially if tt's magicked his way into

01:27:20   doubling the functionality of the action button then I feel like yeah it's very clear like this

01:27:25   is a default input button yeah I really like it it's just like I could just press that button

01:27:30   and add a task to my system and it works very well I mentioned reminders we're using this for family

01:27:37   tasks now we'd previously used Trello I didn't like Trello but now reminders has their kind of

01:27:42   column Kanban view it's finding the middle ground between both what me and Nadina want she really

01:27:48   wants a column view but I don't really want to use Trello and so yeah I really like the way that

01:27:54   reminders works from an entry perspective it's very simple and I can access it from anywhere in

01:27:58   the system I don't like reminders as much as I like to do is to think for a lot of things reminders

01:28:03   you have to tap too many things like want to add a time to a task you first have to slide a toggle

01:28:10   to bring down the time thing which is just very strange to me but I like this more than I like

01:28:16   Trello as a system so that's working fine and then because why not let's put another one in the mix

01:28:23   I also use things I love to do apps I love to use all of them but using for very different things

01:28:28   things is used and has been for years for just checklists for me I use it for my cortex checklist

01:28:34   and I mentioned earlier I also am now using it for a packing checklist that I've moved out of notes

01:28:40   things made some new shortcut actions to make it very easy to duplicate a template project

01:28:47   and things and keep all of the formatting like the headers and all that kind of stuff

01:28:52   so I now just have these two shortcuts one for cortex editing and posting and one for my packing

01:28:58   list to just very easily duplicate these projects and have them become active and so I use things

01:29:04   for that it's very nice yeah I mean things wins clearly the award of best looking at sort of most

01:29:11   pleasant to do app to use like it's just the design of things is amazing and I always find

01:29:17   myself like drawn to things and also just kills me because they sort of but not fully have start dates

01:29:24   like they have fuzzy start dates might be the way to describe it but yeah like I find things is is

01:29:29   like just a great looking app it's been around for a long time and it is also interesting to me how

01:29:34   reminders does keep improving year on year it's also something I was like oh if reminders ever

01:29:39   added start dates like I would be willing to simplify my system down to maybe use something

01:29:46   like that because yeah I guess reminders is for me the only other task manager I really use and

01:29:51   that's purely because the Siri integration is just so dead easy I will just constantly by voice throw

01:30:00   to Siri things that I want to be remembered like in x units of time remind me in two weeks remind

01:30:07   me later this afternoon remind me tomorrow morning like for those kind of one-off things talking to

01:30:11   Siri to just add stuff into reminders at a time is amazing like I use that constantly do I even

01:30:17   want to ask what notes app you use I always feel like this is such a minefield that I step into

01:30:22   every time I ask you this question I use the notes app like what else would I use it's it's great

01:30:26   okay no complicated conversation to be had here what do you do in the notes app then what goes in

01:30:33   there uh notes go in there all sorts of notes go in there I feel like this is like a logic puzzle

01:30:39   because like I use the notes app for everything right I have a bunch of show notes stuff in there

01:30:46   I have personal notes in there you know I have 762 notes in the notes app I just never delete

01:30:52   anything it just all goes in there and it's great the only work stuff that doesn't go into notes is

01:30:58   cortex brand stuff which goes into notion right now what are you using like what is going into

01:31:05   I'm assuming apple notes what are you putting in there I'm not using it for notes really it's more

01:31:11   like I throw stuff into the notes app that needs to be properly sorted later 80 to 90 percent of

01:31:19   that stuff is really a question of where in obsidian should this go slash does this deserve

01:31:28   to be put into obsidian so I do use it as a kind of junk drawer for stuff that's later like oh

01:31:37   here's a thing to read here's a paper that's related to a video topic that you might want

01:31:42   to look at later I don't for reasons we might get to later I don't have a good way to throw

01:31:48   that into obsidian directly I'm not 100 sure I would even want to because a lot of this stuff

01:31:54   exists for me as a kind of limbo like notes is a very transitory area nothing should ever

01:32:00   permanently live here but it's a useful place to put all of the stuff before I decide where does

01:32:07   this go slash do I just delete this because future me doesn't care at all which probably happens to

01:32:13   the majority of stuff I put into notes and like oh this might be interesting as like no it's not

01:32:17   really and then I just delete it so that's how I use the notes app where do they go okay so like

01:32:22   here's an example right earlier today we were talking about a future cortex brand project

01:32:27   and you showed me an example of like here's a thing that we could do that's like this and you

01:32:32   showed me a website and so I said ah great I want to check that out later and so what I do with that

01:32:38   is I just like boop share it so it just becomes a note in my notes folder okay because this to me is

01:32:45   the perfect example of what happens all the time it's like there's not really a task that's

01:32:50   associated with this we're not on any kind of remote timeline it's just like future gray should

01:32:56   take a look at this website and he will decide if any actions come out of this do we need to get in

01:33:03   touch with anybody like what's the next step in this project right but right now it isn't anything

01:33:09   it's just like oh hey take a look at this at some point and I go I will where do I put that I think

01:33:16   where this threw me a little bit it's like this is the like inbox model right yeah it's totally

01:33:22   the inbox model that's how I use notes why not use the inbox in omni focus for this I don't like

01:33:30   using the inbox for that kind of stuff because it's not flexible enough I hear a lot of people

01:33:35   have these kinds of things like have like a scratch pad note or whatever right oh yeah it's

01:33:39   kind of like note where like just one note where stuff gets added but what I don't understand what

01:33:43   like for me is what prompts you to ever look at it like why does it not just become like

01:33:50   a graveyard of things what prompts me to look at it is that in omni focus I have a repeating task

01:33:58   which is like clear out your notes folder that's the only reason that this system works okay

01:34:03   if I didn't have an actual reminder which is like clear this out it would just be a graveyard of

01:34:11   like oh stuff I thought once yeah and never thought about again okay goodbye thought so

01:34:18   that's the only reason that this works there's a task all right fair enough there is a task but

01:34:22   again the other reason I don't put it as an inbox item in omni focus is because I have learned from

01:34:28   experience right you can't always count on future you to know like what was the thing about this

01:34:34   right like I will often just like write something quick in the note itself about like what is this

01:34:40   for future me what are you even thinking about or like who gave this to you so I like the free

01:34:46   formness of it and also for me it kind of does just act like a traditional to-do inbox because

01:34:54   I'm not adding things to a single note each item is an individual note so I can delete them one at

01:35:01   a time as I'm going through things so that's the way that I use it to be productive you must spend

01:35:05   your time well how is time management going for you well how's time management going for you Mike

01:35:10   oh no change is great I use time re full of time re-widgets I will maybe some point next year will

01:35:18   do my little review of how I've been spending my time but you know time re is just continues to

01:35:24   just get better and better and better all the time I don't understand how Joe manages to do it but

01:35:30   like I just am more and more happy with the app I love having the time re-widget on my mac now like

01:35:38   on the desktop of my mac just like another quick way to get to it I have a little widget on my

01:35:45   watch as well as on the complication it's everywhere I need it to be and it's super

01:35:50   important to me that it's easy to access in so many different ways whether it's through a shortcut

01:35:56   or whatever and it's just like a good way for me to keep track of what I'm doing I think for me

01:36:02   right now the reason that I time track is so I can review it on an annual basis that's my reason now

01:36:09   that data to me is so important when I'm thinking about my theme it's so important when I'm thinking

01:36:16   about how I want to spend the time in my life and in my work and I'm just so happy with the fact

01:36:22   that this is an important tool to me but what's important is the data so what needs to be good

01:36:28   is the way in which the data is collected and so that requires time re to be easy to use easy to

01:36:33   access and exactly where I need it on all the platforms that I use and it is and that's why I

01:36:37   continue to use it religiously every day yeah time re is amazing I have an upset though this year

01:36:43   right so I have switched from time re wow I'm using an app called timelines this is huge news

01:36:53   it's huge news so time re is amazing but there is one specific use case where it does not work

01:37:02   and it does not work if you're offline I've been doing a thing this year where I'm having

01:37:11   big blocks where I'm just completely disconnected from the network at all and so

01:37:20   when I started doing this I realized very fast I need to find a time tracking app that can work

01:37:28   offline that does not require an internet connection to start and stop a timer I looked

01:37:36   around there's a bunch of time tracking apps but for me there was one that just clearly stood above

01:37:42   all of the others and it is called timelines the interesting thing about this is the difference

01:37:49   in our use cases so like you said you really care about the data for me I do not care about the data

01:37:57   at all this year in particular is like oh wow my data is just totally messed up right because I

01:38:03   was trying out a bunch of different time tracking apps and when you do that things don't work right

01:38:09   so you get timers that are running for like 36 hours and you miss all kinds of stuff so like

01:38:13   my data this year is totally messed up but I don't care because I have always viewed the time

01:38:22   tracking as much more a tool that assists in intentional decision making and it's a tool that

01:38:29   I use on a scale of how is this day going compared to other days and the thing about timelines is

01:38:38   that it's clear that the developer of this app also kind of thinks about time tracking along the

01:38:46   lines of how I do it where they have things like do you have a goal for how much time you want to

01:38:54   spend on this task today if you do cool we can put a little widget on the home screen that fills in a

01:39:01   bar for like how much time did you spend writing today how much time did you spend exercising today

01:39:07   the one that I always feel like I'm fighting against is what I call like transition which is

01:39:12   I'm between two tasks how much time in my day do I spend in transition and so that one's a bit like

01:39:22   okay I want to try to set a limit of like don't go over this amount of transition time in a day and

01:39:28   then I can see a little bar of like oh you're getting close so I think it's it's a very nicely

01:39:34   done app it looks good like I said for me the main thing is that it works offline I will say like

01:39:41   there are so many features from Timery that I do miss and there are some decisions that I find kind

01:39:51   of weird sometimes in the way that like for example when you're looking at a pie chart of

01:39:56   how you spend your time it doesn't automatically sort the wedges by size which I find just a very

01:40:04   strange decision on how to actually show information but again because it is not critical for me to

01:40:11   review at the end of the year how my time was spent I've really been liking this app as like

01:40:18   solving a particular problem of I'm spending more time like not connected to the internet at all

01:40:24   but I still want to have a time tracker that works for me and this one is somewhat more aligned with

01:40:31   the general way in which I'm wanting to use these apps anyway so yeah I've been using timelines for

01:40:39   I think about two or three months at this point and I like it I like it a lot.

01:40:46   Yes interesting visually I do not like this app.

01:40:49   Yeah I can totally get it yeah.

01:40:51   It looks old.

01:40:53   So yeah I think when you dig into some of the screens like it definitely has a kind of older

01:41:00   feel for it this is also a case where with the new live widgets and things so like on my standby

01:41:07   lock screen in my office I can just have it set to be like show me the pie chart of how I've spent

01:41:12   my day and then show me the bars of have I gone over or stayed under the times that I want and

01:41:17   it's like that's what I want right that is like a hundred percent of my interaction with this thing.

01:41:22   Maybe in fairness this is being skewed by me looking more at the website than the app store

01:41:27   screenshots because the website I mean they're using an iPhone 6 and so that's skewing by like

01:41:33   oh that yeah how does it look I mean what I say is when looking at the app store screenshots

01:41:38   it's just a plain app which is not a bad thing it's just a different style of design.

01:41:45   One of the things that I really love about Timery is I think that the app is very attractive

01:41:49   which I am in the app quite a bit so I like how it looks yeah I mean this is interesting

01:41:57   if that is a use case that you want you're right Timery does not work offline.

01:42:00   It's not really a thing that I run into very often but I guess again it comes down to the

01:42:05   very different ways in which we time track like if I don't have an internet connection

01:42:10   I don't probably don't really have anything to track.

01:42:13   For me very often I do my most important work when I'm not connected to the internet like

01:42:18   this used to be much more of an obvious thing for when I was flying I was always a bit aware

01:42:24   then of like oh right I can't run Timery now and very frequently it's like I do my best writing on

01:42:30   an airplane this is amazing obviously flights have been a less frequent thing in most recent history

01:42:37   but I've sort of recreated that in my own life for a few reasons.

01:42:42   It's more self-imposed no internet connection.

01:42:45   Yeah and that's why I realized like ah okay I actually do need this I can't work around this

01:42:52   because the most important stuff to track is also correlated with I'm not actually on the internet

01:42:59   so that's why I took a look and switched to timelines.

01:43:02   That is the shock of the episode I feel.

01:43:04   I don't know if we're going to get much more of a shock than that.

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01:45:28   [Music]

01:45:29   All right team and communication apps.

01:45:32   I don't know about you but I feel like we've both kind of ended up in exactly the same

01:45:37   space here with the different apps that we're using.

01:45:39   Well probably not email.

01:45:41   Email might be an outlier here.

01:45:43   Are you still with Spark for email?

01:45:45   Yeah I was very upset last year with Spark because they had just gone through their big

01:45:51   new version of Spark for the Mac mostly which changed a lot of the way that they wanted to

01:45:58   talk about and handle email you know like the change from archived to done and all that

01:46:05   kind of stuff and you know after another year of using their new system I'm getting used

01:46:12   to some of the decisions that they've made or have been able to hide away enough of them.

01:46:17   As you can imagine they've added AI to the app you know you want to have your AI email

01:46:25   written for you but a request that I made they made those options able to turn off because

01:46:30   I just didn't want them but the button was always there and it's like if I'm not going

01:46:34   to use this I don't need the button to be there and so they added a toggle that if you

01:46:38   turn it off it removes the respond with AI button from every single email that you were

01:46:44   sending and I would say that like now that I've kind of been able to force the app back

01:46:50   into a relatively sane state like I don't see their inspirational home screen and all

01:46:57   this kind of stuff like I am benefiting from some of the features that they added like

01:47:02   being able to block a sender is a great feature I get so much crap email right and you know

01:47:09   I get these email newsletters that I've been put on that are PAR newsletters that I can't

01:47:14   get away from because it is someone just sending me an email but I'm able to block a sender

01:47:20   and also block every email from that domain.

01:47:24   Oh that's nice.

01:47:26   And it stops me from ever seeing them so that is good it reduces the amount of spam that

01:47:30   I get and it's across you know all of my email accounts that I might have this is similar

01:47:35   to their automatic sorting that they do of email into newsletter or notification categories

01:47:42   this is good like I can categorize them myself as well you know like if something has been

01:47:47   miscategorized it's easy to change this works well to keep my inbox clean again like some

01:47:53   of the ways that they did that first was kind of frustrating to me like this categorization

01:47:57   moves around inside of the chronological list based on the most recent email that got added

01:48:02   to the category rather than living in a fixed place which I initially found very weird but

01:48:07   again after a year of using it I'm now just used to it even though it is weird as I say

01:48:11   it aloud the strange thing about that is it actually doesn't reliably match some of these

01:48:17   between my Mac and my iPhone sometimes things that are categorized as a notification on

01:48:21   one device might be a newsletter on another device because it's not seemingly syncing

01:48:25   them and it's I don't know what's happening there but this is again like kind of the way

01:48:30   that Spark has always been for me which is like it's always been a bit janky in its own

01:48:33   way but the core features that it has when used well are used well you know like these

01:48:41   two features I mentioned I like them you know the team sharing is the big thing that I love

01:48:46   and will continue using forever but it's still strange like you know every update on the

01:48:51   Mac is 250 megabytes every single time because it's an electron app and so that you're just

01:48:56   re-downloading the app every single time which is to me a bananas way to do an update considering

01:49:02   they update the app pretty frequently so it's just like 250 megabytes every single time

01:49:07   and like the update process every time I open it the first time it doesn't work I have to

01:49:11   quit and reopen it again before my inbox will load like it doesn't remember the size of

01:49:16   the window from the way it was before like there's just all these little things they

01:49:19   did at least add a sidebar and a column view but I got so used to using it in a smaller

01:49:25   view I just kind of use it that way I don't really know what the future of Spark is I'm

01:49:29   going to continue using and paying for it for as long as it's around because it is so

01:49:34   helpful to the way that I deal with my email however I'm also thinking that maybe just

01:49:40   a fundamental change to my email is just a way to handle it I mean like as I do less

01:49:45   and less and less in sales for relay FM in fact I do none and like I still work with

01:49:52   a couple of our long clients but basically every year it's less maybe I just don't need

01:49:59   this feature anymore like if Spark was to go away tomorrow it would probably just be

01:50:05   a case of like I would just not replace it.

01:50:09   Shirley as you were doing less sales you would need the team features more why is it the

01:50:15   reverse?

01:50:16   Why would I need more?

01:50:17   I guess I'm thinking you would need it more so that you're still in the loop of what's

01:50:20   going on but I don't want to be in the loop okay you're explicitly trying to get out of

01:50:24   getting out of the loop you know okay all right so at the moment like we're still using

01:50:28   it and it still works but like I guess what would happen is those communications would

01:50:32   just go back to Slack again and we'd lose the context but to be honest Kerry and I have

01:50:37   less and less and less conversations inside of Spark all the time but Spark overall I

01:50:43   enjoy is an email app for the features it has like there are no good email apps right

01:50:48   this is the one that I use and the one that I'm used to and I get benefit from it from

01:50:53   the other things that I've mentioned if I was to have to leave I mean I'd probably just

01:50:57   go to mail which is not a good experience.

01:51:00   Speaking as someone who is still using mail I agree.

01:51:03   Because you know Spark has snoozing like you know it has like a bunch of stuff in it right

01:51:07   I know that Apple has that remind me thing but I also don't think that that's super great

01:51:13   yeah so I don't really know what the future is for Spark but I'll keep using it forever

01:51:17   but I do think at the same time I also just need to change the way that I use email as

01:51:22   well so I'm working on that.

01:51:25   I do also use MimeStream on the Mac for my Cortex brand email it's Gmail only this is

01:51:32   the best email app around in my opinion it just works very well it's very well made it's

01:51:38   very good native feeling application with all of the features that you'd want from Gmail

01:51:43   that at least I've ever wanted to use I really like it's got tons of settings so you can

01:51:47   customize it to work the way you want the problem is it's only Gmail.

01:51:52   That's such a killer.

01:51:53   Yeah.

01:51:54   Such a killer.

01:51:55   And as well it's also only on the Mac but I know they're working on an iOS version I've

01:51:59   seen them say that they are looking at other mail clients but I just don't know how it

01:52:04   would work because it is so tied into Gmail.

01:52:08   It uses the Gmail API that's what makes it so different like it's not using IMAP.

01:52:12   Oof yeah I mean that feels like that makes it impossible for them to ever add other clients

01:52:17   if they're really in the API you can't mix and match that Gmail API with other services

01:52:22   it's just such a squirrely unique system.

01:52:25   But I would love them to make an app for everything because it is a very very good app with a

01:52:30   bad name.

01:52:32   Last year we added kind of team and project management to State of the Apps and I have

01:52:36   been on a journey.

01:52:38   Oh yeah?

01:52:39   Well last year I was using Kraft.

01:52:41   Oh god right that feels like a thousand years ago now.

01:52:44   And in the middle I used Obsidian and now I'm using Notion.

01:52:48   I can't believe we skipped over a whole State of the Apps and you never made it to using

01:52:52   Obsidian on that.

01:52:53   I can't believe we went from Kraft to Obsidian to Notion in the course of the year.

01:52:57   Oh wow okay.

01:52:59   That's quite some migration you've been doing between those systems.

01:53:02   Notion is my third attempt at a home for Cortex brand information and I listened back to last

01:53:10   year's State of the Apps and I am really surprised at how much of a turnaround I have had in

01:53:18   my feelings about Notion over the last 12 months.

01:53:21   Okay tell me.

01:53:22   I've heard something along the lines of like I could never imagine myself using it.

01:53:26   Well it has obviously changed because I use it.

01:53:29   And the thing that was stopping me is like I didn't like how Notion felt.

01:53:35   But it is so incredibly powerful.

01:53:39   And that trumps all.

01:53:41   It's like the same with Spark right?

01:53:43   I don't like the way Spark feels.

01:53:45   But it's so powerful for me and it's such an important way for me to collaborate with

01:53:50   people that I will overlook all of it.

01:53:53   Okay so when you say power what does that mean to you?

01:53:56   Well at the moment there's a lot of information going in right?

01:54:02   And I still feel like at the moment all I am with a lot of the stuff that is in Notion

01:54:08   is like we took things from Obsidian and we put them in Notion right?

01:54:13   I do not feel that at the moment I am best using Notion for project management say.

01:54:20   So like you know if we're working on a new project how do we take that from start to

01:54:24   finish?

01:54:25   I think that we can use Notion very powerfully for this.

01:54:28   But I'm kind of at the moment building Notion as the information and knowledge database.

01:54:35   And I want it to become closer to our project management tool as well in the future.

01:54:40   But I'm trying not to force it too much.

01:54:42   Like right now because it's mostly just me managing production so I'm doing it in a more

01:54:46   simple way but I feel like with Notion I'm building the foundations.

01:54:50   The way I have seen the power is in the way we are doing the Cortex show notes now all

01:54:56   in Notion.

01:54:57   Because this is something brand new right?

01:55:01   So like I haven't had to force something right?

01:55:04   Where like right now if I take the notes that I've already previously made say about Psychic

01:55:08   Notepad and then try and force them into a new model to fit the Notion project management

01:55:15   I just feel like it's more work than is needed.

01:55:17   Like the project is already running.

01:55:19   Like I don't need to try and reinvent the wheel with it.

01:55:24   For our next project from the start I will try and adopt more of the Notion project management

01:55:30   tools to make that a reality right?

01:55:34   And to bring that to life.

01:55:35   But right now the thing that I started from ground zero with is first it was let's create

01:55:41   a Cortex content calendar.

01:55:45   Map out the year, map out the episodes, move topics around, move promotional items around

01:55:51   and really try and get a good flow for what the year is going to look like.

01:55:57   And as I started doing that I was like hmm maybe we should put topics in here.

01:56:01   Wait a minute let's do all of our show notes in here.

01:56:05   And I think this has been so good for me when it comes to planning the show.

01:56:10   I feel like I have a great place to put ideas and in those ideas just stay in the same database

01:56:16   and they can be moved into different columns within the same database of different months

01:56:21   and different episodes and then also I can take all this information and show it in different

01:56:27   views and in different ways based on different metadata.

01:56:30   Like I'm really enjoying this and it's opening my eyes to just how much power there is in

01:56:37   this system for when I want to dig into it further for different things.

01:56:41   So it's also just super good and super easy for collaboration.

01:56:45   You know like this is the thing I lost going from craft to obsidian.

01:56:51   And then I hired a new assistant.

01:56:55   We brought more people into the company for design and for marketing and I needed to have

01:57:02   a system where everyone could work on the same documents.

01:57:05   So Notion is also just like so simple for that for the team to manage the projects.

01:57:10   But I look forward to over the next year doing even more to making it like a real like start

01:57:18   to finish project management tool as well as just a team collaboration and knowledge

01:57:23   tool which is a bit more of but I'm starting to like weave in the notionness of it all

01:57:29   which I'm excited about.

01:57:30   Yeah I think the reason I asked you about the power let me put the podcast show notes

01:57:34   aside for a second is just yeah there's this whole world of these personal knowledge management

01:57:41   systems.

01:57:42   The pick 'ems.

01:57:45   Yes pick 'ems.

01:57:46   That's how I think of it.

01:57:48   PKM's the old pick 'ems.

01:57:50   Pick your pick 'em.

01:57:51   I don't know like I haven't used a ton of these but with Notion and with other things

01:57:56   I feel like they do feel very powerful when you are in the process of putting things into

01:58:04   them but they can often be like a kind of quicksand in my experience for getting stuff

01:58:10   back out.

01:58:11   Well yeah people get too lost in this right which is why I'm not trying to push it too

01:58:15   far.

01:58:16   Yeah.

01:58:17   Like I'm not trying to push it too far too fast and then everything gets lost.

01:58:20   I have mixed at best feelings about all of these kinds of systems but I mean I will say

01:58:26   I feel like we have discovered a thing here with how to do podcast show notes.

01:58:32   I feel like the Kanban system for podcast show notes works surprisingly well.

01:58:38   I think especially for a show like ours.

01:58:40   Yeah where there's more modular topics for sure.

01:58:42   If there's little sections where you know that you're going to talk about something.

01:58:46   It's one of these rare cases where it feels like this is clearly the correct way to do

01:58:50   it like I've gone from kind of skepticism about it and like I don't love it to feeling

01:58:55   like no no no this is actually proving its value right I'm not it's becoming more valuable

01:59:00   as we use it more and me realizing like ah right I have my own weird squirrely show notes

01:59:07   that I keep sort of separate from everything but realizing like no it makes sense even

01:59:12   for me to like put this stuff in here and like add to this as well so that it's all

01:59:17   in a single place and like the value of me having separate things is getting gobbled

01:59:23   away by like no no no this system is just good and it just makes sense to do this way

01:59:27   so I kind of imagine a world right where I have all of our different products and we

01:59:35   could have a product or project Kanban board where everything's moving around and I've

01:59:43   like rough this out but I've not been very diligent with it we could have things where

01:59:47   they are in the process but then also when you click them you also get all of the notes

01:59:52   it's kind of like I imagine this scenario in which we have all of the information we're

01:59:57   ever going to need but also a bunch of different ways to see where the business is at any one

02:00:01   point yeah that is intriguing to me and I feel like notion is a tool that can be wrangled

02:00:08   to make that happen it's just a case of doing the work to make it happen yeah I think that's

02:00:15   possible and if we're using notion for the show notes anyway like it 100% makes sense

02:00:21   like everything else that's cortex related should go in here for sure 100% although for

02:00:25   me it worked the other way around but like because it was like cortex brands in here

02:00:29   this podcast should be in here too like Mike the podcast Kanban is the main feature that's

02:00:35   like meanwhile on the sideboard it's like one of 10 things yep I feel like if I don't

02:00:41   use it for anything other than just like it's a place where all of the team can seal the

02:00:44   information then it's done its job but I do feel like it has the ability to expose information

02:00:51   in different places and in different ways to help us try and keep track of everything

02:00:55   we've got going on and it needs someone to do this like there needs to be a person in

02:01:00   charge of managing this and like we'll make that work over time but I think this is the

02:01:06   one I would be surprised if I was to move away now if anything now just because of the

02:01:11   inertia of it well we've got like four people in here now so seems very unlikely speaking

02:01:17   of which yes last year grey industries notion was the best tool for managing information

02:01:25   and video production is what you said did I say video production I don't think I did

02:01:28   you said it's the best tool you said it's the best tool I said managing information

02:01:32   and video production but I got the sense that fact checking was happening inside of notion

02:01:38   okay so here's what am I trying to express here I think a conclusion that I've come to

02:01:43   with some of these pickups as you have dubbed it which I feel is kind of gross but also

02:01:50   kind of perfect as a word to use here I feel like there's some tension in all of these

02:01:57   tools which is the tension of like the archive of everything is a bad place for also actionable

02:02:09   items I just feel like there's something about the design requirements for those two things

02:02:16   or or even just like your psychological state using a tool like these two things are naturally

02:02:23   in tension with each other but they also come up against an additional problem which is

02:02:30   I kind of always view it as like whatever you're doing to organize your life if you're

02:02:35   duplicating information anywhere that's a problem but you should not have any place

02:02:40   where you've written the same thing twice these tools are trying to solve that problem

02:02:47   by having these functions where it's like every single line of text that you write within

02:02:52   the system can be accessed by any other part of the system and you can look at all the

02:02:55   information in all of these different ways so I think they're trying to solve that problem

02:02:59   of like you don't need to duplicate information because it's accessible from anywhere in

02:03:04   all of these ways but that's where I just feel like it comes back to this tension for

02:03:09   me of tools related to information and archive shouldn't be the same tools that are related

02:03:16   to action so it feels like again like a kind of like one two three impossible Trinity situation

02:03:23   of like you can't get all of these things you have to sacrifice information duplication

02:03:27   or you have to sacrifice other parts of the system so I think that's why I'm just like

02:03:31   fundamentally always a little bit grumpy about these tools now one of the things that we

02:03:38   did last year to try to like from my perspective resolve this and also my assistant felt the

02:03:45   same way of like okay notion is great for us and we still use it for like company information

02:03:50   right where do we keep all of the information about everything so we do still use it for

02:03:54   research and fact-checking kind of stuff but we did decide to try to pull out action items

02:04:02   into Asana to use for the team and personally I just absolutely hate this too oh okay so

02:04:14   it here's the thing this is one of these like intangible problems of like there's not really

02:04:20   anything wrong with Asana it's totally me I just do not like this application for no

02:04:26   good reason at all and it comes back to the kind of just feel of things something about

02:04:32   the way information is displayed something about like the way the buttons fill in when

02:04:37   they click I just don't like this at all we have a problem yeah with being software nerds

02:04:43   like we do we do 100% it's a problem it's like I talk about the feel of it it's like

02:04:47   and as you're saying I'm like there is a jankiness sometimes that I just can't get my head around

02:04:53   but it mean it is because a lot of these tools are using web technologies and that right

02:05:00   it's the reason you don't like Trello and the same reason I don't like Trello yes there's

02:05:05   nothing really wrong with Trello it works perfectly fine there's no problem but something

02:05:13   about the way things move something about the way things when you click on them it's

02:05:18   just off I'm not saying that this is true but it gives a kind of feeling of jury riggedness

02:05:25   underneath the system like what is underneath here and again just to be clear I'm not saying

02:05:31   that that is representative of the reality of the programming this is just a pure feel

02:05:36   thing and Asana just really gave me that opening up Asana I feel like I get this with Notion

02:05:42   a little bit but not as strongly like I'm back working as a teacher in a school like

02:05:48   on a like a joint database with everybody else the system has to sacrifice a lot of

02:05:54   niceness because it also has to work with 200 teachers whose technical skill ranges

02:06:01   from expert to idiot I don't think there's a way around it like even craft right people

02:06:07   say craft is the best one but it's still janky yeah they all have this if you have to have

02:06:13   it shared with other people that's where it starts that's where the jankiness starts and

02:06:17   I think it is an unavoidable thing yeah I do think it is unavoidable but you know what

02:06:22   thought has been creeping into my mind oh I can't wait whatever while we're recording

02:06:27   this podcast I have not thought about it until just what an hour ago when we first started

02:06:33   talking about to do managers and if my assistant is listening right now she's going to have

02:06:39   a cold sweat break out as soon as she hears me say this but I'm thinking couldn't we just

02:06:46   use reminders wouldn't reminders work for this no why don't you think reminders could

02:06:52   work for this because doesn't it have the feature now like you can assign a task to

02:06:55   someone right like that's a thing you can do in reminders let me see yes I mean yeah

02:07:01   I'm opening up reminders you can do that I mean this is how me and Idina are managing

02:07:05   the house stuff we assign things to each other right honestly I just reflexively said no

02:07:11   to be in support and defense of your assistant right okay I just don't want you to bring

02:07:17   this to her to be honest right so you don't want me to say like oh hey I know you spent

02:07:20   four months moving everything out of notion and into Asana that was actionable but what

02:07:25   if you a Windows user try to move all of that stuff on to your Apple phone in reminders

02:07:33   no no no I mean she has an iPad so that would make it easier the reason we use these tools

02:07:39   is because we need to work with other people right so that means there is compromise needed

02:07:45   I just feel like reminders could work it's the nicest one if I have to share something

02:07:50   if she was a Mac user maybe you could make this work she's not so you have to use a cross

02:07:56   platform tool like there's just no way around it there just is no way around it like you

02:08:00   have to just pick your poison right we're getting into the why can't we just share obsidian

02:08:06   problem again it's exactly the same problem it's just like there's just no way around

02:08:12   it like I genuinely feel right so this segment communication and team apps this is the most

02:08:18   pain it is it's so painful this is the pain segment because this is the apps we have to

02:08:24   use because of people we work with which means we can't just choose like there has to be

02:08:32   a consensus and also the choice you made whenever you made it might have been a good one but

02:08:39   eventually you don't want like so one of these is slack right so slack is also like the communications

02:08:45   slack is so expensive yeah but for relay there's nothing we can do about it now right I would

02:08:53   prefer to use discord there's no reason why I couldn't use discord instead of slack if

02:08:57   you were starting relay today would you use discord instead probably or teams right but

02:09:03   like I wouldn't pay for slack it's so expensive we have like 40 people or something in our

02:09:08   slack I do think that sometimes I see everybody happily chatting in there and I'm like cha-ching

02:09:13   right like look at all that cost and it was fine when it was good right like because there

02:09:20   are other tools which are as good as slack and so the price of slack I don't think is

02:09:28   worth it anymore for us right when we could use teams which is essentially free because

02:09:33   who doesn't have office 365 yeah yeah right or we can use discord which you know to get

02:09:39   all of the features you just need like one person to be nitro like slack also just redesigned

02:09:45   right and like the slack redesign is not terrible but like it doesn't help me and like I don't

02:09:51   even know why they've done it like I don't understand the point of the slack redesign

02:09:57   when it didn't really seem to do much of benefit and what it's done is like changed my muscle

02:10:02   memory about like where things are like they had this new view called activity right but

02:10:08   like it doesn't even have all the activity I don't understand why they did this what

02:10:13   kills me the worst about this so slack does this redesign and I discover the fact that

02:10:17   they did this what I logged into the cortex slack to message you something yeah what like

02:10:22   what the hell happened right it's a rollout all slacks will get this but they're rolling

02:10:27   it out but so I was like oh okay the app must have updated or whatever and then I switch

02:10:32   over to the gray industries one I go oh no like my gray industries slack is still the

02:10:39   old design yeah and this is like weeks now I switch between these two they're doing a

02:10:45   very slow rollout of this and they've been changing it I will give it to them like they

02:10:51   have made changes which have made it better because they're listening to what people have

02:10:56   to say I would just say I don't really know why you did it like because there just isn't

02:11:02   really enough different like the activity view is an interesting idea right and the

02:11:07   idea is like you've got so many channels right we're just gonna put it all into one but like

02:11:12   I don't really feel like it's pulling everything in like I would like to say show me all the

02:11:18   activity for a certain subset of channels that I choose every message put them all in

02:11:23   there but they don't it's just like did someone at you or did someone give you a reaction

02:11:28   like that is interesting stuff but that's still not enough for me and like I do not

02:11:35   need to see drafts as prominently as you show me them on the iPhone it is like a massive

02:11:41   section on the iPhone app and I also don't like this later whatever that means I don't

02:11:47   use that but it's like right there and I can't get rid of it and it's just like okay so I

02:11:52   completely agree like you should be able to customize this stuff up top let me slightly

02:11:56   defend Slack before I complain again they rolled out this later feature and for me this

02:12:02   was the feature where it's like okay I have finally made peace with Slack of all of the

02:12:08   tools that we're discussing in this uncomfortable corporate section of the state of the apps

02:12:16   Slack is the one I'm happiest with and it's because they added this later feature where

02:12:20   now when anyone messages you or like any message that you see even if you're not part of it

02:12:26   there's a little bookmark you can click and that says save for later and then it shows

02:12:30   up in that little later thing on the top of the screen maybe I should use this yeah so

02:12:34   for me this solved the problem I was complaining about for years with Slack of it's too easy

02:12:41   to lose stuff like you just go look in a channel and like everything gets marked as red and

02:12:46   you just like you miss it right oh you know what this is actually kind of nice it's great

02:12:50   this is kind of nice you can complete them yeah so it basically acts as a kind of pseudo

02:12:56   to-do list for every message in the whole system so you can just like bookmark this

02:13:02   thing and then when you've taken care of it you hit complete I think this is also partly

02:13:08   why like I'm a little bit grumpier about Asana in some ways is because like well like my

02:13:13   assistant messages me with stuff that needs to get done and it's kind of easier to just

02:13:18   bookmark it for later and then like mark it as completed within Slack and never have to

02:13:23   go out to this secondary system I would like it to do more to highlight that I have things

02:13:28   in there rather than just a number like maybe color it I mean yeah something like that could

02:13:32   happen maybe they can take that into account for the redesign the ongoing redesign yeah

02:13:37   so like I'm a big fan of the later feature and I do feel like I am at peace now with

02:13:42   Slack this is the team communication tool I don't lose things anymore great I don't

02:13:48   need to switch to anything and just as I felt content like ah thank you later comes this

02:13:54   rollout and look listen guys it's slack if you're gonna do this if you're gonna have

02:13:59   a slow rollout for the love of god roll it out by users not by slack it is wild that

02:14:08   I like I'm in like four slacks two of them have been updated two of them haven't it's

02:14:13   a very strange feeling crazy it's like the core of your product is that people can have

02:14:20   multiple slacks for the different teams and companies and whatever that they're involved

02:14:26   in don't have a slow redesign rollout when you know you must hit a huge portion of the

02:14:34   users living halfway in both worlds it's maddening the thing that is the most surprising to me

02:14:40   is that they would make any big change and would not do the one thing that makes sense

02:14:46   which is let me have one overview of all of them yeah now I understand the logistical

02:14:55   problems of that I understand the security problems of that but if I don't have a heightened

02:15:03   like corporate security level thing in a slack which is like obviously like the if I'm not

02:15:07   enterprise yeah let me choose and the fact that I don't have one dashboard here's all

02:15:13   of the messages you've received today like I can't believe that they have not found a

02:15:18   way to make that work like that is absolutely wild to me they have done such a big change

02:15:25   but like I would imagine so many users of slack would love to not have to keep going

02:15:31   one to the other to the other to the other to the other all day which is how I spend

02:15:37   my life I only get to avoid that because I'm in just three slacks so two of them that I'm

02:15:42   in a work two of them are social so the two that are social I don't do this too but going

02:15:46   between relay and cortex brand like I don't want to keep doing that all the time yeah just

02:15:52   show me in one view all the messages I need to deal with in both places I don't know why

02:15:58   I don't do it I have a quick question for you where does the save for later exist oh

02:16:05   it's in the left but it doesn't have a little thing on the mac version to tell you the stuff

02:16:10   in there oh my god on this redesign are you kidding me slack they don't put an indicator

02:16:21   to show you you have things in the later on the iphone it does damn it on the iphone it

02:16:28   says later one item but on the mac version nothing it just says later okay so on the

02:16:35   mac when I save things for later like I do all the time it doesn't actually tell me how

02:16:40   many things are in later it's just an icon it's another place to manually check and look

02:16:46   oh do I have things saved great okay cool so now I know I'm not going to use that feature

02:16:51   then I'm going to go back to doing what I was doing before which is just marking things

02:16:56   as unread great I didn't notice this terrible design flaw in the new design because my grey

02:17:03   industry slack is still on the old design where it says later three so I know that I

02:17:08   have three to do items in my slack but on the cortex brand one I cannot freaking believe

02:17:13   this there's no way to see oh do I have something that I saved in later I don't know let me

02:17:18   go manually check and see if something is there oh just another place to hover over

02:17:25   so now I know they're just all hell I can't believe this I can't believe after I'm like

02:17:34   oh slack I finally made peace like hmm have you though we now enter the obsidian hour

02:17:42   as we talk about writing apps no this is not the obsidian hour are you using a different

02:17:46   writing app now then well no I'm still using obsidian okay I just feel like I actually

02:17:51   don't have a ton to say about obsidian compared to last year this is again a place where I'm

02:17:58   really happy with this app I feel like it just lines up with my brain in the way that

02:18:02   I want to be writing and the way that I want to use text being able to like flip back and

02:18:08   forth between files super fast or have like the way they do multiple windows on the screen

02:18:13   the only part of this which is still kind of killing me is related to our communication

02:18:22   and teams app is the question about collaboration with obsidian there's no question what do

02:18:29   you mean there's no question because it's not possible like there isn't a question right

02:18:34   but you can force it right how much do you want to force it how much do you want to take

02:18:41   I don't know the most mission critical app that I use and force it to do something that

02:18:47   it doesn't want to do that's the question that seems like a really good question do

02:18:51   you have any sense of like is collaboration any kind of concern for obsidian actually

02:18:59   you know it's funny you ask that I don't know I don't even know if they publish a roadmap

02:19:03   or anything they have a roadmap do they I just wondered like yeah because I wondered

02:19:07   if you kept up to date with that but like they do have a public roadmap I just know this

02:19:11   from them being around for a while like I remember when the iPhone app was on the roadmap

02:19:16   and people were excited about that back in the day I will ask you right looking for this

02:19:20   what do you think of the new obsidian icon the logo I think it's fine I like it yeah

02:19:25   I probably slightly preferred the old one they went the reverse direction right it seems

02:19:30   like every company on earth takes their logo and they and every couple of years they like

02:19:34   scratch their chin and they go but could we make it less yeah could we make it simpler

02:19:41   could we make it less identifiable that is why I like it I think they added personality

02:19:48   to it that's what I like about it they made it look more like a rock yeah yeah obsidian

02:19:52   did the reverse they took their abstracted notion of a rock and said but what if it was

02:19:56   more rocky what if it looked like an actual rock and they didn't make it yellow green

02:20:01   blue and orange or green blue and red you know they kept it purple the corporate colors

02:20:07   that everything becomes I mean like quickly looking on the public roadmap that they have

02:20:13   I'm not surprised to see that there's nothing about collaboration I'm not surprised because

02:20:18   I do just feel like the architecture of obsidian is just fundamentally opposed to the notion

02:20:26   that multiple people are working in one of these databases like I think obsidian fairly

02:20:31   does fall into the pick em category as a tool but it is clearly the most you as an individual

02:20:40   have had your brain explode into a thousand text files and that is what this program is

02:20:46   for yeah I mean just the reason that I consider it to be a possibility is it is built on web

02:20:51   technologies the same way as these other apps that we're talking about so like I have no

02:20:56   doubt that it would be complicated but even if they added just like this is the collaboration

02:21:01   area that all of the notes in here you can collaborate but not all of your notes you

02:21:07   know what I mean yeah no I completely agree it's a different business right which might

02:21:11   let me want to do it but it's just interesting yeah so the fundamental trade-off right now

02:21:16   is that you can use their sync tool and that will allow you to sync across all of your

02:21:21   devices including phone and iPad or you can use Dropbox to sync and if you do that you

02:21:28   have to give up sync on the phone and on the iPad but with Dropbox you can just share a

02:21:37   folder or a subfolder with another Dropbox user and then they can have access to just

02:21:42   the files that you put in that folder it says right here shared vaults collaborate with

02:21:49   your team invite your team to a shared obsidian vault notes are updated in real time across

02:21:55   your team's devices without compromising the privacy of your company data how is that not

02:22:00   what you're looking for god damn like you're dragging me into the details okay right so

02:22:04   this is what I'm saying there is a thing where multiple people can work on a single vault

02:22:09   uh-huh right but this is what I'm saying about the structure of the app you lose a huge number

02:22:18   of advantages of the way this app is designed the moment you have to break up information

02:22:24   across multiple vaults like I cannot stress enough this is a huge sacrifice in functionality

02:22:33   everything about this app screams you want to keep everything that you're working on

02:22:37   in one spot right but if why don't you just give all of the notes to the sync system I

02:22:44   could give all of the notes to the sync system but then that also means the entire database

02:22:50   has to be shared with my assistant it's an all or nothing deal for you why is that a

02:22:56   problem it's a problem for me because I don't want to share all of the notes with my assistant

02:23:01   like some of this stuff is just private and I'd rather not have it be shared but even

02:23:07   there there's a thing of like this is just a mission critical and also I also cannot

02:23:12   emphasize enough super squirrely system the moment it has to be like the two of us need

02:23:19   to use this thing that I use for writing like you said here like it immediately causes compromises

02:23:25   of like oh okay I have to arrange the files in a different way if this other person is

02:23:30   ever going to find anything in here and again the big advantage is I don't need to arrange

02:23:36   anything like I can just search for anything using my brain to remember what it is that

02:23:40   I was trying to find but like forcing my obsidian vault on another person is just inhumane so

02:23:49   I would want to just share a portion where I can be like look here's a very small amount

02:23:54   of the actual active stuff and this is what you can have access to

02:23:59   I'm really not trying to be annoying here no no no it's fine why not create a second

02:24:03   vault no no that is shared and when you're ready to share something move the file

02:24:10   to the shared vault like once something's ready to be shared does it need the context

02:24:17   of the other notes that are related to it you're not wrong in that like this seems like

02:24:22   it's a reasonable thing but the reason why you need to keep stuff in one vault is that

02:24:28   in obsidian you get these benefits from linking stuff together and what happens is you can

02:24:35   break the cross links if you change something in another document which the document you

02:24:43   have temporarily moved out of the sync system references so it basically causes this problem

02:24:50   of the moment you pull something out you now have to be careful right you have to be careful

02:24:57   and make sure while this document is with my assistant I have to make sure that I don't

02:25:04   accidentally modify anything else in this system that references that document because

02:25:09   then things can get broken so this is the problem of like yes you could pull something

02:25:16   out but it just it raises the possibility of danger ideally what you would like to exist

02:25:24   is it's all the same vault but you have like a folder that you can share you just move

02:25:31   things to the folder but it means that nothing's gonna break it's the same note and you just

02:25:36   move it back yes but if you moved it to a different vault now it's like it has no context

02:25:42   of where it came from and when it comes back it's like it's a new baby boy in there right

02:25:46   like it doesn't know anything about anything yeah it's brand new yeah and also the problem

02:25:51   is like while it's gone obsidian will act as though that missing note still exists within

02:25:58   the system like you can end up with like oh I've just created a blank version of this

02:26:03   document right like this is the kind of like weird problems that can happen it's gonna

02:26:07   create a blank file with that name just because other things reference it and then when it

02:26:12   comes back now you've got two files with the same name yeah I can see how that becomes

02:26:17   a bit of a mess this is the kind of problem right it's like obsidian this is a great feature

02:26:23   obsidian treats things that have not yet been created as though they exist and so that's

02:26:29   why if you pull something out of the system it goes from this document exists to this

02:26:35   kind of like ghost document that is waiting to pop into existence the moment you touch

02:26:40   it right and it's like oh okay great now you run into a problem where it's like now you've

02:26:45   lost the history of this document if you ever want to go back and try to like track where

02:26:49   a change happens so like there's just like lots of complications with this so I'm currently

02:26:54   using Dropbox to sync my obsidian stuff which means I don't have it on my iPad and I don't

02:26:59   have it on my phone which is mostly a minor annoyance but it does mean like I'm very aware

02:27:06   of because it doesn't exist on those devices I'm also not plugging in like getting information

02:27:14   into obsidian through things like shortcuts in ways that I otherwise would say like you

02:27:19   know hey append this information to this file and that's the thing that is like becoming

02:27:26   increasingly irritating and I think I probably will just eventually move so I've worked myself

02:27:32   into a situation where I'm not really using either of the two things that I want to use

02:27:38   I'm not really using the collaboration with my assistant in Dropbox because I keep thinking

02:27:42   like I'm gonna move this over into the sync system but I don't so I don't also just start

02:27:49   setting up shortcuts and things to make a bunch of my obsidian life easier so

02:27:53   yeah I think no matter what happens you should move to obsidian saying can just take the

02:27:56   benefit of that and then yeah then try and find some of the way to do with a collaboration

02:28:01   although I think realistically you just need to give up on the idea of collaborating in

02:28:06   obsidian but you should try and see if there is like using obsidian sync and collaboration

02:28:12   tools maybe there's some kind of thing that we're not thinking about but I think other

02:28:17   than that you should just give up on the idea

02:28:19   this is one of these things clearly the direction over time is I should just be using obsidian's

02:28:24   sync system and I'm just dragging my feet on it for a bunch of reasons

02:28:28   I'm sure there's other features that you're missing that would otherwise be cool that

02:28:32   they put into their system because that's what they want you to use

02:28:35   yeah and also I just think you have the benefit of I would rather use the sync system that

02:28:40   was custom designed exactly for this tool than using Dropbox which this is sitting on

02:28:46   top of

02:28:47   yeah but again this is relatively speaking within obsidian a fairly minor problem in

02:28:55   the scope of the benefit that this app provides me so like I have the overall picture is I

02:29:01   have nothing but thumbs up to give to obsidian like I just really love it and after years

02:29:08   of trying to find what is the writing app that works best for me this is the answer

02:29:14   it is obsidian

02:29:15   a very 2023 thing for writing would be to use some kind of AI I will say it is for me

02:29:25   what are you using it for?

02:29:26   one of the things that I have to write which I find to be one of the more difficult things

02:29:31   that I need to write is the description for this show

02:29:36   oh really?

02:29:38   for a long time it followed a format which was grey does this, Mike does this, they both

02:29:42   do this

02:29:43   this was like hundreds of episodes like over a hundred episodes did this I wanted to change

02:29:48   that this year to actually make the descriptions be a little more fuller to give people an

02:29:54   idea of what the episodes were about also to make it easier when going through previous

02:30:00   episodes to find it I haven't gone back and done this I might at some point like actually

02:30:05   go back and fill them out a bit more but I don't know about that but I decided to change

02:30:12   it up because like we made changes to the show this year we do like special episodes

02:30:15   and stuff like that and so I thought this might be a time to change stuff up and I've

02:30:20   done it so what I'm doing is writing more descriptive basically longer descriptions

02:30:27   for the episodes so they just talk about more of the things that we talk about rather than

02:30:32   just limiting it to three I don't really like this kind of writing in general like this

02:30:38   like short sentences short paragraphs that is not how I write like I write in long sentences

02:30:44   long paragraphs yeah if I ever do write and I also find it complicated to try and get

02:30:52   all of the right punctuation for this kind of writing so what I do now is I write a verbose

02:31:01   poor grammar version of the description and I go to chat gpt and I'm like can you rewrite

02:31:09   this for me and it does and that's what I use I was just thinking when you mentioned

02:31:13   the old episodes I was wondering if you could do something like here's a transcript of the

02:31:19   episode write a summary of it maybe to be honest the way if I was ever gonna do something

02:31:25   like that I could use the chapters oh yeah yeah that'd be good they're the topics really

02:31:32   so like it would just be a case of being like we spoke about this this this this and this

02:31:36   write me a description right and that might be slightly easier for a chat gpt to ingest

02:31:41   than yeah like totally insane not speaker marked out transcription of the podcast also

02:31:47   I don't like the chat gpt voice the way that it writes so I like to give it my writing

02:31:54   first so like if I feel like I have found better success if I if I give it bullet points

02:32:00   I tend not to like what it gives me if I have written a bad description and give it that

02:32:06   I think it does a better job of matching the tone that I want and so giving it a transcript

02:32:11   I don't know what nonsense it would throw out at me yeah that kind of writing feels

02:32:15   like the good sort of thing to use chat gpt for it's funny you mentioned how you hid the

02:32:19   AI thing in spark because using mail for me this is like the number one place that I want

02:32:25   a button that says write a first draft of an email response I mean you don't like I

02:32:31   want to deal with my email if I'm gonna deal with it you know but you don't this is for

02:32:36   me like what's the actual problem that I'm trying to solve it's not that I would send

02:32:39   that email but it's just a hundred million times easier to be like okay let me tweak

02:32:44   this to be more of what I'm actually trying to do obviously I can just like copy and paste

02:32:50   stuff out into chat gpt and be like write me an email great honestly you should check

02:32:53   out spark because like it's what it does they do AI drafts you know what that's a great

02:32:59   idea I am gonna check out spark I think I don't know why I had mentally written it I

02:33:04   think I'd whenever you talk about it I think in my head I put it under the category of

02:33:08   the section of pain on communication and corporate it is for me it is for me but like you know

02:33:15   as we said all of these apps that cause us pain do have useful features until you find

02:33:20   out that they changed the usual feature that you liked and then it wasn't useful anymore

02:33:23   yeah okay I think you know what I will check out spark like if you genuinely want that

02:33:27   it does it yeah so yeah I feel like for that kind of serviceable kind of writing you just

02:33:36   need a thing that's descriptive chat gpt is good at that this has been a year of AI for

02:33:43   sure people ask me all the time if I use chat gpt to help with the writing they're like

02:33:48   oh hey couldn't this help with the writing wouldn't this speed things up and in my experience

02:33:54   it's terrible at what I would want it to do like hey write something interesting about

02:34:01   this topic it's just the worst like I hate it I hate it so much it's not interesting

02:34:08   when I was trying it out and had to work on things that I like know the topic area it

02:34:12   just gives you all of the common misconceptions about a thing it's terrible at this I can't

02:34:19   imagine there is a world in which you would feel comfortable using it yeah because you

02:34:26   are so focused on facts right like could you trust it no I couldn't I also just think it's

02:34:35   style is terrible chat gpt this is gonna sound weird has a terrible sense of humor it's just

02:34:42   not funny everything that it tries to do that's funny is in the range of dad joke territory

02:34:51   or like jokes for children it's just awful I haven't found chat gpt useful for that in

02:34:57   the slightest although much to my horror I know full well that there are plenty of YouTube

02:35:03   channels already that just ask chat gpt for scripts on topics and then give that to a

02:35:08   voice generator and just like give that next phase to a video production thing and like

02:35:13   slap up tons of videos like here we are those videos are all terrible but it's already begun

02:35:21   yeah but like whatever people have been making low effort content on YouTube for a really

02:35:25   really long time like it doesn't matter how much of it there is good stuff will still

02:35:30   be wanted by people that's how I feel about it yeah I do think there's a slight difference

02:35:33   here it just in that it can fool more people it's like it's slowly raising the bar on this

02:35:38   but anyway for the time being it's just like it's not a remotely useful tool for me for

02:35:42   writing with like one key exception which is where I do actually use chat gpt a lot

02:35:50   when I'm working on a script and it is that chat gpt is the world's best thesaurus it

02:35:57   is like insanely good at thesaurizing when people use any kind of AI system the thing

02:36:04   I'm always trying to tell them is like look the value is not in your initial question

02:36:11   the value is in your follow-up questions and so when I write scripts I used to just what

02:36:18   a hundred percent of the time I always had the Apple thesaurus app just open on my computer

02:36:23   and I would be looking for it's like I'm looking for a word like this like what options does

02:36:26   it have I use that for years but now the thing that's so amazing with chat gpt is you can

02:36:32   say like I'm looking for words that are similar to this word and then it spits out a bunch

02:36:37   of words but the real power is being able to say okay but I want something that has

02:36:44   a more positive valence to it or I want something that has a more negative sound to it and that's

02:36:51   where it's just like god damn is it so good at being like what about these words what

02:36:55   about these words or being able to skip the things that thesauruses do where they're they're

02:37:01   often giving you much more than you want so you can specify like I want a different word

02:37:05   for this but this exact meaning right not all of the meanings of this word just like

02:37:12   this narrow way in which it's used what are other ways that you could say that and so

02:37:16   boy boy has it just like taken my thesaurizing to next levels like this is by far and away

02:37:25   the most frequent and common use of chat gpt for me by far I think next most common use

02:37:31   for me because chat gpt basically is an app right

02:37:34   it's on my iphone yeah it's on my iphone next most useful thing for me is tech problem debugging

02:37:42   so in my life I am the person that everyone I know asks for technical assistance to fix

02:37:49   whatever it is in their life right my computer isn't working like it's not doing this thing

02:37:54   help me fix it if you're the tech support person in your world you know that very frequently

02:38:02   the hard part of the problem is not fixing the problem the hard part of the problem is

02:38:10   understanding what the problem is based on the description that the non-technical person

02:38:18   is giving you it's very frequently like with my wife who in our house it's like I will

02:38:24   take care of all of the technical problems because she has no patience for dealing with

02:38:28   any of it and frequently I will be handed an ipad with the sentence it's not working

02:38:36   like okay right like let's start trying to drill down what is the it what should it be

02:38:41   doing what should it not be doing and you try to turn those descriptions into like actionable

02:38:45   things this is a totally sensible problem right because it's unreasonable to expect

02:38:52   average users to know the names of all of the things what's the name of the strip on

02:38:57   the top of your computer right what are all these different things nobody knows what has

02:39:01   been absolutely magical for me now using chat gpt to try to solve my problems is realizing

02:39:11   I can do to chat gpt what everybody else does to me which is basically give it a very badly

02:39:19   phrased description of the problem and trust that it can work it out and here is my pro

02:39:25   tip on this right this is a total life changer for me wait just look at you use chat gpt

02:39:30   for this not bing so they're both the same systems behind the scenes I know I just wonder

02:39:34   what app you're using I'm just that's not important I'm just intrigued it depends the

02:39:39   actual chat gpt app is often my first go even for solving technical problems like it's surprisingly

02:39:44   good bing is still like optimized for searching for things which is not always really what

02:39:49   I'm trying to do I think whatever version of chat gpt they have in the actual app feels

02:39:55   smarter to me than the bing version does the bing is like optimized in a particular way

02:39:59   I just opened the chat gpt app and I now have the chat with voice saying which I've not

02:40:04   tried yet but they just they just gave me that okay yeah so here's my pro tip they've

02:40:09   rolled out this chat with voice thing I think you should do something else so this is what

02:40:13   I have done I am just using apple dictation to record what I'm saying and turn it into

02:40:20   a blob of text and send it to chat gpt and if you do it that way chat gpt doesn't talk

02:40:26   back to you it just types back and you can read so I think for most people you will be

02:40:33   able to read and skim and frankly get through a lot of like chat gpt's boilerplate nonsense

02:40:39   of like well it's a large language model I have some thoughts about the ios subsystems

02:40:43   like shut up right but I will tell you like it has been such an amazing game changer to

02:40:49   be able to just like speak out loud in sentences I would never type sort of change what you're

02:40:57   saying in the middle not have any of the technical words right about like what problem it is

02:41:02   you're trying to solve on the computer and just hit return and chat gpt can freaking

02:41:07   nail it like 99% of the time it understands not what you have said but what you are trying

02:41:15   to say it's amazing and it's also to me it's like oh wow I can be much lazier in the way

02:41:22   that I talk to this thing because I can trust that it gets it which made me instantly realize

02:41:29   oh I have encouraged this behavior in everyone I know in my whole life because they're all

02:41:35   like I can just say whatever to him and I can trust that he'll get it.

02:41:38   You're the large language model.

02:41:39   Right exactly like he knows.

02:41:40   I like the thought of like in the future someone goes great I have a technical problem you

02:41:44   just get your phone out and hold it up to them go on you speak to chat gbt let's take

02:41:50   me out of the middle.

02:41:52   Yeah it has really been quite a unique experience to have this feeling of I understand how everyone

02:42:00   uses me in their lives because I now have this thing for me.

02:42:05   Chat gbt debugged this problem on my computer that was like absolutely shocking to me that

02:42:11   like went straight down into the absolute core of my computer where there was a problem

02:42:16   with like a Python installation this again is where I don't know the technical word it's

02:42:20   like oh there's different shells that you can use at the terminal which is always the

02:42:25   level where I'm like I don't know why this is a thing that exists but it's like oh ages

02:42:31   ago when I set up a Mac and you used to be able to dual boot them into Linux like I caused

02:42:36   a problem with my Python installation that has been following me for forever and when

02:42:42   I was trying to run some Python scripts like I couldn't get them to run and I could not

02:42:47   figure out why and it's like chat gbt debugged and walked me through this just insane series

02:42:54   of terminal commands to fix like the deepest subsystem on my computer no one on earth could

02:43:01   have debugged this in this way from my description.

02:43:04   I am trying to change my relationship to these tools it is inevitable what is happening to

02:43:09   the world I'm not going to dig my feet in on this forever I have concerns and they continue

02:43:14   but I'm not going to be like a luddite I'm not going to be like no I refuse to use these

02:43:19   tools no I will use them and I will find the ways to use them that I think are right like

02:43:23   for me but just because I've had feelings and thoughts and they're complicated about

02:43:29   this stuff I'm not going to be like well now I'm just going to refuse to do it.

02:43:33   No of course and that's what I'm trying to figure out is where is this actually useful

02:43:37   and that's sort of what this conversation was for me is what seems like it might be

02:43:41   the most useful at first oh it's useful for script writing has not remotely been useful

02:43:46   at all but there are totally other ways in which it has been very useful I mean especially

02:43:52   like I cannot convey to you how much chat gpt has sped up my ability to work on spreadsheets

02:44:02   the amount of complicated and crazy things that I have done in addition to just the raw

02:44:08   amount of work that I have gotten being able to ask chat gpt questions or just some specifics

02:44:14   of formulating formulas it's like a 20 to 50 fold productivity increase like in the

02:44:22   domain of spreadsheet work it's insane I've seen these spreadsheets they're bananas there's

02:44:28   thousands and thousands of rows and comp and like I don't understand what's going on in

02:44:32   there but I guess now you said that kind of makes sense that chat gpt is helping you do

02:44:36   it right because it's very complicated stuff.

02:44:38   With the spreadsheets there's nothing that it's helped me with that I couldn't do on

02:44:42   my own it's just cutting down the time enormously which is the same thing as a productivity

02:44:48   boost it's insane so it's very interesting that like these two areas being a thesaurus

02:44:56   and also being able to produce technical answers that I am able to verify are correct that

02:45:05   I don't have to trust is what the thing said true no no I can see if it worked and so that

02:45:13   is also where it's just been an absolutely huge advantage I will just say it's made me

02:45:18   think a lot about the future of Apple's apps because I don't know if this is true but I

02:45:25   have a suspicion and a feeling that Apple might be more culturally resistant to AI than

02:45:32   other companies I just think like they absolutely have to be incorporating some AI tools into

02:45:41   their production apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic and they have to be doing it right freaking

02:45:49   now or I think they're going to be in real trouble very soon.

02:45:53   I think they are I do I understand the thinking behind the cultural resistance I think I felt

02:45:59   that at first too but I don't think that stupid like I mean they just they put a transformer

02:46:04   model in the keyboard like to me that was a sign.

02:46:08   I hope you're right I just my hesitation is like you know they're two big apps that I

02:46:11   use Final Cut Pro and Logic have both had obvious places where you could use even just

02:46:18   the basics of machine learning for like five years and they haven't put in any of that

02:46:24   like it's insane to me that in Final Cut Pro the workflow is still in theory that you need

02:46:29   to manually tag all of your clips with what's in them and like guys this should have been

02:46:37   solved half a decade ago.

02:46:40   Yeah yeah that's a good point.

02:46:41   Or similarly with Logic like a bunch of modern audio editing apps are doing things was like

02:46:46   we'll just write the transcription of what you've said above the audio which makes it

02:46:50   a hundred million times easier to edit.

02:46:53   Logic could have done that years ago but they haven't so.

02:46:55   Yeah but Logic's a bad example though.

02:46:57   Why do you say that?

02:46:58   Well Logic is not a podcast editing or audio editing it's music it's a music creation tool.

02:47:03   I would say the Final Cut example that is weird like they should add something like

02:47:07   that but you know I know you have used Descript and we were talking about it offline a while

02:47:13   ago and that's one of the apps that does that thing that you're talking about but like Descript

02:47:18   is a podcast editing tool.

02:47:21   Logic is not that it's just what we use it for.

02:47:23   Yeah I know but I still think even if you're doing music you're moving the playhead around

02:47:27   constantly being able to see where does a word start and where does the word end is

02:47:32   still something a music editor would want to do.

02:47:35   I don't think that's limited to podcast editing but anyway yeah so it's a little sidebar on

02:47:41   AI which is sort of an app.

02:47:46   Maybe next year we might have a lot more AI based apps on our list than we do right now.

02:47:52   There'll probably be a category I mean even if that even makes sense it won't even make

02:47:55   any sense anymore it might be there in every single app that we're using I mean honestly

02:47:59   like AI is a notion I mean I already said AI is in Spark I mean there's probably multiple

02:48:04   other apps that it's in.

02:48:05   Yeah you know what actually now that I think about it with the speed of AI we may push

02:48:10   through it so fast that it would be like highlighting apps that can do calculations like now they

02:48:17   all do calculations you don't need to highlight this as a feature.

02:48:21   It's actually yes I don't think we will have an AI category next year I think this might

02:48:25   be the only time we ever do a sidebar on AI apps but I think next year more and more of

02:48:32   the apps that we use will have AI and machine learning features and we'll be talking about

02:48:36   them more that's what I reckon will happen.

02:48:39   Okay Mike we gotta start wrapping up this show here okay?

02:48:43   Let's go let's go!

02:48:44   Go media apps and entertainment what do you want to talk about?

02:48:48   All I have is games.

02:48:49   Okay great me too go!

02:48:51   The only one that's on a smartphone is an app called Finiti which is on Apple Arcade

02:48:57   it's just a very good match 3 app I love it it's hard to explain but if you have Apple

02:49:03   Arcade download this app it's fantastic.

02:49:06   Oh okay.

02:49:07   I'm going to talk about my two games of the year so far.

02:49:10   Legends of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom they did it.

02:49:13   How could it be possible to make a better game than in my opinion the best game ever

02:49:18   made?

02:49:19   Just make it better!

02:49:20   It's what they did.

02:49:21   Tears of the Kingdom is a better game than Breath of the Wild in every way you could

02:49:26   measure in my opinion which is truly outstanding that they pulled it off but they pulled it

02:49:31   off it is superb.

02:49:33   A game that I have recently started playing which is currently as of today when we are

02:49:39   recording on October the 12th the only game that seems to be in true contention for game

02:49:45   of the year other than Tears of the Kingdom is Baldur's Gate 3.

02:49:49   It's like I've literally never heard of this game.

02:49:51   It is essentially what's called a CRPG which means computer role-playing game which means

02:49:58   Dungeons and Dragons style rules in a video game.

02:50:01   Is that using AI to do that?

02:50:02   How do they do that?

02:50:03   It's been in development for a really really really long time.

02:50:07   So they have apparently there are like thousands of ways the game can end like the pause that

02:50:12   you can take because you can do things like you can attempt to do a thing and you roll

02:50:17   a dice and it fails and now this character dies.

02:50:20   Just like well there's nothing you can do about that the character's dead now.

02:50:23   Like it's really fun and really weird and really cool it's got all of the RPG mechanics

02:50:28   you might want from a game but it adds dice in and it's turn-based combat with dice throw

02:50:33   in and like the spells.

02:50:34   It's Dungeons and Dragons but a video game.

02:50:36   It's really cool and it's very inventive and you can feel the hard long work that went

02:50:43   into this game.

02:50:45   The story's really interesting like I'm enjoying it.

02:50:47   I'm like I don't know 10 hours in or something.

02:50:50   It's very hard.

02:50:51   It's very good.

02:50:52   I like it a lot.

02:50:53   Okay I want to bring attention to three games for my own selfish reasons because I want

02:50:58   to promote more things like this.

02:51:00   The first game is called Isle of Arrows.

02:51:03   If you've listened to this section in the past you will know I'm a big fan of the

02:51:05   tower defense genre and I feel like this is an anemic genre that could always use more

02:51:12   attention and people doing interesting things.

02:51:14   You've chosen a recent one this time which is great and I'm familiar with this game

02:51:20   because it was very popular and like very well reviewed when it came out last year.

02:51:24   Yeah I missed it the first time around and I think this is one of these things where

02:51:28   I something about when I saw it I was like ah I don't think that's for me but I just

02:51:33   wanted to mention it because it does interesting things in the tower defense genre and might

02:51:38   be kind of newbie friendly if someone hasn't gotten into that before.

02:51:43   It's dangerously close in some ways to a puzzle game but not so close that I don't want to

02:51:50   play that because I hate puzzle games so anyway I just think it's really interesting.

02:51:53   I like to promote tower defense games that do different kinds of stuff.

02:51:57   Along the similar lines I stumbled upon Vampire Survivors a while back and that game has since

02:52:04   given birth to a genre that people are calling bullet heaven as in the opposite of bullet

02:52:09   hell which I really like.

02:52:10   Oh I haven't heard that phrase because I remember when it was called reverse bullet hell but

02:52:14   I prefer bullet heaven.

02:52:16   Right we were trying to struggle with how do you describe what this game is because

02:52:20   it's the opposite of a bullet hell and so yeah we're like reverse bullet heaven?

02:52:25   It's like this is not good.

02:52:26   So people have created the phrase bullet heaven which is like perfect.

02:52:32   You are the object that emanates all of the weapons and there's a million enemies around

02:52:36   you.

02:52:37   Since Vampire Survivor a bunch of games have come out in this category.

02:52:42   I just wanted to draw attention to Army of Ruin which is a game made by a seemingly very

02:52:48   small team that it's really high quality and I think it just had super unfortunate timing

02:52:55   when it came out between a couple of other games like this but I really like it.

02:53:00   It's very visually pleasing.

02:53:02   Again very interesting weapon mechanics, a very interesting upgrade system that I like

02:53:07   that doesn't feel like it locks you into a particular build.

02:53:12   Unlike a lot of these things I really feel like you have the freedom to try different

02:53:16   stuff so I'm going to recommend Army of Ruin.

02:53:19   This has also just been a terrible year to be an indie game developer because there are

02:53:24   so many good big games coming out this year that trying to get attention in 2023 seems

02:53:32   to have been a bit of a nightmare.

02:53:35   When I was looking around for Army of Ruin stuff I was like "oh the number of reviews

02:53:39   they have and the size of their subreddit do not reflect how good this game is."

02:53:45   So I really like this one.

02:53:46   If you like Vampire Survivors totally give this one a try.

02:53:49   Then I will.

02:53:50   Because I do.

02:53:52   It's cute.

02:53:53   I think it's a cuter version of this.

02:53:55   It looks really nice.

02:53:56   This has been the real go-to for my Steam deck playing on the couch.

02:54:02   I've been very much enjoying it.

02:54:03   The thing about Vampire Survivors, the one thing it does not have is looks.

02:54:07   I find Vampire Survivors has a certain kind of retro pixel charm.

02:54:11   I think it's the best version of this.

02:54:14   But yeah sometimes I can feel like "I just want something a little bit more aesthetically

02:54:19   pleasing."

02:54:20   Do you know Vampire Survivors on the iPhone now?

02:54:21   I don't know how you'd play that on the iPhone.

02:54:23   But I don't know how people play anything on the iPhone.

02:54:26   Fair enough.

02:54:27   But it is.

02:54:28   The last and increasing scale of cuteness is a game called Voxel Tycoon.

02:54:33   This is like a sort of semi early access game.

02:54:38   There's a game called OpenTTD which is like a town train simulator kind of game that is

02:54:45   a billion years old.

02:54:46   And I have felt for like a decade I'm trying to find the modern replacement for that game.

02:54:53   And Voxel Tycoon is this.

02:54:56   It's the kind of thing where you're just connecting up towns with trains and trucks and buses

02:55:03   and you're moving passengers around.

02:55:05   You're delivering coal from the mine to the factory and then that factory is producing

02:55:10   iron bars that you're delivering somewhere else.

02:55:13   The furniture company needs wood so it's your job for how to transport that stuff around.

02:55:18   I find this just so satisfying and so relaxing.

02:55:23   There's been a lot of games that try to do this but I feel like Voxel Tycoon is hitting

02:55:30   the version of this which is in my dreams of, again, very cute little towns, sort of

02:55:37   interesting mechanics but not too crazily complicated.

02:55:41   I just really like it.

02:55:42   I wanted to just draw attention to it as a game that I feel could totally use more players

02:55:47   supporting it in development.

02:55:49   There's also a delightful feature where after you've built all your trains you can click

02:55:53   on a train and then have the first person view of driving around on all the little tracks

02:55:59   and going through the forest or going through the mines or whatever.

02:56:02   It's delightful.

02:56:03   That to me feels like what do you benefit from making a game like this today?

02:56:07   Yes, exactly.

02:56:09   That's what it is.

02:56:10   Yeah, but we can zoom the camera down so that you can see what the bus driver in your tiny

02:56:15   town sees.

02:56:16   So, really love it.

02:56:17   That does remind me of Theme Park World when I was a kid where you could ride the roller

02:56:22   coaster but it was super janky but you could do it and it was like, "Ah, I'm riding my

02:56:27   roller coaster.

02:56:28   It's going way too fast."

02:56:29   Yeah.

02:56:30   So, those are my three game recommendations from the year.

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02:59:04   Alright, onto lightning round.

02:59:08   And we've really got to speed up now Mike.

02:59:10   Well it is the lightning round so it should in theory be the fast round.

02:59:14   I will start with Raycast.

02:59:16   It is my new launcher on the Mac.

02:59:19   It's replaced Alfred for me.

02:59:20   Oh wow.

02:59:21   It's got a very nice simple modern UI and it has tonnes of integrations available.

02:59:26   I don't use a ton of them but they're there and I add more in over time for different

02:59:30   services and stuff like that.

02:59:32   And I like that you can do things like if you want to, window management tools and punch

02:59:36   a conversion stuff.

02:59:37   It's just I like Raycast a lot.

02:59:40   It's nice and simple but can be complicated if you want it to be.

02:59:43   Alfred is the one that I use.

02:59:44   I'll check that out.

02:59:45   Alright, little app on the App Store called Wallet Creator.

02:59:49   I think a long forgotten feature of Apple Wallet is that you can with apps help get

02:59:56   your own custom passes into Apple Wallet.

03:00:00   So in the UK there's a gym membership company that is extremely annoying because they want

03:00:05   you to open up their app in order to get access to the gym.

03:00:09   So it's like, "Hey, we'll generate a QR code for you in our app.

03:00:13   We want you to open."

03:00:14   I'm like, "Oh, I hate this so much."

03:00:16   Wallet Creator's little app that if you have anything that is annoying like that, you can

03:00:20   just take a barcode or a QR code and create your own card in Apple Wallet, which you can

03:00:28   then also proximity lock to a location to just automatically show up on the lock screen.

03:00:34   So that's so good.

03:00:36   Yes.

03:00:37   So I've done this with my library card and I've done this with my gym pass.

03:00:42   I love eliminating something that is just a constant pointless frustration.

03:00:46   And if you have some company that just doesn't want to integrate with Apple Wallet, you can

03:00:51   probably force them to with Wallet Creator.

03:00:53   I'm going to recommend a Mac app called Drop Zone.

03:00:56   It's a menu bar app that you can configure with different shortcuts that you would like.

03:01:02   If you drag a file up to the menu bar app, where do you want it to go?

03:01:07   So I'll give you two examples.

03:01:09   One, I have a folder in Dropbox that the receipt management app that I use for my business

03:01:17   receipts can pull from.

03:01:19   So I can take a PDF from my Mac, drag it over the Drop Zone icon and drop it into the receipts

03:01:25   folder and it's gone.

03:01:26   And I don't need to actually do any management.

03:01:28   The other one that I love even more though is trying to airdrop a file on the Mac is

03:01:32   way more complicated than it should be.

03:01:34   You have to find the share menu and click a bunch of buttons.

03:01:38   With this, I can just drag a file to Drop Zone, drop it over the airdrop area and it

03:01:43   just opens the airdrop menu and I can choose who to send it to.

03:01:46   But you can have it also do a bunch of actions.

03:01:48   You can drag a bunch of files up and it let you zip them.

03:01:50   It's one of these apps you can do a bunch of things with it.

03:01:53   I really like it.

03:01:54   It's a small little Mac app.

03:01:55   Okay, next up I've got Home Pass.

03:01:57   This is an app I wish I had known about three years ago.

03:02:01   But it's like, when's the best time to plant a tree?

03:02:05   100 years ago.

03:02:06   When's the second best time?

03:02:08   Now, right?

03:02:09   When's the best time to start using Home Pass?

03:02:11   Five years ago.

03:02:12   When's the second best time?

03:02:14   Now.

03:02:15   This is the app that will keep track of all of those codes for everything in your house

03:02:20   that you're trying to automate.

03:02:21   We're like, "Hey, hold this accessory up to the iPhone or whatever."

03:02:24   And you think, "Oh great, I'll just do this once and surely I will never need to repair

03:02:30   or reset this home accessory again."

03:02:33   No, you 100% will and it can be extremely annoying to try to either find the code that

03:02:40   you've lost or like yank a home accessory out of an awkward location to reset it up.

03:02:46   Home Pass is the thing of like, every time you add something to your house, add its Home

03:02:51   Kit code into Home Pass first.

03:02:55   And then you can just use that app to reset up or repair any of these applications if

03:03:01   they get messed up later.

03:03:03   So, start using it today if you don't already use it.

03:03:07   That's a very good recommendation.

03:03:08   Why are you laughing so hard?

03:03:10   Because I gave it to you last year in the...

03:03:12   Did you?

03:03:13   Yes, this came from me in the lightning round last year.

03:03:14   I don't think you did.

03:03:15   I don't remember this.

03:03:16   I just, well...

03:03:17   Great, you just gave the same pitch I gave 12 months ago.

03:03:19   Well, you know what?

03:03:20   I didn't listen.

03:03:21   It's worth it.

03:03:22   It's worth remembering.

03:03:23   I didn't listen to you at all.

03:03:24   Well, where did you find it then?

03:03:27   Rosemary Orchard recommended it on Automators, a sister show on Relay.

03:03:31   Unbelievable.

03:03:32   Which is also totally worth the ride.

03:03:33   Here's the thing, Mike.

03:03:34   When she said it, it just sounded so obvious.

03:03:36   I was like, "Oh, I should totally go use that app."

03:03:38   But last year, you were like, "That's a great app."

03:03:41   Never mind.

03:03:44   PopClip.

03:03:45   Assensibly what this app does is when you select text on the Mac, it pops up the copy/paste

03:03:50   menu from iOS essentially.

03:03:53   Which I like.

03:03:54   You know, you're selecting text and I'm going to do it on my mouse.

03:03:55   Now I can just go up and press copy rather than doing the keyboard thing.

03:03:59   But what PopClip can also do is let you do things with the text.

03:04:03   So for example, if you highlight a link, it will pop up something where you can click

03:04:07   that link.

03:04:08   But what I use it for the most is if I want to title case something, I can highlight it

03:04:13   and press this little button and it will turn that text into title case text.

03:04:18   Very cool.

03:04:19   And again, like DropZone, there's tons of things you can do with it.

03:04:22   The developer has a bunch of different extensions that you can use.

03:04:25   Okay.

03:04:26   So listen.

03:04:27   I know that you did recommend me and I specifically put it in here because I wanted to reemphasize

03:04:33   something.

03:04:34   So last year you mentioned CleanShot X and you were like, if anybody takes screenshots,

03:04:40   you need this application.

03:04:41   Unlike some other apps, I distinctly remember listening to you and thinking, I take screenshots,

03:04:47   but I don't need this app.

03:04:48   What could I possibly want to do with my screenshots more than what I already do with them is just

03:04:54   have an image on my desktop.

03:04:55   Well, you know what?

03:04:56   I should have listened to Mike.

03:04:58   Hashtag Mike was right.

03:04:59   CleanShot X, if you ever take a screenshot on your Mac, it's just better.

03:05:04   I'm so glad I actually installed it.

03:05:07   And the really nice thing is the ability to do stuff like get an image into your clipboard

03:05:12   without it ever actually existing as a file anywhere on your computer to delete later.

03:05:18   Like that is one of the main features I really like about this super easy markup tools.

03:05:23   I did not believe Mike last year.

03:05:25   I thought I didn't need it, but I was wrong.

03:05:28   It's great.

03:05:29   Screen recording.

03:05:30   You can do videos, you can do GIFs, you can do scrolling capture of a web page.

03:05:35   You can use it to select an area that has text and have it capture the text and no screenshot.

03:05:43   Yeah, it's crazy.

03:05:44   So good.

03:05:45   I'm going to recommend Lasso.

03:05:48   So I use Moom as my window manager for keyboard shortcut stuff.

03:05:52   So what Lasso lets me do is with a different keyboard shortcut, it will pop up a little

03:05:57   icon and I can draw an area on my screen for where I want the current selected window to

03:06:03   exactly be and how big I want it to be.

03:06:06   Sold.

03:06:07   Yeah.

03:06:08   So for Moom, what I use it for is like specific sets and you can do this in Lasso too, but

03:06:13   I like the way I have it set up in Moom and it's fine.

03:06:15   But Lasso will let you like, you can choose a grid size in the app settings of how much

03:06:21   of like how many grid sections do you want the screen to be divided into and it will

03:06:25   let you just draw in those.

03:06:27   It's really, really cool.

03:06:28   I love it because you see live how big the window is going to be and then when you like

03:06:33   unclick the cursor, there you go.

03:06:35   Done.

03:06:36   Because you've just mentioned that, I'm going to mention I've been looking for a replacement

03:06:39   for my window management system on the Mac and I've eventually settled on Mosaic as the

03:06:45   app to move around Windows into different exact spots.

03:06:49   I was using Divi last year, but it is like very old and needed to be replaced and I quite

03:06:55   like Mosaic.

03:06:56   It lets you draw like a super teeny tiny grid so you can really exactly specify exactly

03:07:01   where you want a window to go when you hit the keyboard shortcut.

03:07:04   But the one thing it doesn't do is have that you can live draw exactly where you want the

03:07:09   window thing to go.

03:07:11   So I'm going to add Lasso to Mosaic as my Mac window management.

03:07:15   Flighty.

03:07:16   I talk about Flighty a lot, but Flighty has had a very busy year and I want to make sure

03:07:20   I mention it.

03:07:21   Obviously, the live activities are amazing.

03:07:23   I mentioned that before.

03:07:24   But Flighty has added two features that has made it even better.

03:07:28   Friends flights.

03:07:29   So they've had a way for a number of times where you can take a flight and you can add

03:07:34   it to their section as a friends flight and it doesn't count in your statistics and all

03:07:38   that kind of stuff.

03:07:39   And you can also limit the amount of notifications you want for a friends flight.

03:07:42   They've made this feature better so you can share with someone to have your flights added

03:07:47   into their Flighty.

03:07:48   So me and Steven have done this.

03:07:49   So whenever he's flying or whenever I'm flying, the other one gets notifications about it.

03:07:55   Oh nice, I didn't realize that was a thing that you could do.

03:07:57   Yeah, it's pretty new, but the biggest thing for me is they finally made a watch app.

03:08:01   Oh I'm so glad.

03:08:02   Which I cannot believe they didn't do before now, but they finally added an app.

03:08:06   So on the Apple Watch you can see the information about your flights and it also comes with

03:08:11   a bunch of really great complications as well.

03:08:13   Yeah, I was always so baffled that it didn't exist as a complication on the watch.

03:08:17   Every time I was like, why is this not here?

03:08:18   This seems like the best place for it to be.

03:08:20   So very happy that that exists there.

03:08:22   I'm going to add an app called Gemini on your phone.

03:08:26   This is partly a recommendation for the future as well.

03:08:29   Gemini is an app that's existed for a long time to get rid of duplicate photos in your

03:08:33   photo library.

03:08:34   But I'm mentioning this here now because they're currently running a test flight that you can

03:08:39   join for the next version of Gemini.

03:08:42   And it is amazing.

03:08:45   So I think like just about everybody ends up with a million duplicate photos and also

03:08:50   very similar photos.

03:08:53   And this is just the best app I've ever found for.

03:08:56   I want to try to trim down the size of my iPhoto library and get rid of like these thousand

03:09:03   similar photographs that I have.

03:09:05   The new version that's coming out adds just a ton of nice features, fixes some of the

03:09:10   irritations with the old version that like syncs state across all of your devices.

03:09:15   So you can mark like, oh, I never want to get rid of this photo.

03:09:19   So if I try to clear up my library on another device, it knows to just say like, these are

03:09:24   the photos that you want to keep.

03:09:26   Really great for me.

03:09:27   It's a kind of perfect couch app for like, I just want to do something while I'm half

03:09:31   watching this TV show.

03:09:33   Let me try to like clear up my library.

03:09:34   Gemini.

03:09:35   Bartender 5.

03:09:36   So it's a brand new version of Bartender, which is an app that lets you clean up your

03:09:40   menu bar and so you can have more menu bar apps available to you at a click.

03:09:46   Now it's got a few new features.

03:09:48   One it lets you customize the visual style of your menu bar.

03:09:51   You can actually change its shape and color and a bunch of stuff.

03:09:55   I don't want to do that, but I think it's cool.

03:09:57   What I do like is you can have menu bar items that are either shown or hidden to you with

03:10:03   specific trigger presets or by using AppleScript.

03:10:06   So for example, in different focus modes, you could have different menu bar apps in

03:10:10   different locations, different menu bar apps.

03:10:12   So you can go wild with AppleScript.

03:10:14   You can also now create groups of icons that can be expanded by hovering over an icon on

03:10:20   the menu bar.

03:10:21   So you create a little icon and when you hover over it, it expands and shows you like a bunch

03:10:25   of different menu bar items that you've put behind it.

03:10:28   It's like folders basically, but in the menu bar.

03:10:31   Nice.

03:10:32   My last app recommendation is not an app recommendation at all, but it is a feature of Sonoma.

03:10:39   On Safari, you can now click add to dock and make any webpage into an app.

03:10:45   And you can also do this in shortcuts.

03:10:47   So you can turn any shortcut in your system into an app on the dock.

03:10:52   But here's the thing, it doesn't have to stay on the dock.

03:10:55   Which I didn't know for a really long time.

03:10:58   So yes, this is the thing that I think people don't realize is like that add to dock feature,

03:11:03   every time I click it, the very next thing I do is pull that thing right off the dock

03:11:07   and poof it out of existence.

03:11:09   And it doesn't matter because Spotlight will still pick it up or Alfred will pick it up

03:11:14   or whatever you're using.

03:11:15   Raycast will pick it up.

03:11:16   So this I have used for every website now and every shortcut that I use on my Mac, I

03:11:23   add all of them to dock and make a little tiny app out of them and then just call them

03:11:27   from Alfred.

03:11:28   So I was very confused about this because they don't live in the applications folder,

03:11:32   but they live in a separate applications folder.

03:11:34   They live in users applications folder, which everyone has completely forgotten the existence

03:11:40   of until now.

03:11:41   Or if you're like, where did those things go?

03:11:43   Oh, right.

03:11:44   The user application folder.

03:11:46   How strange.

03:11:47   My final recommendation is Peak, which is a fitness widgets app that I've mentioned

03:11:52   to you in the past.

03:11:53   What I really like about this app, you can use it to view a bunch of stuff about your

03:11:57   fitness.

03:11:58   I just wanted one widget that would show my activity rings and my step count in the same

03:12:02   widget.

03:12:03   And it lets me do that.

03:12:04   And you can have widgets that you configure with the whatever things you want to access

03:12:08   about your fitness from Apple Health that it has access to.

03:12:13   So I just think it's a very nice way of getting a visually attractive widget that has the

03:12:18   two pieces of information I most want at a glance from my iPhone about my activity for

03:12:22   the day.

03:12:23   And according to my timer, we have stopped the show at four hours and 28 seconds, which

03:12:30   I'm going to just round down to four hours and say that when it's edited, it will be

03:12:34   under four hours.

03:12:35   I expect right.

03:12:37   But Mike, I mean, the real thing here is we started this afternoon and it's now 9pm.

03:12:42   Oh my god.

03:12:45   Well that's the apps.