May 3, 2016

Update: On empty content apps

Two weeks after deleting all apps with streams from my iPhone, I’m extremely happy with the decision.

Tweetbot and Reeder have been by far the most difficult to live without. I’d go as far as to say I had an addiction to checking these two apps whenever I had an idle moment — and sometimes not so idle either.

I’ve dealt with the withdrawal by limiting these two apps to the Mac and iPad. To my surprise, two things happened:

  1. I didn’t miss any breaking news: checking less through the day didn’t make any nugget of gold fall through the cracks.
  2. I opened both apps less on the Mac/iPad: somehow the above reinforced that I was missing anything, my instant checking anxiety went down — maybe a carbs analogy would be appropriate.

Not cured, but taking my medicine

I eventually plan to have both apps installed again when I feel I have control. In the meantime, today 4 apps were installed new (3 old and 1 new):

  • The Economist Espresso: One by product this last two weeks was that I started reading print magazines again. I devoured an Economist last weekend — like the good old days. Since the whole magazine every week is a bit overkill, give the app a try.

  • NYT Now: I missed it, and the content the good kind of colesterol.

  • Morning Reader: it’s an excellent review of what’s happening in tech, and was I opening it a lot on the browser either way.

  • Linky: I’m reading more, so I have more to share! or so I tell myself. It’s a content producing app — although it’s more crap I’m dumping in the stream… so sue me.

Let’s see what happens in two weeks.

  1. Mostly because Instapaper was getting boring since I started to get to old articles.

Lifehack iOS
May 2, 2016

Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams


A week after finishing this book, I’m still thinking about some of the chapters. I will listen to it again for sure.

Don’t have goals, have systems, Fail forward, Happiness = health + freedom. Some of the self-help mantras Scott Adams shares on this book make sense in hindsight, but at least for me, the angle was new and refreshing.

However, I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone. You need to be OK with hearing advice based on lots of anecdotes. On Scott Adams defense, he’s upfront about this and has no problem with the idea that you’re just going to laugh at him through each chapter.

But as I said in the beginning, I’m very likely to listen to it again soon. I cherry picked some of the concepts and I’m planning to put them in practice, and I’m looking forward to calmer reread. Which is about the best recommendation you can give a book I guess.

Review Audiobook
May 1, 2016

Nothing says I♥U as 123

Mike Clouse:

Megan and I will text 123” to each other a few times a day. This little code goes way back for us and it just means, I love you, and I’m thinking of you. It only takes about 2 seconds to do, and always seems to come when I need it most.

Ana and I started doing this last year. I highly recommend it. It’s just a simple ping to tell your significant other s/he is in your thoughts.

You don’t need to wait for a response, or a read receipt. Just send it and go on with a busy day.

And if writing 123 is way too much effort, you can use Launch Center Pro or an app like Other to script it — not that I would ever do something so geeky.

Lifehack Personal
April 25, 2016

Projects are not born

I’m dropping all labor pains and newborn analogies for software and projects from my vocabulary. They were useful descriptive abstract concepts, but recent family events have changed this.

In a classic ironic twist, the new website was launched today. We’ve been working on it all year, and I’m very proud of it. It has a whole new CMS that gives a great foundation for upcoming features.

Very thankful to all the people in Costa Rica that actually did all the work.

April 19, 2016

Cutting back on empty content apps

I’ve decided my next experiment: delete all Apps that are full of empty calories content.

Two unrelated items1 made me realize I need to take extreme measures to waste less time on garbage: 1: Which ironically I found via my RSS reader, but that is neither here nor there.

1. Dumbphone by Marc Jenkins:

Since I can’t rely on my own willpower, I’ve removed all of the Apps on my phone that don’t provide significant value. I’ve removed all temptation. And this morning, it worked.

Love his paired down home-screen. It basically forces you to Learn, Create, Do, or turn off the iPhone move on with your life.

2. Wasted Hours by Matt Lubchansky:

Wasted HoursWasted Hours

This struck a nerve. It made me laugh, but also a bit more uncomfortable that I would like to admit.

The usual suspects

Gone are: Tweetbot, Reeder, Narwhal, Product Hunt, Hacker News, Instagram, Nuzzel, Pinner, Morning News, FB Messenger, Youtube and even Linky. This is going to hurt a lot.

I even deleted Google Inbox. Going to force myself to use Gmail or even Apple Mail. Why? because all the Apps mentioned lead me to waste time and think I’m doing something. Scheduling an email for later is not much better than streaming endlessly remixed crap, just to find the occasional gold nugget.

I’m not going offline, just taking the first step and taking these time voids from the iPhone. I’ll try to get my RSS, Tweetbot, etc fix on the iPad mini.

Dammit… it just occurred to me that I need to delete them all from the MacBook also.

Experiment Productivity Health