Cortex 61: State of the Apps 2018


  they started working with more and more

  people in slack and also end up being

  signed up to more slacks I'm very aware

  that like in the space of a year or it

  may be 18 months I've gone from a slack

  is my communication salvation to I feel

  deeply ambivalent about slack because

  now when I open up it's just like I find

  it hard to manage but also recognize

  that this this like email has now become

  a like a business communication tool

  that is so firmly entrenched I can't

  imagine that it's going anywhere yeah I

  don't know if I feel exactly the same as

  you but I feel there are some things

  where I'm similar well like I hang out

  in slack way less than I used to but I'm

  still there all the time because it's

  where the business is happening with the

  people that I work with like slack is

  kind of more akin to the office now like

  it's where my co-workers are right and

  there is still like a water-cooler that

  people can go and chat in mm-hmm but I

  think I spend less time actually doing

  the chatting now I still listen but I

  don't chat as much just because I don't

  know why actually but it's it's just a

  lot every single slack that I'm in

  basically its sense to be quite a lot of

  noise and it can be harder to keep up

  with as time goes on and more and more

  people join yeah I think there there

  definitely is a function that there's

  like it's like all communications

  channels trend towards memes eventually

  right like that's that's what just

  happens is and like nobody means for it

  to happen and of course like the reason

  it happens is because it's funny and

  it's easy but but it does make things

  just really noisy and if you if you are

  like if you're like me I feel like my

  goal with slack as always I want to open

  it up I want to get a bunch of stuff

  done and I want to go that tendency

  towards noise makes it harder to work

  with sometimes and and slack you know in

  a bunch of different slacks that many

  you do have the

  problem where it's like the urgent flag

  on emails when like the other person

  gets to decide how urgent a thing really

  is like slack can be that way a little

  bit where it's like other people are

  deciding that a thing is really urgent

  for everybody to have to hear about

  right now and like maybe everybody

  disagrees on how urgent that thing

  actually is so I feel like I'm gonna be

  using slack for forever

  I really couldn't run my business the

  way I do now without having a gray

  industry slack like I just I can't

  imagine doing it any other way

  but I do find myself thinking about it

  more ambivalently

  as a tool as time has gone on yeah I

  think if you say it's it's kind of

  normal right like it's I think most of

  the communication tools that I've used

  in the past I've eventually felt like I

  wanted to move away from social networks

  yeah enough exactly like social networks

  eventually I always want to find a

  replacement for this which is better

  than the current one like in and I think

  slack is finally finally going that way

  like slack was the replacement for work

  email for me which is amazing I'm so

  happy that happened but now I'm like

  what is a replacement for slack there

  isn't one yeah I've been I've been

  thinking about that and it is it is

  fascinating though where it's like you

  know we've talked about email on the

  show very many times and I am aware that

  in my life in all realistic ways it's

  almost like email has completely

  disappeared for me it's like I almost

  never even open email and I almost never

  look at it because again 95% of what is

  important in matters is coming to me

  through slack so slack has just absorbed

  all of that yeah which which I never

  would have expected so do you want to

  run into a lightning round okay yeah how

  we gonna do this I don't understand

  these rules do you want to just do one I

  say one you say one and then we go and

  you say one we have a little explanation

  pick one what do you like all right one

  password because it's where all the

  passwords go and I now have like team

  stuff set up and it's awesome numbers

  absolutely love it as a spreadsheet

  because it is

  powerful than Excel but a million times

  more beautiful than Excel and the way

  you can arrange tables just fits with my

  brain better so numbers is where all my

  spreadsheets live in a similar thing I

  love numbers for stuff that's just for

  me but if anybody else is involved it's

  Google Docs and Google sheets

  nobody has collaboration tools like

  Google does and the Docs and sheets

  programs are the best in class even if

  they can be frustrating yeah 100%

  nobody does collaboration like Google

  next one up I got to give all credit to

  Federico 40g for recommending this to me

  which is a service brain dot F M which

  is yeah I'm gonna say music but not

  exactly music to listen to while you're

  working I listened to a single song on

  repeat a lot whenever when I'm writing

  but brain dot FM I really like bringing

  this into my life because sometimes I

  don't have a song that I'm listening to

  on repeat and now brain dot F M is is a

  is an easy decision to just be like I

  don't know what song I'm gonna listen to

  I'm just gonna open brain FM and just

  let it play and I love it it's a it's a

  great addition to the background sounds

  in my life a mail Oh

  air mail my email app it's my favorite

  email app even though upsets people I

  love it last one for me I'm gonna

  mention an T RSI which I was still using

  in 2014 if you're on a Mac all day you

  want a computer to remind you to take

  little breaks so that you can try to

  manage your RSI and anti RSI is still

  the one that I like the best I think

  it's the simplest and it does the best

  job of reminding you to take little

  breaks and to take big breaks at regular

  intervals if you're on a Mac all day I'm

  just saying yeah if you're on a Mac all

  day what happened to you it's are we

  talking about me I'm talking to the

  people hmm

  last one I'm gonna recommend is a tool

  that very few people are going to need

  but I do use it and love it it's called

  pipe drive and it's like a sales

  management tool icons that sounds very

  business it is in credits the most

  business II app that I use it's like a

  contact relationship management tool and

  like a sales funnel tool we usually use

  Trello for this and we outgrew Trello we

  needed some more specific features like


  ability to add people's contact

  information to the deals that we were

  doing and needing multiple people to

  have better access over it so we use a

  tool called pipe drive it is without a

  shadow of a doubt the most business you

  thing that I use

  I almost feel a little bit uncomfortable

  every time I open it sales funnels

  everybody loves sales funnels so next up

  is writing this is the exciting part

  so what writing tools you using now okay

  huge change absolutely love my main

  writing app now is Ulysses and Ulysses

  is just amazing and it took me a really

  long time to get into it because it has

  a very very different way of organizing

  what you're working on and it was it was

  that different method that kept me away

  from it for a long time or I thought

  like I don't need your rethinking of how

  writing on pages works Ulysses but they

  are totally right and they have this

  concept where you don't have pages they

  have these little things that are called

  sheets and a sheet can be as long or as

  short as you want it to be but the

  killer feature is you can glue a bunch

  of sheets together so that it looks like

  it's a page but it remains easy to

  rearrange so in a practical example like

  right now I'm working on another Q&A

  script like a for a Q&A video and so I

  can have each question and answer be a

  single sheet and then it makes it really

  easy while I'm writing to just say oh

  you know what this question this

  actually works much better at the start

  and so I can just quickly like fruit

  drag it up rearrange it and it's it's so

  nice plus they just have they have a

  million great features like it's it's

  markdown compatible but you can also

  export to anything that you want and you

  can write your own little

  styles for how things are going to be

  exported so like when I want to turn a

  script into something that I'm going to

  write on by hand I have my own custom

  style to export it into PDF it's it's so

  nice it's it's so great oh you can have

  different different formatting for the

  or different coloring for the way you

  want text to be so you can say like oh

  these two characters are going to mark

  off that this text is going to be in

  pink right or this text is going to be

  underlined and you can you can start

  building up a system for yourself about

  how you want to work like it's it's

  really really fantastic I feel like I

  can't say enough good things about

  Ulysses and I'm always coming up with

  more ways to use it I have used it it is

  very good it's too much for me it can it

  can definitely be a bit over

  overwhelming it makes me feel like I

  should be writing a novel yeah it does

  have a biased war that's not even fair

  but it does it does maybe compel you to

  be working on bigger projects like if it

  feels like it could just be used for

  these huge things and I don't even use

  all of the features because I mean I'm

  sinking it through Dropbox which then

  only allows you to use a smaller number

  of their features because if you're

  using it with iCloud like you can do it

  like an endless number of things with

  Ulysses it's really quite impressive

  actually I'll give you I'll give you an

  example of a way I used it which was

  totally unexpected but is a side effect

  of of organizing and sheets and okay so

  I've been I've been playing around with

  another vlog for my channel which may or

  may not ever get released I don't know

  it's it's a big it's a big mess yay

  Mike's laughing now because he's been

  hearing about this for like months

  but anyway a couple weeks ago I was I

  was working on it and I felt like I I'm

  at like a log jam point here like

  nothing is really working but what I

  what I got the idea to do

  was in Ulysses I actually ended up

  writing out a bunch of the different

  parts of the vlog and using their color

  coding to represent different things so

  I could say okay let me let me type out

  what I'm saying in the vlog at this

  point and if it's pink

  that means it's audio that was recorded

  live on on on location and if it's green

  here's something that I want like future

  gray to be saying and if it's blue

  here's something that somebody else was

  saying and then if it's like another

  color it's an indication of what's gonna

  happen in the scene I would yeah well it

  was it was an interesting thing to do

  because like I wrote it out which one

  just made me think a little bit more

  about what the structure is going to be

  but then because you have these sheets

  it's like each sheet was like a little

  subsection of a scene and it ended up

  being a situation where I realized oh

  this is this is much easier to think

  about the vlog at a very high level

  because now I can rearrange where these

  things go without just having to watch a

  whole bunch of footage over and over

  again that maybe I'll use or maybe I

  won't use so it just ended up being like

  oh this is this is turned into a

  text-based storyboarding tool mm-hmm

  so it was it was just it was an

  interesting thing to have done and it

  really helped me a couple weeks ago

  realize a bunch of stuff that doesn't

  need to be included and a couple of

  things that that should go in different

  spots like it's much more obvious

  looking at it that way so even if you're

  not writing there may be other places

  where the ability to rearrange text is

  very valuable and so Ulysses is just

  like that is it's real that's it's that

  is it's real strong suit for any type of

  writing that I do which is like longer

  than a message to someone I'm probably

  or if it's not going in notes so I'm

  gonna get to notes later for its

  purposes for me it would be there is

  where I do this type of there is grave

  there is a really really nice app that

  does a great job with like markdown so

  if I'm writing like a blog post or

  something like that then it would go in

  bare it

  really really nice for it and I have

  used their organizational features they

  have a great tagging system and stuff

  like that I haven't gone too deep into

  that because I started doing it and then

  realized that I never ever needed it

  like I never I was I was tagging

  everything I was writing him bear then

  realizing that I just never needed the

  tags because I could just search if I

  needed anything and that wasn't such it

  for me it wasn't a system where I was

  like needed to catalogue things as such

  so I kind of realized that it just made

  sense we to open it right to know that I

  need and then move away but like I

  really really like bear I think it's a

  very nice app that is going through a

  lot of great revisions that are adding

  new features very frequently I'm a big

  fan of it sort of like how slack


  eat all of my email bear has an all of

  the random text files in random folders

  everywhere in my system so like I used

  to have just in different places like

  lists of things or here's here's a note

  about this and I realized the same thing

  that's like I'm just gonna keep all of

  this in bear and if it's a list of

  anything or a note on almost anything I

  can just search for word and bear fast

  enough and pull it up and I really like

  it it's a great app it's a really

  beautifully designed app as well and it

  syncs quickly and and reliably so yeah I

  have a ton of stuff in bear and I highly

  recommend it as well and then obviously

  I use my Apple pencil to take notes

  every now and then and there are two

  apps that I really like to do that with

  and it's good notes and notability I

  kind of use them both for different

  things I find good notes to be really

  good for marking up PDFs and stuff like


  but if I'm taking notes I actually

  prefer notability for it in the past at

  least initially I found notabilities

  Apple pencil support to be better I

  really like the way you can move things

  around and it's also good notes

  sometimes overwhelms me with how much it

  does and notability feels much more

  focused when I'm in it hmm it's funny I

  feel like I feel the exact reverse I

  feel like notability has all of this

  stuff and good notes is relatively


  but I think it's also just like I have

  spent an enormous amount of time and

  good notes I got yeah I really like that

  you know that back up front like it was

  in the 2014 list yeah yeah that was

  surprising to see I didn't realize it

  was it was that old so I think that is a

  case of like longtime familiarity with

  the app has just made it to me like it's

  a it's it's indistinguishable from using

  a legal pad and a pen for me at this

  point so I absolutely love good notes

  and I really like it that's all I have

  for writing I don't know if you have

  anything else I mean you know this is

  where I could like I can just mention

  Evernote it's sort of like you know it's

  still there it goes in the right-hand

  column well you know I use it for

  research and stuff okay like there I

  mean if we if we're shuffling into

  research I would throw notes in for me

  this is where I I put all of the links

  and all of the articles and all of the

  kind of the thoughts and notes that I

  have for the shows that I do and as I'm

  just going through the week and then

  either the day before the day of the

  show that's recording I will then go

  into Google Docs and transfer that stuff

  out and plan out the shows in more depth

  but everything that I'm saving in the

  weeks between each show it's all going

  into the Apple Notes app it's a very

  good app it got a little bit flaky not

  flaky it's got a little bit weird in

  some places and I was 11 with the way

  that it saves some links that you put

  into it but I never have data loss and

  you know it's not that kind of weirdness

  it's just sometimes things move around

  in a strange way but the the share

  extensions and all that stuff remain

  completely rock-solid for me and I love

  it bear has a really fantastic share

  extension too but it can get it can get

  kind of weird with sync conflicts so I

  try and not put put stuff like that in

  it hmm interesting

  yeah I'm still using notes in the in the

  way I described a while back which is

  like just as a place to jot down stuff

  that I'll figure out later where it goes

  so notes is is a very temporary place

  for me and and bear is the place where

  structured long-term lists live like if

  like if I'm thinking about something for

  cortex I'll often write it down and bear

  and then transfer it over to the Google

  Doc later

  okay so this is a similar usage really

  yeah so video production I mean all I

  have to say on this is final cut yeah I

  have final cut to say as well but I do I

  feel like I need to get something on the

  record my final cut which is that's this

  year I did I did make an attempt to

  learn Adobe Premiere oh I forgot about

  that yeah yeah there was a time where

  you were threatening to move to audition

  on me yeah I was I was investigating the

  Adobe suite and I sunk a lot of hours

  into learning Premiere and I got to the

  point where I could put together a video

  and in premiere like I got far enough

  along and I just I felt like this is not

  for me I don't like Premiere I don't

  like the way it works Final Cut Pro just

  works with my brain and I'm really glad

  I put in all of those hours with

  premiere because I feel like I feel like

  I appreciate Final Cut Pro so much more

  like I appreciate it a hundred times

  more after using Premiere than I did

  before so I feel like Final Cut you're


  I'm sorry I looked elsewhere for a

  little while that's exactly it like

  you're the only one for me all of your

  features that are amazing I was just

  taking for granted and like I super

  appreciate Final Cut Pro I may hold it

  up as one of the the best applications

  on any platform that Apple is that all

  right all right okay I don't forgive

  news like we're getting along just great

  but yes I not only do I use Final Cut

  Pro I really love Final Cut Pro no I

  mean what about animation tools do you

  still use any so at this point

  everything that was my animation tool

  creation stuff like that has essentially

  98% been outsourced at this point so I'm

  working with my animator and

  he is doing essentially all of the

  animation at this stage so a lot of my

  concerns about vector tools on on

  different platforms they just they just

  do not exist as concerns anymore for me

  which which is a huge actually quality

  of life improvement yeah not having to

  worry about that stuff so is there

  anything else in the video production

  category so there's only one other thing

  in the video production category that

  I'll recommend which is an iPhone app

  called filmic Pro which is if you're

  ever going to try to be shooting video

  say you're trying to walk down a street

  in Las Vegas and you want to film a

  montage this is a little a little manual

  camera app a video camera app for the

  phone which just has it has a million

  features but there's really only two

  things that I use in it that I really

  like and it's the ability to to set a

  point on the screen for where you want

  the focus and where you want the

  exposure to be set so you can say like

  I'm walking down the street but I want

  the focus to be on the sidewalk but I

  want the exposure to be set against the

  sky alright so you can manually say this

  is how it's supposed to look

  whereas with the regular iPhone camera

  like the iPhone does a great job of

  automatically figuring it out for you

  but sometimes you do want to be able to

  manually set that and then the other

  thing that I like which is just a little

  detail but with filmic Pro you can tell

  it which microphone it should be

  recording the audio from and just as a

  little trick like for a lot of Las Vegas

  stuff and for some vlog stuff you can

  tell it to use the microphone that is

  facing you while you're recording the

  stuff that's in front oh man that's

  amazing yeah it's really great and you

  can save it as a little preset so you

  can open up filmic Pro and so it will be

  using the microphone at the bottom of

  the phone to record you talking while

  you're looking at the screen and filming

  the thing that you're looking at so I

  really like that if you're just trying

  to capture any kind of video on your


  and that's the thing that you're using

  so I highly recommend it it's a great

  little app it's a pro tip it's it's an

  app recommendation

  what about reading I have absolutely

  zero in this category you don't exactly

  so I will have no reading recommendation

  I mean I'll recommend the Kindle is the

  Kindle an app it's a physical device is

  this too far is that stated the app

  Kindle isn't app you're recommending the

  Kindle app well I mean I'll recommend

  that I'll recommend the Kindle app if

  you have to I'll recommend a physical

  Kindle as better now that they've fixed

  all of their software problems and if

  you installed the Kindle app on your

  phone I recommend that you create a

  workflow to launch it that you don't

  have to look at its icon which is

  improved but still not good so yeah I'll

  recommend Kindle in in terms of reading

  oh and of course I'll still recommend

  Instapaper for articles and stuff like

  if I'm saving articles I'll still throw

  them into instant paper so those are the

  the reading apps that I use okay was

  reading a category on my old yes in the

  original was Instapaper and Kindles so

  you're a your creature of habit

  well I think I think I think what

  actually happened is we went so we went

  far away and then came back right it was

  so long that we've actually done that oh

  yeah definitely used other stuff right a

  bit you had a pocket phase and you had

  an iBook I had a socket phase and the

  iBooks phase wasn't a phase iBooks phase

  iBooks was a was a state of life for a

  very long period of time so it may

  actually be that like right after I

  wrote that article I switched away from

  Kindle and I have only just recently

  switched back also you can't recommend

  the physical Kindle through fear that

  this ends up becoming a gift guide

  episode you have to be real careful we

  have to like skirt around the gift guide

  yeah no it's not a gift guide not a gift

  guide it's the state of the apps but a

  Kindle would make a fantastic Christmas

  yeah it's not a gift guide but I will

  recommend this for one gift it's I don't

  think one gift is a guide no it's not

  know what Jing is the next category why

  did I have watching as a category what

  was past me thinking about I don't get

  this I think where does it roll this up

  into media right some reason you

  included feedly and

  and you're watching which seemed like

  strange really strange recommendation

  because one is an RSS reading app and

  one is read it later app no I but here's

  what I was doing Mike

  I was I was trying to force the YouTube

  subscription service into being the way

  I wanted it to be so I was pulling RSS

  feeds for YouTube channels and then

  dumping them in a separate app so that I

  would get all the videos in the order

  and organization that I wanted that's

  what I used to be doing no I think you

  can't do that anymore because youtube

  doesn't even have RSS feeds for channels

  I think they got rid of it that's not

  even still exists because why would you

  set up your own RSS feed right yeah yeah

  I think that's I think that's all gone

  I mean obviously I recommend YouTube but

  I don't think I need to recommend that

  to anybody

  it's like recommending Netflix like yeah

  got some great shows have you ever heard

  of smart phones I think that you might

  like them I use an app on my iPad called

  end player hmm what I use this for end

  player is a really great way to get to

  be able to get videos onto an iPad and

  have a place to watch them in so I'll

  give you an example we do not have

  YouTube read in the UK yeah very

  frustrated so if there is a YouTube

  video look there are some videos that I

  watch that are multiple hours in length

  and I would like to have them on a plane

  like I watch some like Let's Plays and

  stuff like that and some game streams

  that sometimes I like to watch them when

  I'm on a plane instead I use workflow to

  download the YouTube video okay right

  and then I save it out to end player

  that's clever

  that's clever and so that's that's a

  good way of doing it I'd actually don't

  know if I can share the YouTube workflow

  they exist on the Internet yeah I don't

  think you should you can find them

  potentially but that's something that I

  do well there is a way to fix this

  YouTube just give me YouTube read like

  you are the one who controls this just

  give me it but they won't I wish they

  would but they won't because I get

  teased every time I go to the US right

  and I open the YouTube apps like hey

  sign up

  they put download buttons on everything

  so this is point let's call icon just

  cuz I'm in this country I can't start

  just using you to read now I had a

  YouTube red account on a YouTube account

  that is mine that is in the US so for a

  while I was enjoying all the benefits of

  YouTube bread in the UK but eventually

  they crack down on that they're like oh

  no we know you're paying us money we

  know this is a u.s. bank and account but

  you sir are not on a vacation you're

  clearly living in another country so no

  Netflix did the same thing so

  disappointing today's episode of cortex

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  make your next move make your next

  website listening I feel like we need a

  little disclaimer here because I'm proud

  to recommend overcast has the only

  podcast app that you should use but I

  feel like we need to say like we know

  Marco who makes overcast so just need to

  need to put that on the record there but

  I really do think overcast is is the

  best podcast app and

  it's it's largely because of the two

  things like it's the smart speed feature

  which cuts out a lot of the gaps unless

  edited podcasts and it is also it's also

  that whatever Marco has done with the

  low level audio stuff

  no podcast app makes speeded up audio

  sound better than overcast so that's one

  of the main reasons why I really really

  recommend it is you can listen to a

  podcast on a higher speed and it doesn't

  have as many of the artifacts or

  weirdness that other other speeded up

  systems use exactly I mean the reason I

  use overcast is because of smart speed

  which is the silent shortening I don't

  listen to podcasts at like 1.5 or 2x I

  just let overcast just use its rubber

  banding to make things faster and where

  it needs to and it's that is the feature

  right like it doesn't matter how many

  other apps there are it doesn't matter

  if like all that designs really pretty

  or whatever as there are a bunch of apps

  that are like that it doesn't matter

  like because they don't have smart speed

  in the way that I like it other apps

  have silent stripping but I've tried it

  and just to my ears it just doesn't

  sound as good it's close but not good

  enough and it's not good enough to make

  me want to move and I one of my other

  favorite features about overcast is the

  black theme because I have an iPhone 10

  so black themes where it's like

  all-black look amazing because the

  yellow it's green so I like that a lot

  and yeah I mean that's why I use

  overcast but then as gray said

  the developer Marco is a friend and that

  always helps but overcast is really good

  I mean I know a lot of people use it and

  they're not all friends of Marco so you

  know there you go we can do I don't know

  that guy's pretty popular travel travel

  makes me sad because you could you could

  ride that on your tombstone yeah yeah

  you know in very many levels but I just

  realize I totally forgot the name of

  that app that everybody was using to

  track flights that was then bought by a

  company that then withered and died do


  you know the one I'm talking about yes

  was everybody saying you'll list here

  flight track five is that what it was a

  flight track yeah flight track was the

  app yeah it was so good and nothing has

  ever replaced it and I like when that

  thing disappeared I swear to God I was

  reaching out to everyone I knew to be

  like what are you using to track your

  flights like people are people on the

  edge of my contact network I was like

  what are you using to track flights tell

  me what you're using I got hoping hoping

  that somehow someone would have

  discovered some like gem in in the

  wilderness that I hadn't stumbled upon

  but there was a really long period where

  flight tracking apps were just not not

  up to speed but my recommendation in

  this category I finally found one this

  is pretty good it's not perfect I do

  sometimes have notifications about

  flights that don't seem quite right but

  the do is just forward though to the

  developer and he seems really active

  about trying to like wrinkle out all the

  the final little bugs but I'm using

  flight logger and I I really like it

  because flight tracking apps have this

  this delicate balance that they have to

  play like there's a lot of information

  like how are you going to display that

  information and I think flight logger

  makes for me the design decisions in

  that trade-off that are pretty good so

  that that's the one that in the past I'm

  gonna say in the past six months I've

  really settled on as okay this is going

  to be the flight tracker for me every

  time I'm traveling what are you using

  like I used to use to I used to I use

  flight logger and I really like flight

  logo but I need to say they have been a

  sponsor in the past some of my shows a

  useful at logo because I like its

  simplicity but then I also use an app

  called app in the air has a lot of

  information but too much and most of the

  time I don't want it but there have been

  times when I do want that amount of

  information the problem with app in the

  air is

  sometimes it's too busy and it's pretty

  expensive like they have like I think

  it's like five dollars a month or like

  thirty dollars a year I mean okay like

  I'm comparing it when I say expensive to

  what apps cost right like in a plant

  that's pretty explain it but but I do

  really like it but I like to you I use

  them in conjunction every time I get on

  a plane I put them into both apps so I

  just want to find out like what time am

  I taking off then I'll just open flight

  logger and just find that now but if I

  want to get like what type of plane do I

  have will I have Wi-Fi are there lounges

  in that airport like up in the air has

  all of that ancillary and ancillary

  information and I would say great if you

  haven't used it in a while they

  redesigned the app a little while ago

  and it got a lot better it got way it

  used to be really pushy about certain

  things yeah like I think I'll just say

  okay so maybe the redesign happened but

  the reason I stopped using app in the

  air is I've never felt this way about an

  app but I felt like I was getting

  bullied by app in the air like it was so

  yeah variant on the things they wanted

  me to do and and and also just like they

  really wanted the passwords to my email

  accounts to do stuff that I didn't

  really care about them doing and it was

  so pushy I felt like I feel like I'm

  getting bullied by yeah you know like

  it's way way better for I would

  recommend you to try out again justice

  okay I'll take a look at it again and

  see yeah so yeah I really liked it we'll

  talk about games well you always want to

  talk about games Mike well yeah yeah of

  course I love games I wanted to talk

  about games last time but it just made

  you sad should we talk about Mario

  Odyssey okay flip flops solitaire is

  probably my favorite iOS game this year

  it is like a really weird solitaire game

  I've always liked solitaire games you

  know but I've never been like incredible

  solitaire this is this is difficult to

  describe I think but flip flops

  solitaire lets you go in both direct

  so with solitaire you would usually go

  for example sighting at the top like 10

  9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 right like you would

  go down right you go down with ace being

  1 but in flip-flops solitaire you can

  stack in both directions so you could

  have a 10 card right and you could put

  on that tank card over a 9 or a jack

  okay so you go up or down go up or down

  I mean eventually you have to try and

  still put all the cards away but it is

  an easier way to move the cards around

  because you could put them everywhere

  it's I recommend people just try it it's

  a fantastic game I really really love it

  it's my favorite game this year that's

  kind of been added to my games folder

  and my games folder contains like my

  all-time favorite iOS games and flip

  flops solitaires very quickly become one

  of those what that makes me think of is

  a game I didn't play a lot of but I did

  really enjoy was oh god what the heck is

  it called I just need to look it up to

  get the name right really bad chess I

  don't know if you played this or not

  it's made by the same person oh okay

  well then that that makes sense

  yeah they're both of these games are

  made by Zach gage okay right there we go

  yep but I had fun with really bad

  chassis the premise there is I used to

  play chess a lot when I was a kid you

  know I was like a deal the chess team

  kind of you know you're a kid come on


  totally surprised but one of the things

  that happened with me when I was playing

  chess is when I started getting better

  at the game the game became deadly

  boring to me because you realize like oh

  the first part of the game is about

  openings and it's always the same and

  then the interesting part of the game is

  only when it you start getting into

  unknown situations later and really bad

  chess is super fun because it starts out

  with the beginning locations of all your

  pieces are just randomized and it made

  the game just it made chess fun to play

  again and I think it's the same thing

  like what you're talking about with flip

  flop solitaire where

  the designer is tweaking the rules of

  the game to make the game more fun to

  play yep and so like I really enjoyed

  really bad chess and like if you have

  ever played chess and left it behind

  this is at the very least you will have

  an enjoyable afternoon playing really

  bad chess it was it was it was a lot of

  fun I'm so what games have you been

  enjoying and they've recent are they old

  here's the thing what I was thinking

  about games this time because my old

  article it's like Who I have I have a

  bunch of games to recommend people that

  are recent games but I I tend to go in

  phases in and out of games or it's like

  I play a lot and in a condensed period

  of time and then I go for a while and I

  don't play very much and I feel like

  there's a there's a bigger meta cycle

  that has happened in my life which is

  that this year has been a relatively low

  gaming year for me overall so I feel

  like I don't have an enormous number of

  games that came in like I know I did get

  the switch so I'm just I'm going to just

  mention three because I mentioned them

  before so I can do it very quickly but I

  have come to think of these games as my

  Holy Trinity of games these are the

  games that have stuck with me the

  longest that I have played the most and

  that have three very distinct roles in

  my life can you guess what the first one

  is Mike what might it be

  hmm it's truck simulator game I was like

  yeah okay mm-hmm yeah of course

  right we've talked about it a million

  times truck simulator American Truck

  Simulator in particular absolutely love

  it and that is my brain dead game it's

  it's great many hours maybe I was I was

  thinking about iOS and obviously has no

  help that no there's no help they're

  very very good Mac gaming rig but then

  on top of that I mentioned them before

  but I'll just mention them now again

  factorio and rim world are the two other

  games that I absolutely like and

  I don't know if any have ever ever

  anybody use the phrase absolutely like

  yeah no one says that you love something

  or you like it

  you're absolutely like it I guess I do

  absolutely like these I absolutely don't

  mind them I'm glad you're enjoying

  yourself over there this is what happens

  on podcasts right when you're talking

  instead of writing like these things

  that come out you're like why am I

  saying this no idea thanks brain for

  assembling that sentence

  absolutely like it's a phrase that I can

  imagine you using right well I'm gonna

  use it for I'm gonna use it now right

  now that it's come into existence right


  but yeah I would describe rim world as

  stardew valley except fun that's the way

  I describe room and factorio is a game

  where if you have any any programmer

  inclinations at all factorial might be

  dangerous for you to try but it is

  deeply deeply involving and they've just

  put out a new version in time for

  Christmas which I'm I'm really really

  trying to prevent myself from even

  looking at until I have finished all the

  work that I need to do until Christmas

  season arrives because as soon as I open

  that up it's like okay well here go here

  go a bunch of hours but those have been

  the stable three Holy Trinity games for

  me for a long time now and I just I

  think they are just great solid games in

  in very different area so I just I

  really like them and I don't I don't

  have a bunch of new recommendations this

  year so I'm just gonna rear-end those I

  am gonna give you a very quick super

  quick just give you the names of my iOS

  gaming Hall of Fame mm-hm

  threes Altos adventure stagehand Domino

  drop a mini Metro

  they are my favorite did they all my

  favorite iOS games of all time and

  flip-flop solitaire joins them

  like they are the games that I always

  keep installed on my iPhone they are

  perfect iPhone games yeah Altos

  adventure I can definitely recommend

  that's really fun and and beautiful like

  the art style and out those adventures

  is great and mini Metro I never played

  it on iOS I played it when it came out

  on on Steam when it was in early access

  and that that is I think that's a great

  example of a game that is simple but

  involving and one of the things that I

  really like about mini Metro is it's a

  game where you always lose but you don't


  it's very Tetris like like the

  complexity just keeps scaling up and

  you're doing a very simple thing and

  you're always going to lose it's just a

  question about how how long can you go

  on before you lose so yeah I'm also

  gonna really recommend mini Metro so

  there are a couple of categories that I

  think we could condense into

  miscellaneous yeah I think we can do a

  lightning round in miscellaneous all

  right you go first I'm gonna mention the

  last service I think which is Dropbox

  oh yeah Shalini as one you know I kind

  of forget like because it's just there

  yeah it's it's just there but Dropbox is

  the filesystem for me for everything and

  it's the way that I keep my work managed

  across different devices different

  operating systems it's it's the

  absolutely vital underpinning of almost

  everything I do and I upgraded to

  Dropbox business this year so that I

  could use their new features like

  selective or so not selective syncing

  but the thing where you can have in it

  what is it called it's what we call it

  infinite it was originally called

  Dropbox infinite which is an amazing

  name and then they changed it to

  something else and I can never remember

  what the new name is because it's boring

  but it's it is Dropbox's version of what

  iCloud Drive tries to do which is like

  we can show you all your files and then

  we'll just download them as needed

  except unlike iCloud Drive which is

  terrible and caused me an enormous


  of frustrating problems when I went to

  use a smart sink no cuz smart sink is

  the thing that just hides the folders no

  that's electives not sink maybe it is

  maybe it's it is either smart or

  selectively sink

  yeah I think it's smart sink cuz it says

  on the website access every file in your

  Dropbox right from your desktop using

  very little hard disk space yeah yeah

  okay yeah you're right I'm looking at it

  now here it is it's smart sync but it is

  great to be able to designate a folder

  as to say like this folder always has to

  be on the computer and up-to-date and

  then this other folder you can push it

  to the cloud and if I ever need to

  access it just download it as fast as

  you can and also in the theme of

  communicating with lots of other people

  you know Dropbox I have you know shared

  folders with like 10 people various

  things just so vital and to give you an

  indication of just how vital it is my

  Dropbox folder if I or if I open it up

  now ok my Dropbox is seventy three point

  six percent full on a 15 terabyte

  Dropbox accounts but I am usually I am

  using a lot what are you doing that's a

  huge that smart sync is pretty vital I

  mean I as somebody who has a shared

  Dropbox folder with you I am very aware

  of the fact that you don't like to

  delete anything ever and there is like

  some some pretty severe selective

  thinking that we have to do like no no

  but see but here's the thing I don't do

  any selective syncing because with the

  Dropbox business thing like the core

  tech stuff is all just there and I never

  even looking at well I have to because I

  don't have that feature

  I pay for their one of them paid plans

  but I don't have the business plans the

  nice thing with the business plan thing

  is that I I select cortex as a file

  which is just pushed into the cloud so

  all of the core tech stuff is in the

  cloud but I can also say if something

  new pops up so like when we're done when

  we're done recording this show have the

  new thing

  sync locally as quickly as you can so I

  only ever have the new ones on the the

  computer locally and then the rest of it

  like I just never even look at it and it

  just it just exists

  wherever the Dropbox data stores are

  probably you know in an NSA facility

  somewhere but you know it's like

  whatever it works great and I need it so

  that's that's what but that's what it's

  gonna be but yeah I'm sitting on a on a

  15 terabyte Dropbox account and you'll

  like 10 terabytes into it

  yeah it's whatever seventy-three point

  six percent of 15 terabytes is Wow okay

  so that's a pretty vital service for me

  let's hope the smart sync never breaks

  and then just ten terabytes of stuff

  tries to get pushed to you my Cloud

  Drive used to do and ugly you never know

  books are got it together yeah I'm gonna

  recommend one of my very very very

  favorite iOS apps which is carrot

  weather oh yeah it's on my list so good

  so I love carrot weather it is by far

  the best weather app that I've ever used

  for customization and data plus it has

  this fun character to it you can you can

  adjust whoever you want or don't want it

  but I kind of like the joke so it tells

  but the Apple watch app is just

  stupendous and it is an app that is in

  continual development and I thoroughly

  recommend it to anybody that cares about

  the weather yeah it's the it's the

  no-brainer choice for a weather app and

  I turn that personality all the way down

  yes no patience for that lines in the

  middle I just let it make jokes on the

  screen it never bothers me of anything

  which is a thing you can just there's

  some space where they can just throw

  some jokes in and I like that the

  developer has found a way to update

  those remotely and so they're very

  frequently topical which is one which I

  enjoy mm-hmm you enjoy that oh yeah I

  know I know basically I'm really in the

  minority amongst my friends but I just

  let it do what it's doing I'm gonna

  recommend next mind node which is a mind

  mapping app which is the app that I use

  to put together my thoughts on

  the list of apps for today and it's

  interesting cuz we did a show a while

  ago where we both talked about how we

  don't really use mind maps mm-hm and and

  for me that is still true 99% of the

  time like I just don't feel like a mind

  map person but every once in a while it

  feels like there's something I just kind

  of want a mind map out I never really

  used those mind maps later but there is

  something that every once in a while I

  feel like this is the appropriate way to

  like think through a thing or for today

  I decided to use the mind map because I

  figured it's a it's going to be a more

  condensed way to show all of the

  information instead of having a list so

  this way you might can just put a

  screenshot in the show notes and instead

  of having like a long list thing written

  out but if you're going to use a mind

  map I think my node is is the one to use

  and particularly on iOS they have a

  couple of features that are just

  fantastic which al app which allows you

  to act like you're typing a list but

  have it go in mind map format

  automatically so when you're on a branch

  and you're you've written out the

  category title like you just hit space

  three times and then it goes and creates

  a child branch and when you're on that

  child branch and you're done typing you

  just hit return three times and it

  creates a sibling branch so there's a

  really nice way if you're a very

  keyboard focused person like myself it's

  a super fast mind mapping application to

  you so I really like it so I have an app

  that I wanted to recommend called war

  accounts plus plus and this is a worker

  app and I will say like we said we were

  over cost the developer of this app

  David is a friend of mine and one of the

  reasons that I want to recommend is

  because of that because he's a friend I

  was helping him test swimming

  functionality that he was adding to the

  app so I got to help tailor it to be the

  type of design that I want so it's kind

  of the perfect that for me went when

  tracking my swims so that's why I love

  it so much it is a workout app which is

  really best with the Apple watch you

  can create it was like a bunch of like

  templates and you can adjust how you

  want the information to be shown during

  the workout so like you can show your

  heart rate changes you can show the laps

  to time and all that kind of stuff and

  you can do this with loads of different

  exercises but it means when I'm swimming

  I get to see just the information that I

  want to see mm-hmm

  plus workouts plus plus has the ability

  for you to integrate podcasts into it so

  Johan that's nice listen to podcasts

  with your air pods just from the watch

  that's pretty sweet yeah this only

  really works very well with workout

  applications because they have to be

  constantly running and that kind of

  stuff but that has that future air pods

  in while you're swimming has everybody

  no I don't do that part but yes I like

  to be able to have my when I'm swimming

  alikes we have to see just the

  information I want to see and I found

  that Apple stuff while still good just

  didn't give me everything I wanted and

  one house plus plus does and it's I

  think it's free so it's worth at least

  trying out yeah I'll also recommend that

  if you want to hear David and Marco talk

  about their apps they have a show on

  this very Network under the radar which

  you should go listen to it's very good

  and you should put that in the show

  notes oh of course I will

  so again to developers they make two

  apps that we really like yes they are

  friends but they are good apps and they

  also have a podcast together and that

  podcast isn't really a fan remember all

  of that but both of these apps are free

  so you've got nothing to lose when you

  try them and then you'll know they're

  great next thing I'm gonna recommend is

  this is a little tip that I picked up

  from while we're talking about relay

  people Stephen Hackett you are a

  co-founder he recommended to me at WWDC

  a feature of Chrome on the Mac which I

  did not know which I feel like is

  life-changing and it's that chrome has

  the ability to set up different user

  profiles so that you can in chrome very

  easily switch between a set of logged in

  accounts and let me tell you as someone

  who's trying to run a YouTube channel


  a couple of podcasts and my own personal

  life chrome when I'm sitting in front of

  the Mac is the browser that I'm using

  the vast majority of the time now and it

  is solely because of this feature that I

  can say very quickly switch between I am

  just me as a person and use and have

  this web browser logged in to all of my

  personal accounts and now I am

  officially CGP grey the YouTube person

  so here's all of the accounts I need to

  be logged in for that and the thing the

  detail that makes this really really

  great that Steven suggested is you can

  have different custom visual themes for

  these different profiles so when I am

  logged into the most important accounts

  as the CGP grey YouTube channel stuff

  the whole Chrome web browser across the

  top is red I say it is not possible to

  make a mistake about like which account

  am i logged into I really really love

  this feature and if you're someone who

  is using a bunch of different sets of

  accounts or you're using a shared

  computer in a family the profiles

  feature on Chrome is is amazing I don't

  use that but I do use Chrome but I know

  why that would be great if you were

  switching constantly I mean I just

  whenever I'm posting I just using clean

  neato mode and login but it's because I

  don't need that access all the time but

  I can see why that would be so useful

  yeah it's it's great because it keeps

  you logged in yeah guy used to log in

  and log out of all the stuff but

  particularly with YouTube where when you

  log in on one count they want to log you

  into a whole bunch of related services

  it just it makes a big big difference

  gbaud I use a third-party keyboard on my

  iPhone lots of people think this is a

  wild thing to do there are downsides to

  it but honestly the upsides of FASTA

  significant for me better all to correct

  better emoji suggestions and emoji

  search I can get gifts from my keyboard

  and I can swipe type Apple can't beat

  that in my opinion and I loved you board

  and I've been using it as the only

  keyboard on my iPhone for a very long

  but I'm gonna back up that

  recommendation uh

  I started using G board a long time ago

  on my iPad because I like swipe typing

  with the pencil so I find it just easier

  than try what if I'm using the pencil

  element I've had I tend to want to use

  the pencil for everything and tapping

  out letters is really unpleasant to do

  with the pencil so I started using

  keyboard on the iPad pro so that I could

  use the swipe typing and I really liked

  it unfortunately there's a little bit of

  bug with if you want to use a Dvorak

  keyboard layout with the G board

  keyboard installed on an iPad which is

  sort of frustrating so I have to always

  switch back into the regular iOS

  keyboard to get that to work but I

  really like it with the iPad and I've

  been trying it on my phone the past

  couple of weeks and I don't know if I'll

  keep it but it's it's definitely worth

  trying although for some reason I find

  that the swipe typing with my thumb is

  taking a little while to get used to

  this it it's strange to do but it is

  scary how good Google is at guessing

  what you're what you're trying to type

  you say scary I say really convenient

  well what I mean what I mean scary

  though like a thing that happened today

  is I was swipe typing something and I

  realized I had done it totally wrong and

  I just thought I'm just gonna keep going

  and like go back to the letters that it

  was supposed to be so I I typed a seek

  typed in quotes a sequence which is just

  a nonsense sequence of work of letters

  but Google was able to get it I'm like

  oh we know what you were trying to say

  and that's the situation where it's like

  is is terrifyingly accurate because my

  swiping was nonsense because I'd like

  changed my mind halfway through about

  what words I was trying to say like you

  still did just fine

  so again I'm not sure it will stay but I

  can definitely back up your

  recommendation that it is worth trying

  and it's interesting I do want to

  recommend nap that I completely forgot I

  used until I had to set up two new

  systems where I hadn't installed it and

  that is one blocker which is one of the

  ad blockers for iOS and for Mac I had

  just installed this and forgotten about

  it a long time ago and I had to recently

  redo a couple of my systems and I was

  feeling like why is the Internet such a

  terrible experience and then probably

  alright because I haven't installed that

  ad blocker and so one blocker is a

  really nice ad blocker not least of

  which because you can set a lot of

  customization to it and you can also do

  things like block URLs that you want to

  specify or if you're into like regex

  rules like that's a thing that you can

  do so it's a really great ad blocker I

  don't use any blockers anyway learn

  anything well you're a better person

  than I am

  no I don't think that's the case and I

  don't think it's any kind of like and

  I'm not trying to make any kind of

  political statement I have just found

  that like they just randomly break

  things and I find it frustrating to be

  like all something isn't working Oh

  might be because of my ad blocker and

  I've gotten pretty I think I have been

  on the internet for long enough that

  I've gotten pretty good at ignoring ads

  where I don't want to see them I've I

  have the ad blindness you know like I

  can look at a page and I should never

  see him so you know I'm fine with it

  again like and I'm really not trying to

  be like oh but I also use Chrome as well

  on my on my iOS devices so I can't even

  use an app block or an iOS even if I

  wanted to so there's a bunch of reasons

  but like I'm not trying to make a

  political stand I've just never really

  gotten into it I do use a blocker I

  think it's called like cookie box or

  something like that I'll find it I'll

  put it in the show notes and it stops

  those European Union cookie consent

  thing because that is like not helpful

  to anyone and I have so like this is

  mainly good for me because if I ever am

  in Safari it's not a browser I use

  frequently so I see those things

  everywhere but then I have this blocker

  that just blocks those pop-ups right


  yeah that's good that's good my last


  for today i want to be p calc for two

  reasons it's my favourite calculator app

  i love it it's a great calculator app

  I'm going to say three reasons I can

  change to a many different icons so I

  can have a fun icon and also it has a



  where in the world is Mike Hurley well

  it depends who are you talking to Mike

  Hurley Oh the body is ah in London all

  right right okay yeah I know this Mike

  Hurley the kind of the general spirit

  and consciousness is stuck somewhere

  over the Atlantic Ocean right that Mike

  early is still catching up with this

  Mike early yeah can't be here

  just in time for it to change again so

  oh good

  okay very excited about perfect so here

  you're in that in-between time then one

  trip is over and another trip will start

  just as just as you've adjusted that's

  the best that's that is just the best

  yeah I've been tracing that feeling for

  about three months I was I've had a lot

  of really great travel this back end of

  the year

  mm-hmm but it's it has thrown my body

  clock through a loop I just got back

  from Seattle

  yesterday from podcast from pod con it


  and I got back yesterday and I managed

  to stay awake I've gotten pretty good at

  staying awake when I get home and then I

  just hate when did you have really bad

  jet lag when you wake up the next

  morning and feel worse yeah but when I

  went to sleep and that was how I felt

  today yeah I'm with you there so I'm

  drinking a smoothie right now called

  vitamin power ooh and I'm hoping that

  that will get me through yeah

  I have often found that the jet lag kind

  of tricks you I'm often very optimistic

  the first day I get back I feel like oh

  don't do it really well

  but like oh the jet lag is actually just

  it's just winding up for day two okay

  like oh I feel always day two your day

  was my worst is night three hmm

  night three I need to clear the schedule

  for day four because night three means

  Mike will not sleep yeah and tends to be

  what happens to me so I've got no sleep

  coming in a couple of days so that we

  found this is the thing with travel

  especially very long travel like if

  you're going from London to the west


  back again is it's it's really gotta be

  worth it to do that trip

  and you were going out to a pod con the

  first pod con no one had ever been to a

  pod con before was it worth it Mike was

  it worth the jet lag without a shadow of

  a doubt oh great yeah it was fantastic I

  would do it again I'll do it again next

  week if there was one next week I had

  such a good time at probably the best

  organized conference I've ever been to

  well you know the Greens they have some

  experience with organizing conferences

  they know what's going on a put a few

  together in their day yeah yeah I've

  never been to VidCon but I could what I

  could feel was happening was VidCon

  moved to Seattle it was just an

  incredibly well oiled machine everything

  was taken care of

  like every event that I had to go to

  there was someone to take me there and

  pick me up

  like it was yeah it was amazing I was so

  blown away by like how all of the

  details were taken care of and it you

  know made me smile everyone was wearing

  radios right like it was just like a

  whole big to-do it was very very well

  put together that's really great to hear

  it's it's one of those things where I

  was I was not able to attend this year

  like I wanted to go and I wasn't able to

  go partly because my travel schedule has

  also been crazy this year and I was I

  was watching I was watching with some

  sadness people on Twitter like seeming

  to be having a great time at pot god I

  was like oh I'm over here not able to be

  there at pod con it was a great time it

  was really good

  remind me again like what were your

  responsibilities at pod con you did a

  panel is that right I had four events

  for okay in total I had a panel about

  networks there's some amazing people I

  had what's called a podcast scramble

  scramble yeah it's where they put two

  podcast hosts that have never worked

  together before together and you make a

  show about anything like speed pod

  Mike's big podcast dating yes but

  the date happens in front of an audience

  okay you have to do the podcasts just

  live like what is line to a 15-minute

  show yes a 25-minute show in front of an

  audience do you know who you're going to

  be scrambled with ahead of time yes we

  knew we knew vastly ahead of time so we

  were able to talk around together yeah I

  wouldn't do the other one because that

  sounds like hell like I'm just I'm just

  trying to imagine what like maybe from

  an audience perspective it would be

  amazing great to have these two people

  walk out on stage who don't know that

  they're going to meet and then the

  audience just screams entertain us right

  and they have to do it like that could

  be great from a watchin perspective

  before very many reasons with every one

  of these scrambles would be the same

  house Park home for you that's how every

  single one of them would go right it's

  how they would all start house l-pod

  Kahn now that's not a podcast then

  you're just talking to the audience it's

  a podcast if there's two people talking

  to each other that's oh the audience can

  yell at them and say no you're breaking

  the rules this isn't a podcast this is

  just a show I don't think I like the CGP

  grey organized pod con very much well

  this is why I didn't and shouldn't

  organize any kind of conference there

  there are many things people don't want

  me to do one one of the things highest

  on that list almost certainly would be

  trying to organize any kind of

  conference I'm always I'm always amazed

  at these things and there is there is no

  ability for me to put this stuff

  together so no okay but so it was panel

  mm-hmm scramble mm-hmm what we have the

  to create a chat which leader chat

  believe is something that happens at

  VidCon yes yeah it does and this is

  where like I sat down with a group of 12

  people who I think were all mostly

  podcasters themselves and they were just

  asking me questions about what my

  opinions were on things and the way that

  I do things still like that that was

  really fun

  and then my signing was there was the

  fourth and final thing the first three

  things will happen on Saturday and my

  signing happened on Sunday which was

  both a blessing and a curse because I

  feel like Saturday lost lost for two

  days it felt like but then I have the

  impending doom of signing hanging over


  than concern the signing that you were

  going to bribe people to come to you

  with your poster yeah okay well tell us

  Mike how was the signing the signing was

  very overwhelming for me okay because

  there were a lot of people there I don't

  know exactly how many but I know it was

  more than anybody was prepared for

  because we needed another second

  volunteer to come and help out and also

  I realized that I don't know how

  signings work and I wasn't really sure

  what I was supposed to do so like I have

  my box of posters in under my arm and I

  was standing behind a black curtain okay

  they did that set up right yeah I know I

  know this set up yep through the curtain

  and there was significantly more people

  sitting there than I expected they made

  noises and then I put the Box down on

  the table and I said hello and didn't

  know what to do next and no one was

  there to tell me so I sat down and then

  the the volunteer was like because this

  is a great thing I didn't expect which

  which shows the organisation happening

  behind the scenes I expected to just see

  a line of people just lining up mm-hm

  but what they do is they sit everybody

  down in front of you almost like

  audience style and then bring people up

  line by line and they just have one row

  lining up at a time so it means the

  people that are waiting aren't just

  standing around they're sitting down

  like that's a really smart way to do

  this I just assumed that they would just

  be like a snaking line of people it's

  very uncomfortable to stand exact or as

  long as for as long as much as much time

  as it's going to take yep to see it Mike

  Hurley apparently well it did take a

  long time for some people unfortunately

  I had an hour right that was my allotted

  time so I figured I just started and

  people came over and I would say like hi

  hello how are you like I was able I got

  good at reading people's names from

  their nametags so I could start writing

  the name stands I like write little name

  then write the name on the poster that

  could ask them where they wanted me to

  sign it because there wasn't like an

  obvious place I ended up working out the

  obvious place on the poster I'm gonna

  put a link in by the way to the poster

  in the show notes I'll talk about the

  poster again in a minute but just so you

  could see it and I was writing it kind

  of like around the chair there's like a

  chair and the person it's like a white

  space was writing it they're like thanks

  so much for coming but alas since people

  like how are you enjoying the how you

  drawing pod con that kind of thing

  people would you if you have something

  that they wanted to say to me that was

  great moving through people was having a

  great time it felt really cool taking

  some pictures then a little while goes

  by I don't even check my watch like I'm

  just completely focused on what's going

  on oh yeah I'm just going through these

  things getting the PO sign it like this

  the volunteer comes up to me and she

  says I just want to let you know that

  you've run through half of your time but

  a quarter of the people oh god okay so I

  was like right okay then so I just tried

  to start speeding up a little bit

  speeding up a little bit I was kind of

  getting to the point where like I

  figured I think the thing that's taking

  me the longest amount of time he's

  writing out an individual note on

  everyone's posters which was what I

  wanted to do but couldn't so I was just

  like writing people's names down signing

  it taking pictures that kind of thing a

  little while past this more and she

  comes up to me again she's like you're

  gonna have to speed up because the

  McIlroy Brothers are next right and like

  people are starting to arrive for their

  signing right right so and so then it's

  continue to go through continue to go

  through and now I noticed something

  changed in the audience we're like what

  was happening was people would come and

  then I would sign the poster if they

  wanted a picture the volunteer would

  take the picture

  so like beforehand they would give her

  their phone she would take the picture

  and go then I noticed something change

  where like other people in the line were

  taking pictures for them and I was at

  first I thought all these are just all

  friends but then like that person would

  take and then look and then while I what

  I realized it happened is that the

  volunteer had said to people you can

  choose something signed or a picture so

  that the attendees were going rogue and

  taking pictures for each other right but

  I see the thing was what ended up being

  the best move was to ask for the picture

  because I was making sure every person

  left with a poster because that's right

  that was the deal we made right yeah

  nobody knew this but that was the deal

  that me and you the listener made so

  like if they took it I would just screw

  by my name on it and like just throw it

  right I got through everybody I thought

  I was going to die

  and like the volunteer came up to me

  afterwards she was like thank you so

  much you were amazing and we were not

  expecting this amount of people so great

  the bribery worked uh-huh maybe a little

  too well

  maybe a little too it I would say for me

  personally it worked great because I

  didn't walk out to just five people who

  were my friends that was a great moment

  they were like five of my friends were

  in the audience and they all lined up

  basically they came over we just took a

  picture and I told him to get the heck

  out of there and like and I I could feel

  the happiness from the volunteer who was

  trying to deal with this as I knocked

  out half of a line in two seconds all

  right I know I just gave them their

  posters because they were just there for

  me in case nobody showed up right it was

  my backup plan so the volunteers

  thinking oh this guy is a real pro he's

  gonna get through this line in no time

  at all little did they know what was

  actually about to happen oh yeah I

  thought of it that way yeah they're like

  oh man this guy's great he must do this

  all the time because like it's full

  right so they're like well if this is

  full he must have done this before

  yeah turn it on so that's why you didn't

  get a warning until half the time was

  gone because they were thinking out at

  any moment he's gonna get back into the

  groove of it

  and then there was Mannix was no groove

  no curves no groove they need like I

  feel like it like and running you have a

  like a pacer runner right I feel like

  they need some kind of mechanism to

  visually indicate to you if you are on

  ahead or behind schedule like some kind

  of visual pacing mechanism like they

  could build like a assigning robot which

  is signing a pace I got like a pace

  robot and that's it and I've got to kind

  of match the pace of the robot that sits

  next to me yeah I think that that would

  probably make it feel just as as

  personal and non mechanical to the

  people coming to see you for the signing

  maybe I'm not here I'm not here to help

  you out with this I just I don't think

  the pacing robot is is good I'm just

  thinking like behind the line just a

  light that's in your field division that

  you can see that's you know green yellow

  or red for how well you're doing that's

  that's that's what they need I want to

  get real for a second and just I want to

  thank everybody that did come to the

  signing and I think pretty much all of

  those people listened to cortex

  everybody told me that they loved the

  show and it was gray a real life moment

  for me honestly because I wasn't

  expecting a lot well one thing I forgot

  to tell you so I'm I am like in the kind

  of the green room I'm getting ready to

  go and I'm kind of a nervous wreck I

  don't know what what's waiting for me

  right and then somebody sent me a tweet

  this is like 20 minutes before my

  signing that there were 50 people in the

  line at that point that made me feel

  very uncomfortable hot because like at

  that point that's already like maybe 10

  times more people than I expected we're

  gonna be there right so the whole

  situation is something that I will never

  forget because it was comply commotion

  Allah overwhelming so yeah thank you if

  you came it was it was amazing it really

  was just amazing a guy I couldn't

  believe it it was brilliant

  oh I signed a bunch of phones this year

  yeah yeah two iPhones to Google pixels

  the pixels of that sign on

  are they yeah something about the

  aluminium in them like the weights

  it was way nicer somebody had me sign an

  iPhone 4 which was a disaster cause it's

  glass so this cannot be science I signed

  some beard oil okay alright I was I was

  one I was wondering I thought like some

  cortex listener is going to bring beard

  oil yeah someone brought beard oil and

  one person brought a safety razor


  t-shirts sound a couple of t-shirts

  stuff like that but yeah the the beard

  oil and the safety razor were hilarious

  the t-shirts really are the hardest

  thing designs so there's one very smart

  person brought their own fabric pen mm

  cuz I need sharpies sharpies they're a

  disaster yeah sure a sharpie trying to

  sign a t-shirt it doesn't work it's

  terrible you you need if you're gonna

  have a even try to sign a t-shirt with a

  sharpie you need three people you need

  the signer yep and you need two people

  to hold tight the shirt in place in

  order to even have a chance though you

  need like a medieval rack to put yeah

  that's that's 100% the only thing that

  can keep it taut enough so you can

  actually make the Sharpie make any kind

  of imprint it's just like I know before

  having ever done these things in my head

  I think like Oh t-shirts seem like oh

  there must be so that like the best

  design write it easy to bring you know

  it's like now they're the worst that the

  absolute worst yeah it was I remember

  the first time I signed his he chefs

  like years ago and it was someone was

  wearing the t-shirt there's a nightmare

  it looks like it was signed by somebody

  who's never held a pen before this just

  it's just the worst just a bunch of

  horrible lines I'm really glad to hear

  that the signing went well and and you

  know those things can be it it's such a

  there's such strange moments that it's

  hard to express what it's really like so

  but like I get what you mean when you

  say it's emotionally overwhelming

  because you have this thing where it's

  all of these people are here because

  they've listened to you on a podcast for

  you know you listen listen to you on

  many podcast from

  hours and you know they're coming up and

  they want to say something to you and

  you're signing these things and then

  there is also like what makes it

  draining is this there's like there's a

  time constraint or there's a number of

  people and you want to make sure that

  everybody is as happy as you can

  possibly make them but you also have

  these constraints in the world like it's

  it's a it's a strange situation that

  that can be overwhelming on a whole

  bunch of different levels did you have

  to do anything immediately after the

  signing or could you go just collapse on

  the floor no I was ended up being very

  happy that I only had that to do on

  Sunday yeah right like at first I was

  like but like I'm so busy on Saturday

  but like no I needed the rest of Sunday

  to just sit and just try and rebuild yep

  yep there were two other things about

  puck on that I wanted to mention one was

  the feeling of the conference and the

  audience and the attendees there was a

  feeling of just like nice nice and warm

  and like appreciation that I've never

  felt any conference before everybody

  just seemed to be really nice and having

  a good time and that was amazing do you

  think it was partly like a because I'm

  thinking like you know we've been at

  WWDC together and do you think that's

  just because it gets much smaller than

  WWDC is you know because WWDC is like

  you know last year in particular it's

  like oh the entire city of San Jose is

  now WWDC Disney and like that's that's a

  very particular feeling like an entire

  city has taken over a place like okay so

  Louis what's the comparison in your mind

  between those two there's no cynicism

  but popcorn hmm right everyone's just

  super excited and happy to be there but

  and like at something like a WWDC

  there's there's always like a level of

  people and and I'm not talking about

  like if we do meetups or whatever it's

  very similar to my experience at pod Con

  but like the overall feeling of the

  conference I've never felt something

  like this where like everyone was like

  super happy you know there are a bunch

  of people in cause

  play there are like fan like attendee

  generated meetups that were like

  official on the program whenever like

  anybody goes onto a stage everyone goes

  crazy for them like there was just like

  a general feeling of like everyone that

  is there is super excited and happy to

  see the thing that they love well like

  other conferences you there can be like

  apathy to people that come out on stage

  because you don't know who they are or

  like it's something like a Dobby WC

  there's a real mix of like just general

  feelings towards what's happening at the

  conference and that didn't feel like

  that with pod con so I guess you're

  saying that if they do it again next

  year you'd go to be the hundred percent

  because I also had the experience of

  being a fan myself seeing some of my

  favorite podcasts like there were

  podcasts that I adore that were on Sage

  and I got to sit in the audience and

  watch them it was fantastic I really

  really enjoyed that and it was all just

  in this one event I would 100% go and I

  would just say nobody's asked me to say

  this great but it is possible still to

  sign up to get a remote attendee ticket

  which is audio of panels and stuff like

  that and I believe that the podcast

  scramble and the panel that I did about

  podcast networks will be available to

  people to listen to I think it's like

  thirty dollars for a remote attendants

  but there was a ton of fantastic panels

  across the whole weekend some that I'm

  looking forward to hearing again or some

  that I missed so you can still go and

  get that and you can get a lot of the

  value if you're looking to learn some

  stuff or if you're looking to be

  entertained from that so I just wanted

  to mention that because there was so

  much great stuff there and if you

  couldn't make it and or if this now

  sounds interesting to you and you're

  like ah man I wish I would have been now

  you can still get some of that stuff you

  still get some other feelings oh that's


  I've I haven't come across this idea of

  a remote me and uh ticket before but it

  makes so much sense considering it was a

  podcast convention that you would have

  audio available afterwards it's like

  could this be more thematically on

  target I think not

  that's a really it's a really

  interesting idea to do the remote

  attendants ticket I will be looking

  forward to hearing hearing your panel

  mm-hmm and hearing your scramble

  scramble something about the word man I

  love it Scrabble today's episode of

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  for less

  of this show great context is about two

  and a half years old now they're sad as

  a project sorry I meant two weeks so I

  make you feel better

  oh no now it's uncertain if it's gonna

  last two weeks its III feel like

  projects should be eternally ten months

  old okay that feels like a number I like

  so I mean let me Rhys a that lean gray

  cortex is ten months old no okay yeah it

  feels better it was good right feels

  good yeah since the beginning of the

  show people have been asking for us to

  talk about what we're gonna talk about

  today you wrote a blog post hyping it up


  he wrote a blind I am you wrote a blog

  post in 2014 called state of the apps

  yeah in which you kind of went through

  in a bunch of different categories some

  tools that you use and you wanted to

  share them so when people started asking

  me for this and it was a lot right like

  I was getting a lot and still do I

  always regret writing that article I had

  assumed that you were writing it every

  year yeah that was the intention because

  people would say oh you should do a

  state of the apps you just take the apps

  I googled it saw what it was like oh

  that would be a good idea and I put it

  in my note and then when I went to look

  into this maybe six months ago

  kind of like less maybe start thinking

  about planning this one out I was

  surprised when I couldn't find 2015 and

  2016 because the amount that people were

  asking made me think that you had done

  it regularly but no you did it once

  three years ago yeah but everybody wants

  it and I can't remember why we're doing

  it today but we are I think maybe I

  finally ground you down because he is a

  really good idea and I guess now is the

  time right yeah I think it's partly it's

  partly that you ground me down and it's

  partly because when we were we were

  talking about when does it make sense to

  do it at the end of the year is a is a

  totally sensible time to do it

  and if it feels like okay if we're going

  to talk about it

  you know Christmastime talk about all

  the different apps that's not a bad time

  people might be getting new devices and

  looking trying to find like what what do

  they want to install on those devices

  and so yeah this is this is the best

  time to do it and also it might be

  easier for you to talk about it with me

  rather than trying to write an article

  and thought instead every year yeah well

  like do a little sidebar here please

  so that article is state of the apps'

  2014 but it was actually written in

  December 2013 because I feel like I'm

  gonna write this article but I want it

  but I want it to be good for a whole

  year right so it's like it's like I

  think nothing is with cars like the 2018

  car comes out in 2017 yeah I think

  that's what the yeah what happens yeah

  right so that what that was my idea like

  the state of the apps 2014 is this

  article is good for the year 2014 of

  coming but I did write its it was just

  like it was just like a little list but

  it was it ended up just being an

  enormous amount of work and hassle

  getting together all the little icons

  and putting together all the little

  links and boxes around them and

  everything yeah okay so let me tell you

  just a little story about those white

  boxes uh-huh those white boxes are an

  example of me giving up on something

  because hmm okay okay

  sidebar to the sidebar this was back

  before I found the person who is

  currently my assistant right so this is

  a couple of assistants before I found my

  current assistant and this was one of

  those cases where like you assigned

  someone a task and he said look I need a

  bunch of app icons and what you get back

  is one of these things where you feel

  like if I have to explain to you that

  they can't have white boxes around them

  like I just like this is I can't I can't


  this I don't care enough I don't want to

  reassign this thing like it was just

  whatever I got this back it's not what I

  wanted but it's just it's just done so

  oh those

  I like I remember those white boxes

  quite intensely I was like oh this is

  not what I was a guy I see yeah okay but

  then one of the other things that does

  happen is there are very few times I

  have written articles on my website and

  it is definitely a thing where the

  frequency has dramatically dropped from

  when I first set up the website and that

  that is 100% like a like a return on

  investment calculation that as my career

  as a youtuber and then podcaster has

  progressed it is up I'll put it this way

  it is near fundamentally impossible for

  me to justify spending almost any time

  writing something that is just going to

  turn into text on the website and it's

  it's almost impossible to justify on two

  levels one I don't have any direct

  advertising on the website so the

  website doesn't really make any money

  and then the other side of it is even if

  I'm just putting together a list article

  like a like a state of the apps list

  article that has a huge opportunity cost

  because it's it's like the same amount

  of mental or I should put it this way

  it's like I only have so much mental

  energy per day that I can throw at

  writing and so to spend that mental

  energy on the list article is like is

  like doubly insane that there's no way

  it's going to make any revenue and it is

  the opportunity cost is incredible so

  that that's partly why I like articles

  have have just disappeared from the

  repertoire of what are the things that I

  do I just don't really do them anymore

  so that is why I like state of the apps'

  was was toward the end of that phase

  where I was realizing that that writing


  doesn't make any sense in the portfolio

  of gray industries yeah that's but

  that's also why it just it never got

  another it never got a follow-up and

  then why write an article and you can

  make a great podcast up again of it

  hence state of the apps 2017 here we are

  no no Mike it's it's state of the apps

  2018 right yeah how do you not


  yes state of the apps 2018 that's what

  this is well I'm I'm too deep in upgrade

  ease 2017 thinking right now okay right

  yes that makes sense though because it's

  the award for the previous year exactly

  but see if we if we put this podcast up

  with the title state of the apps 2017

  people won't be listening to it next

  Christmas yep so stay at the apps 2018

  you previously did this with a bunch of

  categories yeah and I have made a little

  note in our document of all the

  categories but you sent me a little my

  map and the categories are totally

  different so what I was planning on

  doing is I was gonna go through all the

  categories but now if you're gonna have

  to suggest the categories and we go so

  we can start wherever you want to start

  okay this is also actually one of the

  reasons why I think this this kind of

  makes this is actually better to do as a

  podcast because I think rather than me

  just like listing a few things there is

  there is a way that you can like talk

  about why you've chosen a thing show oh

  or in a in a way that makes more sense

  but this but this is this is the

  difficulty here like where do things fit

  and I feel like no no I'm very happy to

  follow your format Mike you run the show

  right okay you're the you're the man

  you're the man who does all of the

  things I just I just show up that's

  that's what I do so you want me to run

  through the previous 2014 format and

  we're gonna talk about them all I am

  happy to rearrange on the fly in

  whatever whatever way makes sense for

  you because this morning also just like

  a little little sidebar to the article

  this morning one of the things that was

  deep we look at what as many you know we

  closed those previous talk now this is

  another one like you have to keep the

  parenthesis open and

  in your mind right in you but with

  different colors like in a programming

  text editor anyway looking back over my

  old article this morning when I was

  preparing for the show I realized that a

  lot of those categories don't even

  entirely make sense anymore

  and and part of it is recognizing like I

  had these overlapping field of fields of

  work that I didn't at that point and I

  was really shocked to realize that that

  article was written before I had done

  any podcasting at all oh really yeah

  yeah that this was this was prior to any

  podcast existing and I was looking at

  some of my software choices I was like

  oh my god how did you do anything with

  that buddy like how how were you putting

  together videos with GarageBand still

  like I don't understand what how passed

  Gray was doing that stuff so the

  categories have have sort of changed so

  this morning I wasn't really sure how to

  arrange things in my little my little

  just making notes oh you you lead I will

  follow Mike so let's start in in in OG

  order with productivity mmm so what are

  some of your what is some of your app

  picks for productivity because there I

  think something that maybe didn't exist

  and does exist now I know it's in my

  kind of list for stuff and I can see

  that you have some things like this - of

  services as well as apps and I think

  that is just a change from 2013 to now

  is that there are a lot more services

  they exist yeah this is this is

  definitely a thing is recognizing

  services exist okay so on that note the

  big productivity service and end a thing

  that has made made a really big

  difference to me this year and I think

  I'm gonna touch on a little bit more in

  our next episode where we plan to talk

  about our year themes oh no don't tell

  people well that's not a very great

  thing to do right now if something

  changes I'm pinning you down Mike okay

  next episode your games right but a

  service related to that the biggest

  biggest thing that I've spent the moe

  time on this past year is by far and

  away toggle which is the the time

  tracking service and ten thousand people

  just stopped listening by everyone say

  that like everybody everybody likes the

  time tracking conversations I don't know

  I don't know what you're talking about

  but yeah by far in a way it's like is

  toggle and app no it's not really an app

  but it's it's a service that you can use

  in a bunch of different ways from a

  bunch of different places to keep to

  keep track of time tracking yeah they

  have an iPhone app that isn't horrific

  now yeah I have they have an okay iPhone

  app but it's only on the iPhone both me

  and you still use it with some workflow

  triggers that we set up yeah I would

  that's exactly what I would describe it

  to is is that their their iPhone app is

  okay it's it's serviceable a web app is

  vastly better like using amusing toggles

  website is is way better than using

  their app even on an iPhone oh yeah

  without a doubt that that's definitely

  the case but yeah so that's that is like

  that is just a big overarching umbrella

  under which a lot of this other stuff

  Falls is that throughout the past year I

  have gotten better and better and better

  at nearly constantly running a toggle

  timer in the background when I'm awake

  and then that obviously connects into

  these things like we've like we just

  mentioned there it's like how do I do

  that I'm using workflow as like a custom

  interface on top of toggle so that I can

  have preset timers turn on just by

  pressing a single button so I don't need

  to fiddle with their app I don't need to

  fiddle with the website and I think if

  there was if there was some kind of

  frequency tracker for how often you

  launch an app my workflow that I save on

  my phone to start picking toggle timers

  to start that has got to be my most open

  app by two orders of magnitude compared

  to anything else on my phone by far so I

  I would say though those are the those

  are the big ones big ones for me this

  year in productivity I would say without

  a doubt it's the same for me to achieve

  my year of less I started time tracking

  and time tracking is a habit for me now

  I've recognized this the most when I

  travel because when I travel even if I'm

  working I tend not to time track yeah

  it's really hard to do when you're

  traveling but the reason that I know

  this is worked is immediately when I

  come home I start again mm-hmm you know

  it's not that like I'm away for a couple

  of weeks come home and then I've just

  fell out of the habit of it now I just

  go straight back into regular mode again

  and it goes back to time tracking and

  for me personally I wouldn't say that

  like I'm using this data very frequently

  to make decisions about the way that I

  work but I have used this data a couple

  of really key points for me this year

  and having that data is vastly superior

  to not having that data when it's come

  to me to make some decisions about my

  working life mmm there's also just a

  mode shift in pressing the button yeah

  like press the button right here we go

  going to work now like and then when I'm


  I clock out and that just the way that

  that makes me feel like the clocking in

  and clocking out or certain tasks really

  kind of helps solidify in my mind when

  I'm working on when I'm not more next

  time but but one of the benefits for me

  with toggle is the same things like how

  how often am I really using that data in

  a in a granular way not a lot but what

  is mentally helpful is simply knowing

  that somewhere there's a clock running

  makes me more conscious of what I'm

  doing in any particular moment and it

  just it makes me more intentional in the

  decisions that I'm making about how I'm

  spending my time and for that alone I

  think it's a it's a really great it's a

  really great improvement and the the

  biggest deal and biggest difference by

  far in the in the productivity category

  for me I also switched to todoist this

  year for my

  my to do my task management tool and

  I've been very happy with todoist

  it he gives me basically everything that

  I needed from OmniFocus and the things

  that OmniFocus has to do this doesn't

  I've ended up not being deal breakers

  for me at all but the thing that I

  wanted is the thing that I got which is

  the ability for other applications and

  services to be able to read and write to

  my task manager that has been great for

  me and I've been very happy and continue

  to explore ways to do this because it's

  enabling me to not have to remember

  everything that not every entry that

  goes into my task manager has to come

  from me remembering to put a thing in it

  sometimes things just appear in it on

  their own and I find great comfort in


  how much do you use their shared

  features like you're using that with

  relay or with anybody else zero okay so

  you're using it as a yeah I mostly don't

  like the idea of somebody being like a

  person being able to add and remove

  tasks from lists I just personally like

  to put it in myself and assume that the

  other people person will do the same

  I've played around of it a little bit

  and ultimately I don't like all that

  stuff being in the same place my my

  to-do app is like a fortress right and

  there's one tunnel which is for web

  services and that's the only tunnel I

  think was it I think it was at your

  urging I tried to duyst and for me it

  has fallen into the exact opposite role

  which is that it is purely for shared

  tasks and I don't use it at all for an

  individual so this is the program that

  is used between my assistants and I and

  even there it's it's interesting to see

  that what has happened is it's not like

  it is it's not used on unlike a daily

  basis of checking in things and being

  constantly updated but we have ended up

  using it like a record of what

  the active projects to review every once

  in a while so it's acting like it's a

  like a placeholder for what are the

  things that are going on hmm

  but it's it's clearly not being used by

  either of us as like the busy daily

  thing and like on her and she has her

  own system that she's actually using for

  her task management personally in the

  same way that I am using my own stuff

  for my personal things but this is this

  is just like where are we in on a very

  high level on various projects like that

  that's what has ended up happening with

  with to do is for me see you actually

  using a task manager again okay so we

  talk about three task managers I mean

  shall we I don't know I guess if that's

  what we're doing I was only asking if

  you were using one but if it takes free

  to talk about it then sure we'll do that

  okay let's let's run through a few of

  the of the task managers that I have on

  my on my list here clear your afternoon

  everyone know I can get through this

  very quickly okay I can get through it

  very quickly indeed so what yeah the

  task manager thing I do I do a little

  bit want to save that again for a

  conversation next time show but I will

  I'll broadly say that it's like yes I've

  been trying to get back into using task

  managers on a more regular basis because

  this year I was a little bit in the

  wilderness with task managers and what

  I'm currently doing is I'm using three

  four different things OmniFocus is still

  the heavy weights task manager where I

  can throw a bunch of templates into it

  right really long checklists for putting

  up podcasts or putting up videos like

  that that is the the heaviest of the

  heavy weight things I'm using to do as

  like I try to think about how to

  describe this this morning but I've been

  using to do is like a habit or routine

  tracker so these are tasks like

  in the morning I have a bunch of things

  that I call like boot up and I want to

  run through those things like here's a

  bunch of easy wins in the morning to

  check up check off these boxes and

  you're just getting the day started

  right like one of them one of the

  simplest ones is just like drink a glass

  of water in the morning because it's

  just like I've seen like I definitely

  have a better day when I do that so that

  goes in to do and then like another one

  of those things like go to the office

  alright that's like another little part

  of the morning routine it's like okay


  I can tick this off in the box so all of

  these things are actual items in a

  checklist that you check off

  yeah they are items in the checklist

  that I check off so let me ask you a

  question then hmm how do you remember to

  start the list to do shows the badge on

  my phone right so that's that's the

  that's the way it communicates to me so

  what are these daily recurring tasks

  yeah there's the way I've set it up and

  to do is their daily recurring tasks

  that are set as due in the morning or

  due in the middle of the day or do in

  the evening which are like my three

  primary habit locations where I want to

  reinforce some behavior and so I just

  ticked them off every day and their

  daily repeating and they and they come

  back on the on the day that they need to

  but I said I really like it this is this

  is a kind of task that for a long time

  I've always done that that I think of as

  like a workflow sort of task this is

  this isn't the actual work maybe these

  things do or don't need to happen on any

  particular day but like this is how a

  theoretically perfect day would go this

  is the kind of day that you want to

  reestablish and like I said I really

  like it in the morning for starting a

  kind of momentum to make things just

  like easy to begin the day and feel like

  okay great I got some my brain got some

  quick meaningless wins but it still it

  still helps get the ball rolling on the

  bigger things that need to happen okay

  so what's the third one okay so that the

  final one is when I just been playing

  around with a little bit which is things

  and things has taken over the slot from

  clear which is

  the the place for having a really simple

  superb limited task manager so what I

  like that for is sometimes on busy days

  I feel like I need to put or I should I

  should back up not on a busy day but I

  very often find on days where you're

  feeling overwhelmed by tasks the most

  effective thing is to really narrow down

  and to say okay

  I'm feeling really overwhelmed there's

  like a whole bunch of stuff in the world

  OmniFocus has a badge that has 67 in it

  you know like I'm really overdue on a

  whole bunch of stuff that would end my

  life you know what do you mean like that

  would be it I would die if I saw a badge

  that said 67 now just that be it I would

  immediately die yeah it's this is one of

  the disadvantages of having like of

  having of being ridiculously thorough

  with like all the stuff that needs to

  happen and putting it into a system is

  that you can end up with this like like

  sudden overloads where a bunch of things

  come together all at once and you're

  like oh god everything this automatic

  system is showing me a million things

  that are due today if if my if my badge

  when I wake up in the morning on to

  doest is over seven I know that my day

  is like yeah this you have to keep in

  mind that that in OmniFocus on being

  ridiculously granular yeah I know you

  don't have like 67 podcasts to post that

  day but it's just like that number it's

  just horrific to me and there are ways

  in which like when you're really on your

  game it doesn't matter and like oh great

  okay I've got a lot of stuff I'm gonna

  sort of blow through it but I do I do

  like to have on hand something that I

  can use as the I'm going to have a

  simple and narrowly focused day and in

  the past I've always used clear for that

  but clear hasn't updated in a while I

  know that they are intending to release

  a new version soon but they haven't

  actually done it yet I still use clear

  and I am on the beta for clear no I know

  the app is coming

  be awesome like I know that I could I

  cuz I can see it they are working on a

  new version I went to mention that

  because every time we mentioned clear

  there are people that send us

  screenshots now of like because they've

  said I mean they've said it publicly you

  can look in your release notes and

  they're saying that they are working on

  a new version and and I have been using

  the new version and it's great so I'm

  just saying like for me for right now

  I'm just using things in that place and

  I've always felt like things is a very

  nicely designed app which which is why

  can it can easily take over that slot in

  my mind from clear whereas like the

  thing that I liked and clear is like

  it's simple and it's nicely designed and

  things fills that same role like it's

  simple and it's nicely designed and it's

  very easy to say on things okay here are

  four things that if I I do today I'll

  feel like it was a great day and I'm

  just going to have a day where I'm

  focused more narrowly on on what's

  occurring so those are the ways in my

  mind that I use these different task

  managers from like lightest weight

  things to heaviest weight how many focus

  and that's that's that's currently what

  I'm using with those so you're actually

  using full task managers I don't really

  count to do is to focus realm I do but I

  mean I'm gonna count it for you yeah the

  reason the reason that I don't is in my

  mind like to do is could easily be

  replaced by a Google Doc like a shared

  Google dot whip doc with some bullet

  points on yeah but like things could

  just be remind us well like a piece of

  paper yeah I see what you're saying

  I guess I guess it's just like any if

  anything could be anything if we tried

  like I know that this this could be

  distributed as an audio cassettes

  exactly but so there are four cost

  managers that are in use like yeah I

  just don't think of to do is like a task

  manager uh-huh because I feel like I'm

  using almost none of the features of a

  task manager okay I can sympathize if

  you a little bit because like people

  always mention how I have like three to

  that like to do managers on my home

  screen also writing like that right now

  I think it's only two because I have to

  do it in

  do because view is amazing for just

  those things like take out the trash and

  remind a few men oh yeah I love doing I

  didn't even mention that one because

  it's not really the same like taking out

  the trash isn't like publishing a

  podcast I mean I guess the sometimes

  awesome similarities between those two

  things but like they're completely

  different actions yeah I mean if you if

  you really if you really want to be

  pernickety about it you could get this

  number for me up to six yeah because I

  do also use reminders the built-in

  reminders and notes Olli has a checklist

  function no okay no but I don't ask the

  cow you can do remind this infant has to

  count note that note that okay you're

  pushing it too far Mike this is just

  ridiculous but I do use one of the very

  few things that series useful for is

  sometimes being able to just tell her

  like remind me about a thing at this

  time right or when I leave my house

  remind me to whatever I don't do that

  very often but I do do that sometimes

  and so yeah I guess six is the maximum

  and theory that it could be so we are

  still in the productivity category which

  I had expected would probably be the

  category that we spend the most time

  looking about I guess for me as well in

  there would be something like

  fantastical like my calendar is very

  important mmm and I would I would assume

  that that was your pick too fantastical

  yeah so I I use two calendars I can fill

  it an Apple calendar and I use

  fantastical why are you laughing Mike

  one is none right okay no that's that's

  a that doesn't apply to calendaring apps

  no you just you just being silly now

  Mike oh okay of course it doesn't

  you just have to for fun why else would

  you have to I like to have the I have

  the to simply so that I can I can leave

  them in different states

  so like fantastical I use as the like

  what are the most important things I

  need to see today so fantastical has a

  very very limited subsection of the

  calendars that ever

  has open so when I open it up like

  things I want to see on fantastical are

  my podcasting calendar I was like do I

  need to be recording something today the

  social calendar that's shared with my

  wife like am I supposed to be at some

  dinner party I didn't remember until the

  last possible second right it's like

  okay yeah that'll be there and I have my

  own calendar that I call changes which

  is essentially anything that I need to

  know about on the day that's different

  from normal so like meetings or like any

  place that I need to be that that's

  gonna be there so what I like to have is

  fantastical is just those and the place

  I actually use it the most is there

  little widget on the phone so that I can

  swipe over into the widget area and just

  really quickly this is actually one of

  my little like morning routine things is

  check the calendar just to see if

  there's anything you've totally

  forgotten about today and that like that

  is all I want to see whereas the regular

  built-in Apple calendar there I have a

  whole bunch of other things that like

  none of them are urgent but if I'm

  planning my year like I want to see a

  bunch of different things but so

  fantastical I use is just a fast way to

  access the most important subset of the

  calendars that I want to take a look at

  how many calendars do you have Mike just

  fantastical just the one yeah oh I mean

  the Apple Canada is installed on my

  device right yeah we really talked about

  the things you use though but yeah I

  don't use it for anything I just use

  fantastical one thing that fantastical

  on the Mac has which I wish they would

  bring to the iPhone version is the idea

  of calendar sets yeah it's really nice

  yeah I wish I wish that they would do

  that as well like so like you can switch

  modes between like I want to have two

  sets and they have three different

  calendars in each so like you could

  build that system in there if you wanted

  to way like you have the one that you

  have all the time but then when you want

  to see everything you just change set

  and you get everything which I like to

  use this on the Mac because there are

  some calendars that I only need access

  to to input stuff and ever need to see

  them because they're truhearing things

  and all like are we broadcast shows live

  a lot of relay FM and we have a

  facing live calendar so if I change the

  tenth time of a recording I'm doing I

  also have to change it on the live

  calendar as well so I would like I

  wished that there was an easier way to

  bring that in rather than having to like

  go into settings and manually enable the

  calendar and blah blah blah ya know that

  is a really nice feature and and

  especially if you're in a situation

  where you're working with other people

  and you need to have shared calendars

  that you might not need to be thinking

  about in all all different situations

  the ability on the Mac to switch between

  these different calendar sets is is

  really great it's it's a it's a great

  addition that I wish that they would

  bring to iOS yeah for sure today's show

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  blue apron a better way to cook I want

  to call out a little bit of a little bit

  of a subcategory here in productivity

  mm-hmm that I think we can maybe end on

  and then maybe do like a lightning round

  afterward but yep I think there's

  there's like communications as a concept

  is something that I didn't have in the

  2014 one well a long time ago when to

  anyone it is it is no joke but it was a

  thing that I was so aware of which is

  what I'm gonna say is personally for me

  you know it's communications is a very

  hard aspect of my working life it's not

  a thing that I am good at and it is not

  a thing that I manage well and it was

  something looking over the the 2014 the

  state of the apps I didn't have a little

  bit of wistfulness of like oh that past

  gray he just got to be on his own all

  day long like he didn't have to work

  with anybody you know and now there's

  like this orbit of people that I do work

  with and it's like I'm just not very

  good at communications but so now I feel

  like I'm always I'm always sort of

  juggling communication systems are like

  trying to figure out how to make them

  work and and the biggest change in

  communications particularly over the

  last year is the presence of slack in my

  life now

  like slack has just taken over so much

  and when I when I first when I first

  started using slack I like this is the

  greatest thing ever like this is a

  million times better than email but what

  was really the case is it's just there

  were so much fewer things coming through


  then at email and as as slack has spread

  over time and I've slowly

  over time and I've slowly

  inside of it which I am the fastest in

  the world at completing and okay I

  literally am there's a game center yeah

  yeah and I understand all right versus

  just we just transitioned this app

  recommendation into a brag yeah I got it


  yep and I love the game because it

  shouldn't be in the calculator and it is

  and I love it it there are like two

  separate levels to this game and James

  Thompson is a wonderful genius and I

  yeah it's wild it shouldn't exist but it

  does and I love it it's a great

  calculator app it's my calculator app of

  choice as well

  mm-hmm and of course we also know James

  Thomson just for the record mm-hmm yeah

  so what's really important to say that

  we know James I don't know is it

  important to say that I don't know like

  do we legally have to say that I never

  don't think we do but I feel like I

  don't think I legally have to say it but

  I feel like I should say it because

  people might be like oh I see him

  interacting with him on Twitter all the

  time and yeah like and and and also I

  think if we don't say it

  it could belittle the quality to people

  right so like if they work out that

  we're friends with these people they'll

  be like are there only recommending that

  because they're friends but like I'm

  really not it's an excellent calculator

  it's the best calculator but I just I

  don't know I don't know how this stuff


  I also don't know like is this are we

  good now that we've said at this once

  and next year if we mentioned peacock

  again do we have to mentioned again or

  are we all set

  well yeah but I don't assume that

  everybody's heard everything you know I

  mean I think we should have we should

  assume that that cortex listeners I

  listen to every episode Esther but but I

  just like I don't know I don't know how

  this is and I also feel like this might

  be one of these things that is a meme

  that just spreads mm-hm the idea of like

  okay you legally have to disclose must

  sell a set of things but then everybody

  gets worried that you have to fix you

  have to confess the set of like n plus-1

  things which then just push pushes the

  boundary out further so it's like I

  don't know I don't know how this works

  but just for some reason I kept feeling

  like any time we know what developers

  like we got to make it really clear they

  also have a podcast on real

  I really like CGP grey but he also want

  me lunch one time so like wellness today

  yeah yeah I don't know I don't know at

  all how this works to finish up my

  recommendations I have a simple

  recommendation an app that does one

  thing very well that app is called

  Thunder scape and it plays Thunder

  sounds in the background if you're

  looking for Thunder sounds while you're

  working thunder escape is where you want

  to go

  yep all right so I don't have to do this

  again for another five years is that how

  this works

  no remember it's ten months no right

  okay just ten months now this is get now

  this is getting confusing mm-hmm there

  you go people you can stop asking