Thoughts on Overcast 1.0

Since getting into podcasts a few years ago, I’ve used pretty much every podcast client there is on iOS. My client of choice has been Pocket Casts — a sentiment echoed by my friends at The Sweet Setup. Pocket Casts is deep and full-featured, and while I don’t consider myself a “power listener” — always in want of granular controls and the like — the app has done well by me for quite some time.

Read more...

Thoughts on Checkmark 2

An idea most popular amongst the Apple nerd set with which I associate is the use of task management apps such as OmniFocus and Things on the Mac and iOS to get things done. These setups can be pretty elaborate, and while they’re cool and all, such tediously-crafted workflows have never worked for me. For as proudly as I wave my nerd flag, apps like OmniFocus have long intimidated me, and, quite frankly, I neither have the time nor the desire to invest in learning all the ways in which you can tinker with them. More to the point, though, such setups are overkill for my spartan GTD needs.

Read more...

Pencil on Paper: Thoughts on Pencil By 53

One of the ways people like to describe the iPad is to say that it becomes whatever you want. It’s an incredibly thin and light slab of aluminum and glass that, with the help of so many apps, can morph from, say, a text editor into a mobile game console. It’s been said ad nauseam, but is worth repeating here: the iPad is transforming personal computing. There’s no doubt about it — every day, folks from all walks of life are finding new uses for iPad. Yes, it’s cliche and yes, it’s trite, but it’s also reality. The iPad is the tablet, no question.

Read more...

Thoughts on Phraseology 2

As a writer who loves working from my iPad, I’ve always had a thing for iOS text editors. I’ve tried most of the big name ones over time, and usually have two or three installed on my devices. As of this writing, here’s what’s in my Writing folder right now:

Read more...

A Blind Guy’s Take On Unread 1.0

Full disclosure: historically, I’ve sucked at keeping up with RSS.

I subscribe to a good number of feeds, and I have one set up for Steven’s Blog, but I’ve always found myself struggling to achieve the discipline to sit down every day, faithfully, to go through my feeds. I’m plagued with guilt that I neglect RSS — and, for that matter, Instapaper — but at the same time, I would be remiss in not admitting that Twitter has filled the catching-up-on-the-news void. The fact is that Twitter is where I get the majority of my news nowadays, so RSS is left largely forgotten. I’d almost given up on the medium altogether.

Read more...

One Year with Day One

As I type this, I'm a few days away from marking my one-year anniversary (August 7) with Day One, the journaling app for OS X and iOS by the team at Bloom Built. It's been a wonderful year, and I am very excited to be writing this commemorative piece.

Over this past year, I've written many words about Day One. (In fact, my second piece is featured in the Day One Uses Guide page on the app's website.) There isn't much more praise I can heap upon Day One, nor can I sufficiently reiterate just how much I enjoy using it. As I wrote before, Day One's user interface is still clean and attractive, its sounds still playful, and its feature set still bountiful.

Read more...

‘Yeezus’

In terms of my music-listening habits, I find that I’m much more of an album guy. That is, I find myself preferring to invest in entire albums rather than listening to singles on iTunes Rdio. Moreover, I’ve always been the type of listener who listens to one or two albums over and over, as if on a binge. I’ll listen to these few albums until I inevitably get sick of them, but the illness is always temporary. I know that, eventually, I’ll come back to these albums whenever the mood strikes again.

Read more...

Thoughts on Status Board

I know I’m a hardcore nerd when I get giddy with anticipation over the release of an app.

Yet that’s what happened when I saw this tweet from Panic announcing their new iPad app, Status Board. Having long been a fan of their other software — Transmit and Coda 2 on the Mac, Diet Coda on iOS — I was instantly excited for the new app. Stellar reviews from Federico Viticci and Chris Gonzales gave me more reason for excitement, so I had no qualms paying my $10 for it.

Read more...

The Tom Bihn Cafe Bag

I’ve long been — at least, in my adult life — a fan of messenger bags. I think they look better, carry easier, and are less stress-inducing on my back. Over the last few years, I’ve become sort of a closet bag nerd: I’ve bought several bags from various makers (mainly Incase and Timbuk2) in the search of the perfect fit. The experience has proved similar to that of Goldilocks at the Three Bears’ house. Some bags were too small. Some bags were too big. And others still would be lacking in pockets or the right color to catch my eye. Nothing I found turned out to be the proverbial “just right”. That is, until I discovered the medium-sized Cafe Bag by Tom Bihn.

Read more...

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

I’ve written a lot of words championing the use of the iPad as a productivity tool. What I do most of — for the Internet, school, or otherwise — is write, and the iPad is terrific at helping me do just that. The one-app-at-a-time-in-full-screen approach in iOS is great because it allows me to better focus on what I want to say, with a minimum of distraction. Byword, Poster, and Dropbox are all the software I need to get work done. This, coupled with the iPad 3’s Retina display and slim profile, have caused me to abandon my 11-inch MacBook Air, a machine whose original purpose was to be for writing. But I don’t need another full-sized Mac to satisfy my workflow, so the Air — no doubt, a great little dynamo in its own right — is left to collect dust, as it were. Put another way, the iPad is my laptop.

Read more...