In light of developments at Wordpress: A place on the web.
Time to start afresh and not depend 100% on a company that might sell my data.
In light of developments at Wordpress: A place on the web.
Time to start afresh and not depend 100% on a company that might sell my data.
A good night’s sleep, a fresh perspective and a cup of coffee this morning mean I’ve cancelled my order for an iPhone 15 Pro Max.
It occurs to me that squinting to read a screen indicates a need for less screen time, not a bigger phone screen! There is absolutely nothing wrong with my iPhone 15 Pro. But looking at it too much leads to tired eyes. So I’ll keep the (relatively to the Max) smaller screen and if I need something bigger, there’s always my iPad Mini.
It seems age has finally caught up with me and the squinting at my iPhone screen has become a problem.
I’m going to trial an iPhone 15 Pro Max as an alternative for the next week. (Or, failing that, just give up reading text on screens smaller than 12 inches).
And yes, I’ll remember to return it to Apple before the generous returns window passes.
I’ve had a super productive morning
I went into the office as soon as I was showered and dressed this morning. Yes, on a Saturday morning! I wanted to take advantage of an empty building to record some content for my podcast and YouTube channel.
And what do you know, as long as nobody is slamming doors or making loud phone calls in the corridor outside, I can get a lot of recording done. In just a couple of hours, I managed to record a solo podcast episode and three videos for YouTube. And I’m finally happy with the backdrop for the podcast (it’s a video recording too) and the one I’m using for youtube content.
The DJI Osmo Pocket 3* makes recording a breeze and I’ve basically decided to sell the Sony camera I bought for this project a few years back. It’s overly complex, tends to overheat too easily and has the worst user interface of any device I’ve ever bought.
The DJI is light, incredibly portable, turns on instantly and has a wonderful wireless mic. Far less fiddling around with the set-up means more time spent actually recording. Which is a win all round.
I did a quick promo video for a free event I’m running later this month, the latest in my behind the scenes vlog series, and a video all about the importance of a ‘chemistry’ session when working with a coaching psychologist. That’ll keep the channel fuelled for a few weeks!
Now it’s back to life admin: cancelling subscriptions I no longer need, finishing my packing list for Japan, and deciding which bag I’m going to bring as carry-on luggage on the fight.
And then, completing the assignment for my Japanese course. Because the deadline is tomorrow afternoon 😬
(* Affiliate link!)
Packing up in the office, to head home and go to the gym.
I slacked off yesterday as I had to meet a deadline once I got back from Japanese class. But no excuses this evening!
Plus, I have a metric ton of Apple Vision Pro review videos to watch as I pump away on the elliptical.
I finally realised this week that not every domain I own requires its own project!
I’m going to let most other domains expire this year. I was metaphorically hoarding domains and all the time feeling bad I wasn’t doing much with them. And I’ve lot account of the number of blogs I’ve started over the years, all because I owned a snappy URL. No more. A bit of digital housekeeping this week has resulted in the cancellation of several services, and deletion of sites.
I’m a lot happier as a result.
Finally realised my online presence is a mess and I have too many accounts and too much duplication. And therefore, too much time spent online. Time to strip things back to something sensible. Each account or platform needs to have a purpose.
Welcome to the first in a (hopefully) ongoing series of posts reviewing the week that was.
Two big themes spring to mind as I write this:
One week into the new year and I’m attempting to undo some of the damage of a very lazy and overindulgent last few months of 2023. I’m really happy with the amount of exercise I was able to do this week, whether it was running, walking or using our much-neglected gym downstairs.
I made it to the gym three times, went for a cople of 4km runs, and this afternoon walked a loop of the Isle of Dogs - which is about 6km. Combined with a complete absence of alcohol, snacks or junk food, I’m hoping this is setting me up for some wins in the coming weeks.
I may be in the minority, but I’ve always found ‘Dry January’ to be incredibly easy. So why do it? A significant drop in empty / unneeded calories. Yep, beer is full of calories this little body doesn’t need. But it’s not a magic wand. So I also need to get this body moving more.
One week in, I’m already sleeping better and my skin is looking much clearer. No weight loss so speak of (a tiny drop on the scales) but I’m setting up some helpful habits that’ll
The highlight of this first working week was my office move. I’m now in a nicer building, in a nicer neighbourhood, with a better commute. It’s win/win. And while the day itself was stressful - about as stressful as any other move I’ve experienced - there were no disasters.
I’ve spent most of the working week setting up shop, making plans for this calendar year, and catching up on some simple admin I’d simple set aside in the run up to Christmas. The week ahead sees my first client-facing work for the year, and I’m really looking forward to it.
So that was week one. If the other fifty-one of 2024 are equally positive, fun and productive, I’ll have one hell of a year.
I had a friend over for dinner and Nintendo last night, and we had the most fun.
I haven’t connected my Nintendo Switch to the TV in months and months, so had to charge everything and download some updates first. But it was worth the minor hassle.
I cracked open ‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder’ for the first time - it was a Christmas gift from my other half - and we played it for a solid ninety minutes before eating, laughing constantly. This game is magical and has so many nice touches.
I completely lost track of time and ended up with two very sore thumbs!
It was such a nice alternative to sitting in silence and watching a movie or TV show together. My friend has already completed the game, so was an excellent guide and coach - I learnt a lot! We chatted all the way through, he explained the game’s dynamics, and yes we celebrated when I finally got the hang of being an elephant!
You had to be there.
Contrary to the popular image of gaming being a solo and isolating experience, the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic device for bringing people together for shared gaming experiences.
I’m leaving it plugged into the TV for the remainder of the winter - unless it’s to take on my upcoming trip to Tokyo.
Inspired by the ‘Defaults’ post by Robb Knight, here are my default apps for a whole host of things:
Mail client: Mail.app for personal, Spark for work
Cloud file storage: iCloud for personal, Google Drive for work
Contact management: Contacts.app
Chat: Messages.app, WhatsApp
Notes: Notes.app for personal, NotePlan for work
To-do: Things 3
Photo management: Photos.app
Spreadsheets: Google Sheets
Word processing: Google Docs
Shopping lists: Reminders.app
Budgeting and finance: MoneyHub
News: Apple News, The Guardian
Music: Apple Music
Podcasts: Pocket Casts
Mastodon: Web on Desktop
Weather: Apple Weather app
Backups: Time Machine
These are accurate as of today, but I reserve the right to jump on the next task management and note-taking bandwagons.
This year, I weaned myself off Dropbox and MS Office. I started using NotePlan for my work projects and absolutely love it. And rather than pay two subscriptions, I cancelled Spotify and now rely on Apple Music for my music.
One of the things that made this month’s trip to Japan even more enjoyable was the weak Yen.
Everything was significantly cheaper than on our last visit, back in March. It made food and drink laughably cheap and meant I could pick up a few gifts for family, as well as some clothes, without any guilt.
And even though I wasn’t planning on it at all (honest), I also ended up upgrading my laptop while I was in Tokyo. The combination of tax-free shopping plus the favourable exchange rate meant I saved £400 on a new Macbook Air.
Though I didn’t get it from the Apple Store.
They’ve stopped offering tax-free shopping to visitors, so I ended up going to the much less chic, but much cheaper Yodabashi Camera in Shinjuku. Where the Apple Store is sleek, minimalist and calm, Yodobashi Camera is an overwhelming tsunami of noise and signage that can be quite the assault on the senses.
There, an extremely helpful sales assistant helped me find the right model (with a US keyboard, no UK keyboards were on sale) and I also picked up an iPad Mini for my other half. Combined, they were still cheaper than a single Macbook Air in the UK.
I didn’t even unbox my laptop until the day before flying home, as I was too busy going out and having fun (!!!) but with a couple of days use under my belt, I really like it.
Gone is the annoying touchbar at the top of the keyboard, replaced with real live function keys! The screen is bigger and it’s much, much lighter. And with an M2 chip, it feels quite a lot faster than my MacBook Pro - which has been reset and is now on eBay, waiting to go to a new home.
I recorded another time lapse of the river with my DJI Pocket 3 this afternoon. It compresses 30mins of footage into just 2mins of video. You can check it out on YouTube:
I’m already planning the similar videos I’m going to take once I get to Tokyo!
My new camera has just arrived!
The DJI Osmo Pocket 3. And it’s a beauty. I opted for the ‘Creator Combo’, as I’m just going to end up buying all these accessories separately later anyway.
I have just over a week to figure it all out, then I’m off to Japan for ten days. Expect plenty of footage from Okinawa and Tokyo upon my return.
I’ve never owned anything like this, so I have a lot to learn. But it’s super exciting and has (almost) taken my mind off this god-awful cough and cold.
While yesterday’s Apple event was super slick, there was nothing in it to get me reaching for my wallet. Which is a very positive thing!
Don’t worry, I didn’t watch it live. I’m not that dedicated to the cult of Apple. I caught up on the news this morning.
The new Macbook Pro models look lovely, but it’ll be quite some time before I have a definite need to upgrade. A ‘want’ yes, but no objective need. My 13" Macbook Pro has plenty of life left in it, even if it has the annoying touch bar that I keep accidentally activating when I type.
And I can’t be the only person wondering why Apple are still shipping brand new Macs with keyboards and trackpads that need a lightning cable to charge? Surely this was the perfect time to change over to USB-C?
Anyway, it looks like I’ll make it into 2024 before another impulse buy. From the Apple Store, anyway. Later this morning, I have an exciting package arriving in the post - and for once it’s not from the fruit company.
Watch this space!
Given the timing, I won’t be staying up for next week’s Apple product announcement.
After recent spends with Apple, that’s just as well. I don’t need any more technology temptation in my life. I’ll just enjoy reading the coverage the next morning with my coffee.
I have an office set-up I’m really, really happy with. My Mac Mini and Studio display are the perfect combo for my webinars, meetings and video production workflows. My iPad Mini never leaves my side and is the perfect digital notebook.
And while I’d dearly love to upgrade my 2020 Macbook Pro to be rid of the cursed touch bar, I have no need. It’s got a couple of years in it yet. And it’s mostly used for light writing, presentations and email. Or keeping in touch with work while I’m traveling. Which doesn’t exactly require the newest and most powerful chips Apple can crank out.
My Bellroy Tokyo Folio arrived yesterday afternoon.
It’s everything I’d hoped for. Tough, splash-proof exterior with a well-designed interior. It fits my iPad Mini, an A5 notebook and a pen. There’s also a separate external pocket for my iPhone 15 Pro.
Inside, the remaining pockets are big enough for an external iPhone battery, my AirPods Pro, a charging cable, a wallet and even my house keys.
When traveling, there’s definitely room for my passport. So for me, this is the perfect folio for longer journeys, as well as face to face meetings, and trips to the coffee shop to be creative. Basically, you can take whatever’s adding unsightly bulk to your pockets and put it in here.
I’m looking forward to taking it out and about. ✈️
Another day, another beautiful product from Bellroy.
I have to admit, I’ve been waiting for this to launch and bought it as soon as it was live on the Bellroy site. A new home for my iPad Mini and notebook.
I’ll share some pics and a review once it arrives.
Some initial thoughts after 48 hours with the new iPhone 15 Pro:
“After about 48 hours of use, I thought I’d note my initial impressions and spoiler: they’re all positive. Really.”
One of the first photos I took outdoors with my new iPhone 15 Pro.
We were blessed with unseasonal blue skies and sunshine here in London, so I made sure to look up for some good angles.
I took this just down the street from my apartment, here in Canary Wharf, where’s there no shortage of interesting buildings reaching for the sky.
So far, I’m loving the new phone and the camera is just one of the outstanding upgrades from my iPhone 13 Pro. I’m prepping a ‘48 hours with the iPhone 15 Pro’ post over on my Apple Fanboy blog. Hoping to get it out later today.
It just so happens I’m working from home on the day my new iPhone 15 Pro is set to be delivered. What a coincidence!
Though I may have to temper my excitement if it arrives later in the afternoon. I have a friend coming over for dinner and a film later on, and it would be quite anti-social to sit in the corner and set up my new phone with him here.
Plus, he’s an Android user (I know!) so he’ll have zero interest in any kind of new iPhone.
I was thinking the waiting would be quite annoying, but I just opened Things 3 and caught sight of the ton of tasks I need to get through today. I’m not sure I’ll have time to even think about phones until much later in the day!
If you’re expecting a delivery today, I hope it goes smoothly and you have your new iPhone in your hands before too long.
The second highlight of my day so far:
Figuring our how to use the Dataview plug-in in Obsidian to search for client projects across disparates notes and provide me with a nicely-formatted list.
I then created a ‘client’ template for pages, to bring together lists of client-specific projects and the people involved. So each client organisation gets a note, and each note lists what projects I’ve done for them and who I’ve worked with there.
It’s also like I know what I’m doing. Almost.
The highlight of my day (so far):
Getting my dispatch notification email from Apple. My iPhone 15 Pro is on the way, in all its blue titanium glory. And now the waiting game ramps up a notch.
The next 24hrs is going to feel so long.
I’m watching endless iPhone 15 Pro review videos on YouTube, as if it will somehow speed up delivery of my new handset.
I’m still very happy I upgraded. No buyer’s remorse here. I just want to get my hands on it!
Roll on Friday.
Today’s the first time in a while that I’m really jiving with Obsidian.
From my daily note, through to capturing new ideas and writing new content for the business blog.
On reflection, I think it’s because I’m using templates intentionally and with more forethought. As in, what does future me want to do with this information? I’m also using the new properties functionality to include some very useful front matter to notes.
Every day is a learning day when it comes to Obsidian, but today was a day when it felt like I was gliding through the experience. Not stumbling over difficulties and frustrations.
I’m very tired and really need some sleep, but… I’m loving iOS17 so far. Seems like lots and lots of very small changes which combine for a great new experience.
Time to put the phone down and get ready for bed.