A rainy evening in Tacoma
It’s crazy how hearing a song can trigger a memory. Earlier today I was listening to a random playlist from my music collection, and a track from Chris Cornell’s Euphoria Morning played.
Instantly, I was back to the time and place I first heard the album. I was a sophomore in college and was running some errands around a rainy Tacoma. My radio (as usual) was tuned to KISW, and they were doing a one-hour interview with Chris as he introduced and played most of the tracks on the new album.
Euphoria Morning wasn’t his most critically acclaimed work, but it has always been one of my favorites. Dark and moody, sort of like that rainy evening in Tacoma in 1999.
I took the long way home so that I could listen to the entire set.
As a long-time nerd, I’ve used a lot of apps and have formed some very strong opinions about them. In 2021, these are my most essential apps for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.
I’ve always been a note-taker, and this app has been a revelation. I used to fill up notebooks and yellow pads, and eventually I graduated to taking notes digitally on my laptop and my iPad. I’ve had affairs with most major note apps — Evernote, Apple Notes, Bear, plain text. This year I was turned onto Craft, and I’m not sure what could make me leave it. Craft covers all of my requirements. My notes are portable: I can export them, or store them locally, or keep them in their cloud service for syncing across devices. I can insert virtually any kind of file, and append with notes. It supports iPad Pencil drawings. I can share notes with others. It easily imported my Bear and plain text notes (and even retained creation/modification dates!) This app does it all. Mac/iOS/iPadOS
Honestly, I only know one password — the password to my 1Password app. I don’t know the password to my email, bank accounts, blog, streaming services, etc. Everything is randomly generated, stored in 1Password, and synced across my devices. If a login is compromised and shows up on the dark web, 1Password alerts me and I can change the password. It supports virtually every login type from web, server, software license, credit card numbers, you name it. I’ve been using it for over a decade and it is irreplacable. Mac/iOS/iPadOS
Things is my other brain. Every reminder, project, or recurring task starts and ends in Things. The interface is beautifully designed and easy to use. Mac/iOS/iPadOS
There are many calculator apps, but none like this one. It’s a little bit like a standard calculator had a baby with a spreadsheet and a plain text document. This has probably been the most useful app in my professional life of the past decade. Mac/iOS/iPadOS
This is an especially nerdy entry, and maybe not for everyone, but I consider Alfred an essential part of my Mac workflow. Most Mac users are probably familiar with Spotlight search: by default it’s the little magnifying glass button that lives in your menu bar (you can also hit command-spacebar to trigger it). It just brings up a simple search box that you can use to find (and launch) anything on your Mac. Alfred is a super-charged version of that. Alfred (like Spotlight) can be used to launch application by typing their name, or opening documents, but you can also use it to launch various workflows. I use Alfred (I launch it by typing option-space) to start web searches, and to add new tasks to Things. It has an integration with my favorite calculator app, so that I can perform calculations on the fly without opening another app. I can use it to create new calendar appointments, contacts, or even create new notes. It also has built-in support for Snippets, which is a massive time saver. As of this writing, per Alfred’s built-in statistics, since May 19, 2016, Alfred has been used 19,627 times on my Mac. It’s pretty essential. macOS only.
Back in like 2004 or 2005 you had a BlackBerry. There was an “app” on there (they weren’t called apps back then) where you would see all your incoming messages. Any type of messages, doesn’t matter what “app”, what service, it was all there. For example:
Incoming email from gmail
Incoming email from Exchange
Incoming and missed phone calls
You get the idea. It was all there in one pane of glass.
I got my first Blackberry (issued by my employer) in 2004 and was immediately addicted1 to that unified messaging paradigm. Nothing else has come close to copying it. I suspect that for most people the stream from all of their services in one place would be completely overwhelming. Just triaging my email in one app is bad enough. Compounding it with text messages, Slack, phone calls, FB/Twitter/whatever would be unmanagable in 2021.
1When I had to turn my device in at the end of the job, I immediately drove to the nearest Cingular store to replace my personal device with a Blackberry; I could’t be without one.
Sometimes I Cook: Sourdough Edition
Planning a Plan (for 2021)
via Evergreen Media:
If you’re asking, “what should I do differently [with my marketing plan] in 2021,” my response is this: be ready to do everything the same. And also different. Don’t be rigid with your planning, because everything could (and probably will…) be upended tomorrow.
Marketing Funnel Basics
via Evergreen Media:
Careful planning of your funnel will ensure that you have all of the necessary pieces in place so that you understand what works best for moving customers around your funnel.
Solving Facebook Ad Account Issues
via Evergreen Media:
If you are a regular advertiser on Facebook, you have certainly had the experience of an ad rejection. Ads can be flagged for any number of reasons, but they are usually easy to resolve (unless you need to generate all-new creative in order to get your ads back into compliance.) But what does it mean when Facebook shuts down your entire ad account, with no warning? Facebook does not give most advertisers any direct channels of support, so how do you get your ads back up and running?
Useful tips for Facebook marketers. If you run ads on Facebook, you’re going to run into one of these issues eventually.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”.
– Isaac Asimov
It was a little over six years ago that my family moved out of the Washington, DC area. After living and working there for almost a decade, it was our home. We had purchased our first home, and one of my daughters was born there. I never much cared for the area though, and I was glad when we were able to leave.
Today is the first time that I have missed being there. After four years of whatever in the hell this was, I’m watching the coverage of street celebrations and my hope is being restored.
Now we move forward. Now we solve some problems. Now we begin to heal.