Brent Simmons on why Micro.blog is different than App.net:

But if you think of the years 1995-2005, you remember when the web was our social network: blogs, comments on blogs, feed readers, and services such as Flickr, Technorati, and BlogBridge to glue things together. Those were great years — but then a few tragedies happened: Google Reader came out, and then, almost worse, it went away. Worse still was the rise of Twitter and Facebook, when we decided it would be okay to give up ownership and let just a couple companies own our communication.

Yes, it’s pretty much sums up the last decade of the web. I want to get back the ownership of my content, that’s why I’m posting from my blog nowadays and syndicate elsewhere. On the top of that, Micro.blog is a pretty great network with a lot of interesting people. As Jack Baty wrote:

I need to say it again… I love Micro.blog. It feels like something new and it’s pretty great. Sign up. Post stuff. Interact. Own your shit.

Robert Peake wrote about “daily to-do lists” on Next Action Associates:

To put a finer point on it: you are not a “good boy” or “good girl” for completing all the items on your short list any more than you are an unproductive person for not ticking off every item by the end of the day. It may well be that you focused on exactly the right things each moment of the day without striking through a single item on the sub-list. Simply having those short list options to hand can help you to validate that those choices you make which are not on the list are, indeed, correct – because you have consciously weighed them against that shortlist before acting.

This is a great mindset to have about the Today list functionality in Things. I like that Robert calls it a daily sublist which sounds way better than the “I have to do these today no matter what happens” list as people like to think about it usually.

I’m also in the habit of curating a weekend chores list from my main Home list into Things’ Today view. I do this because my biggest problem with GTD at the moment is sometimes I forget to review my appropriate context lists on a daily basis or at the right moment.

Problems with over-tracking stuff

I’ve turned off the battery percentage on iOS about 4 months ago. This one in Settings/Battery:

It removed a lot of anxiety that I had about battery life. I’m starting to think that there is stuff which is nice to track when we have problems, but not every time. Let’s see a couple of those.

Battery

Future iPhones will get longer battery life I’m sure, but as it seems the current longevity of batteries is being more dependent of the physical size of the device and software optimizations, than a great advancement in battery technology. I have an iPad Pro which already has great battery life, stressing about it is unnecessary. Case closed there, but what about my iPhone?

My iPhone 6s had terrible battery life, that’s why I’ve bought an iPhone 8 Plus last November. Plus-sized iPhones usually have way better battery life than their smaller counterparts. I’m easily getting through the day with my iPhone 8 Plus. Seeing how much energy left on my phone is just an information which I don’t really need to know at each moment. My phone sends me notifications when it’s has 20% battery left, but it’s still 1 or 2 hours of usage. I can safely reach my charger until then, I’m sure.

The only thing I’m still waiting for Apple to do regarding batteries is to ship the AirPower matt for wireless charging.

Sleep

I have a bigger level of health anxiety than normal people, so I have to be mindful of what I’m tracking and what’s that information means. Health data can be helpful, but I had problems misreading it before—the same usually happens with symptoms of some sickness.

It actually happened a couple of weeks ago tracking my sleep. I haven’t slept that well and I was seeing a declining trend in the length of my deep sleep hours. As always, it raised the anxiety level in me, and I started thinking about it which continued for a couple of days. Then in my morning meditation, it occurred to me, maybe seeing how many hours I’ve spent in deep sleep—which presented in the sleep tracking app as some kind of competitive metric—causing the anxiety. I uninstalled the app then forgot about it. My sleep routine starts to get better. I’m not sure why, but at least the anxiety has disappeared.

Money

If you have money issues, tracking something for a month or two can give you an incredible insight into your spending habits. You can use this data to optimize and plan your budget accordingly.

On the other hand, if you start stressing about every penny you’ve spent then you just micromanaging your money which gains you nothing. Some people easily get over the fence and can be extremely frugal, especially when they have data that they can rely on. They are ones who always stressed about a couple of bucks spent on something. Collecting coupons is the next level of advancements in frugality.

I learned in the last couple of years trying out multiple budgeting apps, that money management is like managing your attention: finding something which leaks in a big way, fixing it then moving on. Trying to fix every small hole doesn’t do any good.


As you can see, there is clearly a pattern emerging here which is not a problem with tracking itself, but understanding its data and internalizing it. I tend to be overanalyzing stuff and today’s technology makes it more and more easy to collect data. I have to be mindful and find the sweet spot: collect when needed, don’t read subjective things into emerging patterns, finally, make a conclusion then take the next step.

The Mac, The Myth, The Legend: How Snow Leopard became synonymous with reliability:

Initial experiences with Snow Leopard weren’t as blissful as more recent commentary remembers. The troubled rollout of MobileMe, iCloud’s precursor, was still an open wound. Soon after release, a major bug was discovered in Snow Leopard that would cause the home directories of guest accounts to be wiped completely. The issue was prevalent enough that Apple publicly responded and later issued an update, 10.6.2, to address the problem.

Sure, Snow Leopard had it’s problems too as almost all macOS up to this point. So I’m still not subscribed to this Apple software quality is in decline bullshit. Most of it just nostalgia, for example: I remember a lot of kernel panics on my old white MacBook back when it was running Tiger but I had not seen them since Lion.

There are new apps starting to pop up in the App Store which are truly nerdy, like OpenTerm and iVim. They’re still feel like a mobile demo of their desktop counterparts, but it’s nice to see something like that on iOS finally. I’m not sure where this’ll lead but I would be really grateful if I could replace my remote server setup running in Blink with something that I can use locally for web development someday.

Check out what OpenTerm can do.

Having said that, I still love using Blink, you should checkout the app, it’s open source on GitHub. Also, the new beta version is very stable, and fixes a lot of annoying UI bugs I had with the app.

After years of posting stuff to this site alone, today I’ve turned comments back on. It feels like the old days of blogging again when there was always a great discussion after almost each blogpost.

Nowadays those discussions moved over to social networks, swept away in threads which are siloed into closed websites. I want them to get back here, right below my content. So from now on, every reply or like or retweet of a tweet of mine that contains a URL to my blog should also show up here, like this.

Also, I support webmentions, and let’s not forget about those plain old WordPress replies. I hope these updates will get the discussion back where it should belong, right below after each post.

I’ve migrated my site from Jekyll back to WordPress (it was fairly easy actually). I was missing all the great integrations of WordPress after using Jekyll for a couple of weeks. Now I can easily write again without pushing stuff to git repos.

Inserting timestamps

One thing I miss from TextExpander is the ability to insert timestamps into any text input on my Mac. There are apps with this feature built-in (like OmniFocus and OmniOutliner), but I want a global keyboard shortcut which insert todays date into any app. Luckily we have Automator services in macOS which can easily replicate this functionality.

I’ve created a simple Automator service called “Insert Date”. You can download and install it via Automator. It uses the built in date command with a custom format. The service gets installed into ~/Library/Services and you can open it from this folder and change the date format into whatever you need. Here some examples how to do that.

One last thing: you can assign a custom keyboard shortcut to this service in System Preferences/Keyboard/Shortcuts (may require logout and login to work). Mine is ⌃⌥⌘D.

Casper Beyer on Electron:

I tend to call Electron applications web pages whenever I talk about them, which in turn tends to piss off a lot of web developers but really that’s all they are. There is nothing desktop like about Electron applications, they always feel out of place, even the simplest elements like the native menu bar is not available, it’s usually a custom alien looking thing if it’s even there.

Electron applications just don’t integrate with the operating system the way a native application is expected to do, is this not the reason that why we vowed to kill Flash and the Air Runtime in the first place?

This sums up exactly why Electron is the biggest piece of junk since Flash. Next time somebody ask me why I think about Electron this way as a “fellow” web developer, I’m going to direct his/her attention to this Medium post.

Unobstruct is one of the best content blockers for iOS. You can hide all kind of floating sharing bars and newsletters subscription pop ups which gives you a nice relaxing way to read a website. It’s basically a pop up blocker fo the “modern” web.

You can also turn on Unobstruct in Safaris action sheet and hide floating crap manually. Great to remove annoying signup modals temporarily if you not registered on a particular social site with an f in its logo but stumbled into a link which goes there.

I’ve just deleted Viber from my phone. It annoys me with stupid notifications about stickers and I can’t turn it off. I could turn off Viber notifications completely, but that’s not that useful for a messaging app. I wanted to use it as a Facebook Messenger replacement, but it’s worse.