Taking a day off social media

You might have seen my tweet, it was the last one I did yesterday. I’ve decided to take a proper break from social media. I use Twitter, Instagram and Slack. I stopped using Facebook in Jan 2018. In a bid to get some more quality time back in my life it’s a decision that was actually quite easy with how toxic most of them are. I do get a lot of value from interacting with others but the negatives of both ‘the feed’ and companies attitudes towards its users has finally become too much for me.

I have a blog I want to put effort into, a podcast to plan and music to record. Spending too much time lost on Social isn’t helping me succeed in any of this.

What I’ve noticed

  • I’m picking up my phone less
  • I’m less distracted thinking about the news or thinking about purchases
  • I’m spending more time in apps that give me some value, such as sketching out ideas in Notes for example

Yesterday happened to be the day when another iOS beta dropped but I stayed strong and didn’t install any social apps to catch up on what happened. Not sure how long I’ll last but I’m going to give it a good go.

How I use my iPad in my day job

I don’t often talk about my day job on here but I thought it would be useful to share how I’m using my iPad to assist me in my 9-5 as a Technical Consultant.

I’m home based but work closely with clients all over the UK building out technical requirements for our projects. I won’t name names but I work for a large US company with offices all over the world.

We use Windows, so I’m on a Dell something or other and cannot integrate my iPad into my work email etc. So I use it to help speed up my workflow in other ways.

First off is note taking. I do use pen and paper but often take my iPad to meetings. It is often a conversation starter with clients, which helps break the ice but comes in really handy when they want a copy of something. I also have to make diagrams, sketching and sending is so much quicker than using Visio just to get an idea across.

For this I use Noteability. It’s hands down the best note taking app I’ve found.

Next up is mind mapping. This is more for my knowledge. I’ll create mind maps to remember how to do certain tasks and get things done. Believe me working in a company of over 25,000 people who seem to constantly change roles it’s important to remember who to go to for information or process.

For this I use MindNode.

For a to do given I need to be multi platform so I use Todoist. I have an Android phone and Windows so it’s important I can access it from anywhere.

Lastly for email I stick to outlook on my work machine, no iPad use here unfortunately.

How do you use your iPad to support your day job?

iPhone X screen durability

I’ve owned this particular iPhone X since February (I’m on my third, it’s a long story) and I’m amazed at how easily the screen scratches. Now first off, this doesn’t bother me – nothing stays perfect and you’ll be set up for disappointment if you expect it. Over the years I’ve come to be relaxed about and embrace some wear and tear on my stuff. I treat my gear well but if I ding one of my guitars or put a scratch on my iPhone I let it go immediately, no emotional reaction to it.

Anyway I digress.

Whilst using my screen a week or so ago I felt a deep scratch that I can feel with a fingernail. On inspection I have quite a few hairline scratches all over the screen. Since I started with my iPhone 3G I’ve really never used cases or screen protectors and I can honestly never remember an iPhone that picks up screen damage as easily as the iPhone X.

I’ll be watching the September keynote with great interest to see what the deal is with the new screens.

These new screen don’t appear to be using the same glass as the 7, which wore really well in my experience.

Do you have an iPhone X and is it scratched?

My simple smartphone home screen

As part of trying to be more mindful about how I use my device I’ve simplified my home screen a lot. Here’s how it’s currently setup

  • Only use utilities or methods of communicating with others on my first page, this covers most of the apps on there
  • My wordpress site that allows me to share my thoughts quickly, like this post
  • Access to my camera
  • A browser to check news rather than Apple News algorithm
  • Maps
  • Everything else is on the second page with distractions like social media hidden away in a folder.When I want to launch apps I use spotlight.This is my setup for now, I’ll report back on how it’s helping me spend more time focussed on where I want to be using my smartphone.

Using App Limits in iOS 12

As part of trying to be more mindful of my smartphone usage I’ve installed iOS 12 public beta specifically to try out app limits. The “Time Well Spent” movement I’ve been following isn’t about demonising technology but letting it help us get some control back. It’s obvious makers of social networks don’t respect us so thankfully Apple do. I’ve set myself a 30 minute time window for social networking rather than removing my apps completely. You can find all of this under Settings, Screen Time and then App Limits.