Rediscovering RSS

apps, Tech

I’ve flirted with RSS in the past, well before Twitter came along. I got to rely on getting my news from there instead of reading the sites directly or their RSS feed. Now I’m pulling back on Twitter I rediscovered reading sites directly via Safari. This was all well and good but time consuming, I don’t like Apple News particularly either so thought hey I remember you, you’re RSS.

I had a look at the apps out there and chose to use FieryFeeds.

It took me a few minutes to figure it all out but I keep it pretty simple. I simply added the sites I visit one at a time, the app finds their RSS. I can now either go to the RSS direct or see a compiled view of what’s been going on using the Today section. I paid £9.99 (yearly) to the developer to support the app and get iCloud sync of my feeds for more than ten sites.

How I’m using GoodTask

apps, Tech

I wrote that I wanted to stick with iCloud and if you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that Reminders does my head in. I moved over to GoodTask a little while ago but didn’t commit to using it until a month or so ago. Here’s how I’m using it.

Apple Watch

Reminders doesn’t have a new complication so I’m using GoodTask to show me how many items I have due today.

Today widget

The widget shows me both my reminders and appointments on one view. This means I can see my day in order and also means I can use one widget instead of two.

Lists

I’m using lists to categorise all of my tasks. Still getting started but here are my lists so far. I’m also using Overdue, High Priorities and Within 5 days.

Today with no time

Using Reminders in the standard app doesn’t let you mark a task due just today, you need a time. I don’t like this to be the only way of doing it. With GoodTask I can mark something due just today and not worry about adding a time element.

The iOS 13 Reminders app

apps

An interesting post over at Bloomberg about iOS 13 dropped today and I’m more interested in it from a productivity angle.

An updated Reminders app that better competes with the several to-do list programs available on the App Store. The new app has a main screen with four default sections laid out in a grid: tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks. Each section has its own different-colored page that users can add items to.

An update to Reminders is about 5 years overdue and can’t come soon enough. When I read this I thought, great but when I read ‘scheduled tasks’ I started to get a little concerned about what we’ll see. I’m thinking it’s going to simply be a skin on top of what we already have. The current scheduled view is basic and full of bugs and at the moment I have zero confidence they’ll address these issues but simply put a new front end to the content.

This also means that there will be no way to have a list of tasks due today. What I mean is every task will need a due time as it is today. This is one of my main complaints with Reminders today.

I’m hoping I’m being my usual pessimistic self and Apple will truly put in some effort into their own apps.

Using Bear (again)

apps

I started and stopped using Bear about a month ago but after struggling to organise with Apple Notes I’ve gone back in.

The main reason I’ve gone back is tags. Folders in Apple Notes is ok but I’m finding that the ability to add a quick tag at the bottom of the page I’m writing on is clicking with my brain more. All the dividers such as ‘gifts’ and ‘shopping’ above are tags that Bear automatically uses to create this structure.

Get a view of your week with Eventail

apps, Review, Tech

I’m trying to get better at being more productive and keeping an eye on what’s happening over the coming week. I tend to focus on the current day and not look ahead and plan for things happening over the week. Staying in the moment is great but sometimes I feel more relaxed or prepared for the week if I know what I’m up against.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying out an app called Eventail.

When I say app I actually mean a supercharged Today widget.

It’s completely configurable and for me I use it to display just my Calendar events for the next 5 days. It doesn’t give me times but just an order of what’s happening each day.

I can also tap on any of the days to give me a view of the day in detail if I’d like.

What’s even better is nothing leaves your device so privacy isn’t an issue.

There are also options for showing Reminders but I’m yet to dig into this one at the moment.

If you’re using iCloud for your Calendar then I’d definitely recommend giving Eventail a look.

Using Fantastical as a task manager

apps, Productivity

I’ve used Fantastical on and off for years but with it’s ability to display calendars and reminders all in one view I thought I’d give it a go. The beauty of using this is that you stay in the iCloud bubble and not having to manage data elsewhere.

Things I like about it

  • The widget displays a full calendar if you expand it out. It’s great to be able to quickly see the entire month and each days events if you click on a particular day
  • Natural language, just like Todoist you can type things like “put bins out every Thursday at 2pm”
  • Dark mode (because…)

Things I don’t like

  • No ability to create a Reminders list
  • No ability to reorder Reminders lists
  • Apple Watch app doesn’t show Reminders due today

Did it stick?

For me, no. As a calendar app it’s second to none, it’s pretty great. But, if like me you are trying to use Reminders too then it’s going to be a frustrating experience if you value the same items in my ‘things I don’t like’ list above.

Building my GoodTask setup

apps, How to, Tech

I’m feeling like I have a bit more headspace now I’m less active on social media and to my surprise it’s allowed me to focus on trying one productivity app at a time. This might sound strange but when I was on Twitter daily I’d look at others and their apps and get FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). This would inevitably lead me to trying other apps.

Well since last week I committed to using iCloud (for privacy reasons mainly) and when I saw Reminders wasn’t up to scratch I started using GoodTask. I think my problem in the past was I didn’t stick with one app long enough but now I’m not seeing others feeds I’m not tempted to switch apps.

I’m keeping it simple so far and still in the process of moving everything in from OmniFocus. As you can see I’ve split up by Reminders lists so far, I’ll be sharing more as I go but this is stage 1.

I’ll share more on creating smart lists at a later point once I get my head around them.

Are you using GoodTask? Any tips?