Falling back to iCloud

apps, Productivity, Tech

I’ve been playing with a lot of third party productivity apps and you know what I’ve discovered – it’s best to stick with the defaults, at least in terms of data storage. I’ve been missing things because I haven’t been seeing them, I forgot which app I’d put it in (I appreciate this is my problem).

On sitting back and thinking about what I have to manage going on and how I want my data to be stored, here are the apps I’m using with iCloud:

  • For my Calendar I remain stuck in the default app camp, whilst it isn’t the prettiest I like being able to see the date on my home screen with it’s app icon and it does the basics fine. I don’t micro manage everything on my personal Calendar so fits the bill quite nicely
  • For my Reminders I’ve switched over to GoodTask, it’s a much better interface to iCloud and I like both the Today widget and Apple Watch complications
  • For my Notes I use Apple Notes for everything. I write posts like this one in there, store images or receipts etc.. and food recipes. I like the simplicity of it and the fact I can do both handwritten and typed notes
  • For my Photos I use iCloud Photo Library
  • For my journal I back up DayOne to iCloud rather than sync with their service

These are the areas that are most important to me.

The only data in the cloud outside of iCloud that I rely on is Gmail and Blog posts.

For the first time in a while I’m content with this setup and for me even though the apps are pretty basic I find all the extra functionality in apps like OmniFocus adds unnecessary complication (for me) and I spend more time messing with my systems (and tags I don’t need) rather than actually doing stuff.

One change to my morning routine that’s improved my day

life stuff, Productivity

I’ve made a slight tweak to my morning routine that seems to be having an overall positive effect on my day. I’ve been journaling for a while but only in the evening. After listening to an episode of The Automators on the subject I added a new Reminder that simply asks me to write down something I’m grateful for each morning at 7:30am.

Instead of picking up my iPhone and digesting news of social media I think of something that I’m happy about of grateful for in my life. I get on with day afterwards but starting off with something positive is a nice way to kick things off.

I failed creating a journal in Apple Notes

apps, How to, Tech

If you’ll remember last week I wrote down how to move from DayOne into Apple Notes, well I’m back with DayOne. I have to say it’s nice too, Apple Notes just wasn’t built to hold massive notes full of images and text. I’m talking 800MB single notes here, the performance just isn’t workable.

If the large Journal note is the last thing open I found Notes would either crash out or hang on reload. If I left it long enough it would load but it’s just not a workable solution unfortunately. Basically if I did load I needed to move away from it as soon as possible so I could actually use the app.

Viewing images wasn’t ideal if you wanted to check on events and even though I thought Photos could give me this it also fell a bit short.

Anyone else tried and succeeded?

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?

Latest iOS Todoist update

apps, Tech

I’ve been an on and off user of Todoist for years but the latest update might make me stick around. The main thing I’ve always liked about the app was it’s straightforward UI and flexibility. I can do a fee form ‘today’ or have specific time reminders. That’s the best of both worlds for me.

The latest update introduces a few things that really improve its use (for me).

First up is a checkbox next to each item. Sounds simple but improves both the use and look of the app. If you want to go back to swipe to complete you can (it’s in the general settings) but this is now the default behaviour.

Next up (I think I’m right on this one) there’s a little more space around elements. Hitting the create task icon seems like there’s a bit more room in this latest update.

Lastly the text seems a little larger or bolder to my eyes, a nice visual improvement.

I’m only just getting into the latest update but as you can tell I’m happy with the little tweaks and I’ll be giving it another go.

Productivity and projects update

blogging, life stuff, Productivity

I tried an experiment as I wrote in a previous post of giving Things 3 a go and I’m declaring to do app bankruptcy.

Whilst it looks great there’s something about their privacy policy I just don’t trust (I’m pretty picky these days about where my data is being held). I also found there to be too many steps to creating repeating tasks and adding reminders.

So, I’m back on the core Apple apps and iCloud. I think this’ll work as I’m simplifying my hobbies a bit going forward so won’t have too many side projects to plan out.

iOS Only is on hold until I can get my feed sorted with Anchor.

I’ve blown the dust off my guitar stuff and aiming to put some time into using it to relax a bit in the evenings. Be it recording music on my iPad or just learning new songs. I’m feeling less and less interested in tech at the moment from a keeping up with the latest news perspective. I’ll definitely be writing or talking about how I’m using iOS for music.

The blog stays as is, writing about my passions. These may change over time but it’ll always be what I’m interested in.