Splitting up calendar items and your task manager

I’d been of the mindset that seeing my calendar items within my task manager was a must have but now I’ve switched over to Todoist and this isn’t an option for my iCloud I’ve come to the conclusion it actually clutters things up.

Having a division of these two actually helps with overload to me. I use the Apple Calendar app widget to remind me what I have on but at the moment concentrating just on my task manager helps me get things done without worrying about the structure of the day.

I just work through my list and get to the items when I get to them.

Starting a newsletter

As with most creators these days I’ve decided to start a newsletter via substack, you can find it here. I’m doing a lot of thinking about where I’m creating content and with the pressure of being unemployed I’m thinking about where best I can share what I’m up to, some free and if paid then affordable to me. I’m not sure where this will lead but being completely honest I’m starting to look at ways of making some income from my writing to help support me in this time, this is mainly going to be via freelance if I get taken on somewhere but may end up being a paid membership or newsletter type scenario. I don’t think I have enough of an audience to turn this into something that will help me pay the bills but I need to be positive and think it may be something that at least will keep the lights on for the blog. I’ve just started on this journey and am planning on what content goes where all of the time at the moment so watch this space. (thanks in advance to those that are subscribing and thanks to those that have already supported me, it’s really appreciated).

Update on my Todoist setup

I posted last week about coming back to Todoist and I wanted to share with you how it’s been going this week.

As you can see I’ve kept it pretty basic with

  • A project per category I need to manage
  • A sub project if this needs breaking down E.g. Video within the Create project
  • The use of section headers to break down a project, like my learning one you can see in the screenshot

This has been working pretty well this week and between my devices (iPhone and MacBook, using Safari) I’ve been keeping on track ok. I am using the small widget on the home screen that shows me the number of items in the list today and the top few.

I’m adding items by firing up the app first but my next tasks is to look at how Todoist is working with automation and try to use Shortcuts a little more.

If you want to check out Todoist, please use my affiliate link here to help support my writing. (thanks in advance).

The most important factor when I’m choosing a blogging platform

As I’m reviewing my creative projects versus what I can actually afford to keep going right now my blogging one stands out as a monthly outgoing I may need to divert elsewhere. I’m looking at free or cheaper alternatives to WordPress but one thing stands out to me – where do you write from the most?

For me that’s my iPhone, 90% of posts are written straight on my smartphone these days. I no longer really use an iPad for writing and my MacBook is mainly used for job seeking. My iPhone has become my most used device, which I wouldn’t have thought would be the case as we are at home so much but that’s where it’s landed for me.

So, my number one requirement when looking to make a move is how good is the mobile experience. This is everything from the editor to posting images.

I think you first have to look at which platform are you using the most and pick a system that offers as least resistance as possible.

Are Apple ruining user experience to promote their own services?

Every time I open my iPad settings app I’m presented with this

It takes up a good portion of the screen on my iPad Mini and it got me thinking about the trend that I see with Apple promoting their own services within a core app. Personally I don’t like it, I’d much rather see them send you an email or other one time notification. For this one in particular I can say ‘set up later’ and it goes away for a short time but will pop back every few days, all I can do is wait for the offer to expire then I assume I’ll be presented with another offer. It feels very Samsung to me having used one for work, I’m hoping it doesn’t get too much worse.

How do you feel about these messages in settings?

How’s Apple doing?

Source: Six Colors

I always read these reports with interest and generally tends to line up with how I’m feeling about Apple.

Generally for me

  • Software quality is up, regardless of your thoughts on Big Sur design it’s a lot more stable and more performant
  • Hardware is reliable
  • Wearables up, mainly because of AirPods I think
  • Apple TV is stagnant
  • Can’t comment on the TV+ content as I don’t have it
  • iPhone a slight uptick, can’t comment but doesn’t look like 12 is a big leap

What do you think?

My Todoist setup

I’ve been switching apps again (you’re sick of posts like this right?) and with my kind of breaking and being overwhelmed with overdue Reminders UI I’ve gone back to old faithful – Todoist.

I know I’ve written up posts on not being able to justify a subscription but I need to invest in myself and job hunting so paid up for my monthly £3.99.

I just initially used my iPhone and dumped everything into their appropriate projects as you can see above. I don’t use labels and prefer to divide my tasks into logical places. You’ll see my divisions above. It’s a pretty basic setup at the moment and the folder names should show what tasks go where.

Along with the setup I have the small today widget on my main Home Screen. This allows me to see how much I’ve got left to do today at a glance.

I’ll share more as I refine this over time but for now here’s my Todoist setup.

The PS4 Pro’s biggest problem is the noise it makes

I picked up a PS4 Pro back in 2016 at launch because I’ve always been on the Sony console track and had upgraded to a 4K HDR TV (settling on an LG OLED). It’s in use daily either by myself or my daughter and serves us well – but there is a problem that’s not just mine, it sounds like a jet engine.

I love the games I’m playing on it currently (Red Dead Redemption II, GT Sport, Battlefront and Uncharted 4) but I’m struggling to hear the sound without turning it too much as it’s overwhelmed with the loud fan noise.

I’ve taken the top off of it and cleaned the fan but aside from stripping it down completely and replacing thermal paste (I shouldn’t have to do that) I’m accepting that if you buy a PS4 Pro accept it’ll be loud.

It’s one of the main reasons I’m keeping my eye on PS5 stock, to get a console I can play without the fan waking up the neighbourhood (slight exaggeration I know).

The PS4 Pro is a great console though, more positives than negatives generally and with Miles Morales available now and Resident Evil coming soon there’s really no need to rush out for a next generation console, well not that you could anyway with all of the scalpers. If the fan noise wasn’t as bad I wouldn’t even be contemplating a new console.

Anyone else with this issue?

The limits of Apple Reminders

I posted about how I thought I’d use Apple Reminders but a few days where I’m low energy and it’s overwhelming. I’ve missed items and they move to a red overdue area, it’s stressing me out seeing it that way. I’m chasing my tail a lot anyway but it’s making it worse.

So I’m seeing the limits of options to delay items and the way it’s being displayed I.e. shouting at me.

It’s got me thinking about app structure and there’s something about Todoist that I find fits with my brain. I’ve manually (via my iPhone) dumped from Reminders back to Todoist and I’ll continue on my journey with the app.

Even though I have a lot on (over 10 things today for example) I feel more in control with the way Todoist lays out the data.

How do you deal with overdue tasks in your app?

Writing what you want and when you feel like it

As you may have figured I’ve been slowly coming to terms with not being able to make a living out of this project to support me in these times but it has an advantage – I can write about what I want, when I want.

I’ve had a tag line of sharing my passions here and for me that covers Apple, apps, productivity, movies (Star Wars), watches, Lego and collectibles.

Not having an agenda or pushing paid content lets me relax a bit and write a post just like this one. I have the WordPress app on my Home Screen, I fire it up and just write. In fact I don’t even keep a task list really of posts I want to write, well I do but never reference it. It mostly comes from out of my head into a blog post.

I don’t do outlines or big planning I just write.