Tag Archive for ‘Shawn Blanc’

‘Itso’ ➝

It’s an old one, but was recently brought to my attention when I saw this tweet from Shawn Blanc.

John Gruber:

itso — noun, pl. itsos : typographical error involving the use of it’s for its, or vice-versa. You have an itso in the second paragraph.

I like it.

➝ Source: daringfireball.net

November Publishing Challenge ➝

Shawn Blanc:

Starting today — Friday, November 1 — I’ll be writing and publishing something every day for the whole month of November.

Though, instead of writing a novel in a month, I will be simply be focused on publishing something — anything — every single day. From photos, links to interesting things, articles, reviews, etc.

CJ Chilvers, Om Malik, Matt Hauger, and Josh Ginter are planning to to publish each day in November too. And I’ll throw my hat in the ring as well.

➝ Source: shawnblanc.net

A Travel Packing List Shortcut ➝

Shawn Blanc:

Having a pre-populated packing list is one of the greatest “travel hacks” I’ve ever done.

It takes all the guesswork out of packing. And it saves me quite a bit of time as well. I just follow the list and when I’m done I don’t have to worry if I forgot about anything.

He setup a Shortcut to generate a packing list in Bear, which is a pretty slick setup.

My current packing list is built in Things. I have a project that contains all of the items I need for traveling. When I have an upcoming trip, I’ll duplicate the project and give it a name to match the location I’m going. It’s worked out well, but it means I have an omnipresent project called “Packing List” in Things’ sidebar.

I think I’m going to give Shawn’s approach a try. My biggest concern is that I might be less likely to revise my packing list overtime, since Shortcuts isn’t exactly the ideal app for editing the list. But removing the project from Things and keeping the whole setup out of view unless I need it might be worth the trade off.

The Platform’s Ceiling Is Irrelevant

Shawn Blanc, on the anniversary of the iPad’s initial release:

It’s now been seven years since the original iPad shipped. And the basic landscape hasn’t changed all that much. This is simultaneously good and bad.

…bad because the iPad is [a] fantastic device, and yet it’s not the go-to platform for the best apps and innovations.

But good because it means the iPad is still full of simplicity and promise.

Unlike the iPhone, I didn’t wait in line to buy the original iPad. Instead, I preordered a cellular model and had to wait until the end of the month for it to ship. Since then, I’ve only owned one other model — the iPad Air 2 that I’m currently typing on. It’s one of the most powerful computers I’ve ever used. And I’m not just talking about its computational abilities.

The iPad has become a platform that’s near and dear to my heart because its a device that has unlocked a great deal of potential within me. It wasn’t until I went full time on iOS and started using apps like Workflow, Coda, and Ulysses that I really began to understand what I was able to do with computers. Building complicated workflows to improve my productivity, writing more efficiently with Markdown, and redesigning my site from the ground up — it’s coming soon, I promise. This is the type of stuff that just never clicked for me until I started treating my iOS devices as first-class citizens.

This might sound odd given that the Mac is thought of as the more capable operating system. But despite my best efforts, I was never able to get the most out of macOS. I’ve used Quicksilver, Automator, and just about every other power user app you can think of, but the habits didn’t materialize — beyond using control+space to launch applications and open webpages.

What I’ve learned from the iPad over these seven years — an important lesson that everyone in this community should consider — is that it doesn’t matter what the absolute potential of a platform is. It only matters what you are capable of while using it. I think we can all agree that, as of right now, the Mac is able to perform a much wider range of tasks, but if I am capable of more on iOS, isn’t it the better option for me?

The iPad might not be the industry’s go-to platform for innovation, but its the machine that has enabled me to find the most creativity and innovation within myself.

iPhone Downsizing ➝

Shawn Blanc, on switching from the iPhone 6s Plus to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7:

However, as awesome as it was to have the larger screen, the better battery life, and the nicer camera… it just wasn’t worth the tradeoff for the unwieldy size. More often than not I found myself frustrated by my inability to wrangle the phone with one hand and just how clumsy I felt when trying to use it.

After a good year-long run with the iPhone 6s Plus, I’ve returned to the regular size iPhone. And I have no regrets.

I would love to have longer battery life in my iPhone, but not if it means carrying around a more clumsy device.

Mac Power Users with Shawn Blanc ➝

A great episode of Mac Power Users in which David Sparks and Katie Floyd discuss workflows with Shawn Blanc. I especially enjoyed the bit where they talked about writing apps. Given that I produce this site, I’m always interested in learning about what applications other people use to do their writing. For anyone curious, I’ve been using a combination of Vesper and the WordPress admin panel for years and just a few months ago added Editorial to my repertoire.

‘Death to Analytics’ ➝

Ben Brooks:

Had Shawn [Blanc] followed what his analytics told him though, he would still be writing about Reeder. And I am sure that would have been great writing, but he would have never changed my life with The Focus Course — nor the lives of many others he has touched through his writing of late. […]

If you are starting a new blog, or have one already, the best thing you can do is turn off all analytics. If you are worried about knowing when your site is “big” then worry no more. Trust me when I tell you: you will know when you site is big, with or without analytics, I promise that you will know.

This is advice that Ben has suggested in the past and something I was strongly considering, but eventually rejected because I thought I’d be better off having the information than not. But, I’m starting to think I should at least limit how often I check my analytics. I’m probably spending too much time thinking about where traffic is coming from and what my most popular pages are — that’s time that would be better spent writing.

Although I’m not going to join Ben by removing analytics from my site entirely, I do plan on making a concerted effort to check my Initial Charge’s statistics far less frequently.

The Apple Watch Apps Shawn Blanc Uses ➝

Shawn Blanc runs down all of the applications he uses on his Apple Watch after several months of everyday use.