Turning my iPad into a focused creation device

    This quarter, I’m focusing on writing.

    I’ve had a writing habit for a long time, but since I became a professional copywriter, it’s been harder to write the type of content I want to. So, I’m focusing on my writing habit.

    The only problem: distractions!

    There are so many of them all over the place. Sometimes I’t barely a minute between sitting down and when I get swamped my emails, notifications or a youtube rabbit hole.

    My cure? Making a focused creation device.

    Enter the iPad.

    A creation iPad

    My goal is to remove the apps that distract me, and leave only the ones that allow me to create. That way, I have a device geared to creating new things rather than scrolling the endless feed.

    There are a few apps I use to create

    • Procreate
    • Drafts
    • Obsidian
    • iA Writer

    Then some to play

    • OnSong - a sheet music application
    • Paprika - A recipe management app
    • Kindle/iBooks/Scribd et al - reading is play, right?

    And there are a few apps that distract the hell out of me

    • Safari
    • YouTube
    • Messaging apps
    • Social networks (Instagram & Microblog. Yes, even you.)

    Plus some which are kind of distracting but I still need to use sometimes, like mail.

    Not an anti-consumption device

    You might have noticed that there are some consumption apps there like the kindle and Scribd. On the one hand, these are not creation, they are consumption. If I wanted an anti-consumption device, I should remove them. And yet the kindle and other ebook readers are some of the highest value apps on my iPad.

    Sometimes the ideas within the books I read provide the impetus for new creative works. And while that can also occur with youtube or another service, the hit ratio is lower and I’m more likely to choose one of them instead of creation.

    So I’m happy (for now at least) leaving them on my iPad as I try this experiment.

    Will it work?

    I’ve debated doing this in the past and always found it tricky.

    No single device seems to be a perfect “distraction free” or “creation” device. There are times I need to look up data on the mac, there are times I want to check a message on my phone, and my iPad is arguably the best web browsing experience.

    But I think this is the best action to help me create more.

    Procreate, after all, is ONLY on the iPad. And using the ipad as a distraction free writing device is great (as long as you have a keyboard to go with it).

    So I’m giving it a go and I’ll report back later.

    🔗 What if you could only use ONE APP on your iPhone? – Shawn Blanc

    What if you could only use ONE APP on your iPhone? – Shawn Blanc

    So this is a completely random but fun experiment… but what app would you pick if you could only pick ONE?

    I read this quick post from Shawn a few days back and knew my answer almost instantly – Drafts.

    I’d certainly miss the camera (but I have a ricoh gr), podcast, and the sat nav in some situations, but with drafts I’d cover the other 80% I use my phone for. I could even manage my tasks there too if I needed.

    Continuing with the other devices… I’d probably pick

    • Mac – Arc (cheating I know, but I’d need it for work). excluding that, Obsidian.
    • iPad – Reader from Readwise

    I’d never choose obsidian on the iPhone, it’s just not fast enough. In fact, it almost makes me wonder if I could just switch to drafts…

    What about you?

    🔗 Facebook's TikTok-like redesign marks sunset of social networking era

    Facebook’s TikTok-like redesign marks sunset of social networking era

    Mark last week as the end of the social networking era, which began with the rise of Friendster in 2003, shaped two decades of internet growth, and now closes with Facebook’s rollout of a sweeping TikTok-like redesign.

    And just in case you thought the changes were limited to Instagram, Facebook is going the way of Tiktok too.

    I guess Facebook decided to give up on trying not to destroy the world through the algorithm and is now going full speed ahead.

    🔗Instagram gets worse with dark patterns lifted from TikTok TechCrunch

    Instagram gets worse with dark patterns lifted from TikTok | TechCrunch

    The new UI is plainly inspired by TikTok, the way Instagram has routinely been “inspired” by its more innovative rivals, like when they clone-stamped Stories out of Snapchat. In this case they took the opportunity to bring in a few bad habits and troubling choices, all pretty clearly intended to juice their metrics and force users to interact with content on the app’s terms.

    I saw this shared by Andy McNally an illustrator friend who is active on instagram. I enjoy his, and other sketchnoters content but the algorithm and new feed is increasingly hostile.

    In my weekly sketchnote newsletter, I never share any from instagram, mostly because it doesn’t have a friendly embedding option with revue. That actually makes it quite difficult to share sketchnotes as the majority are shared on Instagram.

    I wish there was a better platform with mass adoption for sharing these images. At this point I know I should proclaim the virtues of Micro.blog (which is great) but it would be a real challenge to convert the sketchnoting masses.

    Still, perhaps that is a vocation worth heeding.

    🔗 iphone 12 pro camera review: glacier np

    Austin Mann’s iPhone camera reviews are always insightful and show some cool creative ideas. His night time portrait of his wife being a case in point. Although I doubt many of us have a handy iPhone 11 in our pockets to use as a light.

    I'd like a pro camera mode from Apple

    I’d be really interested in Apple making a sort of “pro” mode for the camera app. Basic mode would have simplified controls (perhap even more simpler than the current ones which are becoming fiddly) and in pro mode you’d get extra controls. You could set it up so one mode was the default and you can change wit a tap. I know the other option is to just get a pro camera app but I’d like to see what apple could do in a pro camera app as well as let them simplify their existing app.

    The best Apple product I bought?

    Yesterday I had a strange realisation. My 2013 MacBook Pro is probably the best Apple device I have bought. That surprised me as I don’t think it has ever been my favourite Apple device, but the fact that my wife and I still use it and it works fine mean that it has had the longest life out of any Apple product I’ve owned. I love my Airpods when I first bought them, but their battery life has left them near useless now and instead just frustrating. the iPhone SE was a fantastic phone when I first bought it and live photos are so much fun, but it has a limited life (will it get the next software update?) and I upgraded to the iPhone Xs and that was better…and worse. My iPad Pro can out perform the MacBook in may ways and the pencil is great fun, but I doubt it will last half as long as this MacBook pro. Perhaps logenvity shouldn’t be the top criterion for “the best product” but the fact that I’ve not really felt the need to upgrade is as positive sign to me.

    Although a MacBook with an A14 type chip and Apple pencil support would be very interesting.

    Epic vs Apple thoughts: Whoever wins, we lose.

    Apple is in the wrong: the App Store needs to change.

    Epic’s solution does nothing for me as a consumer and sounds terrible. Epic is acting “holier than thou” although they are clearly working for their own bottom line (which as a business they should work towards!).

    I actually feel that Spotify has greater reason to be upset with Apple due to Apple’s direct competition and default service. I suspect letting different apps be the default (including music etc) and more out of store payment options would solve the main issues. I also think that my solutions wouldn’t address Epic games at all. The ability to purchase in app coins is an activity I’d like to see discouraged and Apple taking a 30% cut might encourage more off page purchases and slow down impulse coin buying.

    Epic’s marketing campaign makes me like them even less. Taking action to encourage being banned and then raise other issues is all about trying to appear the victim in the court of public opinion. It’s false weakness though when they have justified complaints.

    So basically, I don’t really like Epic, their campaign nor their solution, but I’m hoping that there will be a good outcome for consumers and smaller developers that keeps the advantages of the App store.

    🔗 YouTube is experiencing an egregious bitcoin hack that no one is fixing - iMore

    YouTube is experiencing an egregious bitcoin hack that no one is fixing - iMore

    Famed Apple leaker Jon Prosser recently tweeted that his YouTube channel, Front Page Tech has been hacked. At the time of this writing, the channel’s name has been changed to NASA [News], his entire library of videos appear to have been deleted except for a live-streaming bitcoin scam video that currently has 48,000 views.