Reason number 1143 why I love NZ.
Wow! They never even tried thought & prayers? pic.twitter.com/EZao2hZQMm
— McSpocky™ 👽🖖 🌀 (@mcspocky) March 18, 2019
After about fourteen months on 100 Mbps fibre connection, I asked to double the speed of my internet to 200 Mbps for a $15 extra per month.
I will see how long I go before I get used to this new, high speed and stop appreciating it. So far so good, although I am a bit surprised at first that the upload speed did not improve.
Recently I wrote about how I reduced the noise on my Twitter timeline by changing the default timeline preference from top tweets to the latest tweets.
Since then I noticed that from time to time my timeline preference is falling back to top tweets without my intervention. But I wasn’t totally sure because I did not think Twitter may be overriding my preferences. Today I realized it is indeed the case!
As shown in the following screenshot of the iOS app on my phone, Twitter is overzealously overriding my timeline preference to what it wants me to see.
Every time Twitter does this to me, I have to tap the star icon at the top right and change the preference to latest tweets.
This is my first-hand experience of a social network’s aggressiveness towards its users. I still stand Twitter because I often find useful information on it via the cool people I follow. But when the time comes, I don’t think twice to leave the platform. Until then, I will put up with this nuisance.
The usual workflow to add tasks to any to-do app involves loosely a few steps:
These manual steps of adding tasks are way better than not having a to-do system in the first place. But the problem with manually adding tasks is the number of steps it involves. The six steps I listed above don’t even include deciding the project of the task, priority, due date, labels et al. The basic six manual steps are hard to do (and hence easier to skip) especially when we are busy doing other things. This often meant, I missed adding some tasks or had to distract myself from my current task and take a detour to my to-do app just to add the tasks.
This has been my biggest problem with how I used Wunderlist. Until I discovered Zapier early last year.
Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect apps you use every day to automate tasks and save time.
After seeing some of my colleagues use Zapier for automating some work tasks, I got curious and started exploring it. This lead me to learn about zaps.
A Zap is a specific link between two services you’ve connected on Zapier.
Zapier provides a ton of app integration ideas. You can start from here: https://zapier.com/apps/integrations/ and explore some integration ideas depending on the apps and services you use.
For work I use the following Zaps:
I also have a version of all the above zaps (except the Slack to Todoist zap) to work with my personal email, calendar and Todoist lists.
All these zaps allow me to add tasks to Todoist or calendars without having to stop what I am doing and without leaving the keyboard.
Regardless of which apps you use, there are a ton of zaps and Alfred workflows that offer myriad options. But a word of caution though: too many options means often we end up using none! After experiencing this for a long time, I optimized my workflows for simplicity and inexpensiveness in terms of both my money and cognitive energy. This means, I use Zapier’s Free plan which allows me to have only 5 zaps, and each of those zaps can only connect two apps. And I can use only 100 tasks per month. This seems to be sufficient for my needs and is working pretty well for me.
Likewise, if you use Alfred, you will find many sophisticated workflows that allow you to set tasks labels, priorities and other details right from Alfred window. While these options are good, it also means I need to learn those options and remember them. This often requires mental bandwidth and energy. This mostly lead me to stress and confusion and as a result, uselessness. So again, I optimized for simplicity and just use a basic workflow that sends whatever I write in Alfred window to Todoist’s Inbox from where I will triage later, so I don’t have to remember much or leave what I am doing. This works well for me rather than trying to use complicated workflows that require me to learn and remember their options.
I recently changed my Twitter iPhone app from Tweetbot 3 to the default Twitter iOS app.
Twitter for iOS app is largely good. But I noticed that my Twitter timeline both in the browser and iPhone app got noisy than they should be for the fifty people I follow. This is making me spend (not waste) more time than I would like to spend on Twitter. The clutter also means the actual tweets from the people I follow, the tweets I would love to see, are buried in the noise. This made me feel like I am missing important tweets.
I only ever wanted to see the tweets from the people I very carefully and deliberately choose to follow, in the order they are tweeted. Nothing more.
This has been a great revelation for me! This is my first-hand experience of Twitter’s aggressiveness and setting the defaults that work better for Twitter but cleverly wrapped as what I likely care about most.
For many weeks I thought there is no way around it and felt like I have to live with it. But having had enough, this week I decided to check if there is a way to declutter my timeline. I poked around the settings on my Twitter account and found this gem (in the red box) at https://twitter.com/settings/account:
Clicking the blue Learn more link took me to What’s in your Home timeline page on which I found this:
You can choose between viewing the top Tweets first or the latest Tweets first in your timeline (Twitter for iOS and Android only). Top Tweets are ones you are likely to care about most, and we choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more. You can find instructions on how to toggle between the two timeline views below.
At the end of the same help page, I also found the instructions to turn off Top Tweets in the iOS and Android apps.
So changing the Twitter’s default settings by turning off Show the best Tweets first in the browser and toggling to latest Tweets in the iOS app made my twitter timeline much cleaner and calmer in both the places I check my tweets.
Barring these little annoyances, Twitter is the only social network I use and find really helpful by being deliberate about who I choose to follow, and override some of its default settings I mentioned in this post.
A few rules that stood out to me:
21. Being nice to people is the easiest career competitive advantage.
22. Being smarter than others is the hardest.
Then there is this rule that I liked:
2. Most people are afraid of looking wrong.
I think not worrying too much about my ego, always being open to feedback and iteration are what makes me unafraid of looking wrong.
As an aside, if you have more time, I highly encourage you
I have been looking for Wunderlist replacement since last year. I can feel Wunderlist is staling. Wunderlist’s new incarnation, Microsoft To-Do, isn’t making good progress. It lacks basic features like sub-projects et al. Given how long it’s been since Microsoft’s acquisition of Wunderlist was announced and the development progress of the To-Do app, I have no hope that To-Do will be worth the wait.
Trello seemed to be a good replacement for a bit, but on looking deeper, Trello is a great project management tool, but not so much a to-do list. Sure, I can tweak Trello’s boards with checklists, but that’s taking one tool and making it work for something that it is not designed for. I prefer to avoid such hacks where possible. Sorry, Davor!
As luck would have it, I recently learned that
So that helped end my (re)search for the next to-do app. I look forward to
Wunderlist — you have been great while you lasted. But it’s time for me to move on to greener pastures.
I imported my Wunderlist to-dos and projects to Todoist. I will soon upgrade to Premium. I also need to set up some zaps and other workflows that will take some time, but I should be done with Wunderlist by the end of this quarter.
I am constantly looking for better workflows and today I stumbled upon this useful workflow to manage the app windows in Mac using Alfred.
Over two years ago I released Div — a simple @alfredapp window manager. Today support for multiple screens landed. Finally! AppleScript and Objective-C are not for me. Enjoy 🥑https://t.co/6QWAUpuDoLhttps://t.co/L5k8fHuMYj#alfred #workflow— Paweł Grzybek (@pawelgrzybek) February 3, 2019
I set it up and used a few times. I loved using it!
Thanks for making and sharing it, Paweł.
I am also on the lookout for better Space Manager apps and ideas. But more on that later, when I find a solution that I love.