How to properly add lime to a bottle of Mexican beer

For years now, I’ve been watching friends and strangers alike make the same mistake and it needs to stop.

Of course, I’m referring to the clumsy, inelegant way most folks add a lime wedge to a bottle of cold—typically Mexican—beer.1 Applying a hunk of citrus to a refreshing, light beer is a quick and easy way to make it taste awesome, but it’s all for naught when improper technique is employed.

Here’s how most folks do it.

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My Perspectives in OmniFocus 2

You may have noticed the productivity dork community losing its collective mind a couple of weeks ago when OmniFocus 2 was released. Like many, many others, I was more than happy to slap my money on the counter. OmniFocus has made up much of the baling wire that’s held my sanity together for the past several years, after all, so ponying up the cheddar for the next version was a no-brainer.

My pal David recently posted a list of his OmniFocus perspectives and how he uses them.1 Because I’m a thought follower, I figured I’d do the same. Standing on the shoulders of lawyers and all that.

Anyway, here they are, in a somewhat-specific order that I’ll describe in a second. Oh, and I’ve included screenshots of my custom perspectives’ configuration screens so you can recreate them in your own app or use them as a springboard for your own fancy perspectives, you fancy person you. 2 [Read more…]

An Rdio User’s Thoughts on Beats Music

As somebody who has mostly standardized his tech life around Apple products—and, to a much lesser degree, services—I’m generally willing to try an Apple solution before looking for third-party alternatives. The way I see it, Apple’s product, app, or service will probably integrate well with the rest of their offerings. It doesn’t always turn out that way, of course, but Apple usually gets first crack at solving a problem I’m having.

So, when the rumored acquisition of Beats Music ended up being true, I figured I’d give it a try. Being a satisfied Rdio user and somebody who had tried (and dismissed) Beats in the past, I wasn’t expecting to like it enough to switch from my beloved Rdio. But, there’s a good chance that Beats will end up being tied into Apple’s software at some point, so I signed up for a month of Beats so I could kick the tires. Here are my thoughts… [Read more…]

Yet Another Post Wherein a Goofball Blogger Outlines All of the Stuff He Carries With Him

Even before becoming a fancy-pants independent writer, my preferred writing situation has been somewhere that served a good beverage (beer, whiskey, or coffee depending on the time of day and/or my current stress level), allowed smoking (yes, yes, I know) and didn’t care if I parked my butt there for several hours. Other than cutting way back on the smoking, this set of preferences holds true to this day.1

I thought it might be fun—and totally self-indulgent, if I’m honest—to unpack the not-so-secret contents of what friends and strangers alike have dubbed my “man bag.” When I leave the house for more than a couple of hours, this bag is usually with me and well-stocked for a number of situations and opportunities. [Read more…]

The fastest, easiest way to share a page on Buffer for iOS

(Disclaimer: this is going to get nerdy. Not too nerdy, but a bit.)

(Second Disclaimer: This will be useful to almost none of you except in that I think it’s an interesting example of just how powerful some iOS apps have become. Plus, I had a hell of a good time making this and writing about it.)

You can’t swing a dead cat on this Internet without hitting somebody who thinks regularly sharing interesting things online is a great way to [achieve weird business goal]. I don’t disagree, actually, so I made a thing that makes it pretty easy to share interesting links while using your fancy iOS device. [Read more…]

The Coin’s Uphill Battle

Twitter and Facebook were all a-flutter yesterday with links to the product page for Coin. If you’re not familiar with it, Coin is a credit card-sized device that can store all of your payment cards and, when swiped, can act like any of the cards it knows about. Maybe click over to the page linked above and watch the excellent Sandwich video.

Let me start by saying that I think it’s really great that people are taking steps to alleviate the fat wallet problem. Heck, I hadn’t carried a wallet for years and only just recently bought a Supr Slim wallet.[1] Products like Coin and the Supr Slim are designed to solve a problem with which I can absolutely empathize.

That said, I think Coin is in for some challenges.[2]

[Read more…]

5 Apps That Make Evernote Even Better

New to Evernote? Tens of thousands of people have used Evernote Essentials to get up and running with Evernote quickly. Grab it today, have Evernote working for you by tonight.

Many of you have been bitten by the Evernote bug. Heaven knows I have.

As you get beyond the Evernote basics and your love affair with Evernote deepens and you start keeping more and more of your life and work inside it, you’ll almost invariably come to the conclusion that you might be able to do even more with Evernote.

Well, you’re in luck because you totally can thanks to the thriving community of smarty pants developers who have built some really great applications that work with Evernote. [Read more…]

A Smattering of iBookstore Publishing Tips and Gotchas

While listening to the first few minutes of this week’s Accidental Tech Podcast, I heard John Siracusa—one of the hosts—wondering aloud about certain aspects of publishing to the iBookstore. Since that’s something I have recent experience doing, I figured I’d bang this out real quick in the hopes that it would help more than just Mr. Siracusa (otherwise I would have just emailed him).

Anyway, hope this helps somebody.
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An Inside Look at My Crazy, Huge Customer Service Mistake

What follows is a post-mortem/explanation of a really dumb mistake I made. Hopefully, it helps somebody or at least gives you all a chuckle at what a doofus I really am.

Every now and again, people ask me if they can give away a copy of Evernote Essentials on their blog, usually as part of a contest or promotion. Normally, I’m happy to oblige such a request.

I was in the process of fulfilling a couple of these complimentary orders last night when I made a pretty fantastic mistake — a mistake I’m going to describe for you now.[1]

This will make more sense if I give a quick overview of how the plumbing of my sales process works.

When somebody buys Evernote Essentials, the sales and CRM software I use (called Office Autopilot) does a few things automatically:

  • Creates an username and password on the customer WordPress site where they can download their purchase.
  • Adds them to an automated email sequence that immediately sends them their download instructions, including the aforementioned login, and sends a follow-up email a couple of days later.
  • Tags them as a customer (so they can be grouped later, as needed for product updates and such).

(To clarify, tags are just text labels that can be applied to contacts within the software, but they can trigger all sorts of actions when applied — as you’ll soon see.)

These actions were pre-programmed by me to happen without my direct involvement. Normally, the whole setup works extremely well. Normally.

For giveaways, I have a special tag that, when applied to a contact, tells the system that they’re essentially a paid customer and to take the same actions as it would if the person had paid (create the login, send them the download email, etc.). This also works really well. Unless I totally screw it up, of course.

Which brings me back to last night.

Instead of applying the special “comp” tag to the people who had been awarded free copies of the book, I inadvertently applied the tag to many, many thousands of people including customers and newsletter subscribers (many of whom had never purchased Evernote Essentials).

You can probably see where this is going.

I had moved on to other things when I started noticing my email inbox was filling up with out-of-office replies, a common occurence when I send out a newsletter or a product update. In a bit of a panic, I switched back to my sales system and started looking for the problem. It didn’t take long to discover what I had done and it took even less time for me to imagine what the fallout would be. There may have been a little bit of crying.

Imagine you’re on the receiving end of one of these emails. An email appearing in your inbox thanking you for purchasing something that you either purchased a long time ago or had never purchased would probably raise a few red flags, right?

“I didn’t buy this! What the poop?”

“Did your email thingie get hacked?”

“I bought this thing [interval of time]s ago; why am I being charged again?”

Red flags. So many thousands of them.

Now, if you’re reading this and you’re one of the people who received this errant email, please know that the following statements are true:

  1. If you’re not already a customer, you didn’t buy anything. No transaction took place nor was any credit card charged.
  2. If you are a customer, you weren’t charged again or anything like that.

The moral of the story is summarized nicely by a proverb I’m going to get tattooed across my frickin’ forehead later today[2]:

Measure twice, cut once.

I’m really sorry for the confusion. If anybody needs me, I’ll be answering emails for the next couple of weeks. If you’re affected by this whole debacle and need help, send an email to this address. If you want to make fun of me, leave a comment below :)

  1. This is partly to help folks understand what happened and part cathartic effort for me.  ↩
  2. No, not really.  ↩