Be Present

2113748685_94f891caf2_bAbout a week ago, I was sitting at my usual bar, having a drink with a friend. As we sat there, I found my mind wandering to all sorts of different things: work I needed to do, my kids, etc. Important things, sure, but things unrelated to the current activity. I was anxious about the thoughts that distracted me, even though I had decided, by agreeing to meet the friend I sat with, that I wasn’t going to do anything about them for awhile. [Read more…]

Mac Mastery and Knowing Your Tools

DSC_0220It may surprise you to learn that I’m not a master carpenter.

Truth is, I’m one of the least handy people I know (and I know a fair number of people). Handing me a saw and a hunk of wood, you might as well include the address of the nearest ER. It’s embarrassing.

My good buddy Chris is another story. I could spend several sentences extolling his handy guy virtues, but let’s just say the dude built his own bed. He’s good with his hands and he knows his tools. Whenever I have questions about building or fixing things, he’s the guy I ask.

Chris owns a Mac and an iPhone. See if you can guess who he calls when he has problems or questions with those…

That’s right. Me, baby.

Chris knows all about the doohickies and thingamajigs he needs to do his work. And I know all about mine, too. [Read more…]

Regarding Notes for iOS 9 and El Capitan: why I’m sticking with Evernote

114587853_cdabf6568c_bHere’s a question I’ve been asked several times in the last couple of weeks since iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan hit stable release:

Bro, are you going to stop using Evernote and start using on OS X and iOS? It looks like it could be a serious competitor, bro.

No, I’m sticking with Evernote.

If you’re curious about the specific reasons, why I’m sticking with my beloved Evernote, keep reading. If you’re busy and need to take off, the short version is that Evernote is a vastly superior application with more features and flexibility. [Read more…]

Tiny Improvements

3007624052_f3a7133a6b_bYou may recall periods when, upon taking a quick mental survey of your life, you realize that—yep—almost everything could be a whole lot better than it is, all told. Then you might realize that pulling yourself out of such a funk is going to take a ton of work and, perhaps more discouraging, a good long time.

Such realizations are usually followed immediately by your head drooping slightly and feeling like complete crap. There may also be some swearing.

It’s “good news and bad news” time. We’ll start, as our parents did, with the bad news: [Read more…]

Recording dreams: an exercise in iOS automation


Being a navel gazing, white, American male, it only makes sense that I see a shrink once a week. She’s really great. For the purposes of this post, we’ll call her Babs—which isn’t her real name, though I kinda wish it was.

In a recent meeting with Babs, we were discussing the quality and quantity of my sleep (which, to put it gently, suck miserably). During this conversation, we began talking about dreams. [Read more…]

Advanced OmniFocus Tactics: Project Linking


Let me tell you a completely made-up story.

I needed a new hedge trimmer last week. Out of nowhere, my old hedge trimmer bought the farm and, instead of just hitting Home Depot and picking up another electric pile of crap, I decided I wanted to buy a really fancy hedge trimmer. So, I found a pretend German company that produces the finest fake hedge trimmers money can buy. These trimmers are made entirely by hand; the engine runs on sunshine and the pullcord is made of unicorn tail hair. They even include an imaginary certificate of authenticty signed by the nonexistent person who builds them. [Read more…]

Do OmniFocus Better: 3 Fundamental Tactics

Of all of the important lessons I learned from my parents as I grew up, few stand out in my mind more clearly than my old man repeatedly instructing me on how scissors were to be held when walking.

“When you’re walking, point the scissors toward the floor so you don’t impale yourself if you fall down.”

If I heard that once, I heard it five hundred times, but my dad’s repeated admonishments about the scissors were enough to produce the intended outcome. Decades later, I still point the scissors toward the floor without thinking about it and I’m happy to say that I have yet to impale myself. [Read more…]

iOS Wizardry: Automating Your Daily Photo Project

6748759375_64ea47b3e2_bAt the start of each new year, lots of folks embark on a personal mission to take at least one photo per day. Maybe it’s a selfie.[1] Perhaps it’s a picture of a garden or a moose or whatever. The subject of the photo doesn’t really matter: just know that some people do this (maybe you do).

By combining a few of my favorite tools, I’ve managed to create an extremely efficient way to capture, organize, and store such photos. The process looks like this: [Read more…]

Examining Failure: Why my new book bombed

3267164904_5840eafb3d_bDoing everything better includes failing better. Failing better means a couple of things:

  • Accepting failure with poise
  • Avoiding similar failures in the future by examining why the endeavor failed
  • Understanding that failing doesn’t mean I’m a hunk of crap who can’t do anything right1

For that reason, I thought it might be worth taking a few minutes to explore why my new book completely tanked.2 [Read more…]