I’d like to tell you about my friend Andrew.
At 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. 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…]
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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I love Evernote. You probably do, too. Heck, why wouldn’t you? Evernote is freakin’ awesome. If it’s worth keeping, it’s in Evernote — that’s my motto.
I also like to quickly capture ideas, thoughts and other stuff when I’m out and about. My iPhone is quite adept at letting me do just that thanks to Drafts, one of my favorite iOS apps ever. Seriously, if you have an iPhone (or an iPad) and you take any kind of notes and you’re not using Drafts, you’ve made a critical error. But that’s another rant for another time.
With Drafts 3.0 (which is out today, by the way), I can quickly append/prepend to my Evernote notes without leaving Drafts. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me and I’m going to show you how it works.
I’ll keep this brief.
If you’re reading this, chances are quite good that you write things, particularly for the web. There are two ways to write for the web (in my opinion, of course):
Put very simply, instead of writing this:
I found the <strong>largest</strong> cheesecake <em>ever</em> by searching <a href="http://cheesecakefinder.com">Cheesecake Finder</a>!
You can write this:
I found the **largest** cheesecake *ever* by searching [Cheesecake Finder](http://cheesecakefinder.com)!
Markdown is awesome and you should be using it.
This part is even easier.
My good pals David Sparks and Eddie Smith have just released the newest addition to David’s series of awesome MacSparky Field Guide ebooks called Markdown (non-affiliate link). That’s how you learn Markdown. If I didn’t already know it, I would after reading this book (which I did and, believe it or not, learned a few things myself).
Oh, and it’s not a book in the sense you’re thinking. It includes over 90 minutes of video demonstrating how to actually use Markdown, an additional ton of audio interviews with several preeminent Internet writers and, of course, the actual book text. It’s more of an experience than simply a book, if you ask me.
Grab your iPad (you can also get it as a PDF if you don’t have an iPad) and pick up your copy of Markdown (non-affiliate link). Because you’re awesome and David and Eddie are awesome and Markdown is awesome. Just so much awesome.
Go. Be awesome.
I have a free copy of this ebook (iPad version) to give away. Leave a comment below with your favorite lawyer joke (in honor of my friend David who is also an attorney) and the best one gets the book. Void where prohibited or whatever.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click them and buy something, I’ll earn a small commission. I’ve also placed non-affiliate links immediately after all affiliate links, so choose whichever one makes you more comfortable. Know that any affiliate product I recommend is something I personal purchased, use and love enough to tell you about.
Recently, my wife and I got all gussied up and went to the symphony (they snuck me in the back door because I’m me). Because my good friend and brother-in-law is such a cool guy, he agreed to babysit our two kids for the evening.
We got home and he was curled up on the couch.
“I didn’t have the WiFi password.”
He wasn’t bummed, but I was bummed for him. Because I care, people.
Anyway, this happens somewhat frequently. People come to my house and they ask me for my WiFi password. No sweat really, but the password is long and complicated and I want to find a way to make them type it instead of me.
So I made a thing.
GMail has a feature called Canned Responses. Basically, they’re pre-written emails that you can configure either quickly pop in as a reply to a message or send automatically using GMail’s Filters. I chose the latter for this particular case.
GMail has another feature (which, from what I’ve read, is available lots of places) which I’ll call the “+address feature”. I have no idea if it’s actually called that, but go with me.
Say your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Just say. You can tell people your email address is email@example.com and any emails sent to that address will end up in your inbox. Spiffy.
But what you may not know, is that you can create filters based on these +address thingies. And filters can be configured to send canned responses. You may see where I’m going with this.
To solve this problem of my guests not having my WiFi login information, I followed these steps:
Now, when my friends come over and ask for the WiFi info, I just tell them to email the special address and they’ll get the info in a few seconds.
That’s all fine and good, smarty pants, but if people don’t have WiFi, how are they supposed to send the email that gets them the WiFi information? Didn’t think’a that, didja!?
Actually, I did.
Because most of my friends are wealthy trust fund babies or whatever, they all have smartphones. And smartphones, as you may recall, don’t require WiFi to send and receive email. So, they send the email from their phone, get the WiFi info and plug it into their phone and computer. Boom.
Or you could just tell them the WiFi password, dummy.
Granted, but like I said earlier, my WiFi password is a super long string of characters that even I haven’t memorized. Maybe I’m being lazy, but programmers value laziness as a virtue.
Isn’t this inherently insecure?! What if some crazy hacker knob figures out the email address and gets your WiFi login!? Sheesh, you really are an idiot.
Assuming you still want to partake in this foolishness, here are the steps to create your own Thing. You’ll need a GMail account, by the way.
This little trick certainly has wider application, so let that big hefty brain of yours swim around in this little pool of awesome for awhile and see if you don’t come up with your own fancy implementation.
Anyway, I hope this is useful to you. Ping me on Twitter and let me know if it is (or isn’t).