State of the Tools

Sometimes, it works, all this agonising about how to do things. Really. It does.


This morning, I was at my desk by seven, and split my Analog Today card into Green, Yellow and Red Zones. I switched my devices to "Deep Work" and opened my "Sean" notebook to map out Act II, scene by scene. This is hard. I know where I want to end up, but without a detailed plan, I'm re-plotting the novel every time I open Scrivener. A couple of hours later, I had the outline of Act II, and a scene by scene progression to the halfway point. Boom. A little later, I had the first of those scenes written.

I had a couple of corporate calls scheduled, around which I got some chores done. That took me to lunchtime, which is embedded in my red zone. So I took the dogs out, had a bite and a shower. I checked in with Clare on FaceTime and used the last of my energy on some admin tasks. Then, I took a nap. Yep. A nap. It was great.

Awake and refreshed, (yellow zone) I played fetch with the dogs before feeding them and getting stuck into more tasks, including a first draft of this post.

The card is complete - and Mrs L will soon be home. I'll catch up with her, guilt-free and present, with no notifications buzzing in. Today, I got done what I wanted done. Master of my own productivity. Huzzah.

Tuesday is going the same way - with me finishing this post in my green zone, having already finished my Sean scenes for the week.

Tech Hardware

It's three weeks since I reserved our iPhones and iPad mini. Still no news as to when they might get here. They become less and less desirable with each day that passes. Perhaps I could get another year out of the X?

What of these new Apple Super-computers? First, I owe Apple an apology. I wrote that the $6,000 XDR monitor was not adjustable. A dastardly slur. It is adjustable. My apologies.

It doesn't however have a webcam. Nor speakers. So, adjustable or not, it's still not on my wishlist.

The rumours are that a larger iMac may not appear until next fall. So - my desired big screen setup, is not an option at the moment. Apple doesn't have a large desktop or monitor with the latest technology.

All good news for my wallet, but disappointing for my inner-geek.

Bluetooth and handoff remains a hot mess when it comes to my HomePods - but they work better "direct". Apple has invited people to interact with Apple Music on a "Siri-only" plan. I'm assuming that this strategy has been devised by somebody who has never used Siri. Anything more complicated than "Hey Siri, play some music" results in a hilarious spectrum of results. Discovery on Siri is actually an output of its mediocrity as a voice assistant.


I'm really enjoying Obsidian for note taking, and I'm tempted to look at it for writing too. For some reason, IA Writer and I perpetually confuse each other, with my files never ending up quite where I intended them to go, but that's more than likely user error. I'll not jump anywhere yet.

DevonThink is a great archive. I originally took it on as turbo-powered "Finder" and threw everything in there. Mistake. Don't do that. Things in DevonThink are IN DevonThink. They're easy enough to export and work on, but it is definitively a three stage process for an office document. Export, Edit, Import. I'm now using it as it's intended, as a database, where pretty much anything can be stored, indexed and found. Documents, web-pages, videos, photos, everything. So for Jobby-job stuff, where I often refer to legislation, regulation and guidance, it's very powerful.


Using DevonThink has got me thinking about the concept of archiving. I'm a digital hoarder. Corporate email from 2006? Certainly. Which month? Want to know which pub we chose for lunch on March 7th 2008? No problem. There's a whole exchange recorded for posterity. I've reached the conclusion that I probably won't need that information. I can't bring myself to completely delete the data, but I have offloaded it from the internal drives and stopped adding to it. I think the computer is silently thanking me.