Tricking Myself into Improved Productivity

I am wicked productive when I’m on an airplane (without wifi) and I don’t have incoming communications (email, Slack, Twitter, etc.) to distract me.

In an attempt to let out of sight lead to out of mind, I’ve made a simple tweak to hide my dock in Mac OS X and turn on “do not disturb” for Notifications. Now I don’t see the little red circles that call out to be cleared and I can keep my head in the problem I’m working on.

When I decide to take a break and hit up my distractions, it’s now a choice. I do it on my schedule, not when someone else happens to send something my way.

The only exception to this is iMessage and the handful of other things that I get alerts on my phone/wrist for. I’ve trimmed that list of things considerably and choose to let those remain real time.

A Real Life “Who’s On First” Moment

This exchange between my mother in law and our house painter is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a real life Who’s On First situation.

MiL: What kind of paint do you use?
Painter: I use Kwal.
MiL: Koala?
Painter: Yes, Kwal.
MiL: Koala, like the bear?
Painter: No, I never use Behr. It doesn’t spray as smoothly.
MiL: …Oh.

And then they left it at that. So good. I still laugh thinking back on it ten years later.

Apple Watch + iPhone Charging Station

Since the Apple Watch:

1. needs to be charged every night, and
2. needs an iPhone to function

every Apple Watch customer is a potential customer for an elegant solution that charges both their iPhone and Watch on their nightstand.

The ones that I like best so far are:

The Timber Catchall for Apple Watch

Griffin WatchStand

Watch Me Dock

I definitely lean towards solutions that use a loose cable rather than a dock for the phone as I’d like this to be useful for a few generations of phone iterations.

I think I could tuck the iPhone under the phone on a stand like this too, but it feels like a less :scare: designed :/scare: solution.

Nomad Stand for Apple Watch

I expect we’ll be seeing a bunch more options in the coming months. If you think I’ve missed something that I’d like, please add a note in the comments.

Related: trying to turn my wrist the right way to trigger the screen to come on is my biggest annoyance with the Apple Watch so far.

The fact that this generation Apple Watch has a screen that is off by default is going to seem ridiculous in a couple of years.

The Future of the iPad

Apple’s most recent earnings call that showed less-than-stellar results for the iPad got me thinking a bit. I’m a fan of the iPad. I’ve had the original, the iPad 2, the iPad 3 (retina), the iPad mini, and now the iPad Air. Initially I was upgrading every year as the hardware rapidly evolved. However I’ve…

“Do one thing and do it well.” is really a cry for depth in products, not simplicity.

Today I Learned: that charging the new MacBook from empty to full takes about 2.5 hours.

I’m using the MacBook on battery (unplugged) 90+% of the time.

Submit a Form on Command + Enter from Textarea with jQuery

I’m a big fan of keyboard control in productivity applications. I love being able to type my changes/additions and submit them without needing to tab around too much, or gasp grab the mouse. I’m not the only one who feels this way. David Walsh has a great post explaining how to submit web forms with…

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s New Album is Free on Amazon Prime


This morning I saw Justin’s tweet about Toad the Wet Sprocket which led me to their Wikipedia to confirm that they took their name from a Monty Python sketch. Along the way, I saw that they just released a new album. California Wasted stands out to me on my initial listen through. I went to…

Just received detailed instructions for caring for a pink seahorse stuffed animal. Including what to do if she gets hungry or starts whining.

Waiting for Apple Watch

I know it only seems like everyone I know got an Apple Watch today, but my Twitter feed is full of photos of white boxes. My watch order confirmation shows a 12:06am US/Pacific timestamp, but my order hasn’t even moved into “preparing for shipment” status yet. I saw one note on Twitter that indicated the…

Setting the wp_remote_get() User Agent

I was recently trying to make some API requests from within WordPress using `wp_remote_get()`, but the site I was asking for data from was rejecting requests from the default WordPress User Agent. I tried to set the user agent to something different, but it still wasn’t working: $response = wp_remote_get($url, array(   ‘timeout’ => 20,   ‘User-Agent’…