Another Sunday and another edition of The Week in Links. This weeks featured links focus largely on the iPad and it’s ability to be used for work and not just for consumption. It’s a debate that has been raging for years, and one which we seem to be no closer to ending, although we might be a step closer once iOS 9 arrives in September.
I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday, sit back with a coffee and have a read.
- Crossing the iPad Rubicon — 500ish Words — I love the idea of working solely on an iPad, along with many others, and the constant discussion of whether it can actually be done is interesting. But every time I read an article like this one, I can stop but come away feeling like the whole thing is just a romantic notion. That’s not to say that no one can solely work on an iPad, but I know I won’t ever be able too. My work requires a Mac, with professional software in the form of Creative Cloud. That said, if I had an office job of some kind, and only used a computer at home for the likes of email and writing for this site, then I’m pretty sure I could go all in right now.
- The Tools & Toys Guide to Writing with an iPad — Tools and Toys — It seems to be a bit of a theme this week, the topic of working on an iPad. This is a really good guide for those looking to find out where to begin using their iPad as a more serious work tool by doing some writing on it. Personally I’m a Byword fan and use it on all my computing devices that I use to publish to this site.
The Best of the Rest
I came across Jollies Socks a few weeks ago and only just had the chance to check them out. Not only are they cool socks, but they’re focused on helping homeless people, with every purchase they support homeless charities in your area.
A really interesting and comprehensive post by Ben Brooks about Writing.
What I like about this post is that it isn’t just a list of tools or a workflow. Although he covers those topics, the main meat of the piece is about why he writes. This is the kind of thing we should be reading more of, of course it’s fascinating reading about apps and workflows, but it’s more thought provoking and interesting to hear about why people do it.
I’ve had this article from Federico Viticci in my Instapaper queue for along time and finally got a chance to read it over the weekend. Despite it’s age I wanted to share it just in case anyone else is like me and has had it saved to read for a long time.
First up, kudos to Frederico for making the changes to his life he has and not slipping back into old habits. Second, the idea of using my iPhone to track elements of my life has always connected with me (I like stats!). Several times I’ve tried it with MyFitnessPal and Sleep Cycle but they’ve never stuck for some reason, but seeing the motivation behind Frederico’s methods has struck a chord with me. I’m not recovering from a severe physical illness but I am recovering from a mental one and there’s definitely a connection between my mental well being and how I feel in my body. Positive attitudes in one area of my life filter through into other areas and it’s with this in mind that I’ve decided to have another go at putting that Health app to good use. My thanks to Frederico for highlighting some apps I’d never come across that are much more pleasant to use than ones I’ve tried previously.
Here’s to another attempt at tracking some stats about my life and to living more healthily.
It’s been a buy and stressful week since the last edition of The Week in Links, but that’s why we call it work. It’s not always fluffy clouds and bright sunshine, even for those of us fortunate enough to be doing what we love for a living.
Despite all that, I have enjoyed quite a bit of reading this week. Once again I’ve highlighted a couple of articles which I really connected with. One from Shawn Blanc about work and one about working for yourself… probably not a coincidence after reading that first paragraph.
So sit back and enjoy this weeks edition alongside your Sunday coffee.
- Concerning the Ebb and Flow of “Work” by Shawn Blanc — This is sometihng I’m learning about myself at the moment. Even before I was self-eployed my tendency was to do things all the time, I used to give my holidays to go and do a bible holiday club for two weeks every summer. It was different but incredibly tiring and it caught up with me. Now I’m self-employed forcing myself to rest is hard, in fact it hit me last weekend. I need to be away from home to rest and shut out my work, otherwise I and my work suffer.
- Master working for yourself without crushing your soul — Dispatches from Paul Jarvis — Really interesting insights and thoughts on the areas on which to focus if you’re a freelancer. Focus upon what you want to do, talk about it lots and don’t be afraid of saying no. That final bit can be the hardest of all.
The Best of the Rest
Back in October of 2014 I wiped this blog and started all over again in an attempt at a fresh start and the beginning of more regular posting. The lack of baggage was supposed to be the catalyst to help me post, to a degree it has worked and I’ve been posting here much more regularly since the turn of the year. The Week in Links has helped, and is approaching it’s six month anniversary.
On Monday evening I read a post by Paul Stamatiou about his years of blogging. I was struck by a particular sentence half way through:
The era of the personal website is over. It’s now just a personal landing page with a photo, bio and link to a Twitter profile.
I understand exactly where he is coming from, but I also disagree, to a certain extent. It’s true a lot of websites have disappeared over the last few years, but over the last few months I’ve seen a resurgence in the personal site/blog. Something that I want to be a part of. It got me thinking about my own personal site, and the changes it’s been through over the last decade. I’ve never binned it to replace it with a personal site, but I did recently delete all my posts and before that I had another blog that has gone the way of the Dodo.
It struck me how wrong that is. I put a lot of time and effort into writing those posts, and for them to be erased is just plain wrong. Fortunately I managed to locate a backup of this site from just before I wiped it, and I’ve now added all the posts back into the archive. There’s still a bit of tidying up to do but for the most part the archives now extend all the way back to January 2011. I’m also hoping to be able to locate an old backup of my very first blog, the one that existed prior to this one. I’ve been writing on the internet for nearly a decade now, it should be preserved and maintained in some form or another not consigned to oblivion.
All of this to say, I’ve added the archives back to this place. If you’re interested and have the time, why not have a dig through and see what you can find.
I can’t remember how I came across the article Be Yourself by Tim Nahumck but I instanty saved it. I’ve read twice since then. It resonated with me, in fact the tweets by Aaron Mahnke which triggered this article resonated with me. But most of all, this quote is what I connected with the most. Never have I been more aware of the true meaning of this quote than in the last six months.
I think for most, being yourself is one of the hardest things to do as a human. It takes a lot to get out of your own way, remove the internal barriers, and open up your world to others.
When we let the success and failure of others superficially guide design decisions, we skip over the context and uniqueness of what makes our products different. Design becomes a game of catch-up. Not an intelligent pursuit of finding unique formulas that help the organization stand out on its own.
This is one of those articles that as I read it I found myself nodding along to more and more. It’s easy in a world of short deadlines and on demand solutions to default to what we know works, or at least what appears to work when we’re approaching a new job. But what’s most important in these situations, is that this kind of behvaiour/design does a disservice to our clients.
I’ve lost count of the number of times over recent years that we speak about being professional designer, or designers growing up to be on the level of lawyers and accountants. Experts who know what they’re doing and, in many cases, have earned that respect. The trouble is, that the web doesn’t always portray that, and the glimpses of the web in this piece certainly seem to be back that up.
Each client and each job is unique, treat them that way. There is no one size fits all when it comes to design.
This weeks edition continues the evolution of the The Week in Links. Rather than presenting a list of links of varying length I decided it was time to start adding a little commentary and injecting some more of my interests and personality into the column. It is after all my personal blog that it appears in.
This week covers some technology news, some views on Art and Creativity, Le Tour de France, how dressing could affect our approach to work and an incredible video that I highly recommend you watch with your Sunday morning coffee or evening glass of wine.
- The story of Windows 10 from inside Microsoft — It’s been a big week for computing with the arrival of Windows 10. I’ve long been a Mac user, and will be for a long time to come, but I have to say this release of Windows has me intrigued. I’m interested to see how it does and whether it can bring any traction in the mobile space.
- Approval & Art by David duChemin — I really identified with this when I read it, in particular this short paragraph:
The problem is that safety, in many ways, is toxic to art. We get addicted to it. We cling to it and venture out less and less. We risk less. We repeat what “works” and avoid what doesn’t. But if what works is what holds us back, it becomes a kind of sabotage to keep doing it.
- Taking on the Tour de France — With the end of Le Tour last week, this VSCO Journal is timed nicely. Rather than your usual photographic essay looking at Le Tour with a focus on the Peloton this one has a more interesting take looking at those who are watching as well.
This weeks edition is coming to you slightly late, no excuses other than yesterday flew by and I forgot to post it. I’ve tried something a little different this week, adding some commentary to a couple of links I really enjoyed and then listing some other good reads below them. I’m hoping to evolve this series a little over the summer to inject a bit more of myself into them. Hope you enjoy this weeks edition.
- THE ALPS by STRAVA — The last week of this year’s Le Tour de France has been through the Alps. This photo story from Strava catches some of what the Peloton has been through these last few days. Even if you’re not a cycling fan these photos are worth viewing. The mountains are stunningly beautiful, I could sit and look at them all day and I loved visiting the Alps the three times I’ve been skiing.
- Don’t Let Success Breed Failure — Shawn Blanc — The second half of this article from Shawn resonated with me and is why I’ve included it in this weeks edition. As a self employed person I spend a lot of time thinking about this kind of thing, especially after events earlier this year. It’s so tempting to continually say yes to everything, but it’s not possible to do it all. It takes a laser focus and discipline to make sure that workloads and priorities remain manageable.
Other links of interest