Adobe’s iOS App Failure ›

Over on Six Colors Jason Snell speaks of his disappointment with Adobe’s iOS offering. I’ve long been disappointed with Adobe’s approach to the platform and I couldn’t agree more with his comments.

But it’s frustrating that Adobe has failed its core design customers to such a degree—and it’s also a big risk for Adobe. Photoshop commands a lot of space in the brains of many creative professionals, but a lot of those people want to use iOS. If Adobe provided them with fulfilling tools for iOS—ones that are as capable as what’s available on macOS and Windows—it could keep its customers loyal.

As a designer the iPad has always appealed to me as a means of creating. It seems like it should be the most intuitive way of laying up designs and drawing out ideas. The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil only served to enhance this idea for me. Yet Adobe continually fail to acknowledge that we could do serious work in an iPad. They keep serving up “mobile” apps instead of actually considering how an app like InDesign or Illustrator could function.

It took Microsoft years to bring Office to iOS, and in that time apps arrived to fill the gap they had left causing Office to lose mindshare. That’s now starting to happen to the Creative Cloud apps, Affinity Photo is excellent, and more than capable of growing in to the gap left by a lack of a fully fledged Photoshop. My hope is that other apps will rise up to fill the gaps left by a lack of full versions of Illustrator and InDesign or that Adobe gets its finger out and creates them.

Micro.blog Photo Challenge

Doug Lane has posted his idea for a Micro.blog Photo Challenge and Manton has already added a pin to Micro.blog for those who manage to complete the challenge.

This is one of the things I’m really enjoying about Micro.blog at this early stage, the community is so actively engaged and Manton is so quick to respond to good ideas that fit with the vision of the service. I’ll be aiming to take part in the challenge so keep your eyes peeled for my contributions over the next week.

Seth’s Blog: This Is Post 7,000 ›

Seth Godin made his 7,000th post to his blog yesterday.

7,000.

That’s one post a day for just over 19 years. That’s both inspiring and humbling at the same time. Inspiring because it makes turning up to post on a blog everyday doable and something that is entirely achievable. Humbling because I haven’t managed to complete a whole months worth of posts everyday for a long time, let alone a whole year.

There’s one thing that we can learn from anyone who is able to repeatedly turn up like Seth has been for the last 19 years. It’s a skill we can all learn. Posting to a blog everyday for 19 years isn’t only for people who have a large following, we’re all capable of doing it, it just takes a bit of discipline. So here’s to the next 19 years Seth, and everyone who blogs with any regularity.

Self Portraits ›

This is a really interesting post from Colin Walker about what we have effectively been doing on social media for the last 10 years. Painting a self portrait of ourselves over time.

I’ve never thought about it like that before, and when you add in you’re own blog or personal site, it makes for a rich and textured ongoing piece. His conclusions at the end of the post are challenging…

We can tell the stories we think other people want to hear. We can tell skewed stories as we are often not truly honest with ourselves. We tell other people’s stories rather than our own, without comment, without opinion.

What use are the wrong stories and are we doing ourselves a disservice by telling them?

I think, that without realising it, over the last few months of trying to revitalise my blog and using Micro.blog I and many others are trying to reclaim our stories and take hold of the paintbrush.

Posting to Twitter through your own site first changes the focus of the service entirely. We go from being a passive consumer, liking, retweeting, replying, with the occasional original post, to an original post being the focus. We are creating and adding to our own story rather than expanding and adding to someone else’s. Of course it’s not wrong to be involved in other people’s lives, we are created to be in community, but by creating first the involvement turns into a conversation rather than just turning the volume up for someone else. There’s a balance to be found.

Beautility, My Ultimate iPhone Setup ›

Forgive me for linking to a piece on Medium, especially one that requires you to log in to read. But this interesting approach to using an iPhone compelled me to do so.

I’ve been feeling a bit of “app fatigue” when it comes to my iPhone lately. So many things on it feel like a bit of a time suck, a way to easily get lost in a world of social media and news. On reflection, maybe I’ve started to fall into too much habitual checking of apps and not letting my mind wander with down time. It could be an interesting experiment to try and see what effect this kind of setup might have on my iPhone use.

Haptic Architects Teach the Benefits of the Scandinavian “Work Life Balance” ›

Work/Life balance is a thing many of us struggle with. I know when I was 100% self-employed it was the thing I struggled with most, there was always something I felt I should be doing. Whilst many people claim that doing what you love means you have a perfect work/life balance that seems far to idealistic to me. Work is work, whether we love what we do or not and we need a good balance between it and the rest of our lives.

It seems Haptic Architects have that same awareness, and so I was interested to read about the Benefits of the Scandinavian Work/Life Balance that they have implemented in their design studios. It seems a healthy approach to work and demonstrates a real awareness and care towards their employees.

The Midori Traveler’s Notebook Review ›

Being a designer I always appreciate a good notebook. They’re the places ideas are born, grow, and often die. They play a key role in the creative process, almost becoming an extension of my brain. I also enjoy a good journal, the best ones are handwritten, so a notebook often serves as both, or it works in tandem with another allowing for a bit of separation. It’s a tension which I often do battle with.

Tools & Toys recently posted a review of The Midori Traveler’s Notebook which seems like it might be a good solution to solving that tension. The expandability of it seems ideal to provide a place for ideas while designing and a place for journaling, one overall notebook with two internal notebooks. The utility seems ideal, the question is, could I give up my beloved Baron Fig Confidant?

How Apple Saved My Life ›

If you do only one thing on the internet today, please watch this video by James Rath. In a world where so often technology can make us feel disconnected and absent from those around us, it’s important to see things from the other end something. In the case of James Rath it’s incredible to see how much technology has influenced his life in such a positive way.

Big Screens, Even Bigger Lessons & Learning to Make Tough Calls ›

This is a really insightful look into the process behind making an iPad app from an established iPhone app. As a designer I have some knowledge of designing for different screen sizes, but the behaviour of an app is very different to the behaviour of a website, albeit with some similarities. Before I begin any future web design projects I’ll definitely be giving this piece another read or two.

Employment vs. Self-Employment ›

Occasionally I’ll come across an article on the internet that I find myself reading more than once. Usually it’s because the piece resonates deeply with me, but sometimes it’s because it’s something I want to be able to write myself. In this instance it’s just that, a piece I would like to be able to write in a years time, but with my own perspective.

In a piece about Employment vs. Self-Employment Garret Dimon wrote this paragraph.

Being self-employed is great. And it’s not so great. Like anything, there are tradeoffs. For you, the tradeoffs may be worth it. Or, they might not. Or, they may not be the right tradeoffs at this point in your life. Just don’t put self-employment on a pedestal. There are plenty of other options that are darn near self-employment without the burdens.

I’ve been on both ends of Employment and Self-Employment. For the last 5 years I’ve been running my own design business, and during the last year and a half of that I’ve been running it alongside another job in a coffee house. I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s also been the most stressful time of my life. So stressful that it made me ill. The last couple of months I’ve been thinking about and making steps to begin looking for a full time design job working for someone. Through it all I have to keep reminding myself that self-employment is not the be all and end all, there is a lot of important work being done by many different people and companies that it will be a privilege to be a part of.

Seth Godin Explains Why You Should Blog Daily ›

With the arrival of Micro.blog my interest in my blog has picked up considerably. It’s always been there bubbling at the back of my mind, but actively posting micro posts to it has me once again looking to post other content more regularly. CJChilvers linked to an article by Seth Godin that Explains Why You Should Blog Daily resonated deeply with me and the growing desire to post to this site more regularly. It’s both a creative outlet both and a mental outlet that I know will be good for me. I intend to mix the content I post between links, quotes and original articles/thoughts alongside the afore mentioned micro posts.

Deep Prayer > Deep Work ›

There’s been a lot of talk on the internet circles I follow about focus and deep work. They’re thought provoking and often resonate with me, but there’s one thing I’ve been struggling to reconcile in it all. The focus of all these discussions is usually aimed at putting your individual desires first, which doesn’t really jive with my Christian beliefs.

Chris Bowler, in his excellently considered article Deep Prayer > Deep Work, seems to demonstrate I’m not alone. In doing so he seems to capture exactly how this kind of thinking should be influencing my approach to my faith.

But over and over, I come back to the fact that while Newport’s concept of increasing our ability to focus is crucial to a successful career, it’s even more crucial to a successful Christian life. One that is lived attuned to the Spirit. One that is carefully watching to see where God is working, then ready and willing to join him in it.

THESE ISLANDS – Cereal ›

Cereal Magazine is one of my favourite publications, ever since I came across it I’ve preordered every copy and own the Copenhagen field guide.

These Islands looks like a beautiful coffee table piece documenting their favourite places in the British Isles. Definitely one for birthday or Christmas lists this year.

About Me ›

For a while now I’ve owned the domain philbowell.me, I bought it while it was cheap and to make sure no one else got hold of it and thus cause confusion with the domain of this blog. I’ve wondered what to do with it for most of that time, briefly it acted as a micro-blog but I merged that with this site a few months back. This evening while doing a bit of introverting I picked up my iPad (where I designed it and set the basic html structure), then my MacBook (where I implemented the CSS) and ended up with a new web page. A small about me should anyone stumble upon it. The only thing I’ve yet to do is optimise it for an iPhone sized display but it’s working pretty well on an iPad sized screen and upwards.

Airfoil 5.5: Now Playing on Chromecast! ›

One of my favourite Mac utilities has just been updated to add some excellent functionality. Airfoil now supports Chromecast and it works very well.

I’ve never understood why AirPlay from an iOS device only allows you to send audio to one speaker at a time, Airfoil is the perfect way to fix that. My MacBook Pro is normally on and so I AirPlay to Airfoils sister app Airfoil Satellite and then using the iOS Satellite app send the audio to what ever speakers I want. Since I have a Chromecast in my little studio I can now easily send Apple Music to my speakers without faffing around with cables. I put it to good use this morning streaming to both my studio speakers and kitchen speakers while I moved between the two rooms.

Introducing Microsoft Surface Studio ›

Microsoft have introduced the Surface Studio which looks incredible. As a designer this has instantly appealed to me. When I was a teenager studying for my GCSEs and A-Levels I had a large drawing table in my bedroom, I used it as my desk to do all my design coursework since at the time it was all mostly done by hand. When I watched this video I was instantly taken back to that time, this looks like the drawing table of today. It looks like the iMac Apple could make if they applied some of their iPad vision to the world of desktop computing.

Finding Your Bliss Station ›

There’s so much stuff on the internet that it seems like an impossibility that you would read something at exactly the time you need to read it. Austin Kleon’s recent article about finding your bliss station has managed to achieve just that.

Around a year ago I was just finishing up a course of counselling aimed at helping me understand the depression I was diagnosed with in January 2015. One of the things I learnt about myself was my need to do creative things for myself and how over the year prior to my diagnosis I had stopped doing that. This evening as I read Austin’s article it hit home a little further, I might’ve lost my cave a little bit.

This week has been a tough one, the first tough week for a while which is something I know happens to everyone now and again. A giveaway sign, which I’ve realised as I write this, is the recurrence of the word introvert in a lot of my snippets/tweets. I’ve been craving time on my own, and that usually happens when I’m starting to feel a bit unbalanced in life. It’s a little clue that I might’ve lost my bliss station, or cave as I’ve referred to it in the past.

What’s clear is that it’s healthiest if we make a daily appointment to disconnect from the world so that we can connect with ourselves.

In counsellor speak this is called self care. We need to take time out to take care of ourselves, to stop ourselves being bombarded by the world around us. To find a place that frees us from the stresses of work, from running a business and working for someone else at the same time. From being around people all day, to having a few moments to our ourselves each and everyday. To take a little bit of time to do something we want to do just because we enjoy it and it helps us feel free.

By Sunday evening I plan to have reclaimed my cave from the dumping ground it’s become, and in the spirit of making better use of my calendar I plan to schedule in a time everyday for me to be in it just because I want to create some stuff for myself.

Cinque Terre, Italy ›

Joshua Ginter has been knocking it out the park with his recent photo posts from holidaying around Europe. This post about the Cinque Terre in Italy is the latest in the series and the most beautiful so far.

Italy is a country that I’ve always wanted to visit. I’ve only visited Venezia so far, and that was for the biennale during my art studies before university. It’s a place I would like to return to one day, but I would have to pair it with a couple of other places at the same time.

Prior to Josh’s post, I had never heard of the Cinque Terre, but it’s now firmly on the list alongside the likes of Florence, Rome and Sicily. My only hope is that I’ll be able to get to see it before the tourists spoil it too much. Although there is hope that the area will adapt, it’s culture seems to be finding a way to survive by the sound of things.

Even still, nestled inside Cinque Terre is one of the most pure forms of Italy one can find on any trip. Many shop owners don’t speak a word of English. Many businesses take cash only. Many locals still wander down to the market each day to get their bread. Despite the tourists, the Cinque Terre has found a way to stay within itself and close to its roots.