This is Episode 003 and we recorded this on May 21, 2020. Each week, we cover the productivity news headlines of the week. This week’s featured story is “Notion Changes Its Personal Plan Pricing.” Notion, the cloud-based, personal productivity application, that recently raised 50 million USD in funding has now made a dramatic change to its pricing plans (hint: more for free!). Plus, much more productivity and technology news!
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In this Cast | Notion Changes Its Personal Plan Pricing
Headlines & Show Notes
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“Todoist for iPadOS 13.4+ now has mouse & trackpad support! 🖱 * Hover over buttons to watch your pointer morph to match * Right click tasks, projects, labels, and filters to bring up menus * Long press on iOS/iPadOS 13+ to bring up menus too ⏰This is rolling out over 24 hours!
Raw Text Transcript | Notion Changes Its Personal Plan Pricing
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:00
Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community Welcome to anything but I don’t the productivity news podcast, I’m Ray Sidney-Smith
And I’m Augusto Pinaud
and we’re your hosts for anything but idle. This is Episode Three and we’re recording this on May 21 2020. Each week we cover the productivity news headlines of the week. Then we have our science of productivity segment. After that we we go into our featured story of the week. And with that, let’s get into our headlines. So Augusto what is our first story this week?
Augusto Pinaud 0:28
So Forbes published an article titled new surveys shows 47% increase on productivity three things you must do when working from home. It is interesting how much struggle for some people has been these coming home and working and the article bring three goodie triggered points for people who have no experience working from home to implement one of them is get comfortable, it is important to try to get the right set up for you when you look into places like Amazon right now there is a lot of office implements small desk, additional screens and stuff that simply are out of stock and are going to be out of stock because the demand so in combination with that Amazon is trying to deliver essential first plus in demand, it’s going to run out for a while. The second one is built boundaries. And I think that’s important. For some people, you know, this is where I’m working. This is where I’m not working. And if that’s possible, and be creative with that, in the sense that you don’t need to have a whole house you just need to have a particular way to set up that build that boundary. And finally, the article talks about reconfigure the watercooler you know, make sure you’re still being able to talk with your co workers with your friends and and keep that water cooler concept alive so that stay at home and be at home. doesn’t cause so much isolation
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:57
continue on with headlines in the Google world, Google has decided to roll out ECM support for iOS users. So those who are already iOS subscribers to Google’s MVA know, which is their mobile broadband service, the global broadband service they provide, they have issued their companion app to allow ECM support. So if you happen to be a Google phi person, and you are on iOS, and you want to be able to use a SIM, now you can, which is fantastic. I’ve been using the SIM card for Google phi on my Google Pixel line of phones for many years now. And I absolutely love the ability to have my physical sim and the ECM, both on the device at the same time. So this is a great addition.
Augusto Pinaud 2:45
What’s next, there’s an article on LinkedIn talking about how we maybe we should start opening into a four day they have a 10 day off within idea that information we have so far is that it takes Three days to get content sick with COVID-19. But then we’ll take around three days to start showing, then go into the office four days and going to work remotely or going to home working for 10 days. What will allow the offices is if you have really sick or got any symptoms, you will be at home by the time that happened, and you will know not to return. So it may be an interesting way to start looking into the opening as hopefully end of June or July will come. And these opening conversations are going to start happening back to Google and chrome.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 3:35
google has recently put out a standards documentation regarding how they want ads to be displayed in Google Chrome. And they’ve decided that resource heavy ads are going to be limited or blocked in future versions of Chrome. And they’re starting to go ahead and block those ads. And that’s going to be really great because you know, if you’re on a phone And you’re out there trying to look at a website and some very large ad weighs down your ability to even open the website. That could just be a really frustrating experience. And obviously, Google doesn’t want that to happen. So this is actually happening on the chromium level, which is, which is going to be really great because this is the foundation for Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and many other browsers that are out there. So this is really going to be great. Next up,
Augusto Pinaud 4:27
let’s bring the iPad you know, Adobe brings curve to Photoshop on the iPad, pro resolution raw support for Premiere Pro and After Effects. Dobies been trying to play with the hardware. It’s not a hardware issue. I think it’s more they need to make heavy coding in order to really use the iPad but the designers I use who leave on the iPad and use Adobe as their tool are really really enjoying, you know, the little things that they are and I think Adobe has said that they are committed to Come to the iPad is a platform that will be really interesting for
Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:04
for all this and continuing on iPad news. What has to do as done for the iPad lately to do is
Augusto Pinaud 5:13
a couple of you know, we iOS 13 lounge mouse support and most people thought he was going to be something that wasn’t going to be really powerful as you have the touchscreen and what has been discover is that it really make a difference for certain tasks. So finally to do is as soon as other developers are starting to add the support for for the mouse and for then been able to really integrate the mouse into creative uses inside of the different apps
Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:47
with to do it for iPad os 13.4 and above. It has mouse and trackpad support, and which means you can right click on things you can long press on menus, so I think this is really going to be a an interesting new update for the to do list users. So good luck with that. Next up is a new application that is out for iOS. It is called cheekily new task. Remind me. And so this is by an app developer called Lino Grubin. And it is just a very clean, simple interface looking Task Manager. And as the description notes here, it says that new task is the world’s fastest to do list, ready for your input, the moment you launch it, you can enter your task right away and simply drop it off in your desired list. So so there’s a free tier. And then there is a premium tier for those who want to pay to support the developer from just a first glance. It looks you know, beautiful, it looks like a modern design. Note that it has a 4.6 out of five star rating on iOS on the app store right now. So that’s pretty good. And we’ll see we’ll see how new tasks develops over time. Next up is a story out of life hacker talking about Edison mail and then having a little bit of a security kerfuffle where they accidentally shared some iOS users email addresses, with other iOS users who didn’t belong having had access to those items. It was just a small percentage of users they claim and so on and so forth. But this just brings up a fundamental point that I try to always tell people about, which is that with third party email clients, you must be wary of them when they are new, or when they’re not paying attention to updates, but really be very mindful of using external third party clients just because of this kind of reason. You know, I’ve only been really recommending to folks to be using the Gmail app as well as the outlook apps of late only because those third party apps have a lot of power. I was burned by the Newton formerly Cloud magic email platform several years ago, and I’m still feeling the sting of an email client that was doing something really wonderful. And then they went down than they were purchased and open back up. And you know, I just didn’t feel comfortable going back to an email client that did me wrong, so to speak. So just a word of warning to everybody about that. Anyways, news, Apple release, iOS 13.5 with COVID-19 exposure notifications, face ID bypass and all that face ID works really really well but using the mask it kind of challenging and it’s not designed to come originally decided to come to password quick. So Apple has made some changes in there to make that better and to make that faster so you can access into your device when you are practicing safe measures. And in that line, we have New Zealand out with some new interesting location tracking app news, which Is that there because of the Coronavirus. They are attempting to put out an application that will allow contact tracing for folks who test positive for the Coronavirus and that is the Coronavirus antibodies. And so what they’re what they’re doing now is Prime Minister jacinda. Arden is putting out this app and calling it kind of a digital diary to help people record their movements and only share that data in the event that they are testing positive. And that would allow others to know where they’ve been and who they might have affected is obviously controversial. And other countries and other states around the United States are debating how to put it out and so on so forth. I’m just very interested to see whether or not this will pick up or whether it will be Doa dead on arrival in terms of people actually volunteering to do it. In countries where it was mandated. There’s obviously a higher percentage of people using it but in countries Where it’s not in demanded of us, it’s very unlikely people are going to just install the apps. And now for a word from our sponsor this week is carvanha, which you can [email protected].
Matt Plummer 10:11
As a young analyst at a leading strategy and management consulting firm, I experienced an ambitious professionals experience every week, I had a strong desire to get promoted as quickly as I could. And I wanted to take on exciting side projects. And I wanted to do all that while spending less time at work. So my life outside of work wasn’t limited to exhaustion and recovery. My observations of my co workers told me this wasn’t possible, but I knew there had to be a way. I began to research and experiment and in two to three months, I had reduced the hours I was working by over 15%. while placing myself on the path to a faster than average promotion. My success led to the creation of Nirvana, a tool designed to give you the edge at work and in life. It combines a diagnostic abbreviated courses and a habit tracker into a single single application to enable you to get the most out of your time in just minutes per week, you can start by taking the time finder diagnostic to find out how many of our hundred and 50 time saving behaviors you’re currently doing.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 11:12
All right before the break, we were discussing the contact tracing app from New Zealand,
Augusto Pinaud 11:18
the next set of headlines. It’s all about Microsoft and his new fluid Office documents. The Verge has colored in office dogs on asteroids. That is not necessarily true. This is not the first time that Microsoft tried to accomplish this. And it is something really, really interesting to work, especially for the people who is stuck in office 365 and an office environment. The ability to bring different pieces of documents to one I think is going to be powerful and in a certain way trying to bring dashboards and, and business intelligence with Word documents.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 11:52
Yeah, this harkens back to Google Wave and the former product that was this missing blend of many different pieces. is coming together into a single stream of content. And I’m very much looking forward to it. They have open sourced the framework, which is brilliant, because they’re attempting to make this really something that everybody uses. So looking forward to seeing how fluid framework works in, in the real world once they kind of release it into the wild, and people are using it in everyday documentation. Well, our next is Microsoft. Again, it’s announced in Microsoft list, and they’re trying to rename some of their products, bring some of their products make a distinction between where you are in there, you’re part of the free you’re part of the big package or part of the 365. And Microsoft list is one of those things, they come with templates. They come with the story the list online, and he’s going to be obviously fully integrated with the web, the mobile lab, the Microsoft Teams, and it could be a really interesting I don’t leave on a Microsoft environment. Therefore, I am not the target market for this product even that I have clients who who have that’s a reason I need to go and look and check. But it is interesting what they’re trying to do with this list concept and bring it to the public. I think that Microsoft is pushing a lot of these products out because they want to integrate it with teams because of the Coronavirus crisis. And a lot of these tools that they had, that they were kind of baking in the background. They’re really pushing into the foreground marketing wise because there are more people who are using teams than ever and they want to make sure that people stay with and stick with teams as this continues on. And so it’s really I’m really curious about what what sticks. Ultimately, you know, a lot of these changes as we talked about before with Microsoft changing the Microsoft to do bundled into the team’s environment. Microsoft Microsoft planner is becoming Microsoft tasks and they’re kind of pulling all of these pieces into the Microsoft team’s interface. Even They’re separate applications as well. And the list just seems to be another one of those where I’m not quite sure why there’s another list manager or task manager in the system. But they’re just trying to throw it all out there and see what people adapt and adopt in their systems. And then beefing those pieces up potentially, I don’t know. I mean, Microsoft is not known for being well coordinated sometimes. So hopefully, this all has a greater scheme associated with it. Next up is a new application that I came across, and I’m actually really loving it. It’s called command E, although it is actually also Ctrl E on Windows. So Command D on the Mac OS, and then Ctrl E on Windows OS. And so what this does is you actually connect your cloud based systems to this to this tool, and it just verifies your identity with those. So it’s not actually ever holding the data. It’s all done. Locally, what it does then is it indexes your cloud systems, whether that be Evernote, or OneDrive or otherwise, it’s going out there. And now when you hold down Command, tap the E key or hold down Ctrl and tap the E key, you now get a pop up box akin to spotlight on the Mac OS system. If you’re on Windows and you hit the Windows key, you will get the same pop up windows item and you can type a search from that point. So very similar to spotlight. It’s the same functionality as just one key as opposed to command spacebar. But it searches all kinds of different platforms, from, you know, Google, to Salesforce to LinkedIn to Asana, and Trello and box and Google Drive and Dropbox and slack. And it is indexing it in the background. So when you do the search, it’s just blazing fast. And then if you find the document, you hit, Enter or Return, it takes you directly to that item. So it’ll open the application. or open the browser and take you directly to that thing you’re looking for, so that you can quickly find it. And there have just been some minor little issues that I’ve had with it in terms of it showing up in my toolbar or my taskbar. That is when I’m when I’m working, but that’s just it doing its indexing in the background, I think with some updates that’ll just go away. There’s no reason for it to be, you know, popping up and showing up in the background, other than when it’s indexing, I suppose. But for the most part, I found it to be really a time saver. Like just being able to find documents. Now, I’m getting more comfortable with just, you know, Ctrl V, or Command D, typing in what I’m looking for. And then it taking me to wherever it is in the system. So cool application to check out, you know, when I was a Mac user,
Augusto Pinaud 16:43
I work more on the Mac, there was an application called Alfred that did a lot more really more powerful index in that what spotlight does so I think this allowing you to index all these online services, you know, just go Google Docs on Google Sheets alone, it’s going to be incredibly powerful for everybody to be able to find these documents really in in a couple of clicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:09
Yeah, I’ve been trying several different versions of these tools over the years. There was one on the Mac only several years ago that that did this and did it really well. And you know, combined your local you know, storage with your your cloud based storage services. Command ease seems to be the most kind of rigorous one that I’ve seen to date interested to see what their business model is because right now it’s free, you know, if they’re going to be able to last but I’m but yeah, there there. There aren’t many out there that really do this combination of local and cloud storage search, and being able to find things in Trello or find things in Asana. I mean, that’s just really brilliant. And, and so I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress. Next up is some rescue time news. What is going over out on at rescue times, research. Just Oh,
Augusto Pinaud 18:00
well, rescue time is bringing a new study they’re call it a nine to five is then the new research shows that 92% work on evenings and weekends even before the pandemic. And it is an interesting article, he talks about when communication overload what people is finding what people, you know how communication is changing, but it has a part that is interesting where they said that only 5% of the people finish their daily tasks every day, and was 25% of the people that they did the survey saying they rarely finished their daily tasks, you know, kind of then they go from there to the biggest challenges and this is too much work too much meetings, email distracting, no clear priorities. So it is an interesting article. According to this 29% of the people they survey are working nine hours or more. If we go by the traditional definition of work. That’s alarming. There is a lot of people that yes, they may be working Those nine hours, but not all of those nine hours are actually work. So how they’re defining that and, and the details of that, you know, will really make a difference on the accuracy of that data.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:10
And then we have some Facebook news. So Facebook has bought giffy they bought it for just shy of half a billion dollars, and they will be bundling giffy into Instagram actually. So giffy will retain its own branding, but it will be integrated into Instagram, which will be interesting, presuming they want to be able to use this within both the sticker area as well as within comments. So I’m looking forward to seeing how giffy gets absorbed into the Facebook ecosystem over time to a huge library of of these gifts. And the the idea that they can, you know, have users go ahead and share the gifts in the platform now so easily will really solidify giffy as a huge part of kind of the Geist, you know, this is the generation of the of the GIF. Even though the younger kids call it gifts it’s actually pronounced Jiff and it’ll be very interesting to see how how Facebook really handles this whole new world of video. You know, they’ve they’ve tried with Facebook Live and they’ve you know, you can Facebook video has been around for several years, but now with Facebook Live and owning Instagram and Instagram Live and HGTV and now they’re they’re dipping their toe not dipping, I mean for half a billion dollars. They are jumping both feet into the into the water with with giffy. And so we’ll see what they do with the platform. I think they they are poised to be able to keep a stranglehold on the social networking market with with what they’re doing here. And of course, it’s all about ads. So how are they going to monetize giffy over time, right now you can upload your own branded gifts and I wonder If that’ll become a commercial opportunity for Facebook at some point to say, hey, if you want to upload branded content, you now need to run an ad as opposed to just creating and uploading a GIF. That’s of your own company’s brand. It’ll be interesting.
Augusto Pinaud 21:16
Well, Facebook is doing a couple more things this week. You know, one of them is adding face shops that and they said that eventually they will work through Instagram WhatsApp Messenger, but it is really interesting what they are doing with this concept. They’re really expanding into doing this. I’m not sure yet how much Facebook shops will be a competitor for things like Shopify and things like that, but without any doubt, it’s going to be interesting. And finally, you will start seeing if you haven’t, start jumping the avatars on your Facebook. If you go into Facebook as Facebook lounge, avatars and people is trying to make this cartoonish things coming into your feet. I haven’t seen Jared what people is going to be doing with this avatar things but people seems to be enjoined.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:07
Yeah, I think that Facebook shops is going to be a formidable opponent to Shopify and to several other e commerce platforms that are out there. I do not recommend businesses to be jumping on the Facebook shops bandwagon. I understand the allure, a free tool that allows you to be able to very quickly and easily create ecommerce. If you already have an e commerce system set up this is not the place to go. But if you have no e commerce have no idea how to get ecommerce up and running. I see a lot of businesses that will choose Facebook because that’s potentially where their audience already exists. And they are willing to issue some of the benefits for the opportunity to get in front of their audience to buy and to buy now, for free. You know there’s no cost to the system other than the processing fees. The concern for me, of course, is that then Facebook owns you. You know, that’s a real difficulty when your business is beholden to holding your entire customer list or potential customer list. They’re holding all of the components of the e commerce system, including, you know, payment processing payment gateway, everything is really Facebook. And as someone who helps small businesses with digital marketing on a regular basis, I see the problems that they come across like Facebook shutting you down. You know, Facebook has full power over your Facebook page. And that can be very daunting. If you get your Facebook shop shut down. And then all of the revenues you were hoping for from that are dried up in a heartbeat. So be careful with something like Facebook shops. I just want to I just put that warning out there for everybody. And so those are our headlines for this week. And that takes us to the science of productivity with Matt Plummer of Tsar Varna
Matt Plummer 23:58
Welcome to the science of project Activity segment, which brings you scientific insights you can trust into how to maximize the impact of your life and gain an edge at work. In this week’s segment, I want to offer an answer to a long debated and super important question Can critical thinking be learned many efforts to teach critical thinking in the past have failed, and skeptics would argue that critical thinking can only be taught in the context of a particular topic or subject area, implying that engineers for example, require a different set of critical thinking skills than marketers. This highlights the challenge of transferability but it is not insurmountable. As a meta analysis or review of 341 studies concluded finding that there are effective strategies for teaching critical thinking skills, both generic and content specific across all education levels, and all disciplinary areas. Critical Thinking can be learned, but you need to follow the advice of psychologist Diane Halpern. In order to build these skills, and the way to do it is to develop three additional skills. First, you need to develop a certain disposition or attitude towards thinking in the way you consume information. Second, you need to become a student of the structural aspects of problems and scenarios around you. So you know when to apply which critical thinking tool. And third, you need to become adept at monitoring and evaluating the quality of your own thought processes. The good news is critical thinking can be learned, you just need to add these three other areas to your training plan.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:33
Thank you, Matt. And now let’s get into our featured STORY OF THE WEEK
Augusto Pinaud 25:37
notion is coming back this time, not as a headline, but as our feature story as they took their productivity app free for personal use. You know, that’s an interesting move that notion did this week. There is no storage limit. There is no it’s going to be completely free. And I don’t know if he’s a response of All the changes that have been happening the last two weeks on the market of this was their plan all along, I don’t know. But without a doubt, it is interesting, the notion that the new kid on the blog, who has been getting a lot of attention coming free for the personal after the race, you know, the 50 million, or additional 50 million in front end will be really, really interesting to see what they can do against OneNote and Google suit and Google suite on everything else. So the
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:31
personal plan now is free for individuals, you can have unlimited pages and blocks, and you can share with up to five guests and that synchronizes across all the devices that you have. So there’s no device limitation on that. Then they have retained a personal paid account that they call personal Pro, and that one is $4 per month, and that one gives you unlimited file uploads. So even though even though the free plan says unlimited pages and blocks, that does mean that There’s a file upload limit on the personal account, personal pro takes away that that file upload limit. And you can have unlimited guests and you get version history, which is really powerful. If you are doing a lot of work inside of notion. You’re paying for a tool can to Google Docs, you want to be able to have some level of version history. So I think this is a this is a power play. They got $50 million in funding as Cousteau said, and they are looking to make more inroads and their real challengers are not, you know, I hear people keep saying, Oh, you know, they’re a challenger to Evernote and so on so forth. They’re not a challenger to Evernote or OneNote or any of those other note taking applications. They’re really a challenger to tools like air table Kota and, and like those tools, those kinds of workspace applications that are really trying to create a new interface for you to be working exclusively within and as long as people are trying to fight in that space. I think notion is going to be a really strong competitor. And all of them are really, I mean, looking at all of the applications that are in that space right now, they’re just really interesting. I’m really curious to see who really ends up winning. It’s complex. It’s a complex market. And so the type of user that wants to build their own interface and own system is a little bit geeky. And so that’s a smaller market than then I think, General productivity market. So it’s going to be a tough road ahead. For all of them. Like I said, the quota, the obsidians, the Rome researches, all of those folks in the world, they’re going to really have to fight it out to see who becomes the dominant force there. And so with that, that brings us to the close of this episode. Follow us on social media, leave a review, let us know if there’s a story we missed by going to our contact page at anything but idle calm. You can also tweet me or DMS on twitter at anything but idle. And thanks for joining us for anything but idle productivity news. broadcast. Until next time, here’s to your productive life.