Apple Shipping more tablets than anyone, and Enhancing Productive Output…With a Beer (or Two), and more Productivity and Technology News This Week
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:00
Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community Welcome to Anything But Idle the productivity news podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by personal productivity club. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:12
I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:13
And we’re your hosts for Anything But Idle. This is Episode 72. And it is August 2 2021. Apple is shipping more tablets than anyone and enhancing productive output with a beer or two, we’re going to discuss that we’re recording this, as I said on August 2 2021. And each week, we read and review the productivity and technology news and articles of the week. And to do that this week, we’ve invited Art Gelwicks. He is a productivity and collaboration consultant. He’s a blogger at the idea pump calm. And he’s the host of the being productive podcast, cross Platform Podcast. And of course, he joins us each week on ProductivityCast. And so welcome to the show art.
Art Gelwicks 0:56
You think with all these shows, I would be totally unproductive. Because I have no time to do anything else. So no, this is great. I’m happy to be here, guys. I’m glad to be here.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:06
Fantastic. Great to have you. And so what we are going to do today is talk about beer well, alcohol generally. And that’s just because it happens to be is it national beer day, I forget what it is now, international beer day, on Friday, this coming Friday. And so for those of you who are beer lovers, I just figured we would have a good conversation about this and talk a little bit about the research underpinning the concepts of productivity and creativity in the world of not just beer, but alcohol generally. And so of course, we are not advocating for anyone to be drinking. But just wanted to like discuss a little bit of the the myth, some of the misunderstandings about this and potentially peeking your interest about this, this, this came across my desk because I came across a desk time article of someone who was testing out a little bit of research that was done at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, something like that. And it was the idea that if you had two beers, you were going to be more creative and more productive than not. And so she experimented with this. And and so I thought, Oh, well, you know, this must be malarkey. And so I went down the rabbit hole of looking at all of the various options by which people can actually utilize alcohol for this. And I mean, anecdotally, myself, I know that if I’ve had a drink, you know, or maybe two, I tend to actually be a little bit more generative. When it comes to my writing, I feel like it’s one of those things where you know, those kind of Monkey on your shoulder, when you’re sitting down to write and just having a drink, you know, kind of relaxes, you takes away some of that anxiety for those of us who are high on the anxiety scale. And so thinking about the, you know, the big five personality traits. And so it turns out that there’s actually a whole world around this concept, and they call it the the bomber peak. And the bomber peak effect is notorious because of Steve Ballmer of Microsoft. And the idea that someone needed to drink alcohol to improve their cognitive ability. And of course, this is bunk. This is not a real scientific study of any kind. But just the idea that if somebody’s blood alcohol level was a particular level that somehow their cognitive ability would increase. And there’s quite a bit of study actually now around this subject. And so I’m curious from you, gentlemen, what you think about when it comes to having a little bit of a drink and being productive, maybe a glass of wine or a beer or two, and what that does in your own productive output?
Art Gelwicks 3:39
Well, I have no proof or evidence to this, but I’m pretty sure the balmar peak is what got us Microsoft, Bob and Clippy. So you know if that just for reference as to what it could possibly do to us. I just had a curiosity I started doing some digging around this topic prior to the show, because I found it intriguing. There is a quote that a lot of times that you’ll hear I heard it attributed to Hemingway and to other people, which is write drunk, edit sober, which is the the premises is it breaks open your creative floodgates. The problem is, is the quality of good work diminishes, because you know, you no longer have those inherent barriers that are there to your production. If you start digging into this topic a lot, there’s a lot of Miss miscommunication, misunderstanding about what can and can’t happen. The one thing I have seen as a commonality across all the research is that it’s a very fine line. And it’s a very personal line. So some people may find that they hit a point on a project or they’re getting ready to sit down and maybe do some writing or, or some creative problem solving, and maybe a glass of wine or their adult beverage of choice. helps them get in the mindset and one One of the pieces that was brought up over and over again, and there’s some interesting studies that were done around this, it’s around the perception of what this adult beverage is going to do to you, rather than just the actual beverage itself doing it. And we’ve talked about this before in other shows where you, you kind of set the stage for what you’re about to do, when many people when they they want to have that relaxed moment of deep thinking. I mean, you always picture you know, the the dark paneled studio office and the high back leather chair and the fancy crystal glass with the whiskey or the bourbon, it creates this mindset, and you’re putting yourself into that, the actual chemicals, yeah, they can mess with your brain, they do mess with your brain, that’s what they’re, they do, period. Sometimes it can help a little bit, I would be hesitant, and I would be remiss to say that I do not recommend this to anyone as a course of action. However, I’m not saying don’t do it, everybody is different. You know, try it. But be aware of yourself and your own physicality and also your own weaknesses to certain things. I know certain people, their creativity, they get it all fired up, when they sit down, they have a piece of cake, like oh, it’s time for pie. And now I’m going to write with my piece of pie in my cup of coffee next to me, that works too, for some people. But around this type of thing. There are definitely chemical aspects to it, how it impacts the serotonin and the dopamine in the brain, how it impacts the short term and long term memory. And you know, some of the studies that that I found were very interesting is how it helps you with what they call, they did some testing with what’s called a remote Association test, which has you take three different things and try to find the associations between the two and things. And the consumption of some alcohol improve that in many cases, however, when you took that same group, and you started to look things at things such as executive function, which is or go no go testing, where you’re trying to decide whether you should do something or not do something based on a set of rules, those were negatively affected. So it also was really dependent on what you’re trying to do. I don’t want to discourage anybody from if they’re comfortable with consuming their adult beverage of choice. Try it have something with you see, see what the reaction is. But observe also, and all things in moderation. Just to be clear.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:35
Including if you’re a blacksmith, I don’t think you should be operating.
Art Gelwicks 7:39
No, no, there are certain heavy machinery. Yeah, there are certain creative aspects that I don’t know that this would be a good idea, period. But it is really important to understand not only the physiological aspects, you could change the entire dynamic as to whether or not you had your your beverage of choice with a slice of pizza, or on an empty stomach. That dynamic is totally different. And the impact physiologically on you is totally different. You could get into a habit of saying, Hey, I’m going to have a glass of wine or I’m going to have a beer when I sit down and write in the evening. And understand and have to understand that that is going to have an impact on your sleep, which will have a cumulative impact on your productivity over time. So those are these are all interconnected pieces. And anytime we fool around with our biochemistry, it can be beneficial, but it can also be equally detrimental if we’re not careful and cognizant of what we’re doing.
Augusto Pinaud 8:37
Yeah, and I think you make a good point. I’m, I’m a bad example that understands that I drink so little that I know when I when I got married, he was one of the first Christmas that my mother in law got me a tequila bottle with my initials and the tequila shots was my initials. A really beautiful, beautiful thing. And my dad came the summer after. And he was horrified. You mean you have not filled them up? No, it’s a beautiful bottle. It took me to the liquor store. Once you drink nothing that’s hence the reason is empty. Big sums inside big something. So we filled him up he left for the trip came back the next year, the next summer. The bottle was three quarters full. It could not believe it. But it’s
Art Gelwicks 9:39
an interesting dilemma. I mean, I just came back from a short vacation in New York wine country. And you go through and you have your your activities. And you do wine tastings and you do your tastings and things like that and you can feel the physiological effects build during the course of the day as you visit various places. And I think I would have To be very, if I did this intentionally, I think I would always have a doubt as to the outcome. So taking that quote of, you know, write drunk edit sober. Absolutely, I think is critical. I don’t know that I would want to do anything that requires process focused activity. With this as a comp, I want to say a complicating factor in it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 10:30
Yeah. All right. I think we’ve talked enough about drinking and, and being productive. But I think it’s really interesting topic. And I think it’s certainly something people should keep in mind. Certainly knowing your limits, knowing how it can potentially affect you, and looking at ways in which it can actually help you be more productive in some modalities. And so with that, let us get into our stories. This week, we talk about the tech news upfront, then we talk about the productivity articles on the back end. And so Augusto, what is our first story this week,
Augusto Pinaud 11:05
our first story is about Google. And Google is bringing Google tasks to more of the workspace tears to hopefully increase user productivity. So we’re trying to bring that for everybody. So are everybody in the workspace so that way we can get more use of the platform and actually was curious because we were talking weeks past about how really Google task kind of unknown and not really well used for a lot of people. So I really hope that this really gets people to use it more and get more of them more out of that.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 11:46
Yeah, I think we were having a discussion, you said you didn’t really know anyone who utilized it. But I actually use Google tasks in, in a light fashion in, you know, Google Calendar, you know, there will be times when I do want to just capture something that I’m going to do in the next 15 minutes. It’s kind of a scratch pad for me. But because you know, one, I’m the Google Small Business advisor for productivity, I see a lot of people who are utilizing Google workspace in a business context. So I know quite a number of people, you know, clients or otherwise, who do use Google tasks. And it’s far more robust than I think people give it credit for. But its greatest capability is that it’s kicked into everything. And we talked about that in the last episode as well. So just keep that in mind that if you’re really looking for something highly bound to the the Google experience, Google tasks is going to really serve you well. Plus with the Google tasks app. And as well as utilizing other applications that actually add more features on top of Google tasks, you actually get a more robust environment for being able to manage those things. Plus, it integrates with a lot of new tools. And that’s been really interesting for me to see it tied to other applications and bring that into, you know, into its interface, which has been really nice.
Augusto Pinaud 13:03
Our next news is that Kickstarter piece of software called ecbc. And there’s tag is reimagined, task management is still Kickstarter. So they have a minimum viable, according to what the story that they said, but it was really interesting. I’d like to see new players in the market, new people who comment is trying to envision how to do this better. Are these going to be a game changer, we will see, hopefully, they can make their Kickstarter campaign. They are still six more days to go as the time of this show, and they still have some money to go there around 30% of their goal at the time we are recording, but I hope they can. And if they cannot do it that way, I hope they find, you know, the people to back the project up and get it, it seems interesting, it seems that they’re trying to organize in a different way and make it effective for people they seems to have consider already. Model assets is an important part of their elements that, again, I believe that mobile is the future of task management. So those platforms that really don’t work well. I have issues with
Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:28
Yeah, I like the I like the platform, from what I saw in the various, you know, marketing materials, promotional materials, I think that you know, the component of adding the Google Assistant as well as Alexa support. And otherwise, I think, you know, those are they’re in their stretch goals. I think they really need to get there faster than just stretch goals. But that’s a that’s an almost an a, you know, a non a non starter for me in that sense. So I hope they do get there. And, you know, they really, they argued a good point in their Kickstarter page, which is A lot of the task managers that are out there are highly opinionated, and they’re looking to give you a great deal of flexibility. Now, my big concern there, if they’re listening is, is that, you know, you create a lot of technical debt when you give a lot of options on the front end of a piece of software, like a task manager. And the best task managers are ones that make the front end, incredibly elegant in its simplicity, while giving lots of features under the hood. And the reality, though, is that that requires a pretty large team to keep all of those, you know, 1% of users use this feature, and 3% of users use this feature. And you’re using resources on the company’s dime, to keep all of those features running. And so there’s a reason why a lot of task managers are opinionated. It’s because there is a, there’s a fiscal underpinning, there’s a financial model underpinning keeping those task managers afloat. So I’ll be really curious if they can do this. There are other open source projects that are out there that are doing a better job of keeping lots of features alive, because they have an open source community behind them. So again, I think it’s great to have new entrants into the market. And, you know, we’ll see what happens.
Art Gelwicks 16:13
Yeah, technical debt is is the death knell for so many good applications. And it’s, it’s a challenge for any size organization. I mean, perfect example of that is Microsoft Windows, I mean that sucker lives with technical debt, it is built with technical debt. And you look at smaller applications with smaller pools of developers, it’s tough. So if they can get off the ground on the right foot and say, Okay, we’re going to control this in the right way, we’re going to put the right features in and we’re going to take out features we don’t need, so that we can keep developing the good ones, they may do well, so it’s always good to see another player in the field.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:48
Augusto Pinaud 16:50
Google board g board, its clipboard is getting suggestions and are getting smarter and better. So let’s get started to get the ability to identify, oh, this is a link or this should be a calendar, or this should be a phone number. So it’s getting better and better at identifying what the data that you’re copying and pasting is, and that just make phones and tablets more powerful. So this exciting that the you know, the better, the more the phone can, or the tablet can figure it out these things to make you more effective, the better it is. So
Art Gelwicks 17:29
yeah, it’s amazing how people don’t make the connection, that’s the most part of the phone interface is the keyboard, we always talk about the UI and the you know, and all those things. And that’s great. But any input that you have to provide, there’s only two ways you’re putting it in, Well, technically three, but there’s two you’re typing it in, or you’re talking it in, and when you have apps like g board in there, that can handle both, any improvements in that will streamline getting your information in and getting it back.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 18:00
I’ve been incredibly impressed with G board and its development over time, purely because I’ve used g board across both Android and iOS. And that has allowed me to have, you know, personal dictionary items, you know, being able to swipe and and type using the same keyboard using my Google Voice that is my voice to dictate and all of those kinds of things all in a uniform way. And their clipboard feature, the ability for you to see multiple clipboard items back, you know, in history, or having a clipboard history all together really has given me a great deal of productive benefit that I have just really enjoyed. g board just keeps getting better. You can style it the way you want to, you can put you could do all kinds of fun things with G board and it provides you with I think a really seamless typing experience. I know there are many people who have strong opinions about their typing labor layout and and how they like to type. But I feel like it gives a very standard keyboard for being able to type in multiple languages. And and I’ve had this conversation with acoustic before, which is you know, when you’re trying to toggle back and forth between multiple languages keyboard gives you that seamless capability of having multilingual typing and even multilingual, multilingual swipe typing that most other keyboards don’t give you. So that’s been a real benefit.
Augusto Pinaud 19:21
Yeah. And I as a person who worked with a lot of people who are bilingual, with special specially who speak Spanish, I recommend a lot of keyboard because of that, because as these people get tired, their pronunciation gets worse. It’s normal. And so g board when you are tired, for whatever reason, recognize you better than Siri many times so I tell people install both and figure it out when one or the other, recognize you better and when you’re having issues with one just change the keyboard and dictate to the other one.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:55
Fantastic. All right, onward.
Augusto Pinaud 19:57
Well, our final piece of news is Google Chrome, it’s going to start getting indexed up, screenshot tool with lens supports that you will be able to start taking awesome screenshots. And getting more things into that will allows you to share those and something new and interesting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 20:19
Yeah, so I use sharex on the Windows platform for my screenshot tool of choice, it’s an open source screenshot tool, it’s phenomenal, it really does a better job than the built in Microsoft Windows, screen clipping feature, whatever it’s called it, you know, I just find it to be, at best simple. And sharex really does add a whole bunch of new features on top of that, including screen recording, GIF, creational, gift creation for you younger folks. And so it allows you to be able to do all those things all from the keyboard. And it really gives us a very strong capability there even to the effect that you can, you can screen record something that will automatically publish it to your video hosting service of choice, you know, whether that be YouTube or Vimeo or otherwise. So sharex is amazing. But there are so many times I am inside the browser, and all I want to do is to be able to grab a screenshot of something and share it. And to have that kicked into Chrome is going to be really, really phenomenal. And so as as one of the Google Chrome product experts, I am just elated to see this feature come into the into the you know, operating space of the browser, so that we’re capable of actually doing as you know, Chrome has now brought the ability to drag files and drop them into, you know, into the environment like an email. So you’re in an email, in a web email format, like Gmail, you can now drag and drop a file into the email, you can, you can now feel that experience very much like you’re already on your desktop and dragging things around your desktop. Now Chrome is bringing that next step of being able to capture screenshots directly inside the browser. I think it’s just a really, really great advance. And because it’s Chrome, it’s, it’s kicked into the chromium code, which means that Microsoft Edge and brave and others will bring that faster to their, you know, browsers as well.
Art Gelwicks 22:12
Yeah, I’m a big one for using I actually use one notes built in screen clipper, because most of my screen clippings go directly into a notebook. But it’s a similar type of premise. If it’s something that’s built in, it’s one less thing that you have to install, or you have to count on being available because you know, it’s going to be there. And screen clipping when combined with most good Nope. note taking tools give you the ability to use OCR on that screen clipping and search for images and search for things. Or even if you just loaded into Google Photos, you can search for an image that contains a piece of text and recall that back without any extraneous tagging, so it can be extremely how helpful and fast
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:55
Can I see the benefit of this on on Chrome OS as well as it you know, as we see more and more of those screen clipping features on Chrome, Chrome OS get stable, more stable and better than the combination between the browser and the OS will be that much better as well. So all good stuff there. Alright, with that, we are going to go ahead and take a word from our sponsor this week co working space by personal productivity club and then when we get back we’re going to cover the productivity articles for this week, we’re going to do our new tools of the week. And then our featured story talking about Apple and how many devices they are just pumping out in the world.
All right, we’ll see after the break. Well, working in person may be normal for you. It’s unlikely your co workers are as interested in being productive as you are, or working remotely or from home can be isolating and there’s something powerful about being with productive people, even virtually that helps you be more engaged. If a flavor of these sounds familiar, co working space by personal productivity club is for you. co working space is a virtual work community designed to help members be more effective and efficient in their work and personal lives. At its core. We provide goal tracking and host focused action sessions throughout the week for accountability and camaraderie, visit Anything But idle.com forward slash co working to learn more CO working space lives inside personal productivity club digital community for personal productivity enthusiasts. So you can find people who use methods and tools you do to again head over to Anything But Idle comm forward slash co working to see how co working space can help you be more productive. And now back to our show.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:52
Welcome back everybody to Anything But Idle on Ray Sidney-Smith Augusto Pinaud and of course joined by Art Gelwicks today for this Episode. And we are going to be now heading into our productivity articles this week. And so without a gusto what is our first productivity article this week?
Augusto Pinaud 25:09
Oh, the first one was a little duel from the Atlantic title, why managers fear, a remote work future. And the subtitles are like it or not, the way we work has already evolved. And I really agree with that subtitle, and it said, Really beautiful article by Ed Citron. And his beginning telling the story in 2019, when Steven Spielberg called for the band, for Oscar eligibility for streaming films, and how later on he went and signed a little deal with Netflix, so that he forgot about the band. And but there are many points that this article brings, one of the points that he brings is one of the things that this pandemic and working from home has chose is in efficiencies that we have, and has been point, many processes that are not needed. And change is difficult and fear of losing some of those or even worse, why we never change this 10 years ago, is things that are coming now into the thing. So instead of Let’s change and work in our culture and work in our teams, why we don’t eliminate this and go back to normal. With the Delta variant, what we are seeing is some of these organizations that already start coming in, are are back enough, are now are going okay, you can come to the office, but you need to be mask off, you cannot be you need to keep the distance. It’s disrupting work more than by people was doing now Well, at home, at least that’s what I’m seeing with some of my clients. So where is this going to go? I don’t know. But I really like the fear component on this article.
Art Gelwicks 27:06
It boggles my mind, because the one thing that nobody is, is really talking about the fact is that this whole sequence of events, has brought to everyone’s vision, how dysfunctional our organizations actually are, and how dysfunctional they are structured, how dysfunctional they are managed, and how the management structures that we have, are counting on this dysfunction, to continue to be able to operate, the fact that it has been realized by so many people that they do not need direct management, that they have been beaten this, this been beaten into their heads for so long. And it’s like, No, I don’t need somebody leaning over my shoulder telling me to tap here and tap there, I can actually do my job as a professional, I can focus on these executions scares the heck out of the people whose salaries come from making sure they’re leaning over your shoulder and poking here and poking there. So that’s something they’re going to get have have to get used to. From an individual standpoint and a consultant standpoint, we have to make sure that the people doing the work, never lose this perspective, though, because I think in the long term, they produce better work this way.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:21
And I think what what ends up happening is that as as Augusto noted from the article, it really underscores the fact that leadership needs to do more work. And I don’t really, I’m not really worried about the old we’re going to look bad component of middle management or even upper level management, but more the fact that they need to change how they lead, and that that change is uncomfortable. And I recently heard this with a with regard to a call center and how, you know, this particular call center wasn’t, you know, the, the, the industry wasn’t going to be able to shift because if people weren’t really standing over them, and basically proverbially whipping them, then somehow they wouldn’t be productive. And, and it’s absurd on its face, because, you know, many call centers are distributed, and and work just fine. But every culture is very different. And so if you build a culture that requires the proverbial, you know, standing over your shoulder, and that kind of coercive force, then of course, those people are going to not see you over the shoulder and sigh a collective, you know, you know, have a collective sigh of relief. And that, of course, is going to diminish productivity in the short term. But people naturally want to get their work done if it’s meaningful to them, and or they want to get paid, which is another motivation. So the reality is, is that you can you can say all you want about how lazy and otherwise that people are, but the fact of the matter is, is that if you create the right environment, people will perform well, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s remote or in person or hybrid, you have to create a culture that supports the workers. And that means creating environmental cues, providing the right motivation, and the right management, a management that helps support those people be successful in their jobs. So if we can’t get there, we’re just going to continue to keep, you know, in this kind of strife oriented perspective, and that doesn’t really help anybody.
Art Gelwicks 30:21
Yeah. My favorite quote on this is that remote works. remote work is for leaders, not managers. And I think that’s so true. Because if your focus is on managing people, rather than leading them, you’re not going to succeed in this environment. And you might as well just pack it in and just get a regular desk job, because you’re never going to be able to operate at the level that you and your people need you to operate.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 30:48
Indeed, all right, Augusto onto our next article.
Augusto Pinaud 30:56
Our next article is from Tech round UK. And his title is notification overload, reducing your productivity. And you don’t need to read the article. The answer is yes. As for my perspective, you can read the article but it talks about two thirds of employees in the UK have admitted that they have so many distractions with notifications during the work time that they are holding them back for productivity. I don’t know what are the numbers, the statistics anymore, I remember years ago, the statistics was that you get interrupted every 30 seconds, I’m going to guess is now every 10 or less. And it is really, really hard, if not impossible, to do meaningful focus work. If every 10 seconds, you’re getting distracted, you can think, Okay, I have little kids, I work at home, and there are days that that come in every It feels like every second, okay, that that that that and you really want to change her name. Okay. But it’s important to understand where are these notifications, and which ones are really relevant, and which ones are not. And be conscious of which ones are useful and which ones we don’t, you know, on iOS 15 coming in the fall, one of the changes they did that is really interesting is you will be able now to change or create profiles to those notifications. So you will be able to say now I’m at work. So reduce all my gaming notification or my personal email notification. And okay, I’m going to read, okay, reduce everybody’s notification, except this group of people are okay, now you can open them all. And I think solutions like that will help people if they come and really assess what are the notifications they’re getting, and how much this notifications are really allowing them to move forward.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:08
Yeah, so I highly recommend people look at Apple shortcuts, look at the new iOS 15 and see how various context based triggers can change your notification options for the better meaning less or more appropriate for that situation on the on the Android and Google side, certainly look at Google routines, you know, I have a Google routine that automatically puts my phone into Do Not Disturb at particular times of the day. And when I leave or enter places in combination with ifft, which allows for a connection between those pieces. So I can, you know, have certain things toggle on and off. And if you want something akin to Apple shortcuts, look at the the Android app, the Google Play app, Tasker, and it’s a little bit more geeky, you have to know a little bit of coding to do this. But there are a lot of templates that have been created. And it basically does what Apple shortcuts does, which is giving you the ability to create great granular automations of various workflows on on the devices. So you can say, you know what, when this thing happens, I want you to turn off these application notifications so that they’re not disrupting me or I want you to turn off all notifications, but this set of applications when I go into this work mode, and that can be incredibly helpful for you when you’re trying to really get to work. And, you know, the more notifications you have, the more decisions you need to make, the more decisions you need to make, the sooner you go ahead and have decision fatigue, and that overall decision fatigue is going to reduce your efficacy throughout the day. Yeah,
Art Gelwicks 34:40
there’s two tools I use all the time. One is focus mode on my Samsung device because it does exactly what you’re describing. Second, within Outlook and teams, there’s an option for focusing period as part of their digital wellbeing. So you can go in and say I want to be focusing for two hours every day. It will embed into your calendar Those periods and kicks you into a Do Not Disturb mode during that time period. But for making any making any of this work, you have to give yourself permission to not respond to a notification. And you have to tell people, you will not be responding to things during these periods. If I’m sitting there writing code for the next couple hours, I’m gonna say, Look, I’m going to be writing this afternoon, I’ll get back to you later on in the day, I will not be getting back to you during this time block or, or whatever you have to. I know some jobs don’t allow you to do that. And especially some managers don’t allow you do that. But fight for that. Because that’s the only way this works is if you are able to get control over it. And these are the kinds of things that let you do that.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:43
Fantastic. A little bit more about remote work.
Augusto Pinaud 35:46
Yes, our next one is to sleep. And it’s people who write or quit, then give off the remote work. It’s a little dramatic, in my opinion, but I understand that that the message behind it. Okay, but I don’t think it has necessarily to do with remote work. It has to do with what you have people have discover into this pandemic about their quality of life and, and other things. It’s another one of the examples they put so well the company makes me go I discovered I was 27 days a year truck driving. Yeah, well, but you were driving 27 days before. So what make a change was not that 27 days driving was that you discover that you are enjoying other activities now that you don’t want to sacrifice not the driving is, you know, I drove for during the 2007 financial crisis in the United States, you know, our company that the company was working on at the time, but it’s all salespeople, you know, is no fly list. So we were not allowed to fly. And I was leaving an hour and a half from work. So I was basically driving three hours a day in the car. That was never a problem. I just figured out how to put work into those three hours when it was time that I was working. But it was not that the reason to leave that that organization. So yes, as a person who work remotely and have similar intentions of working a different way. Okay, I get the why. What I think is important is to understand why you’re quitting, why you’re not giving remote work, and be really conscious on is really not giving this because I don’t want to remote work or no, I’m giving this up. Because the organization I’m done, I grow up, I’m done. I don’t agree anymore with the things this organization produce. And I think it’s really, really important to understand that distinction.
Art Gelwicks 37:50
I think one of the things that we’re seeing come out of this and people need to recognize is the fact that let’s say that 45 minute commute each way, we’ve come to realize that giving up that hour and a half a day was totally unnecessary. There was absolutely no benefit for us caching in that time, time that we were not being paid for time that we were getting expensed for that we were incurring costs on our vehicles and our wherewithal, and in many cases, you know, quality of life, that it was totally unnecessary. And that I think is when we have organizations turn around, say okay, now you have to come back in the office, why? You have not proven to me any value for me being physically present. And that’s one of the things I’ve had numerous conversations with people where they’ve gotten into this dilemma of like, oh, they’re calling me back in part time, Mike, then question them. question, what is the physical presence of you being they’re going to contribute that you can’t do in a remote location? Now this digs into this whole conversation about changing pay rates because of remote and things like that? That’s a whole that’s a whole show. I’ll do myself. But this basic thing. They’ve got to prove their worth now, and I think that’s what’s driving them nuts.
Augusto Pinaud 39:04
You need to invite me to that show, please.
Art Gelwicks 39:06
Oh, yeah, we’re gonna I’m going to start doing shows where we have nothing but everybody on soapboxes. So
Augusto Pinaud 39:14
if you do the soapbox podcast, I’m in. Okay, there
Art Gelwicks 39:17
we go. I’ll just change mine around.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:21
Alright, our last productivity article this week at gousto
Augusto Pinaud 39:25
our last productivity article comes from is called john and he’s a 10 best tools to stay mentally sharp at work and I enjoy we’re going to Scott and he basically go into 10 tips you know take a smart breaks when yourself have your phone shave your to man a task apply. The you’re just thoughts in your could Sutton law that is the simple versus a complex and how you spend time into things. Set a specifically achievable short term targets cultivating corruption freedom vironment jam. You’re quitting third time. You’re quitting triggers and mastering the power nap. That’s something that I need to learn, I do really poorly there, minimize the mental overhead. And finally, Dawn play the polar bear game and, you know, the club baller bring him a real life, then a vertical role for simple. Don’t think about polymers. Ready, go. And we all do that. Okay. I’m a stress, I mean stress. Well, yes, the stress levels going to go up? Well, I’m never going to finish today. Yeah, guess what, it’s going to feel even more impossible. But I think it was a good, a really nice reading, I really enjoy it. And we all need to review these from time to time and keep ourselves sharper at work.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 40:51
Now, I’ll note that I’ll note the final item, which is the basically ironic processing the the old polar bear tests, you know, if you ask people not to think about a polar bear, all they can think about obviously, is a polar bear, because you have, you know, incited that visual in their mind. And the goal for us really, is that there are a multitude of distress. You know, stressors are basically stressors that cause distress or just distress by itself nature, where we think that focusing on it, for example, oh, well, you know, I just had a bad interaction. So I’m going to, you know, just vent uncontrollably to a friend about it, right. And there are times when venting actually does help it kind of is a release valve. But then it goes beyond that, where the person then continues to ruminate, and continues to dwell on that subject till it becomes, you know, uncomfortable for the person receiving who’s in the listening mode. But it actually doesn’t help the person who’s on the giving mode, because they are actually so focused on that thing, they are fixated. And it causes them more harm than than not. So remember that there’s a, there’s a point at which being like, I’m angry, I’m allowed to be angry, right, I’m allowed to feel upset, I’m allowed to express my anger, then you need to let it go. Because the more you hold on to it, the more harm it does to you than it does to the person who caused you that harm in the first place, that that level of frustration and that emotion. And it’s really difficult. I know, because, you know, there are times when you’re like, no, that person deserves my anger. They have really made me angry, but you have to let it go, you have to forgive and forget, otherwise, you kind of eat yourself from the inside. And so I think, if, if I’m alone in doing that, then Forgive me for wasting your time. But I think a lot of us do that. And it can really help us all. And, you know, I think about this across the I think about this too often, I suppose back to that ruminating thoughts, which is that, you know, so much of society is actually harmed by mental health related and emotional related harms that are done, we spend so much time in the space of harming each other, that if we actually solve those things, we would all be much more productive. If we stopped, you know, the mindless bickering if we if we stopped, the internal rumination, the self flagellating, all of those things. And it’s why I typically talk about self speak and how important negative self speak is to be given up in so many regards that, you know, this article kind of triggered that for me in terms of not triggered it, but kind of refreshed my, you know, my focus on that for myself, which is, I need to remember that I’m doing the best I can every day. And and when I’m not I need to give myself the grace to start over the next day. And that may even mean starting over after lunch. But you know, the reality is, is that sometimes you have a bad day, you know, I’ll say today’s today’s Monday. And you know, it was a bad day, I had a lot of things going on a lot of things that weren’t going right. But what I know I wasn’t going to do with myself was to sit back and say, Oh, well, you know, this is all my fault. And you know, blah, blah, you know, all of that stuff is just it’s it’s it’s not productive, right at some point. So what can I do to make today better? You’re not I’m not getting today, again, I’m not getting the day back. So I’m best make the best of this day. And that really helps reduce the overall anxiety that I otherwise would have. And so I hope that helps others who might face that kind of similar monkey on your shoulder.
Art Gelwicks 44:27
Yeah, if you get riled up enough, and then you have to let it go. You can do that you can start a podcast. It’s just there are lots of motivating factors to tie to this. There’s a lot of external factors recognizing those. Sometimes those external factors happen to fall within your own gray matter that you don’t have control over. But you’re right. Making sure you understand that even though it feels like everything has gone off the rails. The odds are pretty good. You did did not do that intentionally. And something else has been involved in? You know, good old Murphy has shown up yet again. So just Okay, we’ll start over tomorrow. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 45:09
absolutely, absolutely. All right, we have reached the end of our productivity articles. And we are going to head into our new tools of the week. And so of course, as you know, Augusto and I put together the productivity and technology news each week for you to hear on the show. And of course, we put more stories into the extra story section of the show notes for the podcast. But in addition to that, we come across a lot of tools. And they may be productivity tools, their productivity services of all kinds. And so in new tools of the week, the segment, we’d like to just give you a peek into some of the tools that we’ve come across that we think you might actually enjoy. Some of them may be tools that are not necessarily new in their production, but maybe just new to you. So that’s new tools of the week. And so this week, we have three tools since Cousteau art and myself each have a tool we’re going to share with you. And so let’s get started with new tools of the week, we’re going to start off with a tool I I’ve used it in the past, but I can’t say that I’m actually a very, I’m the best person to really describe this tool. But it’s called untapped. And I know there’s somebody here who actually does use this tool. So art D Do you use this
Art Gelwicks 46:21
all the time I live by this, this is this is like grown up Pokemon, while Pokemon is for grownups too. But this is like, you know, adult beverage Pokemon, you know, got to drink them all. It’s ironic that you’re sharing this because like I said, I just took a trip up to wine country. And I was, you know, trying this beer and trying that beer and trying this cider. And every one of them gets logged in there. The badges go in there. The gamification is great in this it’s a it’s a nice smooth interface. lija Search allows you to connect to your friends and say, Hey, try this, hey, try this out. It’s a great way to kind of dig into this idea of enjoying these things not so much. I’m going to drink 18 cases of this thing but finding new things and exploring flavors and, and sharing those pieces. And they have and this is the geek in me. They have a great collection of badges that you can collect as you go through and you log in and you know the number of local craft breweries and things like that. So if you’re anyone into brewed beverages, not so much wine because wine isn’t really in this but ciders and beers needs needs. Absolutely. This is the app and many local restaurants will indicate Find us on on tap. And I, I found this was really helpful during COVID or during the initial lock downs. Because as those businesses which were trying to stay open, would put something new out, this was a way to find out, even though I wasn’t going there. So I can then through takeout, or you know, delivery say hey, include this include that and stay engaged with them as local entities. So absolutely a great app love this.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 48:07
Yep. Yeah, it’s funny, because I always recommend this to, you know, I work with a lot of small business owners who are starting breweries are starting, you know, meaderies and that kind of thing throughout the various states that I support my work. And and I always say, you know, make sure you’re you’re on on tap to make sure you’re you’re getting involved in that space, because this is really great app for being able to do that. But I found myself also engaging in untapped recently, because you know, where I am, there’s a set of local breweries that are just, you know, big craft brewing environment. And so yeah, I’ve been really interested in Alright, Agusta, what is your new tool this week.
Augusto Pinaud 48:43
So my new tool is called drizzly and basically is one of those services that will bring the alcohol to you. We have used a couple of times during the pandemic, it was, you know, we, we were locked down and we took a trip. During the pandemic, we we rent the house and basically move our pandemic location from here to there. We were not planning to go out. And actually this guilt trip was already the thing of the trip was, how far can we go without any stop? And that’s how we planned that trip. We didn’t. But it was a good thing we did for for the kids and us. And when we got there. Well, we had a friend going there too, that were important into and we order some some to Grizzly. So it was it was good, easy, and has been useful a couple of times for us.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 49:40
Fantastic. And art, what’s your I didn’t
Art Gelwicks 49:42
know there was a theme. So I have a regular app. So but this this is for either our non drinkers are the ones who were just wanting to find an easy way. On Android. It’s another launcher. It’s a launcher that I love. It’s called Smart launcher five and it has two features that I think are really nice. One is going to be coming out in Android itself, which is carrying over the color scheme and the wallpaper, you choose into the theme of the launcher itself, it’ll automatically do that, which makes it very visualizing, or very visually appealing. The second thing though, is it creates categories for your topics. So when you initially load this, it’ll go through and look through all your apps and say, Okay, here’s all your internet apps, and here’s all your finance apps, and here’s all your but that at the end creates this categorization in this grouping, and it makes it really convenient to be able to go in and load and work with it. It’s not as configurable as things like Nova or that sort. But from a smooth, functioning launcher, if you haven’t tried an alternative, or you want to just try something different. You know, smartwatcher five is a great option in my book. I’m running it right now. And not only my phone, but on my tablet as well.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 50:54
Fantastic and has this Omni search capability? Yeah. Great. You know, a lot of these other launchers have have started to implement as well, which is really, really nice. I like that. Fantastic. All right. So those are our new tools this week. And that leads us over to our featured story this week. Augusto What is our featured story this week,
Augusto Pinaud 51:17
Apple has sold a ridiculous amount of tablets, more than Samsung and Amazon combined in the last quarter. Or even you can say Samsung and Lenovo combined together in the last quarter, they have done over 12 point 9 million units. And Samson clocks with around 8 million units. That’s number two. But this is still the number of tablets. And we were discussing this when we were selecting the story and we are you Amazon? And yeah, maybe in the productivity world, you don’t think on the Amazon Fire us as tablets, but they are cheap, they are affordable. Not only that, Amazon, if you have little kids have this kid’s version that basically you can destroy, and they will send you a new one. So on that sense, yeah, Amazon had shipped, you know, the number four, you know, followed by Lenovo was 4.3 million units in the last quarter, that is still incredible amount of units.
Art Gelwicks 52:28
Yeah, it’s fascinating. I pride not to get jaded about this whole thing, when when Apple says that they’re the best at something because they have no competition on their platform. So if we take all the others and add them together, okay, but I get it, I get it in the tablet space. Apple is still the big dog, and will probably always be. I mean, you see things in the Samsung space where they’re really starting to play into that and take them on head on again. But until Google really steps up the tablet capabilities of Android, it’s always going to be an also ran.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 53:07
Yeah, you know, I’m really pleased to see this not being you know, it’s not like I’m an apple fanboy or anything like that. I do have Apple devices, and I use them. But I’m not, I’m not the biggest advocate for Apple unnecessarily. But to see Apple under Tim Cook’s leadership, go from a 90 something percent, you know, revenue toward iPhone to now that being under 50%. And seeing a diversification, diversification of services, you know, hardware product and otherwise, for that business, that tells me that Apple has really done a great job of stabilizing in a very difficult market, and they continue to grow in those spaces. I’m, I’m actually pleased to see that level of competition come to Microsoft, as well as Google and Amazon and others. I think this really creates a healthier ecosystem for us all I’m concerned about the fact that Samsung is, is basically the next dominant player in this market. You know, it’s like Samsung, and then Lenovo and then Amazon. I feel like, you know, at the very least, we should have had some level of other stronger partners parties, like, you know, I just, I don’t know, there’s something in my mind that feels like, you know, yeah, I just feel like Samsung is the apple of the, you know, non iOS world. Right. And so they already Yeah, and it stands to be that they’re, they’re going to do that they’re going to play the playbook and they’re probably going to do very similarly. Well in that regard. But they are a huge, huge company. You know, based out of out of Asia and they are doing um, you know, like you can buy a Samsung toilet and you can buy a Samsung you know refrigerator and a Samsung x and why they are not specifically in the personal electronics only space as Apple is. And I, I would have rather see someone who was purely in that market do be the next best. And I don’t know why I’m, that’s just kind of my that’s my kind of gut feeling. And I have nothing against Samsung, I think they actually make solid products. And I’m, you know, if Google doesn’t put out a pixel watch this year, so help me Google. I know, I know. But it really Yep. Anyway, I, if they do not, then then I will be probably going with with one of the galaxy watches, I really liked the galaxy watch active, and just kind of the cleanness of the of the watch. And, you know, they make it, you know, a one that I think would would fit my aesthetic and everything. But I’m hoping that, you know, Samsung puts out some really good watches this year. But, you know, the hope is that Google will show a flagship pixel watch. And, and so anyway, my point is, is that I think that we need more more in this space, competing, so that we have better products over the long term. And as you said, art, I think, you know, the Android operating system has gotten kind of a second, you know, billing recently to both Chrome OS. And the future of fuchsia OS really has Android hanging in the balance here. So I’m curious whether or not we will see a change over time, as we see more fragmentation of operating systems that are non iOS.
Art Gelwicks 56:30
Yeah, I with my completely harebrained prediction would be the competitor that’s going to drive this on the non iOS side will be the the increasing influx of Chrome OS based tablets. Because they support Android apps, which is what you want them to be able to do. Plus, they’ll be able to do more things, if they can lighten them up and improve the form factors a bit, and get some more vendors to release them, I think you’ll see that resurgence of activity on that side of the fence, apples, apple, it will always it’s kind of like the old IBM thing you never got fired for buying IBM, well, if you want to, you want an iPad, you’ll never get fired for a tablet, you’ll never get fired for buying an iPad. It’ll be interesting to see I have I don’t really have a preference. tablets are one of those few devices that I think it really comes down to the applications. It’s a big black slab of glass. I mean, it does serve, if it has a stylus, it does certain things. So it’s all down to the software. And it’s all down to the developers. And that’s what makes them breaks it. And honestly, to date, I think that’s what’s broken it on Android,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 57:39
I really want a high end Android tablet. And I keep looking and looking for ones that are really going to challenge the iPad, to provide me with that level of you know, seamless hardware, you know, I want all of the hardware pieces specked out to actually work really well together. And for them to operate well with the operating system that it’s been given. And that’s incredibly difficult to find out there. And so, you know,
Art Gelwicks 58:07
this problem, the new Samsung, the SAE, that’s coming there, they have been positioning it as being another not an iPad killer, but a direct head to head competition with it, I think Samsung has finally started to realize that it doesn’t make sense to try and kill apple at anything they have, they have seen and recognized the value of that ecosystem. And they’re building more and more of their products into their own ecosystem on the back of Android, which is still a little bizarre what they’re getting now that I think they bought into that, you can see that across their product line.
Augusto Pinaud 58:40
And you could see how these events regardless how they are all called the same of going into that direction really, really interesting. Yeah,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 58:48
yeah, no, I definitely seen tm ro look at Tim Cook and what they’ve been doing and say, we can we can be that, you know, we can do we can do this, especially in the US and luxury Asian markets. And so if they can get every Singaporean and every Korean and every Chinese, you know, elite to buy into the Samsung ecosystem, then they’ve got a really strong profitable, you know, market ahead of them. And, you know, I I actually appreciate what Samsung is doing with regard to Android and their partnership with Microsoft, and and Intel in in saying, you know what, we want to create an ecosystem where you just feel like these tools just work together. So well. Go ahead. No, no, it’ll never fully benefit me because I’m cross I have so many cross platform tools. Hey,
Art Gelwicks 59:41
here’s a really good podcast about that. Anyway, so just the name jumped to mind. It is one of those things that if you think about it, this also becomes a very us centric issue. Because when you look outside the US for example, you know in Korea, Korea is Samsung, top to bottom left, right and sideways. That’s, that’s the product base. And Android is the world established product. I mean, that’s what people have. So when we look at things, we tend to look at it with the apple lenses on. But we need to back up and look at that larger perspective for us to really understand where things are headed.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:00:18
Yep, absolutely. So I think, you know, not a surprise, I think it’s really good to see the, the various, you know, the segmentation of the various players in the market all doing? Well, it seems like Amazon and Lenovo and the others are doing well, I’d like to see more aces, and more Acer coming into that Android Market and really doing more there. I have been impressed with some of the Lenovo Yoga books with on the in the Android variants. And certainly in terms of their specs, I have my eye on that Samsung tab, you know, those, those are really, probably best in line there that are not, you know, not kind of the ones that are not manufactured specifically for the states. And so because you can get some really nice, you know, high SPECT devices, but they’re not manufactured for the states. And that that’s unfortunate. But, so I’m really looking forward to seeing some of those come to the US market. And, man, yeah, I just, I continue to keep wrestling over, you know, galaxy book 360 Pro, or whatever it’s called from Samsung, and whether or not that starts to tie me into, or forcing me into getting, say, an S 21. Plus, or whatever the latest, you know, Samsung Galaxy is, and, and whether that would actually be beneficial, especially if I go to the Samsung Galaxy watch line, you know, and so these things really, you know, impact each other. I’m, I think I’m fairly wedded to the Google Pixel line. So I’m unlikely to give up my phone to it. But maybe it can be a second phone, you know, use my work phone for that for that purpose. So, you know, yeah, I can see where people get flummoxed. And all of this. And the hope is that we start to see more and more integration of these tools so that you don’t lose functionality, just because you have to go to another OEM for the hardware, because I don’t only care about is the really high end hardware, I want it to be able to last for a good amount of time and to perform well. All right, any other thoughts? Before we close out?
Augusto Pinaud 1:02:29
No, we have some announcements. First is security of update on Google Drive. And we thank Dr. Frank Buck for sending us the email, letting us all about it. And the second thing is, so hold
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:02:47
on a second. So So folks are going to or you should be receiving a security update alert in Google Drive. There is nothing wrong with Google Drive. The security update is just telling you that certain links that you have shared over the years may disconnect access to people who had access to it before. So when they click on it again, they may have to ask you to regain access to it. That’s all that it’s saying. There is no there’s no inherent security flaw or anything like that. They’re just basically increasing security. And by virtue of doing that it is it is disconnecting some people who may have had access before. Perfect.
Augusto Pinaud 1:03:24
The second exciting announcement is one password, who we have talked here in the show, it’s my password management of choice raised $100 million, as a business is growing. And this is exciting. The next one is automatic. That is the WordPress owner, as well as tumbler owner has bought day one day one day, but a couple months back, and now they did pocket cast. So they are really, you know, getting in there. And the last one is x.ai. The standalone scheduling tool, sadly, is shutting down. So you can find the links to read the articles and more information as well as other articles. That did not make it to the cart of the show.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:04:15
Fantastic. All right. We have reached the end of our show. And so that means we’ve got to let you go art. Where can folks go ahead and keep up to date with all that you’re doing out there in the world.
Art Gelwicks 1:04:28
Just come over and find me at the idea pump that will lead you to all places I wander and anything you want to talk to and if you’re an untapped user and you want come ping me there, I’ll share my name we can share brews and ciders and other adult beverages of choice.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:04:45
I will definitely be connecting with art on that one because I want to get get my untapped go in there. So thank you as always for joining us here on Anything But Idle. Thank you all Good. So then there were us. There were two. If those of you who don’t know Augusto puts in a lot of work behind the scenes to make Anything But Idle happen every week and so thank you Augusto for helping put together the show.
Augusto Pinaud 1:05:13
It is my pleasure. Always have every week.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:05:16
All right, everybody. That brings us to the end of the show. If you have any announcements or other stories that you might want to help us, you know, collaborate in encoding for us, feel free to head over to our contact page on Anything But Idle comm you can go ahead and fill out the contact form and that’ll alert us of those stories. You can also tweet or dm stories on Twitter at Anything But Idle and and then you can always comment or question on any episode page, we’ll be able to capture those items there at Anything But idle.com while you’re on Anything, But idle.com for each episode, for example, this is Episode 72. So if you type in Anything But Idle comm forward slash 072, you’ll be taken to the episode page for Episode 72. And there you will find the embedded video of our show the audio and how to subscribe all that fun stuff. You’ll also see show notes. with links to all the stories we discussed our extra stories, our new tools of the week, and a text transcript. It’s available in two different formats. One is readable right there on the page, just click that Read More link and you’ll be able to read it right there while the audio is playing. The other is a download link you can download as a PDF and then take that offline and listen to it while you are offline. If this is your first time watching the live stream or listening to the podcast, feel free to click the thumbs up icon subscribe, follow whatever the terminology is an apple podcasts or Google podcasts or Stitcher or otherwise, feel free to follow along and get episodes whenever we release them or go live. And thank you all for joining us for Anything But Idle. We’ll see you all next time. Here’s to your productive life.