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Google Tasks redesigned and Productive uses of Photography, and more Productivity and Technology News This Week
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In this Cast | Google Tasks redesigned and Productive uses of Photography
Headlines & Show Notes | Google Tasks redesigned and Productive uses of Photography
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
‘Workcations’ Are a Total Scam
CNBC: Here’s how the best teams run their meetings, according to a CEO who is ‘obsessed with productivity’
Eliminate The “30, 60 And 90” Tradition To Increase Productivity, Sanity And Time
Survey: 90% of Americans Want Less Meetings at Work to Enhance Productivity
This Is Why You Think Procrastination Is Beyond Your Control – The Good Men Project
What Is the Flowtime Technique? How to Boost Your Productivity With It
Zoom Gains Focus Mode to Help Reduce Distractions in Virtual Classrooms
Comment: Samsung and Google’s new Wear OS gives the Apple Watch much-needed competition
Google Lens for Desktop takes a cue from Android by adding region search capabilities
Microsoft Teams update eliminates a major productivity killer | TechRadar
MindNode’s Outlining Feature Now on iPhone and iPad
Computerworld: The best new Chrome OS feature you aren’t yet using
Productivity Resource of the Week
Snapseed – Apps on Google Play (August 23)
Featured Story of the Week
- Firefox 91 Update Strengthens Online Privacy With Enhanced Cookie Protection
- Google will not include a charger with the Pixel 6, following Apple and Samsung
- Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 130 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements
- New YouTube Music, Google Maps apps for Wear OS won’t be released on older watches
- How to Compare Documents in Google Docs
- Facebooks updated data transfer tool can port events to Google Calendar
- Could desk‑scaping boost your productivity? – ShinyShiny
- How to be an effective leader according to Googles classic questionnaire
- The Verge: T-Mobile data breach exposed the personal info of more than 47 million people
- The Washington Post: The U.S. could be on the verge of a productivity boom, a game-changer for the economy
Raw Text Transcript | Google Tasks redesigned and Productive uses of Photography
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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 co working space 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 76. On August 23 2021, Google tasks redesigned and productive uses of photography, plus the productivity and technology news this week. Welcome to you who are watching us live. And of course, welcome to those of you who are listening to the podcast or watching video after the fact. So each week we review and discuss the productivity and technology news headlines of the week. And so we are going to cover the productivity articles. In our first part, we’ll come back after the break for our headlines regarding big tech and small tech. And then we will do our productivity resources of the week. Then we will tackle this week’s theme which is productive uses of photography, and then we’ll discuss our featured story of the week. I have some announcements or an announcement before we close out. And so let’s get into our productivity articles this week. Augusta, what’s our first article?
Augusto Pinaud 1:09
So works, work cut WorkKeys. I don’t even know how to say that work, work location work cases are a total scam. Let me clarify, before I even continue discussing this article that I thought only business owners to workstations. I’ve been doing workstations for the longest time, but it’s true. My company paid for the vacation. I have never thought as an employee that my employer will send me into a workstation. Do I have work on vacation? Yes, I have. But that’s working on my vacation. Never this thing of Oh, go and take your family and work half a day while your family trip? I have never done that. So that said I’m in complete agreement with this article. I don’t know who is doing that. But that’s a scam. Oh, yeah. Well, I never done work. Have you ever done that? No, not on your company as an employee?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 2:09
No, no, I’ve had companies send me on business trips, and I have gone on vacation. And I have done staycations where I’ve taken time off of work and stayed at home. True, I’ve never done. But I’ve never done a workstation. And I think the way in which this particular author, he clearly is a bit biased in terms of his perspective on it. But I am also biased. I disagree with the notion of a workstation. I don’t think we should be having companies force employees, not force but but encourage employees to basically work on their own dime in locations, especially those of us who are personal productivity minded. I think that takes advantage of high performers in a way that I don’t think it takes advantage of people who are potentially not necessarily doing as much work as they could, while on company time or quote unquote, company time. So, you know, I think that, you know, for those of us who are Performance and Results oriented, this could be potentially useful. If you can, if you can fit your workday into four hours, and then go spend the rest of the time with your family in some location. I think that could work, I think it can be. But there are those of us who you know, are still going to work a normal work day. And that’s not a vacation, and it’s not disconnecting. And it’s not causing the sense of relaxation and reduced stress that’s necessary for us to take time off and to avoid burnout. So I think I think this whole concept of vocation is a little bit of a, you know, smoke and mirrors for organizations to to somehow present to the public that they’re doing good for their employees, when in reality, they’re probably taking advantage of them to some extent, especially this whole Airbnb and landing. And other companies that are doing this stuff just sounds, it sounds to me, as you said, like a scam. And by the way, you know that the author, clearly, you know, having a particular position here, he noted that the Federal Labor Standards Act of 1938, set that minimum wage, you know, seven $7.25 USD, and the standard workweek at 40 hours per week. It Funny enough, if you take 1938 and just use inflation, then we would currently be at $141 per hour for a minimum wage. So just you know, keep that in mind when we think about the idea that we want to move the minimum wage to say a whopping 12 or $15 per hour, you know, people in 1938 when that federal minimum wage was set into place $7.25 can buy a whole lot more than it can today 5% of what it could buy today, you know that same $7.25. So, you know, whatever your political persuasion, we do need to be mindful of the fact that inflation is real. We’re worried about inflation right now in the economy, at least in the US economy as we recover, and we we need to be mindful of the fact that as We come out of this, we need to pay people a living wage so that we’re able to get them back in the economy and spending money so that we can have, you know, a rightful and good future in the economy. All right, next up.
Augusto Pinaud 5:14
So our next article is here is how the best teams run their meetings, according to a CEO who’s obsessed with a productivity. And it was a really interesting, you know, they asked for simplification who really wants to be here who, you know, besos is famous quote, famously, at least I don’t know if that’s true that his minions can only have so many members to ask to Peters to feed the people and but the reality is then the cold the cold or need to move to where it is okay to accept decline, send somebody or be just in a call, I’m going to be here listening unless you need me, I am not in the meeting. And those things are important. The other thing that the article talk is what they took, take, leave room for whole time. And it’s been reading more and more about changing that 30 minutes to 25. So you get those five minutes to get ready to, to the next meeting, because I have seen so many of my clients going meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting to meet. And they don’t even have time to hold, let’s say go to the restroom. Okay. And that’s the reality. I mean, we laugh, but but I have seen that more and more. So let’s see today we’re going to talk a lot about about meetings because
Raymond Sidney-Smith 6:45
even article Yeah, the next article talks about 30 6090 and reducing those as well. Right.
Augusto Pinaud 6:50
Reducing dose and I’ve been doing those I my meetings are 25 minutes, 45 minutes. And that’s it. I don’t I tried to avoid meaning longer than 45 minutes, and there is no way as a default to set them up. We need to discuss why is what do we let’s make a meeting for that meeting. Because I tried to avoid them like the plague. And, and I tried to make that 25 minutes, I have time to process that meeting. Because and I love this article from Forbes, you know, when talk about the visible stuff, the invisible stuff, and it’s so true, you know, the visible stuff, or those meeting phone calls, invisible stuff, everything else, hey, I need to return calls, I need to do my work. I need to Hey, again, go to the restroom, eat a snack, drink a glass of water, what do they think to get a glass of water and a cup of coffee. And how many people are in these environments meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting not even having a chance to to do that. And to make matters worse, in some cases, to carrying that as a badge of honor.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 8:02
I think I think the two articles really blend well together. I mean, one is that company should feel a comfort level to be able to say that they don’t belong in a meeting that it won’t add any greater value for them to be in the meeting. And that that’s a good, that’s a good metric by which we should set standards for who should be in attendance at a meeting not for purposes of of excluding people from meetings, but letting them opt out and having the trust in the team to know that that’s the case. And then this whole time, I look at it from a little bit different perspective, because I know that when I meet with a client, I may need an extra few minutes here or there in order to be able to work with them. And so I will usually book 60 minutes, if I know that I’m going to need 4045 minutes with them. And it’s alright for us to end early in essence, but I do know that I will always buffer time between meetings so that I’m able to get that other as you noted the kind of invisible work I consider reason Plus, it’s the maintenance work between meetings that are necessary, I need to debrief, I need to make sure I capture items that came from a meeting, I need to be then been able to take bio breaks and move between meetings, whether it’s physical or virtually, there’s still time I want to stand up and stretch before I go into my next meeting. Those kinds of things are necessary. And so whether you’re doing 30 6090 or 2545 75, and taking that excess time for Hall time, so to speak. It’s It’s fine. I mean, like I basically if I’m meeting for 30 minutes, then I’m going to take a 10 minute break between there and I’ll just start my meeting at 10 you know 930 ends the meeting 940 is done the next meeting starts or 945 I think a lot of people have a little bit of reticence to not start on the hour and 30 are on. You know like and I don’t have that problem. I’m like we’re meeting at 945 and that’s when we’re going to meet because I need 15 minutes between this meeting in that meeting in order to get to the next meeting. so to speak, whether even if it’s just virtually, you know, I need to do other things. And so that’s been incredibly useful for me in terms of, yes, I can have back quote, unquote, back to back to back meetings. But those meetings have that buffer time between it so that I’m able to do what I need to do. And I’ve actually started to think about, really, if I had to travel to the meeting, what would the travel time be, and booking that time in as buffer time for those meetings. And the reason for that is that I used to get a lot of other things done, when I was traveling to meetings, whether that be reading or phone calls with my mom, you know, like, they’re all of that stuff is kind of lost, because now, all of all of the time feels like I should be on because it saved time that was once travel time. So I have been trying to scale back in that sense, so that I can recapture some of that time. Some of that activity that was between it, you know, podcasts listening, and reading, and so on, so forth. So consider that when you think about how long the meeting should be, and how much time you need between meetings in order to still stay effective. All right, on to our next article.
Augusto Pinaud 11:11
So our next article surveys, Yahoo Finance, and it’s a survey that says 90% of Americans want less meetings, at work to enhance productivity. And the service is interesting, you know, 90% 140 4% of them reporting having two or three scheduled calls or meetings a day 20% reporting 40 to sit in four to six. But it comes back to what we were saying it’s case two or three, as scheduled calls. You know, that’s the schedule, what happened with the the ones that are not planned, you know, and the reality is, as you said, it used to be when we were more mobile, that Yeah, I have all these meetings. But I also have this time that I’m going to drive from a meeting to another, I’m going to do this, and I had those times to decompress. Yeah, I admit it now that I don’t move, I need to block my calendar. So I have those times to get out of this chair, sit on somewhere else to decompress. Because otherwise, before you notice that you’re sitting here, hours of hours of hours, meetings or meetings or meetings because you have nowhere, nowhere else to go. You know, there is no kids, the biggest school there is no none of that. So, so I get it why people want people it is it is really interesting, because I’ve been reading how it’s been now the 18 month mark that is showing, or beginning to surface, all the things that people were mentioning 12 months ago, or for 18 months ago, about the pandemic and what what’s going to come and these fatigues and all these issues. And that, again, the resilience seems to show that he was up to a good 18 months of being inside and don’t need to go anywhere. Before people really hit the point that we are starting to see where people, it’s now starting to show kids are starting to show adults are starting to show and things are getting interesting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 13:25
Yeah, I really found it interesting and kind of affirming for me that people being punctual to meetings is so important. And when people are not punctual to meetings, in a virtual world, it is actually more kind of debilitating to your schedule throughout the day, when you have things that are scheduled, just the right you know, there was a little bit more wiggle room when you were traveling and going to in person meetings, because you had to space things out a little more. So there was buffer time, so to speak between those things. And I feel like in the virtual work from home distributed work space we’re in right now, that makes it a little bit more difficult. And so people should really think about how to engage their co workers and clients in being more punctual to these meetings, showing up 510 minutes late to a virtual meeting, when you’re basically staring at a blank screen, or when everybody else is sitting inside of the meeting room waiting for one person to show up. That is incredibly, you know, you just it just hurts the overall kind of vibe of the meeting. Right? You know, that’s it’s already a somewhat awkward experience for many people being in a zoom or Microsoft Teams or Google meet environment. And then you heard it even more when people have to now make chit chat where they were really planning on getting into the details of the meeting agenda. So just good to get to be reminded of that. All right on to procrastination. Oh.
Augusto Pinaud 14:56
The good men project is a great article. Why this is why Do you think procrastination is beyond your control? And he talks about, you know, what, these are the three, the three causes that lead the writer, the author of the article to procrastinate, overthinking, burnout, resistance, and imposter syndrome are 14. And it was a good article it you know, one of the things when I procrastinate and is, usually for me is missing data. It’s rare part of overthinking maybe burnout. But the biggest one for me is resistance. And these resistance is usually is lack of data is, there is something that I don’t have, or that I have not defined, or that I don’t know, what, where I’m going or how I’m going to get there that made me procrastinate on all these things. And so but this, these four things, I think, are really useful to look at procrastination, not as the final things, you know, one of the look at the causes of this procrastination, what is causing you to procrastinate, everybody, that’s the important thing is to understand what are the main things that make you procrastinate?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:32
Yeah, I think it’s, it’s interesting to me, I’ve read a lot on the subject of, of procrastination. And I actually just recently read the 1995 book procrastination and task avoidance theory, research and treatment by Dr. Ferrari at all. And their perspective on procrastination. And this is back in 1995 was very much a, you know, this is this is a maladaptive behavior. That is that that is, should be considered a, a psychiatric problem. And we have, we have, I think, over time, from the work of Dr. Timothy Mitchell and others really, under, we understand procrastination, more and better today. And so I highly recommend folks to think through why they procrastinate and try to set up interventions, behavioral interventions, what that means is just things that help support you through the process of procrastinating if you feel like the procrastination is not just the everyday type, right, that it’s actually causing you to have problems with moving work forward. But otherwise, I think we spend a little too much time hyper focused, so to speak, to the to the author’s perspective, overthinking procrastination, and instead of just getting back to work, and will be better off just thinking less and doing more doing leads to better thinking in many cases. And so action over thinking, I think, is what we should lean into when we are overthinker. So I know that can be difficult for folks. So I’m not saying it’s easy, but but just know that, you know, I think anyone who’s interested look at look at the work of Dr. Timothy Mitchell, I think it’s a far more and useful, you know, perspective, and less of that kind of like, there’s something wrong with you, when it comes to procrastination, and there could very well be, you know, psychological and mental health reasons for procrastination. So it can be a part of that, but I think pathologizing procrastination too much, I think puts a lot of pressure on folks, which then causes anxiety, which leads to distress, which leads to more procrastination. So just like we should all as we, as we talked about last week, Take a chill pill. And, and, and it’s okay, if it’s a little bit of procrastination, it’s conscious deferral, and then you can you can get back to work on actually doing what you need to do. All right, onward. Right next
Augusto Pinaud 18:59
to our next one is what is flow time technique and how to boost your productivity with it. And the article described flow time said is work like a pomodoro like timer, increase your productivity by accelerating the flow state on your brain. What differs from the Pomodoro is the Pomodoro Technique is a set time of working and breaks. So you and that has never worked for me. Okay? Because, yeah, when the task is 10 minutes, fine, I can take the break or get to the next task. I’m no problem. But nothing bothers me more than when I’m deep into that. And so instead, this idea of the flow time where I can put a timer on it, start working and then base it on the length of the work, then get a break. Hey, if it’s under 25 minutes, take a five minutes if it’s 25 to 15 minutes, take a eight minute break 50 to 90 minutes. 10 minute break more than 90 minutes of flow take 15 minutes, that is something that I think, for the style of work I do, will be much more effective than the Pomodoro Technique. Those little boxes have always been been problematic for me. But this I had not read before about this flow time technique. So I was really excited with the article and the article even bring a couple of apps at the end. That could be really, really interesting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 20:34
Yeah, I just say I’d never heard of the the term flow time technique. But basically, I was doing this before, you know, basically, since day one of the Pomodoro Technique, because I was never adhering to the Pomodoro is 25 525 525 five, and then and then the 10 minute break after you’re following whatever you’re close to that, that loop of the pomodoros. So I just always decided I know how much time work takes, I’m going to work for that block. And then I’ll take a break thereafter. And so this when I saw this article, I just thought, Oh, this really kind of, you know, modifies Yeah, and codifies what I’m already doing, not in these blocks of time, but in my own blocks of time. And so I just thought it was great and so good that people are, you know, putting, at least they’re putting a name to it in terms of flow time techniques. But I see it as just basically utilizing how much time you need to get work done, time bounding it and then breaking between those things. So all good stuff there. All right, we have covered the productivity articles. This week, we are going to take a break and when we get back, we will come back for our technology, productivity related technology news this week, and the rest of the show 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 a 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.
Sponsor Voice Over 22:21
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:56
Welcome back, everybody to Anything But Idle on Ray Sidney-Smith joined here, of course by Augusto Pinaud. And we are going into the second half of our show to cover the productivity technology news this week. What’s our first story gousto?
Augusto Pinaud 23:09
Well, since we have been talking about meetings, let’s talk about Sumi seems completely appropriate. But Tim gains focus mode, and it’s going to help reduce the distraction in virtual classrooms. You know, there’s really an article on the Atlantic. Earlier this earlier today, talking about great now, we are all going back to school remote schooling, it’s almost been banned in every state in the United States at least. But what we have seen is cases or cases or cases of COVID in this gets. So really, we’re taking away from those parents who are concerned about it, or we’re trying to or have the possibility to have, you know, this remote environment, the remote environment that said, it’s still interesting to see Google meat and zoom, trying to continue improving in this because I think what we are going to see a day as the school year progress is a hybrid model. Some of this we are going to be in times where we are going to send to school, there are going to be times that they are going to need to be in a remote environment. So it’s good to see that they are continue working to this and trying to make the kids especially little kids, you know more engaged into classrooms.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:41
Yeah, I can see this being useful even in my own adult workshops online, where the folks who are who are in the learning environment don’t want to be distracted by somebody else potentially looking at them while they’re trying to learn it because it’s a little discomforting, and I can see I can See this being very useful that they can see me they can see themselves, they can turn off their own, they can. So folks know when when you’re in zoom, you can actually turn off that self view. So you don’t have to see yourself at all, you’re still on camera, but you just don’t see yourself because while in normal times, you’re not when you’re sitting in a meeting, you’re not the mirror sitting on the table, you’re not looking at yourself, while you’re looking at that shoe.
Augusto Pinaud 25:20
That’s you some of us bring travel with our mirrors.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:25
Well, you We are, we are the rarity, we are the viewer, the rarity that and most of us do not normally sit around with mirrors. But you know, like the, it’s disconcerting, and it leads to more zoom fatigue. And so this is one way to be able to reduce that. And just for those who are not aware, please don’t read the comments on these sites. When you go to macrumors COMM And you get into the people, they’re just nasty, they’re just pointing to each other cause people don’t need to be so mean to each other. So I just I think that this is a good feature, there’s a clear case for it being utilized. And if you don’t want to utilize it as a host of your zoom meetings don’t but for an education environments, and those of us who who are in the ontological environment, that is the adult education environment, we potentially could utilize this as well, onto our next story.
Augusto Pinaud 26:17
Okay, the next one is a comment from my nine to five, about how the new Samsung and Google whereas it’s given Apple much needed competition. And we discussed this in detail with art on the event within Anything But Idle comment in the show. But I believe into this, the better Google where it gets, the better the Apple will get and vice versa, because now there is going to be some competition to really get good into this. So I am really looking forward to see what is this is going to bring. They’re discussing about looks, they’re discussing about how it’s going to work to ramp up on many things. So if you are a smart use for a smartwatch user on you one more information on what this was and how they think is going to affect Apple Watch as well as the improvements that are coming for whereas please make sure to check the article and enjoy.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 27:27
Yeah, I’m, I’m so thinking that the galaxy watch four will be the right watches. For me, the only thing that’s holding me back right now is actually the fact that the three in one sensor, the health sensors, the ECG and the BI as you know, data that will only work with Samsung Health app, and therefore I don’t think will work on non Samsung phones. And of course, you know, a lot of providers do that, you know, they have explosivity for some period of time, or it goes to the other. But I don’t like the idea that I’m spending that much money on a watch. And then they’re going to limit my features. When I have the Google wero s with Google’s flagship Pixel phone. They’re gonna limit me on the best features, it seems, it seems a bit, you know, convoluted there. So I’m hopeful that we can find some way to get around that and still get access to those monitors, because that’s one of the reasons why you have a smartwatch is that it can do these smart features. And so but but I agree with the article that we we need better and greater competition among the parties. And, and I know I say this almost every episode, when we talk about galaxy watches, please Google Put out your Google Pixel watch, I really want the Google Pixel watch,
Augusto Pinaud 28:45
they’re waiting for you to buy the galaxy. So they released this. They’re watching closely your credit card expenses. So they really fees,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:53
you know, I mean, I keep saying, you know, I bought this, this original watch that I have. And I’ve loved it for the past four, maybe five years. And it’s just been it keeps on ticking and it keeps on doing so well. And you know, I do want I want the upgraded warehouse I want the watch that is gonna fit me for most of the time. And the where the the warehouse on the Galaxy watch for just looks beautiful, I think I think it’ll be a great watch. But I would much rather have it perfectly paired to the phone that I have I you know, I want I want it to be a pixel watch with a Pixel phone or a Samsung S 21 or s 22 with the galaxy watch, you know, like those make sense to me because they’re so tightly bound together. And I’m hoping I’m hoping that Google, you know, gets their act together and finally launches that this fall, but I’m not also going to hold my breath.
Augusto Pinaud 29:48
Well, at least on that they may not have their act together but seems like in Google lens, they have their act together, and it’s coming to the dekstop and it’s good. It’s good. I mean Sure share more for the people who are not familiar with Google lense. What what that is and why this is so cool in the next.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 30:07
Yeah, so Google lens is both an application and a feature built into Google camera. So you can install this on iOS devices. So you’re not limited to any platform, you can install this on your mobile devices. And now he will soon be able to install this into Chrome, or the features will be basically flagged into Chrome and then you’ll be able to turn them on. And the idea here is that you can hold up a webcam or hold up your phone or, you know, tablet, on something and say I wanted to identify a particular flower, I could hold up Google lens to it, and it will identify that flower. And it’s like doing a Google search with a live video feed. So it’s capable of taking an image and identifying it, it can also scan QR codes. So whenever you’re at a restaurant, and they show you a QR code for the menu, or to sign up for their newsletter, or anything like that, that QR code, when you hold it up, you can in the Google camera app, you can slide over to lens, it’s under usually modes, it may be in different places, depending upon your version of Android, but you can then slide over to it. If you’re on iOS, you install the Google lens app, you open it up, it’ll be open and ready to activate. And it’ll in essence, allow you to click on it. And when it’s hovered over it, if it sees a QR code, it will read the URL, and you can then go ahead and click on that link. And it will take you to the QR code code, terminal destination. And so you have a real, you know, capacity here for Google lens to identify all things, all kinds of things. So so you don’t understand like, what kind of screw that is, you know, on a piece on apart from IKEA, pull out Google lens, aim it at the screw, and it will search all of Google and try to determine that thing for you. If you don’t understand if that’s a tick, or a flea, you can, again, hold up Google lens over it and it will identify that object, and then you will be able to know whether or not you need to go get more medical attention. Like it’s just so many amazing features within Google lens. It’s a very, very powerful, and now it’s being brought to Chrome, which is just phenomenal. So that is Google lens for Chrome desktop.
Augusto Pinaud 32:06
So our next story is on Microsoft Teams. And for most people, Microsoft Teams is for internal communication. But there is more than it. Okay, there is you can associate a phone number to that. And I’m sure that Microsoft will continue pushing for companies to get rid of their voice over IP and their phones to just have Microsoft Teams. And honestly, to a certain extent, if you leave on that environment, it makes sense. Okay, unify the text, unify the messages, unify everything to one platform. So regardless where your user grab the conversation, they can continue the conversation exactly where they were.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:51
And even more important than that, just just a step in remember that Skype is going away Skype for Business is disappearing soon. And when it does, teams will be the replacement. So for phone based communication, so it’s a it’s a done deal. Yeah, so So understand, even if you think oh, well, I don’t really need this because I’ve Skype, you will very soon.
Augusto Pinaud 33:14
Yeah, so they, they now are making a spam efforts or anti spam efforts, I may say, okay to making this phone call. So you know, so you don’t get noise for the spam, you get noise for the numbers, you know, so they’re really trying, in preparation to this transition, to really make this more powerful and to try to protect you from pranksters and scammers, and these kinds of things. So good for Microsoft. Absolutely.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:43
Yep. Love it. All right, on to our next story.
Augusto Pinaud 33:47
Our next story is on my note, that’s the app I use for my mapping, and I love it. But they announced the outlining feature sometime in 2020, where in the Mac, you could create the outline, and then turn it into a mind map and vice versa. That is great. I use this when I go to meetings, and I love it. But now they finally bring it to the iPhone and the iPad. That means I can now get into the meetings, put the outline, create the outline, and then turn it into a mind map. That is what I like to work. And I’m really excited about
Raymond Sidney-Smith 34:28
fantastic love mind mapping software and good to see them bringing feature parity cross platform. Next up,
Augusto Pinaud 34:35
the next one is according to this article, at least the best new Chrome OS feature you are not yet using.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 34:47
Yeah, this is great. So so they’re they’re basically giving you the the capability to determine how what will open when you start up Chrome OS and so today This has been a huge frustration of mine. You If you update to the latest version of Chrome, the, you know, machine blips off, it does its little update, it comes back and you know only usually takes less than a minute for it to do all of that work. You know, if you open up a Chromebook and press the power button, it takes eight seconds to launch the OS anyway. So an update usually takes very limited time. And so it restarts, but it restarts you with a fresh chrome page, it just like kills all of your tabs, and you’re back at nothing. And then when you even go in, you know, click on the More Options icon, the three dots and then you drop down to see your history, everything’s gone. It’s so annoying. So this is the solution to that, which now they’re going to give you some available flags to be able to say, I want you to open me up where I was, I want you to kill Chrome, I don’t want chrome to open on start, I want you to maybe open up another application on start things that we’ve had in both, you know, in basically exposed in Windows for a long time, not necessarily exposed in Mac as easily, but still capable of being done on Mac OS. So now they’re giving us those features to be able to say on startup, open these things. And and that’s just like, you know, very basic, but a huge benefit to
Augusto Pinaud 36:13
that in conjunction with the pw A’s if you are going to start sending that to the pw A’s that progressive web application. That is going to be really, really fun and interesting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:24
Absolutely. All right. So that closes up our articles this week, our news this week. And that brings us along to our productivity resources of the week. And as I tell you every week, Agusta and I come across many different productivity services, tools, apps, in our productivity journeys to bring you the news every week. And so in this segment productivity resources of the week, formerly known as new tools of the week, we each bring you a tool that we think you might like it could be new, it could be old, but we just think you might enjoy it. And so with that, let’s bring up our first productivity resource this week. And mine this week was going to be because our theme this week is productive uses of photography, I thought we would talk about Snapseed. And and as for those of you who don’t know, I’m the Google Small Business advisor for productivity. So I spend a lot of time talking about different Google products. And I always say to folks, like there’s so many I mean, there’s 500 plus products and services that Google provides just in Google proper. And that’s not even stepping into Google Cloud. And their their space outside of that. And so Snapseed is one of those products that is really quite competent, and great. And what it is, is basically a photo editor that’s been developed by Google. And it allows you to do all kinds of fun things with the application. And again, you can install this on Android and iOS, and on Chrome. So you can have that Android app installed on Chrome. And then you have a full fledged photo editor, you can you have tight integration with Google Photos, and Google Drive. And so you have the capability of doing all of these really great tools, like you could do these selective focus where you can put focus in and then it blurs out the rest of the screen. Really, really strong technology here, being able to do some really sophisticated photo editing. And really like 95% of what you would want to do in terms of photo editing can be done here. And Snapseed, there are a few things that cannot do. But for the most part, you should be able to get your photos edited quickly and easily using the tools and filters within Snapseed. And it’s free. And so yeah, I just can’t recommend Snapseed more for those folks who are looking for a competent photo editor on their Android, iOS, and on their, you know, even desktop you can do you can get the Chrome OS Android application working in that environment as well. Okay, so what is your?
Augusto Pinaud 38:49
Well, I also, I also big photography editor called Pixelmator and Pixelmator. It’s really, really powerful. It allows you to do brushes, it allows you to edit pictures you can do so much, it’s really a powerhouse. But also it’s an affordable powerhouse, you know, that anybody can do works incredibly well on the iPhone or incredibly well, on the iPad, you can do funds, you can do really almost anything to images and all that. So it is in a certain way the equivalent to Adobe Illustrator. I think it is. So Photoshop, or Photoshop or Photoshop. Yeah, yeah. So, um, except that it works is completely usable and it runs on the Mac, it runs on the iPad and everything else.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:46
antastic wonderful. All right, great. Alright, so those are our productivity resources this week. Those are of course available in our show notes. So you can find links to those in our show notes when they are published. And so this takes us along to our featured story of the week if I’m not incorrect, you are correct. All right, and our Oh, no, no, it’s our theme of the week. So we’re gonna talk, we’re gonna talk very quickly about this week’s theme. And as we talked in past episodes, we’re phasing out the themes, but we have a few more themes left. And so we’re gonna, we’re gonna do our themes of the week discussions, and then they will probably end by the end of this month, I believe it is. So this week, we’re talking about productive uses of photography, we talked about some of the tools during productivity resources of the week. And so yeah, how do you utilize photography in your productivity system, a gousto. And just like, while you’re thinking, I’ll just give an A one suggestion, which is that I really utilize all of my devices, literally all of them, including my my laptops, and my desktop, because they all have cameras. And I will just open up the camera app. And on the Windows desktop, you know, you have Microsoft Windows, photos. What does it call windows camera, I think is the app. And you know, of course, you have the camera app, I have Google camera on my pixel, I have the I have an iPad, and I have the Chromebook. And so I just open up the camera Wherever I am, wherever I am. And I capture physical open loops, Allah, GTD, basically things that I want to capture into my inbox. And this is incredibly useful for being able to do two things for me. One is to capture the item into my system. And by doing so it captures the details of the open loop that I need to clarify and organize. But it also captures location. And so so frequently, what you lose when it comes to physical things that need to be done in a place, like say, for example, I need to I need, you know, somebody delivers something, and I need to assemble that thing. Right? So they deliver a new chair, and I’ve got to assemble the new chair. Well, I need to remember, where’s the chair? Where did I put it? Did I put it in the attic? Did I put it in the garage, you know, did I put it in the backyard, because it’s a lawn chair, like all of those things are captured by virtue of the photo. So I can actually just take a photo of it where it is in its place. And that’s going to clue me into what it is and where it is. So that when I do clarify and organize it into my system, I have that information available to me, what are some other productive uses that you use with photographs,
Augusto Pinaud 42:15
you know, I use that one no doubt. But I think the one that I use the most is the scanner. The one that I use the most is the scanner and I don’t remember I think was a trio, the first phone that I begin using as a scanner. And that is the major use that I use.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 42:34
Yeah, I definitely am in the same boat I use, it goes back and forth. But you know, whether you’re using, if I’m scanning a document specifically that I’m probably going to just use Evernote, and or I’m going to use a physical scanner of paper. But if I don’t have that around, then I’m going to use my phone. And, and if it’s like something that I really need to scan really well. I’ve been using scan camp scan Pro, I think it is I forget the name of it.
Augusto Pinaud 43:00
But yeah, I carry many, many, many, many moons ago, when I was a PC user, I carry a scanner, that was pretty expensive at the time, because it was really portable. And you connect the USB, and a scanner thing one page at a time, but you could carry with you I was you know, I weigh in a bag. And I remember when I started scanning, it was a trio. And you could get pretty much if you were patient enough, you could get it perfect just need to make the white background so nobody knew. Okay, I nobody knew. And after that I begin taking things you know, there is a video that shows all the computer you know and you started the desk and how everything gets replaced it and you end up in a laptop. Well, that’s how it happened with me with the devices. But on the back, you know carry two laptops? Well, no, I can carry two iPads, oh, no, I need to carry this camera, right? I mean, the printer, and things like that. But photography, this scanner was for me, the big thing I like you I capture, you know, I may see places that I went to see and take a picture. So I capture then find the data later on. When I’m at home, or I take a lot of screenshots that at the end of the day is similar to to do that, you know, taking screenshots and capturing them. That I think is the most photography I do. I am not great at taking other kinds of photography to be honest with you.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:31
Yeah, so so for those who are not aware. So camscanner is a great application that I’ve used in the past. I don’t use it as often to be quite honest. But Microsoft lens does a really great job. And so does Google Keep and Google Drive at basically capturing images and lifting the text out of those things. So this is not just paper. People sometimes limit themselves in a sentence. Say that you’re on a street corner and you see a billboard well you can pull out Microsoft lens or Google Keep or other Apple Patients that do this, but taking a picture of now that poster or that sign or that billboard, if there’s text on it, it can lift the text out of it phone numbers, email addresses, URLs, you know, Domain Services. Yeah. And so that becomes useful information that you don’t have to retype or get wrong, you know, whatever. And so those are really great uses of being able to use photography, and the cameras now on phones are so good today that they do a really great job of that. So this can be on physical objects also, for example, I’ll take the photographs of nutrition labels, and it will then be able to pull the text out of those nutrition labels so that I can see what the data is because sometimes the labels are just, you know, they’re like black text against orange background. And the technology can go ahead and lift it out. And now you can copy and paste it onto a black text white background or inverse. And now you can actually read it and see the details. So there’s some really productive uses here that become much more useful, being able to see those things. And then as Agusta noted screenshots of things, I take so many screenshots of if there’s a message thread between clients, or with family members, a friend of mine basically gave me the other day, you know, in a message, he wrote dates that he wasn’t going to be available. And so I just screenshotted it and threw it into Evernote. So now I have those dates, so that when I’m looking at my travel schedule, and whether I’m going to go meet him for drinks or you know, whatnot, now I know his schedule, because it saved in and with the data that I’m looking for when I’m making that scheduling arrangement. So you can take all kinds of screenshots here. And, you know, while you wouldn’t consider it necessarily photography, you know, it is a photograph that’s in your system that you can then utilize. So definitely take advantage of all of these ways in which you can take photographs of things in productive ways. And so with that, that then brings us along to our featured story this week, which is that Google tasks has undergone undergone a redesign to add some new capabilities on Android and iOS. And so what have you learned gousto about the Google redesign, and then I will talk about some of my other thoughts here.
Augusto Pinaud 47:10
Well, for what I understand, as of today, it is starting to roll out. So people are starting to see the design, but it’s a good thing. You know, I’m happy that Google is doing this is making it better, you can now be able to see the task better, you will have the black, the ground, the black and the white, depending of the darker that. And then the other good thing is, is going to be available for everybody, you know, juice requests, basic workspace. So anything, pay accounts, as far as I, as I understand, but one there the idea of being able to display multiple lists in the same UI, just with stops, it’s going to be great, it’s going to allow this to have a more advanced use of task instead of just having one less I know few people who can leave without taps or can leave has so few tasks, that doesn’t matter, that they’re all together. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 48:16
yeah. Yeah, I think this is a fantastic, I’m, I’m still hopeful, I’m still hoping that Google will bring this Google tasks goodness to a desktop version right now, there is a link. And if gousto reminds me, I will put it in the show notes for folks. But there is a way to actually force Google tasks into its own open browser. But there is no desktop application. And it is embedded within Gmail, Google Calendar, and other locations. So it’s very convenient to be able to create Google tasks and to manage them from that sidebar, but I really like to see my tasks in one window, and have that kind of float around so I can move and do things and check things off. And that’s the you know, it’s this missing in the Google Calendar experience. So there, there is a way to do it. And so, you know, just again, like I said, if for some reason I don’t provided to a gousto, just add a comment on on somewhere, and I will paste the link. But the idea is, is that you can you can do it, you can force the option. But you know, it’s, it should just be easy. It should be easy to be able to snap out the Google tasks to have say a pw a for example, so that you’d be able to have Google tasks running. And to have this additional feature of being able to have task lists in tabs. So you can see this is work this is home, or whatever the other contexts you need for being able to manage tasks. And I hope that at some point, Google supports tags. I know we’ve talked about that already, but I really feel like tags would be just bare minimum helpful to the ecosystem. But anyway, any final thoughts regarding Google’s redesign? Have tasks in Android and iOS. Nope. All right. That brings us along to announcements. What’s our announcement this week?
Augusto Pinaud 50:09
So our announcement this week is next week, next week, tomorrow, Tuesday, the 24th. Or if you’re watching listening to the podcast on Tuesday morning tonight, Dr. Frank Buck and myself are closing our series between today’s and remember the milk we have cover over four and a half hours of content on comparison and testing and discussing about and tomorrow we’re going to the close and, and what we learn, what are the principles to to understand in a more, couple more things. So we will be on personal productivity club, you can go to the event, the event is free to attend. And we hope to see you guys there.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 50:51
Yeah, so for those of you who are interested, just head over to www dot productivity up www dot personal productivity club, you can join the club there and and then you know, if you’re on Anything But Idle, I think there’s a community button, that’ll take you in there as well. And that will override the the need for me to have to approve you into the system. So if you want to get there fast, go to Anything But Idle comm and then click on the community tab, and you’ll be taken right to the signup page and be taken right in, it’s free to join and then you’ll be able to find, find the to do list channel that’s inside the to do his channel, correct gousto. That’s correct. So if you want to join, you got to find that to do his channel, and then you’ll see the event and you can join from within that. And so looking forward to that event. Alright, and with that we have covered the productivity and related technology news this week. Thank you to Augusto Pinaud, for putting together the show and helping to make this happen every week. Thank you. So
Augusto Pinaud 51:48
always, always. So it’s my pleasure.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:51
All right, everybody. If we miss the story, I would like you to go over to Anything But idle.com forward slash 076 first, and make sure it’s not in the extra stories section because we do put stories we don’t cover in the extra story section. And but if it’s not in that extra story session section, feel free to head over to Anything But idle.com forward slash contact, click on the Contact button. Let us know you can also tweet our DMS on Twitter at Anything But Idle. And let us know if we missed a story we can always you know, add it into the next week’s show and let folks know about something that may be important to the community. And so thank you for letting us know when we do miss a story. You have a question or comment about anything we’ve discussed there on the episode page, you can leave a comment and so Anything But Idle comm forward slash 076. All of the episodes are numbered like that. So you can hop right over to a specific episode and leave a comment on it while you’re on Anything But Idle comm they’re on episode 76. There you will see the show notes basically links to all the stories, tools, the productivity resources for the week, you’ll see our extra story section and we include text transcripts, they’re machine generated, but they should be good enough for you to be able to read through and understand. There’s one that’s under the Read More link, click on it, it’ll expand the transcripts, you can read it right there on the page. There’s also a download link, just click on the link below that and it’ll download a PDF for you to be able to download offline. This is your first time watching the live stream Feel free to click the subscribe button or click the thumbs up button as well. the subscribe button will obviously notify you when we go live weekly. the thumbs up button helps let the Google and YouTube Gods know that you liked our content. And it also helps to open us up to more personal productivity viewers. And so thank you for doing that. If you’re listening in the podcast app and you don’t subscribe to it, feel free to click the follow button if you’re in Apple podcasts. But if you’re in any other podcast app, it’ll likely say subscribe. And that allows you to get new episodes downloaded for free each week when we put out new episodes. So thank you so much again, everybody for spending this time with us. And so with that we will see you all next time on Anything But Idle and here’s to productive life.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.