Microsoft Ends Chromebook Support for Office Android Apps, Back to School, and More Productivity and Technology News This Week
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In this Cast | Microsoft Ends Chromebook Support for Office Android Apps, Back to School
Most people are overwhelmed by the amount of paper and digital information in their lives. Frank Buck makes organization easy so you can increase productivity, decrease stress, and enjoy life. Global Gurus ranked Frank #1 in the world in the “Time Management” category for 2019, 2020, and 2021. His career path took him from band director to principal to central office administrator and now to productivity coach and speaker.
Headlines & Show Notes | Microsoft Ends Chromebook Support for Office Android Apps, Back to School
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Productivity Resource of the Week
This Week’s Theme… back to School
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Raw Text Transcript | Microsoft Ends Chromebook Support for Office Android Apps, Back to School
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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 0:13
And I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:15
And we’re your hosts for Anything But Idle. This is Episode 77. for August 30 2021. Microsoft ends Chromebook support for office Android apps, back to school, and more productivity and technology news this week. Of course, each week we review and discuss the productivity and technology news headlines of the week. And to do that this week, we’ve invited a special guest for our back to school episode. And that is Dr. Frank Buck. Most people are overwhelmed by the amount of paper and digital information in their lives. Frank Buck makes organization easy. So you can increase productivity, decrease stress, and enjoy life. Global gurus ranked Frank number one in the world of time management category for 2019 2020 and 2021. And so his career has taken him from band director to principal to Central Office administrator. And he’s now purpose that he coach and speaker. Welcome to Anything But Idle Frank.
Frank Buck, EdD 1:12
All right. Thank you. Good to be here. God’s
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:14
good to have you. Yeah. So welcome to anyone who’s watching us live. And feel free to chat along with us as we do. But in the meantime, Augusto What is our first productivity article this week?
Augusto Pinaud 1:29
first article comes from fastcompany going back to the office means giving lucrative working from home size hustles for many employees. And, you know, with all these pandemic and people surprised go home and now work from home, there is a lot of people who has fine, not only size households, but many other things that they were not aware that, you know, the article in question talks about people who has a very tell a story about somebody who is baking, somebody who’s found a software company decide. And well now what’s going to happen when they need to go back to the office, they have been handling two or three of this, you know, their main job and a couple of hassles in the side, and now they’re called back to the office where that’s going to be a little bit more problematic, and a higher challenge to do. And it’s going to bring the decision to the people. But I think that the problem is much larger than the size households, I mean the size also bring the problem, but not everybody is struggling with size. Also there is other people who is troller Hey, now I’m doing exercise, I have lunch with a family, I don’t drive. You know, I had somebody who mentioned to me how I needed to go to the office for a meeting and these people dress fancy now, okay, and probably was the same they were dressing a year ago or 18 months ago. But now, you know, you are working more comfortable, you know, I and I saw an article we’re discussing. Next, this is going to stay for a little bit. So what people is going to do with the size households, well, what many people with side hustles did before the pandemic, they will figure it out. And many of them will find ways to have their full time job and work on the fringes of that.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 3:37
Though, I think that there’s a interesting thru line here, which is that the trend is toward more remote work. And that actually increases the amount of freedom people have. And so if you believe in liberalism, right, the idea that we have free lives, and that is supposed to be the benefit of a an advanced modern economy, we should be able to determine not just the type of work we do, and how much free time we have, but where we do it. And so location can’t be decoupled from that freedom. And to some great extent, freedom to do work where you want to do it is a should be presumed a part of that, you know, kind of liberal ideal. So I’m very curious about a lot of the executives perspective here on the fact that you know, that there is a sense that there’s not an opportunity here to be forward thinking about where the world is going. Right. And in this is we just know the Forward march is toward greater and more flexibility here. And so I’m curious where the mindsets of these folks are. And I know we’re going to talk a little bit about kind of the conflict between employers and employees and a bit, but I am, I am. I’m shocked that businesses aren’t more aware of the fact that there are People who are doing these side hustles to begin with, and that at this point in society or time in society, we’re not more savvy about dealing with kind of the balance between those pieces. So it’s just, it’s commentary more than anything else on on the reality in the state of things. And I hope that businesses really get their act together, they should be savvy or to know that their employees have lives outside of the time they spend at the office, and that they should actually be nurturing those things. Because, you know, the side hustle that I’m doing is probably informing to some extent, how I’m going to be productive in my primary job and my primary duties. And those can actually be useful and fruitful for the for the business in that sense. Absolutely, yeah.
Frank Buck, EdD 5:47
You know, when you look at the time it takes to get to work, the time it takes to get home from work, the time it takes to sort of get started when you get to work and then wind down. It’s amazing. And of course, I think the reason we haven’t gotten this path earlier is just inertia. Yeah, we’ve been getting up and going to the office for so long, that we’ve been doing it because that’s what we’ve always done. And then circumstances change that where we couldn’t do that anymore. And now, inertia is another strong force, we’re working from home. And that’s working, we enjoy it. And we want to keep that going.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 6:29
already good. So next up,
Augusto Pinaud 6:32
the next one is an article from the Wall Street Journal remote work may now last for two years, actually, I’ve been having a lot of conversations in the last seven days about this, from both sides, some executive clients, some some non executive client, looking how their companies has been continued pushing are now pushing to January or February. And that basically makes two years and you know, closer peoples, okay, it’s been two years out of the office, okay, we survive, we grow the business, why they want to go back. And there is a lot of people, you know, asking this and it was interesting, because when the beginning of the pandemic, we discussed that there was around 33% in each group, you know, the people like me who, many years ago, walk away from the office to people who were going to discover, okay, I really like this working at home people like what we mentioned in the prior article, then there was a group of people who are counting the seconds to get back to that world, to their life to their and all this. What is interesting is there was more movement towards that middle category that I don’t want to come back, I want to find a hybrid solution go once in a blue moon, but not every day. But I still have the opportunity to buy than any of the other two extremes, at least for the people who I have informally. Question about it. That is really interesting for me, because he’s like, okay, so you discover now we have cake. And now you want to make sure you make the cake I needed to so you don’t want to go to the office, but you want to have the office. So when you want it to go. It’s not how it works. It’s still this is getting worried for a lot of people, because there is there is a lot of really valuable people who has been very vocal about I am not coming back or you figure it out, or I will figure it out. And yeah, for bosses, that’s a problem.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 8:46
Is this just because they’re there, they feel like they don’t have the ability to manage people from afar. Is it a control issue? Do you think I’m really still shocked at the amount of pushback that I’m hearing from so many of these folks, when, right now, it’s a necessity, but in the future, it’s a competitive advantage. You know, like, if you know that your staff can work from anywhere, it still doesn’t mean they’re going to want to, you’re going to have some group of people who want to come back into the office. And they’re going to be people who want the flexibility, which of course is a competitive advantage, because you can say, you know, what we allow our staff staffs to, you know, spend X amount of time working from home X amount of time coming into the office to be able to socialize, collaborate and otherwise, and that’s going to help you not only retain talent, but also attract talent. And if we continue to keep having this dialogue around, what managers are afraid of, not aware of feel deficient in doing in terms of management. They are, they are missing the boat, the boat is leaving the dock and they’re gonna be left behind by a lot of upstart companies a lot of these startups that are starting today. They have started in an environment where they have 510 20 people on staff, and they’ve had to work in an all remote company. So they don’t have the shackles the the management debt of saying, Oh, you know, what are the real estate debt of saying we have to have these people in our physical space in order to prosper and grow, and so on, so forth. And I bet you that a lot of those startups will still have physical imprints, and they will then allow their staff to come and go as they please. And even maybe like my company where we’re fully distributed, and we will, after the pandemic, we will have, you know, times to come together throughout the year where we have, you know, we have team collaboration opportunities, we will say, okay, you know, everybody, let’s fly down to Charleston, and we’re going to do a company retreat, have some fun, get some work done, and then we’ll come back and go back to our normal remote work lives. And that becomes fun and interesting and useful to the company, in those concentrated in person times, for both culture and for all kinds of other business building purposes. I just, I really find it to be a struggle right now, for me to think about why people are still fighting the inevitable in this really, really, you know, like, to me very, you know, easy to understand why
Augusto Pinaud 11:14
there is another element, you know, originally, you know, I’m talking about March 2020, this was going to be a two month ordeal. Okay? Many people remember, we were going to go home for three weeks. Okay, well, that’s a long vacation. Let’s do it. Okay. Now, it’s been going to be probably between two and two and a half years, by the time all this coming back happen. Okay. So what I don’t see on many of these articles, and many of these discussion is the disruption of going back. Because for good or for bad, people has now a new way of work. They have solved the problem Two years later, okay, they have been productive. They have figured it out how to do things without being in the room. And now you’re forcing them to reinvent, because he’s not going to be let me go back to what I used to do two years ago, sorry, most people don’t remember what they were doing two years ago. for work. They know what they were doing last day. Okay, yesterday, the day before, maybe now you’re going to do a whole disruption of that said you bring people into this new environment of hybrid or physical, fiscal 100%, doesn’t matter. But they will need to reinvent how they work basing on coming back to the office. And that’s going to be a massive disruption.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:44
Let’s move along. lest we be here for the rest of the evening diatribe being
Augusto Pinaud 12:51
I don’t know what you’re talking about. The next one is 10 aspects on which remote work employees and employers disagree. This article was really, really interesting. And yes, it’s true. You know, when when you listen to this, you talk about the difference on the concepts of the productivity is the manager. So ready? The childcare benefits? You know, I, I remember the beginning of the summer before the Delta variant came aboard saying, okay, we are going to come and people were like, Yeah, what I do was a kid tighten up with duct tape to the wall, because there is no, nothing right now that I can do with a kid. There was no childcare, there was no options for that. So they and you mentioned something today about the purpose of the office space. And weeks prior, we talked about an article of wedneday office, as we understand that was the beginning of that in the 1950s. And well, maybe what we need on 2021 coming 2022 It’s a reinvention of the purpose of this space, and make it really to collaboration, but not to be there every day to make it for something different. You know, the article talks about mental support health. Come back to the office. How much time are we going to spend in the office? Do we really need to be in the office eight hours or? Fine? Let’s go half a day now. You know, three times a week? I don’t know. Can we build this culture remotely and getting into my soapbox? Yes, you can. Okay. There’s plenty of companies who have done it incredibly well. Automatic been one of those, among many others. The idea of remote flexibility and how much can we work remote that it is funny for me? Then we still discuss how much can we work remote when we have been doing it for two years. But there is people arguing Well, we cannot do it when You have done in the past 18 months. So I’m going to stay myself out of the soapbox, because this article was what is called a banana is leaf that tree re thrown my way. So I slide into my soapbox.
Frank Buck, EdD 15:15
Well, you know, I think the big thing with our society is so many of us are knowledge workers. Now, you know, 100 years ago, he was going to the factory, he was making things and you had to be there, where unmade things were in order to make them. And now being remote workers and being able to communicate so easily through telephone through video now, it’s just that it’s the way we work has just changed so much.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:45
But let’s move on to story number four Augusto because it really highlights and extends the point that Dr. Buck is making here. Let’s go into it, because I’m really curious to discuss that component.
Augusto Pinaud 15:57
Perfect, then the next article is the New York Times. And he’s how three small businesses create remote Coulter in a remote work world. And it is a really interesting article, suddenly, I can open it right now because has decided to block me because the New York Times says that I have read too many of these times this article for free. In preparation for this.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:19
So one of the things that was talked about in that article, I think really highlights what you’re talking about Frank, which is that we have come to a point in society whereby we get creative, even in the manufacturing, the factory floor type work. And this particular company, I forget the name of it, it was like, I have to look it up now. But they basically went in and they had their engineers basically set up workshops at their homes, and many of them already had this going on, right. So they were already like hobbyists in their own world. And so they were able to basically have them build prototypes, and then drive it over to their next colleagues house. And then they would take over from there. And then they would use remote technology to be able to write the code for it, and so on and so forth. I was called skydio. So this guy do company is a model of what would otherwise have been a factory floor, everybody in the same space working on a physical product, they were able to go ahead and distribute that. So people were working in a distributed environment from home during this period. And they’re being as productive if not more productive, because the time when you need solitary work time has been given to you, right, you get to go into your shop at your home, there’s nobody bothering you. There’s nobody, whatever. And then you’re still have the collaboration capabilities because of digital technology. And then you get done with it, you drive it over to Susan’s house, who’s the next engineer, then Susan drives it over to Bill’s house, who’s the next engineer, and it just becomes a round robin kind of virtuous cycle for that particular product. And we just need to get over this perspective that we can’t make these things happen. And I’m not saying that every manufacturing business should be doing this, right. It’s not the case, not every business should have all of their employees work from home. I get it. But the vast majority of us, as you noted, that are knowledge workers. This is doable. And it’s it’s quite possible if we just be creative about the problem solving.
Frank Buck, EdD 18:21
Yeah. And and how often do we talk about going into the office early? Because you can get a lot done while everybody’s not there yet. And we stay late for the same reason.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 18:34
Absolutely. Absolutely. Already. Good. So let’s move on to our next and next door. Yeah.
Augusto Pinaud 18:43
So our next story is did Google discover the secret for making a dream team? And, you know, as the article mentioned, Google is not exactly a small company, and they have a ridiculous amount of data about themselves. Their teams are employees, what works, what doesn’t work. And according to the article, there is a project called Project are still and what they are trying to figure it out this using this analytics in this figure out how to make teams succeed. And what is the kind of people and what they have found is that apparently, people personnel design background based on the data don’t make a lot of difference. And there was there was a really interesting thing, but when you continue looking, and then you look into the factors, okay, the psychological safety, the dependability, structure and clarity, the meaning the impact. Well, yeah, it makes sense. It doesn’t matter from where they come and then that seems now a lot more but there was one in specific for me that was the structure and clarity, because I think that’s one of the biggest thing that I see is missing into the workplace. You know, do do everybody in your team really knows what is expected of them and how that is changing. And not only that, when that change and that change, that is not a fixed target doesn’t matter. If you’re talking about business, nonprofit schools doesn’t matter, okay? that target move and move consistently. But do you have really a way to work with your team? So they know, what is that expectation and as it change and evolve at the speed of light, they know understand, what are those changes? And I think being the other factors in the article interesting, if you can keep data structure and clarity of what is expected? Well, then yes, you can build a dream team, you know, even even when you think about a structure and clarity, that is the key factor, when you want to delegate to anybody. So yeah, if you cannot have that, how do you delegate?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:05
Yeah, I think the the missing elements here that we have a foundational technology company, so they have all of the technology they need at their fingertips. And that is a core component of this as well, which is that they’re not afraid of the technology. And they embrace the technology in this in the process. I will say that the marrying of structure and clarity with psychological safety. We’ve talked about this in past episodes, we spent a good amount of time, I think, in the last episode of the episode, before that, talking about psychological safety. And if you do not know how, and whether or not you have psychological safety in your company, just figure out the clear Litmus is, do I feel comfortable with making mistakes, and having my manager find out, right, those that’s, that’s what you need to have, because you need to be able to take risk. Humans are risk takers, and structure and clarity in terms of the outcome. And also being able to take risks safely within the bounds of the of the team environment of the organizational structure, you need to be able to do that. And it looks like Google is learning from their data analytics, that they’re capable of doing that. And I’m always interested to see what they’re doing ever since, you know, Laszlo block their their former Chief Human Resources officer, Chief head of people, when he left and wrote his book, you know, I was, I’ve just been fascinated by the way in which Google manages their people. And the good and the bad of it, because there is there is there are people who leave Google without a positive sentiment. But I think the vast majority of people who work at Google enjoy the environment. And that means that they’re hired, because they will enjoy that environment. And we have to think about that in our own, like, take the hiring part of it out, take the management part of it out. It’s managing ourselves and in our own world, how do we make ourselves you know, you know, back to Dr. Buck, and I recently read and reviewed the remote Inc book, and you know, and that whole idea of being a business of one, and knowing how to manage oneself, is really, really important. And we need to think about how we structure our own world, give ourselves clarity, be able to give ourselves psychological safety, giving these other key components to be able to make ourselves put ourselves in an environment where we can, we can prosper as opposed to constantly being fearful of things and, you know, put upon in that sense, so all good stuff there. All right, our last story before we hit our first break,
Augusto Pinaud 23:31
well, T Mobile is giving customers a free year of Apple TV plus. So in case you wonder your data was compromised. That’s what it’s worth.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 23:43
Yeah, so so they’re giving you this free free service, because they have this data breach for about 45 to 50 million of its customers. And just a couple of points here that I’ve been learning over the past few past week or so of this coming out is that one, make sure that if they do communicate with you that you take the mitigation steps. Now, if they offer you life lock or McAfee or whatever it is, I wouldn’t be necessarily excited to give McAfee my information. Just just look up McAfee and who the owner. Well, the former, you know, CEO of McAfee is the McAfee he’s a nutjob. And so his company has got a very colored, you know, background, I really wouldn’t be, you know, inclined to give McAfee my information. That’s me personally. But you can do a couple of things that are really important one, you can lock your credit, as you know, with all three reporting agencies is now free because of federal law, at least the United States. So you can contact each of the three credit reporting agencies and lock your credit if then gives you a pin and you can unlock it temporarily. If you need to run credit for being able to get a credit card or buy a car, whatever you need. too, but you should generally have that locked in number two is because your IMEI number was leaked in that database. That means that I can sim jack you, meaning I can take that IMEI and I can go ahead and get your phone number transferred to another phone and just start utilizing your phone number. So things like SMS, you know, two factor authentication, I can circumvent those things. So you need to go to your T Mobile folks and say, Hey, T Mobile, I want you to lock my sim also, so that you can’t get sim jacking. So then you lock that IMEI number, so it can’t be transferred. If you need to do those two things. Well, technically four things, three credit reporting agencies and one call to T Mobile. And you can tell them to take their McAfee for two years, and, you know, throw it out the window. So but those are the things that if you are a t mobile user, you really need to make that happen in the United States if you were part of that compromised database. So all right, so we’ve covered now, the productivity articles from the blogosphere. And when we come back after the break, we will head into our productivity resources of the week, we’re going to talk about going back to school, we have the right person to be talking about that. We’re gonna do our featured story of the week. And then we’re going to wrap after I will do we’re going to do tech stories. Of course, we’ll do our tech stories first when we come back, but we’ve got a lot more in store for you after the break. And so we will see you then,
Sponsor Voice Over 26:26
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 27:36
Welcome back everybody to Anything But Idle. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith, joined here by Augusto Pinaud. And our special guest, Dr. Frank Buck. And we are going to go into our technology headlines of the week. And just to run us through the agenda again, for the second half of the show, we’re gonna do headlines from the big and small tech companies. We’ll do productivity resources of the week, we’ll then do new tools, we’ll have a quick conversation around this week’s theme, which is back to school, we’ll cover our featured story of the week, and then we will do announcements and close out. So with that, okay, so what is our first technology headline
Augusto Pinaud 28:12
this week. So zoom allows you now to raise your hand and it will recognize that your hand is on it will mark as you are raising your hand. Same thing with the thumbs up. That is really cool. But more cool is the fact that they were even giving you the chance to separate configure what you want to come up or not you want to activate both features or none.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:36
Yeah, that is fantastic. I know that you and I have tested it out. And it’s fantastic to be able to see, you know, you raised your hand on the iPad, and it triggers the raised hand. And and then of course, turning off the thumbs up icon, which for the most part is not really the most useful feature, if you don’t use it a lot. Good bear. Next up, we have Trello has introduced new plans, as well as more features for more people. So in essence, Trello recently announced that they have kind of removed revised their plans. And so those folks who are in a free plan are in essence getting more things. So they’re getting more power ups. Basically they’re getting unlimited use of power ups, even though some of those power ups are premium power ups, you are also getting access to more of the the numbers of automations that you can run utilizing Butler when you upgrade to what’s now called the standard plan. And so the new standard tier basically gives you the it’s unlimited boards, you get the advanced checklists function. So that means you can like add, assign, assign parties things you can add a due date to your checklist items. You do a lot within those checklists, list items which are really really powerful. You’re getting custom custom fields inside of your Trello cards, and you can do up to 1000 automations commands per month, which is also really phenomenal. And so you know, have the standard plan that then gets, you know, becomes kind of the baseline above free, you then get premium and then you get enterprise. And so there’s kind of some removing around have plans for folks. And it’s a nice price point, I think you’re talking five bucks a month or something like that. So it makes it pretty inexpensive. And they have also increased the the, the automation for free tiers, as I said, save unlimited number of Power Apps now. So you’re not limited to those three. And so you can use both free and premium power ups. Of course, you may have to pay for those premium power ups for those services, but they’re all available to you in the system. And so if you don’t know, Butler, if you don’t know Trello, certainly worth checking out and seeing whether or not it can be something that’s useful to you, in terms of, I would say it’s a little bit more low code automation than no code. But they’re they’re really pushing to make themselves themselves a viable alternative to slack and Monday, COMM And workday and not workday. What’s the other one, but several of those other project management platforms that are out there. Already know what’s next.
Augusto Pinaud 31:19
Okay, the next one is Google task is now adding more things. And we’ve covered all tack. So now you can do.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:30
Abs, tab, thank
Augusto Pinaud 31:32
you very much the word tabs is escaping me today, you can do tabs, that is great, because that means you can now sort of things much better than what you could before. But also you can star them. So that way you keep them there. What I love that they come soon with is labels. So really, they can turn into a robust thing. But I think the taps with the stars, it is a fantastic step in the right direction. And I really hope from the people who begin with an invent the labels on the email that labels for the task are coming soon.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:07
Yeah, it makes it makes total sense. Storing just like you can star an email within Gmail, you can now start tasks, it creates its own tab, basically a star at the top of the list. This is still mobile only. So we’ll see this come to the desktop at some point. And and then we’ll see the tabs, I hope also come to the desktop at some point, hopefully with a desktop view because you know, tabs in that little tiny sliver on the side of your Google calendar or Gmail is not quite useful. So really looking forward to having them give more love to tasks. And there’s a reason for that now that we’re using Google rooms, and having those capabilities if you don’t know what Google rooms are. So it’s it’s the workspaces within Google workspace. So if you’re inside of Gmail, or inside of any other space within Google’s workspace spaces, you will see these rooms and they have their own embedded tasks and their own embedded components that you can collaborate with people on. And Google wants to make sure that you have parity to be able to make projects happen with others. And so that means Google tasks needs to be more robust. And so I’m really glad to see them giving it love. All right, next up,
Augusto Pinaud 33:13
well, Microsoft Teams will no longer see any updates for iOS 13 or older Microsoft to this session. I don’t know when recently, I 20. Point, I think it was that they were only going to keep updates for the last so activation and diversion prior. So in this case, iOS 15. And I was 14, and everything before that he was going to stop developing. So they’re new, they’re already announced that is going to be iOS 14, and 15, starting sometime in October, and teams will not get any more updates. Not only that, they are saying that if you keep it installed, you will be able to install it. But if not, you only install it for some reason, you will not be able to install the version back after you loosen. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 34:06
Alright, next up Google podcast.
Augusto Pinaud 34:09
Google podcast web app now is synchronized in your cue and listening progress across device. And I think that’s exciting. I don’t use Google podcast. I have an installed testing and stuff. But it’s not my, my main driver is not Google, but the fact that you can synchronize I think it’s really, really, really powerful. That’s one thing I love for our cast is I have them on two of the iPads and the phone. So regardless the device I get, I can listen little piece in here and a little piece in there and continue in the other one. So I think the fact that Google is doing that it’s really, really exciting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 34:53
Yeah, so I am a Google podcasts user. I have the apps on all of my devices. And now to be able to go to podcast stuff. google.com and pick up where I left off on a podcast episode on any one of my phones, or my tablet is fantastic. It’s just is a seamless, you know experience across them now and it’s it’s great that they’re bringing this level of parity to it. And hopefully they’ll make Google podcasts a pw a at some point. And then I can just pop out of the browser and have it as its own application for me to be able to use and drag around. They have YouTube Music doing as a pw a, why wouldn’t they have Google podcasts at some point have that same piece, as well as being able to download those files locally, because I might decide that I want to take my Chromebook and go off the grid, and listen to some podcast episodes while I’m you know, on a country, you know, road or something like that, where I’m not going to have service. And it would be really nice for them to be able to give give folks that capability, other podcast apps to do that. And so they should bring that as well to the system. So looking forward to them, giving more capabilities within the Google podcasts ecosystem. Google podcast has come a long way since it first launched. And I’m looking forward to seeing more and better as we go forward. All right, our last tech story is really interesting. So tell us what it’s all about a gousto.
Augusto Pinaud 36:11
So Canvas, and so CRM are now going to be working together and they are introducing cameras, the first CRM design studio. So it is really interesting that they are going to bring everything together and on being able to work the CRM and work that templates and work the design and they could
Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:40
pretty Yes, I don’t I don’t think that this is actually a partnership between Canva and and Zoho I think this is purely only Zoho. So right? Yeah. So what Zoho has done here is they’re giving you a WYSIWYG environment to be able to edit your CRM. So, so pretty, exactly what you see is what you get, or WYSIWYG is the is the term. And what they’re doing is they’ve actually really made it beautiful. They’ve made your CRM within Zoho, if you use Zoho CRM, like, like very, very granularly, capable of being controlled. So every element within the ecosystem can be controlled, you can put images and you can rotate things and, you know, expand them change fonts, change colors, shading, color coloring, and shadowing, like every little detail to be able to make it look the way you want to and you’re structured by teams. So say, for example, Frank, he’s in, you know, invoicing. So the invoicing folks want to see their CRM dashboard very differently than I am in sales, I’ll put you in sales consistency as a sales guy. So you go into sales, and you’re going to want to see it in completely different way than me, which is an operations, right, I’m gonna want to see it in some other dashboard. But we can now slice and dice the same data in different dashboards in completely branded terms that you couldn’t otherwise do before. And I think this is the first time we’re actually seeing a, a purpose built CRM, give us a, this kind of customization technology to the user. I mean, you know, all of the others, whether that’s Salesforce or other other tools out there, they give you some level of customization, but not this, this is really unique in the environment, because they’re giving you true, just design control over the environment. And I’m pretty, I’m pretty impressed with the product that I’ve seen so far. It’s not going to make me jump over to Zoho CRM. But I will say that if there are designers out there, or if there are people who are who are looking for a CRM, and they are already using some Zoho product to begin with, I think I would probably steer them toward it, if they really want to granular control over all of the features of their CRM. So that’s pretty good on in my spective.
Augusto Pinaud 38:56
Yeah, I think they did a really good job. I agree with you.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:59
Yeah, fantastic. So those are our technology headlines this week. And with that, that has over to productivity resources of the week. And of course, Google and I searched the interwebs all week long to bring you the stories that we bring you today. But of course, we come across many personal productivity tools, apps and services along that journey. So in personal productivity resources of the week, or productivity resources of the week, we each bring you one new or old, we think you might like and of course, we invite our guests to be able to share one of those as well. And so today’s productivity resources of the week are kind of within the, the education space, so to speak. And so let me pull them up here. And so my first one is I’ve got to find mine. Here it is. So mine is actually a tool called semantic scholar. And when I first saw this, I thought, yeah, I’m just like, Whatever. I’m not particularly going to use this tool. I just don’t I just don’t see myself using it as much. And then I started using it. And I was like, holy cow, this is amazing. So this is what it does. If you do any level of research into any set of studies, you know, scientific literature of any kind, you basically put a search in here. And so that, you know, when you sign in, when you create an account, you have to create an account with an education service of some kind, you know, like a.edu, or you can sign up with I think, Twitter. And for some reason, once you sign up with Twitter without any blockage, but for so but but if otherwise, you need to have a.edu, or some kind of school account. So I just signed up with Twitter, and it lets me in it lets me do what I need to do. But the point is, is that you know, so if I type in productivity, it will go ahead and do the search. And then what it does is using AI, it is summarizing the research of that particular item here in this section. So it’s not just lifting the abstract is actually going through the article and and doing this quick, natural language summary for me, and providing this level of information for whatever it is. So if I wanted to put something more, I said, Let’s go procrastination. And I put in misspell his name, I think but Dr. Kennedy official, I got it right. All right. So you can see here that it shows me articles about procrastination, and ones that of course, include Dr. petrol. And you can see here that each of these little abstracts are now summarizing, for me what I’m looking for. And so I can read through those, these little summaries. And then if I want to, I can jump over to the abstract and see whether or not I want them. I can also save them to my own library and then reference them later. You have lots of filtering options, you know, that PDF otherwise, that kind of thing. I found it to be incredibly helpful in just the short amount of time that I’ve been utilizing it. And so yeah, I can’t more highly recommend scholar just a really, really interesting Google app. Already gousto What is your productivity resource of the week, my
Augusto Pinaud 42:06
productivity resource is from the company 12,000 is called the hoverboard duo. And it’s basically you comes with both things to come with the base for the desk or a clip that you can put on the desk or any other surface and allows you to put a tablet and hanging the tablet that’s exactly what it is. So you can do the tablet. And now you can twist the tablet, keep it on landscape, keep it on horizontal vertical work into it is really solid. I have it in my desk, I like to have the things at different levels. So I use it. So I have the iPad and the other iPad is I had put you can put it in the kitchen and work with them. It is an incredible product. I have tried for that same solution, a couple of cheaper options. It’s not cheap, okay. And I finally said, Okay, I have to spend so much money, not getting the solution that I want. I went and bought it and I should have get that at the beginning. Good hardware makes an incredible difference. All the time.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 43:11
Yeah, this looks amazing. This, this actually solves a problem I currently have. And thank you for sharing this. This is exactly what I want.
Augusto Pinaud 43:20
Oh, you’re This is the build is incredible is solid, you can hit right on it. It is a really, really well done. As many of the products I have bought 12,000 products for many, many years. And honestly, all the products I have bought from them has been incredible.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 43:36
Yeah, that’s really, really great. Yeah, I’m looking for the clamp one because I want to be able to clamp the tablets on the monitor arm, you actually
Augusto Pinaud 43:45
bring both you bring both things in the same box. So you use the clamp, and then later on decide that you want the bait for whatever reason to just pull the base out of the box.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 43:55
Fantastic. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. All right, Frank, what is your productivity resource of the week?
Frank Buck, EdD 44:02
Okay, it’s called Hemingway editor. It’s not new. But I’m just amazed at how many people don’t know about this thing. How many teachers don’t know about this thing? And Gosh, where was this when I was a kid. You know, this improves your writing. You’ll find it at Hemingway. app.com. So in other words, Hemingway like the writer, that we all thought of in terms of his his aggressive strong writing style. He’s active verbs. He’s short sentences. So the idea is you just you just highlight and delete all the sample text that’s there. And you just paste your own. And you see the colors over at the side. Anything that it thinks is hard to read. It turns yellow, very hard to read the the pink, it how much passive voice it’ll how it excessive use of adverbs. So, you, before I send an important email, before I send a newspaper article, before I publish a blog post, I take the text and run it through here. Now check your ego at the door, because it’s gonna color this thing up like you wouldn’t believe. Normally for me, it colors these signatures and says, These are very hard to read. And I look at it I go, you know, what, if I broke that sucker up into two sentences, or maybe even three sentences? Well, one, the color goes away. And secondly, I go, gosh, that’s a whole lot clearer. It improves your writing. And now it’s we’re talking about education. Just think about in the education arena, how many times as a student did we turn in our essay? And then maybe we got that essay back a week later, all marked up? How much value would it have been, if, as we were composing it, we were getting this kind of feedback in real time, where we could great ourselves, and we could turn in something was so much better. And the teacher didn’t have to go through with the red pen and correct all this stuff. So every student in the world needs to know about Hemingway, app.com, and every teacher in the world needs to know about this.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 46:29
And some really interesting components that I’ve learned about Hemingway app over time is that there’s a desktop application. And it’s a one time fee, and it works offline. So it’s just really brilliant. Because you don’t need to have internet access after you install the desktop version of this. And you just pay that one time fee. So you’re definitely worth thinking about if you if you want to be able to utilize them, say in a, you know, in an environment where you don’t want to be accessing or sending your information to the cloud, right? Because then right, yeah, locally. So yeah, I don’t want anybody to know about your secret novel.
Frank Buck, EdD 47:08
Right? Yeah, of course. And the web app is free. And then over at the side in the sidebar, it even tells you the reading level that, you know, this was on a sixth grade grade reading level or a fourth grade reading level. And a word count in there. So just amazing. Music. Yeah, done, save. So copy and paste that sucker somewhere else. If you got something in there, that’s important, because it will not save your work.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 47:36
Augusto Pinaud 47:38
Did you make me laugh as a red pen? My, obviously my kid is going back to school. And she was asking this, we can know we need to get color pens? No, we don’t. Yes, we need to because the teacher likes. She likes that. She makes all these marks in with a red pen. And then she want us to use different colors to identify this. So I don’t know if I got sold snake oil. But I bought the markers.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 48:04
So as we go out back to school, we have kids going back to school, and we are in this environment. Dr. Bock, what are some tips that you might have for folks who are dealing with children going back potentially hybrid for some amount of time? Before at least we see more and more. You know, quarantines and lockdowns and so on so forth, as as COVID, you know, continues to ramp up. Some kids are going back remote. And and I live in a, you know, an area where a lot of colleges and universities and so I see all the kids moving in and back to school and so on so forth. What are some thoughts you have for you know, some advice you have for folks going back to school,
Frank Buck, EdD 48:47
I’ll share something that the professor told me as, as our cohort was beginning our doctoral journey. He said he should go down this road, get very comfortable with ambiguity. And as a person that for whom ambiguity is the enemy, I want everything very clear, very black and white. What am I going to do tomorrow what we’re going to do the next day, lining up for me. That was a hard pill to swallow. But there was a lot of truth in it. And as kids are going back to school where we don’t, we don’t know what COVID is gonna be two weeks from now, three months from now. We thought it was gonna be behind us. And it’s not get very comfortable with ambiguity. Nobody’s got all the answers you teach. He doesn’t have the answers. The principal doesn’t have the answers. The superintendent doesn’t have the all the answers. Because one of the answers you’re changing on a daily basis. There is so much emotion that’s happening now. It seems like every day there’s a school board meeting somewhere where adults are screaming at each other, the way that we try to teach our children not to treat each other so You know, we, we got to tone down the volume, we got to do a lot of listening. And we got to become that person that the teacher knows. And the principal knows that they can call, and they have a listening ear and somebody that’s not going to chew up and spit them out. There, I think this is a year where we’re going to be less concerned with standardized test scores. And we’re going to be more concerned with trying to get some normality. And I think the good thing that came out of last year, and the thing that’s going to continue into this year, is the reliance on technology and our kids getting better, and our parents getting better, and our teachers getting better with technology, schools that had maybe one classroom, one computer in the classroom, now have a device for every student. And whereas those that had a device before, well, that device stayed at school. Now we can’t take that device home, we might drop it and break it. Now the devices are going home. It’s just a point. It’s just like the textbook is just like the notebook. Because so often, the kids go home and the kids aren’t coming back for several weeks. So yeah, it’s gonna be an interesting year. And then I hope after that, we’re back to whatever we call normal. But it’s gonna be a very interesting road. So hang in there, get comfortable with ambiguity, because there’s gonna be a lot of it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:38
Now, I bet
Augusto Pinaud 51:39
you’re no, I love I love that advice. And then, actually, we were talking with the kids day priors, about flexibility and an ambiguity. And actually, the call was, was flexibility. But I think it’s going to bring back to the dinner. Do you guys remember we discuss a couple of days. Okay. Now, let me bring you another concept that Dr. Bach wrote today into the podcast because I agree with you i, i don’t think is going to be a one solution, I don’t think is going to be anything. When we have seen in other states, the kids are going to be coming and going, at least this school year, if not this one, and the next one. And the good news is, many of the teachers got a quick forced learning into use technology. And what I think this year will bring is okay, now they experience both extreme and what I mean with daddy’s extreme, Amina, only in the school teacher, and I’ve been only remote teacher. And I think now, I hope at least more teachers are going to embrace that technology, looking for somehow have a middle point and looking for really get more use of this technology for the benefit of the kids, or at least that’s what I hope.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 53:04
Yeah, something that I think comes to mind, just as it relates to all of this is that now that we are both working remotely, or working in a distributed environment, potentially even doing hybrid work right now, and maybe going back to a remote work environment, and students are going back to school and potentially also kind of yo yoing back and forth between being in person and being remote. we as parents and as adults around those kids. And I mean, you know, both, you know, young children up to high school age, and even secondary education students, post secondary education students, we need to be modeling good productivity skills for them, in light of the dynamism that we’re facing. And that is not just for them to be productive members of society. But I think also going back to Dr. bucks perspective on the emotions, right, these are heightened emotions, we are still losing, you know, almost 1000 people a day. I mean, like, people are dying. And some children are more sensitive to that than others, and are aware of it. And you know, that’s their Grandma, their Grandpa, maybe brother, sister, uncle, cousin, those kinds of things, where these impacts on them are indelible in some cases. And by showing them coping mechanisms that are both productive and healthy, I think can be very, very useful. And so modeling good behavior, this is not the time to spout off for the spouse, this is the time to, you know, show restraint, show compassion, be empathetic. And I think that’s going to work, especially, you know, we’re in a very tenuous political environment right now, you know, there’s lots of political discourse that’s unsavory and, and that kind of thing. And this is just a good time to like, check ourselves. And it’s a good time to be more productive, obviously, because we can look at our systems and prepare and plan for this. And so that’s kind of where my thoughts go is is modeling good behavior. So to Speak in this back to school environment. So thank you, Dr. Buck for your for your thoughts there. And with that, let’s move along to our featured story this week, which is that Microsoft is just killing darlings. So you want to talk to us about what’s going on over at Microsoft.
Augusto Pinaud 55:19
I’m going to try to be as objective as humanly can. So Microsoft is killing Office apps for Chromebooks. Basically, they’re getting their Android apps, and they are killing them on the idea that people go to their web versions of this instead of their application. I remember a time I may be that old, okay, where in order to write a document, you need Microsoft Word. Okay, that is not true anymore. And it’s no true work. Perfect. Okay. We’re perfect. Yeah, that’s true. Start it started. What do you what’s called a star?
Frank Buck, EdD 56:06
Yeah, flat. Claire is works. Yeah, yeah. Apple works, but
Augusto Pinaud 56:11
find out. But yeah, but it’s still people thought about Microsoft to or worked specifically to be able to do that. And Microsoft led that kingdom die. Okay. Interestingly, as we’re coming to back to school, this is the Chromebook for good or for bad. It is the computer of our generation. Okay. My kids use Chromebooks, their most of their friends have use a Chromebook have a Chromebook at school. That means they’re going to use the Chromebook between five, they’re going to go to high school, most likely in a Chromebook. So you’re talking about eight to nine years of using that operating system. Why don’t put the application in there. Instead, what you are leaving is the market wide open for my Google Docs. And actually, I think if you tell my kids who are 12 and eight, Hey, open word, they will look at me like What’s that? They know Google Docs, but they don’t know word. So it is a mystery for me why Microsoft do something like this. And I have been doing every effort not to get into my soapbox, but why you are going to kill sorry. You may like or not like Chromebooks, that’s beside the point you may like or not like iPads. that’s beside the point. And you may want people to use your Microsoft tablets. The reality is people will or will not. Okay, and the reality is for parents. Chromebooks is the solution. Okay, you can buy them for 80 bucks. Okay. Sorry, kids destroy things, at least mine. Okay. Find me a couple that doesn’t, please. So this is the reality. Not only that, for schools, this is a machine that makes sense. So why you don’t try to keep working? Good man. The last thing I have to say into this is yes, you want me to use up things on the web, that is great if I have a good connection that has been proved in the last 18 months that not everybody has. But to You’re giving me a watered down version of your Android platform. I’m not saying to the next stop, I’m saying it’s a watered down from the watered down. Okay. And that never works. So I don’t understand. I’ve never understood Microsoft strategy is good to say, okay, but I don’t understand the strategy here.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 58:53
So I am not an apologist for Microsoft in any way, shape, or form. But I will, I will play devil’s advocate here to potentially explain where they’re coming from, which is to say that they have a lot more data than we do in terms of what’s going on in their world. And they must have been paying attention to the number of Android installs on Chromebooks specifically, and decided that the install base was small enough. And they saw the usage of people using Chromebooks in and the chrome version of those Microsoft applications reach a threshold that it was like, you know, what parity feature is enough in the core features that are being utilized that we can drop the Android applications. That’s kind of where I’m seeing this is that they were just reading the numbers and said, We keep putting more energy into supporting Android applications on Chromebooks, which is a which is a form factor they don’t want to support and just decided we already have these pw A’s. I mean, I use the pw A’s every day for Outlook and other things for other projects I’m working on. So I’m running Microsoft products in a pw a basically a Chrome browser instance. tense. And outlook is no different for me, I mean, it works the same way I think outlook should work. And I’m not a power outlook user anymore. I used to be. But since I moved to Gmail, I really haven’t looked back. And and so all of the application pieces that I want word, Outlook, even SharePoint, they’re all working wonderfully within the browser. And so maybe Microsoft is seeing that and said, You know what, on the Chromebook, we’re just going to force people to use those and not force people, but give them that as their option for it, and see how they, how they move forward, especially with a movement toward windows 365. and wanting to make that ecosystem really browser focused, they’re really pushing that that arm that way, that’s my, that’s my devil’s advocate. thoughts on why they would make that choice.
Augusto Pinaud 1:00:51
So I just need to add a disclaimer in that that your trestle bar for in order to make the disclaimer, good enough, it’s really though,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:01:02
that’s true, right? Like, we’re not talking about power users, right? Like, if I’m, if I’m a power user, I’m going to have a, you know, high level, you know, device, I’m not going to necessarily have a Chromebook, I’m not gonna be running Chrome OS, and I’m probably VPN ng in or using some kind of VMware to remote into a full desktop experience, which means I already have Outlook or, you know, word or whatever on my, on my desktop that I’m remoting into. So for the student, for the person who’s really looking to have access to those features on a Chromebook, do I really need the Android application, which again, is feature limited comparative to the, to the web, to the pw a, we’re talking about an application actually has more features on the pw a than in the Android application ecosystem, as far as I’m aware, and someone can correct me if I’m wrong here. But I feel as though as they get the pw A’s better as they get the web implementations better, it will then become that much better and better. Now I can, I can drag and drop a file onto the windows, the Microsoft Outlook environment and attach a file couldn’t do that before. Can’t do that in Android. So we’re getting more features here because of Chrome, bringing that which chromium is bringing those to Microsoft Edge, you know, so like, we’re getting all of these benefits. And they’re, they’re converging to a point where I think Microsoft is saying, you know, what the browser is the new desktop, it’s the new operating system. So let’s support the new operating system, and Chrome OS, Android, Microsoft Windows, those are legacy things, let’s really focus on the browser being the operating system. That’s, that’s my thought here in terms of where they’re going with this. And we’ll see, we’ll see as they as they bring out windows 365. And it becomes a reality, as we see a closer perspective, when we get to Windows 11, where we’re going to see that near the end of the year, and what’s gonna happen with regard to new people, you know, who have the TPM chip, and those folks who decide to install non, you know, you know, outside of the cycle that that Windows, you know, Microsoft wants them to, then people buying new devices with Windows 11. All of those things are to be seen, especially as it relates to this windows 365, which I think is this very interesting outlier in the world. And right now, it’s built for enterprise maybe built for education and large install bases. And they don’t see the need to support Android on those Chrome devices, if every student is given a license to log into Windows in the browser, right? Like they don’t need those locally installed pieces. So they’re kind of they’re playing, you know, all of those pieces around. They’re trying to get around Google, right? They’re using Google as a surface. And so if they can get, you know, 3000 students in a school system to purchase and not purchase, but the school system to purchase licenses to Windows 365. They don’t care what operating system you’re using anymore. Because once you’re in the browser, you’re back in on Microsoft device. And I think that’s where they’re going with all of this. I really do. And they think that I think that they think that Windows 365 is, is the future for enterprise, the the future for government and the future of education. And that’s the way to get around the fact that Chromebooks are in everybody’s kid’s pockets and backpacks nowadays, right? They got to figure out a way to get around them. I think they think windows 365 is the avenue into it. And I’m willing to
Augusto Pinaud 1:04:31
bet on going to med Ivy, I’m going to let you be the devil’s advocate in this room.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:04:36
Alright, with that we have now covered all of the productivity and technology news this week. Dr. Frank Buck, thank you so much for joining us here on Anything But Idle. How can folks keep up to date with you and the work you are doing out there in the world?
Frank Buck, EdD 1:04:51
solely thanks, right. Come over to Frank Buck dot o RG. When you get there, get on my email list. Just to give you a couple of free gifts right off the bat, 15 years worth of blog posts there, check it out Frank Buck dot o RG. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, I’m at Dr. Frank Buck would love to have you follow me. And it’s been a pleasure being on the show guys.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:05:18
Fantastic. Always great to have you, Dr. Buck, and we will have you back in. You’re one of our contributors for our contributor segments, you’ll will you’ll be seeing and we’ll be seeing you in those episodes as well. So thanks so much for joining us today on Anything But Idle.
Augusto Pinaud 1:05:32
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:05:36
Already so. And then there were two, then there were two, we’ve done it again, another week. Another genius. Exactly, exactly. Well, thank you so much, really, for putting together the show each and every week. It’s really great to have you, you know, doing all the work behind the scenes to make it happen. Alright, everybody, if you are watching us live, feel free to click that thumbs up icon on the YouTube video that really does help the interwebs Google and the YouTube Gods know that we’re doing something that’s good, that’s worthwhile for other people. And so feel free to click the thumbs up icon, you can also subscribe to the YouTube channel. And that also does help us. And it will notify you of course when we go live in the future. But mostly it’s just sending them the good signals. You can also rate and review us if you’re listening to the podcast after the after the fact. So if you’re listening by the podcast, Hi, how’s it going, and feel free to go ahead and subscribe to the podcast reviews in the podcast app of your choice. And those are also beneficial. And if you have already done so thank you for doing that. If you are interested in seeing the show notes, the show notes actually include links to all the stories we covered today. They include the productivity resources of the week. And they also include some extra stories, ones that we can’t cover in the hour timeframe that we have here during the show. So you can you can check those out by going to Anything But Idle comm forward slash 077, which is the episode number. And so when you go to Anything But idle.com forward slash 077, you’ll find the show notes that will also include a text transcript, one that’s readable on page as well as one that’s downloadable in PDF, so you can download that offline. And if we missed a story that you know, once you’ve looked at the show notes, you see all the stories, you see all the links to the extra stories and we missed something and you want us to cover it on the show, feel free to send that along to us by clicking on the contact page right there on the website. You can also tweet or dm us on Twitter at Anything But Idle. And so you can find us at Anything But Idle on Twitter as well. And yeah, so we appreciate the feedback and the thoughts and the and the tips for stories as they come in for us to discuss. And so with that we really want to thank you for joining us today for Anything But Idle. And we will see you all next time on Anything But Idle. Here’s the productive life