Microsoft’s pen-first notetaking app Journal and the Productivity News This Week
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In this Cast | Microsoft’s pen-first notetaking app Journal
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:02
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 0:15
And I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:16
And we’re hosts for Anything But Idle. This is episode 103103. For April 11 2022, Microsoft journal graduates from garage will tell you all about that. Each week, we review and discuss the productivity and technology news headlines of the week. And we usually start that off with with the personal productivity articles and podcasts that are, you know, in the blogosphere and audio sphere each week. And then after the break, we come back and we talk about the technology articles, and our featured story of the week and we share some resources of the week. And so with that, let’s kick it off with our productivity articles this week at Gousto. What’s our first article?
Augusto Pinaud 0:59
So the first article is an article from a Jay and is referring to another word, Wall Street Journal article that is talking about people regress, returning to landlines to Ethernet cables, you know, to going back and to stop using wireless technology because all the diminish of that and how they are not reliable and Bluetooth is not reliable, and how we are going back to 20 years ago to make the internet great again as extremist as the sound, and it is, I think is really a symptom of the overwhelm of people who have what people are seeing, you know, yes, you know what, when we connect it so that when I cannot grab this computer, and be connected to email and problems, or anywhere I go, let me put, you know, landline so that way I can go and take away a walk and be disconnected. And the reality is no, what you need is not to stop using the technology is to learn how to limit the use that you do on that device. And, you know, I, I have multiple devices. And part of the reason I have multiple devices is exactly what this article describes, except I don’t want an Ethernet cable. I don’t want I don’t want to go again, again, to go and plug the cable in here and go put it through the window. So I can see it in the backyard with death or net cable as I may or may have not done many years ago, I love the fact that I can grab my iPad, and I have data. But what is happening is we have seen especially in the productivity people, because we tend to be sometimes more tech savvy, that we do all our devices to be fully capable. And then we never disconnect. So we want our Kindle to connect to the news and beep when the things happen on our phone to receive everything and so far, so on. Well, the solution to something like this is simple. Start limiting your devices consciously. I have talked many times about how my cell phone do not get email, I don’t use email on my phone, you know, I carry the iPad with me nine, the 9% of the time. So if I’m going to review, I will pull my iPad out but I will not do it on the phone. And that is a way to return to that fight. I don’t want to look emails and I just want to move to the couch and the iPad to stay behind. There is no email, no notification, no beeping, your email will never reach me. So without going to the extreme and I think the extreme is worth to recover. I think this is a cry for begin understanding better. What we do. The problem is we went from on capable devices to extremely capable devices and we never noticed that we were having the fun to allow every device to do everything they possibly could.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:19
Yeah, I agree with a lot of what you said here. This article just screams for me the privilege that we all have and should be grateful for. I think, you know we we get so wrapped around the axle when we think about what is lacking in the technology when you know snapped back 20 or 30 years ago and just think about the remarkable progress we’ve made in that timeframe. And the other side to this is you know it’s a it’s a it’s an issue of satisficing right you do the best you can with what you have when you have it and to complain to me about what it is you cannot do. We all the time is not helping you move forward. So, you know, my, my whole goal is to like find out what it is you can do right now with the assets you have, right the time, the energy, the resources you are given in a given moment. And here and now what can you do. And the last thing I particularly think about when that comes to mind is all of the things I can complain about in writing on the interwebs. This is not part of my, my ethos. But you know, like, I think that the, the interesting thing here is that, we know that technology will continue to get better, and the hope that say, air pods, and you know, Bluetooth, or even Wi Fi six, you know, and all of these other standards that we think of in the world as being great, talking about the connected versus wireless world as being the defining line between what is good, and what is bad about technology is an edge. Like that’s a real edge. I, if I were if I were so inclined to complain, which, you know, I’m not above I’m not, I’m not casting judgment, without taking that judgment myself, I’m still aware of the fact that I would complain about battery technology way before I complained about wireless technology. And so I think I think this just kind of misses the mark for me only because I just, I just don’t feel the same about it. And you know, me, I have lots of frustrations with many of the wireless technologies that I use in everyday life. But that that’s a, that’s a place of privilege for me to be like, you know, I frequently joke to myself, well, that’s a first of all problem, you know, it brings me back to reality, right, which is that there are a lot of reasons for me to be unhappy with technology. But all of those are far, far lower on the priority, you know, wrong than other things in my life. And I need to be grateful for this moment, you know, this very precious moment I have of life, and putting my attention and focus on the right things. All right. Moving on to our next story.
Augusto Pinaud 7:17
So their next article from fatuous things, and it’s how managers can use time tracking to improve their team productivity. And these are articles that for me are always I don’t, you know, how about trust? Okay, and then you don’t need to track this. I’m, and I’m not against tracking data, I track a lot of data about me. But do I want to my employer to track all that data about me, just to have the data, because the problem is how you’re going to use the data as the manager and, and how you’re going to use that data to measure against your measure system and how things work. You know, and I remember where I read, you know, when they talk about intrapreneurs, and small business owners, and they said, The problem is, it’s crazy to spec that your employee, as a small business owner, as an intrapreneur aren’t going to want to want to work the same as you are, is going to suspect that they’re going to work the same as you and to a certain extent as managers is the same. You know, it’s what is your expectation? And what do you expect people to work? What is what is all that and that is important to figure it out? And do you want to measure because you want to identify process, the articles go, you want to find out what are your employees productive hours or you want to do it? For other reasons. I think measurement is great, as the article mentioned, you know, find a productive hours uncover areas of improvements, avoid born out, you know, allow flexible schedules. Okay, the question is, where else are you want to use that data? And that is where I start putting my brakes. They mentioned time, Doctor. Yeah, Time Doctor is great Rescue Time. But rescue me is a fantastic one to, again, how you’re going to use this data, as an employer is where my big red flag comes out.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 9:29
I think there are different perspectives on this. And I myself am ambivalent about the different perspectives. On one side as an employer, I think about the reality that if I have someone who is a salaried employee, I don’t particularly care how they spend their time, and I just care about their results. I do care about how they spend their time, though, toward running themselves into the ground, which is why this article actually appealed to me in some sense, because products like Microsoft Viva and Uh, even the I forget the name of the product, we talked about some time ago that connects to Google workspace that does the same kind of thing that Viva does. And I’m probably conflating some of the details there. But I’m pretty sure it was something that basically analyzed how people utilize Google workspace and gave the enterprise information back in that sense. And to some extent, you know, Google calendars, insights, time insights, gives you some of that information, how are you spending time that’s on the individual level, and I know that in Microsoft Viva on the enterprise level, you can see some of that data as a manager, or as an organizational administrator. And to that sense, I can appreciate the notion of wanting to make sure you’re caring for your employees in that sense. Now, if we set that down to hourly workers, and contract workers who are working either on project or hourly, you know, Project fee or hourly basis, that’s when I’m a little bit more concerned about this concept of tracking, because you actually are concerned about whether or not they are doing work in the appropriate amount of time in order to get to the same results. And so I’m of two minds there, and I’m not quite sure there’s a an immediate, you know, litmus, that you can say, this is the litmus test, if you reach the standard, then that’s okay. Across the board, I think every company every role, you know, and really, every manager needs to make a choice, as it relates to whether or not this is going to help or hurt the trust between the manager, employer and the employee or direct report, and also whether or not it’s going to actually help increase their productivity, because it may just inevitably backfire, and cause them to be less productive, there can be enough of a breaking of that bond, and more of a feeling of pressure to track time that will cause them those issues. And I know that time and time again, you know, one of the first things I asked business owners who become my clients to do is to start tracking their time. And the reality is, is it takes a lot of effort for them to overcome this point, if they’re not already regularly, used to tracking their own time for billable purposes. So there’s just a reality that we both need to kind of think about the relationship. And also think about whether this information is actually useful to that individual. And I think that for some people, it really is the moment they start to look at, oh, this is how I’m using my time. And now I can use it better. While that becomes useful to them. But if they don’t have that growth mindset, you know, Allah, Carol Dweck and her research on a growth mindset, I think that people will tend to regress shutdown and potentially perform worse, at least in the short term. I’m not sure about how in the long term, but it’s certainly something that’s interesting to kind of muddle over as you make your way through some of these decisions. All right, Laura Ernst.
Augusto Pinaud 12:59
So our next article is from Laura, and just talking about, let’s clean out the mental clutter. And it was interesting, you know, clutter distillation, removing the mental clutter, Kate, write everything down, take a realistic look, time block, to get out of their perch, get some rest get on stock. And so I was reading this, and we were talking recently about the change that is coming, that you know, we were normal live, then we went to live in this isolation of the cupboard. And now we are seems to be going back into the office. But in a different way, we’re not going back to what we did in 19 2019, we are going back into this hybrid model. And it is overwhelming for a lot of people to now being what was called many years ago, a road warrior, you know, where you work, some days in here, some days in there, you get to this office, and you don’t have a space in many cases. So you work in this place or that place. And that is pretty close to where a road warrior was so or is. So there is a lot that is going to come that it’s going to the pupils going to need help to remove and all those things that are going to come and this article make a good list of some of them.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:22
Yeah, so I will say that we are not yet out of the pandemic, there are still a long way to go. And and there’s there’s it’s a different kind it’s it’s reached a new stage right where it’s a little bit different, but we are still in it. For example, here in United States for those of you who are in the States, the city of Philadelphia is going to go back to indoor mask mandates as we see the increase in COVID 19 cases rise. And so you know that’s right in a gastos backyard. So you know, and while I’m a couple 300 miles or so west of that, you know, it’s not it’s not over yet and I think that this by itself is a reason why what Laura’s talking about here in terms of kind of protecting our, our, our focus, protecting our mental safe space, which is our ability to concentrate is our area of kind of control, where we are able to actually spend productive time throughout the day, on the things that mean something to us, I think that it’s really important for us to, to do what we can environmentally, to make sure that that works for us. So it really, for me, it really resonated because of that fact that, you know, this is a time when I feel there is a great deal of anxiety, there is, you know, frustration and all kinds of things going on in both political theater, but also in the global health, you know, because we are all dealing with this together in a way. And so, you know, I can only say Go Go hug your spouse, your child, your friends and neighbors, and masked or otherwise, if you need to. But like, you know, this is a time to really re embrace people and figure out how to make sure that you’re staying well mentally, because we’re just we’re in for the long haul. And it’s going to be not as easy as we think it’s going to be. And so I’ve just reading through the kind of quick checklist of items really did make sense to me and made me want to make sure that I was taking care of those pieces for myself as well. And more from an environmental perspective, like my I want to make sure my environments are set up for mental decluttering, which is not allowing visual auditory distractions to bring me away from the work that I’m focused on at any given moment. All right, so with that, we have reached the end of our stories for the productivity articles this week. And so with that, we’re gonna take a quick break just a minute for a word from our sponsor this week, and then we’ll be back for our technology articles. After the break, we’ll see you then,
Sponsor Voice Over 17:01
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 18:11
Welcome back everybody to Anything But Idle. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith joined with Gousto pinout for the second half of the show. And we’re going to move on now to our tech stories. After that we’ll do our productivity resources of the week. And then we will click into our featured story the week and talking about Microsoft journal. So okay, so what is our first story this week for the
Augusto Pinaud 18:33
to do is is going to help you to do spring cleaning, apparently. And they add a new feature where before you could do your swipe and decide to do complete or reschedule a task. Now you will be able to do complete schedule or delete a task. So it will be really great, especially when you’re on the phone to be able to go and delete tasks. I don’t delete them. Or, you know, I made maybe that’s what I needed started deleting itself. And that may not be that I may need to reread this article and decide to start deleting stuff out of my system.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:16
Yeah, I think I think it’s great they, they fix some bugs, they did some really good stuff. But I like the idea of being able to do some, you know, quick actions, the swipe actions to be able to, you know, clean up the barnacle have tasks that have just been flowing from week to week to week and they’re not getting done while do they need to be done and that’s a really good way to kind of think about it.
Augusto Pinaud 19:41
All right article is about the Apple new subscription service for IT management. So they can manage everything on the iPad and they introduced it as limited better last year and now is available for any basically in As small business, so Apple is talking about any organization, who has fewer than 500 employees can now be included into this to be able to manage all those devices. You know, schools can do it similarly with the Apple school manager. But now this is going to be available for a small business, and I think is great.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 20:24
Yeah, this is fantastic. I mean, I’m really, really pleased to see something like this come along. And the pricing seems pretty reasonable, you’re talking three to seven bucks, or three to $13. That looks like per employee, per month. And there are so many small business owners that am I getting that right? There’s, there’s a little bit more complexity to the pricing, but either way, it
Augusto Pinaud 20:50
varies, but yeah, but the starting price is $3 per employee, and that will cover the device. And then 50 gigabytes of iCloud storage, you can go up to $13 for two turbines.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:01
Got it. Got it. So the $7 is for 200 gigabytes, $13 for the two terabytes. And then they have a Apple Care Plus for Business Essentials, which is additional for different device tiers. But this is this is great, because I know so many small business owners who are on Apple devices, maybe their solos, and they just need, they need someone to support them, and they don’t have that person. And it would just be really helpful to have them do that. And then you know, they have hired their first employee or second employee. And that’s as big as their business is ever going to be. It’s as big as it needs to be. And they just need to be able to shield the business with regard to you know, it and ICT support. And so I wish they would update their language so that they were saying ICT as opposed to just it now. But either way, I like the the the idea of having, you know, backup management and device management, and then of course, technical support. So people can do these kinds of things. I wonder how basic the basic onboarding and configuration is. And you know how basic the technical support is, because, you know, if you’re if you’re in the Apple Care Plus space, you should be getting pretty good support from Apple for those issues. And then if you’re on the business tier, I’m presuming that there is some kind of SLA that’s even better for you there as well. Yeah, this is I I’m just I’m I’m really, really pleased. And I I hope that more businesses become aware of this so that they are not taxing themselves and certainly not taxing employees because you know how this works, right? It’s like this, the the techie tech savviest person in the office becomes your ICT manager. I was once that person, you know, and it was like,
Augusto Pinaud 22:41
maybe that person many times,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:43
you know, and now you have double duty, right, you have to do your own job. And while it’s it’s fun and interesting to deal with the technology, it’s not what you’re there for. And so you end up having to do more than you’re getting paid for. And, and there’s some level of frustration there of people around you expecting you to train to support them. And to deal with though the, you know, 2am phone call when the servers go down. And you’re like, when since did that become my fault? Or my responsibility? And, and also I see a lot of people who they don’t know how to actually manage a server properly. And so when the servers do go down, they go down more often than they probably should, because you asked, you know, Belinda in accounting to take over the servers. Belinda’s job, and she didn’t go to school for, you know, ICT, you know, admin management. So like, you know, just some great extent, small business owners need to remember that and they need to have the appropriate inbuilt either MSPs managed service providers, and other ICT admin support. And I think this is another tool in the toolkit, especially if you’re an all Apple shop, I can imagine a lot of design firms, and a lot of studios that are just, you know, they’re using Apple as their their infrastructure. And now they could just depend upon Apple to manage that stuff for them. And Apple is going to do a good job with that. So
Augusto Pinaud 24:00
that I think is fantastic. So our next one is from Chrome, unbox it and you will be able to use Google meet directly into Docs and Sheets and Slides into for face to face editing. And, you know, I’m not a big fan of Google Doc. Okay, but I cannot deny that is the best collaboration platform that exist. No Apple, no Microsoft, no, nothing else can do this better. And the reality is that being able to add that face for that meeting for that document, in this remote work, it is something really, really fantastic that I’m really looking forward to.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:46
Yeah, I think this is going to be great. I mean, the ability to be able to have the document take focus and the meeting to be embedded within the document. Yeah, I’m currently working on a manuscript with a co author and now I feel Like, the ability to do that work now, inside of what is already a Google document just becomes that much easier. You know? And so, you know, why should we have to navigate around, having the meeting and then sharing the screen and all of those kinds of things, when in reality, what we really want to be doing is communicating around the document that we’re working on. And, you know, graphic designer with the slide deck for presentations, I just see so many different opportunities here to be able to make this work. And, you know, I think that Google meat has done a really good job here within Google workspace to make this, you know, practically speaking, practically workable. And so I did also want to note that for those of you who heard us last week, talking about the Google Calendar, public scheduling pages, those should now be live in all accounts. So they are now out of rapid release, and into general release. And so everybody shouldn’t be seeing those. And so I will let you know, as soon as I’ve had a chance to play around both with Google meat inside of the Google Documents, and also the Google Calendar, public pages, the public scheduling pages, I will let you know what my experience is, are with those two products, as we make our way forward.
Augusto Pinaud 26:14
Yeah, and you’re skipping the announcements. But since I’m sorry, let’s bring the announcement in, that that feature was available for most people today. So if you are into the plans that Google has established, it’s escaping me right now, which ones they are jus are able to look and start getting that page and start creating those things. I play a little bit with it today. And it is going to be really, really interesting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:41
Yeah, so you have to have Business Standard or higher. So Business Standard Business plus or higher. And that I think that’s that same thing applies across the board with regard to education, all the enterprise accounts get it and and then I think workspace, workspace essentials, something or other gets it, I think it’s not the base level plan, but it’s the one above that. So there’s a there’s a tier above that, that gets it, I believe, I might be wrong on that. But either way, you can’t get it at the business starter plan, you do need to be at at least Business Standard or business plus. And I just think, you know, if it replaces Calendly, or schedule once or one of these other tools that you’re using acuity scheduling, and just getting rid of one of those things, that’s a line item, you’re taking off the button, you know, the budget, and that becomes more profitable business. So why the heck not, you know, it may not actually satisfy your needs. So just be mindful of that, you know, it may not do exactly what you want it to do. So just be Be careful not to immediately cancel your subscription to the other tools, you do need to test it first and make sure that it works in the way that you want it to. But either way, very happy about the Google meet calls in Google Docs. And again, I’m hoping that they bring this beyond Docs, Sheets and Slides, I hope that they then start pulling this into other tools within the Google workspace ecosystem. So say, for example, I’m in Google Drive, and I’m working on a number of different documents within a shared drive or within a space. And now I can I can take that space, and have people in it. And we can be working on those things together in those ways. I’m not sure that’s where they’re going to go. But it would be awfully nice to be able to just do those kinds of meetings without having to worry about is my are my eyes on the camera, because I’m looking at the material that’s important to me, and so should everybody else. Alright, so we should be focused on the thing that is the work product, not focused on making eye contact with the camera that we’re trying to, you know, it’s just it’s a weird, it’s a weird feeling of working remotely in that way. And so I think this hopefully will help mold us in a better way toward more productivity focused work, as opposed to the interpersonal components of having to deal with that while you’re trying to get work done. Okay, on to our next story this week
Augusto Pinaud 28:59
or next is Google delays, again, when legacy G Suites will start getting built, initially was May 1, now they move it to July 1, and we will continue seeing what is going to happen and what that you know, if you’re going to start paying or the no costs will continue staying there.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:23
Yeah. So, so that people are aware, you used to be you had to make a choice as as as it related to a particular plan, you know, by May one now, you have to choose that plan by June one and billing will start July one. Now, at least in the Google I’ve had several G Suite legacy plans, you know, that I use for demo accounts and otherwise, and that’s fine, that they’re going to charge now. Totally cool with that. But when I went in, it allowed me to upgrade to I believe it was like either standard or plus and it had a pretty In good, like six month timeframe of discount, and then even I’m sorry, a free free tier. And then even after that it has a 50% discount for another, I’m guessing a year, another six months. So definitely go into your account and make sure you you go to the admin console, then go to billing, and click on the switch on the different plans to see what discounts Google is giving you for the upgrade from G Suite to Google workspace. And I would just really recommend that you go look at that now and get the discount because it’s going to potentially I don’t know, but potentially, it’s going to give you the same free time going forward. But then after July 1, and it’s probably going to, you know, cancel out those discounts and just start billing you. So you might as well get some free extra time out of this, you’re gonna have to choose a plan and put it in a credit card, and you’re going to pay after that discount period is over. But why the heck not take advantage of the you know, really the very nice benefit Google has been giving all of the folks who have been upgrading from G Suite legacy up to Google workspace. So I think that it’s just it’s, you know, I’m, I’m incredibly grateful to Google because you know, they’ve been saving me this money all this time using these these free demo accounts. But you know, now they want people to pay, which is legitimate, they’re down to they’re providing a service, they want to get paid for it. And but you know, if they’re gonna give you another six months or a year for free, go take advantage of it while it’s still available. That’s all I have to say about that. And it’s just a short delay. I mean, they’ve punted it by a month. So it’s not like you’re getting that much more time to make a choice, they’re just asking you to make a choice. So you need to go ahead and do that. And I know that they are going to give people a plan to basically off board of G Suite, on to a free plan of some kind, of course, you know, you’ll be then limited in the in what you can do, and you’ll probably lose domain, and so on and so forth. So just be mindful of that as you make your way forward. All right, good. So with that, that ends our our tech articles for the week. And that brings us along to productivity resources of the week, a Gousto. And I come across many personal productivity tools, apps and services, and our productivity journeys to put together Anything But Idle each week. And so in this segment productivity resources of the week, we each bring you one new or old, we think you might like and this week, I’m going to be talking about a tool called otaku. And I have been following and paying attention to this for quite some time. And I’m just recently got access to Okwu. And what oku is, is it helps you basically track what you’re reading, think of it as like a bookshelf. And it’s a semi social bookshelf. So you can organize your book, and your book highlights and collections of those book, collections of those books. And it’s all available on phone or tablet. And unfortunately, I couldn’t share my iPad screen to show you this today. But the idea here is that you have this app. And I wonder if I can show it to you. Let’s see if I can show it to you on screen here. I want to make a booster go away for a moment. So I can see if I can show this. But the idea here is that you have the app. And so you can see here I’ve created a personal productivity collection. And I have gone ahead and you know, put together a bunch of you know, my favorite productivity books and put them into this space. And so you can organize and collect them. And you can of course, you know, see what you’re reading, what you want to read and what you have read, and you know, setting goals, and so on and so forth. There is a free version to this. And it seems fairly reasonable the free version. After that, once you go beyond the free version, then you can upgrade to I think it’s about 57 bucks a month or $56 per year. And then you can become a supporter beyond premium and pay $130 per year. I’m not sure what the monthly rate is. But you know, that’s for someone who really really wants to who believes in his project and wants to support them. But otherwise, the premium service that gives you everything you need. Beyond the free stuff is the is the premium version, it’s seven bucks a month or $56 a year. And that gives you personal reading stats, you can save highlights from your books on the free version, you can’t save highlights. You can set a yearly reading goals, you can have a premium profile badge, access to a subscriber discord and all kinds of other fun little provisional changes as they go ahead and upgrade the platform. But it seems like a really interesting tool that if you just want something to manage your current reading oku may may work for you. And again, you’ve got to be in the Apple ecosystem. And this is why this probably won’t work for me. But if you’re all Apple and you want to just basically be able to manage what you’re doing. You might you might want to check out okay. Okay, you okay, you? Okay, good. So what’s your tool this week.
Augusto Pinaud 35:04
So thank you very much for giving me more more work. So, I have talked about good notes, many times here in Anything But Idle. And I have recommended as a tool, but the reason I’m bringing it back is one because our feature notice and our feature story, but second is because good notes just make a change recently, to go free. It wasn’t expensive to begin with, it was $8. Okay, but but now they decide to let more people test the app. So you can download it for free, you can have up to three notebooks with you know, without paying anything. And if you decide to the app is as good as they say it is and as good as I think it is, then paid eight bucks and go with that you will get among other things, unlimited notebooks, handwriting recognition, you know, being able to search, my handwriting is priceless, especially because it’s ugly. And I don’t know how they can recognize it. But they do the ability to import documents via email. So it is a really, really powerful application. And now they give you another excuse to test it, you can go download it and a half to three notebooks for free.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:21
Yeah, Gustavo is the one who turned me on to good notes. And I had been testing between notability and good notes. And I landed on good notes purely because I knew that if I ever had a question or anything else like that, I, I had had a good stick task. And I couldn’t be happier. I mean, everything that good notes does, and the way it does, it has been just really seamless for me, you know, I’ve not really had any, you no reason to think twice about the decision to go with good notes. So if you are looking for an iPad, or you know, iOS focused notetaking application, it just does such a brilliant job of being able to collect together those handwritten notes. It always works. I mean, it really is such a stable application, I never have a problem with it, you know, taking handwriting and drawing on it. And, and, you know, I, I’ve not, you know, I’m not a pen tester, but you know, what, I mean, or a QA tester, but I mean, like, you know, it’s been really, really used a lot and I haven’t had any hiccups with the with regard to the application. So, very, very pleased with it.
Augusto Pinaud 37:28
Yes, all right. I have not had many issues.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:31
No, not at all. And so with that, that brings us along to our featured story this week, which is Microsoft journal graduates from garage and what that means is you want explain it a Gousto
Augusto Pinaud 37:47
Well, I can So Microsoft is trying to do her first experience for Inc first experience was this app call journal to come cannot test it unless you have a Windows machine that can right that was my stop.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:12
So no worries.
Augusto Pinaud 38:16
So they are claiming that this is a different application. And this time is personal This is for you to journal for you to draw for you to have pages you know use your own tablet or two and one devices you can touch the scroll page you can drag and drop text you can integrate it obviously with your calendar for to take notes you can import and make up PDF images. And there is a subscription that is required with all this. And there were two things that came to my mind when I read about this one is why okay, why not fix OneNote Okay, and make it good. Good. Okay. Now let me get out of my box and then go to question number two is is that devices as the remarkable to under such really eating Microsoft lunch? Because that’s the only reason for me to think into this the way some of these things are explained and shown. It’s seems to talk to them the remarkable two and let me answer you why Microsoft journal will be better.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:41
So let’s clarify a couple of things here first, for folks who are and do have a Microsoft Surface or another like an Acer switch seven or wherever they are now nines I’m not sure where the Acer switches are now, but if you have a pen based Microsoft Windows system, you should be able to install the Microsoft journal application itself, the download is free. And it’s, it’s, if you want additional features connected, then you have to have a Microsoft 365 account, either work or school. And if I’m, if I’m mistaken, clarify for me Gousto. But that’s that was my understanding from from reading through the materials from Microsoft. So why do you need a subscription? Yeah, so I, I installed it on the Microsoft Surface Pro that I have at home, and, and was playing around with it this morning, perfectly fine application, everything seems, you know, in place, what I what I think is interesting about Microsoft journal, which came out of the Microsoft garage, which is, we’ve talked about Google’s area project or area 120, I forget what they call it now, area 120, right, where they have their various kind of working projects, Microsoft garages is the is the equivalent app at the Microsoft Enterprise. And so the idea is, is that it started as this kind of, you know, pet project, and it has now grown into something that they feel like could actually be a part of the 365 ecosystem. And that’s why they’re bringing it in. Now, this looks to me like a good notes notability type challenger on the surface line, as opposed to thinking about, say, for example, Apple notes, and good notes on the iPad, right? Like, very, very different applications. And at the same time, there is plenty of space for those applications to live and work together in the same ecosystem. And I think that’s what we’re dealing with here with regard to OneNote. And Microsoft journal, I can see a lot of people who are purely pen specific, they only want to write and draw, and they do not want to type their notes. And journal will satisfy that for them. And so I see that as being kind of the audience here. Is it my is it my most like my working operating perspective? Probably not. But I will say that if I were an all Samsung device shop, right, I have a Windows 11. Samsung, Tab S, you know, and that’s an Android device. But you know, like, what’s the there’s a touchscreen in that space, there’s some Lenovo Yoga books that are touchscreen as well. But if I were in the Samsung ecosystem, and I had a touchscreens, Samsung Galaxy, whatever, there’s a couple of them that are that are touchscreens. And I had across the ecosystem, all of my various devices with my S pen, and I was just doing my thing, I could see how this application would be a nice complement to that, if I didn’t want the baggage of OneNote. Right, because OneNote is a big application. It it’s not as intuitive in my my mind as it is for others. And that’s not to say that OneNote doesn’t work for people, I think it does. But I just feel like for my brain and how I think about it, the way in which they’ve just constructed OneNote is this a little bit different, that the way in which they’ve constructed Microsoft journal looks very simple, the user interface seems very simple, it seems very, very intuitive. It looks very much like good notes. And the way in which it operates in a little notebook, you have the ability to click on the notebook and then directly enter the pad and start writing. That just seems far more intuitive than I think OneNote is if you want to use OneNote, you need to be trained on OneNote. And then you can be unleashed on the product, right? It’s not the opposite, you jump into OneNote and start just putting things in there, it becomes a veritable nightmare very, very quickly, because you’re just not able to figure out where things are. And it’s a little bit different than say a more opinionated software like Evernote, which provides you a very clear structure, and you can’t deviate from that structure. Whereas with OneNote, it gives you a lot of flexibility to deviate from the structure. And that creates some problems for people in being able to capture data and then retrieve that data very easily. So I that’s that’s where my thoughts are with Microsoft journal. I don’t know if you have any additional kind of thoughts there.
Augusto Pinaud 44:03
No, I think I think they did certain things really well, you know, you will be able to select the text that you want, right and then converted into text again, they pick from a lot of the good note taking apps and they’re bringing it to this application. My we will see I am not convinced the why of this product, the why this product is needed in the Microsoft world. And really, if it’s going to be adopted, it will unless what they want is to try to improve all handwriting’s and everything else into OneNote that it’s awful. So why don’t make OneNote more pen friendly. But again, they I think the things they announced I have not been able to play with it. I don’t have sorry. If it’s anymore, and so I don’t, I don’t really have a machine to play with it. But what I read and it was able to read, they’re trying to give you that notebook capability with the surface or two in one that has touchscreen, I think that’s a move on the right direction. I don’t know, if it’s going to be adopted fast enough for Microsoft,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 45:25
I think they have plenty of time Microsoft is is going to is going to, you know, work this application and figure out what and where it is. It’s also a showcase of their artificial intelligence technologies. And so they they really focused in on on the AI that is baked into journal and how it was being utilized for being able to seamlessly detect what you’re trying to do with any particular object on screen with the pen, and then be able to do that thing, so that you don’t have to switch between tools in order for you to say, figure out that you’re trying to lasso a piece of text or an object and move it to another place on the page, the ability to collaborate with others. And I like the notion of them having, in essence, you have journals. So you know, Evernote has notebooks in the OneNote space you have what are they called? Like, their I forget what the the container? Are, they also I don’t remember, but then you have pages. And so journal also has pages. And so they have pages, and you have cards within journals. So think of it as the cards being elements, and the pages being canvases. And then you have the the journals themselves these individual journals. And so it’s a it’s an interesting flavor of, of thinking about notetaking in that way. And so I’m actually really curious, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with this. And whether or not they can bring this to a broad enough audience to have the data set to be able to see whether this is a useful productivity tool to and for the masses.
Augusto Pinaud 47:05
Where we’ll see. Yeah, no one no, this notebook is notebooks. And then it’s notes on sections.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 47:12
Or sections. Yeah, but that pages, right. So once
Augusto Pinaud 47:15
you do that you do sections, and then you do you add pages to the sections,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 47:20
right? It’s a very strange, like, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t rock in my head. I just like, it just consistently makes me confused whenever I think about it. And I spend a lot of time with clients in OneNote. So like, do not count yourself as being, you know, bad or wrong. When you can’t when it comes to OneNote. If you are hearing me just know that even those of us who spend a lot of time in OneNote are also just as confused. But you know, like, that’s the way that Microsoft has kind of deemed it and you know what it is? It’s because pages don’t have clear edges in my mind. And so therefore, it just doesn’t like it just AI just doesn’t work. I don’t know, it’s just one of those things. And I have nothing against one note, personally, it’s just the pages and subpages in the sections that just they just bleed together in my mind, and I don’t have that clear cut in terms of like, okay, this is this is the end of that thing.
Augusto Pinaud 48:12
OneNote is a piece of software that I particularly wanted to love. Okay for so many years, and it’s always disappointing.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 48:22
Yeah. What’s your gonna do? But all right, we have reached the end of our featured scan, we
Augusto Pinaud 48:29
have a couple of announcements. So the first one is so Chromebooks cameras are not working with the latest chrome update. Mine was one of those I the camera that we’re using right now is a Lenovo five, or Lenovo the word five. And suddenly I went to upgrade and die. And with before the article came out, I even tried to go back to this previous system. No, and I thought it was a hardware issue until I found the article that is or we found the article that is on the show notes. So as far as I know, they are the Acer Chromebook 14, HP Chromebook x 211. That Lenovo the word five Chromebook Lenovo 10 e Chromebook. Google pixelbook. Go. Google is ashamed that happened to you sorry, but I need to say Acer Chromebook has been 13. Those are the ones that are having the issue. At least for mine. That is the duet five that issue has been fixed. The update came in already and it’s fixed. I don’t know about the others to be honest.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 49:38
Yeah. And so that people are aware this the whole Chromebook doesn’t die. It’s just the camera stops on camera. Yeah, so the cameras stopped operating on them. And so you know, if you are in need of your Chromebook to have a camera, just know that you should be looking for an update. That is going to be a chrome 99 dot x. So it’s going to be a 99 dot x update and And so you’re all probably not even eligible yet for Chrome 100, you’re gonna have to wait for the chrome 102 rollout for Chrome OS for those devices. But one of those 99 dot x updates breaks it. But then the next one after that is what should hopefully fix it. And so just be mindful of the fact that you know, if your camera’s not working, it is likely not the hardware, it is likely the operating system or something related to the ARM based chip. So I think it uses Intel’s Celeron. The Acer the Acer uses an Intel Celeron but the others are all arm chipsets. So I’m not quite sure what the what the deal is there. But you know, there there is seemingly a, you know, a thread going through there, which something is going on with the relationship with the processor. And so it’s causing some problems there. All right.
Augusto Pinaud 50:49
Our last announcement is Apple officially announced that WWDC 2022. So I’m on June 6. And yes, I start getting excited and happy. From now on till then.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:04
Also, hopefully we’ll do a a special episode for that show. This one is going to be all online, this WWDC again, so they’re not they’re not bringing this in person back in person, at least this year. So we’ll be we’ll be watching and then reporting back to you. Once we see what Apple has to say at WWE DC 2022. All right, with that a Gousto. We have covered the productivity and related technology news this week. Thank you for putting together the show this every week, and making it all happen. All right, everybody on anything but idle.com, you’ll find our show notes. Those contain links to all the stories we discussed today, tools of the week, our productivity resources of the week, and also extra stories we aren’t able to cover during the time we have together. So because of that, you can go over to anything but idle.com This is episode 103. So it’s anything but idle.com forward slash 103. And that’s where you’ll find the show notes. We also have a text transcript that’s embedded in the page, just click that Read More link, or you will see a PDF download link below that on on the episode page. So after going to the show notes, and reviewing the show notes, if we miss something, please let us know you can leave a comment you can tweet at us. You can DM us at Anything But Idle on Twitter, you can use our contact form on anything but idle.com many, many ways in order to tell us if we miss something. Also, if you want to engage in dialogue and conversation about the episode, you can join personal productivity club and join our Anything But Idle channel in there. In essence, personal productivity club is the digital community for personal and productivity enthusiast. And there within the community. We have a specific group dedicated to Anything But Idle. So if you go to anything, but idle.com forward slash community, you’ll be immediately taken to the registration page to register and join the Anything But Idle channel there, you can comment on the posts, you can join us here during the live streams, and engage in the live streams. All of those fun things can be done by joining anything but idle.com forward slash community. All right. If this is your first time watching the live stream, feel free to click the subscribe button below the video. You can also thumbs it up. And that helps with YouTube and the algorithms and all kinds of other fun stuff. If you’re listening to the podcast, feel free to add us by either following or subscribing for free within your favorite podcast app. If you’ve enjoyed spending and are watching and listening to us today, feel free to leave a rating or review in Apple podcasts or whatever podcast app you’re using. And that really helps us It helps us both because we enjoy the compliments, but it also helps to grow our personal productivity listening community. And so thank you for doing that. With that. We will see you all next time on Anything But Idle here’s to your productive life. Thank you
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