Impressions: OmniOutliner 3 for iOS

How can you make OmniOutliner 3 for iOS a tool that is worth the money and time to learn.

Last week, Omni Group launched OmniOutlier 3 for iOS — something I have long been waiting for. I was on the public-ish beta of the product so I’ve had plenty of time to use it. I am also a diehard OmniOuliner user, as it was the first Mac app I fell in love with. The problem, though, is that with OmniOutliner 3 for iOS — I struggle to speak positively about it.

I thought about linking to it and letting that be that, no comment “hey new shiny” something of that ilk. I thought about writing a long and terrible post about where it misses the mark and how you probably shouldn’t buy it. Then I thought about writing a post about how it’s not really good, but it’s the best of a really poor app category so that by default makes it the best.

And that’s the thing, OmniOutliner on iOS is the best outlining app you can get — by a huge margin. But that doesn’t mean it’s a wonderful app to use — I mean it tries to ignore that iCloud Drive exists.

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  • Rising Early

    A quick aside about the culture of waking early to be the bestest person on Twitters.

    I really love ‘life hacking’ articles, specifically how they are based on sample sizes of one, often from people who have literally never tried anything else. (e.g. “I was born a vegan and that’s why I am amazing”, “Rich parents and how you can to”) And one of my favorite tropes is ‘rise early’. Why should you rise early? Because that person did it, started months ago actually, and shit has never been better? Is that really the object of desire? Are we so bad at being humans that the vast majority of people just don’t realize that all you need to do to make your wildest dreams come true, is to wake up before everyone else? But what happens when everyone starts waking up at 5am, then do I need to wake up at 4am? Why even sleep?

    Allow me to add my anecdotal evidence of one to the mix.

    Continue reading: Rising Early

  • Thoughts on New iPads

    Looking at how device orientation is going to be a bigger iPad problem to solve.

    Spring is the time of year when many are expecting new iPads to emerge from Apple — likely new revisions to the iPad Pro lineup. Last year we saw the introduction of a new size: the 10.5” iPad Pro, as well as other nice to have features. The big question this year, though, is what Apple might introduce because no matter what Apple does it has to solve a bigger problem: device orientation.

    Is the iPad a portrait, or landscape device? It’s clear with the iPhone: portrait. And with the Mac: landscape.

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  • Namisu X-01 Brass Pen

    Another brass pen which weighs a ton, but is it any good?

    When I last talked about pens, I talked about my Machine Era pen, which is brass and heavy. Today it’s about the Namisu X-01 in brass, which is amazingly heavier than the last.

    Continue reading: Namisu X-01 Brass Pen

  • The Indie Blogging Problem: Money

    Why money causes problems for indie blogs, and is also critical to their survival.

    I’ve been writing this site for long enough now that I’ve seen a few shifts in the blogging community itself. When I started writing here, people were starting to jump on the band wagon of blogging in force. I read a plethora of sites, all publishing nearly daily (like this one), written by people trying to make it. Trying to strike out full time with their writing in some way. And all of these sites had the same model: small advertisement from something like Carbon, The Deck, or Fusion and weekly RSS feed sponsorships. This is the ‘Daring Fireball Model’ of monetizing a blog. Hell, even some of them sold t-shirts every year, same as John Gruber.

    I used this model too. I made roughly between $400-600 a month from the small ad (I think $600 was the highest I ever got to on that) and charged from $250-$550 per week for RSS Sponsors (near the end I just started cranking up the price to see what the fuck would happen). It took me at least one full day per week to manage all of this. It took away from my writing and my focus. And then in 2012 it started becoming a race to the bottom, because while my site was still seeing large growth, the advertisers were unwilling to pay more, and in fact wanted to pay me less for the same.

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  • First Impressions: Triple Aught Design’s Context Organizer

    Figuring out what is what with a new organizer for my backpacks I love so much.

    When Triple Aught Design previewed the Context Organizer on Instagram, I was sold on the fact that I needed to try it. The Context Organizer is part Admin Organizer (a term for those military inspired, MOLLE laden, pouches you see strapped to bags) and part DOPP Kit. What appealed to me was a few things:

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  • My EDC Setups

    Looking at my EDC setups, what I carry in my four kits, and what I’m still working on.

    I’ve recently had a good reason to pull out the EDC setups I keep (which turns out to be four) and go through them. I’ve long been a person who wanted to have each bag ready to go, so I didn’t need to think about adding the basics to them. However, the issue with that is that it can be quite expensive to duplicate all your gear, which means that some of the bags end up with items in them that I don’t like as much as the others.

    Continue reading: My EDC Setups

  • RUCKPLATE Mod (video)

    Quick video on a modification to my RUCKPLATE for the Rucker 1.0. You must be a member to view this content.

    Quick video on a modification to my RUCKPLATE for the Rucker 1.0.

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  • GORUCK GR1 21L v 26L

    Ok, so which GR1 should you get, the 26L or the 21L?

    I’ve written far too many words about the 26L GR1, or GR1s in general, so this likely is the last for quite some time. Since I’ve now reviewed and spent time with the 21L GR1, I thought a direct comparison between the two was in order.

    Let’s dive into these two bags…

    Continue reading: GORUCK GR1 21L v 26L

  • Smartphones, Sanity, Health, and Stuff

    Taking a deeper look into whether or not smartphones are actually bad for you.

    I’ve read no fewer than a dozen articles in the past two months (example, another, another, another, yep, another, and another), all on a very similar topic: smartphones are addicting, they are the new smoking, and this is a serious health problem which needs to be addressed. It’s very hard to decouple a few items which I keep seeing, and keep in mind that I know next to nothing about the science and psychology of all of this — but it doesn’t seem the other writers do either, so yeah.

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  • GORUCK 21L GR1

    Taking the smaller GR1 for a spin, and damn it’s still a perfect bag.

    As you know, I am a huge GORUCK nerd, and for a while now I’ve repeatedly told anyone who would listen “buy a GR1” (if and when they needed a backpack — hell even when they didn’t need one). It’s the best backpack money can buy. But there are two variants: 26L and 21L. For a very long time GORUCK gave simple guidance about this: under 6 feet tall, get the 21L, 6 feet tall, or taller: get the 26L. I stayed with that advice as well, but the truth is far more complicated, and now GORUCK themselves seems to be downplaying that advice a little more lately, adding in that sometimes you want more or less space. At the bottom of the description they currently state: “When in doubt, go with the 21L.”

    Continue reading: GORUCK 21L GR1

  • iPadding: Kids Edition

    An iPad case for kids, and some games that my kids have been playing non-stop.

    Two things of note about my kids’ iPad setups…

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  • Filson Tablet Briefcase

    A smaller version of my beloved Filson Briefcase.

    When I first bought my beloved Filson Original Briefcase, I was torn between getting that and the newer, Tablet Briefcase which Filson had on offer. (I shall now note, that the Tablet briefcase, as of right now, is no longer available from Filson. You can however find it from some third party retailers for great prices.) I ended up the with Original, because I wanted an original. When I saw these Tablet briefcases on steep discounts at the end of 2017, I picked one up as well.

    Continue reading: Filson Tablet Briefcase

  • iPad Productivity Report — A New Stand

    Modifying a new stand to stop the shake.

    For over a year now my go to iPad stand has been the Yohann stands (reviewed here). They are beautful, and functional. There’s only one flaw with them: they sit the iPad screen very low. On a daily basis when typing this hasn’t been and issue for me as the screens are high enough that I am in no physical pain using them.

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  • Social Media, and Me

    Approaching a new relationship with social media in 2018.

    A few nights ago, I posted on (which cross posts to Twitter like magic) the following:

    Taking a break from Twitter for 2018 and such. is much more sane.

    I had not given it any more thought than that one post. There was no master plan, other than the specific choice of saying “break” instead of something more dramatic like “deleting”. After I posted that, I went ahead and removed the Twitter apps on my iPhone and iPad Pro 10.5 — but not on my 12.9”. The only reason I keep that copy on that iPad is because there are a few people who regularly DM me, and I’d like not to cut them out of my life.

    Continue reading: Social Media, and Me

  • GORUCK GR1 26L v 34L GR2

    I forgot I said the 34L GR2 was the bag to buy, so allow me to correct this confusion.

    I’ve now had the 34L GR2 for some time, and I’ve taken it all over with me. One thing which is common knowledge about the 34L GR2 is that it is essentially (though slightly taller) a GR1 26L with an extra compartment added on — making it deeper.

    Continue reading: GORUCK GR1 26L v 34L GR2