iPad Productivity Report — 3/27/17

Future iPad sizes make the decision of which to buy easier, maybe.

I want a to play a little what if, rumor speculation, this week — as it specifically relates to iPad Pros. If we make the assumption that at some point in the next year we will get two new iPad Pro models: one in the 10.5″ configuration, and another in 12.9″ — both with a reduction of bezels overall. The 10.5″ effectively is the 9.7″ model footprint, with smaller bezels to get the larger screen. The 12.9″ model is the same screen size, but reduction of the device footprint to be tighter to the screen edges.

Or, put another way: we get a smaller iPad with a bigger screen, and a smaller bigger screened iPad — though I am not sure that is any less confusing…

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Apple’s New Workflow

I see nothing but upside.

Matthew Panzarino:

Workflow the app is being acquired, along with the team of Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, Ayaka Nonaka and Nick Frey. In a somewhat uncommon move for Apple, the app will continue to be made available on the App Store and will be made free later today.

This was amazing, because it set off a lot of people last night. Workflow was also quickly updated by Apple to kill off a lot of Google based integrations. Most notably for Chrome and switching mapping to Apple Maps.

This was likely a legal move, as Marco Arment noted this morning on Twitter. Even so, the future is completely unknown to those outside of Apple right now. The app will either slowly die, be fully integrated into iOS, or live somewhere in the middle — gaining native integration, but with a more limited scope than before.

And either outcome is just fine.

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iPad Productivity Report — 3/20/17

Diving more into DEVONThink’s failures, and some Pinboard/Pinner issues.

Together with DEVONThink

When I started using DEVONThink I was very skeptical, and not all that enamored with the app out of the gate. I started using it to both track lists of things I would like to buy, as well as various research information which I might never use, but would like to have around.

The deal breaker with DEVONThink for me is the archaic syncing systems. I wanted a tool which would sync in the background, seamlessly, without me having to watch sync indicators before I could even use the app.

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GORUCK 10L Bullet Ruck (version 2) Review

Testing the latest version of one of the best small backpacks out there.

I’ve long been a huge 10L Bullet Ruck fan, as it is a fantastic backpack for the size. Well made, and sized to both be small, but not look stupidly small on a person’s back. This is such a hard balancing act that the Bullet Ruck is the only backpack I have found under 20L which can pull this off for me. That includes GORUCK’s own Echo too.

So, naturally I sold my version 1 Bullet Ruck.

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Adventure Core Nano Wallet

Tough love, I used to do it more.

I’ve been searching for a small tote to help me carrying some of the flashlights I’ve been testing as well as a pen, knife, and lockpicks (seemingly more and more handy for helping friends). I stumbled upon the Microkit from TripleSeven and wanted to get one, but they remain sold out.

So I snagged a Core Nano Adventure Wallet, which started as a Kickstarter project. The idea is a wallet for wallet things, but which can also carry EDC things like those listed above.

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iPad Productivity Report — 3/13/17

I really can’t let this topic of laptop style iPads go, also I am going to talk about that rumored iPad Pro.

It’s hard to escape the upcoming rumors about the possible new iPad Pros coming — but even harder to escape the nonsensical wishes of people better suited to using Macs instead.

Clamshell iPad Pros, Kickstands, Surface Pros, and Shit Like That

When I decided to go iPad Pro only back in November of 2015, I took a few beats to try the biggest iPad Pro competitor: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. If the iPad is a “big iPhone” then the Surface is a laptop with tablet-like features. Both are compromised products, but in massively different ways. One struggling to find its place on desktops, and the other struggling to find its place on couches.

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GORUCK GR1: Revisiting the Ultimate Backpack

After roughly 5 years, the GR1 still stands as the best backpack you can buy.

I’ve been saying for years now that the GORUCK GR1 is the best backpack you can buy. But is it still? After testing a lot of backpacks over the years, and continually buying new ones — both inexpensive and bank breaking — I have yet to find a better backpack than the GR1. This post isn’t another review, but rather a reflection of why the GR1 still holds its ground to this day.

It has admittedly been a while since the GR1 was an everyday bag for me, but it is still my go to bag when I travel — be it weekend or longer. I emptied my closet the other day and pulled out a dozen or so backpacks, and started giving them away to friends. The GR1 is honestly just too perfect and thus I don’t need these other packs.

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Finding a Flashlight Part Two: Everyday Carry

Is that a flashlight in your pocket?

Finding a flashlight which my life can depend on is a lot easier than this part: finding something to carry everyday everywhere. A robust, solid flashlight, is easier because size doesn’t matter — all that matters is that it always works and works well.

With an EDC light, there are a lot more factors:

  1. Size: it needs to fit on your person in a manner you are comfortable with.
  2. Longevity: assuming you use it a lot, you’ll want to be able to use it a lot.
  3. Features: you likely will want to vary the light output, among other things.

You also have to value appearance here, because it’s something you are going to be using a lot and you want it to not look dorky (for lack of a better word). I mean, it will, because you are the person with a flashlight, but still.

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iPad Productivity Report — 3/6/17

We tackle how you really don’t need complicated setups, and reaffirm my love for Ulysses.

Let’s get back to talking about iPad productivity for a change.

Applicable Producitivty

Denny Henke writing about his explorations into some of the more robust productivity options for iPad users:

But I spent the better part of two hours with Copied and just came away frustrated. It may be that it’s just not suited to the way I work or maybe I need to spend more time learning it. Or, just as likely, it may be that I don’t write the kind of content or perform the kinds of tasks that benefit from that kind of app.

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Finding a Flashlight Part One: My Life Depends on It

I have so many good light puns here, I just cannot possibly choose.

Flashlights, like my previous adventures with backpacks and pocket knives, are a deep rabbit hole. You can get some really good lighting for really cheap, or you can spend hundreds of dollars on one light. It is a nightmare for people, like me, who want to find the best in categories.

As with pocket knives, size and materials matter, but there are a few more factors with flashlights to consider. So before we move on, some ground work needs to be laid to get everyone on the same page:

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iPad Productivity Report — 2/27/17

Have you noticed iPad Pro coverage is getting a bit out of hand, and while we are shaking trees, let’s talk about DEVONThink again.

This update seems to have taken a bit negative stance on the overall reporting on iPad usage, as well as an app everyone loves to tell me they love. However, this is an article I label “real talk” because someone has to say it, and that typically means: me.

Let’s Not Get Carried Away

That was my mantra this past week — as there was no shortage of publishing related to the iPad Pro and productivity. Whether it was going crazy with clipboard management, or with speculation of future hardware — let’s just not get carried away. (Though you can’t do notes with the Pencil on a Mac.)

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Outlier S120 No Pocket Pivot

Lightning review of a merino button down.

In writing the Traveling Light guide, I wrote about the Wool & Prince merino wool dress shirts — and how much I like them. I still wear that shirt almost all the time, however I recently picked up Outlier’s S120 no pocket Pivot shirt, another all merino button down.

This shirt is quite a bit more money than the Wool & Prince shirts, but also quite different. The shirt itself has a slimmer, more tailored, cut which depending on your body shape might be a deal breaker. For me it fits my body near perfectly in XL.

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Brooks Review: Video

Hey, look at me.

One of the things I wanted to start doing when I relaunched the membership system was to mix in some video. It just so happened I didn’t know how I would do that.

I’ve finally decided on a format, which is post-review looks at products, first looks at products before I review them, and reader Q&A. In this post is one of my first videos, a post-review look at the Filson Original Briefcase. All videos going forward will be exclusive for members.

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iPad Productivity Report — 02/20/17

This week I cover the new iPad commercials, video conference solutions, and give a sneak peek at some video content I am working on.

A lot to cover this week…

iPad Commercials

Apple released four 16 second long commercials promoting the iPad (easiest viewed here on iMore, fair warning that I didn’t read anything written on the iMore site, so no clue what they say). These commercials are the best step Apple has taken since the iPad Pro was introduced, to position the device for consumers. The fact they hit back directly about the absurdities people toss towards the device is only icing on the cake.

Well done, Apple, and about fucking time. But I think the “general” take is wrong on this. Here’s how John Gruber expresses this take in one of his bullets:

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The Filson Original Briefcase

When you find that perfect bag, but it doesn’t check any boxes. This post will annoy you, if I had to guess.

A couple of months ago I picked up a Filson Original Briefcase in otter green — this is a classic briefcase which has been around seemingly forever (along with Filson). My goal was to find a bag which would carry my iPad and a few other things around town — something not a backpack and something not overly techy/tactical/modern.

I have tons of bags, but they are all of the same breed and almost entirely backpacks at this point. And while I like the Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase a lot, it didn’t feel right to me. Fantastic bag, but an ill fit for me and my personality on a daily basis.

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iPad Productivity Report — 2/13/17

It’s sad to see Instapaper die, but my goodness is a Workflow up to some magic.

I spent some time over the weekend paying out the nose for DEVONThink 2 Go, and getting that setup. This is one of those apps where it seems absolutely pointless until it just clicks. It has not, as of yet, clicked for me. I honestly have no clue where the benefit of this app lies, so if you use it please chime in for me. (I a, testing several ideas in it, but odd app.)

In the mean time, let’s talk about my Read Later service struggles and highlight some other apps I do know how to use.

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Building a Bug Out Bag

This is something only paranoid people have, this is something everyone should have.

I posted a link to an article which pokes a little fun at the bug out bag mentality, in doing so I knew I was going to get some questions — specifically whether or not I have a bug out bag. So, yes, of course I have a bug out bag — I’ve had one since 2012. Allow me to explain why I have one, why you should have one, and how to build one without having to read posts by people trying to survive a nuclear zombie apocalypse where everything is also flooded and people are generally trying to kill each other.

A tall order.

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iBooks Author — What Could Have Been

Artificially slowing the iPad’s pace.

Daniel Steinberg on passion behind teams at Apple:

iBooks Author could have been a trojan horse into the personal publishing business. It would have been classic Apple. Instead of small authors going to Amazon’s platform, they would have started with iBooks Author. Apple should have made it easy for them to push to Amazon as well. Why? Because these people wanted to publish on Amazon but they weren’t considering publishing with Apple. Thousands of authors would have come to Apple to create content and stayed with Apple after publishing content there.

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Yes, I switched to Todoist and I think it is really good but not earth shattering.

The first time I tried Todoist, I was enamored by one feature: the daily emails. I love those, as they are a great way to make sure I see my list for the day, at the top of the day when I can really do something about it. I quickly brushed Todoist aside for 2Do, as I didn’t trust the sync system and the unencrypted nature of Todoist.

Truthfully, in many ways 2Do is the better app. But when I found out Todoist was now encrypting sync data properly, I felt it warranted a full look. I switched everything over and found an app with less power, but which is actually more powerful for me.

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iPad Productivity Report — 02/05/17

The iPad needs continued third party developer love, and it has a little perception problem.

When I posted that old iPads don’t work well, I received a slew of feedback with people telling me how many people they know using an iPad 3 era device. I truly feel sorry for these people, even when that device was launched it was underpowered. My oldest daughter still uses that, and it’s a pile shit — you stand no chance of convincing me otherwise.

Reliance on Third Parties

One of the most overlooked advantages of the macOS platform is the lessened reliance on third party software. That’s not to say you don’t need third party software on macOS, but that you can do a lot of stuff in something as basic as Terminal. A Mac, straight out of the box has a lot more ability than any iOS device straight out of the box. Where the playing field starts to level is when you add in third party apps on iOS (and macOS for that matter).

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