I have been super busy trying to prepare for quarantine the last couple of weeks. I haven’t been writing much, I haven’t been on my social media, or engaging in my chatgroups as much as normal. I will be trying to change this behavior ASAP. I still have a lot of topics I would like to write about, and I’m working on those now, and I’m starting to interact more in other places. I hope you all stay safe in this challenging time.
For years I have hosted a group chat about Apple, apps, tech, homescreens etc. The group has changed names plenty of time, and has changed members quite a few times over the years as well.
It has also changed apps that we use a lot, probably more times then users would like.
We have tried them all, from flash in the pan like that yahoo messenger, to Twitter group DM chats, to skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, the other google chat app, Groupme, Signal, iMessage, you name it.
It really always boils down to two apps and two distinct sets of people who love each app and won’t use the other.
There are the Telegram users, Telegram is an amazing app, it does everything you want a chat app to do and more, the negatives for myself is connectivity, it has that problem a lot, and sometimes I think it’s going to suffer from bloat, because I don’t think it knows whether it wants to be a fun social chat app or a more business focused chat app. Looks wise it’s beautiful and functionally soild though. The users who use this app generally don’t like to use a different app.
Then there are the WhatsApp users, WhatsApp is a solid app, it is the most used chat app around, it is fully featured, the look is a little dated, but it’s rock solid and I have never had any connectivity issues. It’s very slow to implement new features, and it’s biggest turn off to people is that it’s owned by Facebook. Which admittedly can be a huge turn off to some people who don’t use Facebook or are worried about privacy issues.
I tried using a Twitter DM as a happy medium but so many people hate the stock twitter app and use a 3rd party Twitter app that that wasn’t a solution either.
It always essentially boils down to these two groups of people who prefer one app or the other. And then inevitably it gets stressful to me, because when people are just chatting in a group that I have worked hard to put together what no one sees is the DMs from people saying I wish we were in Telegram, I wish we were in WhatsApp, I wish we were in Slack, then I get in my own head and think, would we get more people here? Or would we get more people there and I get stressed out and I just shut down. I say fuck it, it’s not worth my mental stress worrying about all these people when I have other things in my life to worry about, why let something fun be stressful. So then I delete all the chats and vanish for a while, then wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a never ending cycle.
What I realized now, is that maybe I will end the group chats altogether, not right now but someday, and that I can’t make everyone happy. But I am going to pick an app to stick with and keep that group and for people who wanna join great, and for people who don’t I’ll see ya some other way. And if you DM me about wishing you were in another app or bashing the current app, I’m gonna delete ya, and unfriend ya, because it’s not worth my mental stress.
And if you are interested in joining our group, please hit me up on Twitter at @Jasonmendeloff and I can add you.
Over the years I have tried to use a number of health and fitness apps only to realize the things they were trying to get me to do I did already.
I have tried to keep Waterminder installed multiple times over the years, it’s an amazing app and top of its game for what it does but what I realized is I already drink a ton of water a day and when it reminded me I never acted on it I just swiped away the notification and then eventually deleted the app because I found it redundant.
I have tried many calorie tracking apps over the years Calory , My Fitnesspal, Lose It! , all with the same result, I would never remember to log my food and it was a tedious process, again, all great apps but I realized I meal prepped every week and I ate as healthy as I could so I didn’t really need that either, also as I am eliminating subscriptions that was another one I could remove.
I tried Zero which is an intermittent fasting app, again great design and very useful for a lot of people but what I found was that I ate at dinner every night and then didn’t eat again till breakfast every day, and it was consistent, so I didn’t really need an app to track that.
I tried Oak which is a meditation app, it’s great but for me I found 20 or 30 mins of yoga when I was feeling stressed worked out great for me.
I tried Zones which is an intensity tracking app, again, I got all the same data pretty much in workouts and sometimes I had issues with syncing, so I deleted that as well
I tried most of the heart tracking apps, some were good others not so much but I found that the heart rate app and the info in the health app was sufficient for me, I suffer from indigestion induced AFib so that’s an important one for me and When I am in AFIb I download Heartwatch but it hasn’t been updated in over a year so I don’t really keep it downloaded unless I’m in AFib.
I tried all the sleeping tracking apps as well and AutoSleep is by far the best IMO I have that downloaded and will keep it downloaded, I check and use it daily.
So for me I found that the less apps I have the easier my life is to manage, and that I kept apps around for no reason and didn’t really use them, and that I can manage a lot of health related things without relying on an app. Others are not that way, and these are all great apps and if they help you that’s fantastic but I’m finding I actually use less and less apps on a daily basis so I have been purging the ones that are non useful for me.
I used to think that it was a myth, people being ridiculous, until it happened to me.
That’s where I’m at right now, I’ll write more on my setup this weekend, but I have gotten rid of all my subscription apps, except one workout one I’m giving a shot for a month.
I don’t mind paying for a subscription that adds value to me but I have found that there are some great stock, free or one time purchase only apps out there that can do the same things as what I have been doing.
Now I’m not saying I’m against subscriptions, app developers need to make money as well, and I never mind supporting them, but it has just gotten overwhelming to check my bank statement and keep seeing I’m being charged for so many subscriptions a month.
I much prefer the one time purchase or even a lifetime sub option where I can pay once and done, I know those aren’t always practical for developers but they are practical for me.
I will be staying this way for the foreseeable future and I’ll write something longer this weekend about how and what apps I’m using and what I switched.
Here’s my latest homescreen, I have switched around a bunch of apps, I have switched around my processes and some of my workflows, added new apps and got rid of a bunch.
Sorry for the gap in writing, it has been a crazy month, I haven’t gone anywhere and I will be writing about all these things soon.
One of the many reasons I like Todoist as a task manager is the fact that I can add a shopping list project and be able to switch the Apple Watch views so I can just see that project and easily check items off one by one when I’m at the grocery store.
To change what your viewing in the Apple Watch just go into Todoist and then hard press and hold and it will say change view then you can pick any list to view, choose the shopping list, then all your items inside that project will be available to view.
Just simply leave the app open on the watch and every time you raise your hand the list will be available for you to check items right off, makes a trip to the grocery store a breeze.
So Fantastical is an app that I have used off and on for years, and today it got an amazing update, one that I have been begging the developers for years to get.
I’m not going to go over all the new features and stuff, there are plenty of blogs that have done that today.
What I am going to say is that is it a subscription based app now, A move they made because if they didn’t their business would not be sustainable. I bought the subscription right away, because it was worth it to me, with all the extra features it now becomes a whole productivity hub, especially now that it has such a tight integration with my task app todoist.
I have heard a lot of people complaining about them going to a subscription model, they still are giving users who already purchased the app a few updated features and all the features they already have for free, I think that’s very fair. for me it’s simple, pay for what you will use, for me it’s worth it for that app, some people pay a bunch of money for a weather subscription, or a tv channel subscription to watch a certain program, or maybe a music streaming service, I will use fantastical daily so it’s very much worth it to me for the subscription.