Twitter still has its place. It’s a place for celebrities to promote their fame. It’s a place for normal people to pretend they are celebrities. And it’s a place for Twitter to sell you to advertisers.

A winter reminder

:

The up volume button on an iPhone can be used to snap a photo. With gloves on all the time (unless you’re living in SF), if you need to snap a quick photo, you still can without freezing your fingers off.

I always forget about this feature.

I try to keep myself using as few apps as I can and as few web services as I can. I don’t experiment with them. I don’t try out new things nearly as much as I used to. As I’ve gotten older, I’m less inclined to want to change the way I’m doing things. I’m also less inclined to start up on something that’s new because I have a sense that things that are new are not going to get old. Very few new things end up getting old. They just don’t last long enough. If I’d gotten myself in the habit of using Product A and Product A goes away, then I’m screwed. And I’m tired of that. That’s happened plenty of times over the years.

Dr. Drang dropping wisdom on The Prompt

Stop and Go

Working from home is weird. You don’t leave in the morning, and you don’t pack up and head home in the evening. There’s no commute. These things that we typically punctuate the start and end of our work days with don’t exist. As a result, it can be hard to switch off. When your work computer is your home computer and you use the same machine for everything, it can be tricky to form an adequate disconnect.

Being a nerd, I’m using a couple of AppleScripts to add a little structure to starting and stopping my day. They are appropriately named Go.scpt and Stop.scpt. Here’s what they look like:

The Go script launches everything in my Dock and logs me into the Google Talk account that I use for work. The Stop script shuts down every work-related app and logs me out of my Google Talk account.1 I launch them with Alfred, which will index your AppleScripts if you check the right box in the app’s preferences.2

Alfred's Preferences

So, when I start work in the morning: ⌘-Space, go, Return, and I’m at work. At the end of the day, ⌘-Space, stop, Return, and my connection to work is severed. It’s shorter than a commute (hooray!), but it’s enough to help me switch gears mentally.


  1. The only work apps I leave open at the end of the day are Terminal.app and Chrome. I use Chrome for everything work-related and Safari for everything else. Choosy helps make this nearly seamless. Similarly, I use Airmail for work email and Mail.app for personal accounts. This probably sounds tedious, but maintaining clear mental separation between work and home via the apps I use has been very comforting. 
  2. Alfred will look for scripts you’ve created with AppleScript Editor (even if you save them to iCloud). To use these scripts, copy them, launch AppleScript Editor, create a New Document, paste the script in, and save it. Alfred will find it. 

Bookmarklets

Safari for iOS 7 brought with it a lot of changes, but the one I’ve enjoyed the most is the new bookmark view that’s displayed in empty tabs and when tapping the address bar.

Bookmarklets

I’ve come to think of it as a custom share panel thanks to a handful of bookmarklets that take advantage of the URL schemes built into some of the apps I use.

By default, Safari displays the bookmarks stored in same folder as the one used by the Favorites Bar on your Mac. It’s a smart default, but if you’re using it the way I’ve been, you end up with a lot of iOS-specific bookmarks displayed constantly on your Mac, and the Favorites Bar can get cluttered quickly.

There’s a solution, though. You can tell Safari on iOS to display the contents of a different folder full of bookmarks. Open Settings, tap Safari, and tap Favorites. Then, select which folder you want to use. I’ve creatively named mine iOS.

Settings

Now you’ve got an awesome custom share panel on iOS and a clean Favorites Bar on your Mac.

And for those who are interested, I’ve thrown the bookmarklets I’ve been using into a Gist: