In Chapter 7 of my book Stop Typing & Start writing, I discuss how to get handwritten text into a digital format. After the actual writing, this can be the next most crucial step because your words aren’t going anywhere until they’re digital. That’s just the internet-connected world we live in now. So until there’s an OCR program that can read my handwriting, the transcription has to be done by either typing or dictation.
If you’re a regular reader of this site you know I post a lot about process—the mechanics of getting things done. One recurring theme is the elimination of distractions and focus techniques. My latest adventure in productivity is flipping over the digital table ((╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻) and going back to a true basic: pen & paper. I’ve used a keyboard for so long I forgot about using a pen to write anything longer than a list or short notes.
Screens are designed to hold attention. More accurately, I’d have to say what’s shown on screens is engineered to hold attention. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a TV or phone. The irony is that these same screens don’t hold our attention in the same way when work needs to happen. Working from home adds another layer of distraction to the mix. But overall, I’ve managed to control physical interruptions much better than screen/internet based ones.
A few days ago I made mention of how my writing has migrated towards a mobile-first workflow. Three things have made this possible: the Ulysses app, a foldable keyboard, and a wireless flash drive. (PS—I’m not listing the iPad, because everything listed here also works on a iPhone.) SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick I have the 32GB version. This might seem odd to be listed first, but it’s one of those things that makes it possible to connect a wireless-by-nature device like an iPad to a wired world.
I’ve started to do a significant amount of work on a new iPad, and Workflow is the best $2 I think I’ve spent so far. It has the potential to build an almost unlimited number of workflows which are scripts that can do most anything. I think its most important feature is to act as a lubricant to ease over the rough spots inherent in iOS. I’d best describe it as a Swiss Army knife that you build for yourself.
I’m no stranger to organizing systems. I’ve attempted to GTD and various other flavors of other people telling me how to sort my stuff. I think at the root of it I don’t think in terms of categories (or contexts in GTD-speak). I like to have all my stuff spread out in front of so I can scan over everything at once. This is how a cork board saved me from being losing control of my life.
This is my Arizona election season summed up in press passes. A collage of 2016 election season press passes. Now that they’re scanned in and the paper is about to be thrown out this is the first time I’ve looked at them all together. I’ve also noticed a few things that I didn’t see before. Ted Cruz didn’t even get his name on the pass. The Keep the Promise PAC took top billing.
A few weeks ago I ran across a huge structure fire. Traffic was backed up because it was near the intersection of two major roads. I parked about a half mile away and walked to a parking lot across from the fire. Only a few fire trucks were there, and the police hadn’t arrived yet to cordon off the area. My plan was to get some early shots and get out.
A little upgrade turned into a bit more than I was expecting. Over the weekend I took delivery of a new camera. A Canon 7D Mark II. The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box was it’s weight. It’s a full two pounds (910g) for just the body. My SL1 is downright tiny next to it. But that wasn’t all that was in the box. I had also found a great deal on a used fast lens (EF-S 17-55 ƒ/2.
The one constant about indoor events is the poor lighting. It’s not usually bad lighting. The people that set up the stage want the event to look good. There’s usually plenty of light from the audience’s perspective. What the camera sees is a different story. When Hillary Clinton campaigned in Phoenix the event was held in a high school gym. I’ll wait while you finish shaking your head. So you can imagine the base lighting.