Balancing structure and flexibility for productivity

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at how to be more productive. I’ve looked at more task management apps that I can remember, read about many systems and tried all sorts of different tools and techniques. The problem has always been the same. They, I assume, must work for large cohorts of people. It’s just that I’m never in those cohorts. And I think I’ve finally understood why those systems and apps don’t work for me.

Consumer tech companies are terrible at user security

It should have been the easiest of transactions. I wanted to play old-school Doom on my Switch. So, a quick look at online reviews suggested Doom 64 was the version to grab. And, sitting on my smartphone, I could see this would cost less than $8 – cheaper than coffee and a muffin at the local café when we didn’t see such things as a special treat in the days before COVID.

The iPhone SE is not a step back – more like a step sideways

One of the privileges of working as journalist in the technology arena is that I get to use some of the coolest tech around. For the last decade or so, that’s meant having the best the smartphone and tablet world can offer. But over the last few months, I’ve taken a step back. Instead of having the priciest and most feature-rich smartphone, I’ve decided to shift to an entry-level smartphone. And I’ve discovered that having all the latest features isn’t such a big deal.

3 tips for ensuring your email is readable

I receive a lot of email through the course of a day – enough that I’ve started to employ some simple automation when responding. Despite now approaching the sixth decade since email was created, there are still some things about the world’s most ubiquitous online communication system that are broken. And the one that most gets on my nerves is formatting. Like many people, I switch between my smartphone, tablet and computer through the day. And the number of emails I receive that aren’t readable on one of the screens is ridiculous. But there are some simple things you can do to ensure your message makes it past the delete key.

Rituals are important – let’s choose the ‘right’ ones

I’ve been thinking a lot about rituals. Not in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom sense but in terms of things we do in order to maintain order, celebrate milestones and prepare ourselves for everyday events. Some of this was prompted after reading an article about “The 21 Minute Entrepreneur” by R Conan. But it’s something that’s been festering in my mind since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

COVID-19 could restore community

On my run this morning, I was jogging (some might say shuffling but whatever!) past the local primary/elementary school. It got me thinking about the nature of schools. If a vaccine for COVID-19 is not found, then will schools have to change how they work to enforce greater physical distancing. If the do, will we need to think about shifting to more schools with fewer students? And what of local libraries and community centres? The more I think about it, the more I think we could see a return to a more village-like sense of community.