Wednesday, December 12

🏝 Why in any company you should be using version control for anything - how we use Github not only for code, but also for writing!

At Nozbe among all the apps we use to run our company, we also take advantage of Github’s implementation of Git - the version control system - because when many people work on code, things can quickly fall through the cracks if you’re not using a version control system.

Why in any company you should be using version control for anything - how we use Github not only for code, but also for writing!

I originally posted this on my NoOffice blog

Git in a software company is nothing new, but recently we started using Git for more things - especially for writing content... and now everyone on our team knows how to do it! And thanks to the Working Copy app I can work like this on my iPad Pro, too. Here’s the setup and the inspiration:

Thursday, November 15

🎬 Video review - why I’m calling the 11” iPad Pro a “retro iPad”?

This week is all about the new iPad Pro and on IGTV I recorded this video when I’m comparing it to...

Video review - why I’m calling the 11” iPad Pro “retro design”?

Let’s take a look at the difference between the new 11” iPad Pro and the old 10.5” one and the “ancient” original iPad from 2010

The new iPad Pro is stunning and it’s so similar to the original iPad. Especially the silver version is stunning. The sharp edges are so cool. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 14

📱 How my younger self convinced me to go with the smaller 11” iPad Pro

Last week when the new iPad Pro launched I went for a trip to find my perfect future computer. I couldn’t decide, but an unexpected blast from the past finally managed to sway me one way and not the other. Here’s how it went down:

How my younger self convinced me to go with the smaller 11” iPad Pro

Why the smaller iPad Pro 11” is the best for me?

Last week on Wednesday when the new iPad Pro models launched I went to my local Apple Store to check them out. I wanted to really feel both models, the 11” and the 12.9” before placing a final order.

I set them all up on the desk and was working for like 3 hours on all 3 of them (yes, the Apple employees didn’t kick me out!) and couldn’t decide. I thought, I’m sure the big iPad will never fit in my bag, right? - but I was wrong, it barely fit in my iPad bag but it did fit... so what to do? Which iPad to choose?

Tuesday, November 13

📱 Quirks and issues when migrating to a new iOS device (case of iPad Pro 11” & iPhone XS)

Yesterday Christmas came early to me and I was setting up new iPad Pro 11” and a pair of new iPhones for me and my wife. I love the new devices but setting them up takes time... and has some issues. Here’s how I came about it and what I think can be improved in this process:

Quirks and issues when migrating to a new iOS device (case of iPad Pro 11” & iPhone XS)

New iOS setup is still a pain...

If you’re upgrading to a newer iOS device the process is still very cumbersome. Apple is trying to make it “look easy” but it still has room for improvement. You have basically two options:

Thursday, February 1

✔️ Workflows that build regular habits and help me get stuff done quicker

Keystone habits are critical to a happy and productive life. We’ve been discussing this with my co-host on The Podcast for a while now. To build regular habits and to just reduce some barriers of entry I’m using an iOS app called "Workflow" and have created many workflows that help me get stuff one quicker. These are like recipes for a "digital cake" - my way of doing things quicker. Below I’m sharing a few of these and hope they’ll be useful for you, too. Feel free to copy them and adopt to your needs :-)

Workflows that build regular habits and help me get stuff done quicker

Workflow, Ulysses, Bear and Nozbe - apps for my daily habits

I use Ulysses to write my journal in and Bear to plan and track progress of each day. And Nozbe for my day-to-day task and project management as well as internal communication with my team.

Here are my habits and workflows that I use in combination with these apps:

Monday, September 18, 2017

My iPadOnly podcast recording set – how to travel & record podcasts with great quality and minimum equipment

Recently, I posted the photo below on Instagram and some folks congratulated me on my setup, asking me how I manage to record podcasts while on the road, being iPadOnly, using only my iPhone and iPad. It’s a frequent problem, especially during vacation, when it can be difficult to coordinate travel plans with the podcast schedule, but we still want to record it regularly. In the last two years we hardly ever missed a week (we did miss last two weeks, sorry!) thanks to this setup:

My podcast recording set

Read below for my detailed setup:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

💡 Essential iPad Pro accessories for an #iPadOnly life

As I do most of my work on the iPad (and wrote an #iPadOnly book all about it), people keep asking me a few questions every now and then: Can the iPad Pro be really used for work? or How should I set up my new iPad Pro? or Why switching to iPad might make sense for me? or Which apps do you use on your iPad Pro? or... Which iPad Pro accessories are most essential for you? - and that’s the question I’d like to answer with this short article:

Essential iPad Pro accessories for an #iPadOnly life

iPad Pro 10.5" with Smart Keyboard Cover

Over my years of testing iPads I’ve had several iPad keyboards - from Logitech to Zagg but what I really like about the default Apple’s Smart Keyboard Cover is the fact that it’s barely there - it’s very thin and doesn’t require charging or Bluetooth connection - and it’s with me all the time and just like a typical Smart Cover - protects my screen. And yes, I prefer the smaller iPad 10.5" over the big one.

Apple Pencil with pencil holder glued to the iPad

I love Apple Pencil and how it lets me just draw on the iPad without any friction or lag. It’s really cool. And with iOS11 the annotation functions are even better - I’ve switched to iOS11 "Files" app to store and markup my PDFs and "Notes" app to draw handwritten notes. I still use Evernote for all the other notes.

I have the Apple Pencil attached with Leuchtturm1917 Pen Loop and thanks to this solution my Apple Pencil is always with me. The only downside is that when the pencil is so close to the iPad, it drains the battery quickly... and there’s no on/off switch on the pencil...

Messenger Bag with Powerbank and AirPods inside

I still use the same Messenger Bag which I bought when I was in Japan - you can see it in this video and I have a big Powerbank inside with a short 4-inch (10 cm) Lightning cable in case I run out of juice at some point during the day.

And yes, I have my AirPods with me at all times - they work with both my iPhone and iPad.

Need to know more about my iPad gadgets - this old video is still pretty much relevant

Question: Which gadgets do you use with your iPad or iPhone?

Sent from my iPhone 7 Plus

Monday, August 7, 2017

iPadOnly on 10.5” – is the new iPad Pro with iOS11 finally a serious setup for work?

While the title of this article might be phrased as a question, those who know me already know my answer, which is: “Of course, the iPad is already being used for work!” I’m unique that way because I’ve been using my iPad for work for more than five years now – since iOS6... Meanwhile, many people still don’t consider the iPad to be a “serious” machine for work. This article is dedicated to them.

Serious setup for work

Note: The following article appeared first in the July '17 issue of [iMagazine][iMagazine] - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

The new iPad Pro and iOS11

A few weeks ago at WWDC, Apple revealed its new 10.5” iPad Pro and previewed iOS11 which will be released to the general public in the fall. Since I’ve been following rumors for some time, eagerly waiting to get my hands on the new iPad, I ordered it on the day of its launch, and when it finally arrived I immediately installed the pre-release version of iOS11 (beta 2), and… I jumped into the future! Read on to check out how this combo really works...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

📢 How setting up a new iPad Pro for work can is an exercise in minimalism and focus

The Minimalists coined a term “Packing Party” - which basically means that you pack all of your belongings to boxes like if you were to move to a different house and later you only unpack the things you really need... the same thing is happening to me and my new iPad Pro and iOS11 on it.

Minimal iPad for work - how setting up an iPad Pro can be an exercise in minimalism and focus

I originally posted this on Medium where I post about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. You should follow me there (and recommend my posts :-), thanks!

Setting up a new device from scratch vs getting it from a backup...

Whenever I set up a new device - iPhone, iPad or a Mac - to maximize my productivity and reduce the pain of not having everything set up correctly, I do two things:

  1. I backup the old device and shut it down.
  2. I boot up the new device and restore it from the old backup.

That’s it. Two steps. Done. Easy, right?

The result is that after a short while my new device has the same apps, settings and data as my old one had. I can almost instantly continue working the same way I used to. Almost no productivity downtime. Which is great.

Except when it isn’t.

You see, this two step process is a quick win, but comes with major drawback:

It restores everything from my old device, including the crap that I kept there and wasn’t ever going to use anymore... basically, it comes with my apps, settings, data... and crap. It also comes with my old habits.

Let’s do it the hard way - and set everything from scratch!

Here’s how (and why) I did it:

Monday, June 19, 2017

💡 7 Reasons why switching to the iPad as your main computer is not just about the iPad Pro and iOS11...

Now that Apple unveiled the new 10,5" iPad Pro (which I'm going to un-box this coming Wednesday - can't wait!) and announced some cool new ipad-only iOS 11 features, people again are flirting with a thought of using iPad for more serious work... and they'll be disappointed unless they actually change their mindset!

Switching to the iPad as your main computer is not just about the iPad Pro and iOS11...

I actually wrote about this quite recently and also in the past in my #iPadOnly book but let me repeat that again:

if you think that because you can get stuff done on your iMac or MacBook and after buying and iPad Pro you'll be able just to pick it up and use it as productively as your Mac, you're wrong.

iPad requires a change of the mindset. It's iOS, not macOS.

Again, I've written about it exetensively in my #iPadOnly book. Even though my book was written for the iOS6 era it still makes great points on why iOS is different, so let me give you the 7 reasons why it takes a bit of effort to be productive on the iPad:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

✔️ A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

This post will be really geeky, but you'll love it - an updated list of my productivity iPad Apps! Here's the backstory: a few years back I co-wrote a book iPadOnly - How to use only your iPad to work, play and everything in between where I recommended a set of apps that help me get everything done on the iPad. In the meantime I got my iPad Pro and I kept updating this blog with my impressions of iPad Pros and iPadOnly work and I've also posted a list of apps I use on my iPhone but as lots of people keep asking me about this, here's a list of the iPad apps I use now to get things done and make it my main productivity workhorse.

A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

Bonus: experiment with app layout

Before we move on to the list of apps, as you can see on the screenshot of my iPad above, I've decided to experiment a little with my app layout recently. I just hated it that I had apps on different screens and was very often tempted to get distracted when I wanted to write something but opened the Twitter app as it was just "on the way" to my writing app... so I started using folders as my "focused environments" and group my apps together. These groups give me a few benefits, like:

  • groups are focused on "jobs to be done" so I can concentrate on what I need to do, like writing, reading, etc.
  • groups create order so I don't install too many apps on my iPad and don't bloat it
  • groups fit on one screen, so at a glance I basically see all the apps I've got
  • groups leave some empty space so I can use a nice inspiring background - a photo of San Sebastián I took when I was on vacation with my family :-)

OK, here's the list of all of my apps from these groups:

Monday, November 28, 2016

✔ How “baby” iPad Pro became my computer of the year 2016

I’m writing this article just before Apple’s MacBook Pro event. It’s about time. Many of my colleagues can’t wait to replace their old MacBook Pros with the new models. I’m not that impatient, since I already picked my computer of the year. It's my 10-inch iPad Pro, which I call “baby Pro.” About a month ago I wrote about my hesitation about which iPad I should continue to use. I started having doubts about whether the large, 13-inch iPad Pro is doing a good job as my main computer. After more than three months of tests, I finally chose the winner. It’s the smaller iPad Pro, and in this article I’d like to tell you why. As a bonus, I’ll tell you how my #iPadOnly workflow looks right now with the example of writing this article... on my favorite iPad.

baby iPad

Note: The following article appeared first in the 6/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

✔ There are two iPads: a big one, and a small one. But which one is better for me?

Last fall Apple released the 13-inch iPad Pro. I bought it straight away. I also had to get a new bag because suddenly I needed to carry around a device the size of Macbook Air. Slowly, I began to get used to the large iPad. I even got used to the Smart Keyboard, which I wrote about in one of my previous articles. I figured that if I wanted to be #iPadOnly, I needed to have the best iPad available. But is it really the best?

ipad

Note: The following article appeared first in the 9/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

The two Pro iPads

In the spring, Apple made a very interesting move. It released the “baby Pro” – an iPad Pro the size of an iPad Air 2. It also came with the Smart Cover keyboard and pencil. Many people started saying that they found the 10-inch version more appealing. I started to wonder whether they were right... so as soon as the first beta of iOS 10 was released, I had the perfect excuse to buy the smaller iPad Pro to test Apple's new operating system. Suddenly, two iPads appeared in my home office. So, what now? Which iPad was better for work?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

✔ It’s been 4 years since I went #iPadOnly but the real era of iPads has just begun

When I went on vacation to the United States in 2012, only bringing my iPad 3 with Retina display with me, my colleagues from work and friends were astonished. They knew me well and knew that I didn’t go anywhere without my MacBook Air. And then, all of a sudden, I left it at home, bringing only my iPad for my two-week trip... saying I’d be trying to “work” on it from time to time. A few months later I was already #iPadOnly. The iPad 4 I got that fall officially became my main computer for work. That was also when I came up with the idea to write a book about using the iPad for work.

iPad and scrivener

Note: The following article appeared first in the 8/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Along with my friend Augusto Pinaud, I published the book “#iPadOnly” in summer 2013. Although we wrote it on our iPads, we put it together in Scrivener on the Mac. We were disappointed that we couldn’t complete the whole process on iPad. Well, not anymore:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

✔ My #NozbeOffice - what's my desk like? What helps me get things done?

On our Nozbe blog we started an action showing our offices. We also asked our users on Twitter with hashtag #NozbeOffice and it's amazing to see how and where people get their things done. So in the spirit of sharing my home office space I decided to write this blog post explaining why my home office in 2016 looks like this - because everything is here for a reason:

Michael's Nozbe Office

My 2016 home office setup in a nutshell:

Ikea height-adjustable desk, iMac 5K with Microsoft Sculpt keyboard and Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, iPad Pro with Logitech Ultrathin keyboard and Apple Pencil... and lastly my iPhone 6S Plus (taking the picture). And a mug with my hometown (Gdynia) name on it.

Now, why I use these devices? Here goes: