Learning Cursive Handwriting All Over Again

18.01.2015 01:00

My history with New Year’s Resolutions is kind of sketchy. Some years I’ll be somewhat vague and sort of proclaim I’ll exercise more, eat healthier, worry less or something else not very specific. As one would expect, those types of ill-defined resolutions aren’t very effective. Some years I’m very specific. Many years ago, I decided I would no longer eat donuts (I know, what was I thinking?). The donut ban stuck for four or five years until I cracked for some amazing donut I don’t even remember. This year I’m going to be very clear and finally do something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. I’m going to relearn cursive.

I might do the same, one day.


Omni Productivity Pack coming to iPhone in Q1, 2015

18.01.2015 01:00

All of Omni’s currently shipping iPad apps will be updated to be Universal apps, designed to feel at home on both iPad and iPhone. If you already own any of our current iPad apps, you will soon be able to use them on your iPhone at no additional cost.


We really appreciate the early support from those of you who have already purchased OmniFocus 2 for both iPhone and iPad. To show that appreciation in a concrete way, we will be offering a $10 rebate once the Universal app has shipped so that you won’t have paid any more for the two apps than someone who buys the Universal app.

Great news. I have been waiting for a iPhone version of OmniOutliner, since the iPad version came out. This is fantastic.

This reflects my impressions since the iPhone 6 plus came out. And that is that the division between iPhone and iPad is despairing.

I still believe that one should always make the best possible iPhone app, and the best possible iPad app, like OmniFocus and Fantastical. Both are examples of how to make something work really well, on different devices. The future might be three devices. One interface for iPhone, one for the 6 plus size and one for the iPad.

I don’t think this is the end of great iPad or great iPhone interfaces. But I hope it’s the end of having to buy separate iPhone and iPad apps.


Overcast’s 2014 sales numbers

18.01.2015 01:00


I’ve decided that the potential educational and market-research benefits to others of adding Overcast to the mix will be greater than the risk of people thinking I’m an asshole for doing so. I hope this is helpful to anyone researching the indie iOS market or thinking about entering it.

Fantastic post, I have enjoyed how more and more small developers are sharing their numbers. I think it all started with Unread. Great post, you should check it out!


PDFPen 7

18.01.2015 01:00

PDFPen 7 is out. A great update to my favorite PDF app. I have been using it since I discovered it on Mac Power Users back in the day. The great thing about PDFPen is that you can buy a fully featured PDF app, even though you only need it a few times a year.

It won’t cost you a fortune, something I can’t say, for Adobe’s PDF apps.

Great app, check it out!


Siri Improvements

18.01.2015 01:00

John Gruber:

My point here isn’t “Siri is better than Google Voice Search”, or even “Siri is as good as Google Voice Search”. Once you get past the superficial level, they’re different enough that it’s hard to make a blanket one-is-better-than-the-other comparison. I’d even agree that Google Voice Search is better at many complex queries, and, further, that “What’s the temperature?” is a very simple question.


The Perfect Laptop

18.01.2015 01:00

Ben Brooks:

The first thing we have to realize is that there is no perfect laptop. What is perfect for one person won’t be for another. It all depends on your values (speed, size, battery, screen, etc).

I have read many boring, a few interesting and many boring posts about the 12″ Macbook Air runmor the last few weeks. I don’t agree with everything in this one, but I agree with the general point. There is no perfect laptop.


Macbook Air rumors.

11.01.2015 01:00

There have been a lot of talk about the recent Macbook Air rumors lately. Both Jason Snell and John Gruber have written excellent posts about it.

The Macbook Air is my favorite Apple device. It delivers something magical. You get the best battery capasity possible. And you also get a very capable laptop, with all the same ports and power that you get in the more expensive retina models. The only difference I see between the two is the screen and power. There are a few tasks when you notice it. Photoshop, Lightroom, Logic and Xcode. But it’s enough for almost everyone.

The rumor presents soemthing new. I don’t think it is something that could replace the current Macbook Air line; and I really hope it doesn’t. It seems more like something between the iPad and 11″ Air. There should be a cheap and very capable entry level mac; the 13″ Macbook Air is that. You have everything from USB to a SD slot.

I don’t think this rumor will lead anywhere. And a keyboard case from Apple, with a full sized keybarod that made it feel more like a laptop would be a lot more interesting that this.

Some people really want a Macbook Air with a retina screen; I’m not one of them. The retina models are more expensive, and their focus is a fantastic screen and more power under the hood. While the Macbook Air have another set of priorities; good enough, price and battery.


The 2014 Panic Report

08.01.2015 01:00

Panic is a great software company, and they have made some of my all time favorite iOS and OS X apps. This blog post is amazing. I think it’s great to see how open they are, and to see them highlight some of the problems with iOS vs OS X.

Check it out!


The Lamy 2000; and some pen & paper history.

08.01.2015 01:00

The original idea behind this article was just to write a few words about the new pen, ink and notebooks I got a few days ago. But then I changed my mind after the first draft. I’m going to give some real context, and some history.

I have been a pen and paper user for as long as I can remember. Cheap notebooks was the thing when I was in school. But then I started working. And the thing I used for years, at work was just a pile of A4 printer sheets. They were available, easy to scan and flexible. This phase lasted for a long time.

My deep dive into notebooks started in 2012. I can’t remember exactly why. But I started writing more away from a computer, and I started to not bring my Macbook to meetings. This was the point where I started to use notebooks again. I didn’t use anything fancy, I knew there was different paper and that they looked nicer, but I didn’t know what that meant for me. Why would 1 spend ten times as much on the same thing.

The point where I got into better notebooks is kind of fuzzy. But I think there was some kind of Moleskine sale going on, where I just picked up a few of them, to see what the deal was. One regular sized and one pocked sized.

Before we move on. I know that a lot of notebook geeks aren’t a big fan of Moleskine. I think they are great. The paper isn’t the best, and they are a little bit expensive. But the great thing about the Moleskine brand is that I can find a decent notebook in more or less any book store.

I noticed right away that these notebooks were great. And I started to use them more and more. It didn’t take a long time before a pocked sized Moleskine replaced my iPhone as my tool for taking notes when I wasn’t in front of a desk.

Me and pens are simpler. I have never been a regular “Bic” user. I didn’t like them, they where uncomfortable to use, and didn’t last very long. So, I have always been the kind of person that used something a little bit nicer. A lot of Gel pens, like the Pilot G2..

Then I discovered a podcast called The Pen Addict. It is a great podcast, and you should start at the beginning, if you start listening to it.

This was the moment when I started to get aware of different pens, different paper and got a genuine interest in the subject. The first thing I bought after I started to listen to the podcast was a Retro 51. This is still one of my favorite pens. It is not very expensive around $20, it’s the best regular pen I have ever used and the build quality is fantastic.

I lost my first one, but I bought another one, and it is still a part of my regular pen tool set.

I’m not the kind of person that cares about having a collection. I just like to have good tools, that will last me a very long time. That’s the reason I use a Macbook Air, that’s the reason I use an iPhone, that’s the reason I have a expensive pair of Bose headphones and that’s the reason I buy nice pens.

The second thing I got into as a direct result of the podcast was some very cool notebooks called Field Notes. This is actually a funny story. I just ordered a couple of packs of them to test it. Because I was very critical. They lack two qualities, that I still love about the hardcover pocked sized notebooks from Moleskine. Durability and it is easier to write on them when you don’t have a flat surface available. The former is something I haven’t focused too much on. I love how worn down Field Notes looks. And it isn’t often they fall apart. The lack of a hardcover also makes it possible to have them in your back pocket.

But the lack of hardcover notebooks is still something I miss. It’s not a huge issue. But I think it is a great feature.

The thing that sold my right out of the gate with Field Notes is the paper quality and price. They are kind of cheap, and the paper is great. You can use everything from a Bic to a fountain pen.

My notebooks setup is more or less the same as when I discovered Field Notes. I always carry them in my backpocket for writing down tasks and small notes. And I use the regular black Moleskine to take notes in meeting and lectures. The newest addiction is the Leuchtturm 1917, I use them for my paper journal.

Then I got into fountain pens. It was a concern for me. Dry time is always a issue for me. I’m a left handed writer. I ordered two entry level fountain pens, just to see what it was like. It was a Pilot Metropolitan and a Lamy Safari. Two great pens, except for the grip bullshit on the Safari. And I fell in love with it.

I decided to get a nice fountain pen about a year ago. And it was a long process. I looked at a lot of different pens. But there was one very distinct pen that I went for. And that was the Lamy 2000.

The pen looks great. It doesn’t look like a conventional fountain pen, but it has a very distinct a minimalistic german design, that I love. And I knew that a Lamy pen would be a very safe bet. I loved the nig on the Lamy Safari.

Now, I just had to do three things. First I wanted to get some advice from Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict podcast and blog. Just to make sure I didn’t make a stupid decision, to find a ink and get the money. And I just have to thank Brad here. He has always been helpful and have always taken the time to answer my stupid questions. Thanks [@dowdyism]10!

The ink question was hard. I needed to find a black ink, I don’t like blue inks. And it had to be a black ink with a fast dry time. I ended on: Noodler’s Bernanke Black, after advice from Brad.

I finally have all the tools I need. My two pens look good and will probably outlast me. And I have all the notebooks I need. And they all work great together.

The funny thing about having a really nice pen and a really good notebook, is that I spend way more time journaling than I should. I just want to spend more time writing with my fancy pen. When I probably should write something for this site.

One final note. I have ordered from many sites over the years. Most of my pen and papers purchases are through JetPens. They are great. Great selection, good prices and fair prices on shipping to Norway. But I went to GouletPens to order my Lamy 2000. My experience dealing with them, was more or less like JetPens, until I got the package. Their packing was very impressive. I love it when they make sure it’s packed in a safe manner, while still making it very easy to unpack it. I will without doubt buy more stuff from them.


My favorite stuff from 2014, Part 1

06.01.2015 01:00

Brett Terpstra:

It’s that time of year again. Well, I’m actually a little late, but it was an especially busy holiday season.

This is my annual list of the apps, both old and new, that I found the most useful over the past year (2014). There are some exclusions, and there are probably some I forgot, but it’s a pretty complete list. I’m including some of the hardware purchases I’ve loved this last year as well.

This is part one of two. Part two will focus on utilities and dev tools. This post includes backup and sync tools, music apps, games, reading and writing tools, and productivity apps.