The TROVE Wallet

28.12.2014 01:00

Full disclosure, they sent me a sample wallet (from the “coffee” colorway, pictured above) a while back so that I could eventually write a review. Though the review isn’t quite finished yet, the TROVE has already usurped the Supr Slim as my primary wallet. The Slim was great because it forced me to cut down on the stuff I carry with me each day. The TROVE took that idea and improved on it in every way — it not only looks and feels nicer in the hand, it’s better constructed as well, thanks in no small part to the leather accents surrounding its exterior.

The TROVE is a interesting wallet. And I think I will get one, when I get rid of my current wallet.


The Ultimate Guide to Solving iOS Battery Drain

28.12.2014 01:00

I worked on the Genius Bar for almost two years, and the most difficult issue to solve was short battery life. It was extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why someone’s battery was draining.

I made it my mission to discover the specific reasons for iOS battery drainage. This article is a product of my years of research and anecdotal evidence I gathered in the hundreds of Genius Bar appointments I took during my time as a Genius and iOS technician, as well as testing on my personal devices and the devices of my friends.

iOS 7.1 came out recently and brought with it a bevy of design tweaks and performance enhancements. However, some users are reporting poor battery life since the update, and many blogs are reporting it as fact. This is not one of those “Turn off every useful feature of iOS” posts that grinds my gears. My goal is to deliver practical steps to truly solve your iOS battery woes.

I have used this article many times, to optimize power consumption on my iPhone. Take a look!


These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things (2014 Edition)

28.12.2014 01:00

In what is becoming an annual tradition, the staff here at Tools & Toys have gathered to collect some of our favorite… erm, tools and toys of 2014. It’s been quite a year. Our team is a little bigger, the site is a lot prettier, and there are lots of new items to talk about. Let’s get started!


Two Alternatives To Field Notes.

28.12.2014 01:00

I love Field Notes Brand notebooks. I’ve been a customer since the beginning. In general, I purchace several packs of each “special edition” COLORS release. I find them both fun and functional. They’re built solidly enough and they break in well. Whereby, I tend to enjoy the patina they get and think they look even better when they are beat up and used a bit. As well, they have become very popular and enjoy an almost cult like following in the pen and paper circles.

But, sometimes, one might want to enjoy something similar, but different. For one reason or another — perhaps something in a different size or price point. So, I thought I would suggest two possible alternatives. One that is a little bit smaller in size, yet higher paper quality and cost. The other a bit larger in size, yet slightly less in paper quality and cost.

Having alternatives is always a good thing. I’m going to stick with FieldNotes for now. But this article is a good one, if you want something different.


Holiday Photography

27.12.2014 01:00

On this week’s episode of The Weekly Briefly I’m joined by my former podcasting partner in crime, Ben Brooks. We talk about (a) what sort of camera you should buy if you want to upgrade from your iPhone, and (b) how to increase your chances of snapping a few awesome photos of friends and family during the holidays (and pretty much any other time).

I have spent most of my days off since 22nd of December to get through most of my podcast queue. And this episode have been one of my favorites, this far.

Shawn Blanc and Ben Brooks talk about buying cameras. I think I agree on most of what they are saying. But I can’t get aboard on everything. This is how I think you should get into photography].

  1. Look at all the major players: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji etc.

  2. Figure out how big or small of a camera you need. Bigger cameras have larger and better sensors, while smaller are easier to carry.

  3. Find the brand that fit with you. You will be investing in a system. Everything you buy: body, lenses, flash etc will be for that system. You can always upgrade the body and keep your stuff later. As long as you stick with the same system.

  4. Find something you love. Some people pick camera system based on how they look. And I get it, I do the same with computers, tablets and phones. But I have always picked cameras after how they feel in my hand. Canon and Nikon design their system cameras with ergonomics in their mind. A lot of other brands, don’t.

  5. The most important thing is to pick something you know you will use.

Having a good camera is a great investment. You will get better pictures. But you won’t get great pictures unless you treat it as a craft.

Things have changed a lot in the last two years. There wasn’t much of a standard in the mirror-less camp. I have greater confidence in it now. I would still go for a regular Canon DSLR. But that’s just because I love them.

Find the system that you think fit you, try to hold different models in the store, to find the brand that feels right. And then buy the best lens you can afford. I would recommend starting with a prime; it’s a great way to learn how to shoot. And then spend the rest of your budget on the body.

The reason I think you should get a prime is simple. You get more for the money, compared to a zoom lens. And it enables you to focus on the camera settings.

[^0): What I mean by “getting into” is having it as your hobby. In other words: really learn it.



25.12.2014 01:00

I started to thing about this a few days ago. Where do we go from here? We have powerful computers everywhere. We have good looking hardware and software. And most of it is pretty easy to use. My mother that haven’t used a old school computer ever. Can help my grandparents wih their iPad. She have become a pretty damn good iPhone and iPad user. Without much help.

Where do we go from here?

I think most of it is in linguistic analysis and artificial intelligence. We have apps like fantastical that can figure out what I mean with “lunch at noon tomorrow with Bob at the diner”. And apps like Soulver let me do a lot of complicated math with plain English. This is the area where I think the future is. Both as audio and text.

To pick the meaning out of language is the place where I think the future of great software is.

Well. I really don’t know. But this seems like the most logical place, right now. It might chang


My Favorite iOS Apps 2014.

25.12.2014 01:00

The year is almost over. And I thought I should compile a list of the apps I really love. iOS is the platform where I find the apps that I love. There are many great OS X apps, but I never feel the same kind of affliction for them.

  • DayOne is my all time favorite app. I don’t think there is anything out there that have given me a similar joy. Or that I have spent more time in. I journal every day. And I do it in DayOne.

  • 1Password is the app that gives me peace of mine. And keeps everything together for me. I store everything important there. There is nothing even close to 1Password. It was one of the apps that got me to buy an iPhone; similar to that Textmate got me to buy an Mac.

  • Fantastical is the only calendar app that makes sense to me. It’s simple to add events and it gives me a simple and easy to read overview. It’s the calendar app for people that don’t use or like calendar apps.

  • Drafts is like FieldNotes. I use it to write down stuff, because it’s simple, fast and easy. Then I move it to somewhere more appropriate, when I have time.

  • Editorial have become my go to writing app. I even prefer using it over my Mac, when I need to write something, and time isn’t an issue. I love writing on my iPad and iPhone. And editorial makes it easy to write, and easy to publish. It wouldn’t be possible without it.

  • Overcast is the podcasting app I always wanted. It have the simplicity of Instacast, the beauty of Castro and the power of Downcast. It is the only podcast app I have been happy wih.

  • Pedometer ++ is my step counter. It is the kind of app that do one thing. Keep track and visualize how much I move. It’s great.

  • Unread. There have been many great rss clients over the years. But all of them have been more or less like NetNewsWire or Reeder. Unread was the first one that felt new and different. It makes it simple to get through the feeds, in a way where I don’t send everything to Instapaper. A great app.

  • Instapaper was the first iOS app I paid for. It does one thing way better than any other read it later app, and that is to read. There are many others, with a lot of fancy crap. I don’t care about it. Instapaper is made for reading first. And the others doesn’t.

  • Left to spend is my budget app of choice. Well it isn’t strictly a budget app. I don’t care that much about what I spent money on. I just want to keep track and limit how much I spend. Left to spend is made for that.

  • Threes is the first of two amazing games I have found for iOS this year. It’s addictive and fun. I spend too much time playing it. It’s a fun game you can play any time. Either before going to bed, or when you have a break.

  • Soulver is my go to calculator. I love writing, and Soulver combines writing and math. Spreadsheets and most calculator apps never clicked with me. But solver does.

  • Monument Valley is my last app, and the most impressive game I have ever played. I haven’t met a single person that don’t like it. The game play, look and feel is equal to none. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s never long enough.

Here is the list of all my current favorites. It was meant as a list of 4-5 apps, but ended up with a lot more. Enjoy.



24.12.2014 01:00

About NaJoWriMo for January 2015 | National Journal Writing Month:

Whether you keep a traditional pen and paper journal, or a digital journal, the purpose of the National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo) is for using the power of journaling to enhance and document your life.

Many studies have shown that journal writing can be therapeutic for your personal health, a creative outlet of self-expression, and way to document your life as you live it.

NaJoWriMo is based on the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. NaJoWriMo is useful for new and veteran journal writers. This month-long challenge is great for those who want to get started with journal writing, but have been putting it off for various reasons. It’s also useful for frequent and veteran journal writers looking to use NaJoWriMo for improving their journal writing or focusing on a particular journal writing project.

I found this via Patrick Rhone’s The Cramped1. I have joined in on NANOWRIMO once. It was a great experience to write something long, in a short time. I will without doubt join in on this. I might even get involved with the project at some point. Writer or not – you should try to join in on this.


  • A brilliant site, by a brilliant writer, about using analog tools. ↩

    Intentions for next year.

    23.12.2014 01:00

    The year is almost over. And I thought it was a good idea to list up a few intentions for next year. Some of them are things I have done in the past, and some of them are things I plan to do the next year. The purpose for the list is to give you some inspiration for next year.

    • Photography. You might have a DSLR or another nice camera lying around, or you could just use your iPhone. Try to get better at taking pictures. There are many ways you can improve your photography skills. Everything from different settings on your camera, to getting better at composition, to how you edit your images. But the most important thing is to shoot as much as possible. Try to take a few pictures every day. My goal is to always cringe when I see pictures I took a year ago. Try to always beat the previous you.

    • Journaling is one of my favorite hobbies. I try to journal every single day. And I think I can count the days I haven’t journaled in the last year, on one hand. First of all get DayOne. It’s a great app for iPhone, iPad and OS X. I use it all the time. There are many different things you can do with it. This is what I do:

      • I write a short text every day. It can be two lines, or 500 words. I write down what’s one my mind. It’s a great way to go back to see what you were doing or thinking about at any given moment.

      • Take a picture of yourself. I have done thins for a very long time. It’s both strange and weird to see how your looks change over time.

      • Weekly / Monthly re-cap. This isn’t something I do that often. But there are times when I feel the need to close down a period. And that is the times where I just write something long.

      • Pictures. One of the great things about Day One is that you can add pictures. My workflow for managing pictures I take with my phone is to upload everything to Dropbox, then delete it from my camera roll. And then I go through them all and add the important ones to DayOne.

    • Writing. If you want to, then you should. Starting a blog isn’t hard. Start a Squarespace site. And start writing. Don’t think about quality in the beginning. Just start to write. And give yourself some slack, and some constraints. I would recommend writing one blog post every week and take it from there.

    • Learning. This is one of my main intentions for 2015; I plan to watch a Lynda.com coerce every week, this year. There are many small things I want to learn. And I think doing it with the Lynda format is a good start. There are probably many things you with you could do, or was better at. Lynda is a good place to start.

    • Reading. I read a lot. Both on the Internet and the university. My goal for this year is to read for at least 30 minutes every single day. The only requirement is that it isn’t related to my studies.

    • Walking. My plan last year, and this year is to get more exercise. I plan to take a walk somewhere, as close to every day as possible this year. One of my best life hack when it comes to getting into habits, like journaling, photography, writing or exercise, is to start at the minimum. That means that I figure out the smallest thing I can do, and start from there.

    These are some of the intentions I have done, or plan to do. I think they are a good source of inspiration. Check them out, and good luck next year.


    Todoist review

    19.12.2014 01:00