Today I am joined by Patrick Rhone of Minimal Mac and The Cramped, as we discuss putting our glowing rectangles down, and using an actual pen for writing. Bonus content: Patrick takes me to task over my often lack of editing my blog posts.
Another podcast appearance where I discuss topics relevant to the topic here.
Relay FM is our new home on the Internet, and where you can find all of our podcasts. The shows you have known and loved for years are being rebooted as part of the new network. Everything we have done so far in our podcasting careers has led us here, and we’re pouring all of our love, knowledge and attention into this thing.
The boys are back! Congrats to my friends Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett on the launch. It’s a bold move to rebuild something from scratch. Much kudos to them.
Clearing out the redundancies and unused apps, however, frees space on my phone and in my head. It also makes my phone’s battery a lot happier. I’m not about to turn my iPhone back into a dumbphone, but clearing out the crap and cruft sure feels a lot better.
It is really easy to buy apps but it takes work to intentionally ask if they will add real value or just give space, time, and attention to things you don’t really need. Taking some time out occasionally to take a hard look at what apps you are actually using and which ones are cruft is a worthwhile endeavor.
The mobile theme for this site has been looking pretty bad for a while now. Mainly, lots of things just generally aligned poorly and crashing into each other. I’ve mostly ignored it because, well, I did not design it so there was some learning and tinkering involved in fixing it.
A couple of folks (Ben Brooks and Jered Benoit) generously offered to jump in and help and I was going to accept the offer. Then, in the course of getting them the code a little voice inside my head said, “This is a learning opportunity. You should figure this out yourself.”
So, I did.
It’s not yet perfect and I will likely tweak things a bit more. But, if you visit the site on mobile it should now look 150% better than it did an hour ago. Enjoy!
“As one who strives for mindfulness — especially when dealing with fear — I simply try to remind myself that even the most important choices we make are temporary in the grand scheme of things. Because all things are impermanent.”—This is a quote from an interview with me in the latest Alpha Efficiency Magazine. I think it turned out well.
So, the truth: Right now, today, in 2014 is the best time to start something on the internet. There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute.
A great reminder from Kevin Kelly that the future does not just happen. It is built by the actions we take today.
"The Mikes" are joined by last minute guest, Patrick Rhone. They start out by discussing a recent blog post that Vardy wrote about shipping vs. delivering. Patrick also throws "The Mikes" a curveball with a new idea he has been working on regarding the idea of a wish vs. a plan.
I kind of talked my way into appearing on the podcast at the last minute and it turned out to be a great show. Give it a listen if you want to hear us talk about shipping vs. delivering. Also, I propose a new way to approach your task list and calendar (that I know some will immediately bristle against because it requires things we are generally not good at — intention and self honesty.
I put the word books in quotation marks because the two I’m going to mention are closer to multimedia products than they are books. This is not a bad thing. In fact, I could recommend you check each out just on that fact alone. They both push the boundaries of what our technology allows a book to be these days. But, I digress…
Presentations is the latest in the MacSparky Field Guide series and it’s great. This is, without a doubt, the new go-to guide for everything you need to know to give a great presentation. And, because it uses the very latest technology baked into iBooks to deliver the goods, there are 44 screencasts, audio interviews with Merlin Mann, Les Posen, and Wendy Cherwinski, and much, much more built right in. I have loved all of David Sparks guides so far with each one even better than the last.
Delight Is In The Details by Shawn Blanc recently received a big, big update worth checking out if you did not the first time around. If you are anyone who makes anything that you care about at all, you need this. It delivers practical and actionable advice on how to not just ship but deliver. Plus, the package is packed with hours and hours of audio interviews, videos, and more. Heck, if you do nothing else, at least watch the first video because it full of creative inspiration.
Seriously, the value of both of these books is worth way more than the cost on the cover. Plus, it feels good to support really good guys who have been adding value to our internet community for over a decade. Check them out.
My daughter and I had the pleasure of sitting down to a very nice lunch with Joshua and Ryan of The Minimalists earlier this week. Good guys who both have powerful stories about arriving at and integrating a minimalist lifestyle.
Available once again — The Official Minimal Mac T-Shirt. Express to the world what you believe in while helping to support the site. Available for a limited time with 2 regular color options (Asphalt and Black), a ladies v-neck option, and a long sleeve for the first time ever.
I really did not have any plans to offer Minimal Mac T-shirts again after I offered them last year. But, I recently noticed that mine are starting to look a bit worn. Plus, I’ve always wanted a long sleeve version too. Therefore, I’m mainly offering them again so that I can buy some. But, I hope you might consider buying one as well. It does help to support the work I do here. Plus, it just looks damn good.
When I have my Mac in front of me I am doing a lot of things, but not focusing on a lot of things. With the iPad only I felt that was reversed — I did a bit less, a bit slower, but what I did do was more focused and therefore carefully done.
“The less you require to maintain your desired standard of living, the longer you can maintain it without additional income. This isn’t about celebrating a poverty mentality. Quite the opposite. It’s an acknowledgement that once you find what works, you can remove everything else.”—
By the way, his newsletter topics are based on his daily tweets which are voted on by favorites and retweets. He then takes the top three and discusses them further in the newsletter. A neat idea and an excellent source of actionable wisdom. Worth every penny to me. You should follow him regardless.
This is one of the key questions we must ask ourselves when it comes to seeking a life of enough. The journey to finding what that word — that idea — means for us all is not about finding out how much we need. Instead, it is about about finding out how little we can get away with.
I purchased a MacBook Air 64GB four years ago. I could have gotten one with more storage and plenty of “room to grow”. But, this is rarely my goal when approaching such things. For me, I wanted to see exactly how little I could get away with needing and for how long. This machine has served me well and continues to do so. Because my goal from the beginning was to seek an answer to that question, any applications I add or how I choose to manage things such as music and photos are weighed against this fundamental question.
When I travel, the key to packing light for me is asking this question of each item that is up for consideration. I never try to see how much I can take with me, it’s always how little I can get away with taking. Can I take only two pairs of underwear, two shirts, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, and toiletries for a week long trip? Can I wear one set and pack the other? Can I wash one set in the sink and hang it up to dry in the hotel bathroom while I’m wearing another? Can I pack everything I need in a 16 liter ruck? Can I get away with that? (The answer, for me, is yes.)
Even when it comes to projects and tasks, the question I seek to answer is often this one — how little can I get away with doing to get the job done without sacrificing the quality of the end result? Who wants to do more work or take more time to get something done? No one. Of course, we want to do all that is required to get the optimal outcome. But, the approach to that goal should be geared towards how little is needed to achieve it, not how much.
The next time you approach similar situations, ask yourself this key question. My bet is, you will be amazed at how little you can get away with to achieve what you really need.
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Even if you don’t speak German, you can still read this interview with me by Kevin Wammer of Apfeltech. The English version is included at the bottom. We cover a wide range of questions including using the iPhone as a primary writing device, balancing the analog and digital, and finding “enough” when it comes to technology. It came out well and I think you’ll enjoy it.
“I’ve learned that letting go is an active, continuous process. The default assumption is that we want to be interrupted: notifications are enabled, ringers aren’t silenced, and reminders are set. To get rid of that stuff, you have to take a stand.”—
If you are planing to come to the Minimal Mac WWDC Meetup next Wednesday night, here is an important logistical note about The Irish Bank where we will be… It’s kind of hidden.
You are going to look at a map and say, “Wait, that can’t be right?”
Then you are going to follow the map and find yourself looking down a dark alleyway, past a massage parlor and some dumpster and think, “Wait, that can’t be right?”
Then, you are going to go down that alleyway and around a corner and see a well lighted door and, weather permitting, maybe a few patio tables outside in the alley. Then you’ll say, “Hey, I think this is right!”
Been going there for years whenever I’m in the SFO area. It’s one of my favorite (really) hidden gems that even few natives know is even there. It really is down what otherwise looks to be a dark alley. But, go through that door, and you will find one of the best Irish Pubs in America.
With WWDC being less than a week away, I thought it timely to remind everyone that I will be there. ]
Besides the Minimal Mac Meetup at The Irish Bank on Wednesday night, I plan on being around SFO and hitting up as many of the related goings on as possible. So, keep an eye out for me and come up and say “Hi” if you are so inclined (people tell me I look like Lionel Richie).
I’ve heard it should be a good year to be there. Can’t wait.
I will always find it more enjoyable to take a picture with my best camera, but I find that no matter what camera I use to make the picture, my enjoyment of the picture is never diminished by the what camera I used at the time.
My friend CJ Chilvers is a very talented photographer and, I must say, an insightful guy. He responded to my rant (warning: there’s one mildly not-safe-for-work word in my rant) with a brilliant solution: books.”The best solution I’ve found for all this is the humble book. Making a collection of photos into a book (even if it’s just a year book of miscellaneous shots) solves several problems,” he said. He went on to list the benefits of the good old photo book.
CJ is a good friend of mine (as is Dave). I have yet to try this advice myself but, it is on my list to do so. Make sure to click the link for the reasons why this solution makes sense and some recommended ways to go about it.
The program he uses to churn out thousands of pages of prose is WordStar 4.0, an ultra-minimal word processing application from the ’80s. Unlike some of today’s intentionally bare-bones writing applications, it is minimal due to technological constraints, not by design.
I will be in San Francisco the week of WWDC 2014 and have planned a meetup for Minimal Mac readers and fans. Here are the details.:
What: Minimal Mac WWDC 2014 Meetup
Where: The Irish Bank, 10 Mark Lane, San Francisco CA 94108
When: Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 at 6:30 PM until it ends.
Why: I’m there. You’re there. Let’s party.
Stop on by if you are in town during that time. This will be very informal. I have made no arrangements or given fair warning to the venue. It just happens to be my favorite bar/restaurant in SFO — and, perhaps, the best Irish Pub in America. I’ll likely show up a tad early and leave around 10 PM or so — maybe later. So it might be better if people kind of come and go whenever. No pressure to show up right when it starts or stay until I leave.
Too many people have no backups at all. Storing your photos and documents on an external hard drive is NOT a backup. Dropbox is NOT a backup. A backup is separate from the original files. A backup is a duplicate. And the best duplicate is somewhere other than where your files reside.
A good reminder. You can never have “too many” backups.
Writer and technology consultant Patrick Rhone talks about his path from helping people building websites to helping people incorporate technology into all parts of their lives. He talks about traveling as a parent and he shares how much he’s thinking about the world on a grand scale in the context of how technology should and could be in service of humanity in tackling worldwide problems. And Patrick talks about how his young daughter interacts with technology and how that shapes the way he thinks about the devices we all use.
It was an absolute blast guesting on this one. Levi Weinhagen is a great interviewer and we explored many subjects that I have not written that much about (yet) but have plenty of ideas about. My only wish is that I discussed parenting in this modern age even more. Perhaps he will have me on again.
I don’t do conferences much. They harsh my introverted mellow. That said, I will be at WWDC this year for the first time in a very long time. I’ll only be in town Tuesday afternoon (June 3) through Thursday afternoon (June 5). Mainly coming just to hang out and meet folks. If you are going to be around there, keep an eye out on this space. I’ll likely be planning an informal meet up or two for that time.
I would never suggest that anyone throw out all of their stuff immediately. If you’re interested in living a simple lifestyle, wonderful. But take the fervor that surrounds the movement with a grain of salt, and make the transition at your own pace.