Sometimes it’s just good to stop and take a breath. Took this with my Canon 70D and kit lens. Even though I use my iPhone more for me you just can’t beat a DSLR, forces me out of the house too 😀

I don’t usually use a case but really needed some colour at the moment.

I REALLY like the keys and travel on the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. All works really well and I have the smaller 11” one.

Recording onto the iPad from the Line 6 Pod Go is totally possible now I’m using usb-c. Very much enjoy this setup.

My pedometer, Casio GBA-800. Thought I’d wear it to see how much I’ve been moving around lately. It’s not good, the number of steps that is not the watch.

Modding a Casio AE1200 is pretty fun.

Sunlit 3.0 is awesome

Finally got art of Rise of Skywalker. Love these books. Art of Rebels is on the next to buy list.

My flexible computer of choice

Posting from iA Writer

Posting from iA Writer to Micro.Blog

I’ve written up on how I have been posting to Micro.Blog from Apple Notes and thanks to some advice from Maique I gave iA Writer a go. This app has always been my go to writing app but for some reason I forgot it was there (I’ll blame my iOS 14 testing...) and this is the first post that I’m testing - fingers crossed.

I’ve used the iA Writer app on my iPad (with cloud sync if you’re curious) to write this post and with the URL above I used the text function within iA.

For the images (fingers crossed again that they worked) I used the same selection and picked the image icon. This then let me select the screenshot and embed it above.

I’m already sold on this workflow so I’m dropping Apple Notes for iA when posting longer form to Micro.Blog. I then used the same share sheet and picked Publish.

This takes you to a new post within the browser, you can then edit to add tags and publish your new post.

How to post to Micro.Blog from Apple Notes

As you’ll know if you follow me I have recently gone all in on Micro.Blog both as a blogging and social networking platform. I have though found the app choices not great if you want to write longer form posts like this one. They are great for less than 280 chars but if you want to write longer I struggle to use the Micro.Blog app.

Here’s how I’m posting.

I go into my ‘Writing’ folder in the Apple Notes app on my iPad or iPhone, do my title and start to write up the post.

I cannot embed images into the post and also hyperlinks are like this ljpuk.micro.blog/. Once I’m happy with the post I will use the share sheet icon in the top right of the note and pick the Micro.Blog extension. I can reformat as I need to and add tags then post directly from there to Micro.Blog.

The drawbacks of using this method of Apple Notes is that you cannot add text to the URL i.e. replace the long address with alternative text and it cannot handle images within your post. I still need to test if I can write in Markdown within Apple Notes then use this same method to get around the URL sharing issue but it still won’t fix the image embed that I’d like to be able to use for traditional how to’s etc.

If you have any tips on this please let me know.

wow, turns out it’s really easy to write a longer form post in Apple Notes and use the Share Sheet to post directly to Micro.Blog 👍

Subscription Fatigue

I’ve never really felt subscription fatigue before but in these trying times I’ve needed to look closely at my finances and figure out what I can both let go of services that I don’t or rarely use and ones to get into to help others where I can afford to. It’s uncertain for a lot of folks in terms of careers and their livelihood and the first step for me to watch my outgoings was to look at the iOS App Store and the subscriptions that I had on-going - some of which I’m ashamed to say that I completely forgot I was paying.

Thankfully most were monthly so I cancelled everything apart from my Apple Music and iCloud subscriptions. With the Reminders improvements and widgets in iOS 14 I’m confident I can let subscriptions like TODOIST go and use Apple apps. If it doesn’t work out I’ll fall back to OmniFocus where I have already paid for the app. I’ve also started to use Apple Notes for my writing, something else that I was paying a third party app for, even though I hardly used the app. I can post from Notes to Micro.Blog easily enough - even if it means copy and pasting to and fro apps.

In terms of platforms I’ve been dropping ones that bring complication or negatively impact my wellbeing. I dropped my blog plan at Wordpress, deleted Twitter and invested in Micro.Blog, a platform where I can blog, share my thoughts and have genuinely great conversations. Not that I don’t have great interactions with some on Twitter but the negative outweighs the positive, especially since I started doing my own podcast. I also find the app infuriating and I cannot go near the news right now, I don’t have a choice with it being thrown at me in the official app.

Recently I’ve also been hearing a lot of membership options on podcasts and to be honest it’s helped me trim down my queue. Not that I have an issue with podcast membership, I don’t and support several but when I hear hosts seemingly throwing their money away or being rude to listeners then I just can’t support them. Whilst I do listen occasionally it annoys me when I hear hosts talking down to people trying to help, or seem to spend a large amount of money on unnecessary purchases.

With TV services I’ve stuck to buying movies on iTunes and subscribing to Disney+, I dropped Netflix and don’t pay for Amazon Prime. For me as a massive Star Wars fan I get everything I need here - if anyone fancies starting a Star Wars positive podcast let me know…

I think that’s it for tech related subscriptions, how are you feeling or managing these with everything going on the world right now?

Twitter 😔

I logged into Twitter to check if I had any DM’s. Within 2 minutes of using the app I felt the platforms negativity getting to me. I literally scrolled my feed for 30 seconds and saw insults and bad news. Deleted and reminds me why I stopped. Will need to create a contact page on Micro.Blog so I can say bye to ever logging on again.

I think listening to productivity podcasts and courses is genuinely bad for my mental health

I think listening to productivity podcasts and courses is genuinely bad for my mental health. There’s no “right way” just the way that works best for your brain and if you’re using software as a second brain there’s no perfect app or solution. I think that’s where I’ve fallen down. I’m on pen and paper now and not tracking much stuff in terms of habits, activity etc and feel better for it. This isn’t long term but just a break from listening to others who seem to have their life in order when I don’t. I’m constantly looking over at others who seem to be achieving when I’m not and it brings me down, all my fault BTW. Maybe this is an early morning ramble but I’m slowly backing away from too much technology and noise in my life.

Putting the Apple Watch back in the drawer

I’ve put my Apple Watch back in the drawer, with changes around home working now I’m just not motivated to use it. It’s actually making me feel worse using it these days to be honest. I’m definitely moving to a mindset of it being a negative for me at least to track everything instead of just being human and let it be. I know I need to move more so I track a habit of getting out for a 30 minute walk around the block. I find that I tend to go through all of the health data too much if I wear one and it makes me feel more anxious. Anyone else dumped their Apple Watch to take a step back to a quieter tech life?

Not being able to see site statistics on Micro.Blog is pretty liberating coming from Wordpress. Not that I would obsess over them but it’s nice not being reminded about how good or bad I’m doing.

I definitely miss the app library in iOS 14, I had to move back to iOS 13 to get something stable and setting up home screens feels fiddly again, amazing how quickly the brain adjusts to a new feature. Anyone on the beta liking app library? Here’s my current iOS 13 setup.

I sometimes forget the beauty around where I live here in the shire but it’s time to get out there walking daily again and get into a bit of a routine. Fallen off the wagon big time for the last few months. I’ll get back out there sharing photos from my iPhone I think, photography is a passion of mine.

Stopping using YouTube

I’ve stopped using YouTube completely over the last couple of weeks and I have to admit that I don’t really miss it, I also feel like I have some more headspace. The main reason I stopped using it was the suggested algorithm pushing me towards the more negative content and the thumbnails that gets clicks really annoys me. There only so many face palms I can take. The tech space is particularly bad with this and I just had to say stop for my own wellbeing. Give it a try, you’ll find you suddenly have a lot more free time.

Moving from Wordpress to Micro.Blog

I’ve finally got myself together and moved from Wordpress to Micro.Blog 👍

I’ve been with Wordpress for years but recently I’ve started to review where my content is going and who I want to support on the internet going forward. I was already getting a bit fed up of Wordpress with the app updates seemingly wanting to set the block editor to be the default with every app update and a constant reminder to upgrade my plan wherever I seemed to navigate on the site. This lined up nicely with my decision to come away from Twitter and come back to a more socially responsible place to share my thought, somewhere I’m not the product and own my content.

When thinking about my options I always came back to Micro.Blog. It allowed me to continue to post my shorter and longer thoughts, allowed for interaction and was somewhere that lined up with my own values.

I signed back up and gave it a test and was impressed so I went all in. I exported all of my posts as XML from the admin pages on Wordpress, imported them into Micro.Blog (via the posts page) and cancelled my Wordpress plan. I am also going to cancel my .blog domain to be the micro.blog one instead. I like this URL and it also shows I’m supporting a worthy platform.

I’m only a week in but already feeling like I have a bit more headspace, feel great about supporting this platform and had nothing but great interactions with the community.

My use of the TOT app on iOS

For years now in work I’ve had a simple text app (Notepad++) on my work PC to keep little references, meeting logs, notes and how to’s - I treat it like post it notes or a scratchpad. I’ve never really brought this over to my personal devices but since using TOT I’ve started to do the same across iOS.

I used to use Notes but since it’s big update a few iOS versions ago even that seems too heavy for this function. Well, I’ve been using TOT now for a couple of months and found it’s become this scratchpad. I can only have 7 notes at any one time, which to be honest fits my use case. I want somewhere quick to jot down some thoughts and move on.

I’m using it for a daily check list of things I want to accomplish today, posts like this one that I can paste into Micro.Blog, things to remember for later and so on. These are notes that aren’t meant for the long term just a temporary storage area.

Not everyone likes to work this way but it fits with how I like to jot things down quickly.

Now I’ve moved over to Micro.Blog I’ve got a new RSS feed over at LJPUK.micro.blog/feed.json thanks in advance to those who follow me over to the new feed.

Moving to Micro.Blog from Wordpress complete, took about 45 minutes to export all of my posts from wordpress, import into Micro.Blog and let the blog update. I’m actually thinking of keeping my .micro.blog domain and leaving my old one behind completely.

Finally gotten around to importing my wordpress content into Micro.Blog, worked amazingly well. Looking forward to building more content here.