Time is my enemy at the moment. Life is a repetition of work, study, Sidepodcast, sleep. It is always better to be busy than bored, but frazzled is the word I’m choosing to use at the moment.
With that in mind, here are a few things I’ve been using to try and make life a bit easier.
The Yahoo News Digest app intrigues me greatly, because I always think I’m interested in the news but when I settle down to read or watch, I find I’m not. The great design of this app, plus the fact that it is a limited selection of must-read news, makes it more appealing to people like me. I like the idea of checking off the stories, and having the days that you have read marked off on a calendar.
There are two news digests a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, and so far, I have only managed to get through both in one day once.
I’ve seen a handful of reviews suggesting the app is biased, and I think you’re always going to get an element of that when something is curated for you. However, each story seems to be handled pretty well, there’s a selection of facts, videos and more links to visit after each news item, so the coverage is okay by me.
I really like the look and feel of the app too. My only complaint is that getting back to the menu from inside a story is a bit clunky, but other than that, it gets a thumbs up.
In other “keeping up with the outside world” news, I’ve suddenly found myself following a handful more Twitter accounts, to the point where it’s hard to keep up. Instead of reading each and every link as and when I come across it, I’ve found the best solution to be sending links from the Tweetbot app on my phone to the Safari reading list. I’ve not really got into the reading list before, but am now finding its ease of use and syncing across many devices incredibly useful.
I’ve written on a few different occasions about the struggles to find a to-do list application that works for me. I think I’ve got the best I’m going to get out of Things. A terrible name for a great (if pricey) application, this doesn’t do anything particularly special over and above others but it’s working for me.
I’ve given up on the repeated tasks options that many apps give you, because none of them work how I want. Instead, when I want a repeated app, I’ll reschedule it for the next day once it’s done. It’s perhaps a step or two more work, but worth it for the extra control I get.
Whilst Apple have never come out and said they don’t care about podcasts anymore, their attempts to revitalise the app failed spectacularly. I couldn’t get on board with the wonky app, as detailed previously.
My podcast app of choice is Downcast, and it recently updated with a handful of better options in terms of double speed listening. It still boggles Mr C’s mind that I listen to things faster than x1 speed, but the recent Downcast rejig has seen my drop down from x3 to x2. Does that mean there are people listening to things even faster than me? Now it’s my turn to be a little bit boggled.
Finally, Ghost updated recently to allow better usability on mobile devices. I’ll admit, I’ve only tried it out briefly on the iPad, and it still wasn’t ideal. I think when the app appears, it will make life that little bit better, but the brilliant things about Ghost is, it’s so new and so clean, that every step is a step in the right direction.