Welcome to Issue 002

Hello friends – thank you for coming back, or if you've just signed up, glad to have you.

Here’s Issue 001 if you haven’t read it yet.

I have two short blurbs before my links today, but first a photo of my cat since my concert photos didn't turn out.

How I’m organizing some of these newsletter links

To keep track of the articles that I want to add to this newsletter, I’ve set up a Trello board where I can dump articles and organize them over time.

I’ll admit I did this very sloppy for an automation expert and didn’t use any shortcuts because I saved it for the last minute.

Instead, I just shared the links and whatever titles showed up using Trello’s share sheet extension is what got dumped into each card.

In the long run, this allows me to group the articles by column and drag the individual “cards” around on iOS.

Plus, I can utilize the native Shortcuts actions that use Trello's API to run in the background (i.e. don’t use URL schemes or require opening into the app to pull data in, like other Shortcuts actions).

Next week I’ll have a series of shortcuts for adding articles with information pulled from their websites, more for linking them with HTML formatting, and some others for dictating all my blurbs – surely going to be lots of automation to go around here.

I may get it to a place where I can publish without typing almost at all.

How I’ve been focusing on some self-care

Only through some recent self-realizations have I really started to internalize the tiny moments where not fully taking care of myself ends up piling up through my day and making me much less functional.

I’m pretty sure I’m perpetually dehydrated and almost never remember to drink enough water throughout the day. Only recently have I been getting back on track with cooking more often and not eating out, but in times where I haven’t had much food around the hous, I’ve found myself confusing feeling “unproductive” with really just being hungry or thirsty.

The same goes for sleep – I generally sleep fine enough, but lately I’ve been unable to sleep as long as I’d like. I found myself staying up too late but still getting up fairly early, and trying to work through being tired when it’s really not necessary.

I know most people don’t have the luxury of taking naps during the work day, but I’ve been finding that pretty much immediately laying down and trying to nap while I’m recovering for my sleep debt has done wonders.

Doing it somewhat consistently was also in effect practicing, and now I’m better at falling asleep after about 5–10 minutes and waking up feeling fairly rested.

So my advice—solicited by you since you signed up for this newsletter—is to get a good water bottle, keep food that fills you up near your workspace, and if you can sneak in a few naps, catch up on some sleep ASAP.

Editor’s note on Supercomputer

Alex Cox and I have been doing a podcast for 19 episodes now called Supercomputer, and in our latest installment, we turned on our webcams, edited our videos together, and put it on YouTube.

We are experimenting with continuing the show as a normal podcast, but you can watch the “livestream” instead if you’d like too. We aren’t going to be doing anything on video that we wouldn’t mention for the listeners, so it’s not going to be a “video show” per se.

But I’m excited, if only to get a chance to actually see Alex each week and smile a bunch.

I have a work-in-progress shortcut to open the currently-playing Overcast podcast at the same time stamp on YouTube, so you could switch from the audio to video if you felt like it, but it still needs some massaging.

If you haven’t listened to Supercomputer yet, the next few episodes are going to be a good place to jump in – we’re brainstorming a “season 2” now.

Things I liked:
  • This package for developers to install so that if a client doesn’t pay, it decreases opacity on their website text every day until it’s gone.
  • This doctor’s reflection on how much pro athletes put into recovery and why we don’t think about that for thought workers.
  • This bookstore, record shop, and cocktail bar called “North Light” in the Temescal district of Oakland, somewhat near where I live. I visited it after reading articles from Eater and The Chronicle on what they are attempting to do, linked from Todd Vaziri on Twitter.
APIs that I want to use: Things I’m thinking about:
  • My desk setup. I’ve rearranged it an ungodly amount of times, and Dan Mace reminded me that I should be equipped to be there for long sessions. I’ll share the whole thing soon.
  • How to explain the middle ground of the Shortcuts app. Explaining how to break down your tasks into individual steps and how content passes from one action to the next is complicated, and making it easy… isn’t easy. But it’ll be here soon enough.
  • How to protect my brain from mental commitments that seem harmless. I’ve undergone a muting experiment in Tweetbot that will be written up/explained in full on completion, and I also just cleared so many Instapaper articles out it makes me upset (at least I have a productive outlet for those now).
  • The concept of “unlocking the commons” that I’ve heard before but saw referenced in Craig Mod’s piece on newsletters. It’s basically pricing items so that once a certain number of people pay it becomes free – I’d totally be down for that in some form in the future. Basic monetization, and you can move on to the next thing while growing it for everyone.
Things I’ve made recently:

Random tidbits: I have Evernote shortcuts coming, plus a piece on serendipity with technology, and by god I am going to actually get my act together writing for iMore.

Have a good week everyone, and remember my inbox is open – special thanks to everybody who replied last time, I love hearing from you all.

I want to ask you all here what I asked on Clockwise – what is something Apple could add to Siri or the Shortcuts app that would make you use it more?

Watch my latest YouTube video
Copyright © 2019 Matthew Cassinelli, All rights reserved.

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