The 5 Things I Learned from Casey Newton
Plus: how iOS 15 is making your photos even better
1. Take Your Shot
This is partly something I learned prior to this interview and partly something Casey validated for me during the interview.
I asked Casey to be on the show, thinking he would fully decline (politely). To me, he seems like such a busy person so why would he “waste” it on someone like me. This is me not giving myself enough value.
I also felt like one of the reasons he was so receptive to me asking him to be on the show was because I had a different angle than others. Instead of just talking about how he went independent, I wanted to talk about his process. He even told me in the interview saying that I am the first person to ask him about how he does his work, which I took as a compliment.
So if you have someone that you want on your show, ask them to be on but have it be mutually beneficial if you can.
2. Have a system, and stick with it
Casey spoke at length about how he uses Notion and Roam in a system, and I noticed that he not only had a place for everything but he also had a well thought out reason for each decision, and he continually stuck with that system to accrue more value from it over time.
People who care deeply about notes are also the ones to jump ship every time something new comes along. While it can be fun to play around with the latest software, if you keep moving from one app to another it isn’t allowing you to have any real value accrue over time.
There will never be a perfect notes app, you just have to pick something that has flaws you’re willing to live with.
3. Be judicious with your tags and labels
One feature that most of the newest notes app have, including Apple Notes, is tags. If you have redundant tags, it can grind your note taking effectiveness to a halt. For example, if you have a tag like
iPad and another tab like
iPads you now have duplicate tags. So after some time you might be looking for something about the iPad but when you use your tags you now aren’t sure if the correct tag is
If you continue to maintain your notes like a garden your yield will be much more prosperous. So when you add tags, look to see if there are potential tags already in your system before making new ones.
4. Brain dump everyday
Casey mentioned about how he just brain dumps with Roam as a pseudo journal of sorts. This reminded me a lot about daily notes, which I am a huge fan of.
One thing that I know has helped me as a writer is to have a place like a daily note or even a scratch-paper app like Tot to quickly jot down something in my mind. Once it leaves my brain and goes into a note or onto a piece of paper my mind lets go of that thought completely. When I do this enough times the only thing left to think about are the big things. Things like my newsletter, my plans for my house projects, my goals for the next 5 years, things that need significant time for my brain to noodle on.
The items I captured earlier are still important, and I do indeed process them. Most of the time those quick thoughts either go into an ongoing note like one I have for house projects, or it goes into my task manager as something I should do.
Another benefit with daily notes is that sometimes a thought you had that seemed small can grow into something much larger. I have had multiple things pop in my head that sparked an interest of mine and caused me to write about it here on Tablet Habit. My piece about Regex, for example, was a simple thought I wrote down one day and after hours of playing around with Regex I decided to write about it.
Allowing my brain to stretch out a bit every day is the mental exercise I need to keep my writing and thought processing limber.
5. Just use a to-do app, they all do the same thing
Casey had a singular hot take about to do apps and it was that most to do apps are just meant to be glorified checklists and they all do pretty much the same thing. So instead of wasting your time fiddling with different apps you should just pick one and live with it. He used to use TickTick, but now uses Todoist. Just find one that is pretty enough for you and functions the way you want it and start using it. Embrace its flaws and make it work for you.
Apple now removes Lens Flares in iOS 15 beta 4
In iOS 15 it seems that you can un-Michael-Bay your photos automatically.
According to a Reddit user, beta 4 can auto-remove lens flares when post-processing a photo.
This finding was shared by the developers of the popular camera app Halide on Twitter, and as you can see in the image below, the picture was taken in a grass field with the sun appearing. Those who love taking landscape photos are used to having a minor lens flare in this kind of situation.
The best part is that the Reddit user only noticed that there was a lens flare when he used the Live Photo function and then discovered that on the left side of the picture there was a little flare.
According to other Reddit users, they’re able to confirm that the iPhone XS, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 can post-process and remove lens flares in photos. It’s still unclear whether older iPhones can do the same, as many features of iOS 15 are exclusive to phones with the A12 Bionic or newer.
The Apple Store gets a Refreshed Look
At the top of the store, there are images and links to many of Apple’s product lines (Mac, iPhone, AirPods, etc.). Some of those links take you to new dedicated Store pages for the products, which show you what models are available and point to resources like shopping guides, accessories, and support. On the main Store page, there are also sections for what’s new, links to support pages, and more.
I like the new look, but there is one thing that is bugging me a lot when I see it on Desktop. For some reason the cards start left-aligned with the rest of the page but flies out to the right. It is asymmetrical in both Chrome and Safari.
I am not a web developer, but to me it should be symmetrical in some kind of way. Either the cards should start on the far left or the carousel should end with the rest of the page on the right. What ever Apple has now is not a good vibe for me.
Apple Released new Keyboards with Touch ID
Among the items listed, which each come with a woven USB-C to Lightning cable and come in white and silver only, are:
Magic Keyboard ($99). The Magic Keyboard features rounded corners and some changes to its keys, including a dedicated Globe/Fn key and Spotlight, Dictation, and Do Not Disturb functionality mapped to the F4 - F6 keys.
Magic Keyboard with Touch ID ($149). Along with the design and key changes of the Magic Keyboard, this model includes Touch ID, which works with M1 Macs only.
Magic Trackpad ($129). The corners of the new Magic Trackpad are more rounded than before, but it’s functionally the same as prior models.
Magic Mouse ($79). The Magic Mouse is listed as new, too, although apart from the woven USB-C to Lightning cable in the box, there don’t appear to be any other differences between this model and the prior model.
I personally am a mechanical keyboard user, but these Magic Keyboards with Touch ID are singing to me. I have an M1 MacBook Air and the thing I miss the most when using my mechanical keyboard is that I can’t just use Touch ID when I need to enter a password or unlock my Mac. Instead I have to take a trip down memory lane and type in my password like a loser.
Ulysses 23 Comes with Better Blogging features
The premium writing app Ulysses recently sent out version 23 to all users which incorporates a number of features that bloggers and publishers will enjoy. Here’s the short version:
You can now update posts on you Ghost website within Ulysses (previously you could only do that with WordPress blogs)
A new indicator for published work
you can now quickly identify the posts you already uploaded to a blogging platform. In Ulysses, the respective sheets receive a paper plane icon in the sheet list. It appears right after uploading and is transparent. If you edit the sheet of a previously published post, the icon gets a filled appearance, indicating that you'll have to update the live post to reflect the latest changes.
Published posts now have a new widget indicating the post status and publish date.
You can now set a daily writing goal to track within Ulysses as well
Some seriously great additions for all my blogging friends using WordPress or Ghost. Ulysses is a writing app I use from time to time for Tablet Habit, but because I am on Substack it is not user-friendly for features like those listed above. Maybe one day if/when Substack creates an API for developers to use.