Gary Bacon

Jolt

Book Review

Justin Jackson’s book Jolt: Marketing Tactics for Programmers, Designers, Freelancers, Makers, and Entrepreneurs was a great way to start off the year.

It really does give you a Jolt of inspiration.

This book is a great resource for marketing your new product, software, idea, book, or any project that you want to promote. It teaches you to, “Be different, break out of the mold, and surprise folks”.

Justin provides case studies, examples of websites and services using data that you might not known before.

Show Up First

One of the stories he provides is about being first to the party:

There is a first mover advantage that you get on any new platform. In the early days of Twitter, people who grabbed a foothold there were able to amass a big number of followers, even though they might not have been famous elsewhere.

I joined Twitter in May 2007 and can attest to this. Those of us that were there at the beginning ended up with much more engagement with early adopters, forged friendships, and benefited from the platform. Whale is an upcoming platform that I’m seeing the same pattern emerge as I did then.

He goes on to say:

You can set yourself up to create [luck]. Quantity is what gets you to quality. Start placing little bets; try a bunch of things. One of them might work and become big.

This is great. Validate your ideas. Try to see what works, evaluate the data, and keep iterating on what does work. That’s the key. Look back at what you’ve done, revise, and keep pushing forward.

My Top Apps of 2016

Alright, lets take a look at the apps that I used the most in 2016. I’ll also make note of the apps that have been replaced by another app in the same category.

Apps that I use the most

  • Fantastical – Calendar app of choice on iPhone for 2 years now. Use it a ton on my Mac.
  • Snapchat – Used nearly every day.
  • Simple – still love my bank.
  • Camera – use the built in iOS app a ton now, sorry Camera+.
  • Wallet – formerly Passbook, built in iOS app. Use it for flights, movie tickets, Coca-Cola rewards, and more.
  • Audible – favorite way to read.
  • Instagram – posting more again.
  • Inbox – use this daily. Tried using the new Gmail app. Wish it either had the option to delete ( swipe left ) or archive ( swipe right ). Having one or the other is a ‘meh’ option for me.
  • Facebook + Messenger
  • Swarm – checking in. Helps build my minimal journal.
  • Safari
  • Slack
  • Twitter – find myself using the native app more. Mainly due to the variety of notifications it gives.
  • Way of Life – routines app.
  • Castro – new podcast app. Organizes by feed instead of podcast. So far, great.
  • Paprika – organize my favorite recipes.
  • Lose It! – health app, used since 2009.
  • Apple Music – Updates have made the service better, still not great though.
  • Robinhood – no fee stock trading.
  • Trello – use it at work, and less at home. This wasn’t always the case. Pro tip: don’t create too many boards 🙂

How to Use Stickers in the iOS 10 Messages App

With the launch of the iPhone 7 also came the debut of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 10. This latest version of the OS brought with it a ton of new changes, improvements, and added features.

One of those new features is the ability to add stickers to text messages in the Messages app ( or iMessage ).

I’ve had a few people ask me where to find them so I decided to make a short video to walk you through it.

Mister Bacon – delicious bacon stickers for Messages. ( app store )

Headphones You Can Buy Right Now for iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 or iPhone 6SE is fast approaching release. With that, one of the largest rumors around the device is that Apple is discontinuing the 3.5mm jack in favor of using the lightning cable for headphones.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the 3.5mm jack on headphones. After a pair of my Bose did this:

However, Bose being an amazing brand in both quality and customer service, hooked me up with a free replacement pair. Plus, two days later, they upgraded me to Bluetooth so it would never happen again. #winning

While the switch to lightning may seem groundbreaking, or even startling, Apple has actually supported lightning headphones since 2014.

iCloud Email Out of Control? Sanebox

I’ve had my Apple email address since it was Dot Mac. Then it became Mobile Me, and now it is called iCloud.

That’s @mac.com @me.com @icloud.com — so many different aliases, domains, etc. It ends up being a history of junk emails.

On top of that, I’m tied to my Apple email address because it’s now your AppleID.

As that email grows out of control, it becomes harder to find relevant emails. Not to mention notifications from Apple themselves.

Buy something online? You’re now on a newsletter list.

Unsubscribe from a newsletter? Ha! That rarely works.

Have an email address long enough and it will be sold to various “marketing lists”.

Sanebox to the Rescue

It’s super simple. Sanebox scans your emails, then moves the miscellaneous ( sales emails, confirmations, etc ) from the Inbox to a folder called “SaneLater”.

Then it will email you a digest of your emails so that you can glance at them once a day. Anything important is left in your Inbox per usual.

It really is that smart.

Grandbeing® V4.0 Bluetooth Earbuds

At the time of this writing, it’s been two weeks since I purchased the Grandbeing® V4.0 Bluetooth Earbuds. I’ve been using them for listening to audiobooks whenever I have pockets of free time. 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there really does add up.

Even though it is so small and comfortable, it stays in place for me. There are times that it is hard to tell it is even there.

It has the latest bluetooth V4.0 chipset, steady signal and lower power consumption. It has a wireless transmission distance of up to 33 feet. It also contains the CVC 6.0 noise-canceling technology which allows you to talk clearly in a noisy environment.

My Top Apps of 2015

Inspired by this post from M.G. Siegler, I’m taking a look at the apps that I used the most in 2015. I’ll also make note of the apps that have been replaced by another app in the same category.

Apps that I use the most

  • Fantastical – Updated the app for both iPhone and Mac.
  • Simple – great bank.
  • Robinhood – no fee stock trading app.
  • Apple Music – sadly the convenience killed the Rdio star.
  • Lark – conversational health app for food logging and exercise. This has potential.
  • Swarm – gamification is back!
  • Facebook + Messenger + Groups
  • Tweetbot – still my favorite twitter app.
  • Trello – organizes my life.
  • Slack – best work collaboration tool. Period.
  • Evernote – long term note storage and information collection.
  • Simplenote – easy note taking. Use it for everything.

Digit Savings

Digit is an automated savings program that I’ve been using for awhile now.

Once you sign up and add your bank account, it monitors your income and spending habits. Then it will begin putting away a few dollars over time.

A friend of mine and I signed up at the same time and it definitely tailors its saving patterns to you, as ours were totally different.

The service communicates to you either daily or weekly via text message. You can set this via preferences. It also keeps you motivated with milestone texts. Below is an example of one I received a few months ago.

Money
Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 12.32.24 PM

I use Simple for my bank, which has no fees. But Digit is so confident in their math that in the rare event you overdraft, they will pay the fee. Digit accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Favorite Authors’ Books on Sale

A few of my favorite authors’ books for Kindle are on sale on Amazon right now. They were so good that I had to share.

Remember, Amazon sales end quickly so I wouldn’t wait too long if anything strikes your fancy.

4-Hour Work Week The 4-Hour Workweek ( expanded and updated — 91% off ) by Tim Ferriss is on sale for $1.99. | Bring automation and efficiency to your business.

Choose Yourself Choose Yourself by James Altucher is on sale for $.99. | The world has changed. Learn how to leverage those changes.

The Choose Yourself Guide To WealthThe Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth by James Altucher is on sale for $.99. | New rules for making money based on recent changes in society.

Crush It!Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuck is on sale for $3.99 ( 82% off ) | Do what you love. No excuses.

Awareness

Every hour, the app plays the sound of a tibetan singing bowl.
It reminds you to be mindful and take a break.

It was created to be subtle. You can adjust bowl volume. It displays how long it has been since you’ve taken a break in the OSX Menu Bar.

I love it because it does not interupt your workflow, take over the screen of your computer, or induce a negative response to the act of being mindful.

Simple yet elegant.

Download the app and give it a try.