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Blue Mountain

The newest Word. Notebooks are really nice looking, both the blue colorway pictured above, but also the black color way.  I ordered a pack of each, but I am starting to struggle with my talent for acquiring cool notebooks compared to my velocity with filling them up. Maybe I should start giving more away?

 

Limited Edition Work/Play Confidant

Smart looking new Baron Fig Confidant Notebooks with Work/Play theme were released this morning. I’ve filled up two of their regular Confidant notebooks in the course of my Bullet Journaling. Aside from some annoying fraying of the bookmark, which I think they are working on mitigating, I’ve really like them from a paper, looks and durability perspective. I ordered three of the new ones.

 

Similar to the Arts and Sciences Field Notes, but reversed, each spread has a “Work” page, which is dot grid, and a “Play” page, which is blank. I’m actually currently about halfway through a Sciences Field Notes right now.

 

Update: Brad over at the Pen Addict has had access to these, and has posted a review that’s worth reading.

8 Things

I couldn’t agree more with 8 Things I Learned After a Month with the Apple WatchIf I were writing a similar article, I think I would have written about the same 8 items.  I need to get up and move around more.

Black Series Part II from Ugmonk

Really nice line of black gear and kit from Ugmonk. I hopped right on this and ordered myself the “Plus Minus” shirt pictured below. I was/am a fan of the band of the same name, who are not related to this in any way.  There are a lot of t-shirts out there, but these are among the nicest designs, tasteful, yet still fun.

Source: Black Series | Ugmonk

WWDC 2015 Debrief

On the whole, WWDC 2015 brought less news and less change than its two immediate predecessors. Apple is still on top of the world, but this year, it’s about refining and polishing, not wide-reaching changes. – WWDC 2015 Debrief — 512 Pixels

I didn’t get to attend as much WWDC as I would have liked, as I flew across the country for some meetings and an NBA Finals game in Cleveland part way into the week.  I would overall say that the atmosphere seemed a little more subdued in years past, yet didn’t lack the enthusiasm that comes with these Apple events either. It’s a recognition that things are evolving, they are the biggest company in the world, and there’s a need to go back and dot some i’s, albeit without admitting that they weren’t dotted in the first place.

I’m looking forward to the iPad enhancements, and to the watchOS (rhymes with nachos) with real apps etc.  I’m worried about the strain this puts on developers with limited resources at the same time.

Mini Review: Monowear Nylon Red Band for Apple Watch 

I definitely love my Apple Watch. I ordered the Stainless Steel Apple Watch with a black sport band at 12:01 am on the night they went on sale, received it the very first day they shipped, and haven’t really taken it off, except for charging, since. I really like the black sport band, but have wanted to pick up more bands as well.  I see the sport band as a good every day band, and only really liked the black color. I wanted some variety, but found the other Apple options to not really be for me when I tried them on in store.  A few weeks ago, when the Monowear bands went up for pre-order, I placed an order for Monowear red nylon band.

I received the band while I was away at WWDC, and was pretty excited to try it out when I got home. I liked the red color as a contrast to the black band I have been wearing. I have to say that I am not disappointed in this band in any way.  I like it so much that I may be ordering additional bands from Monowear in the near future. Given the current dearth of third party bands that are available, and the premium construction, I don’t think the $59.99 price tag is unreasonable.

The band installed flawlessly on my watch, as easily as any of the Apple bands. Removing and re-installing my Apple Sport Band also proved to be a breeze.  I was definitely concerned about this the most of the various aspects of this purchase, and this band passed with flying colors.

The band itself is well made, and its metal matches the Apple Watch hardware color perfectly. This includes the three band loops, as well as the small pieces that attach the band to the watch body. I can’t find any flaws there at all. The nylon is what I would expect from a premium nylon watch band. It came out of the packaging a little stiff, and so will be a little itchy/scratchy the first few days until it’s fully broken in, but I think that’s to be expected.

Overall, this band is a good option for those seeking a red band, something Apple does not offer. I’d really like to try out their leather bands next, but may have to wait for my next paycheck to make that purchase. Keep in mind that I have only had/worn this band for about 36 hours, and my opinion may change with wear, but, for now, it’s a definite go ahead and buy rating.

Image Source: Nylon – Red Band with Chrome Loops — Monowear

Highball

 

Studio Neat recently introduced a new free app named Highball. I was just thinking last week that there didn’t seem to be a lot of good apps for storing cocktail recipes, surprising given how in vogue fancy cocktails seem to be at the moment. The price is right, and the app is responsive and well designed. It’s a natural extension of their Neat Ice Kit and Simple Syrup Kit products, both of which are on my future purchase list.

More interesting to me is the way they have implemented cocktail recipe sharing. You can either take a picture of the card some else has shared, which has an embedded QR code, (It’s small, but it’s still a QR code.) or you can enter a unique number that is assigned to that recipe in their database of recipes. Definitely a pretty elegant solution to a pretty thorny problem. Send me your recipes!

Time Spent, Wrist Style

I was reading Lopp’s bulleted list of observations on watches, which is definitely worth your time, and this one stuck out to me.

“Interaction with a watch is measured in seconds and rarely minutes.”

This definitely implies that people are going to be using the wrist device for quick bursts, but not for any sustained time period.

Earlier this week, I read this article by Kevin Tofel that makes the case for Watch apps being “usable” in ten seconds or less.

I actually agree that the first generation of apps for these devices are more than likely going to be for small burst activities.  I think, however, that that will be because most people haven’t had access to a device prior to this first release of apps.  It may also be because of battery life, but that remains to be seen at the moment, I expect we will know more tomorrow.

I think that this device will, in the more long term, be used for longer things than people realize at the moment.  I keep imagining some addictive watch based game that people play. Think tamogotchi for your wrist (which I imagine someone has to be making the equivalent of somewhere at this very moment) and you have the general idea. I think that the limiting factor, aside from the aforementioned battery life concern, is that people will think of this like a watch until they don’t.

 

Momentum for Safari

Last summer I switched from Chrome to Safari for the umpteenth time. I’ve made the switch back and forth several times over the years, but Safari has stuck with me for several months now. The primary reason why is the excellent cloud tabs feature. Being able to see what tabs are open on my other devices, and actually being able to close them remotely has been a huge quality of life improvement. The syncing between devices is flawless.

Screenshot 2015-01-28 08.44.07One thing I did miss in the transition was Momentum, which is the new tab replacement I was using for Chrome. I’d actually posted it here a while ago. As you can see from the screenshot above, they bring in gorgeous photography, an inspirational quote,and provide a todo feature, as well as a way to configure the new tab with frequently used links. I like the inspiring nature photography, and have flirted with regular use of the various utilities.

Recently, I am not sure exactly when, they introduced a Safari extension, so now I get to have my cloud tabs and my favorite new tab replacement.