Can you switch off?

When was the last time you switched your phone off?

I’m betting that due to the fact that all modern smartphones come with a ‘Airplane/Flight’ mode that most people don’t switch off even when boarding a plane.

Constant connectivity has left us all addicted to information by way of emails, social networks and instant messaging. While most phones have a silent mode, even the soft and subtle vibrating sensation in your pocket is enough to break your concentration on whatever you’re doing leaving you itching to find out what treats your phone is about to offer you (ignore it.. it’s probably just a spam email!)

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Apple: It just works

This evening my wife accidentally left her iPhone in a cab – a private cab too – which she got into from a taxi rank where several cab companies park!

She called me to see if I can track down the driver by calling all the cab companies in the area and describing the situation to the operator!

Before that though I decided to log into her account on iCloud and try and track it down using Find My iPhone.

Turns out it was now back at the train station (where she caught the cab from) suggesting it’s still in there.

I sent a message to the phone saying to call me on my number and sent a couple of requests to ‘play a sound’…

15 mins later I get a call back from the driver confirming he has the phone and arranged for him to meet me.

Problem solved!

Thank you Apple for the great feature (and thanks for your honesty me cabby)

My advice to all: leave your location services On all the time and make sure you’ve set up ‘Find My iPhone’ (or equivalent) on your device!

As Steve Jobs would say – “It just works”

Feedly Desktop – A small UI tweak suggestion

I’ve been using Feedly on iOS for quite a few months now as a client which syncs with Google Reader. Having tested out other RSS reader apps (Feeddler, MobileRSS, Flipboard and Reeder) I’ve found Feedly to be the most user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing*.

On the desktop however, I’ve always used FeedDemon as it also syncs with Google Reader and provides desktop notifications so I can keep updated throughout the day without having to constantly keep hitting refresh.

However…. The recent announcement that Google Reader will be shutting down on July 1st has left me thinking whether FeedDemon will continue to operate? We shall see.

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Time To Dribbble

As a designer, Dribbble is one of those essential sites to both promote your own work and draw inspiration from others.

Dribbble is a closed community of designers where users need to be invited in order to post their work (either by another user or by the Dribbble team)

Well… late last night, I got drafted to become a Player (Dribbble uses a lot of basketball terminology) – Nice!

I’ve only posted up a couple of ‘Shots’ yet but its nice to finally be able to get involved with the community.

Check out my profile

Making Ideas Happen: My two pennies worth

So as part of my self development plan, I’m trying to read more (which shouldn’t be difficult as up until now I’ve hardly ever picked up a book!). I’m not entirely sure when or why – I must have subconsciously been taking in all the references while on Behance – but I decided to pick up a copy of Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky, CEO and founder of Behance.net.

Making Ideas Happen

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The Cult of ‘Done’ Manifesto

During my daily round of Stumbling, I came across the Cult of Done Manifesto by Bre Pettis

It goes a little something like this…
The Cult of Done Manifesto
  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.
Poster to accompany the Manifesto by James Provost

Now go get something Done.

Realise your potential

Today I came across this post on Facebook which I found pretty inspiring!

“Once, a man was passing an elephant when he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that this huge creature was being held by only a small rope tied to it’s back leg. No chains, no cage. It was obvious that the elephant could, at any time, break away from that bond, but for some reason, it did not.

The man saw a trainer nearby, and asked why the animal, just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds, but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life, hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Realize your potential, come out of your old beliefs and the fear of failures. Just because you couldn’t do something at one time, or something didn’t work earlier, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it now.”

Watch your back

As I slowly but surely approach 30 I look back at the last ten years and realise that I haven’t done enough to keep fit and active. I’ve never really been into sports (other than cricket where you spend a lot of time just standing still) and the gym was always a major chore.

Recently however, after a bit of peer pressure I’ve decided to join in a weekly game of 6-a-side football with some close friends. My wife ( an avid Arsenal supporter) is thrilled to bits about it. I on the other hand; a guy who not only doesn’t play football but doesn’t even watch it was feeling a little worried. Would I be able to last an hour? Could I even last 5 minutes? Only one way to find out eh….

Week 1 was a killer. I was out of breath within minutes, get a stitch on my side and get a cramp in my leg. I could hardly breathe when I got home later that night.
Now in week 6 I’ve noticed a huge improvement in both my health and stamina and also in my ability to play the game. I’m finally starting to feel healthy again.

Totally Trollied!

On Saturday afternoon i went shopping in Tesco with my daughter. As usual, I end up with the trolley with the dodgy wheel which keeps pulling to one side – why are all the trollers at Tesco like that?

Anyway, so I’m having to walk at an odd angle and really forcing the trolley to go in a straight line to avoid smashing into the aisles and after getting a bit frustrated by my trolley I gave it a swift jerk as I walked out of the store. At this point I thought nothing of it but I could feel this sharp pain in my lower back by the time I got back to my car.

By the evening the pain grew and I could hardly stand or sit… So off to bed. I wake up on Sunday morning in the most agonising pain in my lower back. Unable to get out of bed without feeling like I’m about to die. I can’t even bend down to pick my daughter up, which is pretty heartbreaking. No doubt I won’t be playing football this week!

I’m loading up on Ibuprofen and applying lots of ice packs so here’s to hoping I have a speedy recovery.

I guess the moral of all this is, no matter what your age and fitness level, do not take your health (and especially your back) for granted.