My name is Philipp and you are reading Creativerly, the weekly digest about creativity and productivity-boosting tools and resources, combined with useful insights, articles, and findings from the fields of design and tech. The newsletter built for the creative community.
Hey and welcome to Creativerly 256 👋
In this issue of Creativerly, we have quite a lot to unpack. Therefore, you will find a quite long and packed ‘Updates & News’ section down below. I really enjoy writing those update and news posts, and since I decided to limit the apps section to a maximum of two new apps per week, I think that the overall composition of the newsletter has definitely improved. Instead of getting flooded with too many apps each week, Creativerly now provided recent news and updates to keep you informed.
One of the most polarizing news from the past week are unfolding at Substack as reported by loads of media outlets. After authors pointed out that the platform is not only hosting but because of its recommendation features also helping Nazis to grow and monetize their content, Substack‘s co-founder delivered the most disappointing and demoralizing answer you could have expected, leading to loads of authors and publications leaving and migrating off the platform. The most prominent of them is Platformer, founded by Casey Newton, who has over 170,000 subscribers according to a recent posting. While I had some mixed feelings about the way Casey Newton announced that Platformer is leaving Substack, I am delighted about his new platform of choice, which is Ghost*, the open-source CMS that is also powering Creativerly.
I have used Substack in the past too. Even without features like recommendations, Notes, or others, it gave me the possibility to grow my newsletter fast, I had a place to simply write a newsletter, publish the posts to the web too, and had to think about anything else. Already back in 2020, I decided to leave Substack because of the lack of transparency. There were multiple controversies, for example Substack’s initial growth was led by them “acquiring” high-profile authors and writers to join their platform, keeping it a secret and tell the public that Substack’s most successful writers are all bootstrapped, although they are not. Additionally, Jude Doyle reported that Substack has a secret list of writers who were allowed to violate the company’s terms of service, and Peter Kafka dove into the controversies even deeper, writing about authors who had been recruited by Substack although they had been banned from other social platforms because of violations of rules against hateful conduct.
An increasing number of authors and publications are yet again migrating off Substack, and I have hope that the number will rise.
Apps, Software, Tools
Enqo is an interesting new collaboration app. It is focused on offering all-around messaging and a suite for seamless collaboration. If you have ever been looking for a messenger that is integrated with projects, tasks, and threads to provide a messenger-like experience while streamlining your work, Enqo is worth taking a look at.
Enqo gives you the possibility to bring teams together and control the access to a specific task. With Enqo, your tasks are meeting your chats, which means you can manage tasks like chats, worry-free, and keeping everything in a single place. Every as becomes a task, every file you attach will get stored safely, and after arranging your links you can share access without endless back and forth emailing. As Enqo is a chat-first app, it combines the simplicity of chat with the organization of task tracking. No matter if you want to provide services, assemble an on-demand team, or run community-driven startups, Enqo got you covered by creating projects with each of your customers, assembling a freelance team, or kickstarting a project with your community members.
With just a couple of clicks, Enqo lets you set up a task board in Kanban style for multiple team to always have a clear and visual overview of what you have to be working on next. Managing tasks within Enqo is easy and streamlined, additionally you get the power to access them from a single place. Managing and working on projects often involves managing multiple files. Enqo has a dedicated file view where it will gather every single file that you attach to your tasks and projects. This gives you an easy and fast way to find and resurface any file you are looking for. Besides that, Enqo lets you arrange useful links and share access to them with a single click.
As Enqo is still in an early stage, it is currently free to use. The team is currently working on a premium paid plan that will probably add some additional features. If you want to give it a try right away, head over to their website and sign up for an account.
CleanShot X provides you with over 50 features making it the ultimate screen capturing tool for your Mac. Annotate, capture scrolling, do a screen recording, create a beautiful background, pin screenshots, hide icons, and more, simple and straightforward.
The Crop tool lets you quickly specify the aspect ratio, the pixelate tool allows you to blur private information, with the highlighter you can easily highlight a text the way you do it in books, and thanks you the text tool which is packed with 7 predefined styles, you can customize your screenshots to your likings and needs.
With a single payment of $29 you get access to over 50 features which will let you capture your screen like pro, the app is yours forever, you receive one year of updates, and 1 GB of cloud storage. For $8 per user per month (billed annually) you can upgrade to the Cloud Pro Plan, allowing you to activate the app via your iCloud account, always get the latest version of the app, unlimited cloud storage, the possibility to add your own domain and logo and use it for sharing, advanced security features, as well as advanced team features.
This is an affiliate link to support Creativerly. If you are interested in putting your tool, product, or resource in front of over 2000 creative minds, consider advertising in Creativerly and book a sponsor or classified ad spot. Find all the important information at creativerly.com/advertise.
Fresh Updates & News
After the recent stories around Substack not planning to remove, ban, and demonetize Nazi-content on their platform unfolded, loads of authors left the platform and migrated to services like Beehiiv and Ghost. While some of those publications were smaller others a bit larger, Substack has now lost one of its biggest publications, as Casey Newton, author of Platformer announced that he will move off of Substack.
Throughout social media, Casey Newton has been appraised for this decision. While I do agree with that to some extent, the first sentence of his announcement had some sort of off-taste “After much consideration, we have decided to move Platformer off of Substack”. Why the consideration? What has he been considering? That a platform that has been the cause of multiple controversies throughout the last couple of years will actually decide to update its policies? By now we know what kind of batshit persons Chris Best and Hamish McKenzie are. The reaction of the latter one to Casey Newton announcing leaving Substack is another evidence how dumb the platform is and how happy they are to host Nazis, support their growth, and help them monetizing their content.
So, yes, it is great that Platformer is migrating off of Substack, that will actually leave a dent in Substack’s business, and while Casey Newton and team have been at the forefront trying to make sense of what has been going on at Substack over the last couple of weeks, the only real reaction should have been leaving. Period. There was nothing to consider. Substack has specifically been designed and built to help publications grow, fast. And they did that for Nazi-content too. The second those news unfolded, the only decision to make was where to migrate, and not asking yourself if you should migrate. The fact that Casey Newton decided to announce Platformer leaving Substack, on Substack is another off-taste.
Nevertheless, Platformer is an influential publication. It has published various scoops, it attracted over 170,000 subscribers, and it is one of the best examples how far independent journalism can go. Therefore, I am still thankful about Casey Newton’s decision. I am looking forward to Platformer’s new home at Ghost, and I hope more publications and authors will follow Platform’s decision.
A year ago, the Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, launched an AI-driven and powered news app, which suggested news that users might like to read. According to a recent post by Kevin Systrom, the app idea did not catch on with enough people, as he announced that Artifact will shut down. Artifact has been praised as the future of news consumption, especially because of its AI-first approach, but the fact that it now has to shut down only after being live for a year, shows that AI might not be the solution to everything. By that I do not mean that AI-driven news is a bad idea, but it probably needs more than just a feed of suggestions based on some sort of algorithms.
It has been an amazing year for Raycast. Over the last twelve months, it became even more clear why Raycast is my most favorite macOS app. Although, 2024 is only two weeks old, Raycast got me already excited for the year ahead as they shared a glimpse into their roadmap, mentioning the things and features we can expect throughout the year. Among them you will find Floating Notes 2.0 (which brings support for multiple notes, markdown formatting, and more), Window Management 2.0 (introducing custom sizes and layouts), doubling down on AI (using AI under-the-hood to make certain features more powerful), and what got me excited the most, Raycast on iOS (which will give you the possibility to continue from where you left off directly from your iPhone).
The year has only begun, and Raycast got me already excited about what they will have in store soon.
With the newest update, Skiff introduced a completely new Skiff Pages app, featuring faster load times, complete offline mode, a powerful new formatting keyboard, and many more features to make writing end-to-end encrypted notes as easy than ever. Additionally, the new Skiff Mail, Pages, and Drives apps are now featuring biometric security, so you safeguard your notes and your inbox. It has been exciting following Skiff’s development as they are offering a lovely, powerful, and privacy-focused productivity suite.
Current, the tool to share all your team’s work in one place, with a focus on increasing your team’ speed, collaboration, and alignment by giving everyone an overview of the most important work happening across your company, has announced that it has been figuring out a fair pricing model over the course of the last couple of months. Therefore, starting on February 1st, 2024, Current will introduce paywalls in the app that require teams to upgrade if they have surpassed the limits of their Free Tier. All unpaid plans will get downgraded to the Free Tier, which includes unlimited members and viewers and all integrations, and is limited to 50 posts and 100 MB file size. The Standard Plan will cost you $8 per user per month (billed annually).
Dorik has introduced its new AI-powered website builder, with the goal to reshape how websites are built. Dorik AI will give you the possibility to use a single prompt to craft a complete website for you in a matter of seconds. As I just finished up designing my new personal website myself, and are familiar with the struggles and the craft and time that went into building it, I am always excited to see how far AI has already came in that specific area.
Since building a website from scratch takes time, Dorik AI wants to help you saving hours by giving you a head start. Dorik AI will not only be able to create stunning websites from scratch, you can also leverage it to generate all your website content in two steps, and generate the exact image on your mind right from Dorik’s platform. You can join the Dorik AI waitlist now.
❯ Bless this mess – “Lately, a photo of a disheveled office has been making the rounds in my digital feeds. It’s one of those images that slows your scrolling for a second. Something doesn’t quite add up. Despite the clutter, it looks too posed for real life, like it came from the hand of a set decorator. Fresh-cut flowers drink water in vases; posters and calendars suffocate the long wall; a scattering of photos, contact sheets, and manila folders litter the beige carpet. An Eames Soft Pad chair sits askew from the desk, facing a bulky, turn-of-the-millenium computer monitor and printer.”
❯ What Is the Best Way to Handle Stress? – “It was the first time I wanted to build a Time Machine. I entered what should have been my new home but felt more like an abandoned construction site. Dust conquered every visible spot, yellowish stains occupied the cabinets, and wires popped off the outlet like a cartoon character’s eyes. The atmospheric pressure surged: the lease was signed, and the checks deposited.”
❯ The Creative Playground – “How do I even begin my drawing? The secret to jumpstart our creativity is fun. But how does that work? We need to play. Whenever I pass a public basketball court I am always struck by how the people who are literally stuck inside a cage are having more fun than those outside. The reason of course is obvious: They are having fun. They are immersed in a game. What makes a good game? A goal and rules.”
❯ How to Feel a Little Better in 2024 – “January has, unfortunately, become the time of year when a lot of people feel a strong urge to punish themselves. Sure, they may do it under the guise of “health,” or perhaps they will dress it up as a “lifestyle change,” but it’s often rooted in something negative: The idea that they are not enough.”
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These are paid promotions or affiliate links to support Creativerly. If you are interested in putting your tool, product, or resource in front of over 2000 creative minds, consider advertising in Creativerly and book a sponsor or classified ad spot. Find all the important information at creativerly.com/advertise.
My new personal website is live and published at philipptemmel.com. For the past months I have been building my tiny home on the internet on and off, but during the last couple of days of 2023 I decided to sit down, focus, and finish it. My personal website is my own corner in the internet dedicated to my passions and filled with what I am writing, building, reading, listening, and creating.
❯ Quick Bits
- Reddit must share IP addresses of piracy-discussing users, film studios say
- Lazy use of AI leads to Amazon products called “I cannot fulfill that request”
- Apple AirDrop leaks user data like a sieve. Chinese authorities say they’re scooping it up.
- eBay hit with $3M fine, admits to “terrorizing innocent people”
- Elon Musk’s X loses fight to disclose federal surveillance of users
- Amazon slashes jobs at Twitch, MGM and Prime Video
- Apple Vision Pro: $3,499 headset finally gets release date
- Apple pays out over claims it deliberately slowed down iPhones
- The hard truth about AI? It might produce some better software
- Microsoft beats Apple as most valuable company for first time in two years
- EU joins UK in scrutinising OpenAI’s relationship with Microsoft
Till next time! 👋
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