How to make a difficult decision & Bring your notes and audio together

In this week's version of Creativerly: Cheat codes for your memory, the normality of Anxiety Attacks, get it done for real, and a lot more.

How to make a difficult decision & Bring your notes and audio together

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 151 👋

The last purchase I made in 2021 was the eBook called Calmer Notes by Elizabeth Butler*. Calmer Notes is a method that will help you craft a tailored, mindful personal knowledge management system to organise your digital notes, files, tasks, and ultimately your life. If you have spent some time on Twitter over the course of 2021 I am pretty sure that the term „Personal Knowledge Management“ or short „PKM“ has made an appearance on your timeline. Tools like Roam, Logseq, Obsidian, got extremely popular over the last 12 months, as more and more people started to make more out of their digital notes.

I am exploring and watching this space for quite some time now. Although I am writing a lot about note-taking, productivity, and PKM tools, I struggled to find my personal companion that gives me the right features to build up my system. The reason for that is simple: I somehow have the „Shiny-new-app-syndrome“ which means whenever I find out about a new tool, I need to test it out. On one hand, that is part of my work at Creativerly since I am going to share those tools and write about them, but on the other hand, this led to the fact, that my notes are scattered across different apps.

Calmer Notes by Elizabeth Butler was the one guide I was looking for, to help me build not the perfect but my personal PKM system. One of the biggest takeaways of Calmer Notes is that before you start using a PKM tool make sure to sit down and write down the goal you want to achieve while building and maintaining a PKM system, and also make sure to have a clear image of the information that you would like to structure and organize. If you have a clear image of that, you can then proceed to search for your 80% solution/tool. That is the crucial part. There isn’t the perfect PKM tool that suits everyones’ workflow. But there are tools that almost work as you wish, with some little compromise.

I thought that I found my beloved PKM tool when I started to use Logseq, because I am such a huge fan of using the outliner approach for daily journaling. But then I found myself always switching to Obsidian whenever I was taking book or article notes, because for this process I simply love to have the possibility to actually craft pages and documents formatted by headlines, paragraphs, blocks, etc. In Obsidian I can easily use the outliner approach manually by simply typing a dash. But to use Obsidian on all of my devices (which is something I do not want to compromise on) I would need to invest in Obsidian sync. Recently, I bought a subscription for Craft, which I use for project management. As I spend more and more time with Craft while reading Calmer Notes by Elizabeth Butler, I realised that Craft is my 80% (maybe more like 90%) solution. I have daily notes (same as with Obsidian I can manually create the outliner approach), I have markdown support, backlinks, integrations, tasks, cross-platform availability, it is fast and beautiful, and whenever I want to leave Craft for another tool, I can export all my notes as markdown files.

Do not get blinded by any new note-taking tool entering the market. Do not get blinded by other people’s full-fledged PKM systems. If you want to get the perfect guide on your road to your PKM system, make sure to check out Calmer Notes by Elizabeth Butler*. It helped me a lot, and I think you can profit from it too.


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Apps, Software, Tools

Noted

When we always talk about note-taking, there is clearly one dedicated space that has not been on my radar yet: combining note-taking with audio. I have never explored audio recording for quick „note-taking“. As I recently stumbled across Noted, that might change in the future. Noted is a fully integrated audio recording and note-taking app. At the core, Noted is a solid note-taking app, that gives you the possibility to set up different notebooks for all your projects. To find dedicated notes faster, you can structure and organize all your notes by using tags. But besides that, Noted is the perfect companion if you are a fan of taking notes while being in a meeting, listening to a talk or presentation, or watching a video or tutorial.

If you have ever been in a situation in which you tried to take notes while being in a meeting and listening to multiple people talk, you probably know that it is extremely hard to capture everything that is important to you. Noted solves that problem. Noted records your audio during someone is talking. Whenever you type something, your notes are time-stamped to your recording. That is an incredibly powerful feature to get the most out of your meeting notes. If you ever feel you missed some important bits to note while you were listening, you can always check the recording in Noted. Additionally, Noted lets you format, highlight, share, and export all your notes.

Noted is available exclusively for the Apple ecosystem. Every single platform has some unique advantages. For example, Noted for iPad supports the Apple Pencil, which means you can accelerate your creativity by simply starting scribbling. Noted for Apple Watch lets you record audio straight from your wrist no matter where you are. On macOS, Noted delivers a beautiful interface to get the big image of all your notes. Since Noted is designed for the Apple ecosystem, all your notes sync seamlessly via iCloud between all your devices. All of those features are available for free. If you want to take your digital note-taking to another level, Noted+ gives you additional powerful features just like Dictation, which lets you dictate your ideas and Noted will transform your voice into text, Themes to customize your Noted experience or Intelligent Playback where machine learning detects background noises in your recording and skips them so you can jump directly to the most important bits.

But Noted+ has even more to offer. To get an idea of all the features included in Noted+ head over to their website. Noted is an incredibly powerful tool, and I am a huge fan of connecting audio with digital note-taking. As mentioned, you can use Noted completely for free. If you want some additional features for power-usage, Noted+ is available for €3,49 per month or €25,49 per year.

Heyday

If you are working a lot in the browser, with countless tabs open, researching different topics, and getting lost in content, you might take a look at Heyday. There are quite a lot of productivity tools that struggle to effectively help us to actually get stuff done. Many productivity tools ask way too much from us which means users miss out on their benefits. Heyday is for that kind of people. Heyday helps you remember things. It is the helping hand, that eliminates the busywork of maintaining a productivity app. If you have 50 tabs open at all times, dozens of unopened emails, and if you are afraid of forgetting something interesting you saw today that might be useful a week, a month, or a year from now, Heyday is here to help.

Heyday automatically saves content you view and resurfaces it when you need it. Its browser extension automatically saves articles, tweets, websites, and more to help you remember everything and anything you see while you are browsing the internet. When you are doing a lot of research or reading on the web, you often find yourself with countless open tabs full of content. It becomes harder and harder to structure and organise the content, or even find the important bits you wanted to save. Heyday is for people who do lots of research, keep dozens of tabs open, and have no patience for busy work.

Every tab you have opened during browsing the web is saved within Heyday. So you can always swan dive into your memory, by searching Heyday to grab any nuggets from your past research session. It not only works with tabs, it also works with words locked away in documents, emails, and messages. Whenever you perform a search in Google, Heyday checks to see if you’ve researched the topic before. If you have, Heyday’s search companion resurfaces the stuff you’ve already seen. Heyday does not only feature a search companion, there is also a content companion that surfaces when you visit an article or document. The content companion will then show you summaries, related articles, and surrounding slack messages.

To stay on top of the content you consume, you can set a daily brief within Heyday, an email that shows you all the topics and tabs you saw the day before. Heyday is currently in Beta. You can sign up for early access now to get a free trial to try out the tool. After the trial, Heyday will cost you $10 per month or $100 per year. It is available as a browser extension, a Mac and Windows app, and on mobile iOS too (as far as I know an Android app is also in the works).

GoodTask

GoodTask is a beautiful and powerful task manager, that deeply integrates with Apple’s Reminders and Calendars. If you are working a lot with Reminders and Calendars, GoodTask can help you to reach a new level of productivity. Since GoodTask integrates with Apple’s Reminders, it was built and designed for the Apple ecosystem. No matter if you want to set up a simple checklist for grocery shopping or if you want to manage your next big project GoodTask nails the experience for both use-cases.

You can use GoodTask to keep track of just your Reminders and Calendars in one beautiful place, but you can also turn it into a full-fledged task manager with rich and powerful settings to match your workflow. GoodTask consists of three parts. The first one is „Lists“, and you probably guessed right, this is where all your lists are shown. „Tasks“ will show you the available and open tasks within a selected list, and finally „Task Detail“ will show you all the details regarding a specific task. I ama huge fan of how seamlessly GoodTask integrates with Reminders and Calendar, giving you a clear overview of what is scheduled next within one beautiful interface.

GoodTask’s Smart Lists gives you the option to filter your work and see tasks including a specific tag or even excluding others, you can see lists and calendars combined, only display overdue tasks, or see the ones you have recently added. If you would like to quickly capture a task, you can set up Quick Actions in GoodTask, to add the task you want in a blink. Additionally, GoodTask also lets you create text snippets to easily set up your task as you type in. I am really impressed with GoodTask’s beautiful interface. Also, intuitive views just like the board view make it incredibly easy to focus only on the tasks which are scheduled for a specific day. If you want to get the bigger image, you can always set your view to weekly, or monthly. Creating and setting up new tasks works like a breeze. Subtasks also give you the possibility to go into detail and manage even complex projects all within GoodTask.

GoodTask is available for iOS, iPad, macOS, and Apple Watch. There is a 14-day free trial, after that unlocking the iOS App will cost you €9,99 one-time fee, but to support the development of GoodTask you can also pay a subscription for €9,99 per year. The macOS app will cost you $39,99.

Svbtle

Svbtle is a minimal and lightweight publishing platform, that has been designed from the ground up to work the same way your brain does. No matter if you need to organise, develop, or want to share your thoughts, stories, and ideas with the world, Svbtle delivers the perfect platform for that.

Within Svbtle’s dashboard you keep track of unpublished ideas, or draft work-in-progress on the left side, and a list of published articles on the right. Svbtle has been designed to help you curate thoughts and stories. It creates a perfect environment to work on them slowly, and publish them whenever they are ready. While working within Svbtle, the dashboard encourages you to dump ideas, links, and thoughts into a flow of draft posts. Whenever you feel it is time, you slowly sculpt those ideas into published articles.

The actual writing experience and interface of Svbtle is focused on your writing. It is distraction-free and packed only with the most essential features. All articles written with Svbtle are written with Markdown. Svbtle’s editor also helps you to focus on your writing. To create beautiful-looking posts Svbtle supports hosted images, embedded videos, Tweets, and more. The editor also supports extended Markdown features like footnotes and code blocks.

Svbtle makes sure that all your published posts look great and beautiful on their platform. Svbtle features a thoughtfully designed writing experience. They spend a lot to time making sure the reading experience on Svbtle is great regardless of device or screen type.

Svbtle is offering a 7-day free trial. After that, creating, hosting, and publishing with Svbtle costs $7 per month.


Useful Resource

designgradients

Designgradients is a lovely resource of 48 linear gradients, curated by designers, and to use as content backgrounds in any piece of digital art, web or interface design. While working on a new project, choosing the right colour assets will become a crucial task to tackle. It sometimes can be very time-consuming to manually go through different colour options you find aesthetically pleasing. Designgradients is a creativity-boost and time-saver by simply browsing a beautiful selection of 48 ready-to-use linear gradients. They are also a great starting point to experiment with them even more, by adding more colours and slightly changing the colour values. Get creative, but use designgradients as a starting point.


Mental Wealth

How to make a difficult decision – “A couple of years ago, following the publication of my book The Art of Decision Making (2019), I took part in the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ named after the 1981 hit song by the Clash. This is the question we face time and time again, whether it applies to a relationship, a job, the home we inhabit, or any other critical dilemma. My work as an executive coach involves helping people make these tough decisions for themselves and ultimately by themselves. Unlike a mentor, this is not about giving advice. It is about giving people the tools and confidence to trust their own choices and to act upon them. In this Guide, I will give you an overview of some of these tools and techniques, and how you can use them to accelerate and improve your decision-making.“

The Normality of Anxiety Attacks – “You’re on a plane on the tarmac and it’s time to shut the doors. Suddenly, the insanity strikes you. You’ll be in a highly explosive sealed aluminium tube, breathing recycled kerosene-infused air, for the next six-and-a-half hours, with no way of getting off or out. The pilot may be exhausted or inwardly distressed. Air traffic control at any of the 40 waymarks along the journey may get momentarily distracted. You’ll be streaming 5 miles above the surface of the planet. No one else seems remotely sensitive to what any of this implies – they’re chatting and reading magazines – but for you, it’s the beginning of a kind of hell. You are on the verge of giving way to what we currently know as a panic attack.”

How Long Should a Founder Remain CEO? – “Jack Dorsey’s sudden resignation from Twitter last month created a major stir, in Silicon Valley and around the world. Especially after his long-fought victory over an activist investor’s attempt to oust him back in 2020, Dorsey’s decision to hand the reigns over to CTO Parag Agrawal came as a shock to many. The move also bucked the recent trend of “founder-friendly” venture capitalists encouraging founder-CEOs to stick around for as long as possible. Dorsey’s resignation demonstrates how — and why — a founder might voluntarily step aside once their organization has reached a certain level of maturity, and invites the question: Should others follow his lead?”

Privacy Versus Security is a False Choice – “The pandemic has shown how central global social media, messaging and collaboration platforms have become in people’s everyday lives. However, we don’t yet understand the trade-off between the security and privacy afforded by those platforms and the real costs of using them. We’re used to being told that privacy is a commodity, for example, but no one is really sure what is being sold, or what the real price is.”


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Appendix

➢ ICYMI

Do you want to keep track of the traffic happening on your website? Then you are probably on the look for an analytics service. I encourage you to not use Google Analytics. I know it is free. But on the other hand, it is clunky, overwhelming, and most importantly it does not respect their users’ privacy. Get a privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative instead. In case you do not know where to start, check out my blog post about privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternatives, that features over 20 analytics services.

➢ Quick Bits


Twitter thoughts


Till next time! 👋‌‌‌‌

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