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 258 👋
As of recently, I have progressed a lot with my side-projects, it almost feels like a flow state whenever I sit down during my free time, and even if it is just one hour, I managed to structure and organize my side-project tasks that much, that I am able to make some progress. I published my personal website, wrote some blog posts, updated ProductivePrivacy’s site, added new tools, and also started writing blog posts for it. As I always focusing on getting one thing done before starting with the next bit, I am currently thinking about a couple of ideas I have been planning for quite some time for Creativerly. When I started writing Creativerly, I always featured and wrote about four tools each week, then I reduced it to two, and for the last couple of months it is only one.
You can interpret that however you want, but I can tell that I am not enjoying writing those app features in a rather short form within the newsletter, as much as I did a couple years ago. What I truly enjoyed was writing long form posts just like my post about privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternatives, The Ultimate Productivity System for Knowledge Workers, or my deep dive into Napkin. Writing and curating the weekly newsletter and gathering the apps to feature and write about takes time. In fact, it takes so much time, that I can only work on and write the long form posts every now and then. While I was reflecting on that, I felt I was doing something wrong. I kept focusing on getting the weekly newsletter ready, filled with content I do not like creating that much, and the content I actually love creating got put back.
I should write more long form posts, for the simple reason of enjoyment. I want to write more deep dives, more posts like the list of Google Analytics alternatives, more posts on current events, as I did wrote about the Adobe - Figma, as well as the Notion - Cron acquisition. Speaking of Cron, since Notion now incorporated it in its brand and decided to rename it to ‘Notion Calendar’, but also Amie coming out of beta and officially launching, the “Calendar App Space” is going mad, and I used the quotes intentionally there, since I have some thoughts about all those calendar apps, and I want to write about and share it with you.
At this point, I find myself in a bit of a struggle. People are signing up to Creativerly, because they see the current content, and based on that they make the decision to subscribe. Therefore, my assumption is that they would like to receive similar content. People do not like change, so making some significant changes to the content of Creativerly could mean loosing some of my readers, while it could also mean attracting even more. In our lives, every single decision we make, has been made with some uncertainty. And my decision for change is made with uncertainty. As my main goal with Creativerly is to continue building and strengthening my writing habit, but also put out great content, I need to make sure to write because I enjoy it. Some weeks, I find myself in situations where I need to force myself to finish up the new newsletter issue because I haven’t wrote about an app yet, although there are various drafts for deep dives and other long-form content in the pipeline already. And in fact, I just found myself in that situation last week, which means instead of forcing myself to write something last minute, putting out bad content, I have no new app feature for this week’s issue of Creativerly, simply because I am in the process of figuring some things out.
Since Creativerly is still a passion side project, I should need to force myself to write something, I should do it for the pure joy. I experienced that when I started writing Creativerly, and I would like to experience that again.
I will not stop writing about and featuring apps, I just need a bit more variety. This means, over the upcoming weeks and months, when you open up the newsletter, you will probably find either a new app, an excerpt for a new deep dive or other long form post, or a news article written by myself, inside. It is also important to mention that this only affect the „Apps, Software, Tools“ section in the newsletter, everything else will stay as it is. Just like many of you joined me on the journey of starting a newsletter five years ago, I hope that many of you will join me on this new journey too. The things I enjoy writing can not be written on the side, I need to focus on them, it needs to be the only thing I have on my table to make sure I can finish it, meeting the quality standards I set myself.
To make sure I am able to tackle Creativerly with the same creative energy, it is simply time for some change, some experiments, and some explorations. Thank you for being here, reading what I am writing, and supporting my work.
I deeply appreciate it.
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Fresh Updates & News
Kosmik 2.0 Is here. The team announced that this new release and the new version of Kosmik brings them significantly closer to their vision of the “future of work”. As part of this new major version of Kosmik, they introduced the core elements for multiplayer collaboration, a new web sticker with enhanced side panel, and a completely rewritten PDF rendering engine.
After being in beta for two years and becoming one of the most-hyped and anticipated productivity apps, Amie has officially launched. What has been a calendar app first, then became the combination of todos and a calendar, Amie now fully delivers on their goal of creating a joyful productivity app as they introduced an email client baked into the app too.
The official launch brought a couple of UI updates, a new website which is yet again pure joy and a lovely experience to browse through, but besides that, Amie introduced its pricing plans. The basic version of Amie which gives you access to three integrations, calendars, and todos is free-to-use forever. The Pro Plan is offering unlimited integrations, AI-auto scheduling, and access to the email feature. It will cost you €10 per month, billed annually.
What got me really excited about Amie’s launch is the fact that they went pretty much viral with the launch (the servers were down and overloaded for quite some time) and gained so much attraction without mentioning a single thing about AI on their website or as part of their communication.
The newest Superlist update made its Pro plans available to everyone. All the basic features of Superlist will always be free, which means you get access to unlimited tasks, notes, and reminders, unlimited private lists, 5 shared lists with up to 5 people, integration for Gmail, Google Calendar, Microsoft To Do and email forwarding, email task summarization, and up to 10MB upload and 500MB file storage. The Pro Plan will cost you $8 per month (billed yearly) and includes everything in Free plus unlimited shared lists with up to 25 people, integrations for Slack, Github, Linear, and Figma, and up to 500MB and 25GB file storage.
❯ How to deal with negative emotional triggers – “It’s easy to stay calm when things are under control. But, sometimes, life happens. A deadline is moved up. Your train is canceled. Your luggage gets lost. Then, your heartbeat goes faster. You can feel the tension in your muscles. Your breathing accelerates. That’s it: You’re stressed. Psychologists often say that our freedom lies in the gap between stimulus and response (this quote is often misattributed to Viktor Frankl). Although you cannot control many of the external events that impact your life, that liminal space offers an opportunity to choose how you react to negative triggers and to regulate your emotions.”
❯ Flow of time: reality or illusion? – “Real time of space-time is one of the dimensions on which we comprehend and describe reality. Time neither flows, nor flies, or drags on; it doesn’t run out and is not a commodity that can be wasted. But human feelings and sensations of the passage of time are diametrically different: human time flows, speeds up or slows down. We can also be short of it, or we can be called time-wasters. So, human time does not appear to be in the least like physicist’s time. And yet they are intimately related: the first emerged from the latter, together with humans, their consciousness, societies they built, and languages they speak.”
❯ A surprisingly radical proposal: Make people happier — not just wealthier and healthier – “If I gave you $5,000 right now and asked you to spend it in whatever way would help people the most, what would you do? That amount of money can buy 1,000 malaria-preventing bed nets that will, on average, end up saving one kid’s life. Or it can boost the income of five poor families by giving each $1,000. Or it can treat 30 people for depression by paying for a few months of group therapy that evidence suggests can have lasting effects. Which is best?”
❯ What we talk about when we talk about giving up – “In the ordinary way of things, when people say that they are giving up, they are usually referring to something like smoking, or alcohol, or chocolate, or any of the other anaesthetic pleasures of everyday life; they are not, on the whole, talking about suicide (though people do tend to want to give up only their supposedly self-harming habits). Giving up certain things may be good for us, and yet the idea of someone just giving up is never appealing. Like alcoholics who need everybody to drink, there tends to be a determined cultural consensus that life is, and has to be, worth living (if not, of course, actually sacred).”
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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.
ProductivePrivacy got an update. I recently moved the site over to Publii, which is a privacy-focused, GDPR compliant, safe, fast, and easy-to-use static site CMS. I deployed it to Netlify using their Starter Plan, which means I am now able to host ProductivePrivacy free of any hosting fees. Not having to worry about such costs gives me the freedom to explore and further develop ProductivePrivacy.
❯ Quick Bits
- In major gaffe, hacked Microsoft test account was assigned admin privileges
- NSA finally admits to spying on Americans by purchasing sensitive data
- Toxic Telegram group produced X’s X-rated fake AI Taylor Swift images, report says
- Apple announces sweeping EU App Store policy changes—including sideloading
- Amazon fined for 'excessive' surveillance of workers
- Spotify plots in-app purchases from March for iPhone users in EU
- Leaked EU AI Act is ‘a wake-up call for organisations’
- X plans to create a content moderation ‘headquarters’ in Austin
Till next time! 👋
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