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 228 👋
When you are reading this, it is official and Google has shut down Google Analytics, also known as Universal Analytics. In March 2022, Google announced that it will sunsetting its old version of Google Analytics on July 1, 2023, and replace it with Google Analytics 4 (GA4), an even more complex, confusing, and bloated analytics tool. Instead of explaining the differences between Universal Analytics and GA4, the new features of GA4, and what they, I will take the chance to remind you that there are great, powerful, feature-rich, simple and easy-to-use, beautifully designed, and privacy-focused alternatives.
Not only for Creativerly but literally every single web project I launch, I use Fathom Analytics*. It has all the features I need to get insights about the traffic happening on my website without ever invading my visitors‘ privacy. Fathom Analytics is an independent company, bootstrapping its journey, and building lovely software. Paul Jarvis and Jack Ellis, the co-founders of Fathom, set themselves on the mission to build the world‘s first simple and privacy-focused analytics software since free software monetizes its users by abusing their personal data without asking. Over the years, Fathom Analytics became an incredibly powerful analytics software. One of the newest features is the Google Analytics importer, which makes it incredibly easy to make the switch from UA and GA4. If you would like to give Fathom Analytics a try, make the switch from UA or GA4, get set up in minutes, see all your sites at a glance, get rid of the cookie banner on your website, and enjoy a beautifully designed, simple, and minimal dashboard, then you can use the link provided by me to enjoy a $10 discount on your first invoice*.
Besides Fathom Analytics you will find a variety of other privacy-focused, open-source, and self-hostable analytics solutions. Plausible Analytics, Simple Analytics, 66Analytics, Pirsch, Umami, and others build lovely solutions to get insights on the traffic happening on your websites without ever invading your visitors‘ privacy. Every single solution is better than Google‘s. To help you discover the right solution for your needs, you can check out my blog post about privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternatives, which are packed with a variety of analytics tools suited for different use cases, no matter if you want to set up analytics for your personal website, for a bigger e-commerce site, or even for an enterprise site, within the blog post you will find different tools for your needs.
Now is the right time to make the switch to a privacy-friendly and privacy-focused Google Analytics alternative, especially when you make sure to show respect to your visitors by not using a service that is invading their privacy.
Apps, Software, Tools
Over the course of the last couple of years, personal knowledge management and the tools that give users the possibility to build up and manage a knowledge base became incredibly popular. At the same time, people started to spend multiple hours building their knowledge management systems. Instead of actually taking notes, writing, managing knowledge, learning, and getting things done, people procrastinated by building systems. Some folks felt the urge to keep track of everything within their systems, notes, projects, writings, links, bookmarks, and tasks. That means that those systems became even more complex. I love to take daily notes, gather notes on articles, books, and podcasts, as well as daily tasks within my knowledge management system. Recently, I had the feeling that an increasing number of people turn their back on those complex systems, keep things simple, and even unbundle PKM tools, which means they have their note-taking setup in one app, and for example their task management in another one.
Personally, while I always jot down tasks that I want to tackle quickly within my PKM app, I also started to get back to a dedicated task management setup to keep track of long-term tasks, and other todos I want to keep track of in a dedicated space. While I still haven’t decided on the task management app I am going to stick with, I stumbled across Cleartask, a beautifully designed, simple, easy-to-use, and powerful task management app in the first place, but it also gives users the possibility to set up an all-in-one hub for meetings, tasks, and notes if they want to. Cleartask has a special focus to help you to get more out of meetings. In meetings, people often discuss various projects, tasks, and deadlines. Meetings hardly ever have a dedicated meeting structure, the notes from the attendees are scattered across different places, which often leads to duplication of work, poor task assignment, and wasted time in meetings without action. Cleartask build a lovely app to enhance productivity, boost collaboration, improve accountability, drive outcomes, and save hours.
With Cleartask you can find, collaborate, and drive outcomes using central hubs for each meeting. With ease, you can assign, track, and complete tasks in or outside of meetings. Features like track attendance help you to keep track of who joins each meeting to improve ownership and collaboration, Status tracking makes sure that you can track the status of each task in real time, Shared and private notes let you keep track of your ideas in each meeting, and the mobile-optimized version gives you the possibility to view everything on the go.
What clearly stands out to me is the beautiful and simple design of Cleartask. It is a joy to work across meetings, tasks, and notes within the app since all the UI elements have been designed with craft and a love for detail. Lovely interactions let you log tasks and notes outside of meetings without the need for other tools.
You can use Cleartask for free for up to three users including unlimited meetings, unlimited tasks, and unlimited notes. If you need access for more users, you can upgrade to the Pro Plan which will cost you $2 per user per month. Cleartask is a superb app for people who share the same frustration of spending a lot of time in meetings, but feeling that they do not see results from the time invested in each one. Give it a try.
We are spending a large portion of our time each day in meetings. If you want to get rid of 38% of meetings with quick back-and-forth videos and smart reminders, you should take a look at Bubbles, a new way of working together with your colleagues, already trusted by more than 250,000 professionals.
With Bubbles, you can walk through a specific task or project or your work, in general, using video, screen, and voice annotations without misinterpretation, which is a great workflow to give feedback on designs, copy, docs, and apps. Additionally, working like that also boosts teamwork, and async work, since you can decide on your own time to showcase your work and give feedback. Thanks to smart reminders you can make sure to get a response on time. Those smart reminders also give you the possibility to collaborate confidently across time zones.
What makes Bubbles incredibly powerful is the fact that you can collaborate on any app with clients, vendors, contractors, and agencies without having to invite them to complex in-house systems, which makes it easy to collaborate effortlessly with guests. No signup or install required. Additionally, Bubbles offers you a platform to asynchronously review designs, websites, and any other docs or apps. With ease, you can provide context with text, video, screen, and voice annotations. This is a great way to prevent ‚quick questions‘ which often end up in hour-long calls. To stay in the loop without disrupting your team, you can use Bubbles for check-ins on projects and timelines.
Using Bubbles is simple and straightforward. First, start a recording, and show it with screen sharing and voice-over. Next, assign and define who you need a response from and by when. Third, get back in the flow as Bubbles will remind assignees if necessary and inform you when they respond. Done. With Bubbles, you can introduce nuance from voice, video, and screen-share without taking calls at odd hours. To give Bubbles a try you can sign up for the Free Plan which includes guest access, one shared space, access to inactive bubbles, unlimited teammates, unlimited recordings, and up to 30 mins per video. If you need private bubbles and spaces, unlimited shared spaces, video downloads, and transcripts, you can sign up to the Teams Pro Plan which will cost you $8 per user per month (billed annually).
Do you want to consolidate calendars, schedule meetings, and block time for work that matters? On all your devices? No matter what calendar you are using? Well, Morgen might be the solution to all your struggles and problems when it comes to managing your time, events, and tasks.
Morgen is a powerful app that lets you integrate your todo-lists into your calendar to schedule your open tasks and get more work done. You can easily share your activity with customizable booking pages. And thanks to other lovely features like merging duplicate events, multi-time zone scheduling, joining virtual meetings in one click, and more, Morgen is the one and only time and task management companion that you need by your side. No matter if you are using Google Calendar, Fastmail, Apple Calendar, Office 365, Exchange, or anything else, Morgen lets you connect your calendar with ease. Additionally, it integrates with Todoist, Google Tasks, Microsoft To-Do, Zapier, and others to pull in all your to-dos and schedule them within your Calendar.
With the code CREATIVERLY10 you can enjoy 10% off your subscription. Give it a try!
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
Notejoy has been on a roll recently, shipping exciting new features and updates. In the most recent one, Notejoy introduced additional editor styles. The editor now includes each and every style option that is available on the web and desktop. This includes adding new styles like colour, highlight, documents, videos, block quotes, and more to the mobile versions as well. In addition to that, and this is a huge one, Notejoy introduced note links. You can type "[[" to create a note link. An auto-complete dropdown will help you to find the existing note you are looking for, but it will also give you the possibility to create a new one. Those note links are bi-directional links, which means once you visit the linked note, you will also see a backlink back to each of the notes that link to it.
Another nice improvement is related to tags. Once you start typing tags in the editor, Notejoy will offer an auto-complete dropdown to make it easy to pick from the tags you have already created.
To check out the whole change log make sure to head over to Notejoy's website.
It is official. Apollo, the lovely third-party Reddit client by Christian Selig, shut down on June 30, 2023, due to Reddit's API changes. For the last nine years, Christian build probably the most popular Reddit client out there. To remember and support Apollo, Christian collaborated with some designers of the awesome alternative App Icons Apollo was known for, to create a wallpaper set. You can grab the wallpaper set and support Christian by heading to his website.
❯ A Non-Definitive Guide to Non-Duality – "You may have heard about this “non-duality” thing, or “non-dual meditation.” Perhaps you have heard rave reviews of a meditative state sometimes referred to as “non-dual awareness,” or “big mind” or “the natural state.” Maybe in connection with exciting-sounding phrases like “spiritual awakening” or “enlightenment.” Sometimes, people hype it up in a way that can seem far-fetched. For example, nearly a full half of people who learned how to achieve non-dual awareness through a Sam Harris meditation course said it was the most important skill they’d ever learned in their lives. Presumably, these people have learned some important skills before, like job skills that allow them to feed themselves. So that’s quite an assessment. Also, non-dual teacher Loch Kelly says, “It gave me a way of relieving my underlying suffering and connecting to an inner joy that I didn’t even know existed.” Okay, what is this thing? How is it done? What is “non-duality”?"
❯ Never mind content creation: How to leverage AI for maximum creativity – "During the last six months that ChatGPT has been in the wild, I’ve listened to a variety of fanboys and critics of it, each proclaiming what it means to the future of creativity. It seems like everyone is writing about it - but their advice is overwhelmingly focused on how to use it to create many types of content with blinding speed. But there's precious little advice on how to use it to spur creative thinking and problem solving. A recent Google search turned up hardly anything about AI + creative problem solving. Everything was skewed toward super-fast content creation."
❯ When digital nomads come to town – "The Semilla cafe and coworking space sits in the heart of the upscale Laureles neighborhood in the city of Medellín. It looks as if it were picked up in Silicon Valley and dropped into Colombia by a crane. Coders and digital marketers crowd the tables, drinking pour-over coffee and enjoying loaded avocado toast. Downstairs, in the coffee shop, a stylish woman with a ring light on her laptop chats with a client thousands of kilometers away. Upstairs, in the dedicated office space, an American wearing an Oculus Rift headset attends a meeting in the metaverse."
❯ This Is How To Overcome Anger – 'In 1974, Daniel Casriel released a book titled, “A Scream Away From Happiness.” The thesis was that by “scream therapy” you could release tension and anger and become a happier person. No, this doesn’t work and you should not buy that book unless you’re a big fan of unintentional humor. Research shows venting anger is not good. In fact, it’s better to do nothing than to scream and yell or throw things.“
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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.
❯ Quick Bits
- Apple tested ‘finger-worn device’ for Vision Pro gaming, but is currently not planning any VR controller support
- Twitter tells users to touch grass, adds new rule limiting how many tweets you can read per day
- Workflow cofounder and Shortcuts engineering manager departs Apple
- Reddit API changes are imminent. Here’s what’s happening to your favorite apps
- Google reportedly kills its AR glasses project — for the third time
- European companies hate the EU’s new AI rules — here’s why
- Digital euro framework seeks to quell privacy concerns
- Bluesky temporarily halts sign-ups because so many people are joining from Twitter
- The Reddit moderators who coordinate many celebrity AMAs will no longer do so
Till next time! 👋
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