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 252 👋
While folks from the US had already access to Threads since July 2023, people from Europe had to wait an additional five months to sign up to Meta’s new social network. Since Meta struggled to comply with EU privacy laws, the launch of the social network got postponed. Although, Threads reached over 100 million users after 5 days, there has been numerous reports that the number of daily active users has dropped since the initial five days. Additionally, there has been a 50% reduction in user engagement. Launching the app in the EU should help Meta cross the 100 million monthly active users, at least that is Mark Zuckerberg’s plan. It will be interesting to see how the adoption of EU-based folks will go for Threads. When downloading the app, people can choose to either use Threads with their existing Instagram profile, or use it without a profile. Choosing the latter option will allow users to see a single algorithmically populated feed, they can search for accounts, but not for posts, and they will not be able to reply to, like or repost any posts. There is a clear strategy to tie new Threads accounts to existing Instagram profiles, probably because of the data that gives Meta even more possibilities to bombard its users with ads. The only positive thing about Threads is the fact that it currently does not display any ads, but it will probably not take that long until Meta will flood its new platform with ads too.
Besides opening up its doors to EU-based folks, Meta announced that Threads has started experimenting with an ActivityPub integration, which would allow to see posts originally published on the Meta-owned social network on compatible decentralized networks such as Mastodon. Since Musk took over Twitter and things went downhill from there, I completely left the platform and moved to Mastodon. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, it was interesting to see and read, that quite a lot of Mastodon users are not that excited about seeing the profile of Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, popping up within their feeds. However his posts were not visible.
I am still a bit biased about this ActivityPub integration. On one hand, the protocol behind Mastodon, has been built with the idea in mind to give people the possibility to see and interact with posts from people from other protocol-supported networks. But on the other hand, with Threads pushing forward on their ActivityPub integration, we are trying yet again squishing everybody into the same network, while we should have all learned that that is not how online communities work.
Nevertheless, I am excited about the future of ActivityPub. Maybe Threads will call its experiments a success and open up their platform to integrate with ActivityPub to its full extent, meaning people can follow each other, no matter if they signed up through Mastodon or Threads, they can read each others’ posts, and discover even more people to follow, connect, and interact with. The good thing about Threads pushing forward on their ActivityPub integration might lead to more people finally moving off X and leaving all the disgrace, hate, misinformation, and conspiracies the platform has been spreading behind.
Apps, Software, Tools
Plane is a beautiful, powerful, and open-source project management tool to manage issues, sprints, and product roadmaps within a beautiful UI and peace in mind. With ProductivePrivacy I am gathering and highlighting privacy-focused, end-to-end encrypted, and open-source productivity tools, and Plan is the newest addition.
With Plane, you can start simple, enjoy a powerful and great user experience, and customize your workflows to adapt your workload. When starting with Plan, you can use it as a basic task tracking tool. Based on your needs you can customize your workflows as you progress and create a backlog, and manage your tasks in unstarted, started, and completed issues, and view them as you like. With just a a few clicks, you can visualize your tasks as you like and switch between List, Kanban, or Calendar views. To make starting with Plane even easier, you can import issues and tasks from your existing issue tracker in just a few minutes.
Thanks to Cycles and Modules, Plane is versatile enough to use any frameworks and get work done. In Plane, Cycles are custom time periods for completing backlog items, enabling efficient planning, and prioritization. Modules give you the possibility to create focused projects that enable grouping and organization of issues within a specific time frame. Both Cycles and Modules, help you simplifying your transition to Waterfall, Agile, and other workflows. If you are in the need for deep insights into Cycles and Modules, Frameworks within Plan provide you with burn-down charts, estimates, scopes, and more. As your business and projects grow, you can extend or integrate Plane with your favorite tools, and extend their functionality to streamline your workflows and unlock endless possibilities, no matter how big the project is you need to tackle on. By integrating with tools like Slack, Plane will deliver better notifications whenever issues are updated by team members. Additionally, you can connect Plan with GitHub for seamless cross-sync of issues.
Since Plane is open-source, released under the AGPL-3.0 license, you can easily self-host it using Docker. With over 20,000 Stars, over 50,000 clones, and over 40 contributors, Plane is a highly popular open-source project. There is also a community which consists of over 6,000 members discussing the app, pitching feature ideas, discovering savvy solutions, and engaging with the developers of Plane. Views, attachments, comments, powerful integrations (currently in progress), themes, and full control over how you manage your tasks and workflows make Plane a lovely and top-notch solution for project management. Beyond that, it allows you to customize your project management experience with a variety of customization tools. With ease you can tailor your workspace to be intuitive, efficient, and easy-to-use. Additionally, Plane is always secure, by design. Even better, security is a top priority for Plane, and it has been and engineered with security and privacy in mind.
Plane is the perfect example of simple yet powerful software. The fact that it is open-source and beautifully designed is the icing on top of an already excellent cake. Simple, powerful, and secure.
Luminar Neo is an incredible powerful app that will level up your editing capabilities effortlessly with next-gen AI-powered photo editing tools. No matter if you want to edit Landscape, Wildlife, Travel, or Portrait photography, after capturing your favorite moments, Luminar Neo helps you bringing them to life. Thanks to an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, Luminar Neo is accessible to everyone. AI-powered tools let you replace skies, enhance landscapes and portraits. Besides that, Luminar Neo gives you access to a wide range of instruments including layers, masking, and local adjustments.
Use Luminar Neo on Windows, macOS, or as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom.
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
In a recent email update, Alex MacCaw, founder and CEO of Reflect, announced that the company is now profitable, a major milestone and reaching their main goal of 2023. Since it has been founded, Reflect has followed a semi-bootstrapped approach, which means the investors who invested in the company are looking for dividends rather than an exit. This aligns with incentives towards sustainable growth. Reflect is here for the long haul and the recently reached milestone of becoming profitable strengthens that.
Congrats to the whole Reflect team!
Last year, Josh Miller and Hursh Agrawal, the founders of The Browser Company, building one of the most-hyped digital products as of now, which is Arc, talked about working on a Windows version of its highly popular browser, and ship it in 2023. Last week, the company announced that it onboarded the first beta testers to Arc’s Windows version. In a recent email, Arc shared additional information about how and when users will get onboarded to the Windows version. Starting in January, an increasing number of people will get access to Arc’s Windows app. According to the email, more than 700,000 people have signed up for Arc for Windows waitlist.
Besides the news about the Windows version, Arc teased that we can expect a mobile version next year, it introduced Portrait Mode, shared stories and folders, and more. You can check the full release notes here following this link.
With the most recent iOS update, version 17.2., Apple launches it highly anticipated Journal app, which was set to be initially released with the introduction of the new iOS version back in autumn. The new journal app aims to help users reflect and practice gratitude through journaling. You can capture and write about everyday moments and special events in their lives, and include photos, videos, audio recordings, locations, and more to create rich moments.
I will spend some time during the upcoming days, weeks, and months and create an in-depth post about Apple’s Journal app.
After four months, Readwise sent out a new Reader Public Beta Update, announcing a huge performance refactor, which should feel roughly 2x to 100x faster for both the web and mobile app experience. Additionally, this new update introduces a huge text-to-speech upgrade powered by Unreal Speech’s significantly more life-like models. With Auto-Summarization you will get lovely summaries at no extra cost as part of your subscription, whenever you manually save a document to reader. Last but not least, this recent update introduces a native macOS app for Reader, so users can read with fewer distractions and even more speed.
Amie, one of the most hyped and anticipated calendar and productivity tools, is now live on the iOS App Store. If you have been a user of the TestFlight app, it is now time to download the App Store version, as Amie announced that they will stop updating the TestFlight app.
Acreom announced that with the latest release, all new account are end-to-end encrypted by default. From now on, acreom is a privacy-first software. To enable E2EE on your existing account, you can head over to ‘Preferences’ and ‘My account’ where you can hit enable encryption.
❯ Why Having Too Many Hobbies Isn't a Bad Thing – “Some people come to therapy feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about their tendency to pick up and put down hobbies on a whim. They ask questions like: "Why do I feel so scattered, hopping from one interest to another?" "Is it normal to want to learn so many things, or am I just avoiding commitment?" "Why do I feel like I'm not truly excelling in any one area despite my many pursuits?" The pervasive cultural narrative often celebrates specialization, making those with multifaceted interests feel out of place. Society has long valued depth over breadth, equating mastery in a single field with success and purpose.”
❯ The Aura of Care – “In November 2022, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, began a tweet thread with “I’ve heard you loud and clear” in response to a customer backlash over the way they hid additional costs till the checkout page. “You feel like prices aren’t transparent…starting next month, you’ll be able to see the total price you’re paying up front” he said about a change that could be made urgently in a day, or carefully over a few.”
❯ Fill your gut, then trust it – “The grand problem is known as "explore versus exploit." Given finite resources and a compelling opportunity in front of you, do you execute on it (exploit) or do you hold out for an even better one (explore)? This problem is everywhere: do you continue chipping away at one business problem or switch to another one? Do you fully iron out this feature or do you move on to prototyping the next? Do you hire this candidate or continue interviewing others? Even everyday problems like picking a parking spot are instance of explore versus exploit.”
❯ The Root of Over-Meeting Culture – “Maybe you saw it, too — a piece from the New York Times wondering “Can Instagrammable Office Design Lure Young Workers Back?”. I shared this post to my own Instagram stories with a simple “lol.” Apart from the fact that this office is straight out of the 2014 “cool start-up” playbook, it really does feel like most companies will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to avoid 1) paying their employees more; 2) doing the hard of examining the actual utility of their offices; or 3) actually listening to their employees about what they want and need, because the answer is very rarely AN OFFICE I WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH. (Also, as someone who used to go into an “Instagrammable” office every day, I can tell you that they are rarely cozy or conducive to collaboration).”
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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.
If you are on the hunt for privacy-focused, open-source, and end-to-end encrypted productivity apps and tools, head over to ProductivePrivacy and browse through a packed directory full of apps that respect your privacy. No matter if you are looking for note-taking, task management, or project management apps, ProductivePrivacy got you covered.
❯ Quick Bits
- How Microsoft’s cybercrime unit has evolved to combat increased threats
- Twitch quickly reverses policy that “went too far” allowing nudity
- TikTok requires users to “forever waive” rights to sue over past harms
- Judge rejects Elon Musk’s attempt to avoid testifying in Twitter stock probe
- The Last of Us Online cancelled by developer Naughty Dog
- Threads: Meta's rival to Elon Musk's X launches in EU
- Etsy: Online marketplace lays off 11% of staff to cut costs
- The curious case of Epic Games: how the developer beat Google but not Apple
- Apple’s 2024 Will Be About Moving Beyond the iPhone
- Deloitte Is Looking to AI to Help Avoid Mass Layoffs in Future
Till next time! 👋
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