Evernote 8.0

I ditched Evernote last year as it was bloated and new features were few and far between (unless you were using it in a business environment). The new version is a redesign and returns Evernote to what it was good at, holding and categorising rich data notes. Unfortunately the iOS app is still a bit odd. I like the newly focused landing screen, but I’m not sure why Search deserves two ways to access it on such a small screen (at the top of the screen or at the bottom where it gets an entire tab to itself). It also has a few oddities – try editing the list of shortcuts – which are likely bugs. These two are enough …

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My home is a mess

The coffee machine has burbled into life, the aroma wafts temptingly from the kitchen. In the bedroom my sleep monitor suggests I need to wake up in the next ten minutes and the daylight bulb in the lamp starts to glow into life. A few minutes later a gentle birdsong lulls me from my slumber, followed by the tinkling of the alarm that officially signals the start of the day. Get up, sleepyhead. It’s a cold morning but thankfully the heating has been on for a few minutes to be at just the temperature I like so I don’t have the shock of the cold morning air to deal with. I tell the alarm to stop, get up and walk …

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Happy 1st Birthday

Dear Lucy, I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since your Mummy phoned me and asked if I could hear anything in the background, and there was the sound of you crying as gently as the new-born you were. I’ll happily admit to tearing up at the news (get used to that by the way, I’m a big pile of mush where you are concerned) and all my visits in the first few months were full of awe and wonder, cradling this tiny little person in my arms, this beautiful little girl who grabbed my heart the minute I saw her. The first photo I have of you and me in the hospital (yes, I got a t-shirt made …

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Weekend Reading

I wore men’s clothes for a month – and it changed my life It’s 9am and I’m having breakfast at the House of Commons. I’m wearing a three-piece pinstriped suit, matching tie and pocket square, and the confidence of a mediocre white man. To my left, a man is pouring me coffee; to my right, another is listening respectfully. How did I get here? This is my – if you only read one post, read this one – entry this week. Five Documentaries Worth Watching — Tools and Toys Rather than make a super-extensive list of my all-time favorite ones, I figured I’d put together a short list of documentaries from recent years that I heartily recommend. Enjoy! Warning: This …

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Activity by circle

A photo posted by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Jan 8, 2017 at 2:53pm PST There is no doubt that since getting my Apple Watch the three little coloured circles that appear on my watch face have helped me realise just how little I used to move. Since then, and admittedly with a change of job and a more ‘walking’ based commute, I’ve been noticeably more mobile, but what has struck me is how effective this simple little case of gamification has been. The Activity circles on the Apple Watch cover three categories, Move, Exercise, and Stand. The Move category (the red circle) is a weekly target based on estimated calories burned every day. It’s the only one that is easily …

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The Tree

I love mornings like this, the late winter chill fading away as the sun climbs lazily into the sky. I can feel the gentle dew on my extremities starting to warm, and the ground beneath me stirring into life. There is a gentle breeze playing over my naked branches and I find myself yearning for spring, for the new growth it will bring, leaves that will play in the wind, I long for their rhythmic rustle. I miss my little snowdrop friends already but soon the daffodils will start to appear, tiny glowing suns that never fail to brighten my day. Over on the other side of the field I can see the humans arriving on their machines, so noisy …

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Weekend Reading

A billion dollar gift for Twitter Listen, it’s almost 2017, so it’s absurd to still be writing “how to save Twitter” thinkpieces. My use of Twitter is waning. It might just be the usual cycle of the mehs, but I’m finding myself increasingly less bothered about it recently. But Really, Why DO We Post So Many Food Pics? There is no sincerer love than the love of food. – George Bernard Shaw And no, it’s not JUST because we are all fat bastards (what? just me, ohh ok then) Things I read this year: My favourite books of 2016 2016 has basically been a left-up toilet seat of a year, but it wasn’t all terrible. Some great books were published …

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Sciencing the Resolution

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (I know, it’s a bit late) Ohhh dearest reader, what a wonderous time, the probability of hope, the desire to finally be a better me!!! And so, in this year of two thousand and seventeen I resolve to… ummm… well I’m not really sure. Towards the end of last year I saw, and read, a few articles that promised to help you ‘Achieve your goals in 2017’ or variations on that theme. Many people start the new year by making resolutions. I don’t. Digression: Resolutions always remind me of the story of my Dad sitting in our front room next to the hearth. Just after the bells he asked a neighbour what her new year resolution was. …

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The Other Side

Mental health issues can be violent, invasive and debilitating illnesses, chasing you around and demanding your full attention to the detriment of others. They can also be a gentle inhibitor, a subtle manipulator that sits quietly in the background influencing everything, all day, every day, even if we aren’t fully aware of it because it hides from view, somewhere just out of reach. The black dog versus the dark cloud. The black dog hasn’t been around me for a long time, but the dark cloud is never really that far away, floating around in the dark corners of my brain, dust particles captured in sunlight. One of the reasons I keep busy and push push push to do better do …

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