1. Old

    I don’t think anyone makes plans to get older. It just hits you like a cement truck one morning while you’re getting out of bed. It knocks the breath out of you and in seconds exposes the millions of lies that your bastard of a brain has been telling you for years.

  2. Best iPhone Apps for Basecamp — And What’s Missing

    Basecamp

    Update: There are significant developments related to Basecamp apps and the apps mentioned, please view notes at the end of the article. Also, please note that this article has been updated due to those changes.

    There are two front-runners when it comes to 3rd party iPhone apps for Basecamp: Rappel and Lodge. Hands down, these two apps are the most polished, and actively developed of the apps I’ve tested, beyond the new official app.

    Basecamp’s Official App

    The first version of Basecamp’s official application is nearly perfect. It comes with almost all of the features that you can get from the web-version of the application and it performs as you would expect a product from 37 Signals — beautifully.

    Basecamp is late to the game with this official app. Prior to their release, there were two front-runners: Lodge and Rappel, and let me first say that both of these apps really do pretty much the same thing as the official app. They both take full-advantage of 37signal’s API and both apps are updated as new features are made available in the API.

    LodgeLodge from Rounded

    After 37signals launched the new version of Basecamp in 2012, the Lodge was the first polished looking iPhone app that I tried with Basecamp. It was clean, well designed and over-all has been a good experience. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the skeuomorphic style of the design, but many will find it appealing. Ultimately, the app is well designed and the account sign-in / authorization process is fantastic.

    RappelRappel from Gospelware

    Rappel’s design is very polished, tight and has less white-space than Lodge. In addition, it’s easier to navigate to key Basecamp features like Activity and Progress in the app which makes my life much easier. I feel a bit biased towards Rappel because of the quality of its design — and at this time, it’s my go-to iPhone app for Basecamp.

    So What’s Missing? iPad Support!

    There are one or two apps that cater to Basecamp users looking for iPad compatible apps but they are no-where near the quality of Lodge and Rappel. With the launch of the iPad Mini, I find that I end up using the iPad Mini and Basecamp’s mobile site more than I do the iPhone apps. To me — and a growing number of users — the iPad is becoming more important to GTD and communication than the iPhone.

    At this point, both Lodge and Rappel teams has mentioned that they plan to provide either a universal version of their app (works on iPad and iPhone) or an iPad specific version of their applications — but haven’t given any details regarding timeline. 37Signals typically does not publish a road-map for their products, so we have no idea if they will make their app compatible with the iPad in the future.

    Basecamp Feature Wish List

    • iPad Support — I’ve already covered this above. 
    • Notifications — It would be fantastic if notifications could be bult into Basecamp, and in the applications so that people could cut-down on the amount of emails sent their way.
    • Better Search — While search isn’t broken or horrible in Basecamp it is greatly lacking. I cannot search within 1 project, I have to search across all projects which often returns similar results, making it harder for me to find what I’m searching for. 

    Article / Topic Updates:

    • As of February 8, 2013, 37 Signals has officially launched a iOS version of their application for the iPhone. 

    If you have an app that you think contends with these two or would like to talk about productivity, just hit me up on Twitter.

  3. 30 Apps and Tools I Use Everyday

    Toolbox

    Jan 2013 Edition – A curated list of the applications and tools that I am using in my every-day life.

    Hardware

    • iPhone 5 – Still my favorite phone, and wouldn’t trade it for much else. It integrates with all my other devices and most of my friends, family and work acquaintances have them… why look elsewhere?
    • iPad MiniAmazing. I consume more video and entertainment from this device than I do from my TV now. The size is great, and I use throughout the day for email, Twitter, and GTD.
    • 15″ Macbook Pro Retina – I didn’t think the Retina screen would matter but now I can’t stand looking at my iMac screen after working on this laptop. Amazing machine, and I believe that Apple is creating the future of computers with devices like this.

    Communication

    • Mail, iCal & Contacts – Since Mountain Lion came out, I’ve gone back to the default mail, contacts and calendar apps on my Mac, it fits my work-flow best at this point. In addition, with it syncing to my iPhone and iPad, I don’t see myself switching to other apps anytime soon.
    • SaneBox – In order for me to stay up with the amount of email I receive, I’ve begun using SaneBox — which has become irreplaceable in staying productive. If you get a lot of email, you have got to get this app, it will make your life measurably better.
    • iChat (Messages) – Still use it to communicate with AIM and Google Talk users. Skype has become a heap of junk on anything but Windows products since they were acquired, and now that my Messages can message my iOS friends directly, this has become my go-to app.
    • Highrise – This is our go-to application for for CRM, and sales lead management. Honorable mention: Stride App has recently peaked my interest.
    • Jing – If you want to communicate better with your clients and co-workers, try this app. You can record a screen capture of your voice and computer screen and quickly send a link that can be viewed in your browser.
    • Join Me – I prefer this app for doing a live screen-share with clients over the GoToMeeting product because the viewer doesn’t have to install some application just to view my screen. Super solid, and free.

    Productivity

    • Evernote – It took me awhile to adopt Evernote, even though it’s been for quite a while. However, I’ve fully adopted the application to become my second brain, and collection point for notes and ideas. We’ve even recently signed Avelient up for the Business edition for our whole company.
    • Things – If you read my blog, you know my ups and downs with this application. However, since they’ve added their cloud feature into the application it is back on my iOS home-screen and is my go to application for personal GTD. Worth the money.
    • Basecamp – Right as I started to explore other project management Application, the team at 37Signals rolled out the revamp of Basecamp. Everything in your project is managed from a single-page, making it easier to manage over time. Still my preferred team project management application.
    • Dropbox – It amazes me how many people do not use, or know about this application. Since switching to Dropbox, I am able to travel with less and less hardware, and still have quick and easy access to my personal and business files from anywhere I go.
    • TextExpander – I’ve saved hours and hours of times by using this tool. I have a personal rule that demands that If I am typing something more than once, it needs to go into TextExpander so I don’t need to type it again — you should grab this product!

    Development

    • Coda – As a long-time Textmate user, I was sad to see the horrible 2.0 version arrive, and decided that since most of my work involves “projects” and large groups of files, I’d go back to Coda. Sure, I keep a copy of Sublime Text 2 on the computer, but most of my editing is done in Coda these days — Panic makes amazing software.
    • Codekit – Our internal front-end / responsive framework BaseWeb (created by Sebastian Nitu) is based in Less. I started uses Codekit for compiling our Less into CSS, but have continued to use it for all the other functionality that it provides.
    • MAMP Pro – We’ve tried different solutions over the last few years, but have finally settled on MAMP Pro. It’s the industry standard for local LAMP development and rightly so!
    • GitBox – Over the last 2 years as our company has fully adopted git into our development environment I’ve tried many different apps for managing my git repos, and have finally settled on this app. It is simple, clean, and does a lot of work for me.
    • BitBucket – We moved to BitBucket from Github late this year because they seemed to better fit for our needs. Our company works on many hush-hush projects that cannot be stored in public repos, so BitBucket was more cost effective. However, we’ve stayed because of the amazing service and great uptime they provide.
    • Fireworks / Photoshop – I find less and less use for these apps, as I don’t do much design anymore, but they are still my preferred design and image editing applications on my Mac.

    Social / Reading / Sharing

    • Twitter – I love Twitter. Sure, they are doing stuff with their API that I don’t approve of, but I love to be there, and I love the people I meet and conversations that happen there.
    • LinkedIn – I do a lot of business development these days, and LinkedIn has become fairly valuable to me. Interestingly, if I see a bunch of people from a company have been viewing my profile, I’ve learned to expect a call or email from that company within a week or so. As long as you make quality connections, it is a really valuable tool.
    • Facebook – I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but because my family and close friends use it, I maintain a profile there. Over the last few years I’ve managed to prune my profile down from 600 friends to about 80 — which makes it better, ironically. Don’t try to connect with me there, I’m on Twitter.
    • Feedly – I recently abandoned Reeder app for Feedly and haven’t looked back. It’s like a hybrid of Flipboard and Reeder and integrates with Safari’s reading list and Buffer app for sharing articles.
    • Drafts – The app is kind of ugly, but it’s one of my favorite places for drafting tweets. I like to compose some tweets over time, or store raw ideas in drafts before sharing to Facebook and Twitter.
    • Buffer App – I read a lot, and quite often it’s in spurts, meaning that if I posted all the interesting things that I read in real-time, I would start having volume problems on Twitter. I use buffer to store articles that I found interesting and share them at pre-set times where I think people will able to read / discuss.

    Entertainment

    • Netflix – I love Netflix so much. I spend hours browsing their library and adding old movies and shows to my queue, and I never seem to run out of things to watch. The fact that it works on my Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, and computer makes it my go-to for video entertainment.
    • Rdio – I love subscription music services like this and wish that Apple could adopt it faster. Rdio has great apps, and good music selection and the community features are fantastic.

    There are of course other apps that I use throughout the day, but these represent the core suite of what I use just about every-day. When I have a moment, I plan to produce a blog post that talks about the apps and services that did not make it onto this list (and why they didn’t make it).

    If you want to discuss these apps, or suggest alternatives, hit me up on Twitter!

  4. Creativity

    To me, there is nothing as exhilarating as when you take an idea and create something tangible and of value to someone else.

    The look on his face when he says “Angelo, that’s Twin Peaks” is just great — it’s bliss.

  5. 5 Guns Every American Should Own [Video]

    “Last but not least, everybody needs some kind of combat weapon.”

    I am a gun owner. I love them. I have become skilled with them over the years, and I keep them for personal defense in my home. That said, I think part of the disconnect in the national conversation about guns and gun safety roots from comments like the ones made in this video.

    “You could buy a crate of these things [Mosin–Nagant rifles] and about five cases of ammo for about $2,000. That’s a real good, cheap way to arm about 10 men. You all get your technique down, and train properly on this gun and you’ll be very deadly in large numbers.

    This gun will kill just about anything in North America… two legged game of all sorts.”

    Really, so, you’re not actually all about hunting. No, you have an interest in arming people with guns so they can create their own little nut-bag militias. This statement, and many more parts of this video are simply enraging to me.

    It is harder to get a drivers license than it is to get a gun in America and when you start suggesting that Americans need combat weapons, and that they need silencers on their guns, you are treading down an irresponsible — frankly idiotic — path.