Using Action Sets in Drafts

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Drafts has long been in my dock. It is the essential start for almost all of my text: messages, emails, Tweets, notes, post ideas, etc. all start there, and go some where else thanks to the power behind the app’s simplistic interface.

The other day, Gabe over at Macdrifter wrote a great post, Getting Drafts Right for 2016, in which he reviews his setup for the app; I highly suggest you read this post because it gives some very helpful tips when getting started with Drafts (that I won’t be covering here).

Now that I’ve been using the app for a while, I have a few tricks of my own. One of the items listed in Gabe’s post is about not letting your actions pile up.

“Part of the problem I created for myself was an overwhelming number of conduits. My solution was to cut way back to only the actions I use regularly or that do things that the iOS 9 share sheet doesn’t do.”

I must admit, I had that problem for a while too. And while I haven’t gone the same route to reduce the number of actions, I have found something that worked for me — using a method to shrink the Action Lists, while still having a large number of actions available.

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Building Projects in 2Do

Earlier this year I experimented with several task management systems (TMS) for iOS to help me get better organized for both home and work. After a lot of trial and deliberation, I finally found a home in 2Do. Now that I am deeply rooted in my app of choice, I wanted to start getting smarter about getting things done for work. There are projects, both large and small, that I have to manage:

  1. Programs
  2. Compliance Reports
  3. Mundane Reports [1]
  4. Weekly Checklists

And while each of these types have varying levels of importance and complexity, how I input them can be the same by using some powerhouse apps on iOS. Let me show you how I integrate Drafts, Workflow, and 2Do to help me input these projects with ease.
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Things I Like – Volume 1

Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard

A while ago, we got a Bluetooth keyboard for one of our tablets. It was a slim keyboard, not full-sized, and didn’t fit my fingers well. I never tried it, casting it aside as unusable because of how tight the keys were.

Then, the day after Christmas, I tried it again while using my iPhone 6s Plus. It quite literally changed the way I use my device; it opened new possibilities for what I can and will do. That said, I still couldn’t use it because of the keyboard layout. I searched for alternatives, and landed on the Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard.

The keyboard is a full-sized keyboard, with additional keys for navigation. It also gives you the option to pair it with 3 devices. I like everything about the keyboard with 3 exceptions:

  1. It doesn’t fold up. I also had looked at the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard and thought that it would be nice. I did end up buying a 13" laptop sleeve, which gives me the option to carry a stylus pen, a laser pointer, and a note pad with me to meetings at work and makes the folding aspect of the design moot for me; surprisingly, the sleeve makes a huge difference for me in that I have everything I need with me when I’m on the go.
  2. The batteries are 2 AAA batteries, not a built in rechargeable battery. I will have to see how battery life plays into things, and I’m not sure if this is really a negative thing; if I run out of power somewhere, I can always find a place to sell batteries, and won’t always be able to plug it into a wall.
  3. There are no keyboard keys to adjust the screen brightness. I would love to see this functionality be added in some way. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it would be a nice feature. Other keyboards made by Logitech do allow for a change in brightness, but they are 2x the price of this one; however, many competitive keyboards have this functionality.

This is a real thumb-saver for me; prior to this, I have typed out everything written on my site with my thumbs, only from my iPhone. Now, I can use the device in a much different manner than before. Writing this way becomes much easier for me. I’ve found more ways to be productive using keyboard shortcuts (looking at you, Drafts) and tackled large 2Do lists because it is far easier for me to enter information.

Jaybird X2 Sport Bluetooth Headphones

I picked up the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones in the middle of October. I didn’t write about them then, but when I was at home on vacation at the end of the year they really were a wonderful piece of kit.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and now that I don’t have to be tethered to my phone via a cable, it has been great to roam around. I have been able to leave my phone in the center of my house and travel virtually anywhere inside and still connect.[1]

The earbuds come with 3 sizes of tips in 2 styles (memory foam and silicone), as well as 3 sizes of fins for a custom fit to your ear. It took a little while to figure out which ones worked the best, but once I figured it out, they have been very comfortable to wear all day. I used to own the Bose in-ear buds, and they are just as comfortable to wear. I also went and purchased a variety pack of memory foam earbuds at Jaybird’s website; the comfort ear tips have been great for normal use. I also have enjoyed the isolation tips, which block out everything.

Only negative is battery life, but with buds this small, I can understand. I can get anywhere from 8–10 hours of listening time, depending on the day; not sure I have any room to complain here, but if I could go 12–14 hours that would suit my needs much more on longer work days.

If you’ve been on the fence about Bluetooth earbuds, these are definitely worth picking up. Amazon usually has sales on them, discounted to around $150 or so. They are more expensive than some, but I have yet to find a major issue with them.


  1. Your footage may vary…  ↩

My Year in Music (2015)

As we are getting close to closing out the year, I wanted to share what albums I’ve loved from 2015. I was surprised to see a lot of music make it to me for the first time this year; some old, some new, some forgotten — it’s been very refreshing.

I selected these albums based on their original release within 2015, and I didn’t want to pick any re-released, remastered, or “best-of” albums. I’m also not picking anything that is new-to-me this year, but more on that later.

Top 5 Albums of 2015

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