Short Hiatus

Why hello there. It’s been a while. The summer time is normally hard for most people, with big events, family vacations, and the extra daylight to spend all your time outside.

Except this summer hasn’t been that for me. It’s probably the busiest, craziest summer I’ve ever had (at least that I can recall). It’s been full of ups and downs, and non-stop action every day. I can’t remember the last time I had some true down time.

So what’s been going on? Well, there’s been a lot of personal stuff – too personal to get into on a public site. I’ve extensively journaled about it, which has been great. Personal life has influenced the vacations I took this summer – a grand total of zero. Kids have been active this summer, there’s a ton to do around the house, and things slip through the cracks. It happens. I’m originally from east of Cleveland, so I know what it means to have it not be your year.

Work has been hellacious, but in a multitude of great ways. It’s been busy with so much going on, but I’m managing more than ever. There’s a shift in the perception of who I am and what I can bring, which has been fantastic. I’ve even switch to a single task manager rather than having two. Even though I enjoyed the bifurcation, this has been better for me this summer with everything going on. For now – and you know it is always subject to change – I’ve settled on Todoist. A huge reason why is the addition of the Todoist script objects in Drafts and the speed at which I can enter everything in. But more on that at a different time.

I have spent the summer doing a few things to take care of me. For too many years, I let certain things go. But in the spring, I came to the realization that I put off me too much, and I needed to reclaim some of it. So I’ve been working out regularly – three to five times a week. I’m making sure to complete those goals not for the gamification, but because I know the end result will be a healthier me. I’m going to bed at a reasonable time, and waking up at 5am every morning to get this done, but it’s been better.

All this to say: all of this has made it so that I haven’t been writing as much. I had planned on writing more on some aspects of Drafts after I wrote the review. I still have those plans. And I will do them. Life often just finds a way to get the way of some personal life stuff. But I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made in reclaiming some “me” time. I’m working on a better balance, and a better me. A short hiatus every once in a while is a wonderful thing.

First Time Tooter, Long Time Tweeter

Joe Steel, Writing on his self-titled blog:

In conversations I’ve had over the past week, it’s become clear that there’s nothing very self-explanatory about Mastodon as a social network, and that in many ways Twitter users are both prepared and unprepared for the experience.

With the state of things at Twitter the company and with Twitter the service, I’d be remiss if I didn’t think about moving to a new social network. The idea of going completely dark doesn’t seem like the right choice for me, but I’m not enjoying Twitter as much as I used to anymore. This was true before they #BrokeMyTwitter, but it’s even more so now that some of the features I enjoyed – like activity and certain notifications – are no longer part of the apps that I use. I loathe the Twitter app, so it’s just a horrible experience for me now.

Even though I have no idea what the hell Mastadon is all about, I did end up signing up for an account. I was able to get one on mastadon.social, under the same handle as my Twitter. I haven’t “tooted” a single thing yet,1 and I’m not sure when I’ll start. But I’m glad that Joe has taken the time to write an explainer. I have a much better understanding of what is going on with all of it than I did before, all parsed down to a single post.

The idea of leaving Twitter – one of the largest social networks on the planet – isn’t really the answer I’m looking for with all of this. I’m looking for Twitter to take a stand against wrong-doing. I’m looking for them to curtail abuse and the spread of misinformation. I’m looking for them to improve their app experience, while simultaneously not being a dick to the developer community that made them who they are today. They need to be better, and everyone who uses (not abuses) the service deserves that too. But unless there are some major changes ahead, it doesn’t hurt to have one foot in another door.


  1. I find this whole “toot” thing hilarious. There’s a lot of fart jokes to be made here. Yes, I’m a child. 

Arrange Mode in Drafts

You know that I’m a long-time user, a self-proclaimed Drafts evangelist, and wrote a big review on the Drafts 5 release. But even I can miss some of the hidden treasures of the app from time to time.

As I’m going through the notes of the upcoming Drafts 5.4 update – coming out around when iOS 12 releases – I found myself looking at the upcoming list that will eventually become the notes in the “What’s New” section on the App Store. Drafts has some of the best version notes in the app store, typically broken up into a “new features” section and the “other fixes and changes” section. Even in the beta, Greg provides detailed notes about each beta release.

So I was able to grab all of the notes thus far in the beta, and load them into a single draft. I created a couple of new headings for the different sections, and entered arrange mode to move items around. Something I didn’t really highlight in my review is that you can use the combination of line and block modes to move items around. There were some beta updates that showed a new line here or there; others were the big new features, and I needed to keep those blocks together. I don’t know of another app that provides the flexibility in this way, and it’s fantastic.

But to my surprise, there was something I discovered when moving the lines around. New in the 5.0 release – that’s right, from the beginning – is the ability to edit the lines/blocks by tapping on them. So not only can I move and change around a draft, but I can also fix a little mistake here there if I find them. I can also add to a section if I think of something to add.

This small, but powerful feature is well considered, even if it is hidden. It’s a small delight that I found months after using the initial beta, and I’m so glad that I have.1

Turns Out™, you learn something new every day.


  1. Makes me wonder what other little features I’ve missed…