Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in themes (4)

Sunday
Jun022013

Two Email Tips: Lifehack Your Inbox

Oops! Scheduled post failed, so it didn't post in May!
 

I do just about everything from an iPad.

Almost everything tech-related, that is. More accurately, iOS. (I'm sure I could use Android just as efficiently with ample time, effort and money invested in it, but I'm sort of locked into the Mac ecosystem with apps and generations of OS X computers)

[ tl;dr – digital life is tough to manage and email is getting out of control. Try shortmail & apps such as Mailbox (free, universal) for iOS to manage Gmail. ]

There's probably enough posted here about the iPad — I just mention it again because, being so sick this year, I really haven't had a choice — if it couldn't be done on a lightweight, handheld mobile device, I couldn't do it. Still, I've become back-logged; behind on emails, writing and blogging, reading, art and design. Very frustrating. [fyi: If I post all that I want to say on topics optimization and organization, it'll span thirty pages, so I'll break it up into sections.]

E-maelstrom, email storm

Recently I stumbled upon a site called AppSumo, a collection of lifehacks and productivity tools/info, primarily for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Browsing the site led me to rethink email and task management, calendar planning and organization. I've been sort of on the fence about Gmail, unsure of what to think or how seriously to invest in it. As a platform, there are wondrous components to Gmail via Google Labs and integration with all of Google's apps (Android and Google Glass eyewear also pretty cool). But I also think that there are reasons to be hesitant, or at least vigilant.

So I have email boxes at all of the major services, for various things. Yahoo was a big deal at one point, and they may be again, buying tumblr. (I still haven't figured out how to effectively use tumblr, however.) XBOX LIVE requires a Microsoft account so there's Live mail (used to be Hotmail, is now Outlook.com), dot Mac turned into MobileMe followed by iCloud… it's tough to keep up with it all and keep it all straight.

All made more complicated (difficult) being limited to an iPad and iPhone 4. At least Siri helps — a bit.

So in my quest for some semblance of order, some quieting of the chaos, I turn to apps.

Shortmail — email, simplified. (free, iPhone only)

Shortmail is a unique concept: keep emails under 500 characters. Recent updates to the service allow attachments via Evernote and Gmail linking; any email under 500 characters goes to shortmail, over and it's sent to gmail. Each shortmail.com address is based on your twitter account handle, but you can also make up your own shortmail.me address. I don't know how much traction it's gained, but I like it and hope to use it more for quick conversations when text messaging isn't an option. My main email box gets cluttered with too many messages. Shortmail is quicker. I just wish they'd release an iPad app or universal update.


Mailbox — currently Gmail only (free, iOS universal)

Mailbox is beautiful, minimalist and intuitive — and I'm excited to see where it's going. I already prefer it to the iOS Gmail app, and in some ways it's nicer than the native Mail app. It's new (so don't expect it to be perfect) but I haven't run into any issues other than a lack of portrait mode (it's landscape only on the iPad). It would also be nice to be able to edit/add labels and move/archive/delete messages in bulk. I hope developer Orchestra, Inc. adds Outlook.com mail support!

The Email Quest, Objective: Empty Inbox

Email is the digital equivalent of physical mail, right? An inbox is like a physical mailbox — except people don't leave envelopes stuffed in their mailboxes after receiving and opening them. For many, myself included, getting that Inbox to "0 messages" is a battle, a constant effort — time-consuming. Frustrating, even. Often, people just give up and let messages accumulate, or they don't care to sort messages. Over time, Inboxes can collect thousands of messages, and this inhibits usability.

An example.

Say you're searching for an email about an event, but you can't remember what that event was called — perhaps it was six months ago and you're looking for some pics from it. If you have a cluttered mailbox, the keyword "event" could pull up hundreds of messages, most of them unrelated to your intended query. An organizational system can alleviate this frustration.

Second.

Search doesn't always function properly when there are too many emails to sift through. If you store emails locally (on your computer or device), those emails take up space, and searching takes up memory. If you use cloud or IMAP mail, those messages take up server space and extra bandwidth to search through. A large inbox — messages unfiltered and unorganized — takes longer to download and thus, search.

These two apps can help you clean up your inbox. Both services offer tips on how to do this, and in the future I'll make a post about Google features for automatically sorting emails and something they call "canned responses."

For now, take a look at these two apps, Shortmail & Mailbox, and tell me what you think. If you have email tips and tricks, I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday
Jul292012

Trying to edit the website

So I switched my Squarespace hosting to take advantage of the free Squarespace 6 site, and spent some time playing around with the template/site builder. It really isn’t that simple. Maybe I need to read through all of the support materials.

Didn’t really feel like doing that because I spent over an hour trying to remove Microsoft Silverlight from Stephanie’s MacBook. Uninstalling Silverlight on Mac should be easy; delete the silverlight.plugin in the Library > Internet Plugins folder. Except it’s not that simple at all. I had to use Terminal and find all of the hidden files Microsoft sneaks into the computer.

When it rains it pours?

I’m also having problems with my iMac. Time to get a new computer, definitely. This thing is just too old and slow now — it freezes up and hiccups every few minutes. Another reason why I prefer working from my new iPad.

Problem is, I can’t edit the style and theme of this Squarespace site from my iPad. It requires desktop Safari. I hope one day Squarespace will enhance their iOS app to support layout/code editing. So I’ve been sitting here, at my desktop (physically pretty painful!), trying to figure out what overrides what, just trying to get simple things like colors and fonts as I want them. I’ll have to pick this up another day.

It’s okay as is.

Also, I cancelled TypePad Pro (new link) and MediaTemple hosting. Now I’ll have more time and energy to focus on this and my portfolio site, a few designs and graphics, packing up the house to move, and my health — though not necessarily in that order.

Saturday
Jul142012

New blogging platform Squarespace 6

I've been blogging with Squarespace for several years and it's been a great experience overall — especially so because my focus is on content instead of code. Squarespace is well organized and uses a clean, robust interface (complete with step-by-step guides) for adding widgets, pages and content. It also has a detailed traffic analyzer built-in. Squarespace has great customer service, too — businesses could learn a lot from them.

Oh yeah, Squarespace is also really pretty.

For Says Brad I use Squarespace 5, a platform tweaked and improved over the years that offers customizable templates, fancy modules and flexibility. The templates are gorgeous — much better looking than stock TypePad and WordPress offerings — sites look great from the get-go, and from there, unlimited tweaks and changes can be made to the themes. I like pretty and unique… I don't like to code. I like code itself, I'm just not that great at it. I don't study it, practice it, or keep up with its latest trends. I focus on graphics, design, branding and English. Programming isn't my forte.

Thusly, my website style options are fairly limited and updating the site's visuals is a significant endeavor. Squarespace 6 might be the answer.

Squarespace 6?

Squarespace 6 is a new platform, independent from 5. It uses templates and a beautiful WYSIWYG UI. Adding content is drag-and-drop, colors are chosen from a wheel — the demo I saw made it clear that 6 offers design flexibility that 5 cannot match without custom coding.

So I am thinking about switching. Right now, I enjoy blogging from my iPad using Blogsy; presently, Squarespace 6 is only compatible with the Squarespace app and desktop web browsers. I really like Blogsy — it's a beautiful app made by a dedicated team in South Korea run by Lance Barton — and I don't think I'd switch to SS6 until Blogsy is compatible. The iOS SS app has always had issues: faulty image uploads, lost images, blank posts, crashes, lost content — I don't trust it.

Other factors.

I can't really edit colors, layout and themes from my iPad as is (using Squarespace 5) so I don't expect that 6 will be different in that regard. However, SS6 themes have built-in mobile versions for smartphone and tablet browsing, potentially offering a better experience on the devices I love most. Maybe if/when I get a new MacBook Pro (with Retina display, maybe? *wishes*) I'll reassess.

If I were to switch, it won't be completely seamless and simple. It's not like updating an app on an iPhone; Squarespace 6 is incompatible with SS5 and some things might get lost in migration, as currently, the two lack parity. I read something about an import/export tool, but it sounds… frustrating, like more complications, stress.

I need to really study the themes and perhaps play with them first. Says Brad won't migrate anytime soon, but I want to get a portfolio site up to showcase my artwork and graphic design and Squarespace 6 might be the solution.

I'm looking for opinions and feedback on Squarespace 5 versus 6

I haven't tinkered with version 6 yet so I have no idea about its flaws or bugs, if any. I'm planning on moving away from TypePad because it's ugly and I get a lot of spam comments there, and I'm thinking I could ditch WordPress as well. I'm not actively using WP, but because it's practically an industry standard, I thought I should know how to use it because I occasionally get asked if I can design for it. However, if Squarespace 6 is what I think it is — it could be a fantastic small business solution — I'll eventually work on graphics for those SS6 sites, so…

Perhaps the better face-off is Squarespace 6 v. WordPress?

Sunday
Mar112012

Editing Squarespace on iOS

Used Zen Brush to create this little fisheye, top-down, big-eyed, sad-face crying-boy... why? Because I can't really edit my site using the iPad.

Perhaps for many people, this is no big deal. For me, it is. I do just about everything computer-related on my iPad or iPhone, because basically, I have to.

Squarespace has an iPad app, but it isn't great.

For the quick post (like this one), it's fine. You can check site stats from it as well, and it's far better than it was last year (in its early days, the Squarespace iOS apps would crash, lose content, post random stuff, delete images, and constantly notify "new comments" that weren't new). Both iPhone and iPad versions of the Squarespace app still have issues beyond missing features and lack of flexibility (like the comment issue — that still exists) but both are usable. I guess.

I'd really like to add/edit pages from the iPad

The poorly named The new iPad is just days away, and it's most remarkable feature (retina display) will make content creation and art a lot easier. Maybe Squarespace doesn't want to remake its iPad app... (I hope they do, I hate those old, blurry, pre-retina display iPhone apps) they could at least make their web-based UI mobile Safari friendly. It's impossible to consistently add content to and modify Squarespace site pages on iOS. Trying to edit the layout or change the site theme is even worse.

Thus, sad face.

Hey, people are allowed to be emo about Apple stuff. It's not like thing are any better on Android.