The Weekly Review — Issue 2

Big macOS update, switching my content management tool and exploring AI

Another week, another issue. As promised, here’s my next weekly post. I had been a busy week. At school, we had an Ofsted inspection (education moderation), which took up all my time to do anything other than work. I did, however, get the time to play around with some cool software from Apple and explore AI properly for the first time.

Apple’s macOS Sonoma is here!

I have been anticipating this update more than the iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS updates we received last week.

The update was around 6.4 GB, and I was lucky enough to get in there quickly before the masses joined in with downloading the update.

So far, I have been impressed with the new features. The widgets, Apple app refreshes, and animated wallpapers are a nice touch to the operating system. I am happy I made the switch from my Windows/ChromeOS combo.

I can finally take advantage of the updates to Apple Reminders and Notes. I know it is a little update, but the Kanban view in Apple Reminders had helped me break up my weekly folder into days, making it clearer to see what I have on each day.

The updates for iOS and iPadOS 17 brought a feature I had been wanting for a long time — the ability to link notes. Which brings me on to my next point…

Blog content management switch

One of the exciting features I was eagerly awaiting to see what link notes in Apple Notes. The Reason? From the WWDC event last year, I had an idea of creating a table in Apple Notes that linked to all of my blog post drafts. It is finally here!

I could spend hours transferring all my 48 blogs to Apple Notes. I decided against it. I chose only to copy September’s posts and start from here on. You might be wondering why I am not using Upnote, like I mentioned in my post about the five apps I use every day.

It’s a personal preference to keep everything as simple as possible. I can access my knowledge by swiping down on my iPhone to pull up my notes without opening the app. Another cool thing is I can hit the share button from my web browser and share to a specific note. Whereas Upnote creates a separate note for whatever new content I want to add to it. If I am saving five to 12 articles a week, I would rather not spend my time manually transferring the links into one new note.

One area I was concerned about was what would happen if I changed a note’s title. Would it break the link? The link doesn’t break, and it changes the name to match the new title.

Upnote is more than capable of being a great content manager. I don’t necessarily need the backlinks like I originally planned because they need removing from the post once I send it to Ulysses for proofreading and tweaking.

I won’t bore you with a screenshot. My content manager in Apple Notes consists of linked blog posts, deadlines, statuses, and status notes.

100% AI Free blogs

I got the opportunity to play around with AI this week. I had put it off in defiance, as I wanted to make sure I could learn how to write blogs without any support from AI.

I have been using the Twos App to test out some pretty cool tricks. Thanks to Nino, he shared some tips on using the Twos app as well as a collection of tips for AI.

The experimenting has been a great experience. I don’t feel as hostile towards AI now. Moreover, I have started to admire the power of AI for note-taking, summarising, and planning out projects.

However, I draw the line under using AI for blog writing. I refuse to use it for my blogs. There are too many generic posts coming out on the internet through the means of AI. I don’t want to publish content that lacks character. All of my posts are 100% AI free. If people are taking the time to read my content, I should take the time to write something with effort and originality.

Using Twos app to support learning.
Using Twos app to support learning.

After all, the whole purpose of me blogging was to learn how to write. I am still on that journey.

Behind the scenes, I am taking courses on writing, brushing off old notes from university, and consuming outstanding content on Medium. There is no end game. Simply write content I value and others can grow from. It’s about creating a win-win situation.

If you are interested in trying Twos app with AI integration, use my referral link by clicking here. You will get 200 extra coins to go towards purchasing the AI feature for mobile.

A pause on blogs

At the start of the year, I set out to publish 50 blogs in 2023. I’m now on my 48th with the inclusion of this one. I am going to put a pause on my blog posts apart from my weekly review posts as I tackle a different goal. I might publish something if I need the desire to share an idea.

I have completed 70% of my goals for 2023, including health targets, financial targets and lifestyle changes. There are two targets I have not yet completed: a full-stack web development course and a Python programming course. I plan to have those both completed by the end of 2023.

This is why I will be stopping my usual blog posts for the remainder of 2023. If you are interested in how I am progressing with the programming/web development, I’m sure I can find time to write a post about it.

Posted this week

Using Apple’s Assistive Access feature to create the ultimate dumb phone experience

In this post, I write about Apple’s Assistive Access and how it can be used to create a limited phone UI for digital minimalism. Essentially, you can make the iPhone as boring as you want.

Two on Twos

Quotes: Productivity by Mitchel

Mitchell shares some thought-provoking quotes on productivity. The quotes made me reflect on my approaches and why I do what I do.

Procrastination Not: It’s ‘now or never’ by Binayadas

Binayadas shared tips for procrastination. Being someone who indulges in procrastination, these tips made me re-evaluate my approach to getting things done. I know I am already on the path to being more focused by creating habits that centre my attention.

Saved articles

Why we should all be taking cold showers — BBC

Minimalist Finances and Budgeting — The Minimalists

YouTube bookmarked

Christopher Lawley shows off his Apple productivity with Apple Reminders. Some of the approaches he takes are similar to how I use Apple Reminders. The app is seriously underrated.

My Apple Reminders Setup: iPad Productivity by Christopher Lawley.

Nicholas puts across some good points to stop spending. Waiting it out is a seriously great one to try. I usually wait 30 days to review if I really need something. Nine times out of ten, I decide the impulse was actually a waste of time, energy, and money. This is something I came across in a book by the Minimalists.

How To Stop Wanting to Buy Stuff | Frugal Living by Nicholas Garofola.

Thank you for reading my weekly review. Coming back next Friday for more updates. This is one of many to come.

Mark @ CodeMacLife

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