569: Contextual Computing

Mac Power Users


I am ready for a new year. Know everybody talks about that. Oh hey it's new year everything's going to be better. I think so. I think it is time to have a change. I'm going to choose to make it a better your house that i like it. Yeah But i'll tell you one thing that hasn't changed is my love for waking up and making the mac power users podcasts. So looking forward. This'll we're starting our third year together. Now can you believe that. It's unreal i. I was looking through our archives. We've been planning out the year and shows kind of seeing some big things we talk about. I was like oh. It's been three years what happened. It's been awesome. I'm so happy that you joined the show. The audience is to we hear from so many people that love hearing from you. The We've got a lot going on because it's the new year. I just wanted to take a minute to talk about more power users and last year we premiered this membership Drive with the mac. Power users It's been really helpful to us to help. Keep the show production nope offset you know kind of the loss in revenue with with sponsorships and things going away during the pandemic And we've got a lot of really great stuff planned for this year. If you sign up for more power users you get a feed special feed of this show. That has no ads. So if you don't want to listen the odds you get you. Don't get those. But i think even more importantly is we do this episode we call more power users and at the end of each show we talk about a subject and careful we keep the you know we keep the best stuff i would say in the main feed but we have a lot of interesting stuff to talk to you that You know i it kind of goes beyond what we normally do. And it's fun to get into that stuff and the more power subscribers get all that for instance today on more power users. I'm having really dangerous. Thoughts about selling mac pro and i. I just texted you. That i i'm thinking about this and you're like okay. We have to talk this out. And we're gonna. We're gonna do a therapy session today at the end of our users were stephen is either gonna talk me off the ledge or push me off it. I don't even really know which way this is going to go. That's an example of the more power users episode and we'd love to have you join us and its new year so not sign up for it. You can do that over at was it stephen. What's your elegant. It is relayed dot fm slash npr. Slash join us. go there. sign up. we'd love to have you on the more power users team. Also this is the last call for paperless Field guide introductory pricing the prices going up shortly after the show publishes. I'll put a lincoln. The shadows thanks to everybody. Who's bought it. And i've had tons of great feedback from the listeners on it but if you want to get that introductory price it's just opened for a few more days. I had a marketing guy. Right main tell me that. I'm dumb. Because i always make it cheap at the beginning when people will pay the most and i'm like yeah but i wanna reward the people that listened to them after our users want them to so anyway. My dumb marketing is still in place. And you have a couple of days. Left to take advantage of it. That's a bolt sales pitch. You have a dumb idea full of them. Something that happened to me. Though and twenty twenty that i would like to share with the audience heading into twenty twenty one is the emergence of this idea of contextual computing. And that's just a a word. I made for it and i. I know that people have worked on this. We had luke on last year. Who got a phd talking about similar concepts but in my head i call it contextual computing and i kinda wanted to dive deep on that for the audience because this is a real game changer for me and i hope it is for you to you know so i guess i'll start with talking about what i consider to be. The problem. computers are great. But they are also distraction machines. The everything about a computer is designed to distract you I think back to the days that i used a pc. I had worked in a big fancy law office and we had these. Pc's and like one of the forms of distraction of a pc computer. At least back. When i was using them was maintenance like every once in a while the thing would just start slowing down and you'd have to defer again like a lotta times you'd have to just sometimes nuke and pave to get the software to work and like they're all these little distractions where i just wanted to you know. Write a brief and the damn thing. Just wouldn't do the stuff i needed to do. So there was a distraction A lot of that. I left behind me. You know when. I'm working on a mac. But there are other forms of distractions as well like Stephen have you ever opened a browser to go to a specific website and in thirty minutes caught your later. You catch yourself saying why. Why did i open the browser. All the time. All the time in your case. I imagine like you open it to do. Important relay work and suddenly you find yourself on like an e bay channel for a Mac from you know thirty years ago or something. That's shockingly accurate or even like the manual for iraq. From thirty years you go deep. You know me. Well the but. I think that's something we all can relate to is. That they're just distractions. You open the browser and it's very easy to go somewhere else. you see something shiny. You get distracted and you're off and then from that shiny thing you find another shiny thing and then it just. It's amazing to me like there's a great app for the mac called timing where It tracks what you do on your mac and i know that you know time tracking is kind of a different thing in a lot of people like to do time tracking Timing does that but the thing that makes it interesting is that it's automatic so at the end of the day you can look back and say well. I spent one hour in microsoft word and one point. Five hours in amazon like whoops. What happened there sparky So so anyway. That's you know the point of being distractions but it's not just web. It's a lot of things Email is another famous one. Like you open your mail application and the first thing that shows you is your inbox. But you're opening your mail application to go to an email that you read three weeks ago that you want to work on for client and but that inboxes there and it shows you other email from other people and suddenly you go down the rabbit hole of those emails and again thirty minutes later. You find yourself wondering why did i even open this up. Yeah that's the the one for me.

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