Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

What’s on my Desk(top)?

apps on my desktop

Strangely, for a fan of all things paper-and-pen/cil, I’ve been thinking a lot about my digital tools recently. I’ve been fiddling with which music player is best for me, what task manager can get me off the panic precipice as well as all the other digital tools I need to stay organized and productive like text input, calendar management and getting all this stuff to synchronize together.

I can’t be the only one who worries about the best way to stay on top of everything, can I? The to-do lists, grocery lists, ideas for blog posts, things to read now, things to share, things to read later, work projects, events in my life and everything else?

A lot of this fussing has come as a result of upgrading to Yosemite (OS X 10.10). Many of my standby tools required upgrading and some fell by the wayside. Other issues had never been thoroughly dealt with in the past so I used the growing pains of Yosemite as my chance to re-evaluate my whole digital tool library.

The first aspect to my organization is that I work on Mac and Apple products exclusively. I have an iMac 27″ at work (behind a big SERIOUS firewall), a personal 13″ MacBook Pro, an iPad Mini (the original incarnation, no retina, no data) and an iPhone 4s (seriously needing to be updated). As a result of my office firewall and absence of wi-fi for my iPad at work, I need most of my tools to be accessible without installing an app or feature a browser-accessible interface.

Music Player:

Luckily, most music players and streaming music tools are now accessible via web interface so I’ve been able to test and play with Spotify, Rdio and Pandora. The first one I ever tried was Rdio and I’ve built a lot of playlists on it. I abandoned it when everyone went to Spotify and played with that for awhile and finally went to Pandora for the ability to say, “I like English Beat. Play stuff like that,” without having to build all the playlists myself. But in the end, there was just as much work involved in grooming Pandora to my tastes that I might as well have built my own playlist.

So, I’ve come full circle and gone back to Rdio. The web interface is vastly improved over the last few years and includes a free streaming option (with ads) as well as paid subscriptions that allows users to download content to a mobile device. If you don’t pay for the premium subscription, the only mobile option is a “radio” option. The radio option let’s you select a song and the app builds a playlist based on it. I think Spotify free works the same way.

Podcast App:

Overcast has become my go-to for podcast listening. For me, the web interface means I can tether myself to my desk at work and access my podcasts without using up my mobile phone data plan. Sure, I don’t get the benefits of some of the iPhone app features (like speeding up the podcast or skipping pausese) but I can easily bounce back and forth from my phone at home to the browser at work and stay current.

Task Manager:

I’ve tried to keep daily lists on paper using a modification of the Bullet Journal system which is fine for personal projects and home stuff but work projects needed a digital option that would allow me to copy and paste text and rearrange and update a lot. I tried both Todoist and Wunderlist and have bounced back and forth, depending on the types of projects I’ve been working on. This week, I decided I needed to embrace ONE and make it work. So I chose Wunderlist because the Todoist site locked up on me and I could not use the web interface. Wunderlist provides web interface through a browser and a mac desktop app as well as iPad and iPhone versions. In other words, I can have all my lists wherever I am. I can add sub-lists and images to each “task” which, in my case, is a card collection or individual card design. I can snap a pic of the sketch to store with the task item. I don’t know why I didn’t figure this system out ages ago. Now I wish I could copy multiple sub-tasks from one task to the other because every card I do has to pass through the same series of tasks. Sometimes there’s additional task but it would be so helpful.

Photo Editing and Management:

I was one of those suckers who bought Aperture as my go-to photo editing and cataloging. So, with Apple’s announcement that they’ll no longer be supporting the app, I had to switch to Adobe Lightroom CC. Its been a slow process. It took about 8 hours to migrate my Aperture library to Lightroom. I can see why it is the preferred application. Even after just an hour using it, I think my photos look better and the interface is intuitively Adobe.

If photos need more manipulation, I use Adobe Photoshop CC. The weekly Fashionable Friday is built entirely in Photoshop and I design logos, icons and the like in Illustrator CC.

Text Input:

I still use paper for most list-making and taking notes in meetings. I need some excuse to use up all those notebooks and inks I buy. When I have to write on the computer, either to prepare blog posts, work documentation or brain musings, I still have a gap.

I’ve heard lots of recommendations for DayOne as a place to dump ideas but I’m not sure how easy it is to access individual pieces and how much formatting it allows.

I’m taking recommendations now!

Calendar Management:

I still use iCal (or whatever Apple is calling it these days). I use Fanstastical on my iPhone which makes adding events on the go super easy. Wunderlist automatically adds tasks to a special calendar on iCal and provide alerts to keep me on task as well so that all my calendar activites sync. Sadly, my work calendar is the cheese that stand alone. My company uses Outlook and the calendar cannot be linked or synced to my iCal for whatever reason. So I have to manually add events. If anyone has a workaround for syncing Outlook to iCal let me know.

Other tools:

I use 1Password to keep all my passwords sorted. I use Suitcase Fusion to keep my massive font collection together. I build some of my photo collages with PicFrame (like the one at the top of this post). I live and die at the hands of Alfred who helps me find my apps, my files, helps me add, spell and even defines words for me in a pinch. I use Firefox almost exclusively for web browsing and have plugins for some of my favorite utilities like Pinterest, Evernote, Twitbin, 1Password and Wunderlist. Most of my email is now managed by Gmail.

Do you use any of these tools to keep organized? Have any recommendations for me?

The Overcast Podcast App

Overcast app screenshot

To help me get through my days, staring at pixels on a computer screen, I listen to a lot of podcasts. For the last few weeks, I have been bouncing back and forth between three different podcast apps for my iPhone: Overcast (Free, unlocked all features $4.99), Pocket Casts ($4.99, for iPhone/iPad or Android) and Instacast ($1.99). Why would I have three podcast apps installed at once? I was trying to figure which one I actually prefer.

Each app offers a similar experiences and all are an improvement from Apple’s default Podcast app. After futzing around with all three, I found myself deleting Instacast first as it was the least intuitive feeling to me. It was the first podcast app I purchased after I became annoyed with the Apple Podcast app and the first to fall short for me. I love the looks of Pocket Casts but in the end, despite aesthetic superiority, there were a few things that forced it out of the running.

I’ll cut to the chase and tell you which one I prefer and why.

Overcast is my favorite podcast app at the moment, though I still find myself stumbling around the app a little. Here’s a few reasons why I’ve chosen it over the others.

  • Overcast has feature to speed up the podcast. It helps to shorten pauses in speech and make a podcast a bit more brisk. Very handy. Audio can also be sped up a lot which sounds like everyone had WAY too much coffee, but not like Mickey Mouse. Overcast also has an EQ voice booster which helps podcasts that may not have the best sound quality.
  • There is a web-based interface which lets me listen to podcasts at my computer rather than on my phone at work. It spares my data plan, phone battery and I only have to subscribe to the podcast once (not have to maintain an additional subscription in iTunes for desktop listening). Playlists don’t carry over to the site but being able to listen to podcasts in my wi-fi-free office without getting throttled by AT&T is excellent.
  • I like that I can adjust the quick forward and quick back buttons. They are clear to understand and easy to use. Some of the other apps have the double arrows  associated with fast forward and rewind which are less clear to me that I’m jumping 15 or 30 seconds in a podcast. I don’t often need to rewind a podcast all the way back to the beginning.
  • Under “Playback” there is a sleep timer and/or play episodes continuously or one-by-one.
  • Overcast is free. I appreciate that Overcast is willing to offer this app for free to entice people to try it and listen to more podcasts. When they find the app useful and easy to use, users can unlock all features for $4.99. I upgraded the app immediately.
  • Overcast uses Twitter to recommend podcasts based on what people you follow are subscribing to. The more people who use Overcast, the more recommendations. It seems a lot of my followers/folks I follow listen to the Pen Addict and Erasable. I’m shocked!
  • In the download queue, there is a switch to toggle between using cellular data for downloads and not. Which is handy that’s it’s not buried in a preferences or settings menu somewhere.
  • My one big gripe is I wish that sliding to the left would provide a “mark all as played” option. I keep deleting podcasts thinking I am deleting an episode.

Overcast recommendation screenshot

The more I use Overcast, the more I like it. If you haven’t tried any podcast app other than the Apple Podcast app, I recommend trying Overcast. If you have your own favorite podcast app, please leave a note in the comments.

A Digital Solution to an Analog Problem

Scribd

I love books. Like a sickness. Sometimes I read good literature and sometimes I devour trashy, pulp novels. I can’t pass up a good coffee table book of art, illustration or design. My house is overrun with books. My teeny, tiny house is stacked two deep in some place with books. My favorite weekend activity is to scour the shelves at the secondhand book shop for a gem. The first step is to admit I have a problem. “My name is Ana and I’m a bookaholic.”

I’ve tried to embrace using the iPad or Kindle or what-have-you to buy books from Amazon et al, but even digital books get pricey.

And then, Scribd stepped into my email this weekend with an offer I could not refuse. Scribd is a digital subscription service like Netflix, but for ebooks. For $8.99 per month, I can read as many of the over 400,000 books in its library on any Apple or Android device or on a Kindle Fire. I did some cursory checks for my favorite authors. Some were listed, some were not. In some cases, a few of an author’s books were available but not the most recent. But there were lots of options, available for immediate download. Unlike my local library where the ebooks are slurped up at alarming rates and I’m left #322 on the next-to-read list so that I can read a particular book about 6 years from now.

I was offered a free month’s trial to use Scribd. Books are read in the Scribd app but the app can also be use to browse and download other books. The “books similar to” options provided decent direction to discover new books as well.

Oyster Books

I also decided to do some research to see if other services were offering a book subscription service and found Oyster. Currently Oyster books are only available on the iOS platform and the monthly subscription fee is $9.99 but their library seems a little larger.

I went ahead and started a free subscription with Oyster as well to compare the two services. The interface for browsing and book discovery on Oyster is a little more aesthetically pleasing than Scribd but both are similar with a search option or a browse by category. Oyster offers more esoteric sub-categories like, within Science Fiction, they’ve divided books into categories like “Utopian Dreams” or “Genetic Engineering”.

Both services have recently received access to the Simon & Schuster catalog which added 10,000 titles and lots of reading options. Both services have business and economic books, young adult fiction, a large cache of mysteries and popular fiction, classics and more. Either option will have something in their collection you want to read.

I did a search for a few specific authors: Stephen King (equally represented by both services, David Sedaris (only one book available at both services “Children Playing..”), Seth Godin (more books available through Oyster), George R. R. Martin (only one short story in an anthology, available from both) and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (a knitting humorist and Oyster had all her books but Scribd only had two available). As you can see, lots of breadth in both services.

I really wanted to compare the actual reading experience, which is a make-or-break for me. In general, both experiences sync across devices — from iPhone to iPad pretty smoothly. The only notable difference is that the Oyster reading environment requires users to swipe up to move through pages, more like a PDF or Word document rather than across like the iBooks or Kindle does. Neither has the faux page-turning animation, ability to adjust line spacing or margins that the Kindle and iBooks app allow. Both services feature sans serif or serif font choices and reading white-on-black, black-on-white or a sepia look. Both have highlighting and annotation options. Except for the swiping being a little counter-intuitive on Oyster, they are both perfectly adequate.

Both services offer the option to link with friends via Facebook and other services though, for me, I prefer to just read and not network. Since both services are fairly new, it might not be a big deal to anyone else either. Its really all about the books.

That said, I think both services are neck-in-neck to win my subscription fee loyalty. Both seem like great ways to feed my voracious book appetite without cluttering up my house any further.

If you have an Android device or Kindle tablet, I recommend that you start with Scribd as Oyster does not yet have support for the Android platform. If you decide to try Oyster, please use this link and I’ll get a credit for recommending it.

Have you considered or do you read ebooks? I like having a book with me at all times on my phone for those waiting-in-line moments. Do you?

Get Organized: Todoist Next

Todoist Next screenshots

Today, Todoist upgraded its platform with web-, mobile-, browser- and desktop-based versions of the app and an all-new, streamlined look. They are definitely setting themselves to compete with Wunderlist. The new version offers free collaboration and what appears to be extensive functionality, especially with the collaboration tools and could give Basecamp a run for its money for small teams.

The regular apps and web interface are free. The premium account ($29/yr) offers additional features including adding notes and file attachments, task search, color-coded labels, email or text task reminders, automatic backup and synchronization with iCal. I think the premium version will be the way to go since being able to add text, images and URLs to a task would make things so much simpler. The price per year is less than Wunderlist which is $49/yr for collaboration but Wunderlist allows notes and images in the free version but there’s no indication in a list or sub-list that a photo or note is associated with the item. So it works… sort of. I certainly don’t think I’ll miss the wood grain if I switch.

I waffle between loving the cross-platform convenience of digital to-do lists and missing its paper counterparts and physically crossing things off, adding details and saving the completed lists. Being able to add a task on my phone, then review it or deal with it when I’m parked in front of my computer has a lot of appeal though paper could do the same thing.

This app seems like its is the best of all possible to-do list apps, sleek, streamlined and upgradeable for a small fee. Would you or have you tried any of these digital to-do lists?

Curious iApp Discoveries

my iPhone home page

I started this post because I found some unusual iPhone apps recently but then I got to thinking about it and decided maybe folks would like to see some of the apps I use regularly as well. So, here are the highlights of the apps I use almost daily as well as some funky little tidbits I’ve found recently. (The screenshot is my home page as of this morning, truth.)

  • Dots: Dots is a beautiful time-waster game in chunks of 30 seconds. Its free and its addictive. You’ve been warned.
  • Device 6: This looks like a game made for me. Its a thriller/puzzle/mystery game wrapped in beautiful design and a mysterious man in a hat. I just got an iTunes gift card so I’ll be downloading this ASAP. $3.99
  • Connor: Connor NYC is a high-end bespoke stationery company that produced an iPad app to create e-stationery
  • Squarespace apps: I’m familiar with Squarespace as a blog/commerce/website venue but did not know that they offer several apps to create on-the-go notes, portfolio viewer from content on their Squarespace site and a sleek site controller. Squarespace Note app does not require an account and its free.
  • Dictionary.com: I love the Word of The Day feature and being able to look up words on the go. Free.
  • Gmail: I have tried lots of email apps for the iPhone including Sparrow and the default Apple Mail app and I am stuck on Gmail. The new divided tabs that separate updates from social from pormotions and your actual email is genius. It saves me tons of time and lets me see my mail from all the spam, newsletters and miscellany. Genius.
  • Cardstar: This app has the ugliest icon ever and it makes me cringe when I look at it but it is the wallet-lightening joy of an app. It will scan the bar codes off all those frequent shopper cards, hotel/airline points accounts, etc and store them in your iPhone complete with the scanner-readable bar code. Other apps have better icons but THIS one works. And its FREE.
  • Fantastical: Why do I need another calendar app? Because Fantastical lets me type “Meet with Stephanie at 3pm today” and voila! It places a meeting in the right time without having to remember that today is the 15th. I thought it would be more cumbersome to type out a whole sentence to schedule a meeting but its not. I like it so much, I just paid $2.99 to upgrade to the new iOS 7 version.

Other apps I use all the time are Tweetbot, WordPress, IFTTT, USPS Mobile, Delivery Status, Wake, Riposte and Evernote. I’ve tried lots of photo editing apps and use AfterLight most often. What are your favorites?

Fossil Goes Back-to-School

Ipad case Fossil

Autumn and the back-to-school season is my favorite time of year. I love tweed and sweaters and crisp autumn afternoons. I love the sense of starting anew like the start of the new school term. So, I get excited when I start to see all the fall collections of upcoming goods, fashions and accessories.

Books iPad Mini Case

Fossil has released their Autumn 2013 collection and there are a few items in it that are perfect for the office, pen, pencil or paper fan.

There are iPad and iPad Mini covers that feature great illustrations of typewriters and stacks of books for $50 and $45, respectively. They are made of coated canvas on the exterior and a faux suede interior. The leather slot on the back allows the cover to fold at an angle for typing or stand it for video viewing.

pencil shaving iphone case

There are also some lovely new iPhone 5 covers that feature pencils including the pencil shaving design I mentioned earlier for $25 each. These are soft polyurethane material so they should be more grippy than slippy. It’s making my itchy to upgrade my phone just to have the pencil shaving case. Love it!

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 2.03.35 PM

Link Love: Pinning away for it

desks

From my Well-Appointed Desk board (clockwise from top left): A homey workspace, a very elegant workspace, a desk transformed from Martha Stewart, and a workspace from Design Sponge

This week, I thought I’d cull through all my desk, pen and office supply boards on Pinterest and give you some visual Link Love. Check the sidebar to find me on Pinterest and follow the boards that interest you.

penpencil

From my Pens and Pencils Board (clockwise from top left): Pantone marker set, beautiful Edison Encore pen dipped into water for a rinse from Goulet Pens and Pelikan Edelstein ink swabs from JetPens.

digitaloffice

From my Digital Office Board (clockwise from top left): iPhone cases from Ampersand Shop, stackable USB cords and Kate Spade desktop wallpaper

deskacc

From my Desk Accessories board (clockwise from top left): Doane 3-ring notebook paper, pencil cup dispenser, office supplies from Restoration Hardware and a desktop screensaver clock

Other folks to follow on Pinterest:

Plugging the Firm: Soundpic

I’ve been implying to folks that I’ve been working on a “secret project” at work. Well, its not so secret anymore. Its a little app called Soundpic that turns your video into a still image and a sound clip in one neat package.

Not only was I actively involved in the design of the user interface, I designed the logo, art directed the promo video and even let them use my largely-unused Facebook page for the video! I am amazed what we could do with just a handful of people and some wishful thinking.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfy-PbadD8A?rel=0

We’ve been running around looking for cool sounds to capture with our images: from rustling leaves to steaks on the grill. I’m still on the hunt for one of those old school sprinklers to add to my “summer sounds” collection.

Soundpic is available on the Apple iTunes store for iPhone. And its free. If you like the app, please let me know or leave feedback on the app store. Thanks!

Moleskine Postal Notes and other new stuff

Moleskine Postal Notebook

On App.net yesterday, there were some conversations about the Moleskine Postal Notes so I thought I’d mention them here. I know Moleskine takes a lot of ribbing from the paper elite but they do make some beautiful albeit not-all-that-fountain-pen-friendly products.

Moleskine Postal Note Card

First, there are the postal notes. They are available as a note card or as a notebook. Both versions come in the small 3.5″ x 5.5″ size and the larger 4.5″  x 6.75″ size. The note card is a card stock cover with a one-page signature which is stitched into place with thread to coordinate with the cover and comes with an envelope for mailing. The postal notebook is an 8-page signature self-mailer. The covers have additional flaps that fold over the seal with a sticker making it look like an envelope. They have been available since 2012 in six deep tones– kraft, maize, light grey, terracotta, navy and red– but this year, they’ve introduced the postal notes in pastel hues as well. Prices range from $3.95 to $7.95.

Moleskine Pastel Postal Notebook

Moleskine Turntable Planner in use

In other Moleskine news, the new 2013-2014 “academic year” planners are now available. If you did not start a new planner in January and want to jump start your organization mid-year, the academic calendars are a great way to get started. They start on July 1 and go through 18 months. There is a new “turntable” design which is a more open format planning method. Dates are at the bottom of the page, at an angle, and the rest of the page is open allowing the user to use the spaces vertically or horizontally depending on the kind of week you might be having.

Moleskine Turntable Planner

The Turntable 18-month planner is available in the small (3.5″ x 5.5″) size and the large (4.5″x 6.75″) size as well in a rainbow of colors as well as special Star Wars and Peanuts editions. The planners are available through Notemaker and other fine online retailers.

Moleskine iPad Mini case

And finally, Moleskine is now selling covers to protect your iPhone, iPad and tablets which includes a volante-style reporter notebook on the left hand side of the case and a place to secure your digital device on the right. Prices start at $39.95 for a Kindle 2 case and go up to $89.95 for an iPad 3/4 case which is available in classic black or an array of cheery colors.

(shout out to our friends at Notemaker for the tip)

Link Love: Inky Minky Meinie Mo

Love Objects via Behind The Curtain

Loved Objects (via Behind The Curtain)

Pens and Pencils:

Inks:

Paper:

Misc:

(via East...West...Everywhere)

(via East…West…Everywhere)

Oh, Wunderful Wunderlist!

Wunderlist

I was slow to launch with the digital to-do list. As fellow pen and paper lovers, I’m sure you can understand my hesitation.However, I am working on a large project at work and my team decided to try out Basecamp for group organization and I fell in love. Basecamp is a great place for task and project management for a group or team. It can store text documents, files, to-do lists and even a calendar. We are all madly in love with its capabilities. It made me realize how much a task manager might help me in my personal life, for blog planning, shopping lists, and all those little life to-dos that get jotted on this sheet of paper or in that notebook and then I can never find the right list at the right time. I didn’t want to invest in Basecamp for my personal management ($20/month to start) so I set off in search of a more budget-minded alternative for the miscellany floating around in my head and on various scraps of paper.

My requirements:

  • mobile app
  • desktop app
  • web interface
  • multiple to-do lists: work, home, blog, etc.
  • notifications via text message or notifications
  • nice to look at

And then in walks Wunderlist and went, “Check, check, check… CHECK!” Seriously. Its available for iOS or Android, works on my iPhone or iPad, there’s a desktop app (Mac and Windows) for my home computer and a web interface for accessing while at work, making it easy to input text on a full-sized keyboard as well as making updates or checking things off on the fly. Its nice to look at with a choice of pleasing backgrounds and a clean, clear user interface. Lists can be organized into projects and individual to-dos can include sub-tasks, notes, reminders and due dates. Each to-do can be viewed in the original project list or in the day, week or all views. I feel almost organized!

If you discover that Wunderlist is your new lifesaver too, you can upgrade to the pro version and get a lot of the features that make Basecamp so nifty like team to-dos, delegating tasks, file uploads and more starting at $4.99/mo. Check and check!

Une Bobine iPhone Cable

If you have to have a cable, make it a cable with a mind of its own. The Une Bobine cable is flexible but strong enough to support your phone like a stand. Une Bobine started as a Kickstarter project and now is available from Photojojo for $30, for iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and Android.

Yummy Wallpaper for Mobile Devices

ipad-retina-wallpaper-print-geometric-16-634x634

Thanks to the great folks on App.net (you can find me @Ana), I found a great assortment of wallpapers for iPhone and iPad (and any other mobile device I’m sure) by an artist named Simon C Page.

ipad-retina-wallpaper-print-geometric-19-634x634

Go download them now and make your day.

Simon C Page Wallpaper grid

What my iPad Mini looks like now.

If you download a few, click the donate button on his site and buy Simon a cuppa  — it’s just a nice thing to do.

(via App.net and Simon C Page)

App Love: PicFrame

PicFrame for iOS

I thought I would share a favorite app today. I discovered PicFrame for iOS awhile back which is a great way to do a grid of photos to post on Instagram, Flickr or Facebook. The app costs $0.99 and works on iPhone or iPad. Its quite flexible with an assortment of grids to choose from and then you can pull the frames to reshape them as needed. You can round corners, add filters and change the width and color or pattern of the borders too. The iOS app also includes the ability to add labels — there are default looks or you can get in there and choose font, font color and label color. Its a pretty powerful app for under a $1.

PicFrame for Mac

What I like even better is the Mac version of the app that let’s you drag a photo from iPhoto, right into a frame and then export at various sizes for blogs, Flickr, Facebook, etc. The Mac app is also $0.99. There are no image editing options or labels in the desktop version of the app. Since you can import photos from iPhoto or other image editing software, you won’t need the image editing features but I do wish they’d add the labels to the Mac version.

tompkins haul

This is a PicFrame collage I made with the desktop version of the app. I used the default borders and the photos were straight from my iPhone via iPhoto. The images are some of the goodies my friends bought while traveling in Japan. I must go office supply foraging there SOON!

Top iPhone and iPad apps

There is a new list available of the top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad. Of the 50 apps listed, I decided to see exactly how many of them I own:

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 10.32.19 AM

I have more free iPad apps because I have more space on my iPad than on my 16GB phone. Its definitely the most common or most widely recognized apps. I’m impressed to see that WhatsApp is so high on the list.

How many of the apps on the list do you have? Which apps do you think should be on the lists?

(via shawnblanc.net and macstories.net)

Link Love: TWSBI Future Releases, Inks, Notebooks and Bag Check

twsbi_vac_mini_fountain_pen_concept_comparison-798x598

Pens and Pencils:

A sample of Mont Blanc Toffee Brown from IvanR via Instagram

A sample of Mont Blanc Toffee Brown from IvanR via Instagram

Inks:

Paper:

Flora Chang has released some of her whimsical designs as exclusive covers fr iPhone 5 and iPads through Redbubble

Flora Chang has released some of her whimsical designs as exclusive covers for iPhone 5 and iPads through her very own Redbubble Shop.

Misc:

Link Love: Vintage Pens and Pen Addict Love

The big news this week is that Moleskine launched their IPO. Several of the links below are as a result of all the attention Moleskine is getting this week.

There is an assortment of goodies from Brad Dowdy over at Pen Addict including his Tools and Toys Guide to Fountain Pens which I’m willing to debate with him. There’s also a mix of new and vintage fountain pen reviews. Finishing up the Link Love this week are a couple ink reviews, some digital goodies and tips on writing a good thank you note. Enjoy!

Pens and Ink

Paper

Digital

(image from Casa Brutus, via Present + Correct)

(image from Casa Brutus, via Present + Correct)

Poolga Loves Pencils

poolga

Poolga offers beautiful iPhone and iPad wallpapers created by illustrators from around the world. They are free and a chance to look at something lovely every time you turn your device on. I, of course, gravitated to all the illustrations that featured pencils and various office supplies but visit the site and peruse because there is all sorts of fabulousness to be had.

From left to right, top to bottom:

Stuff on White by Andrea Manzati, Pen by Denis Carrier, Pencil Gold by Thom Lambert, Letter by Louis Reith, Toolbox by Christopher Monro DeLorenzo, Workaday by Luke Séguin-Magee, Draw by themeekshall, Enforcer by Dale Edwin Murray, ¡Uops! by Júlia Solans, 009 by Kitchen, Brainstorm by Dan Gneiding, American Typewriter by Tom Davie, Moleskine by Luis Mendo, Having it All by Matthew Walkerdine, Mobile Office by Rainer Berg

I almost forgot one of my favorites:

iphone_591

Paper by Frank Chimero

(via Poolga)

Redress Your Desktop

Whether you spend all day staring at a computer or a mobile device, eventually the urge to “redecorate” hits. I’ve found some lovely wallpaper patterns for both.

floating

For your desktop, check out the array of wallpapers from Design Love Fest.

From Fellow Fellow are some lovely iPhone (and various mobile devices) wallpapers like these:

FF_IPhone031 FF_IPhone013 Ikat5

(click on each pattern above to find more from Fellow Fellow)

andrea-kalfas-blog

For other GUI goodies, check out:

Got a good source for great wallpapers or do you make your own? Leave a note in the comments. Thanks!

Link Love: Lifehacking

original

There are two excellent websites for lifehacks: Lifehack and Lifehacker. In amongst general information on how to get fit, eat better and be more productive are recommendations for work-related topics, zero-ing out your email inbox and app recommendations.

This week I decided to cherry pick a few of my favorite recent articles from these sites and share them here.

Workspaces:

Mobile apps:

Productivity:

Misc:

Oh, Hello Friend Desktop Wallpapers

Oh, Hello Friend January 2013 wallpaper

I don’t know if you like changing your desktop wallpaper regularly but I do. Unfortunately, finding pleasing but not disruptive wallpapers can be quite challenging. So I was pleased to find that Oh, Hello Friend offers a free desktop wallpaper for your computer, cellphone or iPad each month. Most months the wallpaper is a lovely calendar but for January of this year, as if she knew I would be too far behind to get it to you in time, is an inspirational message.

Link Love: Write it down now

This is what happens when I don’t do a Link Love for over two weeks: it becomes epic! Sorry its so long but I didn’t want anything to get overlooked or skipped.

Artwork by Donovan Beeson

Artwork by Donovan Beeson

Handwriting Month:

Pilot Petball (AKA B2P or BeGreen) pensin various colors coming out soon. Photo by Patrick Ng.

Pilot Petball (AKA B2P or BeGreen) pensin various colors coming out soon. Photo by Patrick Ng.

Pens:

photo by Lamy 2000

photo by Lamy 2000

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Paper:

Field-StampsForever-Stamps

Digital:

Miscellaneous:

iPhone Gadgets

I do a lot of rethinking at the new year of how to organize my desk, both home and office, and things I have that I don’t use and things that I wish I had. One of the things I use more than I want to admit is my iPhone. I use the camera a lot more often than I ever thought I would and it acts as an iPod for listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks throughout the day as well. So, I would like a few things to “plus up” my iPhone. Here’s a couple cool things I’ve found:

Milo iPhone stand

First, is the Milo iPhone stand. It uses a micro suction pad to hold the phone either vertically or horizontally and since its suction-mounted rather than a clip, it will work with a new iPhone, 4G, iPod Touch or even a non-Apple product. For $14.95, its a reasonably priced and aesthetically appealing to having a nice place to park your phone/pod on your desk.

Gizmon Clip-On Lenses

photojojo-lenses

I’d also like to get a set of lens attachments for my iPhone. Shown above are the Gizmon Clip-On lenses and the PhotoJojo lens sets. Gizmon offers individual lenses for $25 each in fisheye, center focus, cross screen, 3-image mirage and a polarizing lens. The PhotoJojo lenses are available in fisheye, wide angle/macro, and telephoto and can be purchased in a set of three for $49 or each for $20 (wide/macro and telephoto) and $25 (fisheye).

Is there any other gadgets I might need for my iPhone or are there any stand or lenses you are using?

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