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7 Ways to Deal with Burnout, Stress, and Imposter Syndrome

While I have mentioned it here and there on Twitter, I have been dealing with a lot of things regarding my mental health. Things that I think are common, like Imposter Syndrome, depression, anxiety about money, and stress from my job and from planning a wedding.

These things aren’t new ideas people face, in fact it seems to be about as common as a cold. Plenty of people have had issues with money, careers, and some have planned a wedding too. After thinking about this and writing this post, I have seen some trends regarding “burnout.”

My generation has been told time and time again to go to college, do what makes you happy, and to follow your dreams. That is precisely what I did and I am working in the field I went to school for and I love my job. Yet, I still wake up anxious and afraid of what will come next. This isn’t me blaming anyone for the path I took in my life, I am happy I went to school and I am happy with the career path I took. In fact, I haven’t met someone in the millennial generation that seems to be an outlier from this mental health and cultural issue. This could possibly be just the people I associate with, but even those I talk to have mentioned something like this to me.


In a recent article from The Atlantic Sophie Gilbert mentions Tidying Up With Marie Kondo and how people define success and the burnout many millennials are feeling right now. It also goes into some other things like the Fyre Festival and how these two events are synonymous with the culture that the millennial generation brings. What got me the most, though, was how “burnout” was seemingly connected with success, but what is “burnout” anyway?

The majority of the video content that I consume is on YouTube and a recent trend I have seen by people like Casey Neistat is this open dialog about “burnout.”

In this video he comments on this article from The Insider about big YouTubers feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Most of this video is about how when people attain this level of success they realize that to continue that growth they have to ultimately push themselves to their absolute breaking point and, frankly, bust their ass to make that effort equal or exceed their expectations.

But what if you haven’t reached that level of success and you already feel burnt out? Does that mean you should just quit while you’re behind? Or does it mean that you need to push yourself even harder to get over that dip?

I ask not just because I want to bring about a different angle on this, but because that is where I am right now. To be completely transparent here, I haven’t seen any real growth from Rocket Panda (formerly Tablet Habit) in several months. It just has this plateau of about 2000 visits a month. Which in blogging terms means next to nothing.

There have been several times where I decide that the best way for me to use my time is to work on a new design, or maybe even move my site to a new blogging platform, or even just change the domain to something else again. Which I know is about has useful as cutting off my foot just before I get ready to run a marathon.

Most of the time I have these thoughts it’s because I am afraid of just sitting down and writing. I am afraid because I worry that once I do I will see I have nothing to say, or what I do have to say isn’t good enough. But as literally every great writer has said in one way or another, the best way to get better at writing is to actually write.

What I am saying here isn’t new and revolutionary. The problems I face aren’t unique by any stretch of the imagination. With that said, I can’t help but feel like this is something that is not being talked about enough, hopefully that will change.

I also find these common problems for my generation to be indicative that millennials are more superficial than ever. For example, I would rather waste time on materialistic things instead of working to get better at my craft. ”If I can’t be the best,” I would say to myself, “why would I want to put any of my time an energy into it? I should just go and try something else that I can be better at instead.”

I don’t know the definitive answer to this problem but I think it starts somewhere with changing the mindsets of myself and others in this era of what success actually is. I am still trying to figure that out for myself, but it shouldn’t be the number in our bank account or whether we have the more organized and optimized apartment.

How I am Changing My Mindset

Before I go into this, I absolutely know that this is something better said than done, but you can’t start somewhere without taking that first step.

1. Throw Envy out the window

One thing I am slowly starting to make a mantra is that your work should be like golf, the only real opponent you should measure yourself to is you.

I have seen people I follow and consider my peers gain success in their own ways and I can’t help be get a little jealous and envious of them for growing while I am not growing fast enough to my liking. This kind of thinking is how you get discouraged and throw in the towel. It isn’t healthy to always be looking how well others are doing and comparing yourself to them. If anything it will drive you insane.

What I plan to do instead is to look at how I am doing month-to-month. The things I want to look at are:

  • RSS subscribers
  • Email Newsletter Subscribers
  • Page Views

With these numbers I record them in a Google Sheet and see how they are trending and see what I need to do to either continue growing, or what I need to do in order to start growing these numbers.

2. Quality of Quantity

While I do want to keep an eye on the numbers, they aren’t everything. One thing that I want to remember as I write and post on Rocket Panda, or really anywhere, is that there are people reading this. My readers are not numbers on a chart, they are human beings that I want to engage with and share things with.

A trick I learned from Chris Wilson was to act like I am writing for a blog or person I admire as if they were to read it. For me it is Federico Viticci, Serenity Caldwell, Myke Hurley, Stephen Hackett, David Sparks, Rose Orchard, Rene Ritchie, Merlin Mann, Alex Cox, Matthew Cassinelli, and John Gruber. All of them are people I admire and hope to connect with one day. Some of whom I already have (listen to the episodes of A Slab of Glass with Rose Orchard, Matthew Cassinelli, Alex Cox, and David Sparks).

If I write something that is for the people I admire I feel like I am more considerate of their time, attention, and I write enough to make my point but I edit down as much as I can to not have too much “fluff.”

3. Focus on the Rocks First

There is an old metaphor about a professor who came into class with an empty jar, he filled it with a few large rocks, then several small pebbles, then sand. The adage goes that you should focus on the big priorities in your life, the big rocks, more and then the other important things, the pebbles, and then the “small stuff” and material things in life, the sand. If you were to focus on the “small stuff” first you wouldn’t be able to fit the rocks and the pebbles in there.

There’s this great video that explains this better than I can.

The point of this, for me at least, is that priorities matter and in order to focus on these big things we first need to acknowledge what those things are. What do we care about the most? Family, friends, passions, careers. These are all good examples. But if we focused more on the small things like the latest tech gadget, whether we have the best phone or iPad, or other material and frivolous things we won’t have the time and energy needed for the big rocks.

Focus on the big rocks first, then the pebbles, and if there is time the sand.

4. Get Organized

In order to find those big rocks, we need to get organized. For me, I have been bouncing around task managers so many times the last week I cared more about what app to write down the things I need to do rather than just doing them.

We all get swept up in the productivity porn of task managers and it can be fun to start using a new app or system; but if we spend all of our time on the app or system we aren’t going to actually get anything done.

So I have decided on an app, which one is honestly not important for this article, and I plan to use this for 90 days without waver. I will write more about it soon but for now I am less interested in writing about the app and actually using it to get things done instead.

I decided to use Things 3, the reason for this is because I have been going back and forth between this and Omnifocus and I decided to use Things 3 after flipping a coin to see which one would win.

Once I take the choice of the app out of the picture I can start focusing on the things that matter, which are the things I want to get done.

5. Replace Social Media Apps on my Home Screen

I am not removing myself from social media, but I am making social media a lower priority for me. When ever I get free time in the bank or at work or even at a stop light I immediately go on my phone and check Twitter.

I have since replaced this with the app Tally to count how many times I open it in a given week.

This prevents me from sinking time into Twitter when I can be doing something better like reading articles on my Pinboard or an actual book. I also deleted Twitter from my phone and instead made it only available as a web app in Safari, which is blocked with 1Blocker. This makes it very much intentional for me to actually open Twitter for something and if I do so I have to jump through a number of hoops to get on it.

Like I said, I am not going away from social media, but I am reducing my intake of it and making it very intentional in my life.

6. Make Time to Get Centered

When I am going through a very anxious or stressful period in my day I spend at least two minutes meditating to get myself back to the center. I know that I am stressed and I know something needs my attention, but if I don’t make the time to decompress this will hit a boiling point that won’t be good for anyone involved.

Meditation is a new thing for me, so I have been using the app Calm to get started on it and learn more about meditation. So far, it seems to be helping me learn and use these meditation techniques at home, work, and even when I write. As of now, I meditate every morning and throughout the day when I feel that things need to be brought back to ground level.

As someone that has a history of depression and anxiety I am blown away with what meditation can do for me. I was a skeptic for a long time but as I get more and more into this space I am finding it to level things out and help subside my depression and anxiety at times.

7. Never Quit Before Reaching the Starting Block

When you are in a creative field, it can be common to have a feedback loop, a recurring thought that you aren’t good enough or that you aren’t doing enough, or something to that affect. I know because this is a very common thing in my writing process.

In fact, it has killed a lot of ideas before they had time to incubate long enough to grow into something. Sometimes it can be good to not spend time on something that you aren’t passionate about. But when your reasoning is because you feel you aren’t good enough that just stops you from even trying out something that could be great.

I have been making a change to my line of thinking with my writing, namely to not kill them off before writing at least 500 words. That way I spend time writing out my thoughts and figuring out what it is I want to say. It has helped me write this very article, and it has allowed me to leave ideas in my writing folder to keep them in the forefront of my brain.

The feedback loops I have are still very much there but I have been working on not letting them make decisions for me.

What’s Next?

With all of these ways I have of dealing with burnout, it is still early on for me. I plan to keep at this and follow up next month. Until then, I would love to know what kinds of things you do to deal with things like burnout, Imposter Syndrome, and feedback loops. You can let me know on Twitter or via email.

Cool Things You Can Do On Drafts 5

This week’s Workflow Wednesday is kind of an audible, but Drafts 5 was released today and I wanted to share some of the cool things you can do with it.
There are a slew of great reviews of this out there (like MacStories by nahumck, and Christopher Lawley’s video). So I am going to let those fantastic people share their reviews and thoughts on what the app has to offer while I show you some really cool things Drafts in their Drafts 5 directory.

Send List to Things

I recently hopped on the Things 3 bandwagon, and so far I am loving it. However, I am not a huge fan of not having native multiple task input support. Meaning I want to be able to add a ton of tasks without having to input them one by one. This is where Drafts comes in.

With this handy action you can make a list and each new line is seen as a new task. So if I have a ton of things on my mind I want out and captured in Things 3 I can do so with just a single swipe and tap!

Run Workflow

I have spent a ton of time in Workflow, and I love the things I have built. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Drafts has a handy action built in that you can simply have it run a previously built workflow. All you need to do is edit the action and put in the name of the Workflow. Make sure it is exactly the same, otherwise it will error out, this is one of those times where it is case-sensitive.

One workflow I have is to post Markdown text I’ve written as a WordPress article. So with a quick tap Drafts takes the work I have written and takes it to Workflow to send to my blog. Super handy for the quick linked-posts I do from time to time.

Micro.blog

I have spent more and more time on the up-and-coming IndieWeb social media service Micro.blog. It has become a safe-haven for me to turn to when I wanted to leave Facebook and spend less time on Twitter. I find the community great and it has functions to send out my posts in Micro.blog to Twitter so I can kill two birds with one stone.

Drafts makes it even easier for me. Now, I don’t even need to open the app to send out a quick post. I can just type it out and then send it through the action and the rest is taken care of. This is why I love Drafts, I can quickly send out a post, a tweet, or a message to someone, and then keep right on trucking with my work.

Event in Fantastical

I love Fantastical and their amazing natural language input they have, it makes adding calendar events fun again. But what is even easier is typing it out in Drafts and sending it to Fantastical 2 to sort out for me.

All I do is write something like “Coffee with Jim next Thursday at 9am /p” and it sends it to Fantastical with the name “Coffee with Jim” scheduled for next Thursday at 9am in my Personal calendar. Boom, event added. The “/p” portion is part of Fantastical syntax that takes the “/“ icon and a letter or two written out

Save to File as

Drafts 5 has cloud syncing and auto-saving feature with this app, but sometimes I want to keep a backup of the long posts I write in it, and plain text is my preferred method.

So, I have an action that takes the text I wrote in Drafts, it then prompts me to enter the file name I want. It defaults to a .txt but you can change the filetype to .md or .rtf if you so choose. For me .txt is fine so I leave it. From there it opens up the Files document picker and allows you to save it to any folder in iCloud, or other 3rd party cloud services you have turned on in the Files App, and save it. Now you have a backup of all your hard work!

Conclusion

Drafts 5 is an app I have tried out for testing purposes, but it has easily become one of my absolute favorite apps on iOS. It allows me to get things out of my head and send them out when I want to. I no longer spend my mental RAM trying to figure out what I want to do first, the n what to say.

Drafts makes the process a complete 180 from what it was. Instead of trying to find the app to use, then working on what I want to say, I now can work on getting my ideas and writing out of my head first then send it wherever it needs to. I just tap the app in my dock and dump what’s on my mind out of my head and it’s saved for later organization.

For me, this is how things should be when you have ideas and creativity: a frictionless workspace.

If you want to get Drafts 5, you can download it on the App Store. It is free, but if you want all the features you’ll have to go Pro. It is either $19.99 a year or 1.99 a month. For me, I am paying the $1.99 a month because it allows me to pay Greg more money then $19.99 a year. That is how much I love this app.

The 9 Things I Learned Going iPad Only

Going “iPad only” wasn’t a goal for me until recently. Before then it was just something I felt more comfortable using over a Mac. Now that I have made this blog it got me thinking about all the things I learned by making my iPad my main device. These are some of them.

It’s Easier Than You Think

When I first set out to make my iPad Air 2 my main computer back in college it seemed too daunting and scary. A lot of these questions came at me when I left for class without my Mac, knowing that I only had this tablet to handle all of my work.

How will I handle my files? How can I make sure I keep things on task? What about my trackpad?!

By the end of the day, though, I realized that there wasn’t anything that really got in my way of my work. Things like taking notes, writing papers, or even researching for other assignments came easy. This small piece of glass seemed to handle everything I threw at it.

Something about working with this device made sense to me. This was the beginning of something magical for me.

Like many things in life, I decided to disregard my reservations about trying something new. I just dove in head first into the sea of the unknown, only to come out the other side a more experienced person. Going iPad only seemed like a silly idea, but in practice it allowed me to do my work freely and with more joy.

Less is More

Limitation is often seen as a negative thing, but for me having that limiter on myself makes my life a lot easier. It’s not about making decisions on how I do my work, but more on the work itself.

For instance, recording a podcast on an iPad isn’t impossible, but it does require a lot of effort and some sacrifice. I wrote about podcasting on iOS before, but to reiterate I have to use both my iPhone and my iPad to record a podcast successfully. I did this because even though it isn’t a pretty solution, I can still do it with just an iPad and my iPhone. I was able to take a theory and turn it into a proof. I also did this because I really wanted to go iPad only, even if it meant function over form.

There are some things you can’t do on iOS that you can on a Mac or PC; but they are so seldom that I often don’t need to worry about it on a day to day use. Plus, with limitation comes innovation, and I have stripped down a lot of the things in my workflow because of iOS. I also have learned a lot from it as well.

You Learn a Lot About iOS

If I only used my iPad when I was on the go instead of all the time, there are a lot of things I wouldn’t know I could do with an iPad. I would have had the instinctual reaction to open up my MacBook Air instead of trying to find a solution with the tools I already had in front of me.

One of the big ones for me is automation and using the app Workflow. There are a number of things I never would think I could do on an iPad that Workflow allows me to do with ease. For instance, converting rich text into Markdown has been a hassle for me for years. That is until Workflow built a simple tool to take that text and convert it to a fully functional Markdown.

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/FD918E79-61F8-4E66-8B8E-250A44EE177F-1.png" alt=""/>

To go even deeper with this, I have also learned how to bend and contort many types of media to the specific types I need them in. It’s all thanks to the brilliant minds behind Workflow and knowing what I needed to make these alterations happen without a hitch.

The iPad Can Be a Workhorse

Working on my iPad has been my preferred device ever since I realized how little there is I can’t do with this device. My work can be done on an iPad about 90% of the time no problem. The other 10% is where things get tricky. Doing something like editing a podcast, making graphics for the website becomes problematic on any iOS device.

This isn’t to say I can’t do those things on iOS, but because I am a creature of habit I still am apprehensive to migrate it over to the iPad. I am slowly moving towards Ferrite for podcast editing and recording, as well as Pixelmator for photo editing. The only problem I still am yet to tackle is editing the website. I still need to use a Mac for it, albeit on a seldom basis.

But to set aside the 10% I don’t use with my iPad, the fact that this machine has gone from a giant iPhone into a full-fledged Mac replacement is astonishing to me. I still find it a shock to my system when I think about all the things I need to do that get done solely on my iPad.

iOS is the OS for Me.

I have been an Apple use for years, ever since I got my iPhone 4s I made the switch from Android and PC to iOS and macOS. I have owned a Mac longer than I owned any iOS device.

With that said, macOS has slowly drifted away from me like Wilson in the movie Cast Away. Instead of screaming for the Mac to come back to me, however, I have found solace in iOS.

To me, iOS is equally lightweight in robust tasks I barely do, and more flexible with the minimal tasks I do. I can write and blog without having several apps open, yet I can edit a podcast if I so choose.

I mentioned already how working with my hands is a satisfying thing, but it isn’t just that I control it with touch. Working on the iPad, for me, has changed the way I look at computers all together.

The Mac was a window into the world, the iPad is more a window into the things important to me.

I am not here to badmouth the Mac, but to say that the Mac is a good alternative to an iPad would be doing the iPad a disservice. I would actually counter it with the iPad being a good alternative to the Mac. At least for me.

Portability Becomes More Important

Until I started to use my iPad, I used to think that my 13” 2015 MacBook Air was the epitome of portable. Now, in the seldom times I need to open the Macbook, it seems like a giant computer. It makes my shoulders hurt just thinking about lugging it around town with me as I work from coffee shops and local libraries.

The iPad is perfect for someone who is on the go and working from place to place. It offers keyboard accessability, but it isn’t required to work with it. the fact that you don’t need to have a surface to hold it is something you don’t appreciate until you are in that position.

If I could explain this feeling, it is like having a piece of paper to write with. But when you finally need to write on that sheet of paper, you then need to find a surface flat enough to write on. Now imagine the iPad is a proverbial clipboard, allowing you to write anywhere you go as you wander the area. That is the relief and ease I am talking about with the iPad.

The iPad Really Can Replace Your Other Computers

Do you remember those “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” commercials? I think back on those a lot. Mainly as a question of what would Apple be comparing these days with those two actors? For me it would be an iPad and everything else.

“I’m an iPad, and I’m everything else,” could start the commercial. Then Apple could talk about how the Apple Pencil is the most efficient stylus on the market. Or how the iPad allows your to work on the best hardware Apple has to offer with the best OS as well. The comparisons are endless.

It Is Much More Enjoyable

Speaking of joy, working on an iPad can be a lot of fun. Something about working on a device with my hands is just so satisfying. I still use the iPad with a keyboard for the most part. But at times where I need to use Drag and Drop or editing photos with Pixelmator, I notice how much more I enjoy handling the mundane. Using my hands to physically move and edit things over a mouse or trackpad is just nice compared to a more “traditional” computer.

Tapping and sliding my fingers on the glass is a lot like ice skating. The flow in which I feel in my hands only validates that feeling more. I feel like I am soaring through my work much more efficiently and elegantly than I would on any other device.

On top of that, when I got the iPad Pro I bought the Apple Pencil. It’s still one of my favorite tools Apple has made. Writing notes down on a pen and paper is still satisfying, but being able to do it on my iPad still feels like the future. the latency is next to nothing, and the feeling you get writing on the glass screen is incomparable.

I love opening up GoodNotes 4 and jotting down ideas for Tablet Habit and having them saved digitally. Unlike a notebook, if I lost my iPad tomorrow I would still have all of my notes saved on the cloud for safekeeping.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

All of the people I know who are iPad only (or even iPad first) have taken the limitations of iOS in stride. Some, like me, use the limitations as a means of focus. Others, like Federico Viticci over at MacStories, have found ways to bypass those limitations. He creates Workflows, automation, and even writing his own code to make iOS work for him. In both cases pro users of the iPad will hit some roadblocks, but they take that as a challenge rather than a disadvantage.

So much of what I do can be done without many bumps in the road. But when I do get to an area where there are some road blocks, I take it as a chance to learn more about the systems in which I do my work. I want to find ways to make my own detours towards my destination.

Something about iOS, and those who use it as their main OS, makes you want to push forward and raise the bar just a little higher each and every day. I am sure there are other communities like us, but for me this feels like home.

What’s Next

The iPad is a tremendous machine, and a testament that Apple continually innovates their products years after it comes out. There is very little I have to say negatively about the iPad, but in the future I hope Apple keeps their momentum with the iPad going. A version of this device has been out over 8 years now and I hope in another 8 years I am as satisfied and pleasantly surprised as I am today.

For now, the iPad will continue to be the device I take with me everywhere I go. Whether it is to catch up on some news, or to write an ebook, the iPad will be my computer of choice.

If you want to make the switch and go iPad only, sign up to get my free ebook coming out at the end of April. It will show you the 20 apps to get productive on the iPad, and how you can make the transition from Mac and PC over to iOS.

10 iPad Life Hacks

When you are working with your iPad, many people feel stuck. Some feel like they aren’t being efficient enough or doing the right things. Well, today we have 10 ipad life hacks on how to get more out of your favorite iPad.

1. Type to Siri

Type to Siri is a new addition to iOS 11. And if you are like so many others, you usually have a keyboard attached or connected to the iPad. So, instead of talking to Siri you can type to her (or him).

This is great for the people who aren’t into talking to a computer to do tasks, it is also great for those night owls who don’t want to wake anyone that may be sleeping in your home.

Give type to Siri a try, it may just be the extra kick you need to getting things out of your head and into a system you trust.

To do this go into Settings>General>Accessibility>Siri and from there turn on Type to Siri.

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-siri-.jpeg" alt=""/>

2. Have a shelf app in Slide-Over

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-shelf-apps.jpeg" alt=""/>

I spoke about Shelf Apps before. They are a great way to put things you want to save and use in other apps for later. One trick I found to be immensely helpful it to always have it available with a simple swipe from the right side of the iPad.

This is called the Slide-Over app. It is basically a floating app that isn’t connected to another app, allowing it to be freely accessible wherever you are on you iPad.

I use this a lot with the images to my posts, but I have seen others use it for practically any type of file or input.

If you are looking for a good Shelf app I recommend Gladys or Yoink. Each have their quirks but they are both very powerful and definitely something I keep in my dock for frequent use.

3. Use Spotlight for searching more than just apps

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-spotlight.jpeg" alt=""/>

Spotlight is underutilized, in my opinion, when it comes to using the iPad. Many just use it for the occasional search for an app, but there are so many other things that Spotlight can search for.

You can search for files, websites, and even local stores through Maps. Spotlight is something I underutilized until I started pushing to see what all it can handle. I was beyond pleasantly surprised to see that it managed to find what I wanted a large majority of the time.

Granted, there are times where I couldn’t find what I was searching for but that happened far less then when it worked.

Give Spotlight a try more and see it it works for you.

4. Edit your Share sheet

The Share Sheet is the place to send things from one app to another. But sometimes you have to dig through to find the right app to send the information or file to.

One thing you can do is remove the apps you never use in the Share Sheet. You can do this by hitting the share icon and scrolling all the way to the right and tap the “More” button.

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hacks-share-sheet.jpeg" alt=""/>

From there you can rearrange, hide, or add the apps you want. This works for both the top and bottom rows of the Share Sheet.

Additionally, you can drag icons to rearrange them if you find you want one more readily accessible.

5. Use text shortcuts and/or TextExpander

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hacks-text-replacement.jpeg" alt=""/>

Many of us have common phrases or information we send to people regularly. Things like email addresses, updates on where we are, or just emails we send when someone asks a question you get asked a lot. This is where Text Replacement and TextExpander come in.

Text Replacement is a feature built into iOS. To see it go to Settings>General>Keyboard and you will see the option there. Once you open it you can add or edit text replacements. One you may see there is omw. What this means is that any time you type “omw” iOS will replace that with “On my way!”

Text Replacement is useful for quick phrases or words that you may use a lot, but when you add longer strands of text or need something that is Rick Text, you will need TextExpander.

TextExpander is a great tool I recommend to anyone who does email support, communicates to others via email or text as part of their job, or just someone that is geeky like my and wants to make things easier for me in the long run.

Because of the robust features TextExpander offer you may need some help getting over the learning curve of it. David Sparks did a video series on Textexpander a little over a year ago when the company redesigned their app from the ground up. If you want to learn more about the vast amount of features this app has, David is the man to teach you.

6. Edit Control Center

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-control-center-frame-3.jpeg" alt=""/>

Control Center is one of those features that if you use it, it can make things much more efficient and change the way you use your iPhone or iPad.

When iOS 11 came out Apple put together a slew of options you can set for your Control Center, including having up to 8 button instead of the default 4. There are some great options on there, my personal favorite is the screen recording option. With this you just tap on the button and you screen is then being recorded. This is especially handy when you are the tech support person for your family and a relative asks you how to do something on their phone. Instead of walking them through it with long texts or emails you can record how to do it and send it their way to view as many times as they need to accomplish what they want.

7. Schedule Do Not Disturb times for working on the high-energy level tasks

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-notification-settings.jpeg" alt=""/>

Do Not Disturb sounds like a feature you would use when you are going to sleep or when you’re at the movies, but this feature can cut distractions out of your life big time.

I use DND when I am writing or working on other high-energy tasks that require my full attention. It saves me from being distracted by email, messages, and more when I am in deep work mode.

If you want to learn more about what Do Not Disturb is, Apple has a great support doc to read over.

8. Long Press on some Apps for a force-touch like response

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-long-press.jpeg" alt=""/>

While the new iPhones have Force Touch, the iPad does not. Regardless of the reasoning from Apple, there is a way to get the added pop-ups on an iPad.

This doesn’t work for all apps that have force touch support, but those that do have it allows you to use it without having to open the app.

Just tap and hold on an app, instead of it wiggling a pop-up will appear with whatever the developers built to come up. For instance, Apple’s Files app shows the most recent documents you have opened, which can be handy when you need to quickly open up something you were working on earlier.

9. Scan QR codes with your Camera

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-scan-qr-codes.jpeg" alt=""/>

QR codes were never the smash hit they were meant to be. Rarely do I ever use it, but on the rare occasion I do I always thought you needed to download a separate app. Instead, you have a QR code reader built in to the camera.

With a few taps in settings you too can turn on QR Code reader and have the option to scan one within the native Camera app.

Apparently this feature was added with iOS 11. It is a hidden feature to many, but this is so convenient when necessary.

10. Access Saved Passwords in Safari

  <img src="https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ipad-hack-passwords.jpeg" alt=""/>

Password management has become more and more important over the years. Between hacks to your email, or even your personal finance information, a good password that is unique on each site is a must.

Safari has made some major improvements to creating passwords for accounts you make in the browser, making them uniques and then saving them to iCloud.

But there are times where you need that password and iOS doesn’t have it as an option in the shortcut menu. You’re not out of luck, you just need to copy it from Settings.

To do this go to Settings>Accounts & Passwords> then tap on the App & Website Passwords option at the top. From there you will get access to all the saved passwords in you iCloud Keychain.

While the iCloud Keychain can get the job done it doesn’t offer many options for other things like secure notes, and getting to these passwords can be tedious over time.

This is where apps like 1Password come in and they offer a great app that can be built into the Share Sheet and is integrated in may apps like Twitter where you jut tap on the lock button in the login screen and it will search for passwords that match Twitter. It is a very intuitive app and well worth the money to ease the stresses of password management and security.

Extras

So there are some life hacks for using you iPhone or iPad. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed something.

Also, if you’re wondering how I made these screenshot annotations, I used the app Annotable. They are not a sponsor, just a very cool app and one I want to share with you all!

Video Editing on iOS

This article was written by Christopher Lawley, a youtuber who posts videos all about the iPad an iOS. Check out his channel here.

Who Am I?

I’ve spent the last few years writing about Apple and the iPad, but about a year ago I transitioned into making videos on YouTube instead. Making videos and films is something I have always enjoyed doing. When I came to the realization that I can make videos about Apple products and combine my two hobbies I got really excited. Last November I started making videos about apps I enjoyed using. I started with an intro video, and then published two videos about my favorite apps at the time Overcast and 1Writer.

Around the beginning of 2017 I found an app called LumaFusion which is a multi-track video editor. This was the last piece of the puzzle I was looking for before I was able to use my iPad full time, and not have to rely on a Mac. This was always my goal, ever since I started writing my blog I wanted to be a full time iPad user. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Mac and I still think it’s a great platform. For me though the iPad always felt like the future, and it’s a very exciting platform to be on these days.

Ever since I did my mini series about having the iPad Pro for one year I have made every script, recorded every second of audio, and every rendered video has been made 100% on my iPad Pro. This is something I take a lot of pride in. There are a lot of bloggers and YouTubers that have said something along the lines of “The iPad is neat, but you can’t get real work done on it”. I took it as my personal mission to prove that you don’t need a $2,000 Mac to do video production and run a business. I know I’m not the first to use the iPad as their full time computer but the more people show real work can be done, the better off we will be.

The Hardware I Use

The hardware I use isn’t as fancy as other YouTubers, but fancy hardware isn’t everything. Being able to tell the story you want is more important. I made a deal with myself that I would have to start making money from my videos before I started buying things. Now that I’m there I have a long list of things that I want to buy to improve my videos, but for today let’s talk about the stuff I’m already using.

12.9 inch iPad Pro

<img https://tablethabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a83ce969f8dce98251a4e38/t/5ae7c9a75201497ff1b527a6/1525140186813/IMG_0143-300×225.jpeg” alt=”” class=”alignleft wp-image-590″ />Like I said before, I use my iPad Pro for everything. Since it’s my main computer I wanted the biggest and best one so I use the 12.9 inch model. I really like this device, I understand why some say it’s too big, but I mostly work at a desk all day. This iPad has the power to playback and render 4K video in good time. I️ really love this device, and I look forward to using it and optimizing my workflows everyday.

Apple Pencil

I’m not much of an artist but I really enjoy using my Apple Pencil. I have RSI issues and using it as a pointing device really has helped me over the last couple of years. I also use it to mark up scripts and hand write notes. Finally, it’s really handy to use when editing videos and photos.

Apple Magic Keyboard and Canopy


These two are a pair for me, I’ve come to think of them as one device. Canopy has become my desktop stand for the iPad. It keeps my device at a comfortable viewing angle and the design is beautiful. I’m usually somebody that prefers function over fashion but when I can have both that’s the best, and The Canopy delivers on that. The Canopy was designed to work with the Apple Magic Keyboard in parallel.
What I like about the Magic Keyboard is the keys. It ticks every box I have: clicky but not too clicky, good key travel, and a full function row. It also has the bonus of having a battery that last for months. I never have to worry about charging this thing and that’s great. If you’re somebody that works at a desk a lot with the iPad I would definitely recommend this pair for your work.
 

Blue Yeti Microphone

I don’t have much to say about this microphone that others haven’t said already. It’s a great cheap microphone if you’re looking to get into some sort of spoken word field. It’s USB so it’s easy to set up and use. If you have the USB camera connection kit it’s just as easy to use with an iPad. This is the microphone I️ use for all of my voice overs and I️ enjoy it.

iPhone for Filming

For all of my live action/B-roll footage, I use an iPhone for that. I was, for a short period, using a DSLR camera but then I realized I wanted to make my videos on iOS be produced 100% by iOS. The camera on the iPhone gets better and better every year so it seemed like a natural fit. I bought the iPhone 7 only because of how good the camera was. Now that the iPhone X is out, the camera has been taken to a whole other level. I film everything in 4K so I can get the best possible image to edit with. The only trick is that means I have to use the back camera on the phone so I can’t see my shot when filming myself. To fix this, I have an old shaving mirror I stick to the wall now to allow myself to see what the camera sees. Now I can see the screen of the phone and use the best lens the phone offers. When I’m done filming I just use AirDrop to move the video files from my iPhone to my iPad.

The Software I Use

The most compiling area for me to keep using iOS as my primary computing platform is the software. Apple’s first party software is good, but the third party stuff is the best. There are amazing Productivity and Creativity apps on the platform. It seems like every day I am finding new apps to get excited about. So, lets take a look at the ones I use to make my videos.

Todoist

All of my ideas, task, and anything that needs to be completed by me lives in Todoist. I have a terrible memory so figuring out a system on using Todoist was really important to me. As far my videos go, I have a project I keep all of my ideas for videos in. When I feel one is worth pursuing, I assign a due date to it. I have been trying to get better about finishing the videos by the set due date but life seems to get in the way sometimes. One thing I have had to learn is it’s okay if I don’t make my due date as long as I keep working and keep a high standard of quality for my work.

Notes

Once I’m ready to produce a video on one of my ideas, I start a new note in the Apple Notes app. A handy feature that came with iOS 11 is the ability to pin notes to the top. What ever video I am currently working on is pinned to the top of the app. From here I build an outline for my video. This can be something as simple as a few points that I want to make, or something so detailed I don’t write a script and just make the video off the outline. Every video is unique and I build it on how I think it will turn out the best.

Ulysses

For script and blog post writing I turn to Ulysses. I have a lot of apps for this like 1Writer, Editorial, and iA Writer. Ulysses though, feels like a power app. The level of customization it offers is unmatched in my opinion. Though I wish that customization could all be done from the iOS app, things like customized themes and export settings need a Mac to be created. Still, this is a fantastic app to have if you do a lot of long form writing. I’ve been working off more outlines then scripts lately so I don’t use Ulysses as much as I would like, but when I do I’m always pleasantly surprised by how well it is.

Notability

When I do write a script I throw it over to Notability when I’m done. Here I read my script out loud, and use my Apple Pencil to markup any changes that I want to make. Ever since I started doing this my scripts got hundred times better.

Ferrite

Once my script or outline is ready I recored the voice overs for the video, I use Ferrite for this. I don’t do any of the editing here just the recording. I like the control it give you over your microphone. Plus, it’s really easy to adjust the input gain so I don’t clip when recording the audio.

LumaFusion

Once I have all of my videos recorded and voices overs ready I import everything into LumaFusion. Like I said before, LumaFusion was the app I was waiting for to go full time with the iPad. If you would have asked me a year ago about having a multitrack video editor on the iPad I wouldn’t be ready until 2019. For the most part I’m really happy with LumaFusion, it covers my needs for the kinds of videos I make. I could go on forever about it, but if you are interested in it check out the two videos I made about the app.

Transmit

If I upload a video through the YouTube app it’s limited to 1080p no matter what it’s native resolution is. I don’t really understand why this limitation is there, but because of this I have to use my own server to upload my videos. I use Transmit to move the files over, and then upload through YouTube’s website, and I also do this to store a copy of my video on my server as well. This is the one thing I use a non iOS device for. I hope the limitations of the native YouTube app get fixed soon, but I will still use Transmit to move a copy of my video to a server just for safekeeping.

Affinity Photo

This is one of those apps that seems like it shouldn’t be possible on iOS. I use Affinity Photo for to create the thumbnails for all of my videos. I know I’m not taking full advantage of it, I just started using it to edit some of my photos that I take. Affinity Photo is truly a desktop class app on the iPad. If you are into photography or photo editing in anyway I highly recommend that you check it out.

Wrap Up

To give the TL;DR, I love iOS, I love the ecosystem, I love the apps, and I love the hardware. Being able to figure out how to use it as my full time computing platform was one of the great joys for me. If you are somebody that wants to use iOS full time but something is holding you back, keep a watchful eye because there are big changes coming for this platform. I think with the next few revisions of iOS for the iPad are going to unlock a lot of really cool stuff.
For me, the iPad and iOS feel like my home when it comes to computing. The fact that I can run my business off of it too, just proves how mature the platform has gotten. If you’re interested in more information about how I work and cool iOS and iPad productivity tips check out my YouTube channel.

Essential iPad Apps for College Students

College. A continuous cycle of doing homework and late night study session in the university library. It’s no secret that it all can be somewhat difficult and extremely overwhelming. As a current junior this is something that I can definitely relate to. At the start of the Fall 2016 semester, I purchased a 12.9 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and it has honestly changed my college behavior. The large screen space partnered with the Apple Pencil is perfect for taking notes while viewing the slides for your lecture in split view. As the semester went on I discovered some amazing apps that I think could be extremely helpful to all college students. Check out some of the apps that I think are essential to easing any student’s college experience.

Notability

Notability is an amazing note taking application and also my personal favorite. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil and includes support for drag and drop. A few features it has includes drag and drop compatibility, the ability to complete and sign documents, and the ability to import PDFs of your textbooks or lecture slides into the app so that you can take notes right there on the material. One of the killer features, however, is the ability to record as you take notes. But please make sure that you have the professor’s permission before you start recording. There may be rules against this at your school, and even may be prohibited by law without your prefessor’s consent.

Notability is a PAID application and costs $9.99, you can find out more here


Pages, Keynote and Numbers

Apple’s iWorks apps are their own personal version of Microsoft office and the best part about it is that it is completely FREE. These apps include Pages, Keynote, and Numbers (Word, Powerpoint, and Excel respectively) and there is absolutely no subscription required to use them. These app support continuity and as long as you have it enabled you can start a document on your desktop or computer and easily pick up where you left off on your iPad. You can also save documents to your iCloud drive. The iWorks apps are great if you want to stick strictly to Apple and their services, something I personally like to do.

Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are FREE applications if you have a newer iOS device. If that is not the case then will have to purchase the apps for $9.99 each. You can find more about each application by clicking on the names above.


Quizlet

One of the best apps out for studying would definitely have to be Quizlet. With both an iOS app and a web-app, it gives you the ability to create digital flashcards that you can study and test yourself with. There is no limit to how many note cards you can make and if you’re lucky they might already have a set of flashcards your classes, created by other students,  already on the website. With Quizlet there’s no need for endless piles of note cards anymore!

Quizlet is a FREE application. You can find out more about it here.


Kindle

Another great app that I find essential for not only studying but also lightening your backpack load would have to be the Kindle app. Because Kindle is an Amazon application you can easily purchase your textbooks or any books that spark your interest and they will load right into your library which you can take with you on the go. One great feature it has is that your library saves across multiple platforms so if you are getting ready for the next class lecture on your desktop or laptop you can pick up right where you left off on your iPad. They also have a built-in flash card feature that lets you highlight and create flashcards right from the text.

Kindle is a FREE application. You can find out more here.


GoodNotes

Another amazing note taking app would have to be GoodNotes 4 and it’s not just because it’s a couple of dollars cheaper than Notability. This app is also compatible with the Apple Pencil and also supports iOS 11’s new drag and drop feature. You can also annotate PDFs and search for your notes. One thing that it does not have, however, is the ability to record audio, if you want that it will probably be best to use Notability.

One great feature it does have is a ton of customization. There are quite a few page and cover styles to choose from and you can even upload custom ones if you can’t find what you’re looking for. GoodNotes 4 also gives you the option of two different pen styles which are a fountain pen or a ball pen and the ability to change the size and color of them to what ever you want.

GoodNotes 4 is a PAID application and costs $7.99. You can find out more here.


While these may be some of the apps that help ease my college experience they might not necessarily be your cup of tea. Let us know what apps help you get through those crazy late nights of homework and all-nighter study sessions in the comment section below!

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