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My Promise to You

With the new year here I can’t help but also reflect on the things from the past year. I launched Rocket Panda, I posted 24 episodes of A Slab of Glass, and I posted 22 episodes of Getting Caught Up. These are all the things that I am proud of, and the things I want to continue to make over 2019. However, I don’t think I have been doing enough with Rocket Panda, and that stops now.

I was listening to Shawn Blanc’s Creative Focus Summit, where he talked with Paul Jarvis. Paul is a writer and designer and the whole conversation he and Shawn had was about building an audience-based business. He touched on a few things that really got me thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2019 with Rocket Panda.

One thing that really stuck with me was his 3 steps to building an audience that will stick with you, which I can’t believe I just wrote.

His 3-step process is as follows:

  1. Go to where you audience is.
  2. Talk to you audience.
  3. Have a consistent line of communication with them.

I have failed on all 3 of these if you ask me.

Go Where Your Audience Is

I rarely have gone outside of my own blog to find other like-minded people that may enjoy what I have to say. More importantly I haven’t been part of other communities enough and I want to change that. I don’t like the idea of me being on my own island where others have to visit in order to be part of the conversations I want to have.

So from here on I want to spend more time on Twitter and be an active part of the communities I want to be in (Apple, Tech, etc.). I also will be going to places like the Mac Power Users Discord and the Automators Discord and be more active there.

To me, it is more important to share tips and tricks over clicks and links. This is why I will be part of communities more, to bring value without anything in return.

Talk To Your Audience

I haven’t had an open line of communication to my audience much, if at all, since launching Rocket Panda. Everything about this has been a one way conversation and I want that to end.

One thing I want to do is have a direct line of communication to you, my readers, and the way I am doing that is two-fold.

The Newsletter

The first is my newsletter. This is my promise to you:

I will send 25 emails in my newsletter in 2019 that will be full of interesting exclusive content, the ability to ask me questions, and my personal email that you can use to contact me.

This newsletter isn’t about me trying to build a list to sell something. I currently have no plans to do so and if/when I do it won’t be solely to try and sell you something. If I do want to promote something it goes in the newsletter just like everything else I want to send you.

The newsletter will come out twice a month on the 1st and 15th of each month starting January 15th. So sign up today and don’t miss out on the first newsletter.

Slack Channel

The second thing is something I have had for over a year now, which is my Slack channel. This is something I haven’t been active enough in and I want to make this the day-to-day line of communication and community I want to be a part of. This channel is free to join and has a bunch of channels like the iPad-Only club, where people who use only iOS devices can share workflows, Shortcuts, and app recommendations. It also has channels like writers-bloggers where other people who are writers and/or bloggers can network and share ideas/articles for others to read and give feedback on.

These are just a few things that this Slack channel offers and it is something that I will forever continue to add and make changes to upon those who request for more.

If you want to join this Slack channel feel free to sign up here.

Have a Consistent Line of Communication

Along with the 25 emails I promise to send in the newsletter, I also plan to post 2 times a week on Rocket Panda at the very least. That is 104 posts on Rocket Panda! Some will be links, others will be original pieces such as this, and all of it will be completely free and accessible via RSS if you so choose.

My number one goal for 2019 isn’t to make money, or gain a massive following with Rocket Panda. Instead it is to provide a consistent posting schedule and a killer newsletter that helps you get your work done and accomplish your goals in 2019.

On top of the Rocket Panda posts, I will continue to be producing podcasts episodes every other week for both A Slab of Glass and Getting Caught Up. We did this for the most part on both shows. However, the only time we didn’t post episodes on schedule was due to personal events preventing us to do so. Barring anything like that happening again consider it my promise that both of these podcasts will have 26 episodes in 2019.

In Summary

This post has a lot of promises and things for you to check out, so here is a simplified version to make things as easy as possible for you to get what you want and ignore what you don’t.

1. Go where Your audience is

  • I plan to go to places like the Mac Power Users Discord and Automators Discord and be an active member at these awesome communities
  • I also plan to be more active on Twitter as well to share interesting things as well as Shortcuts and tips to help you through the year

2. Talk to Your audience

  • I am launching a newsletter that comes out twice a month beginning January 15th. You can sign up for the newsletter here and get the 25 email I promise to send you throughout the year.
  • I am also making a conscious effort to be more active in my own Slack Channel for other Apple enthusiast to come to meet and talk with other geeks like me. You can join the Slack Channel here

3. Have a consistent line of communication

  • Along with the newsletter I am also going to be posting over 100 articles on Rocket Panda sharing interesting articles other in the community have created as well as original content. It is completely free and you can either visit Rocket Panda’s website or subscribe via RSS.
  • I also will be continuing to post episodes of both A Slab of Glass and Getting Caught Up every other week barring anything happening to prevent this with either myself or my co-hosts Chris Lawley and Mike Rapin.

I am beyond excited to see what 2019 brings and to have the best year I can both personally and professionally.

Until next time I want to wish you a happy new year and well wishes for your plans for 2019 and that you accomplish the goals you set for yourself this year.

Tablet Habit is now Rocket Panda

As of today Tablet Habit is now Rocket Panda. Before I go into the full reasoning why I wanted to share with you what has been going on with me for the last few weeks.

To make a long story short, I have been having a bit of an issue defining my blog. As I have said before, Tablet Habit was a blog for me to explain how I use the iPad as my main device and it was a way for me to express my love for iOS and the iPad. That all changed once I started using my 2017 MacBook Pro.

I started to slowly move more and more things to my Mac and less work on my iPad. Which brought on something of an identity crisis. I gained readers because I was an “iPad guy” and drifting away from that seems like I was cheating my readers out of what they wanted.

My first idea was to move things from Tablet Habit over to Mac Habit.

Logo for Mac Habit I made

Logo for Mac Habit I made

After a lot of work building a new website from scratch and importing all of my old posts over, Mac Habit was inches away from taking over Tablet Habit. I was excited, nervous, and anxious to show everyone the new website I was going to be using. But then a question popped in my head.

“What makes Mac Habit any different than Tablet Habit?”

The original answer I had was Mac was a more universal term for Apple blogging, and it was something that wasn’t tied to anything other than Apple. It wasn’t a device-specific name like Tablet Habit. Which sounded fine, but I wanted something even more freeing than Tablet or Mac as my name.

I spent days, even weeks, trying to come up with a new name. Then, during a shower I was taking the name Rocket Panda came to my head and I loved it. It wasn’t specific to any kind of topic or idea, and the name stuck with me like glue. If you ask me what it means, I will say it is just a cool name that I enjoy, and that Rocket Panda doesn’t need a topic or underlying meaning. It is just something that is catchy and easy to pronounce and type out without any kind of mispronouncing or misspelling. In short, I like the name way more then Tablet Habit or Mac Habit.

Seeing as this is my blog, and has always been a personal endeavor for me, having a name that isn’t tied to a specific topic seemed to be the right choice.

This website will still have all the things you loved about Tablet Habit, including all the old posts. The only change you will notice about this site is that it has a new name and a new color scheme to match the flames coming from the Rocket Panda logo. I may deviate from posts about Apple, but this is and forever will be a personal blog where I share my thoughts on things. It will always have my authenticity in it and I like to think people read my stuff because of my personality I put to the page, not the topics that I write about.

If you want to follow Rocket Panda on social media or make sure you have the right RSS feed subscription you can find all the links below. If you have any questions, comments, concerns feel free to mention Rocket Panda on Twitter or email me directly.

I thank all of you for being loyal readers and sticking with me over the last year with Tablet Habit. Here’s to many more with Rocket Panda!

🚀🐼

Links

The Future of Tablet Habit (Part 2)

So by now you should have heard about the changes I have made to the change to use a MacBook Pro as my main device. I could go into the reasons why, but I want to talk more about what this means for Tablet Habit. In a recent episode of A Slab of Glass I talked about the possibility of moving the website away from Tablet Habit and into something a little less specific.

Thankfully, Mike Rapin and Christopher Lawley talked me off this branding ledge.If you haven’t listened to this episode I really recommend you do! We dive deep into my issue, but also talk more broadly about things like imposter syndrome and the importance of consistency; which brings me to my next announcement.

I plan to write on Tablet Habit daily every Monday through Friday starting this upcoming Monday July 9th. This has been something I have been wanting to do for a while and when I saw that I have been writing on here for over 6 months (it will be a year in October) I knew I wanted to step up my writing and make more consistent content. This venture wasn’t something I thought I would love so much, I mainly did it to take a break from podcasting, but this has been a lot of fun and very exciting to do for the better part of a year. Blogging is something that I think is in my DNA.

I love to share content and write about the things I am passionate about, but seeing people read my work and go out of their way to reach out to me on Twitter has been humbling and exhilarating.

The future of Tablet Habit may not be just about iPads, but it really never was. It was a place for me to share my thoughts on Apple, iOS, productivity, and now macOS as well. These are things I am passionate about and something that I see myself doing regularly for a long time. So while Tablet Habit isn’t an iPad only blog like I intended when I started, I think this change in the narrative is something that is not only going to bring more value to you, but also something that is more fulfilling for me.

I thank you for reading and I hope this change is something that you are as excited about as me. If you have anything you want to talk to me about feel free to leave a comment below, find me on Twitter, or shoot me an email. Until then, I will see you all Monday!

The Future of Tablet Habit (Part 1)

I have been going through a bit of a crisis with Tablet Habit lately.

This all started with me wondering what the Mac would be like for me a few months ago. I did an experiment using the Mac exclusively for a week, and I didn’t hate it. In fact I found that a lot of the things I was doing on the iPad could be done in either less time or less hassle than on an Mac. It was a surprising twist, but I decided to stick with the iPad to stay “on brand.”

This was a mistake.

I put the device first and the work second. I wanted to be an iPad only person so bad that I sacrificed some productivity and efficiency to stay “on brand.” I felt like this was only an iPad blog and if I went away from that I would be doing everyone a disservice. Except now that I knew the Mac was something that I could use to get work done there was this voice in my head telling me to go back to it for some things.

I began to feel like a fraud, a trickster, and a liar to the people who decided to read my blog regularly as an iPad user. But I knew that the Mac was something that I wanted to have in my life. It made me happy when working on the things that mattered to me.

So I made a purchase.

 

So, I bought a new MacBook Pro. I know that some people may think that I made a bad decision not waiting until September to see if new Macs come out, but I am happy with my purchase and I feel that this Mac will get me by the next several years without issue.

I loved this computer the minute I took it out of the plastic and cracked it open. The keyboard is actually really enjoyable, the Space Gray color is beautiful, and the power this computer has is incredible. I love my Mac, and I know that I made the right decision getting one.

My co-host to Getting Caught Up, Mike Rapin, chimed in on my purchase. To you give you some background, I am notorious for starting new projects or jumping the gun on things and this was something I mentioned to Mike earlier in that week. I knew I was going to be getting this computer I just didn’t tell him.

Christopher Lawley, my co-host for A Slab of Glass, also knows of my woes with the iPad and me wanting to do more on my Mac. In the conversations we had I also expressed my interest in changing the name of the blog to something other than Tablet Habit, but clearly they felt that that was a bad idea.

The two of them, who I call my friends, wanted to make sure that I didn’t do anything stupid like changing the name of my website again. They knew that I felt like an imposter using a Mac and writing on a website called Tablet Habit. It was like having a Star Trek blog and writing about how Star Wars is a great series as well. But it wasn’t just those two who felt that I shouldn’t change the name.

But when your friends are persistent on making sure you don’t do something silly they make it known.

 

So we sat down and spent almost an hour recording a special episode together where both Christopher and Mike tell me why they feel so strongly on me maintaining the name of Tablet Habit and what I should do next.

So, to avoid spoiling it for you, I will refrain from posting the second part of this journey until after it is posted on Thursday.

I will say Tablet Habit isn’t about the tools I use. It used to be, but it isn’t anymore. It is about something much bigger than what tools I use to get my work done. It is about the work itself.

You see, blogging has always been a narrative format to me, and this is just part of my narrative. Tablet Habit was originally meant to be about the iPad, how I use it and how others can use it as their main device, but that changed over time. It became less about the devices and more about what you can do on those devices. It was less about tools, and more about results.

Until then, I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for you all. I am so excited to share this podcast with you all in a couple of days!

How to Go iPad Only

If you are wanting to leave your laptop behind for the more portable, convenient, and just pleasant experience that is iOS there is one way to make this transition stick, and it isn’t what you think. The best way is to remove all other options and only have an iPad available.
It may sound simple, but when you limit yourself innovation takes over. This by no means is easy, but it is the best in my opinion. There is somewhat of a learning curve needed to acclimate yourself.

To help you decide if this is right for you, I have come up with 3 things you need to consider when making the conscious choice to leave Mac or PC behind and go iOS only.

  1. Are You Willing to Change Workflows?

Making this change in your workflows will create some hurdles you may not have had to get over before. But know this, it is possible to use iOS exclusively. To do this you need to know what to do to combat issues that may come up. For that I have a few posts that will help when getting started.

  • iCab Mobile – The Best Browser for iPad
  • Why iPad vs Mac
  • Learn How to Use Workflow

I have been using my iPad as my main computer for almost a year and it has become more fluid and second-nature to do nearly everything I could on my Mac. Some things are a little less intuitive but other things I used to do on my Mac seem like they were actually meant for iOS in the first place.

All in all, for me, iOS has made my workflows more intentional and effective than they were on the Mac.

  1. How Important is Automation to You?

Between Applescripts, applications like Hazel, and other automation options you may be using, iOS is a much more sandboxed experience. This may sound like a bad thing to you, it was for me when I started. But here’s how I think of it now: iOS makes you focus more on what is important.

Now, automation is available for iOS. There is an app called Workflow that Apple acquired last year. It provides the bridges to our apps that we needed, but doesn’t run in the background like Hazel or other software can.

Automation for iOS isn’t the same as Mac, not by a long shot, but it doesn’t need to be. I have found the limitations brought to me with iOS automation has actually improved my abilities to work on the things that matter and let the rest fall to the wayside without much hesitation. This is one of the biggest reasons I moved to iOS more and more over the years and why I keep coming back in times of doubt.

  1. Do You Enjoy Trying New Things?

When I made the switch to iOS, I made the decision to start right from the bottom and leave all my previous notions of computing at the virtual doorstep. I wanted a clear head and an open-mind when I took this plunge.

I am not going to lie, there were times when I went back to my Mac, but even when I caved a little I kept remembering all the things that were fun and delightful on my iPad over my Mac and I kept coming back because of it.

I have learned a ton about iOS and about myself through the last year when I started this journey. I feel like I know how I prefer my work done more than I did before, and I spend less time problem solving and more time actually doing. If I hadn’t made that switch to my iPad Air 2 when I did I don’t think I would be as confident in my work as I am now and definitely not as productive.

The iPad offered me what no other computer did: purpose.

So You Want to Use Your iPad More, What Now?

If you have considered the pros and cons for you and want to go all-in on iOS, then I have good news! You can join others in a Facebook Group called The iPad Only Club.

Here you will find me and other like-minded people in the iOS only community that will help you with your problems, encourage you when you are frustrated, and provide useful insight and value to help you make this switch as painless, and dare I say fun as possible.

If you want to join, head over to iPadOnly.club and join. It will redirect you to the Facebook group, from there request to join (the reason we require your request is to keep spammers out, don’t worry we will accept your request).

There may not be many users on there yet (this is the launch announcement after all), but I will be there every day to help you and encourage you throughout this change as the group grows over time. And if you want more people to join, share this with them. They say the best way to do anything life-changing is with a friend.

So, if you are looking to make the switch it iOS as your main operating system join The iPad Only Club over at iPadOnly.club.

See you there.

Tablet Habit Newsletter #1 »

I posted the first weekly newsletter for my email subscribers. I wanted to share this with you on the blog to give you an idea of what you will get each week with this.If you like what you see, click the big subscribe button on the bottom of the newsletter or just click here.

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