Welcome to episode 270 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork talks about his must-have apps for a productive business and personal life.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Sally McKenney about how she creates the very best recipe content for her readers. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
Get It Done
Apps are great to help you become more productive, track your progress, and optimize your day. But which are our absolute favorites? The ones we rely on day after day, week after week to help us get it all done?
That’s what Bjork is focusing on in this episode. You’ll hear about the apps and tools he uses to fly through email, stay on top of business and personal tasks, record quick videos, and stay hydrated with a color-changing water bottle.
We’re excited to share some of our favorite apps with you today! And if you have any must-have apps, leave them in the comments below –– we’d love to hear your suggestions!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Screen Time/Downtime works on Apple products
- How to use Things to remind yourself of business and personal tasks
- How to quickly manage your inbox
- How to send recurring emails
- How to use Asana as a team
- How video can help prevent miscommunication
- How to strengthen your passwords
- How to drink more water in a techy way
- How to store articles for later
- How to protect your computer or phone from theft
- How to keep your computer tidy and free from viruses
- Information about Apple’s Screen Time and Downtime
- 165: Getting Things Done with David Allen
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Transcript (click to expand):
Bjork Ostrom: Hey there friends, Bjork here. And today we’re going to be talking about apps or software, or things you have on your computer and your iPhone. This is going to be a solo episode. Occasionally we record these episodes, and different than an interview, it’s just me or somebody else, usually me, almost always me coming on and sharing a little bit of the behind the scenes of what’s going on and essentially sitting in a room and talking to a mic but pretending that I’m sitting next to you or sitting in front of you or sitting by you six feet apart with masks on having this conversation and sharing some of these insights.
Bjork Ostrom: The thing that I like to do for these solo episodes is think about, “Hey, what is something I’m kind of excited about or that would be easy for me to sit in a room and talk about for a period of time that would also be valuable for people who listen to this podcast?” And a lot of times that topic revolves around tech or software or apps. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s actually 11 different tools, pieces of software, apps that I’m using that are super helpful to me, they’re the things that I install right away on a computer or on my phone, or that I consider to be really important areas when I am spending a lot of time on a computer or on my phone. Because that’s what we do, we have digital businesses so we spend a lot of time on a computer or on our phones, and so we need to be really good and effective at using those tools.
Bjork Ostrom: Much like a carpenter has to be really good with a hammer and a saw and understanding how to manipulate wood or whatever the medium it is that they work with, we need to understand how to be really effective with computers and phones. And there’s lots of tools that allow us to do that better because we spend a lot of time with them and we want to make sure that time is effective and that we are smart with how we’re using that, which is why the first tool that I want to talk about is actually a settings area and this is for Mac and iPhone.
Bjork Ostrom: There are similar areas and tools that you can set up for Android and if you use Windows, but we’re going to be talking about the specific area for a Mac and an iPhone, and that is Screen Time and Downtime. Now, this is new with the newest version of macOS so if you’ve updated your computer and you have the version 10.15 which is Catalina, 10.15.6 as the most updated version, what it’s going to allow you to do is it’s going to allow you to have this area on your computer, and there’s a similar area on your phone or iPad called Screen Time.
Bjork Ostrom: And Screen Time gives you really interesting look inside how you’re using that time on your computer or on your phone. I’ve used this to inform me on ways that I’m either wasting time. So if I’m spending a lot of time in Safari on my phone, chances are I’m browsing news, or I’m looking at updates from around the web. And that’s not great use of my time.
Bjork Ostrom: So what I’ve started to do is I’ve started to place limits on certain apps, time limits. So I can kind of artificially create these boundaries and redirect me to do more effective work. So I don’t have any limit throughout the normal Workday on my email application, which we’re going to talk about what that is in a little bit, but I do have limits on Safari or the news app.
Bjork Ostrom: I set those limits as time parameters around the work that I’m doing or around the workday so I’m not wasting a bunch of time in those apps. The other thing that’s really helpful is this thing called Downtime, and I set this on my phone. And I set Downtime between 7:00… or it ends at 7:00 AM and it starts at 5:30 PM. And what Downtime does is on my phone once it gets to 5:30 PM or is essentially between 5:30 PM and 7:00 AM, there’s the vast majority of the applications essentially get locked.
Bjork Ostrom: Now it’s easy for me to unlock those and just go in and use them, but it creates a little bit of a barrier, psychological or even just a work barrier. It will be like, “Urgh, now I need to enter this in. Maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe I didn’t need to do that.” Because there’s a lot of habits that we have, we pick up our phone, we click pull up Instagram, or we pick up our phone and we click pull up Safari or news or whatever it is almost without thinking about it.
Bjork Ostrom: And what Downtime does is it closes those down during the times where you don’t want to be using them and puts a little wall in between it, where you have to actually say to yourself, “Yes, I want to use this.” The most important Downtime barrier for me is email. It’s really easy for me when I’m home at the end of the day, maybe it’s I’m hanging out with my daughter Solvi, and we’re downstairs and we’re playing and my phone is sitting next to me, it’s really easy for me to pick it up, just swipe up to unlock it and then click on email.
Bjork Ostrom: And as soon as that happens, I’m out of that space, I’m not present with her and I’m also not able to actually respond to the email. It’s almost like I just want to be entertained and I need a little dopamine hit and so I quick check to see if there’s any updates, but that pulls me out of the moment. And what Downtime does, this feature within the Screen Time area on your phone, and you can set this up on your computer as well, is it puts those barriers, those artificial barriers in that kind of makes me check and say like, “Is this actually something that I want to be doing?”
Bjork Ostrom: And during the workday, yeah, totally. It makes sense for me to check email because that’s what I’m doing, I’m responding to emails, I’m being proactive about checking. And maybe I’m not at my computer and so I want to make sure that I can easily do that. But if it’s before 7:00 and if it’s after 5:30, for me, I don’t want to be doing that. So I’ve set up Downtime to restrict that area.
Bjork Ostrom: And then I use Screen Time, the general Screen Time area, to inform, how am I using my phone and my computer throughout the day. And they say what you don’t track, you can’t improve. And so it’s important for you to track how you are using your computer and your phone because these are the most important tools for us. From here on out, we’re going to be talking about different things that you can be using a little bit more that are actually helpful in your workday. So that’s number one, Screen Time and Downtime.
Bjork Ostrom: Number two, this is an app that I’ve talked about before, and it actually is built around a concept called Getting Things Done And I did an interview a while back with David Allen, who’s the author and kind of the thought leader, for lack of a better term, of the Getting Things Done methodology. And the tool, it’s an app, and you can install it on your computer and works on your iPad or tablet if you have one, and it syncs across all those devices, it’s called Things.
Bjork Ostrom: And I’m not going to go deep into the Getting Things Done philosophy and how that works but there’s a couple of things that I really like about Things, the app or the software. Number one is this idea of the inbox. And in that interview I do with David Allen, he talks about the idea of your head being a really bad place to store things. It’s not meant for storage and retaining information, it’s made for creative thinking, it’s made to try and solve problems. But it’s not made as an archival place to store things as to-dos.
Bjork Ostrom: And in Things there’s a little area called inbox. And anytime you think of something, “Hey, I need to do this,” you put it into the inbox and then you go back later and you sort and you order that. I really liked that about Things. The other thing that’s helpful with Things just as a quick note, is this idea of recurring tasks. So there are things that I do every morning and there are things that I do every week, every month, every quarter, and every year, I have those living in Things as recurring tasks.
Bjork Ostrom: So as an example, every day or every weekday I have this recurring task called morning routine. And I go through my morning routine, it’s a task that shows up. I want to make sure that I prioritize that. And I put that at the top of my day. It’s simple things like start the day taking a multivitamin and drinking water. I’ve realized if I don’t have that as a task, I just skip it. It’s not part of my routine naturally so I have to create it as a little task.
Bjork Ostrom: It also includes reviewing the calendar. So I look at the calendar for the week coming up and the week after that, making sure that there’s no conflicts. And if there are, I email people and say, “Hey, can we change this? Can we move this around?” That’s part of my morning routine. If I didn’t have that as a task that showed up every day, I probably wouldn’t do it. I’d say, “I don’t need to.” But because it is part of the task that I have, I look at it and I review it.
Bjork Ostrom: Other examples of more infrequent routines would be things as simple as taking the trash and recycling out. It shows up every Wednesday. And I say, “Okay, at the end of the day, I need to make sure that I take trash and recycling out.” That’d be a personal one. Another example that’s a little bit more spread out is quarterly taxes. So this is one that’s important enough.
Bjork Ostrom: I put it on my calendar and Things but it shows up once a quarter and it says, “Hey, you’re going to have to pay quarterly taxes. Want to make sure to not forget about that.” So that’s a recurring task that shows up. Once a year there might be a recurring task for scheduling an eye doctor appointment. If I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t remember to do that, I wouldn’t store it in my brain in a way where I’d remember to do it.
Bjork Ostrom: So all of these things are recurring tasks that live in Things which remind me to then take the action to do it. Doing it isn’t that hard, but remembering to do it is hard because our brains aren’t meant to work in that way. We’re not meant to remember, “Hey, once a quarter at this time, we need to pay taxes.” So we need to create a system that supports ourselves so we can do creative thinking instead of storing a bunch of things and trying to remember those.
Bjork Ostrom: There’s lots of other ways that you can use Things, but I’m not going to dive into those. But it’s by Cultured Code. So if you Google Things Cultured Code, you should be able to find it. If you just search Things, it probably won’t come up. But it’s a great app and one that I’ve used for a long time and really love it. Number three is an app called Superhuman. And as we talk about being effective and using tools to the best of our ability, Superhuman really leans into that name, that idea of making you a superhuman.
Bjork Ostrom: And Superhuman is really meant for people who spend a lot of time in email. And I spend a lot of time in email. It’s one of the primary ways that I do work throughout the day, is communicating to people via email or with our team through Slack. And Superhuman is an email client. So you have to use, I think it’s Gmail for sure, which is what we use or G Suite, which is kind of the enterprise version of Gmail, or it maybe also works with some Microsoft services, but I’m not positive on that.
Bjork Ostrom: But the premise of Superhuman is that the Gmail as an email client to operate out of isn’t the most effective email tool in regards to how are you operate within that email client. And Superhuman is meant to have you spend as much time as possible on your keyboard. And so it’s built all around speed and keyboard shortcuts. So an example is when you send an email in Gmail, what it does is it then puts you back into the inbox, it’s a really small thing. But what Superhuman does is you send an email and then it brings you to the next email.
Bjork Ostrom: So there’s hundreds of little efficiencies like that that are built into Superhuman to allow you to do email a little bit quicker. But there’s some other great features that are super helpful for me as somebody who spends a lot of time in email to make me or whoever uses it superhuman in how they’re operating. One that I love is this keyboard shortcut to say, remind me if no reply.
Bjork Ostrom: So a lot of times what I will do is I have an email that’s important, and I might not entirely trust that I’m going to send this as an action item and that it’s going to get accomplished. So what I’ll do is I’ll say, hey, maybe it’s we’re working with an attorney on something and we know that they’re super busy in a certain season or a CPA. We know that it’s tax season and they might get lost in their inbox.
Bjork Ostrom: What I’ll do is I’ll create the email, I’ll send it and I’ll say, remind me in, and then I can pick a number of days, remind me in three days, one week, one month if there is no reply. And then what happens is that email shows up in my inbox again if the person hasn’t replied. What I can do is I can quickly say, “Hey, quick follow up on this. Do you have any updates or any insight on where this is at?”
Bjork Ostrom: It’s something that I use all the time, and it’s amazing how often I’ll send an email, won’t hear back and not for that little reminder, that task would get lost. It would go away and I wouldn’t be able to follow up on it. So that’s a super important feature. The other thing that I’ve done, and this is actually in Gmail, so this isn’t a Superhuman feature, but within Gmail I’ve been really methodical about filtering content or emails that I don’t need to reply to right away.
Bjork Ostrom: So that category of email would be maybe newsletters, it would be updates, it would be receipts, anything that comes in like that, I’m setting up a filter and I’m putting into a label that I’m calling later. And what I do is after I get through my email inbox, the most important content for me to reply to once a week, once every two weeks, maybe once every three weeks, I can go into the later folder and respond to, or look at or consume that content.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s almost like a little bucket that is filtering out the non-essential emails that can wait a week, two, three, maybe a month before I reply to those. So that’s something even without Superhuman that you can do within Gmail. It requires active maintenance because every time you get a new newsletter or update or piece of information that you want to be intentional about responding to or not intentional, it’s almost the opposite, if you get a piece of information that you don’t need to respond to, you’re filtering that so all future messages that fall in that category go into a later folder.
Bjork Ostrom: And what this does is it allows me to get to what is essentially inbox zero on important messages, and then visit those non-important messages later on. And what I think you’ll quickly realize is a lot of email management is sorting through newsletters and receipts and updates. And as much as you can get rid of those by unsubscribing or filter those by putting them into a label or another folder, then you can surface the things that are truly important and respond to those and then visit that other stuff a little bit later on. So that’s a really important feature, both within Gmail and then that syncs over to Superhuman.
Bjork Ostrom: The last thing that’s nice about Superhuman is this idea of sending later. So sometimes there’s an email that I want to send that I want to send later. So maybe it’s on a weekend and I don’t want to bug somebody or make them think that it needs to happen right now but I’m doing some work, I can send it on Monday morning. Or maybe there’s an upcoming event and it’s something that I need to send around that time but I’m thinking of it right now. Maybe it’s even a birthday message and I know that I’m going to be busy that day and I say, hey, I don’t want to forget to send this person a birthday email or a congratulations or whatever it is.
Bjork Ostrom: Superhuman allows you to send an email later, which is really great and something that I use, not a lot, but occasionally and it’s something worth mentioning. But Superhuman at its core, what’s really great about it is the efficiency that it creates through shortcuts and then some of these additional features layered on. So we’ve talked about Screen Time and Downtime, number one, we’ve talked about Things we’ve talked about Superhuman.
Bjork Ostrom: Related to Superhuman is a similar tool called Boomerang. Now I used to use Boomerang for a lot of the same functions and it would live within Gmail. So I’d go to gmail.com and it would be a Gmail extension essentially. But one thing that Superhuman can’t do that Boomerang can do, and it’s the reason that I still use it is send recurring emails.
Bjork Ostrom: So one of the things that I talked about with Things, the app Things, which gets confusing when I say one of the things about Things, but one of the things that I talked about with Things is that it’s really great to have recurring tasks. What I’ve found is that I actually also have recurring emails. And maybe it’s something that I want to make sure that I’m emailing our team members about on a recurring basis, or maybe it’s a contractor that we work with and I want to remind them once a month to send the invoice so we can stay up to date on invoice payments.
Bjork Ostrom: I don’t want to have that live in my head, and I also don’t want to create a task in Things to then create an email that’s going to look the same and I’m going to have to send that every week or month or whenever it is. So Boomerang allows you to create an email that is sent on a recurring basis to a person or a group of people. And this has been really helpful for any type of reminder email that I need to send.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s almost like what you would do with a drip sequence if you’re using ConvertKit or Mailchimp, one of these services, but it’s custom in that it’s to a person or a group of people, and you can set that to go out on a recurring basis. So I’ve loved Boomerang for that. And it has some of those same features that Superhuman has so if you don’t want to use Superhuman, which is a paid for app, it’s $30 a month and you want to use Boomerang on top of Gmail, so you’d log into Gmail and use some of those same features, you can check that out. I think they have a free version and then there’s a premium version as well. So that is Boomerang.
Bjork Ostrom: Number five, Asana. We would always joke about this as a team early on. We would say, “Hey, let’s meet about that in a sauna.” And we had this visual of us all hanging out in a sauna and having a conversation, like two words a sauna, dad joke. But it’s A-S-A-N-A and it’s a project management tool. So this is a great place for you if you have a team or individually as kind of a hub to create projects.
Bjork Ostrom: Now, the difference for me between Things and Asana, Things are the personal tasks that I have, things that I need to accomplish whether on my own or work, but just for me. The Things app isn’t going to be shared outside of my personal workflow, so it’s just me. But Asana is very much so meant to be collaborative. So as you start to work with people, maybe it’s a contractor, maybe somebody is helping with social media. Maybe you have a big team and you’re trying to figure out how you manage that, Asana is a great tool to do project management.
Bjork Ostrom: So I spend more time in Things than I do Asana, but I think the great thing about Asana is that your team will be able to communicate, collaborate, comment back and forth, and move forward on projects there. And if I ever have something that I need to communicate to the team that we’re working on, or even something that I need to do personally and move forward on, but would love our team’s insight on it, or weighing in or advice on something, the best place for us to do that is in Asana.
Bjork Ostrom: Loom, this is an awesome, awesome application. And I’ll tell you what I used to do. I used to use this tool called ScreenFlow, and ScreenFlow would record your screen. And then what I would do is I would export that recording into a QuickTime file. I would then take that QuickTime file and I would upload it to Dropbox, I would then, then in Dropbox, copy the link and then I would send it to somebody.
Bjork Ostrom: And what I found was this was a great way to communicate a concept or an idea that was not great to write out in an email or maybe kind of complicated. And what I found is in 30 seconds, in one minute, I can do a really good job of explaining a concept that maybe it would take five minutes to write out in an email and still maybe be misinterpreted. It’s just so much easier to show something in a lot of instances via email.
Bjork Ostrom: So one of the things that I’ve tried to do for a long time is as much as possible, use a screen recording or a photo with markup to explain an idea or a concept. And it really helps to write something out and then also include a video. And what you can do is you can cut down on the back and forth and miscommunication, which as you’re working with people online, maybe with a remote team or just working with people, maybe you don’t have a team, but you’re working with people and you’re communicating via email, Slack, Asana, whatever it is, it’s really helpful to be able to record something and share that.
Bjork Ostrom: That process I used to use before was super clunky. It was really long, it took a long time. But now there’s this awesome application and software called Loom, L-O-O-M. And what Loom allows you to do is it lives as a little menu item up in the top right of your computer, I’m thinking of Mac for this. And what you can do is you can go up and click and then you can say, start recording. And right away, it starts a recording of your screen.
Bjork Ostrom: You can be in the picture if you want, so it can be a little circle image of you talking to the camera and you can explain the concept, whatever it is that you’re trying to explain, you can press stop. And what it does is it pulls up a browser window, it will upload that video and it does all of really quick. So it probably cut down that previous process that I had by, previously if it took five minutes, this takes one minute.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s a huge time saver, it’s a really effective tool. And it’s made exactly for the use case that we need, which is communicating concepts quickly and efficiently that might be hard to communicate via written email or written text. Love Loom and our team has started to use that pretty frequently. We are chugging along here. Number seven, 1Password. I’ve talked about this before. But as you are building all of these different accounts, as you’re building your business, you’re going to have accounts that are building along with it.
Bjork Ostrom: One of the things that’s important to do from a security perspective is to have every single, this is going to sound crazy, but I’m going to explain how it works, every single login that you have, every single password that you have should be long, unique, and different. Now that might sound crazy. And especially for those of you that have used the exact same password in a hundred different places, you’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh, I cannot imagine managing all of these different passwords.”
Bjork Ostrom: But here’s why that’s important. The issue with getting hacked, so if a company or a site gets hacked, here’s the issue. It’s not so much that they’re going to get the information in that site, that’s an issue for sure. The real issue is that they’re going to be able to get an email and they’re going to be able to get a password, and then they can potentially use that password and email combination in other places.
Bjork Ostrom: So let’s say Disney+ gets hacked, not a huge deal. Somebody is going to be able to see maybe some of your information, they’re going to be able to see that you watched whatever it might be, Hamilton. Okay, not a huge deal. But if you use that same email and password for your bank, they’re going to be able to go and try and log in. That suddenly is a big deal. This is why you need to have a unique password for every single login that you have.
Bjork Ostrom: We use a service called 1Password to manage that process. Now I have, when I look at my 1Password between personal and all the businesses, 1,140 different accounts spread out in all different places of the internet. And every single one of those has a unique login. And it’s not only unique, but it’s long and it’s complicated. 1Password manages that bank of logins and passwords. What I love about 1Password is this idea that you have one really long, secure password that unlocks 1Password and then you have your vault where all of that information is stored.
Bjork Ostrom: It also syncs up with Chrome or whatever internet browser you use, so it can fill in those passwords automatically. So you’re going to be in a place where you’re safe, you’re secure, you have unique passwords for all of the different accounts, and it becomes easier to use because 1Password is filling that out for you.
Bjork Ostrom: The other thing that I love about 1Password is that they have this area called Watchtower. And Watchtower allows you to see any of your information that is considered a weak password. It’s going to show you any passwords that are reused. So if you have duplicate passwords for any sites, it’s going to say, “Hey, these are reuse passwords. You should make these unique.” It’ll also show you anything that it considers vulnerable passwords.
Bjork Ostrom: So there’s a database of companies that have been hacked or where information has been potentially disclosed to somebody who has access to their servers or whatever it might be and they’re going to say, “This is considered a vulnerable password because we can see that it’s in a database of exposed passwords.” So they have databases of passwords that have been exposed, and they say, “Hey, we see this password exists in that database.”
Bjork Ostrom: And you’ll be amazed that probably a lot of the passwords you use are in a database of exposed passwords. So you need to go in and update those to make sure that you’re using long, unique, non-exposed passwords. So it’s an area called Watchtower. Essentially it scans to make sure that all of your logins are secure. And then we also can use 1Password for two-factor authentication.
Bjork Ostrom: So it’s an extra layer of security that makes sure that even if somebody did have your username and password, that then they would have to have the unique two-factor authentication that updates whatever it is, every 30 seconds or 60 seconds and creates a different code that you enter in. Sometimes you can use a separate app for that. We use 1Password for that. And what’s great about that is we can have a shared password.
Bjork Ostrom: So let’s say that our team needs access to a certain account. That account can be shared within 1Password, and it can be the username, the password, and two-factor authentication within 1Password, but that’s only available to the three team members we have. And this solves the problem of somebody logging in and saying like, “Ah, can you send me the two-factor authentication code that you just got?” Or, “Can you let me know what it is and author your Google authenticator what that two factor authentication code is?”
Bjork Ostrom: Because it’s stored in a shared way within 1Password, so it’s great for teams as well. Or even if you’re using it personally, if you or a partner or somebody that needs to have access to a certain account, but also have two-factor authentication turned on. It’s a great way to share that and also stay secure. Number eight, this is kind of a personal one, but it’s been something that I’ve been trying to do for a long time. It’s an app called Hidrate and it’s actually technically hardware because there is a water bottle that goes along with it.
Bjork Ostrom: One of the things I’ve been trying to do is drink more water and I’m terrible at it. If left to my own routines and habits, I would probably drink more coffee than I would water. But Hidrate is an app, and it’s actually a Minnesota company, that syncs to a water bottle and it shows you how much water you should drink in a day. And if you ever get behind, it sends you a little notification and the water bottle will light up. And it’s been a super simple way for me to build in some triggers and reminders to drink more water.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s Hidrate, H-I-D-R-A-T-E, and it’s been great. So fun little one that actually, I think ties into productivity and focus because I’ve noticed occasionally if I don’t have enough water, I’ll kind of be dragging a little bit. It’s like, oh, it’s probably because I haven’t had any water and my body’s like, “Please I need more water.” Your brain is running dry. So that’s number eight.
Bjork Ostrom: Number nine is Pocket. A lot of times, family, friends, team members, connections or random people will send emails and they’ll say, “Great article, thought of you. You got to check this out.” I hate the idea of looking at that, archiving it, and then never reading it. And I also hate the idea of getting interrupted and reading a 15 minute article when I was working on something else. So Pocket is the app that sits in the middle for me, where somebody can send me an email and they can say, “Hey, you should check out this article.”
Bjork Ostrom: What I’ll do is I’ll click on it and I’ll save it to Pocket. The idea is like you’re putting it in your back pocket. And what Pocket allows me to do is save an article to go back to later, but then follow up with somebody and say, “Thanks so much for sending this along, added it to my list of things to read, super excited to check it out.” I took action on it. I didn’t actually read it, but it’s that good in between of acknowledging, thanking somebody for sending it without having it interrupt the focus that I have or the thing that I’m currently focused on for that block of time.
Bjork Ostrom: So Pocket works on a phone, works on your computer and it’s a really slick way to be able to refer back to things easily when you are in a place where you just want to read content and consume content, as opposed to get things done. Two more left. Number 10, Tile. This is actually a personal one as well, but it’s been really helpful for me. Tile, many of you know and it’s rumored that Apple is coming out with something kind of comparable to this, but for now we use Tile.
Bjork Ostrom: This happened when I started to Tile everything when we were in the Philippines and we were out to eat and Lindsay and I were doing some video work for an orphanage called the Children’s Shelter, Cebu that we’re involved with. I had just shot a bunch of footage and was super excited to edit that and create some videos for a banquet, an annual banquet that they were doing.
Bjork Ostrom: And we were at a restaurant, I put my bag down at my feet, I stood up for a moment to let somebody get by. And I sat back down and I looked and the bag was gone with my computer, with all of the hard drive with all of the footage. So it hadn’t been backed up yet. And I thought, “Shoot, that’s gone and we’ll never get it back.” And when we got home from that trip, I immediately ordered, it was probably 10 different Tiles and started to Tile everything.
Bjork Ostrom: Now, it’s not going to save you from getting stuff stolen. And realistically, it’s going to be… it’s not proven to be able to find something if it is stolen, but in that case, it would have been really nice if I had a little Tile in the backpack. And even if the computer was gone, even if my wallet was in there, I don’t remember if it was or not, I don’t think it was, even if that was gone, what I would be able to do is I could say, “Hey alert me when this is found.”
Bjork Ostrom: And Tile is able to use its network of other people who use Tile to say, “Hey, we found it.” And even if it was just getting the bag back, maybe it’s the external hard drive because it wasn’t super valuable, we’d be able to go and find that. Now it’s also most useful, and this is how I usually use it where it’s like, “Hey, where’s my wallet?” Or, “Where are my keys?” Or, “Where did I set my bag?” Tile simply is a little tile. It looks like a little one inch by one inch tile that you attached to things and it alerts you if you are trying to find it.
Bjork Ostrom: The great thing is it also works in reverse. So on my keys, if I want, I can go ahead and click, I’ll let you know what it sounds like, it’s like this. And what it will do is it will alert and notify me of where my phone is. And it works from your phone to your keys, but it also works from your keys to your phone. And it’s a great way to not spend a lot of time kind of aimlessly walking around your house trying to find something. Or if something is lost or stolen, you can say, “Hey, let me know when it’s found,” and you can go ahead and find it.
Bjork Ostrom: We always now Tile anything that we consider to be important and it’s been a huge help. We’re coming to the end, this is the last one. And this is actually a tool that I’ve used to remove apps. I thought it would be a great app to talk about as a last app. It seems like one of those kind of like malwarish apps that you install and you’re like, “Wait a minute, why did I install this and why is it always running?”
Bjork Ostrom: But it’s actually a premium, paid-for, really effective app that I’ve liked called the CleanMyMac. And what CleanMyMac does, how I use it, is there’s a couple different ways. One, it will run a monthly cleaning process, which is like, “Eh, whatever.” But I really like it for uninstalling apps. And one of the things that you’ll find with the uninstallation process is with a Mac what they say is like, hey, you just drag it to the trash and then you empty the trash.
Bjork Ostrom: But what I don’t like about that is there’s some other random stuff that lives within your computer in different areas of your computer. And so you might delete Photoshop by just dragging it into the trash and deleting it, but there’s lots of other settings and areas that that app exists aside from just the app itself. So there’s lots of different things that CleanMyMac does, but I like it for the uninstallation process and making sure that if I do uninstall something, that it’s getting rid of that in all the different places that it lives.
Bjork Ostrom: So it’s a premium app, you have to pay for it. And that’s why I trust it to not install other random malware or to be malicious in some way. It sounds like one of those apps that would be that, but it’s actually not, and it’s been great. The other thing that I really like about it is there’s a way for you to understand, it’s called Space Lens, to understand files and folders on your Mac and get an idea if you’re running out of space where some of that might be happening, maybe you have huge files in Dropbox, or you have some old video files that you could move to an external hard drive.
Bjork Ostrom: Within CleanMyMac, there’s an area Space Lens allows you to see kind of a lay of the land for your Mac and clean up as needed. So a great little app, we won’t dive too deep into that, but I thought it would be good to end on this idea of uninstalling unnecessary apps or apps that you don’t use. And the way that I do that is through CleanMyMac. So those are the 11.
Bjork Ostrom: Quick recap, Screen Time and Downtime, number one. Number two, Things. Number three, Superhuman for email. Number four, Boomerang also for email, specifically for sending recurring emails. Number five, Asana for project management and team collaboration. Number six, Loom for recording videos and creating easy to share links attached to those.
Bjork Ostrom: Number seven, 1Password to stay secure. Number eight, Hidrate to stay hydrated. Number nine, Pocket to save any articles you want to read. Number 10, Tile to save you from wasting a bunch of time trying to find things, and number 11, CleanMyMac to get rid of any apps that you’ve installed and decide that you don’t need any more and just to make sure that your app or your computer stays tidy.
Bjork Ostrom: These are always really fun episodes for me to do, to talk about things that I’m excited to talk about. So thanks for hanging out with me for a little chat about all things software and apps. If there’s anything that you ever are interested in or curious about and would love to get a sneak peek, whether it’s a solo episode like this, or an interview with one of our team members, or even an interview with an outside expert or consultant, we would love to hear from you.
Bjork Ostrom: So you can email us [email protected] and let us know. We love hearing from anybody who follows along and also love doing whatever we can to make this podcast as valuable as possible. Our hope for this is that you can get a little bit better every day forever. It kind of is the premise of the parent company we have, which is called TinyBit, getting a tiny bit better every day forever. We talk about that as 1% infinity. And I hope this podcast today allowed you to do that, even if it’s just in a little way. Thanks for listening. We will be back here same time, same place next week. Until then, have a great week.