In general, I use built in apps (e.g. Mail, Reminders, Notes etc.) and functionality (e.g. document scanning) whenever possible.
iPhone & iPad
- Pima County Library
- Merriam Webster Dictionary
- The Noun Project
- Hacker News
- Cloudflare Speed Test
- RSS by email
Often, I record a video presentation in advance of the meeting and ask attendees to watch it before coming together. That way, attendees come together prepared to engage in productive discussion.
- Open Keynote and add slides.
- Choose Play > Record Slideshow...
- Press Record and begin speaking and advancing through the slides.
- Choose File > Export To > Movie... to save a video of my recording.
- Share the video with meeting attendees in the meeting request.
I began this practice because,
- People need time to think through issues before coming together to discuss them.
- Valuable time is spent bringing everyone to a common understanding of the starting point (i.e. getting on the same page).
- When more people understand the goal of the meeting, they can keep each other on topic.
- Creating an intro video for the meeting helps me articulate and cement my intentions for the meeting, making me a better facilitator.
- If people understand the purpose of the meeting, they can recommend additional collaborators. Or they can recommend that the topic be discussed asynchronously and offline.
When the meeting begins, I open Keynote and add additional blank slides as meeting notes.
- I can open the Keynote file on my iPad, share the screen, and use a blank slide like a whiteboard, drawing with my Apple Pencil or taking notes with the keyboard on my Mac.
- I can invite attendees to collaborate on the document - useful for collaborative brainstorming sessions.
- I can simulate a sticky note based activity by adding text to shapes in Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.
- I can connect shapes with lines (OmniGraffle style) in Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.
- I can run webinars using Keynote Live
This workflow can be replicated with Microsoft Office or Google Docs.
In general, the minimum number of software tools should be used to get the job done. It is always tempting to add one more app to your workflow, but that increases the cognitive load on the people who you are working with. I say this as someone who loves to try new tools.
I prefer using video conferencing tools for meetings which do not require you to install an app for the desktop experience. This rules out Zoom, Slack, Chime, for example. Lately, I have found Jitsi to be a nice tool for virtual meetings.
- The Clock app on my iPad is helpful for scheduling meetings for people in multiple time zones.
- The built in Calendar app on macOS can automatically find the next free time slot for attendees who's calendars are hosted by Microsoft Exchange.
For both private and collaborative work sessions, Numbers makes a fantastic whiteboarding tool.
On an iPad or Mac,
- Create a new Numbers document.
- Delete the table.
- Now you have an infinite canvas.
- Add shapes
- Simulate sticky notes with text in shapes
- Connect shapes with lines that stay attached when the shapes move
- Quickly import drawings from an iPad, or work directly on the document within an iPad
- Collaborate with others in realtime
I use Numbers spreadsheets for all of my calculating needs.
- To perform a calculation, add a formula and type your mathematical expression.
- Add notes for your future self in the adjacent column.
- Unlike the iPhone, the iPad does not come with a calculator app. Numbers for iPad is an excellent substitute.
Creating markdown tables
- You can select a table in Keynote, Pages, Numbers, or Notes and paste directly into a Discourse textarea. Discourse will automatically create the table for you.
- You can also paste directly into Tables Generator. Choose File > Paste table data...
Personal Knowledge Management
I use DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go for personal knowledge management.
I avoid using chat systems like Slack.
- Communication gets stuck in a proprietary system.
- Important information is difficult to retrieve.
If I had to recommend a chat system, I would choose one based on Matrix, such as Element.
Basecamp has a nice take on asynchronous communication.
Use the ISO 8601 date and time format for all dates and times.