In other news, I’m still bound to the iPad. It’s definitely a secondary device, though I’m stubborn - curious to investigate what would have to be done to hack my workflow in order to move through things more quickly. No doubt, I’m a power user, and my usual set up is rigged for speed - even the simple task of managing email is a chore without the systems I’ve developed over the past few years of GTD and mail.app plugins &c. Blogging, managing tasks - I’ve fine tuned my system, perhaps to a point of vulnerability/fragility? There’s a principle that comes to mind here - something about the organism that specialises too much ensures its own extinction.
I’ve thus far refused to get any add-ons; I’ve opted for using the iPad in its vanilla state. No hard keyboard, no extra weight. Part of the appeal of the iPad is its portability, and I’m loathe to compromise on that. I miss fast app switching, the easy transfer of information between different processes, keyboard shortcuts. The AppStore is a nightmare - the signal to noise ratio is as bad as a regular day in Facebook, or panning for gold in a barren area - you have to sift through way too much junk before you find something that really works. The Wordpess iPad app (at time of writing) is a waste of energy - I’ve had better results drafting a post in another application (PlainText, I love you) and posting direct through the Wordpress backend. Likewise, Tumblr options on the iPad are lacking. My task management system has completely changed - I stopped using Things a little while back in favour of TaskPaper (among other things, the lack of featureset parity between the iPod/iPhone, iPad and desktop versions was frustrating, and manual syncing became more of a gotcha than I would have thought). TaskPaper on the desktop is great, but leaves a bit to be desired on iOS, so I’m down to a handrolled option, which seems to be working okay. I haven’t touched any of the sites I’ve been developing over the past few weeks (an update of my professional portfolio/presence, and two reboots for friends). As a film photographer, I need to find a better way of getting images to the web from CD via iPad, and I need to spend a little time figuring out some image resolution queries I have, which may or may not be the iPad’s fault. And although I went for the wifi only version, I may well end up getting a Mifi for mobile broadband. London just isn’t wifi cheap and friendly enough yet. Having said that, I’ve been able to write, get some blogging done, respond to the important incoming mail, feedback on funding applications, manage an editorial meeting, plan a few workshops and more. In short, it’s not computing as I’ve come to know it. But how much of that is the shortcoming of the device, and how much is simply down to the fact that my thinking isn’t flexible enough?
There’s no question that a laptop is more versatile than a tablet. Much as I’m still an advocate for tablet computing, that isn’t the argument. But there’s a lot to be said about the available apps. And for my own grey matter. Okay - you’re not going to use a fork to change a tyre, but as the saying goes, a good workman doesn’t blame their tools. There’s a lesson to learn here - a spotlight shining on the way I work. The epiphany is that I’ve got so good at managing the work I do on a full machine that it’s become difficult to discern what I shouldn’t be doing. Sure, I’ll whizz through that stack of email with my Mail Tags and Mail Act-on superhuman powers, but how much of that email should have been filtered before I ever saw it? The question is no longer “how can I do this work more efficiently” but “am I doing the most important work?” and “what do I need to let go?”
Hm. Letting go. That’s been the dominant theme of the year.
Sunday afternoon, in the middle of Carnival, man and his Sunday papers…
Looking Back, Looking Forward – this Friday, with Anthony Joseph, Malika Booker, Bidisha, Sarah Sayeed, (& me!) #RBKC http://bit.ly/duA85I
Once again, I’m forced to rely on my iPad as a primary computer (my 15” MacBook Pro is down - long story), and I’m coming to appreciate both the joys and pains of tablet computing. The native Tumblr interface is a bit of a beast to do anything more than post text, and the “post by email” facility suffers from serious lag. Hence this image being repeated (I’ve deleted the duplicate now). Sigh. One day, all of this technology will just work.
Regardless, this is one of my personal favourites. All time. Ever.
As of tonight, I’m the first featured poet for Woolfson & Tay’s Poetry in the Square Reading series. Beautiful bookshop, cafe and artspace.
I own three computers and not one of them works. Still managed a couple of #RBKC blog posts, though. http://bit.ly/d8mmkF
I’ve been talking it up a lot, recently. Let’s see how much we can get done on the iPad when it really counts…
Oh COME ON. MacBook Pro died again at the weekend. Now back up Powerbook 12″ has kernel panics. Facepalm, headdesk, fail, fail, fail. &c.
Back in London from the Oxford Uni workshop. Bright minds! Good session. And the warm glow of supporting a brilliant initiative.
"You should come back next week – you’re funny", so sayeth one of the young poets from my ‘In Your Own Words’ workshop at the weekend #RBKC
En route to Oxford University to run a workshop for the #poetry society at the behest of one of my Barbican poets, who happens to be chair.
"Someone once asked Somserset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. …"
- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
After a poem, Henry Bonsu asked if I look as good as / better than Lorenz Tate (Love Jones). What does he look like these days?
The Best American Poetry: British Poets, Day Four: The Entertainers [Todd Swift on AF Harrold, H Mort and yours truly] http://bit.ly/ckhrwG
“Is poetry effectively worthless because very few people pay money for it?” No, says Jen Woods in an open letter… http://bit.ly/bD2RMG
Niketown, Oxford Circus.