April 11, 2021No Comments

Log Apr 4 to Apr 10

Recap of my last week including new music, website additions, starting Q2, and being fully vaccinated for COVID-19

Read more

April 5, 2021No Comments

Log Mar 28 to Apr 3

Recap of my past week including my YouTube and streaming schedule, progress on my new office space, and Spring cleaning

Read more

March 28, 2021No Comments

Log Mar 21 to Mar 27

Recap of my last week including my new dual desk setup progress, a new EP album from me, Yamabuki Pokémon, and new YouTube videos

Read more

March 21, 2021No Comments

Log Mar 14 to Mar 20

Recap of my last week including the release of my next EP album, updates to my site, additions to my home office, and my next Figma video

Read more

March 17, 2021No Comments

Log Mar 7 to Mar 13

A recap of my last week including launching Taste Notes' website, recording 2 new YouTube videos, and getting my gaming PC

Read more

March 7, 2021No Comments

Log Feb 28 to Mar 6

Updates on what I did this week including buying my new PC and desk build, finishing the Taste Notes website, and finishing 2 new songs

Read more

February 28, 2021No Comments

Log Feb 21 to Feb 27

Updates on what I did this week including working on Taste Notes website, my new design systems YouTube series, and some PSA Pokemon cards

Read more

February 21, 2021No Comments

Log Feb 14 to Feb 20

Updates on what I did this week including design systems for Taste Notes, design videos for YouTube, and new music tracks

Read more

June 19, 2020No Comments

Apps That Make MacOS a Better Operating System to Use

Even as an Apple fanboy that loves MacOS and iOS, I know that like any software, it isn’t perfect. Not to mention the lack of customization options and (at times) a cluttered interface.

Over time, I’ve found a few apps that replace default Mac apps that make MacOS a better operating system to use. I happily pay and advertise how useful they are just because of the sheer influence and impact they’ve had on my digital workspace and workflow.

In this article I’ll happily share them with you and (hopefully) dodge the dozens of questions I get every time I post a screenshot of something and happen to include one of those apps. Kidding! But no seriously, I need a place to direct people that ask this over and over ?

Bartender

https://www.macbartender.com - $15

Example of how the Bartender interface works

I’m the type of person that likes to have the least amount of visual clutter and items in my view when I’m working. I tend to get easily distracted by icons and notifications and have geared my digital workspace to avoid that.

Bartender has been one of the best apps for this quirk that I have as it takes those 10–20 icons that show in your top bar and hides them in a secondary bar you can toggle on/off easily. No more having to get distracted by random red notifications and status updates!

Alfred

https://www.alfredapp.com - free or $19 for full

Alfred spotlight search interface

To be honest, I’m still baffled that Apple’s Spotlight feature is as poorly made as it is. It has become quite unpredictable, doesn’t accept keywords to better filter what a user wants, searches unusable files, mixes files with apps in search, etc.

This is where Alfred comes in. Alfred is basically a customizable version of what Spotlight should be. Not only can you customize the look of Alfred, you can also add and create “workflows” to make your own shortcuts that make your life easier. Alfred also uses certain keywords to better understand what you’re looking for and what actions you are trying to take. For example, if you just type a name it will search for apps, but if you type “open” then the file name, Alfred will switch from looking at your apps to looking at files you can open.

uBar

https://brawersoftware.com/products/ubar - $30

uBar dock interface

I get asked about this app the most and I can understand why if I’m being honest. While MacOS default dock gets the job done, it doesn’t try and do much more outside of that (possibly for better battery management). uBar takes your dock up a notch while also making it quite nicer to use, while customizable and nicer to look at.

uBar creates a smaller dock that can hold favorite apps you have, provide better context on notifications, generates window previews on hover, lets you choose which window to open to, lets you see a calendar on hover, and gives shortcut access to your main Finder folders and preferences just to name a few. I personally like that it feels more out of the way than the original dock and still feels in place in adjacency to the top bar. You can even change where it is positioned and the style of dock you’d like.

CloudApp

https://www.getcloudapp.com - free or $8 for Pro

Process of a screen recording in CloudApp

Just like Alfred, CloudApp makes the original MacOS screenshots ten times better. With CloudApp you can use a keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot (or record a gif!) and instantly get a link that you can share with others.

This app has been super helpful for me in my work life for sharing screenshots of design and code items I’m working on for instant feedback and no hassle of uploading. CloudApp is super fast and makes recording gifs when showing animations or click throughs very easy as well.

VEEER

https://veeer.io - free

Overview of the VEEER user manual

While there are quite a few window managers out there for Mac, I personally use VEEER because of how lightweight it is. It does what I need it to without using up RAM and slowing down what I’m working on. It also has a few small unique shortcuts like the way it alternates full screen and minimized windows.


Hope you found this valuable and I hope you try out the apps I mentioned. Got other apps that make MacOS better? Let me know which others I need to try out!

June 22, 2018No Comments

The Struggle of Having Too Many Interests

Ihave been struggling quite a bit lately coming to terms with the various interests and pursuits I have in life. Feels like a strange statement to say if I’m being honest—how can being passionate about different topics have a negative connotation?

Well, there are a few that I personally struggle with and have a hard time overcoming, but I think the main ones being incompletion, lack of focus, and the feeling of accomplishment.

Let me tell you my scenario and maybe you can relate.


An overview of topics I am passionate about in no particular order: design, development, music, music production, fashion, sneakers, startups, health and fitness, entrepreneurship, gaming, minimalism, interior design, collecting, and writing. Not a crazy amount of topics to be interested in all things considered, but with my personality and mentality it leads to some “less than ideal” situations for me.

I love making things. I feel like crap if I’m not working on something (a side project, a new album, etc.) and in turn weigh “journey” over completion subconsciously. This leads to unfinished projects, songs, books, articles, video games, etc. I get a rush over starting something new and learning about new things at a constant pace.

If something starts to feel mundane, I need to move onto something else or I get extremely unmotivated. Being unmotivated = no work being done = me feeling like crap and getting in my head about things and where I am in life. Dramatic, right? I agree, but it isn’t something I can control unfortunately. I’ve recently found this compounding as I’ve shifted more of my personal work outside of full-time design work towards non design and development topics.

For example, being focused on releasing mini-albums (or EPs), playing story focused games with time investment peaking, and recently getting into fashion and streetwear and the research and collecting that comes with it. While I don’t regret putting time or money into these (on the contrary, I highly enjoy them), my time spreads more and more thin for making time to pursue my original goals in my career of design and development.

I want to work for myself at some point in the future. I love where I work now and don’t plan on doing this anytime soon, but some day. I want to have my own web apps that I work on myself and just have that as my full-time job. While I consider myself a great designer and front-end developer, I don’t quite have the full skillset to pursue this or even put this into motion. While I’m more than willing to learn, it’s hard to find a balance with all the other things I’m working on and doing.

At some point there is a priority decision that needs to be made, whether consciously or not, and wherever my interests are focused at the time tends to be the winner. So instead of learning some new technologies of code or picking up and reading that business book, I’m putting that time into working on my new album or researching a company or project I came across.

One could argue that I need to “set my priorities straight”, and while I thought this was the case too, it’s a bit more complicated than that after much reflection. It’s not that working on my new album or playing a video game aren’t priorities to me, because they are. I care about making music and experiencing an interactive movie because these are creative outlets for me outside of design and development too.

These other topics I care about are important to me and it’s not just a toggle to switch of what I want to do that day. Throughout the week I touch on almost all of my passions to a degree, and I don’t want to have to sacrifice one or two of them for others. I have instead been pursuing each on a typically shallow level while deep diving on 1–2 at a time.

What I’m trying to say is that no matter what I do, I always feel guilty about another topic that I’m not working on. Even when I am working on one and being productive, in the back of my head I’m asking myself “when are you going to finish that code course?” or “how come you haven’t finished that book yet?” or “you only have one song left for that EP, why are you doing this instead?” as an endless loop.

While I’ve come to terms with struggle to an extent, every now and then it becomes overwhelming mentally. As someone who keeps to themselves and does well with handling problems on my own, it’s a tough thing to talk about with others because there really isn’t a straightforward answer. It’s more of a fluctuating choice management of focusing on 1–2 topics for a finite amount of time and then when my mind shifts, I let it and ignore other topics for a bit.

I’m getting better at feeling less guilty putting other interests on the back burner for a bit and learning how to handle it more and more each day, but it was something I wanted to write about this week as it’s very relevant to me today recently as couple things in life start to compound one another for a bit.


Did this make sense? And is it something you or someone you know can relate to? I’d love to know your thoughts and/or your approach to this if you have any input you would like to share as it’s always welcome.

avatar2021small

If you find the content on my website, YouTube, and elsewhere helpful and want to show extra support, you can buy me a coffee here ☕

gengar

© 2012 - 2021