Greg Morris

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    Shortcuts To Use With

    Several people still point to my older post on how I post to my blog using automation. Unfortunately, some of these Shortcuts no longer work or can be done better, so I decided to update them. Here’s all the Shortcuts I use to publish and use to help you automate your life. Post Search

    I love linking my posts together and making sure I reference and expand on previous thoughts. The easiest way to do this is to search on for the old posts, and you can do this with one tap.

    Grab the Shortcut here, and change the text to your account ID number found by doing a post search and getting the numbers after /posts/and before ?q.

    Image Upload

    For those that include images in your posts and want to upload them beforehand, they usually lean on Mimi uploader. An excellent third-party app that helps you do this with one image or full albums of them. However, this Shortcut will do all that for you if you do not need the graphical front end.

    Grab it here and place your app token in the top text box. Once run, this will ask you to select the images you want to upload and then ask of the alt text of them. Once done, you will have the Markdown syntax for all of your images copied to your clipboard.

    Post To Microblog

    This basic Shortcut forms the backbone of other ones I have built for my posting style. However, it comes in very useful if you want to post from apps that don’t support publishing to So, you can turn your simple text editor of choice into a publishing app by sharing the text to this Shortcut.

    Life Update

    For the last few weeks, I’ve been using this updated version instead of my Shortcut with all the updates of my life. Mine is a pretty boring one, but the Shortcut has allowed me to post things effortlessly.

    Grab it here

    I made this modular this time so that other Shortcuts I made can be used. This makes both making the Shortcut and understand what is going on easier. You will need the image upload shortcut, the post to shortcut and the status Shortcut shown above.

    Once saved to my Homescreen I can post a feeting status or a more permanent post to I use this multiple times a day to share micro posts and some of my photography.

    Moving My Mastodon Account To

    Well, first things first. I am not really moving my Mastodon account to in the technical sense but rather forwarding everything, but if you’re reading this you want to do the same. Thankfully, the process is pretty easy, and you won’t need much knowledge to do it.

    The reason I wanted to do this, is that I can follow Mastodon accounts (or any other ActivityPub service) from inside and didn’t see the point using two apps to do the same things. I went backwards and forwards on which way I was going to do this, and decided that a quieter timeline on was the way I wanted to go. My only concern was leaving my other Mastodon account on empty and losing the people that I follow.

    I first created an iOS Shortcut to find the accounts that I wanted to follow on For more information about following ActivityPub accounts on check out the help docs here. I gave this a day or so to see if this was the way I wanted to go, and then went all in. Alias

    On head to Account > ActivityPub and click set Mastodon compatible username. The default for this is your username, so mine would be I changed this to one using my custom url and to keep things nice and simple I chose Once you have done this, your username will appear in a box at the top of the page, next to this click Aliases.

    Here, you add in your ‘old’ Mastodon account that you want to transfer followers from and forward all traffic. You can add multiple aliases here if you need to.

    Mastodon Move

    On your Mastodon instance, head to Settings > Account and towards the bottom you will see Move to a different account. Here you need to add in your new Mastodon compatible username, and then put in your password.

    I would like to point out that you can only migrate once every 30 days, and that the process may take a while to complete. All of your followers will be moved across to the account and if anyone replies to your ‘old’ account this will also show up in

    Although you can unlink these if you want to open your account back up again, I have not tested this. I have no idea if your followers or content come back again, so consider this destructive, unless you find out otherwise and please let me know.

    How To Filter Posts By Category On

    I’ve been using the awesome service on and off for what feels like forever. The service is niche, and a bit quirky, but that’s my thing, and it is the perfect replacement for noisy social media. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from perfect, but allows me to not have to worry about where I post things and cross posts to wherever I want. Enough of the gushing now, what really annoyed me for a while was working out Hugo theming and the little nuanced differences, and I have finally worked out how to split posts by category properly.

    Micro vs Full Posts

    I have a constant argument with myself if this matters or not, and ultimately, it doesn’t, but I have always felt that my Home Screen is too busy with everything mixed into one place. I’ve been able to remove all micro posts for a while, but decided to come up with a way to display micro ones separately. The key to my new set-up is creating different lists in the Hugo back end.

    Most themes will feature something similar to {{ $paginator := .Paginate (where .Site.Pages.ByDate.Reverse "Type" "post") }} in the layouts/index.html. What this means is that Hugo will paginate all the posts on the blog. Your theme will then go through all of these pages when you use {{ range $paginator.Pages }}.

    My old solution was to put different data into the paginator, such as .Site.Taxonomies.categories.[yourcategory] and this works fine. However, we can make this more robust by creating different pools of data to use at different points. By using {{ $microposts := .Site.Taxonomies.categories.micro }} I am telling Hugo to pull all posts in the category micro into a list called microposts alongside the usual $paginator. This can be anything you want by using the same method {{ $[list name] := [the data to find] }}. all categories in are found using Site.Taxonomies.categories not the usual Hugo of Params.categories.

    I can then call this data later on and cycle through the posts at a different point using {{ range $[list name] }}. In my new theme, I now have a main area that displays full posts (those with a title) and micro posts (those without a title) in a sidebar. I’ve also added in my OMG.LOL status widget too, if you want to customise that, take a look at my guide.

    I am by no means an expert, and I am certain this knowledge is well known, but I thought I would share it so that others can benefit from it.

    How I Use Statuses

    The fun little service is the new hotness on and seems to be seeping out into the wider internet. Not only is it ridiculously cheap for what you get, the developer Adam seems to be making constant updates and offering more and more value for money. For just £5 per year you get access to a landing page for your social media, mastodon instance, email forwarding and my favourite service — statuslog.

    Statuslog allows you to post small updates containing whatever you wish, along with an emoji. Exactly the type of thing that allows you to share what you are up to without having to interact with a service. As with everything creates, it’s brilliantly designed and easy to customise for your use.

    Status On My Blog

    I have embraced the set-up of It promotes using your blog for shorter posts as well as longer ones to keep hold of your content. There are just some posts that I don’t care about, and are what Twitter was really made for. Short, to the point life updates, that have no value — think “drinking coffee” and not tweet storms of information.

    I put the status card right at the top of my blog home page, so should anyone land on it, they can see what I am currently up to. The level of usefulness is debatable, but I like it! For a full walk through of getting this set up see the help page here, but in short I put in the following code.

    <script src="[your-address].js?time&link&fluent&pretty"></script>


    Thankfully, the styling of the status card looks great out the box, so it’s rare you will have to do anything. I wanted it to look more like part of my blog, so I styled a few elements. This took me a bit of trial and error to get this correct. When I first implemented by own changes, I used the &pretty on the end of the script and simply styled the areas I wanted. However, this now uses some !important styling and as such breaks any custom styling you want to override.

    To style the status card, you will need to remove &pretty from the script above and style everything in CSS. The default CSS used at the time of writing is below, however this could change at any time.

    .statuslol_container {
    .statuslol {
    display: flex; 
    flex-wrap: wrap; 
    gap: 1em; 
    background: #e7ebf3; 
    color: #111; 
    border-radius: .5em; 
    padding: 1em;
    .statuslol_emoji_container {
        flex: 0 0 1em; 
        font-size: 3em;
        padding-right: 0;
    .statuslol_content {
        flex-grow: 1; 
      flex-shrink: 1; 
      flex-basis: 0; 
      margin: -.5em 0 0 0; 
      text-align: left; 
      overflow-wrap: break-word; 
      overflow-wrap: anywhere; 
      color: #111 !important;
    .statuslol_time {
        opacity: .5; color: #111 !important;

    You can then go for your life, change anything and everything you want to, and make it look to your taste. I love the stock gradient of the card, but implemented my own darker version I found on UI Gradients.

    Posting Statuses

    For a long time, I have wanted to be able to post tweets without actually opening the app. This used to be straightforward with Shortcuts (née Workflow) but the best you can do now is transfer text into the app to tweet from it. This is where the excellent statuslog service comes in. I use it to post a short update, which is posted to, Twitter and Mastodon.

    If you are a Drafts user, you can use a really nice action to update your status easily. However, I am not, so after some inspiration from user and unofficial ambassador Maique  I created a Shortcut to do this. You can grab the shortcut from here.

    To use this Shortcut, you will need an API key for your OMG.LOL account, that can be found here, and also put your account username in the other box as outlined on importing the Shortcut. As you can see, I have added this to my Home Screen for easy access and made an icon, which is below.

    Icon available here

    If you then wish to then import the status into the RSS feed you will need is http://[your-address] replace your address with yours. If you do not use there are automation services such as IFTTT that can Tweet whenever an RSS feed is updated.

    Nordictrack Cross Trainer Resistance Too High? Here’s The Fix!

    As excited as I was to unpack my new purchase as soon as it arrived, that was all dispersed the first time I used my Nordictrack SE7i Cross Trainer. The resistance felt far too high, and I puffed and panted my way through 15 minutes despite being used to doing an hour on others.

    I put this down to being a little unfit, or maybe I just needed to get used to this specific version. However, the shine was well and truly dulled by my first experience. Thankfully, for my sanity, I wasn’t alone. Several people were having the same issue on brand-new machines, some of which returned their purchases because of this. To say the Nordictrack customer service doesn’t have a great reputation is an understatement — not to worry, here’s the fix to the resistance being too high on your equipment.

    After watching this video to see how things worked, it’s easy to see there is some adjustment to the tension management cable. Numerous people have done this and made walk through video of their version, but thankfully my Nordictrack SE7i or S700 wasn’t nearly as complicated.

    You will need a screwdriver and small spanner. Remember, you do this at completely your own risk, and keep in mind this may void your warranty.

    1 Remove the footplate

    Four screws at the back of the machine will mean you can remove the foot that the machine will stand on if you fold it up.

    2 Remove the Surround

    Two more screws to remove on the top above the footplate.

    Once removed, you can remove the curved surround from the back of the machine.

    3 Find and adjust the cable

    One removed, you will be able to see inside the read of the Nordictrack Cross Trainer. Look down on the machine’s right-hand side, you will see the silver cable join that you need to adjust.

    Mine was finger tight, but you may need a small spanner to make adjust the resistance. To accomplish this, first loosen the smaller nut away from the longer piece. Then you can adjust the longer piece to your desired effect. Unscrewing makes the resistance decrease, tightening makes the resistance increase.

    For more information, watch the below section of video.


    The advantage of not taking lots of the machine apart is you can now test and readjust as required. Mine required lots of loosening. iFit recommends a starting point in their workouts of resistance level 7, but your ability will vary.

    Link Posts From Obsidian

    This started off life as a link post to an interesting video on Matt Birchlers writing set up. However, it quickly spiralled out of control into me writing regular expressions, editing javascript and spending two days making this set up my own. If you’re into doing anything like this, then the best place to start is his excellent video below.


    I’ve been using Obsidian for a while and created quite a robust set-up for tasks, notes, and everything else. This lasted a while but started to fall away the longer it went on because I still had to use other apps to get things done, such as Ulysses. The thing I have found about being consistent is to remove as much resistance as possible. Cutting down on the chance that the idea will slip away, or the task just won’t be completed. So transferring fascinating links in Obsidian and then then into a writing app or Ghost was untenable.

    So, thanks to Matt, and a few tweaks I have found something that really works and in the process I have even moved reading apps!


    Despite being in the beta testers since really early on, Matter never really stuck with me. I was a hardcore Upnext user and nothing could tear me away. That was until the team kept updating and improving things to a point I had to go back. Matter allows me to read all the articles I want, highlight them, make notes on them and then push them straight into Obsidian (and Notion too is thats your thing).

    By installing the Obsidian plugin, all of my notes and highlights are pulled in and displayed for later reference. I use this to refer to things, link notes together, and research some topics that come up whilst digesting my reading list. To make this my own, I had to edit the javascript to display things exactly as I wanted. My biggest desire was for the highlighted quotes to appear as markdown quotes and a title at the top. Matt walks you though how he did his, my changes are made in the same place as follows.

    # ${feedEntry.content.title}


    ${“n”)} .trim(); } _renderMetadata(feedEntry) { let metadata =URL: ${feedEntry.content.url}; if (feedEntry.content.publication_date) { const publicationDate = new Date(feedEntry.content.publication_date); const publicationDateStr = publicationDate.toISOString().slice(0, 10); metadata += Published Date: ${publicationDateStr}; } if ( { metadata += Author: ${}; } metadata += "n"; return metadata; } _renderAnnotation(annotation) { return > ${annotation.text}${annotation.note ? * **Note**: ${annotation.note} : “n”} `.trim(); } };


    If I decide that the quote, and my thoughts are interesting enough for a link post on my blog, then the second step is to get that into Ulysses. To achieve this, I use the MacStories Shortcut Launcher Obsidian Plugin and link this to my Link Post Apple Shortcut.

    With thanks to Matt once agin for sharing his Shortcut with me, he got me quite far down the road. Due to me messing around with the way I wanted the information to be displayed in Obsidian, his regular expressions didn’t work, so I had to customise this quite a bit.


    This Shortcut looks for the title, URL, and Author. There’s also some customisation with the option to select the quote you wish to use and then the facility to add a different title to your post. It works on Mac and iOS; however text input is a bit finicky on macOS (as all Shortcuts seem to be). Regular expressions are the key here, so the shortcut is pretty messy and probably could be better, but the elements are as follows.

    (?<=URL:)(.?)(?=n) finds everything after URL: and before a new line.

    (?<=Author:)(.?)(?=n) does the same but with author.

    ^(#)s?(.+)n{1,2} finds anything in the document that is H1, i.e. a title with a #.

    >(.*?)(?=n) finds all markdown quotes in the document.

    It is unusual for me to show more than one quote in a post as I try and pick something that sums up the whole point. Or sometimes pick up smaller sections that hit me personally but don’t necessarily reflect the whole post. If you wish to pull out all quotes then deleting the ‘select from list’ section will transfer all into Ulysses.

    All of this is rearranged into my set-up I publish link posts in and then opened in a new Ulysses sheet. I promise not to spam everyone with loads of link posts. In fact I don’t post many of them, but this set up has already meant that I have referred back to what I have been reading a lot more. Obviously, your millage may vary.

    How To Use Tailwind With Your Ghost Blog

    Never one to be left behind, I am continually looking for a way to speed up my theme development. Call it desire to be cutting edge, or near of missing out, whatever it is I love to play around with it. One thing that gets loads of attention is Tailwind CSS, so naturally this was on my list to play around with.

    They call it “A utility-first CSS framework” but what it actually means is you can style all of your classes right in the HTML. There are pros and cons with this, but here’s how to get it working on your Ghost Blog.

    Before You start

    Fair warning this requires a bit of command line work, and if you’re not comfortable with this back away now! You will need:

    • A computer running a desktop OS (macOS, Linux, or Windows)
    • A supported version of Node.js (at the time of writing this is 12.x, 14.x or 16.x)
    • Yarn and npm installed
    • A folder to do all your work in

    Install Ghost Locally

    First, start with Ghost CIL. In the command line:

    npm install ghost-cli@latest -g

    Now CD into your empty directory and run:

    ghost install local

    This will get ghost up and running locally on your machine, most errors are communicated daily well, but for extras do ghost help.

    If everything looks OK you’ll have a site at http://localhost:2368/ghost. For more information on what this means, check out the Ghost docs.

    Your Theme

    This next part is up to you, either install a theme you want to use Tailwind with, or start developing your own using the Ghost Starter. You will need to put your theme files into your Ghost local install folder, content/themes. If you want to clone a theme from GitHub, or your theme is stored on GitHub (you should be!) CD into this folder and use:

    git clone<your-github-username/.git name-of-theme

    Install Dependencies

    Your theme more than likely will use Yarn, the Ghost Starter linked above is the best example. Use Arm to install everything needed by Tailwind. In your theme folder, use yarn add tailwindcss and then add in the necessarily files npx tailwindcss init.

    Gitignor File

    Unless you want more than 5,00 new files committing to your repo, you’ll need a robust gitignor file. Most themes have these set up already to no commit files such as DS_Store on Mac, so make sure you add in node_modules to your file.

    Import CSS

    In /assets/css/screen.css add in:

    @tailwind base;
    @tailwind components;
    @tailwind utilities;

    This imports the tailwind classes to your main CSS. This may partly replace some of your CSS to the Tailwind classes, so something such as typography may change on your theme.


    Add in the following to your gulpfile.js.

    1 - Under // gulp plugins and utils put in const tailwind = require(‘tailwindcss’)

    Under function css(done) there will be a section for postcss( add in tailwind(), so it will look something like the following.

    function css(done) {
     src(‘assets/css/screen.css’, {sourcemaps: true}),
     dest(‘assets/built/’, {sourcemaps: ‘.’}),
     ], handleError(done));

    Restart All The Things

    Now that everything is completed, restart Ghost with ghost restart to make sure everything is being cached correctly. You should be good to go now and can get cracking with adding in new styling. When doing this, you will need to CD into your theme folder and run yarn dev to build the correct CSS.

    You can also try out some themes that already have Tailwind built into them such as Ghostwind or Origin but I am enjoying working new classes into my website. For more information on using Tailwind, see their documentation.

    My Focus Mode Set Up

    If you’re a bit sad like me, one of the most interesting features of iOS 15 is Focus Mode. Bringing some much-needed updates to do not disturb that went before it, and also making your phone much more customisable in different situations.

    Unfortunately, it is a first-gen product if ever I have seen one. Being overly confusing, and actually a bit complicated to understand. My biggest help in diving in to this was Matt Birchler’s excellent walk through video. This allowed me to get mine set up in three different scenarios.


    This set up was the easiest to implement as it represents pretty much where my phone was in ‘normal’ mode. Taking the regular set-up screens and making all the apps I have installed available. What Focus mode allows me to do now is remove the use of my work email app, and also make work people not able to contact me outside work time.

    Now I am even less tempted to check me email, and also any rogue calls or text that creep through sometimes on days off are no loner an issue. This did take a lot of tweaking over a few days to get the contacts right, it would be great to see Apple do a bit of work on this, but it’s a good starting point.

    Automation features allow me to switch this on effortlessly. I am in ‘Home’ whenever I finish working hours (early morning/evening) and all weekends.

    Do Not Disturb

    The best mode! Very similar to the DND I had set up previously but even more powerful. I have all apps restricted and only a very select few people can contact me (close family).

    Due to being able to use different home screens at different times, I have put in a nice dark wall paper and made my screen empty using a fake black icon with MacStories Icon Creator Shortcut. This mode is active at night and whenever I am in meetings using Smart Activation.


    Any other time I am not home, I am working, so it needs it own mode. This mode removes all needless distractions and helps me work deeper. Bringing my task list and flagged emails in front of my face at every opportunity.

    I love the location automation here that turns this on whenever I arrive at my office. Unfortunately, it doesn’t turn off if I leave, meaning that I had to use the ‘Home mode” switching at times outside working hours. I feel like I could go further with this set up, but it is fitting in very well and removing quite a bit of distraction from my day.


    My biggest take way from doing this is the surprising realisation on how unapproachable this feature is. It is both the best and worst new featured added in iOS 15. Due to this overly complicated UX, I would wager that most people won’t even try to understand it, which is a real shame. Outside this, there are a few things I would like to see.


    The first being implementing lists of contacts. It gets quite messy having to add in all the people who can notify you. Adding in custom lists would help no end, or simply being able to select a few contacts that cannot contact you rather than having to add in everyone else.


    The icons on the Home Screen bug me more than a little, as they also display on my Apple Watch. Being able to add in restrictions to the ‘normal mode’ would help with this. There is no way to have a mode for every other situation, but also add in restrictions to apps and contacts.


    I love the way that this feature syncs across devices, but it’s all or nothing. Adding in selective sync or perhaps even a feature to only display notification on some devices and not others would be a massive improvement. I don’t mind being tapped on my watch, or something silently appearing on my phone screen at work, but don’t want it popping up on my Mac.

    If this post prompts you to dive in and get something set up, then I would love you to share it with me. I think I can go further with this, but it took me so long to understand the feature and then set it up, I am reluctant to fiddle too much. Don’t let that put you off though, give it a go and see if you can improve your phone.

    Twitter Login “Nothing To See Here” Fix

    There is nothing more annoying that technology not working the way it should do, without any fix. Well, maybe there is, but this is me we’re talking about, and I’m pretty neurotic about these types of issues. I have been battling being able to log in to third-party Twitter clients for ages and have finally stumbled on a fix.

    This will also address some issues with using Twitter to sign in on other services. Some users have issues not from a third party client but simply sharing to Twitter from elsewhere. The error in question has no code, no help, but lots of hassle. When trying to log in to Twitter, it displays “Nothing to see here”.

    Upon some cursory Googling, it seems that only iOS users suffer from these issues. Perhaps Android just handles these things better, let’s be honest, iOS can be user hostile when it comes to many web things. Solving them sometimes a puzzle in comparison to more user-friendly solves from Google.

    The answer thankfully seems to be simple, if impossible to find, so here you are following my guide.

    Option One

    The first thing to try, and the one with the least aggravation, is to try your email instead of your username. Seems to sort out some issues, but failed to be the answer to my prayers. This is the fix that most third-party apps suggest, along with turning off two-factor authentication, signing in and then turning it back on again. Give it a go first.

    Option Two

    You’re going to have to purge all the Twitter web information from your device. This is the likely culprit and unfortunately, when compared to macOS or literally any other operating system, it is all or nothing. There is no option to only clear Twitter related data.

    Head into your setting, go to Safari, and tap on ‘Clear history and website data’. This should resolve the “Nothing To See Here” appearing after putting in your login details. Allowing you to log in to a new app or authorise a secondary service.

    How To Edit Your Ghost Theme Using Github

    Since first trying Ghost, one of the best things about editing my theme is the ability to host on Github. Through a simple integration I can easily edit my theme to make changes from almost anywhere. If you want to do this too, this guide should help you out.

    Ghost Integration

    First set up the Github integration on your Ghost install, this provides you with an API Key that you will need when using Github. Head to the settings cog at the bottom of you control panel and click on Integrations.

    Create a new integration and give it a name. On the next screen make a note of the Admin API URL and the Admin API Key. Please keep these private as these allow access to your blog content.

    Github Set Up

    Secondly you will need to host all of your themes files on Github. Make a private repo, give it a name that represents your theme and head to settings > secrets. Click ‘New repository secret’ and set up GHOST_ADMIN_API_URL and GHOST_ADMIN_API_KEY with the integration details you set up earlier.

    Once you have done this upload all of your theme files to the repo and commit them. The last step is to create a new file in your repo .github/workflows/main.yml. This file needs to contain the following.

    name: Deploy Theme
     - master
     - main
     runs-on: ubuntu–18.04
     - uses: actions/checkout@master
     - uses: TryGhost/action-deploy-theme@v1.4.1
     api-url: ${{ secrets.GHOST_ADMIN_API_URL }}
     api-key: ${{ secrets.GHOST_ADMIN_API_KEY }}

    This theme will now show up in your design settings, however you will need to make a change to you theme to trigger this. Adding in some text to your readme file is the easiest way.

    You can now make changes to your theme through whatever way is easiest for you. I use Visual Studio Code, but on iPad I found the best app is Working Copy. Every time you push a change GitHub will build your site and them push these to your live site, this usually takes less than a minute.

    How To Publish To With iOS Shortcuts

    My blog is currently hosted on the excellent service. I could go on about why I chose this place to host, but my thoughts are summed up on my post here. It suits me perfectly because I publish everything to one place, from short ‘tweets’ to photos and also all of my writing. Due to this ease of posting I do most of it mobile from iOS with the help of some Shortcuts.


    Pictures are pretty easy to handle on If you want to post one image with some accompanying text there are a range of apps to use, including the very Instragram-esc Sunlit. Meaning you can post whatever you want wherever you want.

    If you are writing a longer post and want to put some accompanying images in it, this simple Shortcut has you covered. It will upload the image to your uploads section and then copy the link to the image directly to your clipboard ready to paste into your writing.

    Get It Here

    All you will need to do is attain a app token by going to Account settings and scrolling to the bottom and clicking App Tokens or clicking here.


    No good posting something without any text. For Shorter ‘tweets’ a range of apps are available to making posting easier, however if you really want to speed things up this simple Shortcut for iOS will ask for your post and then…post it.

    For longer posts with a title this simple shortcut will help you out. Simply highlight the text you want to post and share it it the Shortcut, it presumes you are writing in markdown and will remove Title formatting for you and use this as the post Title.

    Get It Here

    All you will need to do is attain a app token by going to Account settings and scrolling to the bottom and clicking App Tokens or clicking here. This posting really is one touch. There is no facility to add in categories (I may work on this later) but I use filters very heavily so these are well worth looking into.

    Note: These currently do not work on iOS15!

    Publishing To WordPress With iOS Shortcuts

    If I can be allowed to stick my neck out a little here, I think the iPad is the perfect blogging device. The battery life is great, it’s very affordable, you can take it anywhere and interact with it in several different ways. In a pinch you can even take photos with it, although you might get some strange looks. Publishing from iOS has also never been easier, and here’s how to do it with a couple of Shortcuts.


    Often choosing images is the hardest part of a blog post, once you’ve chosen them you have to upload them and choose where you want the go. Which can be a real pain particularly on a mobile device. WordPress is pretty easy to work with but means you have to stop what you’re doing and use either the web or their app to sort out images. This is usually where people give up, but fear not, the Shortcut below will upload your image and copy the markdown syntax for it directly to your clipboard.

    This Shortcut was created by Mike Rockwell at Initial Charge. who has a whole toolkit of Shortcuts for publishers.

    Get it here

    No more messing around, simply select your image, use the shortcut and paste in where you want the image to appear in your writing. You’ll need to set up a Tiny PNG account with this one so you don;t take up too much space with your images and pages load faster, but its really easy to do. In fact because this Shortcut is so simple I sometimes now upload the images I want to use and paste them in first.

    Publishing To WordPress

    Once all the words are finished, the final step is to publish your posts. This usually involves copying the text, opening the web browser, logging in and going through the various steps of actually getting everything out there. This can be streamlined down to a few taps using the Shortcut below. It is one I have shared this one before, which was first created by Tim Nahumck in his drafts review I simply updated it to use newer Shortcuts methods.

    Get it here

    This Shortcut will transfer all the text into a new blog post for you, as well as set the title correctly, remove any extra spacing and then ask you to confirm categories and tags. Meaning you don’t have to rely on using a app with publishing built in, you can now write your post out in any app you like such as Apple Notes.

    There you have it, you can publish to WordPress with a few taps thanks to Shortcuts on iOS.

    My Obsidian Set Up

    For the last few months I have been using Roam Research as the powerhouse behind almost everything I do. I’ve written previously of my love for the way it allows me to record my thoughts and everything that goes on in my life. It links very heavily in to both my writing workflow and my reading workflow, and as such has been a huge boost to my working and personal life.

    Even with all this praise, I have still always looked for something else. Although it has proved valuable, I don’t love the £195 a year price tag, and I also hate it is only semi available on mobile, and has no offline mode. I’ve tried alternatives, including Obsidian, but nothing else quite fit the bill, but this time something stuck and I’d like to share my current Obsidian set up, what it does for me and how it could help you.

    What Is It

    Obsidian is, in there own words, a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files. It takes many of the things I loved about Roam (I have no idea which one came first), particularly the network of thoughts that link themselves together but makes it local.

    This is a huge benefit when you consider that access to something as important as your network of thoughts should be available at all times. I have not experienced issues accessing Roam, but other online apps have had these issues. Also consider that I havelost work because Roam has updated itself and not saved my document — and I am not alone with these issues, as rare as they are.

    Instead Obsidian builds on top of plain text markdown notes that are stored locally. Granted, this means that you rely on things syncing between devices, so if an internet connection is in short supply you will still have issues. However is means you can create and edit files wherever you are and don’t rely on the cloud. I have my ‘vault’ (more on that later) set up in iCloud that syncs to all of my devices quickly and easily. The text files are kb in size so I have, as yet, not had a single issue.

    My Set Up

    As with most platforms promising to boost your networked thought, Obsidian can be as simple or as powerful as you want to be. At its base, you simply point it at a folder, called a vault, containing text files and Obsidian displays them for you. You can put these files into folders of unlimited depth and set them up however you wish. By clicking on a file you display the text within it.

    You can link these files together, by using the now very familiar double square bracket ([[]]) or the hashtag #. This allows you to link notes together in non hierarchical order. As in, they can link backwards and forwards as well as to whatever else you wish. Your file name is automatically searched through the vault and any mention of the same thing will be surfaced as an un-linked reference. These can be people, books, films, thoughts, in-fact whatever you want them to be.

    My set up is very simple in terms of folder structures, I have one for book notes, one for article notes, one for random notes, and a few others for People, Templates and Podcasts. This is not needed, all of the text files can be left in the root of the vault, but I like a nice clean look on the side. Everything can be searched for anyway, and in many ways you don’t even have to see the files to link them together.

    Daily Notes

    My biggest strength now is recording absolutely everything that I need, or want to refer back to later. I used to save these things sporadically in Apple Notes and also Ulysses. Now Obsidian is open constantly while I am at my mac. Every time I open Obsidian it is on my daily note, this contains my daily tasks, meeting notes, Journal entries and almost anything in my life.

    When I first sit down in the morning I type out some Morning Notes. This has been my practice for months now and just helps me surface whatever is going on in my brain that morning. I don’t think very much about these, I try and get out of my own way and let my thoughts flow out. Admittedly some of this is repeating trends of how I am feeling, but quite often these thoughts turn into blog posts or just something I work on personally.

    My daily note also contains my Routines, these are simple things I am bringing into my daily routine to make myself better. Really simple things like walking the dog, meditating, exercising and anything else I am working on. You create a task by typing - [ ] Task name.

    To set up daily notes turn this on in the core plugins. There are also some options in settings to customise this a little. I set up my daily note to start from a Template, so I always have the same headings and tasks to tick off.

    I have another area for my aforementioned day notes, this allows me to take brief notes on meetings, telephone calls and also anything else that crops up in the day. I can’t tell you how beneficial this is for emptying my brain and writing down all my tasks.


    While we talk about turning on plugins, now the real power of Obsidian starts to come out. You can use a whole range of plugins created by the community of developers out there that are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Plugins are split into ‘core’ and community. The Core plugins are optional things that Obsidian can do if you wish, and Community plugins are downloadable extensions to do extra things, some simple, some really powerful.

    You can also install plugins outside of the app that are easy to discover in their thriving community or their Discord channel. From my experience most people don’t stray outside of the Community plug ins. I use the following heavily.
    Calendar: This shows a calendar in the right side bar, allowing you to go back to daily notes from those days or make daily notes on dates in the future.
    Natural Language Dates: This allows you to easily tag things with dates by using @todayor @tomorrow or even @next week.
    Text Expander: Does exactly what it says on the tin. Allowing you to customise short codes and replace them with regularly used bit of text.
    Kindle Highlights: Syncs by book highlights into my book notes folder in a similar fashion to Readwise.

    I have tried to make things as simple as I can, but also molded things to my usage. There are hundreds of community plugins to do loads of things and you can spend days of your life trying them out! One non community plugins that I have to mention will follow because it is the basis of how I get things done.


    As mentioned about you can set tasks up really easily in Obsidian and there are load of plugins to help you manage these and keep ticking those check boxes off. To add a date to a task you simply tag it so for example.
    - [ ] Do this thing #2021–12–25

    This will make a task for you to complete that will be linked to the daily note on the 25th December 2021. You can go further and further with this and customise this until your heart is content, but this is task management in Obsidian 101.

    Wait, there are plugins though! After using Obsidian GTD for a little while I opted to use Tasks. The benefit of this was that I can get my set up to display the tasks I have to complete in a way that works for me. I have a note titled tasks that contains code to display my priorities that are overdue, need doing today and those that are upcoming. As well as having an Inbox of sorts by surfacing any task I have not allocated a date to.

    Tasks also allows me to set up repeating tasks and displays the date I completed each task next to the item with a nice green tick emoji — I like that! I leave my Tasks note open in a second page by CMD + click.

    Book & Article Notes

    Ever read something and thought it was great but immediately forgot all about it? Yeah me to, until I started making notes about it. When I read anything in Pocket, or on my Kindle at night, the highlights go into Obsidian for two reasons:
    1. For me to refer back too later if i need to
    2. For me to go over and expand on at a later date

    These notes may sit doing nothing, or may be expanded on and stored for later reference, either way they are not taking space up in my brain and have not been lost. The Kindle highlight plugin allows me to do this whenever I have finished a book and want write a little about it, if only a mini review. However I transfer over my Pocket highlights once a week or so for reference.

    Making notes in this fashion quite often comes out in my daily notes, or my writing later on, because a quick search or a glance at the links tab in the right sidebar will surface any relevant information to me. With a few keystrokes I can make sure these thoughts are connected up and begin to see my knowledge graph forming before my eyes.

    I tried this also with Podcast notes, which can be really useful when sycnced through the app Airr. However since my listening declined these have stopped completely.

    I was initially dismissive of making notes like this, and still do shy away from going as deep as I could. Some of this is trauma from University and making hours of notes, but some of this is just not what I use Obsidian for, but with that said it’s amazing the difference it has made. Simply by having them there and padding some of them out my recall of the topics discussed has been improved tremendously. If there is one thing I can’t stress it’s don’t me as dismissive as I was. Make loads of notes about everything.


    This is one of the biggest things that I always wanted Roam to be. A place I could write out anything and it be stored and linked to if those topics come up again. Try as I might, I just never got there with Roam. There are options to turn it of, but first and foremost it likes things in bullets and blocks which felt to rigid and strange. Whereas Obsidian is text editor at its core, so writing is a delight.

    Everything I have ever written in a text file in my writing folder. Published or not it’s there and can come up again whenever the time is right. Whats more is that all my documents are written in my beloved markdown. So I can type away and never click a mouse button if I don’t need to! My search for a perfect writing app has changed back to storing everything in Markdown in Obsidian, so no more subscriptions. Publishing is as easy at copy and paste into and put in my images.

    Using the very geeky comandline universal converting service Pandoc and the accompanying plugin, I can also export my work documents and things I am working on to docx and pdf as and when required. I don’t really want to get in to setting this up because it is boring, but I might do at some point.


    I am lucky enough to have the beta version of the iOS app to test (it is available on Android too). This is a full featured app that works exactly like the desktop version. Meaning I can type in my notes, pull up any information I need, or even work on my iPad!

    The fact that a free service got here before a £195 one like Roam did is baffling to me. Bravo on the developers and the community to getting to this stage and deliver such a full featured app with very few caveats.


    And there you have it, my very simple setup in a nut shell. I’d like to cover concisely why Obsidian stuck for me this time, but I really have no idea. Many people I follow have started using it, and as such I gave it a little more time. It’s not Roam Research and that’s ok. I love it even more because its simple to pick up and you can get as geeky as you like.

    I have recently discovered some more plugins that I am experimenting with for creating templates and moving things even further forward. But for now the real benefit I get from this is being able to open it each morning and use it all day for the things it does best — recording my thoughts and linking them for me.

    How To Do An EE Digital eSim Swop

    Despite it being a standard feature in many Android phones it took Apple until the iPhone XS to implement a dual sim of sorts. Even then you need to have one as an eSim and that limits the networks that can support it. Thankfully EE were one of the first, so for the last few years I have been using two sims in my iPhone, one for work and one for personal.

    One major pain is dealing with moving phones. I do that quite a bit, so ordering a paper EE eSim each time became a pain, not to mention an expense at £1.50 a time. Preplanning helps a little, but there has still been times I’ve been without service because I’ve broken my phone and can’t just pop my sim in another.

    Thankfully EE have a solution, and you can now download an EE eSim for your iPhone in seconds! Here’s how to do a digital EE eSim swop.

    You will need your current sim to be working to receive a text message, and also have already set up your new handset and downloaded the My EE app.

    Once you’ve done that on your new phone in the My EE app, open the menu and go to Settings > Device and SIM > Replace my SIM > and select your number.

    You will then have two options on supporting devices, SIM card — Post (2 to 4 days) at a cost of £1.50. Or eSim — instant download at a cost of 50p.

    Tap on eSim, then select this device, and you’ll be on your way to transferring your number.

    You will then get a notification that the eSim is ready to download, and then you can go through the normal set up options. This gives you the facility to choose labels for the numbers, which iMessage number is used and lots of others. Once completed you will need to activate the new sim by receiving a text to your old phone, put the supplied code into the app on your new phone, and you’re ready to go.

    This is usually instant but can take up to  an hour, turn your new phone off and on again to refresh everything, and you’re good to go on your new handset with a new EE eSim.

    Head into Settings > Mobile data to change any of the options you’re selected on set up. If in any doubt call 150 from a working EE phone.

    How I Set Up My

    Now I’ve ended my Ross and Rachel relationship with, and I’m fully in, I wanted to spend some time discussing my set-up. I’ve been asked all sorts of questions over the past couple of weeks and helped people achieve similar goals, but there’s nothing like a good how to guide or walkthrough right.

    I should preface this with some words of framing or discouragement. I don’t think (mb) is going to be for everyone. There are some barriers to entry, and you need to know a little more about the back end to really tailor things to your liking. With that said, it’s a fantastic service for blogging, and has the best social side I have ever experienced. None of what I walk through is needed, you can just sign up and start with no worries.


    I do all of my posting directly into the app, or longer form posts are now done in Ulysses. The new edition of posting from in my opinion the best writing app, was a big prod to finally move everyting to mb.

    The most important part for me is posting everything to one place, and I have found it very freeing. There are also a few iOS Shortcuts to posts to — the first of which developed by Yorrike will allow you to share text straight to the Shortcut and post with a tap. The linked page also walks you through how to get it set up.

    There is also a really nice image posting Shortcut made by Craig McClellan, that will allow you to upload and image and the link to that image is copied to your clipboard. Grab it here.


    The biggest hang up I had with shifting from my WordPress blog was the default showing of all posts on your blogs home page. It’s a strange issue to have, but I just didn’t want my status update type posts getting in the way of my longer form blogging. Thankfully, that is pretty easy using mb Categories.

    I first set up a category that all posts I wanted to appear on the home page would be placed into. I called this ‘main’ but of course you can call this whatever you wish. A good suggestion in ‘Essays’ but as you edit some files for your blog, remember to tailor this to your usage.

    To go alongside this I have a filter that places all long form posts (those with a Title) into the Main category. I left the other boxes blank, so all posts are captured, but you could set this to look for a specific keyword used in all the posts or an emoji. You can also leave the filter out completely and manually tag your posts.

    I have other categories set up to capture posts with a 🎮 for games, and a 📚 for books. These categories get their own page in my main menu.

    I have kept to a pretty simple set up when it comes to pages, there is a lot more you can do with custom ones however to get a post category as a page, copy the category URL and put this as the only text on a new page. Manton has improved the way these are handled recently, so they look even better.

    Home Page

    The second step of customising my blog was to filter the posts visible on the main page to my main category as detailed above.

    You will need a custom theme to do this, I would port a stock one unless you really know what you are doing. The code used is the same, however the files used can sometime be different. You do this by selecting Design in the side menu, then clicking Edit Custom Themes. Click the blue button at the top titled New Theme, and place the GitHub Url into the Clone URL box, you can call theme whatever you like. I am using the Arabica theme, so I called it Arabica 2 for ease.

    Once you have added your theme, go back to the Design page, select none for the theme, and then under custom themes select the theme you just imported — and don’t forget to click save.

    If you go into the custom theme you will see a big list of files imported, anything missing that the theme doesn’t have but needs is listed underneath. For my example I will be editing the index.html file found in layouts. To ONLy feature the posts I have tagged main on my home page I edited

    {{ $paginator := .Paginate (where .Pages “Type” “post”) }}

    {{ $paginator := .Paginate .Site.Taxonomies.categories.main 25 }}

    Where main is my category name. Then click Update and wait for the theme to update, this can take a few seconds to a minute or two depending on the server load at the current time.

    If you want to limit this further to aid in loading the main page then switch this to

    {{ $paginator := .Paginate (.Site.Taxonomies.categories.main) x }}

    With x being the numbr of posts you desire, I use 12.

    The file you need to edit may be different depending on your theme, for example for the Marfa theme, this is in layouts/partials/post-list.html.

    Once done you will have a main page that only features the posts you want with nothing else affected.


    Step three of this was to figure out how to only have these posts appear in the main RSS feed found at Each individual category has its own RSS feed which can be used by adding feed.xml to the end of the url.

    This annoyed me for a while, but I finally worked this out. You will need to edit layouts/index.xml, this is found in the files for the Blank Template underneath all of your files, once you edit this it becomes part of your custom themes files.

    Edit the lines that read

     {{ $list := (where .Pages “Type” “post”) }}
     {{ range $list }}


     {{ $list := (where .Pages “Type” “post”) }}
     {{ range .Site.Taxonomies.categories.main }}

    Where main is your category name.

    If you’ve imported from WordPress like me, mb will auto-forward the default /feed/ to the new RSS.


    I am no web designer, and certainly no code monkey. It took be a considerable amount of time to edit the CSS of my theme to make it into something that I wanted. It helped that I had a theme on WordPress that I had developed over a few years to work from, but it was very much trial and error in making this work with and Hugo.

    The design that resulted is something I am pretty happy with and won’t be doing much to change it going forward unless something breaks. I looked at several themes in use both on and external sites, inspected what they had done to achieve the design I wanted and then replicated it in small steps.

    Don’t get too hung up on the design of your site, as this is not what people visit for, it is the content. All the time you spend worrying about it and writing code, you could be writing words and sharing your thoughts and ideas. So working on your site over time is nothing to be ashamed of, or just stick to a stock one and get writing!

    Webmentions To Avoid Twitter

    Perhaps avoid is the wrong word, but we’ve all felt that annoyance that we opened the app to send a quick tweet and all of a sudden time has disappeared. There are a number of ways to avoid this and the Twitter muscle memory that goes with it, but getting feedback from my blog posts is still an important loop for me to fill.

    So, the indieweb comes to the rescue and provides much of what I seek through webmentions. By using I can receive a webmention to my WordPress blog whenever someone likes or replies to my post. I can check these every so often, or set it up pretty easily to get an email if someone replies.

    All of these responses poll through Bridgy every so often, and then if a link is found that accepts web mentions, it is forwarded to my WordPress Blog.

    After me approving them, likes and comments show up as native comments, with avatar and a link straight to the tweet.

    It is an elegant solution collecting feedback on your work, and not having to check and reply to things.

    Replying to a web mention

    If the reply or wingback is from a page that supports webmentions I can reply to it straight from my blogs comments section. For example, when my post appears on and someone replies, I can click reply in the comments and it replies straight back to them on as if I was using the website.

    Unfortunately, nothing exists to the do the same on Twitter so if I need to reply I have to head over to Twitter. But I can got straight to the tweet with a click and reply easily.

    This has helped to avoid these rabbit holes I disappeared down and made me a bit happier the times I did visit Twitter to scroll through.

    Ghost Members Sign Up Form Not Working? Three Things To Check

    Sending email newsletters from Ghost can be a daunting experience, especially if you have not done anything like this before. A big issue I have come across is the signup form not working for people trying to get set up. It either does nothing, or just spins and doesn’t set up a subscriber.

    This is more than likely due to the email service and nothing you have done wrong. Emails are actually split into two types on Ghost so you might be able to send out a newsletter to thousands of people, but none of them are able to log in. The two types of emails sent by your Ghost install are:

    • Bulk – Your actual newsletter. So you can send test emails and posts out to all of your subscribers.
    • Transactional – These are everything else. Sign up emails, log in emails and everything else to do with memberships.

    If you’re having issues these areas are where to check.

    Set Up Mailgun API

    Chances are you’ve already done this, most guides walk you through this part. Head into your Labs section, turn on Members and at the bottom under Email Newsletter settings paste in your Mailgun API and the domain you are using.

    If in doubt click on the links under the boxes to head straight to the area you need in Mailgun. Don’t forget to change your region to EU if you have an EU flag next to your domain.

    This will enable you to send all your ‘bulk’ emails.

    Set Up SMTP

    Depending on where you host your Ghost blog, this part may not be needed, however if your on Digital Ocean like me, you’ll need to send your transactional emails by SMTP and not direct from your server.

    SSH into your droplet and

    nano /var/www/ghost/config.production.json

    Then copy in this code to replace the mail JSON item that is there already. Changing the “user” and “pass” to your own Mailgun details.

    If you have a droplet in the EU change the “host” to your version.

    “mail”: {
    “from”: “Your name ”,
    “transport”: “SMTP”,
    “options”: {
    “service”: “Mailgun”,
    “host”: “”,
    “port”: 465,
    “secureConnection”: true,
    “auth”: {
    “user”: “your_user_name”,
    “pass”: “your_password”

    Also set the email you want these transaction emails to appear from as this is different from your newsletter ones. An email address that is in use anyway is advisable to avoid spam filters.

    This should allow you to send all of your transactional emails.

    Check Domain And SSL

    This is the part that drove me crazy. I have set everything up and still my Ghost members subscribe from did not work. This was due to a miss match in the domain set up in my production.json. So head back into there:

    nano /var/www/ghost/config.production.json

    And check right at the top where it says “URL” that this is https:// and not http:// if you are using SSL – which you will be.

    “url”: “https://YOURDOMAIN”,

    Your sign up form should now be working correctly and you can start gaining subscribers!

    How To Start Hacking Roam Research

    As with everything I get invested in I like to go in deep and see what it can really do. One of the easiest ways to start to mould Roam Research to your will and make it unique for your use case is to add in CSS or JS. These are two official supported ways that are easy to implement and can also be removes at your will.


    You can easily change the look and feel of Roam by tweaking the CSS of the pages. This can go from a little light modding, to in-depth changes on how the layout looks.

    To start create a page called roam/css and simply add in a code block that specifies css. There are a huge range of options available already created and shared on the help pages. I am currently using ‘Better Roam Research’ to add in dark mode.

    Don’t forget to change the code block to specify css, it defaults to Clojure.


    If you want to go further into Roam and really start building things that customise it to your usage then roam/js is the place to be. There are a huge number of scripts available that do everything from add more buttons, to change the way Roam works in the browser.

    To add in this capability create a page call roam/js or just a block with this as its only contents. Nested under this write the following. {{[[roam/js]]}}, this will give you the following warning.

    It is worth paying attention to this, and only run scripts you are familiar with as there are security and safety issues to bear in mind with javascript. If you are completely sure, click “Yes, I know what I am doing” once you have nested the script you wish to use underneath. You can stop the js from running at any point by clicking “stop this”.

    This particular script I am running allows me to clear out empty Daily Notes pages and can be found here.

    How To Track Zwift Route Badges

    I would hope that no body starts morning that I am not writing about enough technology lately, but I’m finding it hard to write about anything at all. Never mind getting motivated to write about the very little news going around. I have been spending my time riding my bike when weather allows, but when the bad weather comes I have to take it inside to the virtual playground of Zwift.

    Writing recently in my newsletter I covered my love of the cycling (and running) platform and trying to gamify my cycling as much as possible. I’m still in the very early stages but having just crossed into level 11, my aim is to complete as many of the available routes as possible. Unfortunately Zwift is not great at this, and although the information is obtainable, it’s not easy to work with. So I spent some time building a way to track it.

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    There are loads of posts discussing several online and offline manual methods plotting out distances, XP points and the dreaded hilly bits. Thankfully a huge amount of data exists about each route, because so many people have ridden them. While looking for ways to automate this I stumbled on some spreadsheet methods on Reddit, and put together my own version combining several of them.

    It’s dead easy to use, most routes link to information about the route you will take and the world used. The spreadsheet itself outlines distance covered (KM) and distance claimed (M) during the route, as well as the XP you will be rewarded for completing it. After a few weeks I am only at 12 % due to better weather currently, but I have done some of the worst – Road to Sky up Alpe Du Zwift, and Mountain 8 up the Epic KOM I particularly hated.

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    Don’t forget some worlds are only open on certain days so plan accordingly. Grab the spreadsheet from here and start Zwifting!

    Cracking the Todoist Code

    Since sharing my Todoist set up and how I get things done loads of people have given me some ideas and shared their experience. One of which I wanted to try to help out with, and that is the natural language input. This feels amazingly natural to me, but for some feels like a bit of a code — so let’s crack it together.

    On Mac, you can use Control+Command+A to open quick add. Or to start your entry, regardless of platform, just tap or click on the Plus icon. Quick Add is the fastest way to:

    • Add a new task
    • Set a due date and time for a task
    • Attach a label to a task
    • Set the priority level for a task
    • Add a task to a project
    • Assign a task to a collaborator

    Date And Time

    If you can’t crack this bit then there might not be much help for you, as it’s that easy. Simply write out when you want to complete the task exactly how you would say it. For example, “tomorrow at 4pm” or “every other Tuesday starting March 3rd”.

    Call mum next wednesday at 2pm

    This can be as simple or as powerful as you need it to be. Most tasks you add will have a context date e.g. next Friday, or an actual date 2nd March, but some don’t fit into this pattern. Luckily, Todoist understands even complicated expressions and will interrupt what you need pretty much all the time.

    Repeating Tasks

    For things that crop up regularly, or just every so often, you will soon get to grips with typing ‘every’ to get these set up. Every is the start of all things repeating and is really helpful for even the most complex things.

    Call mum every wednesday

    But it doesn’t have to stop there, you can arrange tasks for whenever suits you.

    Call mum every other week day

    Call mum every wedneday june 2nd to july 1st

    For those tasks that you want to happen a specific period after you complete it put in an !.

    Call mum every! week

    This will set up a task to call mum exactly a week after you complete the last item. You can of course use every! Day, month, year — depends on how often you want to do it.


    Labels help me highlight something that I want to know at specific times. For example, I have a morning tag, and a someday tag, so I don’t need to give these due dates or times, but I can find these tasks easily when required.

    To add a tag just put a @ before the name.

    Call mum next wednesday @morning

    You can make these as complex or as easy as you like. Some people like to have tags for tasks they need to do while driving, or when they have a spare 5 minutes.

    Call mum next wednesday @driving

    Screenshot 2020 05 20 at 14 12 45 1


    I have never adopted priorities in either email flags or my tasks, but it helps hugely if you want to sift through all your tasks and really get down to how important things are. To assign a priority (flag) just type p1, p2 or p3.

    Call mum next wednesday p1

    So, when your tasks are listed in Today view or Upcoming view they will be sorted by priority so you can get the most important things done first.


    Projects are the main sorting point for most users set up in Todoist. They can be used in a variety of ways to highlight long-term project or simply having an area to assign task to — such as home and work.

    To move a task to a project you simply put a # before it. You can type all of it out or just the first few letters and then tap on the suggestion.

    Call Mum next wednesday #home

    Todoist Quick Add 1


    If you need some help, or just want to allocate your task to someone else that you work with, you can do this by typing a + and then their name. Again type it all out, or just the first few letters and then tap their name in the popup suggestion.

    Call Mum next wednesday +Jon

    This is only possible in shared projects so make sure you have assigned the correct project first. The above example would not work, but the following will if you share a home project with Jon.

    Call mum next wednesday #home +Jon

    Linking it all

    The real power of all these ‘codes’ is that you can link them all together and make powerful but quick entires into your task list. This rapidly becomes second nature and allows you to brain dump effortlessly with minimal sorting afterwards.

    So setting a reminder to call mum at 7pm every 7 days for 8 weeks, adding it to your routines task and attaching a personal tag becomes

    call mum every! week until 8th july #routines @personal

    You’ll be using Todoist as power user in no time and setting it up to remind you of everything you need. Why not sign up and give it a shot as I’d love to see your setups or how you use Todoist to help you get things done.

    How I use Todoist To Organise My Life

    So. No apologies here, but I ripped off this idea directly from Matt Birchler’s write-up on his Things set up. Even though he is a strong believer in the ability of Things, and also everyone in the repliesseems to think the Todoist design is trash, I think very much that we have the same outlook on GTD. The basis of this revolves around “offloading your brain” so you can focus on other things.

    I never set levels of tasks that I HAVE to get done each day, but I DO aim to get 3 main things ticked off each working day. This set up has been how I get everything done daily and also why I forget loads of meaningless stuff. I would love you all to give Todoist a try here. This isn’t a GTD set up, but it’s my set up and it all starts with the Inbox.


    More or less everything starts life in here. All my tasks from heavy-duty projects to simple reminders start life as a string of text in my inbox. Having tried almost all the major task managers, I am sure most people would agree that Todoist does it best for just dumping everything in and this is the reason why I struggle to take to any other app.

    Todoist Setup Screenshots 1

    Whenever any tasks arise I use the Mac shortcut or the widget on iOS to quickly add it to my inbox. If the task can be done straight away and within 5 minutes this is the only time it doesn’t get added because I will complete that task straight away. If I know when it needs to be done I can allocate the due date then in natural language and forget about it.

    The power of being able to just type out something like “follow up with Geoff in 2 months #work” and never have to think about it again is the biggest thing that improves my productivity and also my mental health.

    Moving And Tagging

    I have a recurring task to sort my Inbox at 7:30 every morning which is usually the time I am sitting down at my desk. I tried doing this as my last thing each day but it didn’t stick. My habits dictate I never leave work without having completed everything or moved things to the following day so this became the best way for me to pick anything up that has been missed or cropped up later.

    The next stage of my to-dos life begins when this notification goes off. I then go through all of my tasks, allocating them due dates and times and moving them to projects. As with the Inbox, if I can do this straight away and within 5–10 minutes I will do this task and cross it off. So, not every task lives a long life or makes it any further than my inbox.


    I don’t use Projects as Todoist intend, or indeed how any task manager apps think you will use it. This is simply because I never really have many large scale projects to complete. I have just a few that I use more like areas that my task relates to. These are:

    • One-Off tasks – anything that I need to get done and that’s the end of it. Most home things end up here.
    • Work – most of my stuff ends up here, small or large tasks to get done. Going forward my team will move to a shared Task managing platform, so we can allocate things, but at the moment this is just me.
    • Routines – Anything that is reoccurring such as put the bin out, read my meters, set my Strava goals for the week.
    • Creative – any writing tasks or newsletter projects I want to complete. These usually contain a link to the relevant Ulysses Sheet.
    Todoist Upcoming Mac 1

    The Upcoming Screen

    This is where I spend most of my time, with the upcoming screen (previously next 7 days) of the Mac app open. This gives me an overview of the next few days, and allows me to put in times if I need to and arrange my day fully. There is never a time that a task doesn’t have a due date, so this screen gives me everything.

    I am not afraid to push something if other things crop up so from this screen I can just drag a task to another day, but also add tasks for other days effortlessly. Before the upcoming screen I found myself switching between areas depending on what I was doing, so now things are much more streamlined. I have a calendar subscription set up for an overview if I am not sat at my desk, this works really well with the Stock iOS app.

    Little Tricks

    I have picked up some little things over the few years I have been using Todoist that really help me. These don’t fit into any area but are worth sharing anyway.

    • Event Tickets – if I am going anywhere I save a PDF of the tickets (either the email or the web conformation) attach this to a reminder that pops up and the event start time. That way I am not searching my emails when I get there.
    • Morning Tag – This is a new one stolen from Matt, but is working very well. Instead of trying to guess times, anything that I want to do first thing I allocate a Morning tag to.
    • Drag in Emails – If you use Apple Mail on Mac or iPadOS you can drag in an email as a Todoist itemand it will link straight to it. Mind Blown.
    • Browser extension – Get this to save any Safari links you need to refer to.
    • Due dates based on last completed date – If you want to set a reoccurring reminder for a length of time after that last one use a ! After the every. For example, “task every! week” will create a task one week after you complete the last one.


    There are a few things that I do desire from Things. None of these are critical, I wouldn’t say I miss them, but would help for my specific use case.

    • Create Project – There are times when I create items that then turn into a much larger project. I currently have to copy these into a new project, but in Things the option exists to create one from an item.
    • Someday – I long for this to be an option in Todoist. I just like to dump longer term things into here and leave them to plan later. I have tried to do something similar with tags but it just never really stuck.
    • Start Dates – oh boy this is a big one. I want to be able to set a start date for some tasks that take a while or are easier done slowly over time such as writing my newsletter. Currently, I have to set a “start newsletter” task and then another “finish newsletter” task. I would love to set it as a current task or ongoing task in Upcoming.
    • Calendar Items – Another big one I would love is to see upcoming calendar events in the Upcoming screen, so I can work my tasks around meetings.

    The End

    There are a ridiculous number of apps and services I have tried, and I still get suckered into new ones all the time. However, Todoist works well for me, and has done for years. My set up has gone through so many changes that it doesn’t resemble anything like what I started with and will probably change in the future. The great thing is that Todoist is available everywhere, and is improving all the time.

    Check out Todoist and share your set up with me.

    How To Set Up Strava To Record Calories In Apple Health

    After switching from recording my cycling on the Apple Watch to a Wahoo Element Bolt my activity levels seemed to suck. After previously smashing my move goals I was left short on some days even after a reasonable ride. Simply because Strava wasn’t calculating my calories and it took me ages to find out why.

    After a few days of Googling around and finding all sorts of weird information I eventually discovered a fix. I tracked the issue down to a really simple one, but something that isn’t immediately obvious — you need to make sure that Strava has your weight and your bikes weight recorded.

    You can only do all of this on the website and not the mobile app, so make sure you can log in on the web. Your weight is changeable in the app to your profile, but you can’t add or customise your gear for some reason. You will need to log in online, create your bike, and make sure you also give it a weight. A rough guess is fine but you can usually track down the correct weight with a quick search of the manufactures website.

    Once this is competed your new runs and bike rides will contain calorie information that will be passed to Apple Health. If you want to get this for older rides, just tap edit activity and then save it again. This will pass the last few days worth of activity back to Apple Health but not all of it, and it’s temperamental at best with syncing.

    Image 15 05 2020 08 52 1

    This should mean you are getting all of the credit for your rides going forward. It’s surprising how addictive filling your rings on your Apple Watch is, and Apple Health makes it easy to share your activity data if a medical issue requires it. Strava is great for keeping all your rides logged, but keep it in other places too just in case you want to switch at a later date.

    How To Open External Links In A New Tab By Default In Ghost

    Updated: Added in non-jQuery code snippet

    This problem is a reasonably simple one if you know what you are doing with writing Javascript. Unfortunately, I am not, and this feels like an issue that shouldn’t need some script, but here we are.

    After loads of Googling, looking at Github Gist, and trial and error, I finally found a solution to opening new links in a new tab thanks to InsidersByte.

    As they point out you can do this with markdown or adding in target=_blank to the end of each Url, but who has time for that? So add this into the footer of your site.

    With jQuery

    var links = document.links;

    for (var i = 0, linksLength = links.length; i < linksLength; i++) { if (links[i].hostname != window.location.hostname) { links[i].target = '_blank'; } }


     var links = document.querySelectorAll(‘a’);
     links.forEach((link) => {
     var a = new RegExp(‘/’ + + ‘/’);
     if(!a.test(link.href)) {
     link.addEventListener(‘click’, (event) => {
     event.stopPropagation();, ‘_blank’);

    You could do this in your theme template if you like, but the easiest way is to head to your dashboard, and then Settings > Code Injection. Copy and paste in the code and remember to save!

    Reload your site, and you should be sorted.

    Is It Safe To Leave Your iPad Plugged In?

    Many people are already using an iPad as their desktop ‘computer’, and with the launch of the new magic keyboard, this may rise further. The new magic keyboard for iPad Pro has a USB-C passthrough for power and as such will mean your iPad could be left on charge all the time while on your desk – is this safe to do? That’s a hard question to ask, but hopefully, I found an answer.

    This question isn’t a new one, and it’s one that everyone has an opinion on. Much as everyone complaining in a shop has a friend that works for trading standards; everyone becomes a physicist when talking about charging your battery. Leading to much hearsay and loads of conflicting information.

    The straight to the point answer is that battery technology has drastically improved since people started charging their mobiles every night. Back then, there were all sorts of scare stories about exploding Blackberry’s and only charging your phone from below 10%. The myths are vast and frankly downright weird at times, but it’s safe to say that there is loads of technology built into the battery of your iPad to protect it.

    Since 2012, Apple has made charging much more complex and made loads of improvements aimed at maximising your battery life. This is universal across the range of devices, so what’s suitable for one is ideal for another. Battery university (yes that’s a real thing) has a vast array of information on Lithium-based Batteries, and are often quoted as a good source for information.

    In theory, such a mechanism should work forever, but cycling, elevated temperature and ageing decrease the performance over time. –



    Battery University

    They conclude after much research and loads of graphs that the user can do a few things to prolong the longevity of their battery. Highlighting that “The worst situation is keeping a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures” – so avoiding high temperatures should be a significant indicator towards maximising life.

    iPad Pro 11

    The number of cycles that you iPad will go though does add to the wear on your battery, but there is no clear answer to what a cycle is. A more important factor is elevated temperatures. So in theory, keep your battery charged and away from heat and you should be ok. Apple says between 0 and 35 degrees C.

    Evaluating battery life on counting cycles is not conclusive because a discharge may vary in-depth and there are no clearly defined standards of what constitutes a cycle –



    Battery University

    The second piece of information you hear is the level of battery charge you should be completing. A considerable wealth of forum posts and opinions display numbers that seem plucked from thin air. However, research does suggest that a battery should not be charged to 100%. Ever. The good news is that your battery never reaches that far, 100% in the software is not 100% battery capacity – so there is no need to worry.

    Since iOS13 Apple has been working on machine learning your habits and maximising battery life. Once the OS displays your iPad is at 100%, it will intelligently discharge and recharge the battery very gradually. Apple has also intelligently accounted for issues that seem to arise after 80% capacity. Once your iPad is charged to above 80%, the charging rate is dramatically reduced. So think of the last 20% as what’s generally referred to as a trickle charge.

    How To Restrict Apple News To Make It Bearable

    To motivate myself to write more, I’ve been reading more. Not just online posts but magazines and books. Looking to subscriptions service and news aggregators, despite my initial hate – Apple News won me over.

    It turns out I didn’t need to use it more; I didn’t need to ‘train the algorithm’, I just needed to turn off the news part! You see, I hate viewing or reading the news – it is that simple. It is full of twisted and corrupted stores that are either designed or portrayed in such a way to manipulate your emotions.

    Apple news settings 1

    There is a way to do this, but it’s hidden away in the settings titled “Restrict Stories in Today”. Not a great label for a toggle that should be much easier to find, but I would presume Apple doesn’t want you to turn it on. Go to Settings > News and toggle this to on.

    Now all you will see are channels you have subscribed to in the Today tab. No more depressing politics, no more news you don’t want to see, just what you want.

    There are downsides to this, the discovery of new channels can be more difficult, and you might not be kept as upto date with current affairs as you once were. Be a little more mindful of not creating an echo chamber, and you should get on much better. I am now much more open to subscribing to Apple News+, and many of the channels I am now following are News+ channels. So there is a benefit to Apple in the long run – subscription all the things!

    Importing Apple Notes Into Bear

    I have been using Bear notes for years now, it’s by far my favourite app for writing, and goes far beyond a simple notes app. The great thing is it keeps getting better and better without overly complicating things and becoming hard to use – not to mention it looks gorgeous.

    The recent update to Version 1.7.8 brings in some improvements to tag icons but also an automated way to import your Apple Notes. This is something that has been lacking, not due to the developers, but to Apple’s locked down approach to notes, unlike importing from other apps which has existed for quite awhile.

    This is a bit of a workaround, and unfortunately you can only do this process on Mac.

    Mac: use our Automator Workflow

    Download our Automator Workflow  Minimum system requirements: macOS 10.10 Yosemite
    We built an Automator Workflow for macOS that can export all your Apple Notes as HTML files. This will include most note contents, but not all. See the breakdown below:

    • Text, lists, and photos should be included
    • Note: only macOS 10.15 Catalina supports photo export. On earlier macOS versions, Apple Notes will not export photos
    • Task lists convert into bulleted lists
    • Rich media links will convert to plain text links
    • Non-photo attachments like PDFs or other files are not supported and will be excluded from export to HTML files. They will remain safely in Apple Notes

    How to use this Automator Workflow

    • Download our AppleScript
    • Double-click it to open Automator
    • Press the Play button
    • Choose or create a new folder to store your exported Apple Notes
    • In Bear, click File > Import Notes
    • In the dialog that opens, find the folder containing your exported notes
    • Select one or notes
    • (Optional) Adjust any import features such as whether to keep the original creation date, and whether to use the first line or file name for note titles
    • Click Import Notes

    For more information, see the full guide in the Bear FAQ’s

    Migrating From Wordpress To Ghost

    I’m going to be completely honest, this wasn’t easy for me – it was supposed to be straight forward, but everything that could have gone wrong did. I took the inspiration from Matt Birchler to post about my migration and the issues I faced in the hope someone else won’t run into the same.

    Exporting From WordPress

    The easiest way to do this is through the Ghost export plugin. The plugin promises to download all of your posts, pages, and information into an easy to import ZIP file. Unfortunately, I haven’t met anyone yet that this has worked correctly.

    In preparation, you will need to think about the categories you have on your blog. Ghost works on tags and not categories, so this information needs to be transferred before you export. Use the Categories to Tags converter plugin and run this once before export.

    Also if you are a lone blogger, make sure your user account has the same email address as the one used on WordPress. If they are different the import will set up another User account that is locked. Deleting this user also deletes all of the posts, and short of transferring each post over individually, you are a bit stuck.

    I had to switch to using the JSON option as the exporter kept timing out, even when I increased the memory available and also the time limit to infinite. This JSON file will only give you post and page content, not images to go along with it.

    Imports and exports in Ghost 1

    Importing To Ghost

    Once you’ve set up your blog on Ghost, log into the dashboard, go to Labs > Import content > Choose your file. The process is swift, and at the end, all of your posts and pages will be live on your site. If you’ve managed to export a zip file, you have nothing more to do other than check through your posts and make sure you are happy with them.

    Due to my issues, I had the job of downloading all of my images from 7 years of posts and combing through each post to put them in. I tried to import all of my images into the recommended content/images folder; however, I used this opportunity to tidy up the folder.

    There is no reason a bulk import of images wouldn’t work providing you keep the same structure as your WordPress blog. However, bear in mind that WordPress stores multiple versions of the same image at different sizes so your images folder is going to be overinflated – if storage space is an issue for you then consider doing some work to tidy up beforehand.

    Now all I had to work about is a theme, and setting up my link posts!

    Blog screenshot 1


    If I did this again, I would work a little more on editing the JSON to my liking and making everything run a little smoother. More information on doing your import can be found on the Ghost site.  My move was time sensitive as my hosting was coming to an end, but given more time, I would work on a testing domain with Ghost and spend more time on the import and set up.

    Exporting and importing from hosting platforms needs to become more uniform. Manton Reece, the creator of, has called for an implemented standard to make things much more comfortable to move around. It is times like this when you wish something existed. Many applications spend time working on importing from other options, so perhaps it’s time this becomes a consideration to those that run blogging platforms.

    How To Set Up Ghost Link Posts Using Canonical URL

    Link posts are really popular, and a great tool to help link to others out that you enjoy. Daring Fireball made them famous, but loads and load of blogs do them now. It a bit of a task to get the set up on WordPress, but manageable – however since moving to Ghost I’ve been stuck on how to manage them.

    Luckily I have come across a pretty good way of posting these properly using the custom meta data ‘canonical url’.

    This feature launched in March 2019, has enabled Ghost users to point to another url rather than their post. Even better is its pretty easy to pull out this data. Consider this rough information as each theme will vary but they won’t look too dissimilar.


    In preparation for doing this work, I have tagged all posts Link Post and added in the page the blockquote came from into the canonical url. You will find this option in your posts meta data settings.

    Screenshot 2020 01 18 at 15 27 08 1

    Index Page

    Depending on the look you want to go for, this part will vary in complexity. I simply wanted to edit my index to highlight link posts and leave everything else as is.

    In my index.hbs file, it calls a partial, default-article.hbs for displaying information from the loop. However if you display all of your post content on the page you may want to also edit the title – for this see the next part. For ease of fault finding and so I didn’t break anything straight away, I duplicated my partial and called in link-article.hbs.

    In index.hbs I then edited the regular loop with an if statement to identify link posts.

    {{#foreach posts}}
     {{#has tag=“Link Posts”}}
     {{> loop/link-article}}
     {{> loop/default-article}}

    In simple terms this displays link-article.hbs for link posts and default-article.hbs for everything else.  As said, on my index I simply wanted to highlight the link posts with a simple symbol so I found the title and change it to this.

    🔗 {{{title}}}

    This just adds a link unicode in decimal to the start of the title. Yours will more than likely look very different. I could have easily done this in the default partial, but if I wanted to edit how a link post is displayed later, this way made it easier.

    Post Page

    In my posts page all information displayed is controlled by post.hbs so the edits here where easy. Find where it displays your post title and add simple if statement. Look for


     and  {{title}}.

    This will split the way the title is displayed and link to the canonical url only on posts tagged correctly.

    {{#has tag=“Link Posts”}}

    {{title}} →




    I’ve added in a right arrow to the end of the title simply for consistency with my old design.  You might want to do this on index.hbs if you want to link to the canonical straight away.

    For further information there are pretty good documents directly from Ghost on learning how to design your theme.

    How To Find Your iPad Even If Its Switched Off

    First off – this is no guarantee, but it should help.

    The secret sauce to finding you iPhone after you’ve looked in the obvious places is Apples trusty ‘Find My’ App. Previously called find my iPhone, it will also track your Apple Watch, iPad, Mac’s and even AirPods. To do this is need location access and many people don’t give it enough access to be able to do the best job it can.

    Privacy is a huge deal, and this is understandable, but should the worst happen you really want to track down your device as quickly and easily as possible. I have spent 20 mins rooting through my car, only to then trace my AirPods to being back at home on my desk – this tip may help recover your device and calm you down.

    Send Last Location

    The secret is allowing your device to update its location when it is used. This is stored by Apple and no one else – but it’s understandable if you don’t want to do this.

    When you open the ‘Find my’ app for the first time you will be prompted to allow this. If you’ve missed it or now want to turn it on head to Settings > Tap Your Name at the top > Find My > Find My Device > and toggle on Send Last Location.

    There is also an option to allow offline location. This will allow a location even if the device hasn’t got a data connection by pinging other Apple devices around it. This is similar to how Tile works and is linked to the much rumour Apple version.

    You could also consider sharing your location with friends of family members so they can also track down devices for you, however this has its own pitfalls!

    How I Use Agenda

    Agenda featuredFor the last few weeks, I have been throwing my life into Agenda, I’ve played around with it previously, but this time it seems to have stuck. I’m one of those people that like to try out an app or service just because people are using it, and this is what I did in 2018 when Agenda won the apple design award. I think I had signed up previously to use it on Mac but didn’t hang around very long.

    The only issue is this is a completely different approach to note taking. It ditches the somewhat traditional approach of a list of notes, in folders and turns it on its head. Everything is based around your calendar and dates. You can of course make notes without this, but its main power stems from tying into events in your life. For years I have been living out of my calendar and task management app (or apps), and I’ve been searching for a service that does it all for me. I feel like I have tried everything, from Todoist to Notion, to more recently Apple Notes. My life is split into to distinct area and Agenda is already benefiting me in both.


    I am a development and engagement manager for a UK based insurance company. In essence, this entails a massive balancing act involving loads of meeting, emails and tasks to be completed. I work from an iMac at my desk, an iPad in conferences and an iPhone at every other time, so having a cross-platform app with great sync is required.

    Agenda usage iphone 1


    These are exchange meetings set up in Outlook, the only thing that stops me using Agenda for calendar management is the missing option to add invitees. This is not a massive issue for me, as I’m in Outlook for email anyway. From these events, I create all of my meeting preparation in Agenda, including all my written notes, clipped images some times also documents.

    The benefit of being able to add in documents that I can refer too quickly in meetings is a godsend. The fact I don’t need to go into a room armed with loads of paperwork any more is a huge benefit. I also won’t lose any following it; if anything is handed to me, I can insert a scan of the document using my phone with a single click.

    Granted this looks a little weird depending on who your meeting is with, thankfully my sessions are usually in tech or design people, and everyone else has just gotten used to my weirdness. Mainly because I can email a meeting review, including all documents, or print out a version within minutes of leaving the room. Exporting from Agenda is a massive benefit over something like Evernote or Apple Notes; it is powerful and flexible to fit into most situations.

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    Collecting Info

    The second part of my job is producing content through various channels. For this, I have a section for work ‘in progress’ and create a project for putting things together. Mainly containing video scripts and outlines for blog posts, but some other random info I want to store. As much as Agenda is date focused, it works ok with saving some general info, but shouldn’t be seen as a note app replacement if you need to store loads of info. Because Agenda is date focused, I can collect all this together and make reminders right up to the ‘due date’.

    Screenshot 2019 11 20 at 17 53 44 1


    The second part of my life revolves around my family. I am the parent of two children, one of whom is disabled, so date focused note-taking is more or less a given. Our calendar is filled full of hospital appointments, school events and other things that I need information on.


    My agenda home section has a general project for my daughter’s hospital appointments, filled full of notes that refer to older appointments. No longer am I searching for information, or trying to remember what we discussed at the last appointment. Much like my work meetings, if I need to scan a medication label, or snap a picture of recommended equipment, I can put it right into the Agenda note. I also like to send my wife and parents a text with the notes in, which Agenda lets me do with a couple of taps.


    I love writing and talking about technology, I’ve tried for more than seven years to stop, but something about it gets me excited. I take notes for upcoming episodes of my podcast, Bring Your Own Device, linked to the calendar event I share with my co-host. I would love to have collaboration, this would cut out our show notes Apple Note, but these notes are for my talking points only.

    I also outline and write every blog post I publish in an Agenda Note. Taking the same form as with my work life, what I love is that I can drag in images and text from other sources as reference.

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    Features I would Like

    There aren’t many features that I feel are missing from Agenda, and I would be concerned if they tried to add in too much. Agenda is not a publishing platform, and in many ways isn’t a note-taking app. However, each feature is thought out so it can be adapted to many use cases. There are a couple I have mentioned already, being able to create calendar events with invites; however, I don’t even know if this is possible due to the many different calendars available. Collaboration would also be perfect, and in which case this may even become an option for teams, but just being able to write some show notes for my podcast would be great.

    I would also like to see a focus mode, where I can write in one note. At the moment I am writing in a note that is inside the today view, or on the Agenda. It would be great to be able to open a note and no other information. With all this said, the app is pretty perfect for mine, and many other peoples use case, all the features implemented are well thought out, and the developer support is brilliant. I’m an active member of the Agenda community, so you can always come say hi!

    How To Reset And Re-Pair DJI Spark Controller

    I’m new to drones, but decided to try one out to get some more interesting video and I’m glad I did. However because it is so new to me I didn’t really want to spend loads of cash on one if I wasn’t going to use it, so I decided to pick up a used DJI Spark and DJI Spark controller one.

    I managed to get a fly more kit with a few extras for a bargain price, but when it turned up I had issues connecting and paring. There wasn’t a whole load of information out there other than forum posts, but I managed to piece everything together and get it working again. Hopefully the guide will help you as well.

    Before you do this, its a good idea to plug the spark into DJI Assistant and check the firmware version and / or factory reset it.
    1. Hold down the power button on the DJI Spark for 9 seconds until you hear three beeps. Then do the same on the controller.
    2. Power off both the DJI Spark and the DJI Spark controller.
    3. Power on the DJI Spark controller and then hold down the pause, Fn and bottom right shoulder button (underneath the camera button) until you hear continuous beeping.
    4. Power on the DJI Spark, then press and hold the power button until you hear one beep. Make sure your DJI Spark controller isn’t too far away from the DJI Spark. You will see the DJI Spark controller connect to the Spark and its lights turn green.

    Dont forget you need to WiFi connect to the controller (password is 12341234 for all remotes) and then open the DJI app. Hopefully you’ll be up and flying in no time.

    Bear Notes App And Publishing To Wordpress

    Did I ever mention how much I like writing in Bear? Pretty sure I did, but this latest update was possibly the best timing ever, it allows me to publish new blog posts really easy to WordPress.

    Text Bundle

    The ‘magic’ behind this is exporting in text bundle. The updated app now exports plain text with attached images, and combines with the WordPress app to make sure the post shows correctly. In fact the Bear team built a whole open source library for processing so other apps could to the same in the future – as Shiney Frog point out open standards for sharing files make them happy.

    How To

    With today’s update to WordPress for iOS , you can now publish Bear notes to WordPress blogs. It’s really simple to use:

    • First, make sure you update Bear and WordPress
    • In Bear, tap the share sheet at the top right of a note
    • Tap WordPress in the top row of options (learn how to enable app extensions on iOS )
    • The WordPress app will open. If you have multiple blogs, a screen will appear so you can pick one as your post’s destination
    • A draft screen will appear with your post filled in, complete with proper formatting of all headings, links, text styles, lists, and even photos

    Note: To give your blog post a title, make sure your Bear note begins with an H1 header tag.

    There are a couple of major disadvantages to this set up. You must either have your blog hosted on WordPress web hosting or have the JetPack plugin installed. I have tried to find a way around this with my external site but it simply doesn’t pick up my site unless it is installed and activated.

    Also there is no facility to add a featured image like other apps. For example Ulysses automatically sets the attached image as the featured image and this isn’t the case with Bear. You can of cause hop straight into the WordPress app and set this very easily.

    How To Add Twitter Cards To Wordpress

    Sharing previews are yet another thing missing from WordPress which should really be included by now. It’s dead easy to install a plugin and have it all done for you, but why bother with slowing down your site with needless plugins when you can add a tiny bit of code to your functions file.

    //Add Twitter Cards Meta Info
    function add_twitter_card_info() {
     global $post;
     if ( !is_singular())
     echo ‘’;
     echo ‘’;
     echo ‘’;
     echo ‘’;
     echo ‘’; //optional: username of website
     echo ‘’; //optional: username of content creator
     if(!has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID )) { //use a default image if no featured image set
     $default_image=“”; //replace this with a default image
     echo ‘’;
     $thumbnail_src = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ), ‘medium’ );
     echo ‘’;
     echo “n”;
    add_action( ‘wp_head’, ‘add_twitter_card_info’);

    Simply paste in the above code to the functions.php file in your WordPress theme and validate all has gone correctly using the Card Validator.

    How To Exclude A Category From Main WordPress RSS Feed, But Not All Feeds

    In my journey back to WordPress, there are lots of little modifications I need to make the website my own. One of which is the addition of micro and link posts.

    I do not like all posts showing in the main RSS feed nor on the main index page of my blog. Many options and guides tell you to install plugins or add in code to your functions to exclude categories to all feeds. If you can avoid a plugin, then I would advise it, to prevent any unnecessary loading of your blog.

    I did stumble on a solution to my requirements on Stack Overflow (where else), and this is detailed below.

    add_action(‘pre_get_posts’, ‘exclude_category’ );
function exclude_category( &$wp_query )
// Exclude from loop, archive and feed but not from category page/feed
{ if( is_home() || ( is_feed() && !is_category() ) || ( is_archive() && !is_category() )) { // Exclude from home, feed, but not from category page/feed
set_query_var(‘category__not_in’, array(120)); // Exclude category with ID 120
    Add this to your themes functions.php file and remember to change the (‘category__not_in’, array(120)

    to your desired category ID , if you need help finding that, check out this guide.

    How To Use Rodecaster Pro Multi Track With Audio Hijack

    It has only been a few days since Rode updated its Rodecaster Pro to utilise Muti track but it has already proved to be a brilliant upgrade. The ability to output upto 14 tracks simultaneously for post editing is quite frankly a ridiculous feat, but may take a little time to get your head around.

    Here’s how to take advantage of the update and record using Audio Hijack – which is my podcast recording software of choice.

    Understand The Update

    The 1.1.0 update is pretty easy to install, but might take a little while to understand what exactly has been changed. Once the update is completed, disconnect and reconnect the USB-C cable to allow your computer to recognise a new connected device. Your Mac will now register two devices instead of one. RodeCaster Pro Stereo and also RodeCaster Pro Multitrack.

    The connected USB-C cable now outputs 14 separate audio tracks to your Mac which apps such as Audio Hijack can record individually or mix together. The below image shows you the channel numbers for each output.

    Set Up Audio Hijack

    To get started and understand what is going on the best way may be to start with a blank session, just to make sure you don’t alter any bespoke sessions you already have set up. Drag in an input device block, double click on the block and you will notice the RodeCaster Pro Multitrack device in the menu. Once you select this, more options will appear when you uncover the advanced tab underneath.

    These are numbered 1 to 14 according to the layout detailed above. You keep a stereo output of the ‘master track’ (1&2) but also mono outputs for Mic 1 (3), 2 (4), 3 (5) and 4 (6), as well as stereo for the USB input (7&8), TRRS phone connector (9&10), Bluetooth input (11&12), and also the sound pads (13&14).

    A drop down menu under the left and right channels will unveil all of the available tracks, which you can select to your desired outcome. In my set up underneath I record over Skype with just one other person, meaning my set up is pretty straight forward. However now that 14 tracks are available you can create something really unique to your podcast.

    Create Your Set Up

    Your usecase will vary, but in my session for BYOD shown below I have my microphone connected to input 1 (track 3) and also the Skype audio (track 7) going into one input block. This then splits into two duplicate blocks, so I can record two separate mp3 files of just my audio and just Nati separately.

    In between the duplicate block and the recorder I also have a meter block, just so I can check audio is being recorded correctly, and then into my audio recorder I also have the sound board (track 13) recored to grab any sound I play into the episode.

    I could of course make this much more complicated, and record each individual block, or turn things on and off as I wish, however I like a much more simple set up that can be added onto if desired. This software update has already made my editing much easier and allows me to spend much less time worrying about recording.

    Working With Footnotes In Jekyll And CSS

    Whilst spending far too long redesigning this blog, I’ve come to the conclusion that it look fine the way it is and I couldn’t be bothered with a huge change. So instead I’ve been looking into changing some of the small things. Many of these were pretty easy, but my biggest one was the styling of footnotes.

    Whilst trying to get to the bottom of exactly how I change the styling, there wasn’t a great deal of help out there to help. Information on the CSS related to Footnotes is quite confusing. Much of it was out dated and didn’t really apply when using a Jekyll blog. I managed to find a few bits of info and do a bit of testing and it turns out it’s pretty easy to do.

    Jekyll Stuff

    The easiest way to do this is to default to the markdown variation Kramdown. This already has footnotes built into it and displays them at the end of the article content. The vast majority of Jekyll blogs out there already use Kramdown, so you might not have to do anything, to check just have a look for markdown: kramdown in your _config.ymal file.

    The CSS Stuff

    This is where most of the information falls down, many resources will tell you to mess around and create a class for your footnotes so you can style this in CSS. That might be the case using WordPress or HTML but Kramdown presents it all neatly in HTML for you to style. There are two different parts you are able to change if desired.

    • The initial footnote that appears in the article contents, in your sites CSS this is the .footnote.
    • The text showing information at the bottom is a serrate entity. This is what most people refer to as the citation, and this is styled using .footnotes.

    It is pretty easy to get these confused but dead simple to style them both individually. All of the links and notes adopt the formatting of your regular content, but I wanted the footnotes to appear closer together and also in slightly smaller fonts as they do in academic papers. I also chose to add in some brackets around the footnote (a la Wikipedia) to highlight them a little more. My CSS snippet is as follows.

    footnotes {
     font-size: 14px;
     margin: –10px 20px;

    .footnotes p { margin: 10px; }

    a.footnote:before { content: “[”; }

    a.footnote:after { content: “]”; }

    You can of course customise until your heart is content. This might seem pretty obvious to those in the the know, but I struggled to find any conclusive information easily. Hopefully this helps a little, I am still learning myself so wanted to put some information out there to try to help others.

    How To Use The iPhone XS eSim On EE

    After a few days of false information, forum posts that have half truths in them and a couple of telephone calls – I have managed to set up my iPhone XS with dual sims and here is how to do it.


    If you want to go dual sim on your iPhone XS there are a few ways, but one of your sims is going to have to become an eSim. This technology isn’t new but Apple are the first to do it mass market and in the UK it is only supported by EE at the moment. Unfortunately this is only currently available for pay monthly personal tariffs but they claim to be expanding the roll out in the coming months. So you won’t have the option on pay as you go, flex or business accounts.

    Get An eSim

    If you are in the market for a new contract, then one from EE might be the best way forward, simply ask them for an eSim instead of a regular sim and you’re all set. Keep in mind that if the second sim you wish to use is for a different network then you will need to wait 6 months and request your phone to be unlocked. If both accounts are on EE, simply put your physical sim in and go through the set up options to assign a primary and secondary number.

    Transfer To An eSim

    If you have an unlocked phone (like me) or choose to get your iPhone XS unlocked after 6 months, you will need to transfer your EE regular sim to an eSim. To do this you will need an eSim pack, with a QR code to scan. You can get these in stores, or the easiest way is to call 150 and request one. You should get this in the post the next day so you wont have to wait too long, the people on the phone I spoke to are very knowledgeable and will guide you through the process as in-depth as you wish.

    Make sure you request a replacement eSim pack as this will be either sent with your number attached or without a number at all. Once this arrives head into the settings on iOS 12.1 and go to Mobile Data > Add data plan. This is where you scan your QR code and are guided through the set up process, your phone might get a bit confused once finished, so pop out your standard sim and reboot your phone. EE state up to 24hours for activating the eSIm, but in reality you should be set up in a few minutes.

    Hopefully this helps you out a little as most info online is very generalised. If you need help in setting up the primary and secondary options in iOS head over to Apple support pages for a great explainer.

    How To Build A Micro Blog On Jekyll

    After exploring other options to sharing on social media and using I’m stuck. There doesn’t seem to be the perfect option out there to fulfil all of my needs so for now I still to my own blog.

    Now comes the issues with posting lots of updates and where they need to go. Ultimately there are a few things I want to achieve.

    • Keeping content mine as much as possible
    • post to other social media platforms
    • not clog up longer blog post streams or RSS

    Since my blog is already built on Jekyll and hosted on Github I set to work to hit as many of these goals as possible.

    Keep content mine

    The main feature of my usage was for Daring Fireball style link posts. Short quotes from other peoples articles (linking back to them) and a few words (sub 150) from my self as a comment. I built a Workflow to do this easily on so sharing these shouldn’t be a major issue.

    Micro Blog Collection

    Inside your _config.yml set up a collection with a name of your choice. Seeing as this will be aimed at micro blog I went for something easy.

     output: true
     layout: post
     permalink: /micro/:title

    This will mean that posts in this collection will not be posted to the main index page and also not in the main RSS feed. Create a folder called _micro for all the micro posts to go into.

    Micro Blog Index

    In the main repo create a file called micro.html and set the YAML with a permalink as /micro/index.html. Example below:

    layout: page
    permalink: permalink: /link/index.html

    title: Link Posts

    Then it’s time to get all of your posts listed, this is pretty easy to do and will ultimately be dictated by what info you will want to see on an index page, the below is the contents of mine. This page will then be found at /micro/.

    { % for item in site.micro reversed % }
      { % if % }   


         { % else %}   


    { % endif % }   


    { % endfor % }

    I have chosen to only show the title and then all of the content as these will only be small posts. The If is unique to my use case and means that if I set a link in my YMAL front matter the title will link to this URL in a similar vein to Daring Fireball.


    tag is set in my CSS and simply adds in the same formatting as my blog and separates the posts neatly.

    If in doubt copy the content from your index.html and add in { % for item in site.micro reversed % }.

    Micro Blog RSS Feed

    This might come as a shock but if you’ve got a regular blog people won’t want to read a barrage of micro updates. So a collection and separate RSS feed is a must. This is the easiest part of the set up. Simply create a file called micro.xml and add the following:

    layout: null

      Hello Friends

    { % for post in site.micro reversed % }
    { % endfor % }


    All of your posts in the Micro collection will now be delivered through this separate RSS feed. So you can set this to post to social media through IFTTT or many other places as you desire however there are limitations.

    Cross Posting

    This is where I fall down. I haven’t found a way to share full posts that are below 280 characters straight to twitter and longer ones as links. I am pretty sure this is achievable however I stopped short when realising almost every one of my posts was way past this limit.

    I believe there may be a way to do this with a limited RSS of 280 characters. However in practice this hasn’t worked for me to auto post through IFTTT. If this is a major issue for you then is the place for you!

    Hopefully this helps with improving your Jekyll site and can be modified to your use cases for collections. I am currently adapting this to add in a few collections so the possibilities are endless.