Tweetbot, Pocket and Reading It All Later

Tweetbot and Pocket

I love being productive and the feeling that comes from getting the right work done at the right time.

A recent productivity hack I've been following is to save all reading - including articles, newsletter and books - to outside of work hours, when I have downtime and can concentrate on the material.

There have been two tools that have been invaluable in helping me stick to this: Pocket and Tweetbot.

Pocket is a "read it later" app where a bookmark in your browser lets you to save articles to read later. You just "pocket" (it's going to be a verb soon) any articles or websites you come across and they will be added to your queue.

You can visit your queue at a later, more convenient time and read the articles at your leisure.

I've found that the Pocket browser plugin has been great for when I'm working on my laptop, click a link and see an article I like, but want to get back to work rather than read the article there and then. A quick click and the article is saved to my pocket queue.

This feature is particularly valuable when used in conjunction with Tweetbot, a powerful Twitter client for iPhone.

If you hold down on a link in Tweetbot, a small menu pops up with one of the options being "Save link to Pocket", which acts in a similar way to the Pocket browser plugin.

So, when I'm browsing through Twitter and see a through interesting links posted, I'll generally save them for later reading.

Alternatively, if I was using the official Twitter app, I'd have to copy the link, close Twitter, open Pocket, then add the link to read later in Pocket. This is fine for one off links, but not when you want to add a few in quick succession.

Tweetbot makes it so easy to save articles to Pocket.

And I find myself queuing far more than I can read.

It's a similar experience to when unread count of all of the articles in your RSS feed went into the thousands (most notable in Google Reader where it simply showed "1000+" unread instead of the actual figure).

This happened a lot to a lot of people, so every now and then people declared RSS bankruptcy and either marked all their feeds as read,  cut down on the feeds they consumed to better be able to keep up with them, or simply stopped using their RSS feed altogether.

The difference with Tweetbot + Pocket is that through Twitter I have learnt not to expect to see every single tweet that comes through my stream, and this applies to my consumption of articles on Pocket.

I'm not on Twitter all day every day, so will miss a lot of content. If I catch some of that content and save it to Pocket through Tweetbot - great! But that doesn't mean I will eventually get round to read all of the links I save.

I think this is the same for other newsfeeds we're exposed to. I now don't expect to keep up with every single Facebook post, Instagram photo, Quora answer, Hacker News article, Reddit thread, etc, so I no longer worry about missing that content in a way that with RSS readers I did.

This feels like healthy progress.

The search for the ultimate newsfeed has led to the content most relevant to me being surfaced when I most need it. And newsfeeds/user experience on most modern apps has evolved to a state where even if I did miss some of that valuable content I can easily discover it (search, favourites, most recent) or it can be flagged to me in another way (email summaries, push notifications).

It's less Signal Vs Noise, more I no longer worry about keeping up with the signals - they will come to me.

So, tweet me your best links. My thumb, Tweetbot and Pocket are waiting.

Free and High-Quality Stock Photo Sites

Free high-quality stock photos

Stock photos that are actually good and free (including those that require attribution) are well worth finding. And once found, keeping track of.

This post is more of a personal reminder for whenever I need stock photos, but feel free to check out these sites for yourself"

The stock photo used in this post is from Unsplash.com.

See also this post on Medium: "Sock photos that don't suck"

 

The Jelly Reading List

 
Jelly is the new iPhone and Android app from Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone.

The basic premise is of "loosely distributed networks of people coordinating via Jelly to help each other." Here's their video to explain more:

I've been playing around with the app this morning and found the experience a mix of Instagram and Quora. You post a photo and ask a question to go with that photo. Other people can then answer your question and link out to sites that support their answer.

Playing around with Jelly, I asked "What are the essential sites or newsletters to subscribe to?"

I thought it would be useful to share the list in case there's anything new, interesting or useful for you.

"What are the essential sites or newsletters to subscribe to?"

Got something to add? Let me know in the comments. Or better yet, leave an answer on Jelly.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

stay hungry stay foolish

Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder, ended his famous commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 with the words "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish."

This advice came from the back cover of the Whole Foods Catalogue final issue in 1974.

Accompanying a photograph of an early morning country road, it was the farewell message of the Whole Foods Catalogue team as they signed off their final issue, an encouragement to others to live out their adventures, even if they do eventually come to an end.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
 

It's the kind of phrase that sits well with a company that grew from a single vision to the world's most valuable brand that we all know and love (well, a lot of people love) today.

I've been playing with the phrase in my head over the past few weeks and, while the technology greats are inspired by it, the advice doesn't quite sit right with me.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

The phrase is alluding to (I think) that you should never be satisfied with your work and always push yourself for the next big thing. You should always do (or be willing to keep trying) the things people say cannot be done, and then prove them wrong.

The reason I think it doesn't feel right to me is that I can see in my own life where I have been hungry and foolish, and made great things happen.

But now that I'm "established" and comfortable in my life, work and relationships, I'm not pushing myself as I once did. I'm paid well, enjoy my work, have a healthy work-life balance, but can see that perhaps I don’t stick to the same high standards or push myself as I used to.

I enjoy my life and want to keep achieving, but is there a trade off to be had between being comfortable and pushing yourself to new, greater things? Should we always strive to stay hungry, stay foolish? do we only have the option to settle on our merits when the going is good?

Instead of “stay hungry, stay foolish”, I’ve come up with a phrase that while doesn’t have the same ring, it feels better to me and fits with where my life is right now.

"Don't get too comfortable".

Generally, the greatest developments in life happen when you push yourself a little further than is comfortable. You have to go out of your comfort zone to learn new things and achieve greatness. You can be satisfied (not hungry) and smart (not foolish) to achieve those things.

where-the-magic-happens

There doesn’t have to be a trade off.

So I can be satisfied with my life, but always push myself to achieve more. I can be willing to keep trying the things people say cannot be done, but do it in a smart way.

I just shouldn’t settle on my merits or let comfort creep in.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Or, don't get too comfortable.

This article originally appeared in The Carrier, a monthly newspaper founded in 2012 as a way to send news to the people in our lives. 

How to Get a Job in PR

How To Get A Job In PR

How to Get a Job in PR is Sarah Stimson's fantastic book on how to break into the PR industry.

The book is a comprehensive guide to finding and keeping the PR job you dream of, answering all sorts of questions you may have about the PR industry and helping with many more that might not have even crossed your mind.

The book covers everything you need to know to get a job in PR and beyond, including:

- A thorough overview of different PR sectors and disciplines
- An excellent step-by-step guide to creating an effective PR CV
- Helpful job application tips
- Indispensable advice on how best to represent yourself in an interview
- Top advice from leading industry figures
- A recommended reading list and directory of useful contacts

Sarah herself has over 10 years of PR and recruitment experience, placing people in jobs both in PR agencies and in-house communications teams from entry level all the way up to the most senior roles, so is one of the best in the industry at helping you land that dream PR job.

What I like even more is that 10% of royalties generated by the book will be donated to the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which addresses the need for greater diversity in the communications & PR industry. So not only will you be getting a great book, but you'll be helping others get a break into the industry too. Buy it now!

Each chapter with quotes from senior practitioners giving their advice on how to break into the industry, which offer invaluable insights beyond the advice that Sarah gives. Here's a selection of the choiciest quotes:

Agency vs in-house

It's common to hear people vigorously outline the benefits of either in-house or agency roles as THE answer to junior career development. Having experienced both sides of the fence, I would recommend both.

The balance of the experience may vary, with agency giving breadth, and in-house depth, but both experiences will ultimately rest on the attitude of the person going into the role.

How committed are you to seeking out the views of a wide range of direct and indirect colleagues? How much effort are you going to put into developing your skills beyond that your employer provides? How much, at the end of the day, do you want it?

Alex Pearmain, Director, Digital&Social, Brands2Life, @AlexPearmain

Do I need a PR degree?

I’ve been teaching public relations in universities for ten years, yet even I’ll admit that a degree is not enough (and a PR degree is still not essential).

A degree indicates something. It should indicate curiosity and an ability to learn, and this is easily assessed at interview by asking about current affairs (or sport or popular culture).

Good candidates should also have gained some work experience. They will also have the right attitude and have something to show for their time outside the classroom. Have they written for online magazines? Do they have their own blog? What about their presence on social networks?

Richard Bailey, PR Lecturer and Editor of Behind the Spin Magazine. @behindthespin

Skills PR employers value

The smart students that quickly find jobs are the ones that start thinking about their future employment long before they leave college or graduate. The Internet has given rise to a huge variety of publishing tools and sharing platforms that anyone can use to develop an online network and profile.

I'd urge you to find a media format and platform that you're comfort with and start creating and sharing content about your future profession. That might be a WordPress blog, images on Flickr, or video on YouTube. S

econd start building a network. LinkedIn and Twitter are a good place to start.Social networks are democratic and enable anyone to follow conversations taking place online. That's a short step to creating content and engaging with people throughout the industry. Start with me. I'm @wadds on Twitter.

We get people walking through the door at Ketchum all the time that claim to be socially and digitally savvy yet they've never blogged and they aren't on Twitter. Do yourself a favour and get a ahead of the game. It'll pay dividends personally as these skills are much in demand and it will help you understand the challenges that brands face in engaging with audiences in the modem media environment.

Stephen Waddington, European Digital & Social Media Director, Ketchum & President, CIPR 2014, @wadds

I was humbled to be asked by Sarah to give a quote or two as well, which are as follows:

Tips on how to stay motivated when working from home

Maintaining focus while working from home can be a hard task. Getting up to make yet another cup of tea disrupts this focus and stops you getting the important work done. To help keep that focus, make a to do list of the 3 most important tasks you need to finish that day - and make sure you finish them. Then even if you do nothing else, you'll have completed the most important work.

Other tips include turing off email and social networks for an hour, so you can concentrate on actually getting work done. Also, leave the TV switched off as it's too attention grabbing, but radio can be nice as background noise.

Make sure you finish work at an appointed time in the evening, no matter what. Not only will you be more focussed in order to get finished on time, but you’ll also be able to relax in the evening and get a better night’s sleep. You can always get up early the next day to finish off anything urgent, but your mind will be more refreshed and you’ll finish the task quicker than if you plow on into the night.

What are PR degrees?

PR Degrees equip you with both the theory and practical skills required to get a job and then build a successful career in the PR industry.

The best PR degrees have a strong practical element and good links with the PR industry, so you can start building your industry contacts while still studying. Your tutors should be experts with significant industry experience, supported by visiting lecturers who can give you an insight into the day-to-day workings of the industry.

Digital and social media is more important than ever, so if you choose a PR degree then make sure this part of the programme is strong.

Buy How to Get a Job in PR now!

The book is available in both Paperback and Amazon Kindle, so if you're looking to get a job in PR, buy the book now.

And congratulations to Sarah for making the time and effort for writing such a fantastic book that will no doubt help many people break into the PR industry.