Weekly reads: Pt. 12 – The death of polls and batteries

July 17, 2016    Weekly reads

How technology disrupted the truth“It seemed that journalists were no longer required to believe their own stories to be true, nor, apparently, did they need to provide evidence. Instead it was up to the reader – who does not even know the identity of the source – to make up their own mind.”

How remain failed: the inside story of a doomed campaign“Cameron gambled everything on the European referendum because he thought the centre was secure. He and George Osborne believed, as one of their cabinet allies told me: “It will be about jobs and the economy and it won’t even be close.”

Inside the secret lab where Facebook tries to save your battery life“Facebook’s mobile device lab is the reason its apps keep functioning on older phones.”

This is the woman behind the man that runs AirBnB“She is largely responsible for the fact that Airbnb is a company that makes love, not war — especially when it fights. Under her watch, the company has created a cultish social movement around its efforts to connect strangers and foster cultural belonging.”

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How we communicate with Slack at home and why it’s great

July 13, 2016    Lifehacks

Your setup of apps and tools for communication is probably more unique than your DNA. But when there’s one person you communicate with a lot more than the rest of the pack, it’s sometimes nice to pick one tool and make it yours. We decided to create and move into our own private Slack-team.

Slack is mostly a communication tool for teams or organisations, and when we decided to use it to communicate outside a classic work setting it felt like a bit of a chance. A year later we’re very happy with how it all turned out, and since we know that a lot of people are looking into doing the same transfer, we decided to share why and how we like it.

Why we like using Slack at home

  1. It’s multi-platform When one of us decided to go for Android as the primary phone OS we had to change from using iMessage. We realised we will change devices at times and if we need to change how we communicate every time we’ll likely get pretty tired.
  2. Both of us already use it at work Slack is not hard to use, and my parents-in-law use it daily in their family group without any previous Slack experience. But it’s off-course a bonus when it’s an app already installed on all our devices. The possibility to switch between teams is also very nice simple feature,
  3. We can have multiple chats with each other going on at once In a text message conversation it’s sometimes hard to find what you talked about just two hours ago. With Slack, we can organise our chats on different topics and everything is searchable if we’re looking to find something from a while back.
  4. Slack handles links and other embeds neatly A large amount of what we share are articles and other interesting internet reads. Sometimes YouTube videos or music from Spotify. The fact that Slack display different type of messages in a simple and detailed way is a great way when you need to find something again or just differentiate to posts from each other. It might sound like a small feature but compared to just have the URLs this makes our chat-life way easier.
  5. Conversations are easily saved Remember every time you lose/change your phone and suddenly are all your messages lost. Since the Slack messages are not connected to the device or the item that won’t happen, and we will have everything saved for years to come.
  6. It’s free This isn’t really an argument for us because we only choose between free messenger tools when we decided to use Slack. But to others, it might be an important issue so it goes on the list.

You can set up your Slack environment pretty much as you like and there’s a lot of bots and integrations to look into if you’re missing something out of the box. This guy even integrated it with their online supermarket. Even though we know we’re able to do a lot of customizations if we want to our current setup is extremely simple.

Our current Slack setup

  • Shopping With Slack we don’t need another tool for sharing shopping lists. We just put in single items or create snippets with longer lists of what to buy and mark them with an emoji when they’re purchased. It works for both everyday items and things we rarely buy.
  • Read/Listen/Watch One channel for each type of content. It makes it easier to find what we’re looking for.
  • Moving etc. Everything about us moving in together (including selling two apartments and buying one), buying furniture and researching electricity suppliers belongs in this channel.
  • Direct messages This is not a channel per se, but most of our communications are more of the type “How’s your day?” or “I’m leaving work in 5 min, will buy pasta on my way home” we use direct messaging a lot.

This setup is very basic, but it works very well for us. Sometimes simple makes it more practical. But if you’re curious and what to know more about the different bots and integrations you can use with Slack, take a look at their official collection.

If you want to know more about how we use Slack at home, drop a line in the comments or send me a tweet.

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Weekly reads: Pt. 11 – Reading, robots and summer camp

July 10, 2016    Weekly reads

Models I Find Repeatedly Useful “80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly‑wise person.”

These Will Be The Top Jobs In 2025 (And The Skills You’ll Need To Get Them)“It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency.”

Reading with intention can change your lifeTwo groups were given the same material to read—one was told they’d have a test at the end, while the others were told they’d have to teach someone the material”

Release your inner child – summer camps for adults“More adults are opting for active summer camps as a way for them to enjoy the perceived carefree times of childhood. However, the real drivers of this interest in, and success of, adult summer camps are over-connectivity, work-life balance stresses, and sedentary lifestyles.”

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When your smartphone gives you a hard time to focus (and what to do about it)

July 6, 2016    Lifehacks

Over a year ago I was fighting a workplace depression. I was in a vicious circle where I stressed too much and as a result, I had a very hard time to focus. My brain wasn’t keen to do what I wanted it to (read, write, think, etc.).

But after a while without colleagues and todo-lists most of us want to get back to work. But how could I do it without burning out once again? Most of my friends (both men and women) have struggled with stress and other workplace related issues, so it’s not like I’m the only one working too much.

But a while ago, I decided to exclude things in my everyday life that kept asking for my attention and continuously ruined my focus. I decided to start with my phone. Here are some of the things I’ve changed:

Take control over your smartphone

  1. Silence your phone. You can easily do this under “Settings”. Turn off both vibrations and sound, your body will otherwise remember the rhythm, and it will create just as much stress as any other stress cue. If you turn it off for ALL apps and notifications, you can have your sound turned on when you’re waiting for a call without dying from stress because your phone sounds like an orchestra. I believe all people should do this.
  2. Limit the number of apps. How many applications do you use regularly? I have decided to uninstall all unnecessary apps I have on your phone. I can always download them again if I miss them too much, but actually, the most time I don’t.
  3. Turn your phone upside down when you are working. Don’t let your phone interrupt you. If I don’t actively choose to check my Twitter, I don’t need to know about re-tweets or comments.
  4. Use the “Do Not Disturb” setting for times when you don’t need to know what’s happening online. Make sure to have priority contacts so that texts and calls from boyfriends and BFFs get through even when you want to hide from the rest of the world.

Weekly reads: Pt. 10 – Brain Powers and Silicon Valley sexism

July 3, 2016    Weekly reads

What you read matters more than you might think“If you’re serious about becoming a better writer, spend lots of time deep-reading literary fiction and poetry and articles on science or art that feature complex language and that require your lovely brain to think”

Ellen Pao: Silicon Valley Sexism IS Getting Better – “Studies showed that while women make up over 40 percent of the lower levels of science, technology, and engineering jobs, more than half of them leave these fields over time. A primary reason cited was sexual harassment: sixty-three percent of women in these fields had experienced some form of it.”

bill-cunningham Photo: Jiyang Chen, CC Licence

What Bill Cunningham taught us about ethical journalism“In many ways, journalism has veered away from telling other people’s stories and instead spends a great deal of time focused on the opinions, style, and personality of the journalist.”

Almost everyone who is unhappy with life is unhappy for the same reasons“Patients who have low expectations for medical procedures or treatments tend to have poorer results than those who expect success, even with regards to well-established treatments.”

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