Tech in the Trenches

Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter

Initially, I threw myself into this kind of associative note-taking. I gathered links around concepts I wanted to explore (“the internet enables information to travel too quickly,” for example, or social networks and polarization). When I had an interesting conversation with a person, I would add notes to a personal page I had created for them. A few times a week, I would revisit those notes.

I waited for the insights to come.

And waited. And waited.

My gusto for concept-based, link-heavy note-taking diminished.

Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter

Throwing notes into a system is all well and good but it’s not going to do the thinking for you. You can have the largest collection of notes with back-links and tags and immaculate organization. But at the end of the day, you still need to do the work and review those notes and find those connections to write about or to learn from.

Don’t start a new thing

Find a way to put the new thing inside the thing you’re already doing. Don’t make a new thing. Don’t split attention.
Analogue: The Fast and the Curious

I’m paraphrasing Myke above.
This is advice I need to hear again and again. I continue to want to make new things then split my efforts between the new thing and the current thing. Then I get confused where I should post what so I just… never post.

The entire episode is worth your time especially if you’re struggling to launch a new thing or have just launched a new thing. Analog(ue) #216: The Fast and the Curious – Relay FM

Digital Social Distancing

Digital Social Distancing: the act of distancing yourself from others on social networks — by unfollowing, muting, etc. — with the goal of preventing anger from infecting your mental health.

Digital Social Distancing

Good advice for every social network. Just because you agree to follow someone doesn’t mean you agree to everything they share.

Disabling boosts and retweets are often the first thing I do. I’m also very quick to unfollow people, mute keywords and hash tags.

Deep dives into hidden niches

Three Years – Culture Study

Over time, I also figured out that I also wanted to do interviews with people who aren’t famous but spend their days deep in the trenches of a particular subject


Anne Helen Petersen’s Culture Study remains a must-read newsletter and she beautifully nails the why. It’s the interviews with people deep in their niche. It’s the insight (and exasperation) that comes from someone who has spent years toiling in a trench that’s never seen let alone acknowledged. It’s always something interesting and insightful that I never would have thought to seek out because I did not know it existed.

Big Mac Smash Burger Tacos with Crispy Parmesan Carrots

Made dinner tonight with my wife. We have a small kitchen so our choreography must be impeccable.

Big Mac Tacos (Smash Burger Tacos) Viral Recipe | Cravings Journal

Replaced beef with turkey because we had it in hand. My wife made tortillas and they were delicious.

Crispy Parmesan Carrots (Cheesy Crust) – Cooking With Ayeh

Made these carrots on the side and they were delicious though if I did it again I would brush the carrots with the olive oil and pour/brush on the marinade since it didn’t stick very well.
But they were absolutely delicious. Carrots!

All around a superb meal and both went straight into Plan To Eat which is a superb meal planning web site and app. (If you like it and can wait until Black Friday, they always have a good deal. We’ve renewed it for years this way.)

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