Makzan / I share what I learnt


I write in Basecamp

Recently, I write in Basecamp. It helps me to focus on the single piece of document. Basecamp is project management tool that encourages context based communication for teams. I have been using Basecamp solo and enjoying the tools it provides. Recently, I’m using Basecamp to write. There are 2 states when writing a document in […]

Read Post / October 25, 2019

“Capture and share” shortcut

In this “Shortcut” category, I share useful shortcut that I found or created. In my daily workflow, I often need to quickly capture my thoughts and file them into my daily system. I have three shortcuts for this purpose. The first one is the “Dictate and Share” shortcut. The second one is Draw and Share […]

Read Post / January 10, 2019

The usage of Gladys app for iOS devices continue working

Gladys is a clipboard management app that syncs to iCloud. It works on both iOS and macOS. Gladys as a temporary storage Gladys is like a temporary folder for me to store multiple things and use in other places. It is a swap storage. For example, I may collect multiple images from internet into Gladys […]

Read Post / December 31, 2018

Productivity apps that I use every day

Every day I use several apps and workflows to empower my work. Bear app is the master of everything. I store all notes and project files there. I organize all notes into nested tags, e.g. `#worldskills/2019/competition-week`, `#inspirations/typography`. A note can belong to different tags. This is a many-to-many structure alongside the 1-to-many structure between nested tags. This […]

Read Post / June 3, 2018

Fake productivity

It’s so easy with the kinds of tools we now have to get the feeling of productivity, the sensation of productivity, without having to actually accomplish anything of merit or anything that we might actually find meaningful at the end of the day. — Jocelyn K. Glei, Offscreen 19 interview.

Read Post / May 10, 2018

Features that new 53 Paper app breaks in version 4

There are some features that used to be good in FiftyThree Paper app but is now removed or broken. 1. 3D Touch app icon to quick new canvas/text/camera. I believe this is a bug FiftyThree team forgot to take care during the latest 4.0 updates. 2. View next and previous page in a journal in […]

Read Post / February 24, 2018

Coding Rails app with iPad and Cloud9

Almost there. I used iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard yesterday to scaffold a rails application with cloud9 web IDE. Almost there to make C9 fully works in iPad. Just come minor issues. What works: Editor, except arrow keys and text selection. Terminal, for all git, heroku and Files operations. Navigation panel, for opening files without […]

Read Post / October 7, 2017

Working on iPad is more focus

Using iPad is more focus than using macOS, thanks to the nature of app-based environment vs. window-based environment. Moreover, Mac has so many background processes that are running and thus sometimes make the main application not fast response enough, even with an i7 core.  For iPad, especially iPad Pro, the iOS is so fine-tuned that […]

Read Post / July 11, 2017

2017 software for my productivity day

Software that supports my productivity day: Google Keep to save all my fragmented ideas and inputs. Dropbox to store files based on life roles and years. Basecamp to work together with contractors. JunkDraft to write my books and documents into a 1st draft. Jourla to store my diary and family moments. to post my […]

Read Post / April 8, 2017

Introducing—A logger for everything flash in your mind

Yesterday I built a tool to log my every day’s thoughts down. It is called By using this tool. I can quickly jot down my ideas and thoughts from my mind. I can use #tag for later grouping and organizing. It is still a very early stage tool. But this tool already helps me to gain productivity. […]

Read Post / January 14, 2016

Writing in iPad is more focus

I feel more focus when writing in iPad. There are so many distractions when using MacBook to write. I’m getting the section 3 script of my 2nd edition of HTML5 Game Development done.

Read Post / January 11, 2016

“Area of Concern”—My reference when creating todo list

When I’m making todo list items, I always go back to the following essay from Ryan Singer to remind me the areas of concern. Link: Managing Product Development by Integrating Around Concerns  The natural approach most people take at this point is to divide the work by role. They create a “design” todo list and a “programming” […]

Read Post / January 4, 2016

My flow to record video explanation solely on iPhone

I’m doing an experiment to see if I can create some of my video tutorials by using solely iPhone. 1. First, I prepare the slides in ExplainEverything app. It could be hand-drawn video or keynotes. The killer feature of this app is to record my drawings. 2. Then I edit the video in Clips app. The […]

Read Post / January 3, 2016

I’m using Basecamp for almost everything

I really stick to Basecamp 3. I’m now using it for almost everything, including coding projects, design projects, promotionals, book writings, daily office works, inspirations library and my life management.

Read Post / December 30, 2015

My experience on Pomodoro technique

Link: The simple technique to fit a 40-hour workweek into 16.7 hours That’s 25 minutes of steady, focused work on one task. No multitasking. No emails. No phone calls. No checking Facebook. Nothing! No distractions allowed. The Pomodoro Technique® has been there for a while, but recently it gains attention again. Recently I backed a project named Productivity Planner which also […]

Read Post / December 1, 2015

Minimal Homescreen

I posted my home screen last year. Here is my latest one. 2 folders and 2 often used apps on dock. Nothing more. If there are too many apps for 2 folders, I delete some until they fit into the dock.

Read Post / October 4, 2015

Saying No

This week, the page Product strategy means saying No from Intercom is popular. Saying no is hard, but a great product manager isn’t afraid to make tough decisions to keep their product bloat-free. This reminds me the famous quote from Steve Jobs: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not […]

Read Post / October 2, 2015

Say — Text-to-Speech Command in OSX

The text-to-speech function in Mac OSX works in command line too. A simple say command with a string provided: $ say “Thank you for calling us. We are currently unavailable to take your call. Please leave us a message and we’ll return your call as soon as possible.” We can control the speaking rate in […]

Read Post / September 25, 2015

I draw sketch in Paper horizontally

It’s more nature for me to draw in Paper app in horizontal orientation. My left hand holds the phone. My left thumb chooses between tools. My right hand draws. Afterwards I can rotate the canvas to fit the apps portrait screen.

Read Post / September 21, 2015

Single Task

Link: I’m Returning to Single-Tasking I’ve been a fan of Leo Babauta. I gave out his book to my friends as Christmas gifts. I just realise that I share similar single task strategy that he uses: One browser tab open. Know what I’m focusing on. Read to completion. One app on my phone at a time. Be mindful […]

Read Post / September 21, 2015

Have a well defined done state

Productivity is not about doing things faster. It’s about thinking and planning better. If things are well planned, it won’t take much time to complete a task. I meant it does take time, but it is a limited time if the goal is clear. But if things are not well planned, the tasks you perform […]

Read Post / September 20, 2015

Restore deleted documents from iCloud Drive

Link: Quick Tip: Restore deleted documents from iCloud Drive To restore files, sign into your iCloud account through the browser, and go to Settings → Data & Security. You can then browse a list of files in the Recover Documents tab. Files are removed from Recover Documents after 30 days, so don’t wait long to restore something. A useful tip […]

Read Post / September 20, 2015

The role of Paper ideas and Apple Notes

Paper is for sticky notes. It’s the idea that I don’t know how it forms and improves. I can freely draw and type my ideas. And I can reorder them easily until the idea makes sense to me. Once the idea makes sense, I move it away into other editing tools. For example, I use Apple […]

Read Post / September 17, 2015

Focus means saying no to phenomenal ideas

From MacRumors: Jonathan Ive also shared details on Steve Jobs, saying that Jobs was “the most remarkably focused person” he’d ever met in his life. “You can achieve so much when you truly focus,” Ive said. “What focus means is saying no to something that with every bone in your body you think is a phenomenal […]

Read Post / October 2, 2014

Do you really need so many apps?

I have only 1 page of apps in my iPhone. All my daily apps are accessible via the only home screen. I don’t use too many apps every day. Here are my essential apps: phone, web browser, todo list, Commit and Drafts. I do have folders. One folder is called “Page 2”. It’s the folder […]

Read Post / September 3, 2014

Get focus tips—Unplug the A/C Power

I’m using a technique to boost my efficiency within 2 hours to get things done. The method is to unplug the A/C power of my notebook. The principle is to let the battery become the count down timer for the task that you are working on. The goal is to finish the task on hand […]

Read Post / November 1, 2009