Hello Friends,

What a much better two weeks I have had. I’m not going to put it all down to slimming down my schedule - but not having to plan, record and edit a podcast has helped. My only issue is I miss talking to people so maybe guesting on more shows is the way forward.

This newsletter is also a week or so later than I intended because unlike many of you I’m not stuck at home! I am one of the lucky few that have escaped and continue to work to keep things running, but also taking on so many extra things gets too much to have time to write. I have only managed to snatch a few moments and publish posts from my iPhone.

However, I am happy, healthy, and my family are all at home, enjoying their time together and staying away from everyone else! I’ve found time to get this newsletter done in the end, so for the last month, I have very much been thinking things.

Greg Does What What

Yeah, so here’s the thing. Calling this the March Newsletter only works if there is one of them. I debated on calling them Month 1 and Month 2, or even week x - but I think a name fits better. So I’m reverting the original Greg Thinks Things.

I couldn’t come up with a better name; I don’t have anything to go with my surname like the Birchtree Bark (awesome newsletter btw), so you get some thoughts from me! If you can think of a better name, by all means, let me know on Twitter.

Raindrop.io

When first coming across Raindrop.io, I tried it out, and immediately dismissed it because I didn’t know what it was for. However, when I read a short clip in MacStories must-have apps of 2019, I tried to understand it a little more and dived in.

Raindrop is an exciting app in that it builds something very similar to what’s built into most browsers. It isn’t a read it later service; it isn’t a research app; it is a bookmarking app that allows you to file them much easier. That's not to say you can't use it for both of those things, but you’re going to find some quirks if you expect it to replace either of those things.

There are browser plugins and apps built for almost every platform, so you can share any new web pages you need into Raindrop and refer back to them later. This is much easier if you are writing articles, or doing research or enjoy catching up on information at a later date. Having a stand-alone app means you’re not tempted to go surfing around on the internet and are more likely to consume the information.

For as long as I can remember I have been using Pocket to save everything I want to read or free to in a link post later on, or sometimes clipping quotes into a Bear note. Pocket is great, but lately, I have seen issues with more and more websites blocking saving webpages offline, or it missing information in the post. Raindrop loads the full site in iOS so you can be assured everything is correct - but that comes with adverts and all other content thrown in.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know where this fits in other than when I am researching writing a post. I'd love for many features to come to the app, but worry that I am viewing it the wrong way.

It doesn’t replace an RSS reader for me, it doesn’t do as much as Pocket does for collecting read later links - but has that certain something about it. The app is easy to use, understandable and designed well. Raindrop is more useful on Mac than it is on iOS, and that proves a bit of a pain, but despite all my negativity in the last few sentences, I am still using it a lot.

I plan on a more detailed write up at some point.

Why the Future of Work is Remote
The founder of Doist on why the future of work is remote, and what that could mean for tomorrow’s workers, companies, and communities.
it’s clear that the type of job we do has enormous implications for pretty much everything else: culture, wealth distribution, politics, society. We’re now on the cusp of what I believe could be another world-changing shift in the way we work.

Seems very apt to talk about this at the minute, but this is a really great walk though of remote work from the kings of it.

Evolution: that famous ‘march of progress’ image is just wrong
New research shows animal evolution often involves losing genes and becoming less complex.
Our results show that the origins of major groups of animals, such as the one comprising humans, are linked not to the addition of new genes but to massive gene losses.

This changed my outlook on evolution, even after reading Sapiens.

We are all quite literally becoming more myopic
The nearsighted population has increased by 14 percent in the U.S. and almost 15 percent in western Europe. Is society on the verge of going blind?
A common culprit for the increase in myopia among children is something you have probably guessed: screen time. According to a 2018 American Optometric Association study, four in five parents say their kids spend at least an hour a day in front of a computer or mobile device. Miller argued that parents tend to grossly underestimate how much screen time their school-age child is actually getting. Doctors say that the constant up-close interactions might be leading to an elongation of the eye.

I have wondered for a long time the affects on eye sight of looking at a screens. You could chalk this up to the fact that we simply don't need to look as far in the distance as we once did. Evolution works both ways I guess.

Headphones on wood in black and white

Dark Noise App

Superstar iOS developer and all-around awesome guy Charlie Chapman is doing his bit for those suffering. Charlie has introduced a freeway for everyone to get his brilliant White noise app by opening up his beta slots.

If you want to take advantage of this, and download Dark Noise to chill out with, then sign up for the test flight - here. All you then need to do is download the test flight app - the linked webpage will guide you through the process.

Goodbye

At this point, I usually tell you all to take the very best care of yourselves. And this week is no different, but at this point especially I’d also like you to look after everyone else.

Take care of yourself, and those around you, stay safe and wash your dam hands.

🤙