I see lots of love for apps like Ulysses , Drafts and iA Writer. They all seem like great places to get writing work done. However, I have always come back to Simple Note for its, well, simplicity. It does the one thing I need it to do and it does it well. It provides a distraction free writing environment that allows markdown with with an easy to use tagging system.

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All of my writing tasks start there, whether it’s frequently used email templates, website content, drafts of social media posts, blog articles or even longer form writing. It also syncs cross platform easily which is important to me as I use both a Mac and a PC in my everyday workflow.

There are two simple themes to choose from, light or dark and it has a focus mode that eliminates the sidebar.

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Curious why I never hear anyone else ever singing its praises. Am I missing something?

I like having a personal icon or avatar to use around the interwebs. Part of it is my desire for privacy (I don’t need my face plastered everywhere) and part of it is having an image I chose to represent me across platforms and on my own sites. For the past year it has been an image of a crow, a symbol of intelligence, flexibility and destiny. To be honest I mainly chose it because as a horror aficionado it was just plain cool. Close enough to Poe’s raven without committing identity plagiarism.

However, today I changed my personal icon to a simple rendition of an ouroboros. I like the ubiquity of the symbolism surrounding this image. From ancient Egypt and Greece to Celts and the Norse, the self devouring serpent has been as an emblem of wholeness, infinity or renewal. Simple image, simple yet deep meaning. Feels right for where my head is these days. And ya, it looks pretty bad ass.

Got my new Field Notes pack yesterday,  Mile Marker: Spring Edition 2019, which came with an old style, gas station folding map. I love these little notebooks. I’m predominantly using them for teaching- sketching lessons, quick reflections and to-do lists. But that changes with the ebb and flow of life as a teacher and writer. I used to use them as more of a journal, but I’m living in a BATF nowadays for journal-type writing.

Saturday afternoons are for watching golf in sweatpants. I’ve already finished a client project, sent my newsletter, gone on a 4 mile run, done some grocery shopping and driven my eldest to work. Productive enough for a Saturday.

I’ve been going super basic lately and drafting all my writing in Notepad. Kind of nice to just write without any real thought to how it is going to look on the screen. Just getting the words out.

I haven’t called on social media like this for a while, so hopefully I have enough followers to make this work.

👉 QUESTION: What good online short fiction magazines are you guys reading these days?

Need to fill up my instapaper with some quality short fiction.

Finally started really getting into Google Assistant routines on my android. Fun to play around with and made my morning commute both useful and pleasant. More to come I’m sure…

It’s March 4th and we’ve finally scored the first full snow day of the year. It looks like I’ll have a foot of heavy, wet snow to shovel today. Good thing I skipped the gym yesterday.

👉 By day I am a mild-mannered English teacher, by night I am a Job Search Coach, and in my leisure time I am a book nerd and a horror fan. As the snow is falling I am writing up the new edition of my newsletter which is a little bit of all of that.

It drops Sunday morning. If this sounds like your thing I’d love to have you along for the ride . Link: https://stevepbrady.me/

Currently enjoying a second cup of coffee on my fourth 2 hour delay of the school year. Most importantly we’ve had no full snow days, which means an end date of June 14th could be a reality. #TeacherLottery

Addendum to yesterday’s thoughts on The Light Phone. After really thinking about how I use my phone I decided I couldn’t live without things like maps, music, podcasts and a camera. Well, “couldn’t” might be a strong term. Let’s say I don’t want to. The 90s were great and all, but I don’t want to go back there in 2019.

However, this doesn’t mean I can’t do something about my bloated smart phone. I opted to nuke anything with a stream, Twitter, Instagram, Feedly, LinkedIn and *gasp* email are now gone. Here is what my home screen now looks like:

Phone as tool, not as distraction device. We’ll see how long I stick with this, but I think I’m going to like my smart/dumb phone for a while.

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

Tim Kreider, NYT

So far my February break has been remodeling. Either physically remodeling, as in painting my downstairs or digital remodeling as in updating my websites. Now that I have my business site just like I want it, I decided to play around with my personal blog. My new current theme is set up to mimic a social media platform. I can even post updates right from the website, no need to open WordPress. Not 100% sold on this, but I want to play around with the post types for a few days to see what I think.

Snowy start to February break. Started the day shoveling in the predawn hours so my wife could get to work. Rest of today will be occupied with painting a ceiling and obsessively checking my new newsletter stats. If you’re curious here’s this week’s subject line –

Small Steps Are Better for Your Career | What Came After Goodfellas | Great TV 📺 | Geocities reborn? https://bit.ly/2DQ7ZK9