Month: October 2013

  • It's NaNoWriMo Time, Again

    Tomorrow is November 1st, and although most of us call that iPad Air Day, some have more reasonable goals. Like writing a novel in a month, as a part of the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.

    The target word count is 50,000 words. That’s 1,667 words per day in November.

    Or as I like to call it: Quite possible to pull off. landing page landing page

    I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo myself, I’ve got enough writing project on my table as it is. Although I must confess I’m weirdly tempted each year, despite averaging a word count higher than the necessary one to complete NaNoWriMo in style. It’s nice to belong, I guess.

    While working on your NaNoWriMo project, I urge you to do the following:

    • Write every day in November. Every. Day.
    • Set a daily word count and stick to it.
    • Outline, and do it properly.
    • Turn off Twitter, Facebook and whatever you’re addicted to, at least until you’ve reached your daily word count.
    • Pick a writing tool and stick to it.

    Speaking of writing tools, I’ve got two links for you there too. First is my ebook, The Writer’s iPad, which is all about helping you write on your iPad. The second is a new focused writing service called, which is free to use during November. The latter isn’t built by me, but it is part of the same Odd Alice satellite program as Shrtnws, so give it a shot.

    And read up on my Thoughts on Writing series for more writing tips. Happy pecking, all.

  • #MobNov October Update

    There’s just no easy way to say this. My iPhone novel writing project is struggling. The story’s almost done and there’s just the endgame left, which adds up to a couple of thousand words or so, but the manuscript is way too short. As I’ve said before, writing in such short spurts completely changed the pace of my writing, and I’ve already re-outlined the novel twice, to no avail.

    The past few days I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time each day to mull over what I’m going to do about this. True to the project, I’ve tried not to spend too much time. It has to be reasonable.

    This is the new plan:

    • Insert the new scenes and character earlier in the story. This is usually not a good idea when writing, but I need these elements to proceed.
    • Add a parallell storyline, the one I scrapped because I thought it’d push the novel over 100,000 words. Yeah, that was quite a miscalculation.
    • Update the outline properly. I’ll most likely do this on paper, that’s how definite this thing’ll be.
    • Get back into the 300 words daily mindset, because these issues have left me scattered and unfocused.

    That’s about it. I might change writing app as well, because Byword, which I’ve used thus far, have had quite a few issues with iOS 7. We’ll see, more on that in a later article series for this site.

  • Du har väl inte missat Appmagasinet?

    Appmagasinet är e-posttidningen om appar till iOS, med ett nytt nummer varje torsdagseftermiddag. Prenumerationen är förstås gratis.

  • Shrtnws är tillbaka

    På senaste (sista?) 24 Hour Business Camp byggde jag och mina kollegor på Odd Alice nyhetstjänsten Shrtnws. Under dryga månaden publicerade vi korta nyheter i flera olika kanaler, med betalande sponsorer. Dessvärre blev det inte mer än så den gången, av flera skäl, och tjänsten lades på is.

    Tills i dag, för Shrtnws är tillbaka i ny form, snabbare och mer lätthanterlig. Jag skriver mer ingående om bakgrunden på för den som är intresserad.

    Precis som förra gången handlar det om korta snabba nyheter, ofta med tillhörande länk för mer läsning. Kvar är även möjligheten att läsa nyheterna var du vill, nästan i alla fall. I dag finns Shrtnws på Twitter,, Facebook samt Tumblr. Framöver blir det fler platser, samt en fullskalig sajt förstås.

  • Shrtnws Redux

    Shrtnws was a small project that I built along with my Odd Alice friends at an event called 24 Hour Business Camp. It was great fun to build, and the end result was pretty cool. Basically, it was short news delivered to you through the site, or on Twitter and/or Facebook. There were several (five or six) topics that you could follow, and you got the very most important news in each of these.

    We ran Shrtnws for a month or so, with paying sponsors I might add, but then decided to call it quits. There just wasn’t time enough, and due to changes with APIs, along with a publishing method that took a little bit too much tinkering when you were mobile, we shelved the project.

    I was never comfortable with dropping the project, but reality is what it is. Much like I had to shelve the Appricorn project due to the ongoing changes within the App Store, we had to do the same with Shrtnws at the time. (more…)

  • On Medium And Its Likes

    Medium’s open for all, just sign in with your Twitter account and you can use Ev William’s latest publishing platform. It’s good, very good in fact, and focused on content rather than anything else. Content first, as it is and were. I want to like Medium, and I do on many levels.

    The Medium editor is, in many ways, outstanding
    The Medium editor is, in many ways, outstanding

    But Medium’s a bad idea for you. It’s a locked canister for your content, a window to the web that might just as well be gone in a year. I don’t doubt that, should Medium go south, there’ll be export options, and the open source community will make sure that you can import your content to other platforms, but all your links will be dead, even if your content isn’t.

    That’s not all. When you put your words on Medium, when you move your blog to Google+ or Facebook, then you’re effectively building their brands respectively, limiting and sidelining yourself. Tumblr, Blogger and have all solved this problem. You can connect your own domain to these services, and thus should you wish (or be forced) to move your content elsewhere you’ll be able to move it all.

    With Medium, not so much, not at its present state.

    Don’t ever rely solely on a service where you can’t move your content, and keep your domain and links, to another platform. In other words, putting your well-thought words of wisdom on Medium, Google+ or Facebook is a bad idea.

    Unless you don’t give a shit about what you do, and what you publish online, of course. Then by all means, go for it. And by all means use Medium, it’s the best alternative out there, of the bad ones that is.

  • WordPress 3.7 är släppt #wpse

    WordPress 3.7 är släppt, med största nyheten att WordPress nu kan uppdatera sig självt (till punktversioner i alla fall). Bra skit, uppdatera omedelbums!

  • Back To The Drawing Board

    It’s hard to build a credible online identity sometimes, and even harder to back that up with a site that makes sense. Take me for example, these are the side-projects I have on my table at the moment:

    • I’m publishing a weekly app newsletter in Swedish.
    • I’m wrapping up a novella that’ll go out to my editor early next week.
    • I’ve got my iPhone novel writing project.
    • And I’m writing a novel too, or rather rewriting it, as should be.
    • Speaking of which, I’m dabbling with self-publishing as well. It sort of connects with the writing, you know.
    • I’m putting the finishing touches on a manuscript for a Swedish horror RPG, which then will have to be translated into English at the very least.
    • I’ve got this site, and my neglected Swedish one, alongside my link commentary that ends up on Twitter and the TDHFTW blog.

    This is just the side-projects, things I do alongside my web agency Odd Alice, and my regular book writing and consulting. Nor is it counting side-projects that fly under either of my two company flags.


  • On Bucket Lists

    “That’s one more thing checked on my bucket list!”

    I don’t have a bucket list. The mere notion of one makes me cringe a bit, to my big surprise. I have a list of goals, which might be viewed as similar to a bucket list by some. My goals aren’t todos per se, they’re more in the likes of Publish Book X or Save three monthly salaries. I revisit my goals on a yearly basis, a silly time period but New Year’s is such a strong break in our society that it’s easy to conform to. Lately I’ve bothered less with this, but at the same time I don’t want my list of goals to just build up.

    That’d make it a bucket list.

    Look, a bucket, that's relevant! Photo: katmeresin (CC)
    Look, a bucket, that’s relevant! Photo: katmeresin (CC)

    I think my problem with bucket lists is that they’re unruly by nature. “This is what I want to do before I die” definitely constitutes some sort of goal, but it’s also everything at once, thrown in a bucket. Most people won’t complete their bucket list, and they’ll probably not feel that they’re getting close to doing it either. List items such as Sleep with a pornstar and Visit space might be achievable, but added up with the 64 travel destinations, the book you want to write, the movie you want to direct, the castle you want to build, and the album you want to record, they get unattainable as a whole.

    The term “bucket list” is appropriate, because it’s just a bunch of things you want to do thrown in a bucket, sloshing about. I don’t think that’s helpful.

    This year I’ll have ticked off five goals from my list. In a few short months my list of goals will be up for revision and it might or might not match the New Year. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’ve achieved my goals, and can focus on new ones. As opposed to tick something off a list of 512 items.

    Maybe I’m cranky. Enjoy your bucket lists. Anything that helps you do what you want to be doing is a good thing. Just remember to rummage through the bucket and ask yourself what the fuck you put in there, and why you did it in the first place. After all, Sleep with a pornstar is pretty juvenile, don’t you think?

  • Phones, Tablets And Post PC

    Phones, Tablets And Post PC

    The modern smartphone is a pocket computer. Let’s just get that out of the way. For some reason, the whole Post-PC thing have been entirely focused on tablets, when all smart mobile devices should be implied and considered.

    Here’s an example: A relative of mine just bought an iPhone 4S, and a 11″ MacBook Air. She’s happy with both, but wonder what she need the computer for, really? What she should get is an iPad, at least when the apps and web services (banks and government mostly) support it all the way. They might already. Funny thing is, to her the iPhone 4S is almost a valid replacement to a computer. Next year, the iPad will be that replacement, because the parts of the infrastructure that hasn’t caught up with the times yet will have by then.

    Think about that for a second. An older person, not an Apple fanboy or a techsavvy cord-cutter, thinks that a smartphone is a valid computer replacement. That’s very much Post-PC. (more…)

  • Jag pratar på MakingWeb i Oslo

    Det är inte bara Internetdagarna som är på agendan för mig, dessförinnan ska jag till Oslo (Norge) och prata på MakingWeb, nästa vecka faktiskt. Jag pratar på onsdagen, precis innan lunch i stora salen. Min session heter något så färgstarkt som I don’t fucking care what platform you’re using och handlar således inte bara om WordPress.

    Utöver min egna dragning sitter jag även med i panelen samma dag, som leds av ingen mindre än keynote-talaren Jeffrey Zeldman. Där blir det prat om webbläsarnas framtid, vilket ska bli intressant eftersom representanter från såväl Microsoft som Opera också ska sitta i panelen. Misstänker att vi inte kommer vara helt överens…


  • Livet just nu i en punktlista

    Det är väldigt tyst här just nu. Jag ska prata mer om hur jag tänker kring just det längre fram, men kort kan vi väl konstatera att jag just nu skriver desto mer på engelska, på som är min engelskspråkiga sajt, samt förlägger en hel del av skrivtiden utöver det till triviala saker som böcker och tweets.

    Nog om det just nu. Här är livet just nu, i en punktlista så att alla hänger med.

    • Låt oss börja med bokskrivandet. Den fjärde utgåvan av Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog kommer i vinter, förhoppningsvis på den här sidan årsskiftet men det beror på WordPress-versionernas faktiska lanseringstempo och publiceringsapparaten. Jag lovar inget.
    • Det blir en uppdaterad utgåva av eboken The Writer’s iPad med, gratis för alla som köpt den första från mig förstås (så köp om du inte redan gjort det). Skulle tro att det blir slutet av november för den här.
    • Odd Alice, webbyrån som jag driver, växer så det knakar och har roliga kunder. Bland annat slänger vi ut Episerver på ännu en plats, och bygger API:er, appar, samt filar på en podcast. Mer om sådant allt eftersom det händer och blir officiellt, och då på hemsidan snarare än här.
    • Internetdagarna tar en hel del tid för mig nu, jag driver nämligen två spår/dagar: En dag med WordPress samt Det är innehållet som räknas respektive. Missa absolut inte att köpa biljett till dessa (begränsat med platser) för det är oklart hur det blir med livesändning tyvärr. Boka med koden IND13 så får du 20% rabatt, och gör du det bums får du en t-shirt, tror jag bestämt.
    • Ja, det börjar bli dags för en #wpbar i Stockholm. Jobbar på’t.
    • Jag länk-kommenterar ganska friskt just nu, och har gjort de senaste månaderna. Följ @tdh på Twitter, eller om du så föredrar så följer du Tumblr-bloggen TDHFTW, som får alla länkarna med. Fast just nu, i skrivande stund, så är kopplingarna trasiga så klart. Ironiskt.
    • E-posttidningen Appmagasinet har utkommit med fyra nummer så här långt. Från och med nästa nummer blir det lite mer innehåll per nummer, men vi håller kvar vid torsdag eftermiddag som publiceringsdag (en gång i veckan alltså), och naturligtvis är Appmagasinet helt gratis och spamfritt. Teckna en prenumeration på hemsidan, och/eller läs äldre nummer via länkarna på bloggen.

    Och som alltid, prata gärna med mig, helst på Twitter men övriga kanaler fungerar med.

  • The iPad Pro

    The iPad Pro

    There’s been rumors about a larger iPad for quite some time. I have no doubt that Apple have larger iPad prototypes than the 9.7″ full-sized iPad we can buy today. They have prototypes smaller than the iPad mini too. This is what product companies do, they create products, and the ones that they actually launch are ideally just a small part of all the ideas that have passed through R&D.

    With that in mind, let’s speculate a bit, dream even, about an iPad Pro, much like the e-ink typewriter I’ve written about previously.

    The iOS operating system isn’t just for content consumptions anymore, and hasn’t been for a long time. The case for the iPad Pro has gotten a lot stronger this year though, because Apple are talking about it, in strong terms (and not just this). People are doing this, people are doing that with their iPads. Creating music, writing, drawing and illustrating, doing mockups and design, and so on. Nothing new there, iPad users have been creating things using their devices since launch day. It’s just gotten a lot easier, and a lot more accessible thanks to better apps, better accessories, and better iPads too. Personally, I often rely solely on the iPad in my work, it’s a great tool.

    But it’s a bit small, isn’t it?


  • The Post-It Todo System

    The Post-It Todo System

    Back in the day I used to manage all (!) my todos with post-its. I had a very simple system, which in part was derived from other people’s ideas, as most things are.

    Sample Today post-it
    The Today post-it could look something like this

    This is how it worked:

    • Everything resided in my Moleskine notebook, a pocket-sized model with hard covers, which never left my side. I had several post-its on the insides of this notebook, mostly for jotting down quick notes to hand to others (a nice tip overall, for avoiding having to rip pages out), but also for todo lists.
    • I used the square medium-sized post-its, but any post-it will do as long as you get the space (and limitations) you need.
    • The post-it on top was the Today list, used for todos meant for today.
    • There was a Tomorrow post-it underneath the Today post-it, for tasks meant for tomorrow.
    • Finished todos are striked through. Very rewarding.
    • When the day was over I moved any unfinished but still relevant todos to the (then) Tomorrow post-it, before discarding the Today post/it, thus making the Tomorrow post-it the new Today. A blank post-it for the new Tomorrow was added.

    It’s a simple system, meant to keep you focused on the tasks at hand. I’m sure others have done the same, with post-its or other tools. I added some rules though:

    • Todos should be reasonable, no “build and launch this site” or “write 10,000 words for book” todos, that’s cheating.
    • All todos should be written in all caps, in a normal size (personal preference).
    • When the post-it is full, the day is definitely full. No expanding the post-it not what you can cram into a day’s work!
    • You can add todos to the Tomorrow post-it.
    • You cannot add todos to the Today post-it, ever. If a todo is urgent, add it to the Tomorrow post-it because, you know, nothing’s that urgent…

    This system worked very well for me. It can easily be replicated using a simple text file, or an app (Begin more or less does exactly this, except it lets you add todos to the Today list), but it never really felt natural to me in digital form. On paper however, this was magic, an excellent tool, in many ways refined thanks to the limitations of the post-it’s size. The same can’t be said for apps or text files, which tend to give you unlimited space, with no thought as to what’s reasonable for you. The post-it size is a lot nicer in that sense.

    Give it a go if you like, steal it and tweak it. Whatever gets the job done, right?

  • Begin And Simplicity In Todos

    Simplicity is often the key to getting things done. For some, that means fleshed-out todo lists and subscribing to covert religions such as Getting Things Done. For others, it’s just a list of things that need to get done.

    Begin for iOS
    Begin for iOS

    Begin is for the latter. It’s a simple iOS app that’s basically a list for today, and for tomorrow. When something’s not done, it’ll end up on the list of unfinished tasks, and you’ll have to move it back up to the Today list if you want to. There’s one simple alert (“hey, do stuff!”) that you can trigger once per day, and there are two color themes (more available as in-app purchases) available.

    That’s about it. No sync, no iPad version, no nothing but this.

    It’s eerily close to my post-it system that got me through the days way back. I’ll do a proper write-up on that later.

    Today, Tomorrow, and you fucked up and didn’t finish your todos. What more can you ask for?

    A ton of things, as it turns out. I’ve found that I need the timed reminders these days, not for my general tasks (finish this chapter, publish that piece, research something, buy that and sell something else), but for the things in my day that are tied to specific periods of time. Most things aren’t (by design), but it feels overly complicated maintaining two lists, one in Begin and one in Reminders, for example.

    I’m giving Begin the benefit of a doubt, using it at the moment. I suspect I’ll quit for the same reasons I quit my post-it system, but we’ll see. For now, if you’re even the least interested in a minimalistic Today/Tomorrow todo list app, by all means check out Begin. It’s well executed and a nice little example of an app that does one thing well.