Spring 2019 Takeaways

Free Pix (Really!) 

When you need striking, artistic, high-resolution photographs — for free and with no copyright restrictions — check out Life of Pix. The collection was seeded with contributions from site host, Montreal-based LEEROY Creative Agency, and its network of photographers. Now any photographer can sign up and submit images for consideration. Every week, the Life of Pix team selects a Photographer of the Week and highlights 10 of his or her photographs on its website and social media platforms. Search photographs by keyword, category, colors, orientation, or photographer. If it’s free videos, clips, or loops you seek, check out sister site, Life of Vids. lifeofpix.com, lifeofvids.com


Tweet Better

Manage one or more Twitter accounts using Twitter’s free and powerful web application, TweetDeck. The interface features a dashboard that displays multiple, customizable columns in one real-time screen view. Line up your home feed(s), tweets, notifications, mentions, trending topics, and/or other options in the order of your choice, with varying customization available per column type. From the dashboard, you can both live tweet and schedule future tweets. Monitor multiple accounts simultaneously. Access using your Twitter login. Available at the Mac App Store or at tweetdeck.com.

Reliable Video/Phone Conferencing

With today’s remote workforces, simple and reliable phone and video conferencing is essential. Gone should be the days when you launch such a call with fingers crossed. Zoom to the rescue! An intuitive, cloud-based video conferencing platform, Zoom offers HD video and audio, simultaneous screen sharing, meeting recording with local and cloud storage, and the ability to host both scheduled and instant meetings. Collaboration features include private and group chat and white boarding. First-time users can easily access your meeting using a single link, with no requirement to sign up and little-to-no learning curve. Desktop client available for Windows, Mac, and Linux; mobile app for iOS and Android. Zoom’s generous free plan includes all basic features and allows you to host unlimited one-on-one meetings and group meetings up to 40 minutes. Three paid plans available. zoom.us

The Broad View of Publishing

If you want a thoughtful, international view of what’s happening in media and publishing, tune into Media Voices Podcast. Produced in England and hosted by three knowledgeable (and entertaining) hosts, each weekly segment features a conversation with a prominent industry practitioner. And the team casts their net far and wide, with guests from media brands across the globe, including Digiday, Wired, The Economist, Women’s Health, Facebook, CNN, The New York Times, and Columbia Journalism Review. The long-running podcast will air its 100th episode in May. voices.media

Goodbye, Texture. Hello, Apple News+

Apple has launched its highly anticipated Apple News+ subscription service, which allows users access to over 300 magazines inside Apple News for $9.99 per month. If that sounds familiar, it is. Apple purchased magazine subscription service Texture in March 2018. This is Apple’s integration, which will culminate in Android and Amazon Fire HD users losing their Texture app access on May 28, 2019. The big question has been whether magazines would be able to maintain their issue form or be broken out into individual articles per Apple News’ format. The answer is, both. Magazines are presented as issues, although within that structure, publishers can opt for a traditional PDF-like presentation (à la Texture) or optimize their content with the Apple News Format (responsive layouts, resizable text, and interactive elements). This optimized content can be recommended by Apple News editors and thus appear in users’ newsfeeds as individual articles. Apple News+ is available now in the U.S. and Canada as part of the iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 software updates. Includes Family Sharing with up to six family members. First month is free for all users; subsequently $9.99/month. apple.com/apple-news

Master Your Time

According to authors Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, “Make Time” is not about crushing your to-do list, optimizing every hour, or maximizing personal productivity. It’s about creating time for your priorities by rethinking the common defaults we succumb to: busyness and distraction.

You may recognize these names. Jake and John are technology designers (think Gmail and YouTube). During their time at Google Ventures, Jake invented the Design Sprint technique, which the duo wrote about in “Sprint: Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days.” They are no strangers to the always-connected culture and back-to-back meeting schedules that leave little time for work and life priorities.

Their Make Time approach is based on four basic steps:

1. Highlight: Start each day by choosing a priority. Ensure you spend time on what matters most and that you don’t lose the day reacting to other people’s priorities.

2. Laser: Beat distraction to make time. Adjust your devices and apps to help you manage the distractions of email, social media, and breaking news.

3. Energize: Use the body to recharge the brain. Reset lifestyle habits to get your energy back.

4. Reflect: Adjust and improve your system. Take the time to decide which tactics you want to continue and which you want to refine or drop.

This is not a one-size-fits-all plan, though. Like a cookbook of recipes, “Make Time” offers 87 tactics for achieving these fundamentals. As you pick and choose what works for you, Make Time becomes “a customized daily system tailored to your unique habits and routines, your unique brain and body, and your unique goals and priorities.” tinyurl.com/MakeTimeKnapp