Courtesy of Unsplash.

The act of replacing one’s smart phone with a less capable version is a growing trend. As digital decluttering and internet detoxes become more popular, so too is making the more permanent change of having less capability in your pocket at all times. Some people will pull out an old Nokia from their drawer, some will pick up the latest flip phone (they still make these?), and some will try one of few new options available in this category (i.e. the Light phone).

Me? I’ve kicked the idea around a few times. I gave it serious consideration once again when…


Courtesy of Polar.

My wife treated me well this Christmas and I was the recipient of some lovely running gear. The most prominent item was a new Polar Vantage M. Up until the late fall, I had my eyes on a Garmin device, but once Polar made this the Vantage M available I was sold.

First of all, most of the serious runners in my community use Polar gear. Second of all, the Vantage M looked like Polar was starting to take aesthetics more seriously (their older stuff is butt ugly).

Prior to this Christmas, I’ve been wearing a Fitbit Charge 2 for…


Regular readers will know that I’ve been focused a lot this past year on a couple of ideas. Namely, the Zettelkasten method and the idea of having a digital “second brain”.

Those are names other people have given the concept, but it’s simply about making the most from what we read and the information that comes our way. And these concepts are all about creating a trusted system that is used routinely, all for the express purpose of producing quality output.

I’ve shared most of these items in the past, but here’s recap of the various resources available on this…


Habits are in focus at this time of year more than any other. My recent reading of Atomic Habits and testing various habit tracking apps has had me evaluating how I get things done and how I plan my time.

I’m not alone. Here are other authors writing along similar lines:

One thing I’ve begun to ask myself is…


Over the past several years, I’ve used my notebook to track the habits I want to adopt in my life. And I still do that today.

However, I’ve been slowly trying out different apps to go along with this habit. It started with the Google Calendar app for iOS, but from there I began to explore a few of the options in this space. After a year, I think I’ve found a winner. Or maybe two winners.

The options

Here are the various apps I’ve tried.

Google Calendar

The iOS app for your Google calendar is different than what you get in…


Courtesy of Unsplash

I’ve been thinking lately about what drives us to pursue certain activities. This line of thinking was initiated by this question in an application form for competing in the Soke Cup (the world championship tournament for the Chito-ryu style of karate):

Why do you want to compete in the Soke cup?

The question is asked because this is not just any tournament. It happens every three years and will include the best and most dedicated athletes in the world. Entering a competition like this should be done with more consideration than a usual event.

As I pondered how to best…


Image from Unsplash

Maybe it’s simply due to the current stage of my life, but my days can feel so busy and scattered that I have to fight the feeling of being overwhelmed. Where all the different scenarios or locations in my day bring a reminder of another thing that needs tending to, anything thing that I should be doing something about.

And that sense of being overwhelmed leads to paralysis. Where you’re stuck with the feeling of not even knowing where to start.

How It Looks

As I work from home, usually alone, there are a lot of ways this feeling can come at me…


Since I follow so many people who live on the edge of Apple updates and run the beta all spring and summer, I was comfortable upgrading to iOS 12 right away. And I’m pretty pleased with the biggest improvement: Screen Time.

Not only is this a helpful tool for myself, it’s a great option for parents. There’s a lot of products aiming to help parents to manage what their kids see and how long they’re on screens; Disney’s Circle is a prime example. So it’s not like Apple is far ahead of the curve here. …


Well, sure they can. I’ve mentioned several times here how I use a combination of paper and digital tools for journalling. And a big part of my journalling is tracking the activities that I want to turn into regular habits. That has been taking place on paper for me.

But I was recently intrigued by what Google has been doing with Calendar. If you use Google Calendar on your computer, you may not have seen what I’m referring to. An old post from David Kadavy recently resurfaced in my Medium feed (things must be slow). Titled What I Learned About…


Image courtesy of my journal.

My most read piece on Medium is How I Journal. Since writing that, I’ve received a lot of questions about my journal, Day One, and how I put it all together. But there is one question that comes up more than all the others.

How can I start journaling and make the habit stick?

A lot of people see the value of keeping a journal, but struggle to fully adopt the habit. It’s very easy to try out an app like Day One, add several entries over a week, then forget all about it for a month. …

Chris Bowler

Customer Success at Wildbit. Writing @ chrisbowler.com. Weekly goodness: http://chrisbowler.com/newsletter

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