productivity Feed

03 - SubShifter: ONLY what it says on the tin.

5C69F01E-4A95-4961-BF8E-18CE9E5E1CFBBack on my toolbar. Prepping videos for this years SparkArts for Children festival. I’m providing video hosting and embeds codes along with top and tail edits to insert bumper branding.

This app is essential. The caption files I’m provided with when uploaded to facilitate captioning being visible or hidden line up to the start of the film. With the branding bumper inserted the film doesn’t start until the bumper has played. Sublititle files .srt are time coded text files. To insert a time period each consequent time code has to be amended.

In a nutshell that is what this app does. Full stop!

App Store for Mobile and MAC desktop

Restricted time length on the free version

Browser Based


What happened to Evernote?

I noticed the changes taking place over the years. The Plus tier was withdrawn in April 2018. There are a few platforms for which I discover ‘grandfathering’ has taken place.

Evernote tells me I have been a ‘member’ / held an account since Feb 1st 2010.

I pay a subscription which I recently discovered is a deprecated tier, Evernote Plus. I pay £19.99 a year.

The current subscription tiers are (link to compare features)

Evernote Free
Evernote Personal - £5.99 p/month
Evernote Professional - £7.49 p/month
Evernote Teams - £10.99 p/month

Despite being a subscribed member and perhaps as a result of spam filtering I have never to my knowledge been informed about the changes. I know they will have been circulated but they didn’t reach my inbox for active consideration.

The legacy of my £19.99 a year is that I can synchronise my account across all my devises. On the free the capacity to synchronise devises is just two.

There are plenty of digital notebook options. Microsoft’s OneNote, Google’s KeepIt, Apple’s Notes and other stand alone apps Nebo, NoteShelf being two I use synchronise with Evernote for backup.

I use the Chrome browser clipping tool rather than in browser based bookmarking and Skitch, the tool I use for screen grabs syncs to Evernote also.

I used Evernote for some time and established Notebooks for projects and clients but recently adopted folksonomic tagging resulting in notes being dumped in one central notebook. Google Drive is my central admin hub with documents and folders serving a stronger more solid purpose that notebooks and notes.

Once upon a time there was an app that let you create digital notebooks. Each notebook contains related notes. A screen displayed the notebooks and multiple notebooks could be grouped together in stacks. So for so conceptually analogue. Evernote lost this feel and consequently I stopped turning to Evernote.

Notes, Notebooks and Stacks.
Viewed in a list or as tiles. Side by side square reorientations of each note, notebook or stack.

So what happened?

Evernote aligned with the major player in aesthetic terms and for interface. Evernote being the middle ground between OneNote and Apple Note.

The emailing to Evernote is still unique to the platform as far as I can tell.

It’s Evernote add on apps and extending services are a nice feature making Evernote a hybrid of data storage, back up, input interface and content management. Postachio for blogging, Skitch for screen grab and annotation being 2 active Evernote extenders I have in my toolset.

So will I upgrade to the Personal subscription. As far as I can see the only advantage would be to enable interface customisation. Not right now.

What notebook apps do you use?

Mulling IT Over 2 - starting in Oban a 3wk unboxing


Over next few weeks I’m unpicking and sharing my mobile media capture, making, production and publishing process.

I use what I have to hand in the budget I can afford. Low cost is key for first timers too. Its the output practice. The workflow.

The journey to get here is the beginning. This annual holiday is about the unraveling and release of my internal dialogue. I get to examine my media making kit, I review my assistive tech. I try and make media I don’t get the chance to when doing projects for others. I try and write the eBooks that complete projects but never were required to sign off on the deliverable that got me paid. I let my mind roan the ponder.

I’ve got a body cam I’m experimenting with. This blog via email process. I have a box of tech which I thought essential to this vacation.

Let’s see.

Keeping Tabs - Chrome geekery joy

I favour Chrome as my primary browser. I’m a Firefox advocate and recently appreciate the intelligence of Ghostery’ browser offer.

Chrome operates across all my devices providing a portal to my cloud apps, services, tools and online documents... oh and the World Wide Web!

I open and close tabs to keep track and focus on the client project or production I’m working on. I clear the decks and move on next day.

Clearing my toys and getting out the next game, changing the set takes mental energy. Stopping and starting. You get the picture.

Enter Chrome Tabs stage left!

I’d flirted with Chrome extension OneTab and the like but they never became habitual. 
Want to play? Right click a chrome tab. New items in the menu! “Add tab to new group”. A coloured button appears (you can name) and the colour will outline and underline the collected tabs as you add them.

Thank you Helen Raw for the heads up on this. 

Once you have the optimal set up make sure you update your settings so that “On start-up” is set to “Continue where you left off”.

Click the group button and as if by magic all the tabs assigned to the group tab compress to a single tab neatly named and coloured. It’s very satisfying.

I have one for Email providers which used to be my opening tabs (Heart Internet, Hyper.Host and Gmail - My web mail) One for co-working (Teemy, Kumospace and Whereby) followed by tab groups for each of my current client which consist of an array of Google docs.

Chrome Browser Extension I used today... Eyedropper (sample any colour in a single click)

There are browser extensions I use all the time. Many of them are the reason I use Google’s Chrome Browser. Today I opened a new brand guidelines colour swatch palette with CMYK reference but no hex code values. This was no problem because I have Eyedropper. There are frequent occasions while putting graphics together or creating document and need to colour match to mirror brand colours that I need a colour code from a block of colour on the website. This is the extension for that.


Digitise vs Digitalisation

This is profoundly relevant and routed in a guiding principle that has long been quoted by me imparted by one of my greatest influencers Marcus Romer. “Don’t add technology to the way you do things. Change the way you do things once you know what technology can do.”

This is distilled as 2021 opens in to summer rephrased like origami to Digitalise not Digitise.

What does this mean for lockdown innovations in screen and live performed online theatre? Blended and Remote attendance, digital live evaporating into on demand.
John Maeda’s medium article referees to business innovations.

“Digitizing is easy, but succeeding in digitalization these days requires care and attention to the design of an experience if you are intending to charge a premium.”

Digitizing: Taking what is an existing process or activity and making it electronic to create cost efficiencies.

Digitalizing: Realizing an entirely new digital business that can take on the likes of Amazon or Netflix to generate new topline revenue.

Michael Fisher tweeted below John’s medium in my timeline. The two synchronised tweets inspired today’s post.


It’s easy to get light headed by the overwhelming newness of each and every day. It’s easy to allow anxiety to wash over me. The digitalised horizons are revealed the closer you approach. I want as much time as I can embrace. But the world is moving faster than I want to move. Faster than I can competently process. 

That internal metronome will orchestrate me through. We are entering exciting times.
Transformation. I like this concept.

Analogue heart and a digitalised soul.

“Uniquely work in progress” is how I feel.

Perhaps that should go on my grave stone!

Not very PC

I have not done battle with a windows PC in a while. The days of continually dancing with memory management, temporary folder emptying, defragmentation etc etc. I am not qualified to be anywhere near the run command entering regedit or sys anything! And all because the physical memory in my little windows 10 Acer laptab is running high and yet running very little.

With only 2GB of memory I suspected that might have something to do with it.

For day to day I’m an unapologetic Mac fan.

I made the transition precisely because of the above!

But for additional computing and to keep my basic Windows familiarity skills I or Windows only required services I do have a couple of windows laptops.

So what did I do and did I succeed in making my little laptab functional? Back in the day when all my computing PC tech was with Windows I wanted the most efficient running machine. Every action lowered the optimal. And it never stopped. In the end it was the noise of the cooling fans that turned the page.

I did not miss the registry hacks to force the virtual memory to extend beyond the ‘let windows know what is best for me’ settings  Did those hoops still remain?

Oh boy do they! I actually laughed out loud when I saw the first one. I considered my self a Windows novice going into this. I’d put this toe dip to optimising a Windows 10 machine off for a while. And to launched immediately into a run command to make a change in the registry is hilarious.

I ended up installing a couple of utility programmes. Uninstalling a stealth install from an antivirus company before finally watching some YouTube videos reviewing the make and model finding a vid demonstrating how to install a new memory strip to upgrade from 2GB to 8GB.

I’ll be pleased to return to work on Monday to my low maintenance iMac!

Video Playlist for the useful vids.

Search - Physical Memory high usage Windows 10


Utilities Applications

  • CC cleaner
  • PC cleaner
  • Wise Memory

Downloading from YouTube

Moving media from A to B or collecting from A to show at C.

Frequently media is uploaded or streamed to YouTube and the request then comes, Can I extract it for use by permission. That is key here. This service I’m sharing requires responsible consent. 
Need to share a video from your desktop for events minimising up and down bandwidth traffic?

Downloading from YouTube



The anatomy of the internet pt1

Yep I’m committing myself to a series! 

Lets talk about BANDWIDTH and Home Broadband. What wisdom can I impart? This is a fundamental I want to share.

Your broadband internet connects has several parts.

  • Upload speed
  • Download speed
  • Ping rate
  • Jitter

The combination of all these determines how STABLE and ROBUST your connection is.

Download is the speed always quoted and for watching and browsing Download is king.

Upload is the speed no one talks about but is equally vital in the day of immersion and participation its the speed in which you are able put information up on to the internet. Upload is necessary and the invariable overlooked.

Ping and Jitter should be low and by monitoring these figures you can judge the HEALTH of your connection.

This is my connection its extremely STABLE and HEALTHY (this is the general state of play with my connection)

I have a business connection and I pay £38.50


This Speedtest recommendation is one of my 12apps from 2020

Uploading is as separate metric to Downloading. For live-streaming 2MB up and down is adequate. A good strong mobile signal can be just as stable, just as robust.

My current mobile signal is not great but it’s cost effective and flexible. 

This is a perfectly adequate bandwidth. A mobile unit (MiFi) is the best way to get the most from mobile internet. 


My mobile provider is GiffGaff I pay £10 a month.

I think this is the shortest video I have uploaded to YouTube!

Do get in touch / comment if you want to know more.I better start thinking about part 2!

Livescribe - Lonely in Lockdown

Prior to Covid my most trusty and assistive piece of technology was my Livescribe Pen. I have an eBay search running looking for pens on sale I buy for colleagues and clients when compiling essential tech and media making kit boxes.

During lockdown along with my mobile power packs my livescribe pens have sat idol.


In lockdown I have spent all my working from my desktop computer. My magic notebook has been set aside. 

Analogue pen and pen, digital transcription with audio accompanying. Searchable digital version. Handwriting to text. But it needs sound in the room to capture.

During lockdown for most of my meetings I have worn headphones. So I’d have a lot of one sided conversations! A year or so ago I discovered Otter. It was for its dictation but it really blossomed when it’s Zoom integration emerged. I was looking into closed captions and top of the list popped Otter.

The connection transcribes my Zoom calls to text as well as storing a copy of the audio without having to remember to hit record.

It’s dyslexic peace of mind. The big bonus is that is affords me the concentration of future recall without having to take full notes.

Plus Otter augments into Zoom’s CC api. I’ve been so impressed by Otters development during Covid. Accessibility has become priority with the events and productions I have supported.

Providing remote access can now be fully accessible too.