The Best Activity Tracking Watch

After thinking about smart watches, activity trackers, and similar devices for a while, I bought a Withings Steel HR. My goal was to find a traditional stylish-looking watch with long battery life, heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, and activity tracking. Here’s my experience thus far.

Runner

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6 Steps to Better Security and Privacy

I wrote previously about securing your digital life. Technology and digital threats are advancing so fast that we’re almost inevitably all going to be attacked in some way. Here are a few more steps I’ve taken recently.

Blue Marbles

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Life on Mobile: The Last Mile on iPad

I wrote previously about how I run much of my life on iPhone/iPad, and how I switched from Android to iPhone. Why do I still have a laptop, if I can do so much on mobile devices? What holds me back?

jet engine

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Life on Mobile: The iPhone Apps And Services I Use

In my last post I talked about the transition from Android to iOS and some of the experiences I had during that journey. Once I switched, I found a rich ecosystem of iPhone and iPad apps I use daily. Some of them are central to my workflow and professional life, and I use them across all my devices, including my laptop/desktop systems. In this post I’ll talk about those apps and how they enable me to run the bulk of my life (and my company) on a phone screen.

Torx Bits

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Life on Mobile: From Android to iOS

I’ve been living an increasingly mobile life lately, by which I mean laptops aren’t my sole or even primary computing device anymore. For the last two years I’ve been doing more computing on mobile devices than laptops or desktops. I’m writing this post on my iPad Pro. At the same time, I’m a heavy user of old-school technologies: command line, LaTeX, terminal-based editors, etc. I find it interesting that my life is increasingly possible to run on a mobile device, while at the same time my laptop remains absolutely indispensable. As I thought about this, I found myself organizing the last few years’ worth of lessons into distinct categories, which I’m strangely compelled to write into blog posts. So, here goes! In the first edition we will follow Baron on his adventures as he transitions from Android to iOS.

Metamorphosis

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Five Surprising Secrets of People Who Always Win

Are you a winner? Or are you going to let life get you back on your heels and make you into a failure? Because remember, if you lose, it means you’re a loser. By definition.

Winners

Here’s the surprising truth about what winners do and how they do it, and how you can too.

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Gluten

I’m not saying I’m gluten-sensitive. I just know that when I eat things like pizza, bread, pasta, or the like, I suffer. And gluten-free alternatives are disgusting. But I’ve figured out how to make the breads I love, such as pancakes, waffles, and muffins, without pain. Here’s my recipe.

Stacked Rocks

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Cursive Writing

When I was a child, I learned to write in cursive using the A Beka Books homeschooling curriculum. I resumed journaling in cursive a couple years ago, after decades of writing with block letters (printing).

Cursive

Although my motivation to relearn cursive was to make my daily journaling more special by setting it apart, I didn’t simply regain what I had forgotten. I found something entirely new, and learned a great deal I’d never known before.

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Intent

One of the core teachings of Drucker’s classic “Managing Oneself” is to form hypotheses about what you’ll do well or poorly, and then observe the outcomes. By repeatedly practicing this, you learn what you’re good and bad at.

Compass

At some point I noticed that I sometimes wasn’t certain why I failed or succeeded. As I’ve explored this more deeply in the last few years, I’ve come to see that the biggest factor in my success or failure is often the clarity of my purpose itself.

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Meditation

I’ve been telling more people about the benefits I’ve received from meditation. Meditation has greatly influenced the way I think, behave, and relate to others.

Ripples

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My Daily Inspiration Experiment

About 18 months ago I began an experiment on social media.

snowflake

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Feelings and Behaviors

It’s a new year and I drew a diagram.

Feelings and Behaviors

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Personality Assessments

Over the last couple of years I have increasingly studied and used personality tests for personal and professional uses, both for myself and for others. I’ve seen a variety of benefits, but these assessments are not without drawbacks, and not all assessments are created equal.

different

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Staying Sharp While Exercising

In my last blog post I explained how to reclaim your mornings and make them the most productive time of day. In this one I’ll explain how exercise makes my mornings better, and how I avoid feeling sluggish after overdoing it.

Bokeh

Before I start, though, I am not a doctor, and by reading the following you agree you’re doing it at your own risk.

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Boost Your Productivity In Three Easy Steps

If you’re like a lot of knowledge workers, you might feel that you spend your time unproductively. You seem to “do stuff” all day long but then feel that you’ve done nothing but “stuff” at the end of the day.

How can you change this? I’ve found three things that work for me to not only stay focused and achieve my objectives, but also help me feel better about myself. You see, although on a less focused day I might not feel very productive, it’s not that I’ve failed to achieve anything (though I might have achieved fewer of my most valuable goals). It’s that I’ve worked with an unclear mind, and later cannot remember exactly what I did during the day. This leads directly to self-doubt and self-criticism.

Sky

Solving this problem is fairly simple for me and results in terrific productivity, as well as a great sense of satisfaction and progress at the end of the day.

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On Focus

Focus is perhaps the most important attribute in an organization. In fact, my dictionary defines an organization as “an organized body of people with a particular purpose…” A focused organization recognizes and cleaves to its purpose.

Likewise, the ability to create and sustain focus is perhaps the most valuable skill of the organization’s members, including both individual contributors and leaders.

Rainbokeh

What Is Focus, And Why Is It Hard?

My dictionary says focus is “an act of concentrating.” Consider the root words: concentrate literally means to bring to a common center, to be centered together.

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6 Ways To Stay Sane While Working From Home

Since I joined Percona, my work/life balance has changed. I used to work eight-hour days and go home, period. Now I find it’s sometimes difficult to keep good boundaries between work and the rest of my life. I also found that 8 hours in my new job left me much more tired than 8 in my old job. I’ve had to really work hard to understand what changed and how to keep this more in balance.

Newton's Cradle

I’ve gotten help from a number of other people. In the end, a deep examination of my habits was necessary. After all that work, I thought it might be helpful to share the results with others.

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