☆ Distractions

I’m writing this article on my iPhone. 

Maybe the fact I’m writing this article on my iPhone isn’t as big of a deal as why I’m not writing it on my 27-inch iMac. 

I type faster on my Mac. I have access to a full suite of powerful editing tools. It’s way easier for multi-tasking and probably more ergonomic. But there is one thing my iMac has which makes it difficult at times to use as a writing tool. 


I’m a easily distracted person on many levels. It’s something I’ve come to terms with the past few years – just how easy my mind can wander into ‘la-la land’ – away from where it should be. While it’s not always a bad thing to be distracted (I can think of a few ways to argue the opposite), it’s most troubling when I write. 

I write for many reasons. I write because I love it. I write because it’s a creative output. I write because I enjoy having a body of work to share with family and friends. 

But I don’t write because I have to. 

This is where my tendency to become distracted is a problem.  

My writing flow often starts with a gut feeling to be creative. 

The Process

“I’m going to write,” my mind would say if it had an external voice. 

I load up my iMac, launch my favorite text editor (Byword) and I start typing away. 

“Music! I forgot music. Feels strange to write without music,” my mind says once more. 

I load up iTunes and start playing some music. I notice I have unread tweets so I switch to Tweetbot. I wonder if there are any good vinyls on Amazon right now and decide to take a look. 

I kid you not, this is how my mind works. Before I know it I’ve completely given up on writing and find myself lost browsing the Internet, wondering what I was doing in the first place. 

The Solution

When I write on the iPhone, I don’t have this problem. Opening an app creates a single vision where all external distractions are tamed. 

Something about how iOS is designed helps me to forget that distractions are a home button press away. My mind is not tempted to wander.

Instead I write. And write some more. 

Before you mention full-screen Mac apps to me, don’t bother, I’ve already tried. It didn’t help. 

While there’s still a spot for the Mac in my life, I enjoy exploring alternatives, mainly the iPhone. It’s easy to dismiss the power of this extremely thin computer that fits in your pocket and has all-day battery life.

For me, it could easily be the best writing tool of our generation. 

Samsung May Launch Galaxy Note 5 Early

By launching earlier, Samsung will get “some breathing room”before Apple launches its next iPhone (the rumored iPhone 6S and 6S Plus). The launch of the Galaxy Note 4 and the Note Edge were so close to the launch of the iPhone 6and 6 Plus, Samsung may have lost millions of potential sales.

One thing is for sure – Apple definitely wouldn’t alter their launch schedule to create ‘breathing room’ between themselves and Samsung.

Interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao Steps Down

Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit who took over the site last year, has officially stepped down. “Ellen Pao resigned from Reddit today by mutual agreement. I’m delighted to announce that Steve Huffman, founder and the original Reddit CEO, is returning as CEO,” said Reddit board member Sam Altman in a statement. Huffman co-founded Reddit with Alexis Ohanian, who left the company for a time before returning as executive chair. According to Altman, Ohanian will now work with Huffman under the title of “co-founder.”

What a mess this has become.

Rene Ritchie on Bad Ads

Rene has some great points on why advertisements are necessary for iMore:

Subscriptions and memberships haven’t historically worked for sites our size. Most people simply don’t see the value in paying for content. We’re all too used to getting everything “for free”.

That leaves fully disclosed “native ads” (not the duplicitous kind, but the equivalent of a TV ad or podcast sponsor read—the kind Ben Thompson has expounded on in the past), and sponsored content.

The latter, if done carefully and smartly, can lead to a true win-win-win for the advertiser, the publisher, and most importantly, the readers.

As you all know, I’ve rejected the notion of ads on The H&F and will continue to do so.