A protein shaker can mix more than protein

My protein shaker has become one of my most used kitchen tools.

Just because it’s made for protein, it doesn’t mean it can’t be used to shake other things. Pretty obvious, right?

Not only do you use a single tool for mixing and dispensing, but it’s also a ready storage container, should you need it.

Since this epiphany, I never use anything but my shaker for making pancake batter and scrambled eggs.

Unsubscribe email rule

Yesterday I set a new rule in my email application.

Any email containing the word unsubscribe is marked red.

That way I know what action is required. It takes a second or two to determine whether this is something  I want to continue receiving, and the answer is usually no. I search for the text unsubscribe, I click the unsubscribe link, and I’m done with it.

There are other ways to do it but this is a drop-dead simple way to combine automation with manual review and high efficiency.



Never answer the same telemarketer twice

A drop dead simple lifehack for never answering a telemarketer twice, which I’ve been using for years.

  • Create a contact named Telemarketer in your phone.
  • Get a call from a telemarketer, and you more ore less politely tell him or her that you are not interested in buying anything.
  • Every time a new telemarketer calls you, you add their number to that contact.

So if a telemarketer calls from the same number again, it shows up at Telemarketer and you simply don’t answer.

If you like, you may also set a custom ringtone for that contact.

Simple and works on most phones.

The icon of the nasty green telemarketer is by Michael Gullbrandson  and is used by permission.

Enough already with the successful attempts

I think it’s time stop using the words successful and attempt, when referring to mundane everyday tasks.

It’s standard lingo for interface dialogues saying things like Attempting to log in, Login successful.

To attempt something, is to perform a task with a substantial probability of failing.

You attempt starting a new business, climbing a mountain or hitting the waste basket from across the room.

You don’t attempt pouring coffee, unlocking a door or ordering pizza, those are things you just do. In the unlikely and rare event that you do fail, so be it. It may fail but it’s never expected.

Attempting an everyday task, to me signals extremely low expectations and ambition.

When you are successful in something it usually means that there is some level of achievement.

You can be successful in starting a new business, climbing a mountain or hitting the waste basked from across the room.

You can’t really be successful in pouring coffee, unlocking a door or ordering pizza. Those are things you just do.

It’s even more obvious in the full sentences “I attempted starting a new business and was successful.” versus “I attempted pouring a cup of coffee and was successful”.

If your waiter said “I will attempt to place you order with the kitchen, Sir” and then came back very excited saying “I succeeded!” Wouldn’t you start to wonder about the quality of the food? I’d probably reply “I will attempt to give a tip, let’s hope I’m successful.”

When using words like attempt and successful in this manner you are sending a subconscious signal to the user that the system is poor and unreliable and that even the simplest tasks are difficult and often fail.

Just say “Logging in” and “Logged in”. That’s it.

Unsuccessful attempt to get some coffee.

Ten great quotes from Rework

Here are ten great quotes, in no particular order,  from one of my favorite books Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. I recommend it to anyone who works with anything.

I was aiming for a Top ten quotes but it was simply too hard to determine, so I settled for ten great ones.

  • “When you make tiny decisions, you can’t make big mistakes.”
  • “You ‘re not going to out-Apple Apple.”
  • “Big companies are obsessed with secrecy.”
  • “Meet at the site of the problem instead of a conference room.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Imperfections are real and people respond to real.”
  • “No wonder so much business writing winds up dry, wordy and dripping with nonsense. People are just continuing the bad habits they picked up in school.”
  • “There’s a ton of untapped potential trapped under lame policies, poor direction and stifling bureaucracies. Cut the crap and you’ll find that people are waiting to do great work. They just need to be given the chance.”
  • “When everything needs approval, you create a culture of nonthinkers. You create a boss-vs-worker relationship that screams ‘I don’t trust you.'”
  • “Don’t create a policy because on person did something wrong once. Policies are only meant for situations that come up over and over again.”
  • “Don’t talk about “monetization” and being “transparent”; talk about making money and being honest. Don’t use seven words when four will do.”

Order Rework wherever you usually buy books, they’ll probably have it.