W12 - Spring Clings (Productively) to Winter's Chill

My new Pomodoro App, more acoustic Cat Stevens, first premium subscriber, and lots of pow skiing!

W12 - Spring Clings (Productively) to Winter's Chill

Do you use apps to enhance productivity?  What do you look for?  What's most effective?

While I don't always use it, I often find myself using a Pomodoro session to get certain things done.  The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro, from the Italian word for 'tomato', after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.

I used it this week to get my taxes done, write this newsletter, and put the finishing touches on my app!  It's been a great tool to use while learning to code, so I figured I ought to make an app for it.

One thing I'm not quite sure of is how to handle notifications with this app.  The whole goal of the Pomodoro technique is to turn OFF all distractions, which for me includes notifications.  But, to keep the user on track, what's the right way to notifiy him/her when the timer is complete?  Right now, my app only sends two notification.  It sends one when you leave the app, an extra nudge to say "Hey, you promised to stay productive, don't go checking other stuff on your phone."  It sends another when the timer is complete so the user knows to take a quick break and reset should he/she desire.

My suspicion is that the notification upon leaving the app gets annoying.  I imagine the user will disable notifications soon after downloading the app, or not allow them in the first place, which then removes the ability to send the user a notification upon timer completion.

Possible solutions are: allow the user to customize individual notifications, show the "user leaves the app" notification only on first use, and just to disable it altogether.  I'm leaning towards the individual customization, but would love to hear what you think.  Here's a quick little video I put together asking for assistance.


I spent some time in the edit booth with the footage from skiing Alpine Meadows on a solid pow day.  Video below.  Thank to Ryan for getting pretty much all of the epic ski footage.  I had a lot of fun putting this one together.  It reminded me of filming skate film back in my 8th grade punk rock phase.


I worked with my guitar/voice instructor Curtis to bring "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens to life.  Video below.  I'm working on some fun songs right now that need a little more practice before I press the "record" button so be on the lookout for those!  I'm learning a lot about adding dynamics to my performances, going a bit beyond cowboy chords, so that the songs are interesting to the listener.  I recently discovered an amazing acoustic cover of "Cat's in the Cradle" by Mike Masse that I'm going to try and imitate.  He has a bassist accompanying him but the arrangement would stand alone just fine.  I love how he mixes up the third verse with some chord jams between the flat picking.

A Cool Solo-Hiker YouTube Channel

I'm watching a lot of nature content with my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike coming up in less than 2 months.  My recent favorites are these silent hiking videos produced by Kraig Adams, a kid from New York who defintiely has some skill at capturing gorgeous nature scenes.  His latest video of a hike up Guatemala's Acatenango volcano has some epic shots.  I would love to try and get some similar stuff on my PCT hike.

Thank you Ryan!

My first premium subscriber!  What an awesome older brother.  Thanks for supporting my journey big bro!  I updated the copy on my subscribe page to try and make it a bit more fun.  He'll be the first to receive premium members-only content and of course a Thank You card from me.  He and I recently made a video about making and drinking Irish coffees for St. Paddy's Day which was pretty fun.  Check it out.

Sorry for all the video embeds!  Lots to share this week.

🍻 Keegan