Say Hello to Clicked, My Weekly Newsletter

After a lot of thought, I have decided to start writing a newsletter. In fact, it is going to be my primary avenue of content. Say hello to Clicked.

Before I break down what the differences between the newsletter and this blog will be I want to explain why I decided to do this in the first place.

Sign up to get a weekly email from me with more content than I would ever put on my blog. Things like original essays, interviews, videos, Q&A, and interactive things with my subscribers.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jeff Perry, PO BOX 566, Davison, MI, 48423, http://jeffperry.blog. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Why a Newsletter?

One common thread I have harped on over the years on my blog has been consistency. I tried to blog everyday for one month, which got me about 6 days in a row before I fell off the wagon. The way that I see it is that if I have a deadline I will make it so I meet that deadline. I have always worked better under pressure, and I think the having a weekly newsletter is exactly what I need.

What it will have

One thing that I am most excited about this newsletter is that amount of added content I can put in it that I didn’t put in my blog posts.

My blog mainly consisted of link posts and the occasional original essay, but nothing more than that. With this newsletter I can do things like a Q&A, Siri Shortcut Requests, and other more interactive things with those that subscribe. Not to mention the fact that because I am dumping everything at once every week it is going to be stuffed with other things like quick links, short reviews, and small pieces that otherwise wouldn’t make it on the blog.

With this newsletter does come some downsides for those of you who don’t sign up for the newsletter. I will only be posting a month-old original essay once a week on my website. The reason is because this newsletter is my new way of connecting and sharing the things that I want to the people that want it.

 

When does it launch?

This newsletter will launch Tuesday, January 21st and will come out every Tuesday thereafter.

Sign up to get a weekly email from me with more content than I would ever put on my blog. Things like original essays, interviews, videos, Q&A, and interactive things with my subscribers.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jeff Perry, http://jeffperry.blog. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Keep Moving Forward

I know this is cheesy, but I think a lot about this scene from the movie Rocky Balboa. I mainly think about it when I am in a rut and can’t think of anything to say or do creatively. I tell myself that all I need to do is keep moving forward and a solution will rise from the ashes. That isn’t always the case though.

Sometimes I need a long hiatus or just a changes of topic. I have done both to an extent here on my own website and it has helped a little. Those, to me, are the exceptions to the rule. A much larger part of my problem lies with these lulls of writing and posting because I don’t write consistently.

Consistency has always been difficult for me, as anyone that has been a reader of this blog can probably tell. That is partially why I decided to take place in Blogvember. I want to get better at being consistent, and writing everyday for me has always been a goal I wanted to achieve.

Now that I already missed a day this month I feel somewhat defeated but I also know that the reason I didn’t write was because it was one of the 2 half-days I get to see my wife in a given week1. So I am more than happy to put my family in front of my creative process and with that I have zero regrets. This isn’t to say every time I don’t write it is because I am putting more important things first, I catch myself in YouTube rabbit holes all the time and I kick myself for it a lot.

I am not sure if this post has a real “point” or not but I think that sometimes I just need to sit down and write even when I am not sure what I have to say. I used to think that when I didn’t know what to say meant that I shouldn’t bother writing. Without a topic what was the point? I couldn’t be more wrong about this if I tried.

The thing I realize now is that my brain, like pretty much anyone who writes, needs time to warm up and get the engine going. For some it takes a few minutes others say that their first hour of writing isn’t good and it is just useless.

I think I am somewhere in the middle of those two. When I do write I make it a point to never go back and edit my mistakes or mistypings the first go around. I just want to trudge on and write until I feel the thought I had is gone and on to the page. Which I guess is where I am now with this post.

My point is that even though I may have missed a post yesterday and I didn’t keep my streak alive, I am going to keep moving forward.

  1. Long story short on that, we work different hours and I work 90 miles away from home.

I Need to Use My Task Manager More, but I’m not Sure How

As I said recently I have decided to start things off with a clean slate. My task manager, calendar, email, notes system, etc. have all been wiped clean for a fresh start.

I stated in my article that I was going to use Todoist as my task manager, then I decided on Things 3 on my podcast instead, but now I think that my issue isn’t what the app I use is, it is instead how I am using my task manager.

For me, what’s necessary is to go a higher level and really consider what it is I want out of a task manager and figure out what to use to match those things.

That’s obviously much easier said than done but I think I have a few questions in place to help me get things started.

  1. What is it you want to prioritize in your life?
  2. What do you currently track in your task manager?
  3. What are your pain points in a task manager currently?
  4. Aside from task app features what do you want in a task manager?

I am not sure if these are the best questions to ask myself. Hell, I’m not even sure this is the best angle to take things. That said, as someone who has very little in order with their life at the present moment, it’s a start

So, here are my answers to those questions asked:

  1. Family, Hobbies, Career, and Work in that order.
  2. Day-to-day things to do, but even then I rarely open the app to see what I have on there.
  3. I don’t check my app regularly, and I don’t do much after capturing.
  4. I want something that can compartmentalize things when I need to but also be able to open everything to me for an easy review process.

For now, I think I need to figure out what to do to have my tasks in my face regularly so that I can capture quickly, clarify regularly, and organize things instead of just being on a list without any semblance of when things are do or what is more important than others.

The Toolbox Fallacy

I have been thinking a lot about this video and just how true it rings for me and many other creators.

If I had (x) then I could do (y). That is a mantra I have said to myself for years over many different things. Thoughts like “If I had a camera I could take good photos” or “if I had more time I could write more.” These are all fallacies, and for some I have proof.

For instance, because of the wonderful Timing App I can look intro great detail how I use my time. Here’s how I spent my time on Monday September 16th, 2019.

As you can see, I spent a ton of time just watching YouTube videos instead of something productive. Like reading articles or writing, or doing literally anything productive.

If you watch YouTube as a means of entertainment and enjoy it that’s great. For me though it is a way to procrastinate and put off the important yet scary things. For me it’s writing. Every time I prepare to write I still get butterflies in my stomach. I get afraid that what I have to say isn’t good enough, even though I haven’t said anything at all yet.

In order for me to combat this I needed to make the time to sit down and write. It’s still something I am working on but I try every morning to write for at least 30 minutes. Some days that works and on other days it isn’t possible for me to do that. But instead of just making up things I “need” I took a look at this time tracking data and really took it in. I added YouTube to my list of blocked domains. Instead, I download the videos I want to watch and only watch them during my lunch break at work. It’s a start, but it eliminates the possibility of diving deep into a YouTube rabbit hole.

One of the things I have done to combat this Toolbox Fallacy was to start this new photo everyday challenge for myself. I decided to make photography something I get back into because it is a lot of fun for me. So I decided to flip my Toolbox Fallacy. Instead of “I just need a good camera, so I can start taking photos” I turn it into an iPhone photography challenge. I turned the limitations on myself into innovation.

In fact, I’ve been having a lot of fun pushing my iPhone to its limits. In fact, I finally got a photo that I am really excited about.

if you find yourself in a “Toolbox Fallacy” look at what you’re saying that you “need” and see if there’s a way for you to turn that limitation into innovation. It might not always work, but for me it has allowed me to turn a barrier into a doorway.

One Year Shot on iPhone

Dexter Portrait Shot on iPhone X August 9th, 2019
Dexter the cat. Shot on iPhone X

This is the photo that made me want to take more creative pictures on my iPhone. Previously, I rarely had fun with my iPhone and snapped photos on it. Partly because I didn’t want to be “that person” always taking photos, and partly because I thought iPhone photos weren’t “that good.”

The photo is a portrait of one of my cats, Dexter. It’s still one of my favorite photos I’ve taken on my iPhone. I snapped it on my iPhone X, the phone I have currently, on August 9th this year.

The iPhone is a Camera

Fast-forward one month and Apple announces the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. The number one feature that they touted, like every year they have a new iPhone event, was the cameras.

What surprised me this year compared to years previous was my interest and investment I had about the new cameras. I think Phil Schiller said it best when he called it “computational photography mad science.” Something about those photos they showed from professionals the films shot on iPhone kept me on the edge of my computer chair. It was honestly the most fun I have had in a while with an Apple Keynote.

Upon reading more about the new iPhone 11 Pro I began to get excited about what I can do with my iPhone’s camera system. Shortly thereafter that I saw a number of photos being shot on the new iPhone 11s. One that blew me away early on was Austin Mann’s iPhone 11 Pro Camera Review.

My New Shot on iPhone Project

All of this excitement has made me want to do something to bring photography, specifically iPhone photography, into my life.

So for the next year beginning today I will be posting one photo a day on my Instagram. I will also have a weekly roundup here on the blog if you don’t want to follow me on Instagram. I will say, that I may post more than one photo a day on Instagram. For that reason, I suggest you follow me there if you want everything.

As I sit eagerly awaiting for my new iPhone 11 Pro I’m excited to start this new journey into taking more photos with my phone. I can’t wait to share them with you all both here on the blog and on my Instagram.

Moving to WordPress.com

I have long said that the open web is something I feel strongly about, and that in order for you to truly own something on the internet it has to be on your personal website. You can’t expect companies like Twitter, Facebook, Medium, or other big name social media platforms to care about that stuff. They should, but we all know that it is in their best nature to keep that stuff in their home turf and make it as difficult as possible to get it elsewhere. 

To save time, my argument for the open web boils down to this: Would you rather have all of your work in the hands of someone else, or in your own hands?

Continue reading “Moving to WordPress.com”

Bye-Bye iPad

Update: A couple of people have asked if me not having an iPad means the end of A Slab of Glass, it is not. Christopher and I both have talked about the podcast being more than just about the iPad, and we have been making strides to do that over the past few months. So no, A Slab of Glass isn’t going anywhere.


After about 2 months of it collecting dust, I decided it was time to say goodbye to my iPad Pro and consequently the iPad Lifestyle. There are a couple of reasons for this, but I will stick with the one that is worth talking about: I simply don’t use an iPad anymore for my work.

No, this isn’t a “you can’t get real work done on an iPad” article. I have gotten real work done on an iPad for years and loved it, but due to some changes in my life the iPad isn’t the best tool for the job anymore. Here’s why.

Continue reading “Bye-Bye iPad”

Being Honest With Myself

It’s no secret that I write a lot about blogging on Rocket Panda. I have a thing with going meta, I even used to host a podcast about podcasting before Rocket Panda even existed. That said, sometimes it can be fun to go down memory lane.

Yesterday I was migrating my website over to micro.blog1 and I noticed something about my writing style over the last two years. There’s been a stark contrast in my older posts and the ones I write now, and I wanted to talk about it.

My older posts were me trying to imitate and mimic tech journalists like that of 9to5Mac and TechCrunch. I was trying to be more journalistic and matter-of-fact without adding anything personal to them. I even tried to make myself sound like and Apple expert, but if I am being honest with myself I know little about the history of Apple and the impact they made before 2008, which was when I jumped into the Apple ecosystem.

Once I realized that wasn’t working out for me, I moved to doing things like listicles and have my Top 10 iPad Life Hacks and The 9 Things I Learned Going iPad Only. I look back at both of these kinds of writing and cringe, because desperation has a foul and pungent scent and I reeked of it. After I got over how much of a try-hard I must have looked like I realized that had I not done those things and looked in the mirror afterwards I wouldn’t have come to the conclusion I have today about what it is I want to write about the things that I’m passionate about.

If you look at my more recent pieces, I am writing more personal pieces about the things that I can add personal input on. I have written things like Why iOS 13 Made the iPad Home Screen Fun Again and my TouchType Pro Review2. These things are comments on the news from Apple and the companies that cater to those users, but I center it on myself and my feelings on it instead of trying to make this an article for TechCrunch or something similar.

It is much more satisfying for me to comment on the smaller things that I’m comfortable speaking on instead of trying to get my share of the pie with what the rest of the big Apple blogs are commenting on. There are times where I may add my feelings and opinions on something but only when it is something that I am comfortable with. Gone are the days where I try and do some quick research and reading up on something that I know nothing about just so that I can be with the rest of the Apple News cycle. It is great if you enjoy that but I found it to be extraordinarily draining both mentally and emotionally. Chasing that forever-spinning wheel of tech news is not something for me.

If I am still staying honest, it’s hard to make a blog about the Apple news as a single independent writer. That faucet is broken and it is just a firehose of information shooting out at you with an unlimited supply of water. I have tried being a part of the firehose and it’s simply not for me. I would rather be a trickle of water by myself for a small amount of people to drink from. Which brings me to why I have moved my site to micro.blog.

Why I Moved to Micro.blog 3

The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. I am not a Pro Blogger, and I need to stop acting like one
  2. The atmosphere at micro.blog isn’t as formal as something like WordPress for me, and I like that

When I say I am not a Pro Blogger I mean that I don’t have hundreds of thousands of readers, and I don’t think I necessarily want that. It isn’t a goal in my life to make Rocket Panda anything other than a way for me to express myself creatively. I don’t look at stats, I don’t see what posts are getting the most clicks, and I definitely don’t want to make my site a digital billboard with ads everywhere and videos playing automatically. That wasn’t the case when I first started though, I wanted to make Rocket Panda my full time job so badly. So much so I was willing to throw a piece together I thought would get lots of clicks and subscribers instead of writing something that I was happy with.

What I want when it comes to this blog is that I own every pixel top to bottom and that I can say what I want, when I want without worrying about upsetting anyone that has control over my livelihood.

As for the second point, micro.blog is a place for me I consider a much friendlier atmosphere than that of Twitter or Instagram. There’s nothing about this service that makes me upset or feel inadequate about myself. It is just writers and bloggers sharing their lives, thoughts, ideas, and photos with others. As someone that doesn’t have a staff of writers it can be lonely at times writing, and having the ability to be a part of a community that isn’t culturally toxic and genuinely delightful helps fill that void for me.

I could have kept my blog on WordPress and linked it to micro.blog, but for me it made more sense to just put all of my chips in this service and embrace the limitations it comes with. I am happy with my setup and I hope to see it stick, and I think that this time it will.

After some tinkering and playing around I finally figure out how to fix my biggest gripe with the service, which was differentiating the micro posts (the things I would post on Twitter) to the articles (like this one). Because of the addition to categories and the support for Hugo I managed to figure out how to add parameters to my site to hide my micro posts from the website but still have them post to micro.blog for those who follow me there. For those interested, I found the answer to that from the Hugo Discourse which is a group of helpful individuals4.

This isn’t me saying that you should move to micro.blog, that is for you to decide. That said, I do think that more bloggers should look I the mirror and answer the tough questions about what they are writing about and what they want to share, because it took me way longer than it should have to listen to the people who told me to write more personal posts over the bland lists and news articles I was writing.


  1. More on that in a bit 
  2. Sorry Salman if you’re reading this, I still haven’t sent the review unit back to him. 
  3. I have since moved back to WordPress because of wanting to have link posts work the way I want, as well as having more granular abilities with the way my site looks. That said, the sentiment of being more informal is sticking with me. 
  4. I have bookmarked this site for future browsing as well if I ever decide to tinker with my website again 

A Meditation on the Open Web

Something about this video makes me realize the real reason I am blogging on Rocket Panda instead of something like SquareSpace or Tumblr. It isn’t because I think WordPress is a better platform, that is debatable on many different levels. The reason is because it’s my platform. I own every pixel of this website and I can control what goes on here and what doesn’t.

This isn’t about WordPress though, it is about the open web. If you are unsure what the open web is, I will let Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, explain.

Mark Surman writing on Year of Open:

What is Open Web?

“Open web” is a sweeping term — it encompasses technical concepts like open-source code and open standards. It also encompasses democratic concepts like free expression and digital inclusion.

But there’s a single underlying principle connecting all these ideas: An open web is a web by and for all its users, not select gatekeepers or governments.

At Mozilla, we compare the open web to a global public resource, like clean water or the environment. The open web is something we all depend on: to communicate and create, to work and play, to buy and sell. And like any other natural resource, it’s fragile. It needs care, because it can be polluted: by harassment and abuse, by misinformation, by bad public policy.

Why is it important?

The web doesn’t exist in a vacuum, or apart from society. The two are deeply entwined. The web is where we engage with journalism, form opinions and share knowledge. It’s an arena for politics, education, culture and science.

An open web means positive progress for all these things. A more informed public; more civic participation; more opportunities to learn and connect with each other.

An unhealthy web has an opposite effect. When misinformation, harassment or surveillance proliferate online, we lose trust in our institutions and in each other. Fewer people engage. And when closed, proprietary technology proliferates, innovation and competition are stifled. The web is no longer a level playing field — it’s a platform controlled by a select few.

While the main issue is governments seeking control of the internet, another entity is at work to wall up our content and lives: social media. I read somewhere a long time ago that you can’t be playing in someone else’s yard and then get upset when they kick you off it.

If Facebook one day decides that they want to close up shop all of the photos, posts, videos, status updates, and events you have put there are susceptible of going away forever. While losing a large part of your digital life can be catastrophic the thing that I think is much more dangerous is the freedoms you are giving up as a cost of entry into Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

These social media giants aren’t making these social networks just so you can stay in touch with friends and family, it is to get data and demographic information for marketing and advertisers. You are the product, and the more information these companies can get on you the better.

That said, Apple is planning to launch Sign In with Apple soon and that is a game changer in my opinion. You no longer have to use your personal information to log in to a service. You can now use great services online and in the App Store without having to worry about privacy concerns. This is the digital version of having your cake and eating it too.

I plan to remove every piece of my Facebook the moment I get married this summer. I no longer want to be a part of a company I deem to be evil, and I don’t want to keep feeding them my personal data for a myriad of reasons.

I guess what I am trying to say is when I want to share something on the internet I am going to do it on Rocket Panda, and I hope that you consider doing the same for your stuff.

3 Stooges Syndrome

I have been thinking a lot about habits lately and I think that one of my biggest flaws, as many others also have, is that we suffer from 3 Stooges Syndrome.

One thing, I constantly deal with is new interests and goals I set for myself when I want to make a positive change in my life. The issue is when I have so many things that it all seems to be too much.

I can’t lose weight, eat healthier, plan my mornings, read more, learn something new everyday, save more money, and do one nice thing a day all the time.

One thing I have learned over the years about myself is that I plan and set all of these things I want to accomplish and hit the ground running with every single one of them simultaneously.

Doing this seems plausible and honestly really exciting when I get started. But by day 5 I’m questioning whether I really need to go to the gym again, or I tell myself I am “too busy” writing a blog post to make a healthy lunch so I get McDonald’s again. “It’s fine,” I say to myself shoveling fries in my face, “I can afford one bad meal this week.” I am sure I am not the only one. You have probably done something similar, right?

I’d like to take a page out of The Simpsons when I talk about these kinds of things, and call it the 3 Stooges Syndrome.

As you can see in the video, Mr. Burns is in for a doctors exam. Turns out he has so many illnesses his immune system won’t let any of them through the door because they are all prevent the other from getting in (cue noises from Curly).

If we dissect this a bit and spin it to make these illnesses into goals and resolutions you make foryourself, it’s obvious that having all of these grand plans you set means nothing was going to get through that door.

I’m not saying goals and resolutions are illnesses, but I am saying that if you have too many you won’t be able to accomplish any of them. So what do you do?

For me, I had close to 10 different things I wanted to accomplish this year and I have slogged through them making zero progress on them. I wrote out all of these things on a piece of paper and really took a hard look at them. I asked myself why I want to accomplish this, what the outcome I wanted was, and what it will take to make this happen. I took an honest look at all of these things and then took an honest look at myself. What could I truly make happen this year? How many of these could I really get done? The answers for these questions made me look at these goals, resolutions, and plans and consider which are worth doing now and which are worth doing later. I decided I am going to do just one of these at a time, and move on to the next one after completing the first.

If I can get just one of these goals accomplished that’s still more than the 10 that were stuck in the proverbial door. One success is better that ten failures.

So if you are like me, and you can’t seem to make much progress on any of the myriad of goals you set yourself, take a long hard look at what you actually want to accomplish and keep the rest in your pocket until you get that first thing done.