Newsletter #73

The Future Of Meetings | Procrastination Hack | Layoffs Tracker | New Spreadsheet App | Magic Eraser | Get Things Done In A Cave | and more

Welcome to Fresh van Root newsletter #73, packed with 13 content/app recommendations. My favorites: A Twitter thread comparing AI text-to-image services. It’s astonishing what these tools can create from a line of text. And I am curious about a new spreadsheet application that wants to tackle Google Sheets and Excel. Have a nice summer + stay cool. Rolf

Hello to 37 new subscribers. Here’s what this newsletter is about: We are exploring content and apps at the intersection of marketing, productivity, content creation, and social media – for curious minds. This bi-weekly newsletter is a summary of that exploration. 

🧠 Hand-Picked Content

Calendly CEO On Future Of Meetings (Interview, 5min)

One of the biggest time-wasters in everyone’s knowledge-worker life is terrible meetings. People arrive unprepared, do not follow up, or should not have been invited in the first place. How can software help us solve some of these problems to get back our time? Calendly solved one issue, scheduling, at first, but added many features to set up successful meetings. What can we expect in the coming years from tools that want to improve our meeting experience? Read what the Calendly CEO has to say about that. More 

Bonus: The Time Economy Report by Calendly is based on a 1000 people survey and answers questions about how knowledge workers spend their time at work. More

Tactics To Master Procrastination (Blog, 7min)

This blog post reminded me that every knowledge worker develops tactics to beat procrastination over time. But procrastination is not something you beat once and is gone forever. Humans are not machines, after all. Sometimes you figure out a “hack” that makes it easier for you to get focused and get stuff done. In this blog post, Wired author Clive Thompson shares that knowing his laptop battery only lasts for 2 hours means he needs to be fast – procrastinating is not an option. More

Heading Into A Recession (Datasheet) is a site tracking which startups are laying off people right now. At the time of writing, about 1000 startups are listed. Until just a few months ago, startups have been raising money like nothing. Some of these companies are in real trouble. Others might just make adaptions to their workforce in preparation for an economic winter. More

Compare AI Created Images (Twitter Thread)

Please check this Twitter thread to see how the two AI text-to-image services (Dall E and Midjourney) deal with the same prompt. Fascinating results. As I said repeatedly, this technology will find its way into marketing content production. More

🛠️ Tools & Apps & Services

Organize Your Browsing History

Heyday is an app that records what you browse and helps you to stay organized by categorizing the content you consume. A browser extension allows you to save articles’ text fragments, web pages to topics, and more. In addition, you can connect apps you use, for example, Slack, and all your Slack content gets searchable via Heyday. I liked the general concept, but its feature-richness also leads to confusion when initially starting to use the product. I recently discovered several products that do something similar to Heyday (like MyMind, featured in newsletter 69), which is understandable as more and more work happens in the browser. More

New Take On Spreadsheets

Rows is a startup developing a spreadsheet app from the ground up, competing with Google Sheets/Microsoft Excel. Rows comes with a fresh design and many templates for tracking marketing activities. And it was created with collaboration in mind. More

Web Service: Offer Paid Micro Consultations

bookk is a simplistic online service to offer paid online meetings. Bookk is aimed at people with a large following on social media that want to offer a simple way for their followers to book paid consultations. It is not comparable with Calendly or other tools from a feature perspective. Example | More

Image Manipulation: Remove Objects

Magic Eraser is a helpful little tool for removing objects from images. Free to use if you just need low-res version of your manipulated image. Example | More

Personal Productivity: Guided Focus Sessions

If you have difficulty concentrating on specific tasks and need to get big chunks of work done, maybe it is time to go into a cave? Caveday offers facilitated work sessions to get things done. A similar service in that category is Focusmate, mentioned in issue 64 of this newsletter. More

Gmail Client For Mac OS

If you are using Gmail and Mac OS, you should check out Mimestream. It’s still in beta, but I have been using it as my primary email client for a week now. I like it. More

📣 Fresh van Root

FreshBlog: A Toolset for Note Taking

A plain text editor for throw-away notes, and a markdown editor for structuring notes long-term, is what my toolset looks like. In this blog post, I outline how I do it, incl. 1-minute video demos of each tool. More

🏞️ Your Next Wallpaper?

What do you see in this picture? Unsplash

Kai’s Power Goo (Video, 8min)

A short documentary about a piece of software that was revolutionary at the time it was released (in the 90ies). More

“I Accidentally Became A Meme” (Video, 4min)

What’s it like to become a worldwide meme phenomenon? András Arató, the man on the famous “Hide the pain Harold” meme, gives answers. More