Newsletter #76

Illustrator tries Dall-E | Advantages of working remotely | Productivity Tracking | Meta's Quest 2 VR | One Inbox For All Messengers | and more

Welcome to Fresh van Root newsletter #76.

Something I never told you but is worth pointing out: All the content featured to date in this newsletter is chosen by self-interest—no advertising or sponsoring deals behind the scenes. If this ever changes, sponsors will be marked as such. Now on to this newsletter issue: Remote work & work from home are here to stay. But some people still want to see you at the office five days a week. That is so 90ies. I recommend checking out the articles on that. The apps featured in this issue are mainly about productivity stuff – prepare for intense autumn. Stay fresh! Rolf

Hello to 32 new subscribers. Here’s what this newsletter is about: We are exploring content and apps at the intersection of marketing, productivity, tech, content creation, and social media – for curious minds. This bi-weekly newsletter is a summary of that exploration. 

🧠 Hand-Picked Content

An Illustrators Opinion On Dall-E (Blog, 10min)

An illustrator took the AI text-to-image service Dall-E for a test and is not worried about his job after that. He tried to recreate some of his work but failed to get a result he liked. While the generated images might be disappointing for him on that specific task/use case, I disagree with his finding that this will not have long-term effects on his job. Remember that Cosmopolitian cover created using AI? Also, people in the comment section add different perspectives to the topic. More

  • Bonus: Famous album covers re-created using Dall-E. More 

Being A Fully Remote Company: A Competitive Advantage (Article, 5min)

A return to the office policy generates an opportunity for your competition to poach your talent – for a fully remote / work-from-home experience.

The often brought forward benefits of working together from the office – like watercooler talk, spontaneous idea generation in open floor offices, and social events- are distractions from work and are seen as time wasted by employees. There are several studies on that. Read and forward this article to anyone still believing that the office is the only place to get work done. More

The Dark Side Of Remote Work (Article, 15min)

What if managers send their employees to work from home – but do not trust them to get anything done? They install software on employees’ devices that track their behavior. Is the mouse moving? How much gets typed? How long are the breaks? This NYTimes article profiles people from different industries who work under such conditions. And not only that, the web page monitors your reading activity and gives you a score—an exciting article presented interactively by the NYTimes. More 

Metaverse: VR Will Be Cool Next Year (Blog, 5min)

A review of Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset and software that is fun to read. TL;DR: It will be perfect next year. More 

🛠️ Tools & Apps & Services

Get More Out Of Your Recorded Meetings

Online Meetings are often recorded, but without proper description or a transcript, these recordings are useless. Imagine a two-hour long meeting-recording in which you have to manually look for the 5 minutes that are relevant to you.

AI-powered cloud services make it easy to transcribe live video, and a lot of startups build products that connect these services to transcribe your online meetings in real-time. tl;dv is one of these startups. Their product connects via browser extension to Google Meet or as an add-on to Zoom. After setting up, tl;dv creates transcripts of your meetings. Using manually added time stamps, you can browse your recording in chapters. If you hop from call to call and do not have time for manual notes, check out tl;dv. More

  • We featured other services in this space in the past: VowelOtter.AI.

Productive And Entertaining Online Meetings

Around is a team meeting app with a twist. Forget the classic online meeting layout with the participants shown in rectangles on the side of the screen. Around rethinks how online meetings – and has features built in that make you look forward to joining meetings. You can play games, customize your avatar with filters, add background music, and many more. Make your video calls more interactive and fun. More

  • Around was featured in 2020 for the first time in this newsletter, together with other tools for online conferencing. More

One Messenger App To Rule Them All

Are you messaging across several services all day and tired from switching between apps? Texts is an app you can use as a central hub to message on all major platforms. No more switching between FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and many more. A feature we like: Schedule messages to be sent later.  More

Simple GIF Recorder

LICEcap is a puristic GIF screen-recording app. A cool feature is the pause option while recording. You can reposition the recording window and continue recording afterward. LICEcap is free and open source, available for both Windows and Mac. More

📣 Fresh van Root

Project Showcase Upcoming

Over the last couple of months, we have been busy managing the Instagram account of a client. Next week we will publish a 2min video that shows how we approached that project. This is the perfect chance to follow on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn, so you won’t miss it.

🏞️ Your Next Wallpaper?

Sunset in the mountains | Unsplash

Nature Sounds From A Forest

Take a trip to a forest, at least by sound generator. Includes a timer option. More