Newsletter #82

Unlocking Reality | Design Trends 2022 | AI vs Human Illustration | Productivity Apps | Note-Taking: Obsidian | Rise & Fall Social Networks | and more

Welcome to Fresh van Root newsletter #82.
In preparation for my four-week break, I drafted an article about the trends I noticed in 2022 while creating this newsletter. The post is titled Unlocking Reality, and in it, I share the learnings across productivity, social, AI, and more. Let me know what you think about it and if I should do this yearly from now on.
My highlights in this newsletter: The side-by-side comparison of the work created by an illustrator and the results created with an AI-powered text-to-image service. And I am sure the note-taking app Obsidian is fantastic and will create lots of buzz in 2023. Happy holidays, stay fresh, and onwards to 2023. Rolf

Hello to 22 new subscribers. Hello! 👋 I’m Rolf, 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

Design: AI Can Replace Illustrators (Blog post, 10min)

This is a side-by-side comparison of humanly-created illustrations vs. AI-created illustrations. It includes the detailed briefing made to the illustrator and the prompts fed to the text2image AI tool. Finding: The illustrators’ jobs will change quickly. They have to incorporate AI tools into their craft and reposition themselves. And I fear there will be fewer jobs on the market soon. At least for the everyday marketing production kind of images. More

AI: GPTChat Will Not Replace Google Search (Blog post, 3min)

Many people now wonder if ChatGPT will make Google search obsolete soon. This blog post provides an interesting take on why this will not happen any time soon. While ChatGPT is often correct, it makes things up – it’s a language model that does not pull answers from a database. You will get different answers if you ask ChatGPT the same question multiple times. Google gives you options to choose from. More

  • What is ChatGPT? More

Social Media: Posts Created Using ChatGPT

In this article, you can see ChatGPT creating a few social media posts with just one sentence of input. While the copy and message look okay, you can see this is average dull content. Nothing you could post 1:1 on your channels except you manage social media accounts that post such boring content. But you could further tune those posts via ChatGPT to make them more interesting. More

Design Trends In 2022 (Blog post, 15min)

Interesting Observations made on visual design trends in 2022. One thing I observed that is also mentioned in this report is a dark/black design with big fonts that I have seen on many startup landing pages. While it’s great to catch attention at first, reading long paragraphs of text on such sites is annoying. More

Company Chat: Improve your Slack experience (Blog post, 5min)

Slack is one big distraction. Here is some advice on how to tame the dragon. More

Social Networks: Rise & Fall (Data Visualization, 2min)

Social networks come and go, as this visualization shows. More

🛠️ Tools & Apps & Services

Productivity: Planning Your Day

There is a big trend in productivity apps now about combining scheduling features with todo and note-taking. Sunsama wants to be your daily planner by integrating with all the apps you already got. Interesting concept. More

Another app in that space is Akiflow. Different messaging, but the product looks similar to Sunsama. I am going to try these out! More

  • Bonus: Check my 2022 notes on productivity, where I write about more observations in that segment. More

Note-Taking App: Markdown Editor Obsidian

Worth checking out for anyone who takes a lot of text notes and is looking for a future-proof system. With Obsidian, you get a markdown note-taking app that is extremely powerful under the hood. You can easily link different notes and look at your notes in a network graph. With plugins, you can extend its use cases in many directions. For example, you could use Obsidian also for blogging with WordPress. It got mobile app support, and you can use it to publish your notes on the web. Screenshot | More

  • Bonus: a Blogpost on a note system using Sublime and Obsidian. More

Productivity: Screen Recording App (Mac only)

This app has some exciting features to make your screen recording look neater. It gives you control over where to zoom in on your recording, how quick or slow the transitions should be, apply different aspect ratios, and more. It’s still in beta but looks already promising. 1min demo | More

Creators: Website For Offering Courses & Consulting

Superpeer is a feature-rich website that makes offering courses, consulting, and live streams easy. Its features include payment support, features for hosting your recorded videos (incl replays), booking 1:1 sessions, and much more. If you are an independent creator/consultant considering offering more paid online services/products next year, look at this site. More

Email Marketing: Inspiration And Analysis

I shared the Really Good Email website years ago in this newsletter, but the site has come a long way and is now way more advanced. Recently on a consulting project, it has been a valuable resource to look at competing companies and their email strategy. But it is not only design inspiration – you can preview how the email looks from different devices, at the code of the email, and add your favorites to your account—relaunching a newsletter or working on new email templates? Check it out. More

Sketch & Brainstorm With New iPad App

Apple free form is an excellent app for creatives – announced months ago, now available. More

📣 Fresh van Root

Unlocking Reality: Find Out What’s Trending

For the first time since starting this newsletter, I put together a blog post that outlines some of the observations/learnings made along the way. Go check it out.

The image below is the featured image of the blog post, and it was created using AI text-to-image service Midjourney. You can try it out for free; you only need a Discord account.

🏞️ Your Next Wallpaper?

Prompt: a nerd sitting at this office desk. a laptop on the table, and a phone. the nerd looking out the window over a futuristic bright skyline.

20 Iconic Photos of the Climate Crisis

Picked by the Guardian. More


Here is an extensive list of movies to watch over the holidays. More