Newsletter #84

Your Synthesised Speech | Screen Recorder That Is Always On | Computer-Generated Handwriting | Weird things on Google Maps | and more

Welcome to Fresh van Root newsletter #84!

The wave of AI news won’t stop anytime soon. It shows a bit in this newsletter edition, but I balance the content. My favorites in this newsletter: The tech reporter testing AI writing tools and the reminder to focus on one task at a time. Rewind is a crazy tool that records everything you do on your Mac. I tested the app for a few weeks and shared my findings in a blog post. Stay fresh, Rolf

Hello to 21 new subscribers. 👋 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

Productivity: The Power Of Single Tasking (Blog, 7min)

Your computer can perform several tasks at once. It’s called multitasking. But your brain can’t. The most underrated skill in our modern world is the ability to focus on one thing at a time and ignore the rest. This blog post explains why and gives you simple tips on how to get started. Leaving my phone in another room and turning off all notifications on my laptop is advice I practice every day. More

Marketing: Ranking Factors For Search (Blog, 5min)

The source code of the Russian search engine Yandex has been leaked. Ranking factors are the holy grail of search engine algorithms. You do not want the public to know what influences the positioning of your content. Now the SEO industry can analyze the leaked code for ranking factors and make up their minds about them. One question being discussed: Do these ranking factors apply to Google? But let us also put this into context: Yandex has a market share of less than 1%. More

Social Media: Creators Hustling Around Algorithms (Blog, 10min)

Social media platforms’ algorithms, content formats, and features constantly change. Creators trying to make a living suffer from this dynamic-but if you want to build a business on these platforms, you have to play along. Patreon surveyed 1600 creators about the impact of these realities on their work. A large portion of respondents feels “boxed in.” Report (PDF) | More 

Creators: Should You Start A Podcast? (Blog, 1min)

Creating a single podcast is an intense task; doing it weekly and over a long time can get extremely tiring. According to Listen Notes, a podcast search engine, the number of new podcasts created worldwide decreased by 80% from 2020 to 2022. Read more statistics in this blog post. More 

  • Bonus: Starting a podcast is a multi-year adventure. I published my observations on the podcast hype in 2019. This post has aged well. More

Design: Workspace Inspiration (Website, 1min)

Do you like to check out how others design their workspace? During the pandemic, it has become popular to post pictures of (home) offices on the web. This site features “creative individuals” with photos of their workspaces, including short profiles on hardware and software settings. More

  • Bonus: A picture of my workspace. A little too messy to be featured on this site.

Writing: A NYTimes Reporter Tests AI Writing Tools (Article, 10min)

Let a professional writer test AI writing tools and see what he has to say. Brian Chen, a writer for the NYTimes technology section, did just that. Improve a sentence, fix grammar, or even write a conclusion for an article – he tried these 3 things and concluded: These tools can make your writing stronger. More

🛠️ Tools & Apps & Services

Productivity: A Screen Recorder That Is Always On

Rewind AI records everything you do on your Mac. The benefits: Go back in time, recover lost work, and find the document you worked on. This is possible thanks to its image text recognition. Rewind creates an index of your work that is searchable only by you. More

  • Bonus: Do You Need to Record Everything You Do on Your Mac? My review of the app on our blog. More 

Writing: A Potential Grammarly Competitor

DeepL has launched Write. The service is in beta, but you can already try it out. As a non-native English writer, I am interested in services that help me improve my writing. You can feed it a paragraph of text and instantly get alternative versions. Example | More

AI Voice: Your Own Synthesized Speech

Text-to-speech technology, but with your voice? This is now possible, thanks to AI. Upload your voice samples and generate audio files that sound like you are reading it. This is game-changing tech. Check out the result and the sample I uploaded to train the AI. Sample |  More

Design: Fresh’n Up Your Slides With Handwriting

You can use this site to create computer-generated handwriting. How? Enter your text, customize the style, and add the image to your content. Screenshot | More

📣 Fresh van Root

🎨 Relaunching An Agency Website!?

Helping a client to launch a website with 300 pages in multiple languages. Done in 12 weeks. Relaunching our website with 10 static pages? Two years… I can relate to that joke I once read on Twitter. 

In June 2022, I announced a design refresh for our site. Then new clients’ business happened, and priorities changed.

So once again, I announce a design refresh.

And it will happen by the end of February. Okay, let us be realistic; it will be live in March!

🏞️ Your Next Wallpaper?

Tulips by Lisa Verena Pape | Unsplash

Wonders Of Street View

This site will make you smile or wonder. Hit the random button at the top right. More