Everyone marks his territory.

Cats and dogs mark their territory. Animals all over the world fight for their existence and land. Are we people different? I don’t think so. At work, with friends or even at home, we want to show others what we can and have.

At work, we want to be the boss and have influence on our coworkers. Everyone has his own ideas and opinion and will prove them to the rest. Did you notice that a new boss always has new rules? In fact he or she is just marking their territory. It is nature of human being, just as it is nature to your cat or dog. If someone crosses the line and invades our land, we will tell him so. Maybe that is why we divided our work in different jobs or functions. It is just a way of dividing the land. We are afraid of someone else doing our job. Even if it is to help us. What if he does better? What if he has some other ideas that may affect the way I do my job? You should not be afraid. If they take your job, their job is free :).

The same thing happens when you put people together who have a strong and different opinion. They all want to explain their own idea without listening to the other person. Again, marking their territory. I hate it. I don’t say I don’t do it, but I try to minimize it. I’d rather put my energy in good collaboration to keep our lands together. In every warmovie I’ve seen, the ones that join forces and unite have won.

What to do about it?

  • Do not join the game of someone who is marking his territory.
  • Work together. Express your opinion and listen to other people.

 

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My iPhone Home Screen

My iPhone Home Screen
I use my iPhone daily and couldn’t live without it anymore. Reading, listening, e-mail, writing… It all happens on my iPhone. That’s why I want to share my home screen with you.

Dock:
Launch Center Pro: With this app, you can create shortcuts to a lot of apps on your iPhone. Most of the time, I use this app for contacts I need quick access to. Or for creating tasks in OmniFocus. When I do something regularly on my iPhone, I can probably automate it with Launch Center Pro.

OmniFocus: A taskmanagement app with great interface and possibilities. I’ve tried many ToDo-apps but this one I will not replace soon. It is quite expensive but it’s worth every penny. Stuff I need to do for work, at home or for my birds, they all go in there. Idea for a blogpost? It is stored in OmniFocus via a Launch Center Pro shortcut.

Drafts: The quickest input app I know. When you open the app, you can start typing without thinking about where you will store this. Afterwards, you can dispatch your note to every app you can think of.

Phone: A smartphone is a phone so I want to be able to call someone quickly if needed :).

First screen:
Mailbox: My favorite email application. I love the ability to defer emails to a later time. I can quickly go through my mail and dispatch everything to the correct place.

Fantastical: Before using Fantastical, entering events on my phone was not convenient. With it’s natural language parser, you can enter events in seconds. They have a great interface and the ability to add more than two alarms. Just waiting for the iPad app…

Settings: The settings app is still on my home screen, even after Apple added control center. Toggle something off, check my WiFi-network or simply turn off background refresh for a new app, it is all in there.

HomeWizard (website): Do you love automating things? I do, so I automated some things at home. Lights go on at a certain time, ipcamera in the garden, change the heating… You think of it and you can do it with HomeWizard.

Clear: To be honest, I installed it for its simplicity and amazing design. I use it for simple list like what I need to take with me when I go play soccer.

Scanner Pro: Scanning all paperwork to Evernote is done with this app. I don’t have a scanner at home but this app makes it almost as good as a real scanner.

Reeder: I follow a lot of blogs an techsite so to keep up with all the news in the world, I use Reeder. Mainly to quickly scan titles and saving interesting things to Pocket.

Pocket: Almost every article I read, is stored in Pocket. It delivers a fantastic reading experience and allows me to easily save stuff to Evernote or share with people following me on twitter. Works together with IFTTT (website).

Banking: We need money everyday, so with this app I can manage all my accounts.

Downcast: I start the day and end the day with a podcast. To be able to listen on the road, Downcast downloads the most recents episodes for me. By doing so, I always have a list of Podcasts ready to consume.

Messages: Send messages to family and friends. The easiest way to communicate. Still.

Strides: I try to train myself some habits. I log my daily progress in Strides.

1Password: All my amazing passwords together in one app. I can’t imagine ever living without this app.

iCulture: Dutch newssite about Apple. Without these people I would not have my known my iPhone as I know it now.

Fitbit: I work on a desk  so this app tells me every day that I need to move more. I also track how much water I drink during the day, so I don’t get dehydrated :).

Spendee: Simple app to keep track of my income and expenses. Not a real budget app but can gice you a simple overview for a particular month.

So that is my homescreen. Maybe you noticed that I leave one line blank? I think that is easier to swipe to the next screen and it gives me the feeling that my homescreen is clean.

Why don’t you just pay for it?

I used to avoid paying for everything. Why would I pay for something if I can get it for free? I will only use it from time to time, so why pay for it?

Films, books, music, software… I downloaded them for free from the internet. It was normal to me and everyone did the same. Why would I buy a filmticket for 8 euros if I could watch it for free at home? If I wanted to, I could watch it more than once. I did not listen a lot of music so I did not feel the need to buy albums of my favourite artist. By the time I would listen to it, the album was old news. I had no problem buying expensive hardware, but software was a bit more difficult. Software needed updates, paid updates. I always had difficulties paying for something that will fade away. It’s like throwing money away. Greedy? No, I don’t think so. I think about what I spend and love to get something good in return for my investment.

But times change. Things like the iPhone and its appstore, e-books and streaming services encourage me to reconsider. Books became cheaper and easier to get. Apps changed the way people live their lives. There are a lot of free apps, but I started to notice that spending money on apps that you use every day is a great investment. I listen to podcasts every day and started using the podcast app from Apple. After some time, I decided that I needed something better with some extra options. Manually downloading episodes every day was just a waste of time. So the first app I bought was Downcast. An amazing app that manages the podcast I listen to and downloads them when I am at home. 2,69€ and I am using it for almost two years now. I stopped hesitating, if I find an app that can make a part of my life better, I’ll just buy it.

I see you thinking ”That is easy, it costs peanuts.” and I admit, I still hesitate for higher prices. But a lot of the time I am not downloading them for free. The books I read, I could use from someone else or I paid for them. I still have some software for free but I do not download free music anymore. I use Spotify for that.

Streaming services are hot these times. For a low monthly fee, you can listen or watch to anything you want. Great isn’t it? I love Spotify. I can listen to any music whenever I want. I hesitated when I subscribed for their service. I did not listen a lot of music so why would I need it? Well, that changed after subscribing :).

I can go on like this forever. The last months I’ve bought more things than I’ve ever bought in my whole live. So I have made my choice. When I find something I can use in my daily life, I will buy it.

Will you pay for it?

Some tips.

Ask you friends for tips. What have they bought that may be interesting for you?

Ask for a trial, read reviews. Doing so, you know what you buy.

Stop hesitating and pay for what you need.

I’ve found back my old love.

Who? That’s the wrong question. What? Reading. I used to read a lot while I was younger. But when I went to highschool, I stopped reading. I don’t even know why.

I used to read different books every month, when I was younger. I rented the maximum amount of books at the library and at the end of the renting period I finished them all. That means 7 books in 6 weeks or so. I loved reading. I always went for quick adventures, stories that made me want to turn the page. Stories that made me go for that extra chapter. Before I knew, I could start the next book. But I’ve never read ’informational’ books or biographies. Maybe because I was too young or just because I did not like them.

I suppose that was the reason I stopped reading when I grew older and went to highschool. People expected us to read the news, read books about history and what we were studying. But why would I read those if they did not interest me? But that was not the main reason. I had a busy life playing soccer, going to school, assignments for school, breeding birds and so on. To be honest, it never occured to me that I was not reading anymore. I didn’t even think about it.

Until now. Since last year, I started reading blogposts and short articles. About life, productivity and other stuff. People were blogging about the books they were reading and how they learned a lot just by reading what others wrote down with so many passion. So I started reading the short ebooks provided by those bloggers. Mostly free but with great content. Then I started reading about the things I do at work. About datawarehousing and agile development because I wanted to learn more about what I was doing. But I noticed that this lecture is not the same as reading life experiences and little adventures. I needed to think while reading and store some things in my memory. Those books could not be read in the evening. At least, I couldn’t read them because my mind is tired in the evening after a day of work. So I started reading in the morning at 5:30 AM before I went to work at 7 AM. This works for me. I enjoyed doing so but still those ’learning’ books are not always as easy to read. I like books like ’Getting Things Done’ by David Allen because those books tell a story. They are written with practical knowledge and have that factor that make you go for that extra chapter.

Right now, I am reading ’Mijn Leven, Sven Nys’, a book about cyclocrosser Sven Nys and how he experiences his carreer. This is the book that made me find back my old love. Reading.

My advice? Ask people what books they are reading and when you think ’this is the one’, buy it and start reading. Not as good as you thought? Close it an go look for another one.