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November 26, 2018 - No Comments!

Export Spotify Discover Weekly playlist as a text list of songs and artists

Here's how you can export a Spotify playlist as a text list of songs and their artists.

You'll need these four things:

  1. A Spotify playlist you want to export
  2. iOS device - it'll work on an iPhone or iPad. Sorry Android users.
  3. Siri Shortcuts app
  4. A *custom Siri shortcut (i.e. pre-built workflow) available below as a free download
    *I built the custom shortcut below so I could save a text list of some playlists I update often. The workflow takes a Spotify playlist then in the background it finds the songs and artists. Then it outputs the list to your iOS clipboard, so you can paste it in your preferred app.

Once you've downloaded and installed the Shortcut, here's the step-by-step to run it:

  1. Open Spotify, find the playlist you want to export
  2. Click the more button (•••) > [⇧ Share] > [••• More]
  3. Once the iOS share drawer is open, select Shortcuts. If you don't see Shortcuts as an option, you'll need to add it. More info down below, see How to add Siri Shortcuts to the Activities list on iOS
  4. Find the tap the Shortcut: "Spotify Playlist to Text List"
  5. That's it! The list is now copied to your clipboard and ready for you to paste in your preferred app (Notes, Evernote, etc.)


To download the Shortcut I ask for your email address and first name. I won't send a bunch of emails your way—it's just nice to see who's finding usefulness from the free content I share.

<<Shortcut coming soon>>


How to add Siri Shortcuts to the Activites list on iOS

  • Open Safari.
  • Tap the [⇧ Share] button.
  • In the horizontal list, closest to the Cancel button, scroll all the way to the right and select ••• More.
  • Find "Shortcuts" in the list and make sure the switch is green (on).
  • You'll also want to tap and hold on the three lines on the right then drag the Shortcuts item to the top. That makes it faster to use from other apps.
  • Tap Done.

September 9, 2016 - No Comments!

Getting Started with Evernote: A quick user guide to get up and running with Evernote in 2017

Get started using Evernote effectively with just a few small changes. These work for new or advanced users.

If you'd like more detail on any of these steps feel free to reach out or comment below.


1. Create your first notebook


* If you don't do any of the other four steps, be sure to check this one off the list. You'll be glad when you have bunch of notes.

Evernote comes with an default notebook called "My First Notebook". Go ahead and delete it or rename it to "Inbox"

The goal of this notebook is to give you a spot to capture all of your notes quickly then you can do the organizing in the future.

Once you've created your Inbox notebook, navigate to your preferences and set it as your default notebook. Here's Evernote's instructions on how to do that.

You can think of this notebook just like your email inbox—you want to keep it as close to zero notes as possible. Since I capture a ton of notes in Evernote, I have time scheduled every Friday morning to move notes from my inbox into their more fitting notebooks. 

2. Create your first tag

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-11-52-10-amTags can get out of hand really quickly. To give some context, I've found it's helpful to think about tags by asking yourself these two questions.

  1. Will this tag be usable in many different notebooks? If not, the tag should probably be a notebook instead.
  2. What's my future self's use of this tag?

For the sake of a clear introduction, we'll just be creating one tag for now.

Create a new tag called "Action".

I use this tag so I can quickly remind myself when I need to do something with a note. It's universal, so it can be applied to a client note like a to-do list for example. It could also be applied to something personal like a reminder to get my oil changed, redeem a coupon online or a list for the next trip to the grocery store. 

When I open Evernote, I can say "Show me all notes tagged with Action" and I'll see notes from within hundreds of different notebooks and stacks. One I complete a task, I just remove the Action tag from that note and move on.


3. Declutter the UI

The factory settings for the toolbar and sidebar aren't always useful the most beneficial. Take a couple minutes to see what options can be added and removed. Personally, I prefer a minimal approach. To edit either section, just right click.

Here's what my sidebar looks like

  • Shortcuts
    • Inbox
    • Today
  • Recent notes (5 most recent notes for quick access)
  • Notes (can't remove this one)
  • Notebooks (shows a list of all my notebooks)
  • Recent Chats

Here's what my toolbar looks like

Setting up Evernote - Customizing the Toolbar

It's pretty straight forward, just removed a few items and moved my Account/Profile info to the far right—the most common location for account settings these days.

4. Check out IFTTT

IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called "recipes", which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. IFTTT is an abbreviation of "If This Then That".
— Thanks, Wikipedia

To summarize, IFTTT let's you automate stuff all over the internet. So you can make things happen in Evernote automatically without even opening Evernote.

A quick example: I use IFTTT + IFTTT's "Do Button" to save business receipts inside an Evernote notebook.

IFTTT deserves it's own (lengthy) article. I'm working on it and I'll share it soon. For now, I'd encourage you to create a free account and poke around a bit.

5. Get mobile


This one's easy, just download the mobile app for iOS or Android and take your notes everywhere you go. Besides being accessible everywhere, this is where Evernote really becomes powerful. When you snap a photo, your location will be stored and sortable later. "Show me all notes I took on vacation" will remind you about that big idea you had while hanging out on the beach.

Additionally, using your phone's camera to snap documents will create searchable text! So in six months when you get pulled over and need to show your insurance card—just search your Evernote for "insurance". <— actual use case from a few weeks ago

Have other ideas or questions? Let me know below or reach out, I'd love your feedback!

February 10, 2016 - No Comments!

[ Update: Goodbye Sunrise :_( ] How Sunrise Calendar helped me quit my job

Sunrise Calendar is a free calendar app made for Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange. I'd first downloaded it and created an account in late 2014 when it was just a common, though refined, calendar interface.

To begin, I am in no way endorsed, supported by or in contact with the folks at Sunrise.

At some point around June of 2015 Sunrise introduced a new feature; the "Meet" button. This was also right around the time when I quit my job in order to start my own company. To skip ahead, the Meet button fixes a very fundamental problem—scheduling meetings with busy people.

While I was trying to build a client base I was spending a solid chunk of my time cold calling and responding to potential customers. Even once I had a lead identified, it could sometimes take a week or two before we could find a mutually agreeable time to meet. Multiply this by 5+ contacts per day, this equates to potentially months of time lost by email and back and fourth texts.


Here's what it does:

Sunrise's Meet allows you to propose multiple days / times to a person, and they can select whichever works best. An event is created, and you're done. As if that wasn't enough, the syncing happens so often that if you propose the same time to two different people, and one of them selects that time, the option will be removed from all other contacts.

Sunrise Calendar - Meet Interface


It has support for both desktop and mobile (iOS & Android) and possibly to coolest part—it works from directly within text messages and email by use of a custom keyboard. I've been able to confirmed scheduled meeting, directly from a text message, within two minutes of tapping Send. 

Photo credit

Photo credit



I've put some thought and basic math into how much time I've gained by scheduling meetings this way. I gain about six hours every month. That's almost a full working day to do—whatever I want. Usually, it doesn't consist of scheduling meetings.

Try it out!