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App Recommendations from Shawn Blanc


The best cloud backup service


Everyone should have an off-site backup. Backblaze is the easiest to set up, the least expensive to use, and extremely reliable.
Day One

The Best Journaling App for iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Day One

For a classy journaling app that works on all your devices, you can't do better than Day One.

Our favorite AirPrint enabler


Printopia is our favorite utility for turning any printer on your network into an AirPrint printer.

Gadget Recommendations from Shawn Blanc

These are the computer speakers I use

For the money, these Audyssey Bluetooth computer speakers are the best sounding, best looking, speakers you can buy. The little brother to this pair of white, bluetooth speakers, is the Audyssey Lower East Side Media Speaker. However, the white, bluetooth model has the same speaker components but they include (obviously) Bluetooth connectivity (in addition to […] »

Blog Posts & Articles by Shawn Blanc

The 2024 Planning Kit

The annual How to Plan Your Year workshop is next week. Here's the link to RSVP for free. »

Overwhelmed? Try this…

Have you ever looked up the dictionary definition of “overwhelm”? It’s pretty intense, actually. bury or drown beneath a huge mass defeat completely give too much of a thing to someone If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then perhaps you feel as though you’ve been given too much. In fact, you’ve been given so much that you’re […] »

This only happens 2x per year…

We’re officially in what I like to call “nervous laughter” season. Why? Because nervous laughter is the typical response when I ask people how the rest of the year is looking for them. We know the end of the year is getting close… But we also know there is a TON of work that remains […] »

Let’s build your Notion setup together (New TSS Workshop)

It’s no secret that Notion is one of my favorite tools for managing ideas and notes. It’s also no secret that figuring out your own ideal Notion setup is… kind of a lot. You can spend so much time working ON your Notion workflows, that you end up never creating and working IN Notion. It’s […] »

Steal This Notion Workflow 🔄

We’re adding a brand-new Notion workshop to the Ideas-to-Action Focus Booster (enrolling now inside Focus Accelerator membership)! It's going to help you turn Notion into your own personal idea incubator so you can accelerate your creative work. »

Introducing: Ideas-to-Action 💡

Announcement time! Today, we are opening the doors for enrollment in our all-new Focus Booster: Ideas-to-Action. Ideas-to-Action is a series of LIVE online workshops happening inside our membership community. You will double your creative output with a simple system for organizing — and acting on — your ideas. If you’re brimming with ideas but struggle […] »

(Webinar) Write More in Less Time

In just a few hours… In today’s free workshop, you’re going to discover the key workflows for doing your best creative work — from writing, to fleshing out your ideas, and beyond. It’s called The Focused Writer: Improve Your Workflows, and it kicks off at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific / 6pm GMT. 👉 Click […] »

Inside My Writing Process (Free Webinar)

When you sit down to write (or do any other creative work), what typically happens first for you? Do you… Get going immediately, setting yourself up for a productive session? or… You procrastinate... Check your phone. Maybe dive back into research mode because you tell yourself you’re not “ready” yet. On Tuesday, I’m going to […] »

How to Eliminate the Blank Page

Have you ever sat down to do some writing and you’re just staring at the blank page? You’re stuck trying to come up with the idea, or you're ready to do the work and you’re just lost. It’s the worst. »

How to Create Margin For Your Thoughts

As someone who basically writes for a living, I find it very important to have undistracted time to actually do the work — the writing. This may seem obvious, but just because the time itself is set aside in my schedule or during my day, that doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be productive time. Being able to focus for an extended period of time without any distractions is actually becoming a very rare skill. This means that if it’s something you can figure out how to do, it actually can be to your competitive advantage. »

The Ownership Matrix (What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed)

Have you ever looked up the dictionary definition of “overwhelm”? It’s actually pretty intense: bury or drown beneath a huge mass defeat completely give too much of a thing to someone If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then perhaps you feel as though you have been given too much. In fact, you’ve been given so much that […] »

Setting up a “Calm Inbox” View for a Distraction Free Email

Whenever I launch the Mail app on my Mac, I’m presented with a completely blank inbox. This is not because of an Inbox Zero strategy. Rather, I can search for any specific emails I may be wanting to get to, or write a new email completely undistracted by whatever is in my inbox. »

Today: Make your habits stick (LIVE webinar)

In just a few hours, I’m going live to show you a bulletproof approach for becoming more consistent with your most important habits and routines… …even if you’re battling a crazy schedule and more distractions than you can count. :) Join me live, TODAY… at 3pm Eastern / Noon Pacific / 7pm GMT for the […] »

Join Us Tomorrow [Free TSS Webinar]

Been more than 12 years now of running a thriving profitable business. 📶 🎉 It has not always been easy. And I rarely had the answers for what was next. But here we are. And I am having the most fun (and getting the most sleep) so far! There is one simple mantra has kept me […] »

Threats to Your Time and Attention

Continuing in our series on focus and productivity, here we will dive in to see what’s holding you back from being efficient and intentional with your time, and the obstacles you face when trying to do focused, deep work. »

Third-Wave Productivity

Clarity about what matters also gives clarity about what does not. Clarity is vital if you want to do deep work on a regular basis over the long run. »

Shawn’s Bizarre #1 Productivity Tip

I get asked this question all the time, and I have a somewhat bizarre answer. When people first hear it, they give me a weird look. But as I explain it, everything clicks. »

4 Reasons Productivity Systems Fail

If your system is overly complex, you’re more likely to spend time tweaking it (or avoiding it) than…ya know…actually doing the work. »

Why not do less?

As a chronic maximizer, here are a few reminders that I need from time to time. You don’t have to take action on every idea. There’s no need to push every project to the max; ship when things are useful. You can make a decision without knowing every last detail and option; action will bring […] »

FINAL day to join Focus Academy!

The clock is ticking! Focus Academy enrollment closes tonight — which means you only have a few hours left to join our special January class before time runs out. The next time we open enrollment, two things will be true: The year will be more than halfway over. Our next class won’t be until later […] »

How to Get Back 7 Hours per Week

Raise your hand if your current schedule looks something like this: Adam shared this in the private Focus Academy Slack community during a previous Focus Academy class. (Reminder: enrollment for our January class closes in 5 days!) Keep in mind, that was just his work schedule. Imagine how it would look when factoring in family […] »

TSS Workshop: How to solve the 4 Failures of Productivity

There are only four elements of a busted productivity system, and I want to show you how to avoid them altogether and stay on track with your tasks, your time, and your habits. If you want to accomplish anything (from the small things in your day, to the big things of life and career), then […] »

Your bonus for joining Focus Academy today

Today is December 30, which means two things: #1. You only have until midnight tonight to get The Personal Retreat Workshop + My Proven Productivity Templates Pack as a free bonus when you join Focus Academy. Focus Academy will give you the perfect plan for recharging and staying fresh throughout the year so you can […] »

Why Goals Fail

Setting goals (especially the right goals) is a critical ingredient for unlocking more focus in your life. »

Beware of these goal-setting myths

For as long as productivity nerds have roamed the earth, we’re argued about goals. What makes a good one? What makes a bad one? Are they even worth setting at all? But no time of the year sparks debate over these questions quite like the handful of weeks leading up to January. From now until […] »

How to save 75% on the Digital Planner (limited offer)

If you want to make any type of progress in 2023, you need these two things: GOALS … that match with your values and vision SYSTEMS … that keep you moving forward I designed the Focus Course Digital Planner to give you the daily, weekly, and monthly systems you need. But those systems will struggle […] »

Tomorrow: How to Plan Your Year Webinar

Join me tomorrow live at 2pm Eastern to show you a simple approach for planning your year — even if you hate planning or think goals are dumb. What: Live webinar, How to Plan Your Year When: Tomorrow — Thursday, Nov 17 @ 2pm Eastern Where: Online webinar broadcast (private link sent to folks who […] »

Next Week: How to Plan Your Year (Free Webinar)

Before you tell me to calm down… Before you say it’s WAY too early to think about January… Hear me out. Because the truth, dear reader, is that there are only two ways to go about planning your upcoming year: Pick a random New Year’s resolution during that one week in December/January when there are […] »

How to Organize Your Writing in Ulysses

In addition to giving you a distraction-free writing interface to help you get your words out onto the page, Ulysses also gives you several tools that will help you keep your writing organized. »

Get Up and Running With Obsidian in Just 2 Hours (TSS Workshop)

Ever feel like the notes and ideas you capture are going in one ear and out the other? If so, you’re not alone. Over the past year we have been getting a slew of emails from readers regarding better note taking, writing, and idea management (and the apps that put idea management on steroids). One […] »

Last Call: Black Friday Custom Offer

Today (Monday, Nov 29) is the last chance to get access to the entire Sweet Setup course library at our Black Friday promotion. Course Library by the numbers: 9 In-Depth Courses (See full list here) 175+ Lessons (Screencast walkthroughs, workflow training, and advanced coaching) 50+ Bonus Interviews, Setup Examples, and Articles 23 PDF Templates for […] »

My Workout Videos

In 2020, when quarantine hit, I bought myself a row machine. And when I do my workouts, I like to learn new things by watching videos. »

Going Live in a Few Hours (November’s TSS Webinar)

Quick heads up: Today — Tuesday, 10 November — at 2pm CST I am hosting our November TSS webinar. I’ll be talking about how to plan your year. If you want to tune in live (or get the automatic replay link) then RSVP here. Hope to see you there! RSVP NOW »

Sneak Peek at Tomorrow’s Webinar Outline

A goal setting webinar to help you find the sweet spot of how you're spending your time and making sure that aligns with your values. Plus a bunch of stuff on goals and systems and showing up every day. »

“Next Year, I will not….?”

I love asking myself, and others, this question: As you begin looking toward the next year, have you considered what you are NOT going to do? »

Introducing: Focus Course Academy (Fall 2021 Cohort)

Don't be like me and spend years of your life doing productivity-whack-a-mole while you try to get this stuff figured out. I have condensed and cultivated everything I know about focus, time management, productivity, and work-life balance into this new, 4-week cohort: Focus Course Academy. »

David Sparks: Focus is the superpower of the next 20 years

David Sparks is the well-known co-host of both Mac Power Users and the Focused podcasts. He also writes a lot about workflows and productivity for folks who use Apple products. As a long-time friend and alumni member of The Focus Course, and was also recently one of our pilot members for the new Focus Academy. »

Obsidian Course FAQs

We can imagine you may be on the fence about Obsidian and about the new course. There are a LOT of apps out there fore note taking, researching, writing, etc. Will this course be helpful to you? Is Obsidian the right app for you? »

To Obsidian and Beyond (All-New TSS Course)

We don't think you should be held back from the benefits of an app like this simply because you're not sure how to set it up or use it. Here is a full list of all the modules and lessons inside the new Obsidian course. »

New Course: To Obsidian and Beyond

The all-new master-course for Obsidian users (new and old alike). Finally organize your notes and ideas to make creative output easy. »

Get Up and Running With Obsidian in Just 2 Hours (TSS Workshop)

Ever feel like the notes and ideas you capture are going in one ear and out the other? If so, you’re not alone. Recently we have been getting a slew of emails from readers recently regarding better note taking, writing, and idea management (and the apps that put idea management on steroids). One person shared […] »

Daily Writing with The Note

When I sit down at my desk in the morning, it’s time to write. I’ve had this writing habit for more than a decade. It has certainly taken various forms, locations, and devices over the years. (Last year, when quarantine life kicked in, I began a 6am iPad writing habit.) Sometimes I’m in my office, […] »

Combat Burnout with a Productivity Journal

In our productivity flywheel, the fourth stage is to celebrate your progress. But sometimes this feels counterintuitive or inconvenient. Because when we want to be super duper productive, we often think that speed and efficiency are what matter most. Thus we get stuck in a loop of doing, doing, doing... without ever pausing to celebrate. »

You Can’t Manage Time

To be candid, you can’t actually manage your time. You can only spend it. How then would you spend an extra 25 hours in your week? That’s basically an extra 3.5 hours added on to each day. Or one whole extra day each week! Seem impossible? Let’s break down an average week to see where […] »

Brand New Course: Simple Time Management

Remove the mess and stress from organizing your schedule, and get back hours of your life each week. In our brand new course we'll help you win the game of time management. »

Today: Productivity Workshop (Register Here)

Join yours truly today for a live productivity workshop that will be all about how to better manage your tasks and your time! Because YOLO. Live-Online Productivity Workshop: March 18 @ 2pm EST with Shawn Blanc WHEN: Today! Thursday, 18 March at 2pm EDT WHERE: Live-online via Zoom (you’ll get the link once you’ve registered) […] »

How to Use a Calendar

In this article, I’m going to share two very important things for how to use your calendar: why your task list should be on your calendar, and how to get it there by using time blocking »

Revive Your Productivity in Two Hours (TSS Workshop)

The Productivity workshop will show you how to improve your entire approach to task and time management. We will walk you through what we call the 4-Part Productivity Flywheel. There will be a combination of live training, Q&A discussion, and hands-on workflow templates. »

How to Free up Your Time and Attention

On Friday I shared with you my simple framework for keeping things on track. Lifestyle habits Daily Routine Process for focus Thanks to my habits, routines, and process I was able to survive an extremely difficult 8-weeks where we thought my wife might have Stage IV cancer. And, more than that, these things make up […] »

How to Get it All Done (December’s TSS Webinar)

Find out our simple, 3-part structure for combining habits, routines, and templates to your advantage. We'll show you how the pieces fit together and how they can save you time and allow you the breathing room you need in order to give more attention to the most important areas of your life in this season. »

Save $339 on the Entire TSS Course Library

Right now you can get ALL of our courses, bundled together, for only $197. The total value of the bundle is $536, which makes this is a discount of 63%. BUY NOW $536  $197 This Complete Training Bundle is your chance to get instant access to every one of our training courses, for the price of […] »

Our Goals Are Not Enough

There are some folks who say you ought to know your goals inside and out or else you’ll never accomplish them. Others advise against setting goals at all because you might not even accomplish them. Well....? Which is the right approach? Let's take a closer look. »

How to be Productive

Get clear on what you value and where you're going. Use systems to help you stay on track. Optimize and refine. »

Getting Clear (TSS November Webinar)

It feels like 2020 deposited a cloud of fog inside my brain. For one, there is all the crud and trauma that we have all had to deal with in 2020 so far, we’re not even through November yet. And, like many of you, I’ve had my fair share of additional challenges to work through […] »

Ulysses Mini-Masterclass (Video Replay)

Ulysses is one of the best writing and notes apps out there. And it keeps getting better and better. Watch the replay of our mini-masterclass webinar. »

How to Build a Daily Writing Habit

When it comes building a daily writing habit — or any sort of endeavor for that matter — one of the biggest challenges is to keep showing up every day. »

Why Dual Focus Email is Bad (Calm Inbox Video)

The last thing you want when it comes to your email is what we call “Dual Focus”. Dual Focus is a waste of your time. Dual Focus is frustrating and annoying. For example: Dual Focus is when you are trying to have a Zoom meeting and your toddler busts into the room. Dual Focus is […] »

3 Questions to Ask About Your Busy Inbox

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with email (and Twitter, too, for that matter). I love how they’ve allowed me to connect with folks, build friendships, and make things over the years, but I hate how email (and Twitter) can be such a draw for my attention and a distraction during my day. »

Ideas and Focus: The 2-for-1 Sale

For the next three days, we’re offering two different packs for sale: An Ideas Pack and a Focus Pack. Each pack includes two courses for the price of one. »

Four Part Writing Process (Webinar Replay, Part 2)

This is part two from our Focused Writer webinar we hosted for The Sweet Setup community a while back. If you missed part one you'll want to go back and watch that first as the principles in this video build upon those laid out in the first part. »

Four Keys to a Better Writing Workflow (Webinar Replay, Part 1)

We recently hosted a Focused Writer webinar for our Sweet Setup community. It was an hour-long call and it was jam-packed golden nuggets of writing wisdom. So much so, we decided to split up the replay into a couple different segments and share them here on the TSS blog for everyone who wasn’t able to […] »

Last Call for Special Pricing on Learn Ulysses

If you’d like to get the updated version of Learn Ulysses then this is your last chance to get it at the best price. If you snag it now then you can still get access at the discounted launch price of just $79. But after today (Monday, July 20) the price will be going up […] »

Ulysses Writing Tip: Using Text Replacement for Inline Notes and Annotations

When I am writing an article for my website or newsletter list, I try to focus on just that: writing. But the problem is that as I am writing, I am also thinking about what links, photos, or screenshots I want to add to the article. And there is usually at least a specific section that I know needs more writing or more research before it’s ready to go. »

Reminder About Today’s TSS Webinar: Writing Workflows

We’ll be giving ideas for how you can wrangle the clutter and messiness of your unorganized ideas, notes, and articles, and we'll also be sharing some tips for how you can be more focused and productive during your writing time. »

The Productive, Focused Writer (A TSS Webinar)

This coming Wednesday, July 15, we are hosting our next TSS Webinar. This one is all about being a more productive and focused writer. The are a handful of common challenges that face just about anyone who does any sort of writing or note taking. But the good news is that they are surprisingly easy […] »

Working on the Learn Ulysses 2020 Update

We’ve begun work on an update to Learn Ulysses. This is one of our most popular courses, and it’s definitely my favorite here on TSS. I personally use Ulysses for so much, and I spend hours a day with it. So it’s a topic that I can very easily get nerdy about. »

Shawn Blanc’s iPhone Home Screen, Summer 2020 Edition

Several months ago, I took all the apps on my Home screen and moved them over by one so that my first Home screen was blank. Now I’m trying something similar but different. I’ve placed just a few apps on the first Home screen, none of which have inboxes or infinity pools. »

iPadOS 14: The Power User Update (Kinda)

The updates of iPadOS 14 feel like updates done by people who actually use their iPad, for people who use their iPad. There are a lot of thoughtful and exciting new features and refinements which not only improve the iPad experience right now, but continue to set the stage for future innovation as well. »

Replay: WWDC 2020 Keynote Reactions Event

Here is the video recording of our initial WWDC 2020 Keynote reactions. Thanks for everyone who attended live. During this webcast we discussed our overall thoughts and impressions from the Keynote. (In our opinion, one of the most enjoyable and well-presented Apple keynotes of the past decade.) In our reactions webinar, Josh, Rose, Mike, and […] »

Join TSS for a WWDC 2020 Keynote Reactions Event

Next week is WWDC 2020, and it’s fixing to be a doozy. Will Apple be announcing new iMacs? What updates will there be to iPadOS now that it’s been a full year? What one more thing might there be? Apple’s main keynote presentation will be broadcast live at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern. And, about […] »

Brand New: Simple Habits (A TSS Course)

I’ve been a “habit nerd” for nearly 20 years. Routines have helped tremendously with my desire to keep areas of my life on track over the years. A few examples include things such as creating every day, a weekly date-night with my wife, an automatic saving and investing, consistent workouts. These certainly ebb and flow […] »

Productive Habits (a TSS Webinar)

This coming Thursday, May 21 we are hosting our next TSS Webinar. This week is all about Productive Habits. And we’ll be sharing three ways that small routines can save you time and help create success in every area of your life. There will also be time for Live Q&A to talk about any questions […] »

How to Build a Journaling Habit (TSS Webinar)

This week my friend Matt Ragland and I are hosting a webinar to talk about building a journaling habit. As I shared about in my story this morning, this is something that I have personally doubled down on over the past 60 days of life under quarantine, and it has helped me tremendously to deal […] »

Using Day One During Quarantine

Instead of going to Hawaii, we are staying home. My wife and I recently cancelled our 15-year anniversary trip to Hawaii. We’d been planning and saving for this trip since our 10-year anniversary. Alas, with the current state of the planet, we knew we’d have to cancel it, but we were putting it off. I […] »

How to Take Better Photos (A TSS Webinar)

If you are someone who is interested in photography… This week we are hosting a photography webinar to talk about shooting, editing, and workflows. Basically, it’s the in-house TSS photography team sharing some ways that you can improve your photography using the gear you already have. Marius Masalar will be giving some practical tips for […] »

Productivity: Back to the Basics (Webinar Video)

We recently hosted a live webinar for the TSS community. In it, we covered some productivity misconceptions as well as a handful of quick-wins and workflow ideas that you can use right now. Here is the full video replay. »

Introducing the WFH Course Bundle

Yesterday, my 3-year-old took an entire roll of blue ribbon and cut it up into about 10,000 tiny little strips and while walking all around the house. (At least it wasn’t the toilet paper.) Needless to say, for the past few weeks, I’ve been using even Day One more than I usually do. As far […] »

Brand New Course: Manage and Develop Your Ideas

Today, we are finally opening the doors on our brand-new course for idea development. The course — Mastering Mind Maps — is all about how to manage and develop your ideas. And it is fantastic. Get Instant Access Based Your Feedback and Input Many of you may remember last year when we asked about the […] »

Focus Course Giveaway (with 2020 Digital Planner)

When it comes to getting your work done, there are few things more frustrating than having too much to do, and not enough time to do it. But… When you are clear and you have the time you need… it is liberating. That’s a huge part of my own “system” for managing tasks and time. […] »

Introducing The 2020 Focus Course Digital Planner

The 2020 Focus Course Digital Planner is an interactive, digital planner meant to be used on a daily basis. And it is available now! Get Your Planner » The system in the planner is based on the proven ideas from our sister site’s flagship productivity course, The Focus Course. All you need to do is […] »

Last Chance to Save 63% on All TSS Courses

Just a friendly reminder that our Complete Training Bundle is about to go away. If you are wanting to get instant access to every single one of our courses, and take advantage of our Black Friday / Cyber Monday bundle, then this is your last chance. The promotional discount ends today: Monday, December 2 at […] »

Save 63% (a $171 discount) on all Courses in the Complete Training Bundle

Right now you can get ALL of our courses, bundled together, for only $99. The total value of the bundle is $270, which makde this is a discount of 63%. BUY NOW $270  $99 This Complete Training Bundle is your chance to get instant access to every one of our training courses, for the price of […] »

A Sweet Deal for Apple Nerds

Next week, for Black Friday, The Sweet Setup is putting together a massive deal. Later I’ll share a bit more of the “why”. But for now I’m just going to share the “what”. (We’ve never done a Black Friday deal before, so I wanted to give you a heads up.) In short, we are bundling […] »

Join us Today for A Nerdy, Live, iPad-Centric Webinar (Updated)

Update: Thanks to everyone who joined us live. It was a blast. We had around 400 folks join us live for the call. We went through quite a bit of tips and tricks and also answered a whole bunch of questions around GoodNotes, iOS Shortcuts, productivity workflows, and more. During the webinar I got this […] »

David Sparks Video Interview: How to Stay Focused and Productive

When it comes to juggling all the things in life, it can be a challenge. And so, who better to learn from than David Sparks? David — a.k.a. “MacSparky” — has a lot of spinning plates. David is a solo attorney, a prolific podcaster, a blogger, an author, a screencast tutorial maker, a dad, and […] »

Last Call for Special Pricing on GoodNotes Templates and Course

As you may know, earlier this week we released our brand-new course that is all about GoodNotes. And the launch-week discount is ending later tonight, btw. The response to the new course has been amazing. A huge thanks to all of our readers who signed up for the course. I’ve been hearing from folks who […] »

Updated Course: Day One in Depth

We just updated our Day One in Depth course to cover all the latest features of Day One for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. We’ve also included a bunch of additional articles that are full of ideas, tips, workflows, and tutorials for how best to use Day One to suit your own needs. »

The MacSparky Keyboard Maestro Field Guide

Keyboard Maestro is one of the most powerful and awesome apps available for the Mac. One thing you can use Keyboard Maestro for is to apply global keyboard shortcuts that can then be used to trigger just about any sort of macro, action, or script that you want. For example, I have a hotkey set […] »

Shawn Blanc’s iPad Blogging Workflow

A detailed look at how Shawn Blanc captures ideas and links and what the process looks like for moving those from the starting line of an idea to the finished product of a published article. »

My iPad Writing Setup

These days I do just about everything from the iPad. iOS and the iPad have helped me to slow down, simplify, and focus more on the task at hand — especially when that task is writing. »

Making Better Portraits: Adjustable Background Blur and Editing

This iPhone photography tutorial by Erin Brooks shows how to use adjustable background blur (a.k.a. bokeh) on iPhone. This video is another sneak peek video from our brand-new course on Mobile Photography. In this tutorial, Erin is uses an app called Focos along with Lightroom Mobile. Focos has long provided the same adjustable background blur […] »

Now Open: Mobile Photography Course

Our most ambitious training course yet. Mobile Photography teaches you everything you need to know to transform your photos from average to awesome! »

Our Mobile Photography Course

Our brand-new course is out, just in time for the new iPhones and iOS 12. Here are all the details and a full list of the table of contents. »

On the Apple Watch Series 4

After 3.5 years of using an Apple Watch every day, the new Apple Watch Series 4 is, without a doubt, the best Apple Watch yet. »

Thoughts and details on the just-announced iPhone Xs (Max)

A screen and a camera. That’s the gist of an iPhone. On the front, you’ve got a screen. And on the back you’ve got a camera lens or two. And today, at Apple’s “Gather Round” event, they announced the new iPhones Xs which, of course, have better screens and better cameras than before. Yes, this […] »

Big Week

There are quite a bit of exciting things happening over the next week, and in this post we want to try and communicate everything with you. »

My iPad Photography Workflow

Here is an outline of the process I use to get images onto my iPad, how I edit them, and why there are a lot of best practices that I’m intentionally bypassing. »

Unlock 1Password (New Course Available Now)

The doors to our new course on 1Password are open. There are 14 video tutorials to help you discover all the amazing ways this app can save you time, energy, and keep your data safe. And, as with all our courses, you also get complete transcripts, downloadable HD files, and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Get […] »

How I Use 1Password

1Password is an essential, must-have app. Here’s a quick look at what all I store in 1Password and why it’s so helpful. »

New Time Management Course, Now Available

Over on our sister site, we have been hard at work on a huge update to our popular class on time management. And the time has come… The new class is available now. There is a complete table of contents below, but some of the main themes addressed within the class include: How to get […] »

The Calmest iPhone Yet

Each of the 3 new hallmark features — Screen Time, Notifications, Do Not Disturb — have multiple things you can do with them. Let’s go through each one to see what is going to be possible, and why it’s so awesome. »

Tomorrow: Day One in Depth Course

Big day tomorrow… Our brand-new course, Day One In Depth will be available. This new course is the most detailed and extensive guide to Day One there is. As I’ve said before, this app is one I’ve been using since it came out in 2011 and it has become one of the single most important […] »

Using the Day One Activity Feed for Easier, Faster Entries

As any long-time reader of this site will know, I am a huge fan of the app, Day One. A few years ago we had written a pretty great guide to Day One, and right now we’re wrapping up some HUGE updates to that guide. (More on that in a bit.) As part of our […] »

What’s In My Day One

When we launched this website in the fall of 2013, we had just a handful of app reviews written: weather, calculator, calendar, and a few others. Of those first reviews, there was one in particular that I wanted to write myself: the pick for best journaling app. The pick was — and still is, of […] »

The Wrong Way to Manage Your Time

If there is one thing I have learned about focus and time management over the years, it is that how we spend our time and energy is an ever moving target. »

The Focus Course: Now Available

In partnership with our sister site, we just opened up registration for The Focus Course, our flagship training on productivity and time management. »

Tomorrow: The Focus Course

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9:00 am EST, the Focus Course will be available. Here are all the details about the course, pricing, and more. »

What an Un-Focused Life Looks Like

When you’re over toward the left on the “un-focused” side of things, you don't feel in control — it's stressful. You don't feel like there is any breathing room. And you're so frequently responding to the urgent issues of others, that you lack any clear plan forward. »

Get Back Hours Per Week (Part 3)

Continuing in our partnership with our sister site, The Focus Course, here is the third and final video in a short series we've been doing on the topic of focus and productivity. »

How to Get Your Life in Focus (Part 2)

As we continue this 3-part series, it's in this video that I reveal the “framework”I use to stay focused, organized, and on track with all the various areas of my life. It's what I call the 5 Components of a Focused Life. »

Accidental Digital Detox

In 2009, I went on an unexpected digital detox. My wife and I had booked a cabin for a week and when we arrived, I discovered there was no wifi or cell service… »

Take The Focus Quiz

We have a brand-new tool that is our first collaboration between our two sister sites: The Focus Course and The Sweet Setup. It's called The Focus Quiz, and it's a personal productivity assessment. »

Productivity Pitfalls

Let's discuss five of the most common pitfalls that will limit your results and cause immense friction and roadblocks to your workflows and systems. »

Productivity & Focus Workshop Replay

We hosted our first, live workshop for Sweet Setup readers. There were several hundred who joined us for live the workshop, and it was a blast! »

Questions Answered About Learn Ulysses

We can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has supported our work and helped to spread the word about Learn Ulysses. Here are some answers to a few common questions we’ve been getting over the past few days… »

Learn Ulysses: Here It Is

Our brand-new course, Learn Ulysses, is now available. It sells for just $29. But right now to celebrate the launch week, you can get it for $23. Find Out More… Or click here to buy it now. Here’s what a few folks are saying: “This is so good! There is tons of useful information in […] »

Behind The Scenes of Learn Ulysses

Learn Ulysses launches in a week. Here are some fun and nerdy details about the work we’re doing behind the scenes to get things ready for you… »

Ulysses vs. Day One

Recently, quite a few folks have asked me how Ulysses and Day One compare and if one could replace the other. I think it will be easiest to answer this question by explaining how and why I use each of these apps. »

Seven Ulysses Superpowers

The more you use Ulysses, the better it gets. Here are my seven favorite Ulysses superpowers. »

Shawn Blanc’s Ulysses Setup

Ulysses has become the central spot for where I store all my notes, research, and other tidbits of inspiration. It's also where I toss all my writing ideas, and it’s where I actually do all my writing. Here's what it looks like... »

Need More Time in the Day?

An online summit featuring candid and powerful video conversations with some of the world's best creative entrepreneurs. »

A Focus on Time

Things like diligence, focus, priorities, saying no, time management, and the like are important. But why? This quote by Benjamin Franklin pretty much sums it up for me: “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” Focus, priorities, time management, etc… These are important because they’re […] »

Bushel (Sponsor)

Bushel is a cloud-based management solution for the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod devices in your workplace. »

Bushel (Sponsor)

Bushel is a cloud-based management solution for the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod devices in your workplace. »

Best of Two Dollar Tuesday (Sponsor)

Two Dollar Tuesday presents Mac App Store apps every week for just $1.99 each—at discounts up to 95%. Today is our Best Apps of 2015 promo, featuring our the most popular apps we’ve promoted in 2015. »

The New Uuni 2 (Sponsor)

The new Uuni 2 is a Wood-Fired Oven for pizza and beyond. Save $20 off your Uuni 2 with the code "thesweetsetup". »

Ride on the Marble Trend (Sponsor)

GMYLE’s marble pattern cases are built to protect your devices against the bangs and dings of everyday life in a chic manner. »

How To Filter Your Day One Entries on the Mac

With Day One, there are many ways to view and filter your timeline of entries. We're going to show you how they all work, as well as how you can also mix and match for advanced filtering of your timeline view. »

The Advantages of a Digital Journal in a Digital Age

There are many advantages to using a digital journal. Not only can it easily store photos, location data, timestamps, and more. It's also always with you (on your iPhone), your information is backed up and secure, and you can quickly search past entries. »

Available Now: ‘Day One In Depth’ eBook

Make the most out of your journaling with our comprehensive guide. *Day One In Depth* is the most detailed and extensive guide to Day One available today. Featuring in-depth reviews that cover every function and feature found within Day One, our handbook goes line by line showing you how to make the most of this award-winning journaling app. »

What’s In My Day One?

Because I’ve put so much time and so many words into my Day One over the years, I wanted to share a bit of how and why I use it… »

Word Vault (Sponsor)

Word Vault is a beautiful dictionary for iPhone with personalized vocabulary reviews. »

curbi (Sponsor)

curbi gives parents peace of mind; providing the best solution so the entire family can enjoy the online world as much as the real world. »

Mail Act-On (Sponsor)

Mail Act-On lets you file any message in any mailbox quickly using the keyboard (and without any advance setup or tedious memorization). »

Champion (Sponsor)

Easily show your friends who’s the Champ with the tournament management app you always wanted. For free! »

Advertise With Us

The best way to promote your product, service, or company directly to our readership and site visitors is through a sponsorship of the site. »

Artisanal Software Festival (Sponsor)

Hand-crafted, opinionated Macintosh software for writers and thinkers, at great prices, direct from the designers, for just a few days longer. »

Curbi (Sponsor)

curbi gives parents peace of mind; providing the best solution so the entire family can enjoy the online world as much as the real world. »

The Staff Favorites

Here is a running list of our personal favorite apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The are the apps we, The Sweet Setup staff, use day in and day out for work and play. »

Byword (Sponsor)

A simple and efficient text editing app for Mac, iPhone and iPad. Write something great today. »

The Ultimate Unofficial Dropbox Guide

On sale this week. Unleash your inner organization freak with these ebooks, and maximize your Dropbox potential. Dropbox is not just a folder -- it’s a tool to simplify your work and personal life. »

iBank 5 (Sponsor)

iBank delivers the most complete suite of money management apps for Mac and iOS. It offers all the power and all the tools you’d expect from desktop financial software -- including bill pay, bank downloads, budgets, reports, investment support and more. »

Thanksgiving Apps

Thanksgiving is here. We hope that for you this week will bring time with family, a lot of cooking, and (hopefully) some time to rest and relax. »

It’s Our 1-Year Birthday

Just one long year ago today we launched The Sweet Setup. Our aim was to be the place you go when you (or your friends) want the best app for a certain category. That is still our aim. »

Igloo: An intranet that actually works on your phone (Sponsor)

With Igloo’s responsive design, your intranet can be fully optimized for almost any device you’re using. Almost everything you can do on your desktop, you can do on your tablet or phone. It will even work on your new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Boom. »

Igloo: An intranet that actually works on your phone (Sponsor)

With Igloo’s responsive design, your intranet can be fully optimized for almost any device you’re using. Almost everything you can do on your desktop, you can do on your tablet or phone. It will even work on your new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Boom. »

Uuni 2 (Sponsor)

Uuni 2: wood-fired perfection to your kitchen or garden this fall. »

GraphicConverter 9 (Sponsor)

The universal genius for photo editing, batch conversion, metadata editing, image browsing and much more »

Slim Your Wallet (Sponsor)

No one wants a brick wallet weighing down their back. Here are some easy tips from Bellroy to slim down. »

Daylite (Sponsor)

Improve the productivity of your small business with the app that organizes everything in one place. »

Backblaze (Sponsor)

Backblaze is unlimited, unthrottled, uncomplicated, and just $5/month. Try it free now! »

Lost Photos (Sponsor)

Lost Photos securely scans your email account for every photo you’ve ever sent or received, so you can save it back to your computer or share it on your favorite social network. »

Minimal Reader (Sponsor)

Minimal Reader is a lightweight and minimal RSS feed reading web service that you'll want to use everyday. »

Lost Photos (Sponsor)

Lost Photos securely scans your email account for every photo you’ve ever sent or received, so you can save it back to your computer or share it on your favorite social network. »

Advertising and Sponsorship Availability

Interested in promoting your awesome product, service, or company directly to our readership and site visitors? Great! We've recently changed our prices and options for advertising and sponsorships. »

Making Light (sponsor)

Become a Making Light member and each month you'll get everything you need to Make Light. Carefully selected fragrances chosen to help you craft your own focused hours each day. »

Day One’s new Publish feature

Today, there's a significant update to Day One, our favorite journaling and logging app. The update is a new feature called Publish, and it lets you selectively share your Day One entries to the Web. »

Direct Mail for OS X (Sponsor)

Create and send great looking email campaigns with Direct Mail, an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app for OS X. »

Introducing the new Glif (Sponsor)

The Glif is a smartphone accessory with two primary functions: mounting your phone onto a tripod, and propping your phone up at various angles. »

Doxie Go (Sponsor)

Doxie Go is the portable, rechargeable paper scanner that scans anywhere with no computer required, then syncs directly to your Mac. »

Doxie Go (Sponsor)

Doxie Go is the portable, rechargeable paper scanner that scans anywhere with no computer required, then syncs directly to your Mac. »

Introducing the new Glif (Sponsor)

The Glif is a smartphone accessory with two primary functions: mounting your phone onto a tripod, and propping your phone up at various angles. The design is simple, yet out of this simple design emerges countless uses. »

Doxie Go (Sponsor)

Doxie Go is the portable, rechargeable paper scanner that scans anywhere with no computer required, then syncs directly to your Mac. »

What we published this week

A list of our favorite games, the best iPad app for managing PDFs, a Sweet Setup interview with Matthew Panzarino, and more... »

The iPad Setup of Chris Gonzales

Chris Gonzales lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and son. He's known for his site, Unretrofied, and is a daily contributor to Tools & Toys, a sister site to The Sweet Setup. »

Introducing the new Glif (Sponsor)

The Glif is a smartphone accessory with two primary functions: mounting your phone onto a tripod, and propping your phone up at various angles. »

Matt Gemmell’s Sweet Mac Setup

Matt Gemmell is a consultant user experience designer and software engineer, mostly for iOS apps. He's also a speaker and writer. »

Casey Liss: Sweet iPhone Setup

Casey Liss is one-third of the Accidental Tech Podcast, with his friends Marco Arment and John Siracusa. During the day, he's a developer and corporate stooge, working at a small consultancy in Richmond, Virginia. Here's a look at his iPhone Home screen and his essential apps. »

The Dime Tour

Welcome! We're here because we enjoy spending an inordinate amount of time and energy to research, test, and find the very best apps. »

The iPad Setup of Ben Brooks

Ben spends his days listening to people complain, so he likes to complain on his weblog. He's also one of our contributing authors here at The Sweet Setup. »

A Beginner’s Guide to Pinboard

Pinboard is a great bookmarking service because it lives on the web, and so many of the apps and services I use every day can send bookmarks to my Pinboard. »