Links of the Week (02/10/2020)

Some amazing apps, map books, and how to foster your creativity…

It’s been a little over five years since our last coffee table book guide, so I think it’s high time we revisit this space to see what other reading materials — with an emphasis on art and design — are worth keeping out on display in your home rather than on a shelf.

My favorite on this list is the map book of imaginary lands.

Coffee Table Books (2020 Edition) — Tools and Toys


The latest update to Overcast includes a feature that I’m especially proud of that took over a year to build.

Voice Boost 2 is an all-new audio engine that includes professional-grade, mastering-quality loudness normalization.

​I use Overcast constantly. Occasionally I’ll try out another podcast app but nothing compares with the features and smooth UI of this app.

Introducing Voice Boost 2: Remaster your podcasts – Marco.org


The all new Fantastical 3 offers a huge number of new features and a whole host of new actions for Shortcuts. These make doing some actions that would otherwise require you to fine tune the native calendar shortcuts much easier, and easier to integrate into your workflows. Fantastical supports both calendar events and reminders/ tasks, so I’ll cover each of these.

This is a fantastic calendar app. Probably the best one in the App Store for all it does. The new price is kinda steep, but worth it if it supports these developers.

iOS Calendar Automation with Shortcuts and Fantastical 3 – The Sweet Setup


But I have to be real with you. I know this system works, but I still struggle with resisting the temptation to take shortcuts. Even though I’ve seen time and time again that developing my ideas first actually reduces the total time I spend creating, it’s easy to make excuses and say, “I just don’t have time for that right now.”

In my experience, this is the problem most people struggle with when it comes to creativity and productivity: they know what to do, but they have trouble following through and doing it.

I can identify with this sentiment. Largely because I have 3 small kids and work a lot, but I always find the time I tend to value most (aside from family time) is time I can take to be quiet and think.

How and Why to Make the Time to Think – The Sweet Setup

Perhaps This is Why We Climb…

Such a beautiful climbing quote…

So it happens that the wealthier and more advance a society, the more fanatic its interest in certain kinds of sport. Civilization’s trajectory is to curve back upon itself – naturally? Helplessly? – like the mythical snake biting its own tail and to take up with passion the outward signs and gestures of “savagery.” While it is plausible that emotionally effete men and women may require ever more extreme experiences to arouse them, it is perhaps the case too that the desire is not merely to mimic but, magically, to be brute, primitive, instinctive, and therefore innocent. One might then be a person for whom the contest is not mere self-destructive play but life itself; and the world, not in spectacular and irrevocable decline, but new, fresh, vital, terrifying and exhilarating by turns, a place of wonders.

—Joyce Carol Oats

I believe that quote speaks straight from the part of my soul that yearns to climb and could never tell me why.

This is in the introduction of the book El Capitan: Historic Feats and Radical Routes. I don’t remember when I bought this book but this quote is the most perfect opening to a climbing book I’ve ever read.