Recomendo

A Pattern Language/Mindly/TextGrabber

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Recomendo: issue no. 50

Design sourcebook:
Every time I return to the masterpiece A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, I am rewarded deeply. It’s a source book for architectural heuristics (guidelines), such as “A balcony less than 6 feet wide will never be used” or “Make a transition between street and front door” or “Vary the illumination. Aim for pools of light”. These design patterns are illustrated with photos and explanations and they serve as remarkable fountainhead for designing any kind of space, whether a room, building, or town. — KK

Thought organizer:
I’ve been having a lot fun with Mindly, a mind-mapping app (iOS, Android) that helps me brainstorm and organize thoughts. I’ve been using it as a vision board, thought journal, and for my personal to-dos. There is a free version of the app available. — CD

Digitize printed text:
When I need to quote a passage from a paper book or a Kindle, I take a photo of the page with the TextGrabber app. It scans it and turns it into ASCII text, which can be emailed, texted, or saved. It’s very accurate and has saved me a lot of time. It was free when I got it on iTunes. It’s now 99 cents. And the Android version is $9.99. — MF

Spikiest hair gel:
If I don’t spike my hair, I look like Captain Kangaroo or Moe Howard. Bangs may have worked for those two august gents, but it doesn’t for me. The best styling gel I’ve come across is Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel ($8.22 for a 2-pack as an Amazon Prime Add-on Item). A little dab does the trick, and it lasts all day. — MF

Searchable:
I recommend checking out My Activity on Google. I was surprised to find that it also logs searches made on my iPhone. There might be some things you forgot to save, or others you might want to delete, or you might just want to change your settings. — CD

Favorite app:
One of my favorite uses for the supercomputer I carry in my pocket is to tell me when high or low tide will be, and how high or low. I live near the ocean, so tide level is important for beach walks. My goto tide app is TideTrac, $3 on iOS. — KK

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 07/9/17