Evernote Posts

Back in the OmniFocus club

It’s been a while now, but I’ve finally moved on from ToDoist and gone back to using OmniFocus. Well, I say ‘gone back’, but the app has evolved so much since I last used it, it’s almost unrecognisable.

My move from ToDoist isn’t a slight against that app – I still stand by everything I’ve said about it in the past. It’s easy to use, speedy, multi-platform and superb value. But in the last couple of months, I realised I was spending too much time working around its various limitations and it was beginning to grate.

So I had a peep at the various alternatives and eventually made my way back to checking out OmniFocus. I’ve previously described it as the nuclear option of task management apps, purely because it can do so much. Yep, you could just use it to store a list of things you want to buy at Waitrose, or a list of films you want to see… but this is a little like using a Ferrari to drive to the end of your driveway and back.

It’s really not just about managing tasks, but can handle tasks, projects, entire areas of your life. All via an easy to use interface. It’s only available for iOS and Mac OS and is far from cheap. You need to buy it separately for Mac OS and iOS. But I’m glad I invested in it – even in the last two weeks, it’s been worth every penny.

Since I last used OmniFocus, it’s developed into an app that much more flexible, has an interface you actually want to interact with and even appears on my Apple Watch. Yes, you can speak into your Apple Watch and dictate tasks, which then appear in the in-box of OmniFocus on all your other iOS and Mac OS devices through the magic of background sync.

In no particular order, the things I love about OmniFocus now are:

  • The weekly review, which guides you on a walk-through of all your various projects, keeping you up to date and ensuring nothing falls between the cracks.
  • Being able to multi-task with OmniFocus on my iPad Air 2 – I can keep it open on one side of the screen, while looking at something else (e.g. Evernote) on the other side.
  • Being able to create custom perspectives, so that only what I want to see is on-screen at any one time. Right now, I have 59 projects in OmniFocus, so it’s important I can focus on what’s most important at any given time.
  • Getting notifications from OmniFocus on my wrist, courtesy of my Apple Watch, and being able to see what needs doing via the notifications screen on my iPad and iPhone. It means my projects and tasks are always just a click or a swipe away.
  • Emailing content direct to OmniFocus, which turns each email into an action in my inbox. This saves a lot of typing and ensures I get to inbox zero every day.

It definitely takes some getting used to, but there are so many online resources with great articles and videos to lead the way. I had to adjust how I do things after being so reliant on ToDoist, but it only took me a couple of days of solid OmniFocus use to get back into the swing of things.

This probably shouldn’t be your first task management app. That’s likely to just scare you away! But if you’ve felt the limitations of the other apps out there, I’d seriously recommend giving OmniFocus a try. And you can even try it for free for 14 days, courtesy of Omnigroup.

They have a great selection of short videos – check this out for a start.

Evernote and IFTTT: boom!

Great news if you’re an Evernote user (check!) who also relies on IFTTT (check!):

Evernote just got a whole lot better“.

You can now, for example, post to Tumblr simply by adding a note to a pre-determined Evernote notebook. This makes offline Tumblr post writing much easier, especially when using and iPhone. Or, post to WordPress by using an Evernote tag.

This has such potential. And basically does away with the need for the likes of Postach.io. Especially when they charge for this exact same service.

Time to get my thinking cap on. This could be super useful.

Big Japan countdown

A week from now, I’ll be in Heathrow’s Terminal 5, attempting to simultaneously wake up and take advantage of the hospitality of the British Airways Galleries lounge. And coffee. Mostly coffee. At the start of this year’s trip to Japan!

London to Tokyo, then straight on a flight to Kyoto. Four days there, including a trip to Hiroshima and then back up to Tokyo for a further six days. Despite this being our third visit, I’m as excited as I was before the first. Trips to Japan have been my best ever, most enjoyable holidays.


And, despite having booked this all so long ago, I’m still slightly unprepared. My mind will be eased by the creation of a packing list (thank you, Evernote) and some sort of an agenda for the trip. We’ve learnt our lessons from previous visits and won’t attempt to pack too much in this time.

I have a short list of things to see and do, but aside from that, it’ll be walking, exploring and eating. I’m particularly looking forward to some trips on Shinkansen ‘bullet’ trains, as we got a week-long pass for unlimited train journeys to take us from place to place. And the calm of Kyoto will be welcome after a particularly hectic couple of weeks here, work-wise.

And as we’re visiting in October, I hope we can stumble across some of the crazy Japanese enthusiasm for Halloween – we saw a Halloween parade on our last trip to Tokyo and it was superb. The Japanese really don’t seem to do anything by halves… 


As per usual, I’ll be photographing everything that moves and hoping I can prune down my camera roll to something worth sharing online. No matter where you look, there’s something interesting and/or beautiful to take a snap of. 

I’ll try to get a few updates on here and I’ve already hired a mobile wifi hotspot for the duration of our stay (unlimited 4G data for 10 days for a steal!) to ensure we can stay in touch. Having wifi calling on the new iPhones means we’re still contactable even with data roaming switched off. 

So brace yourself for incoming photos and comments about Japan for about a week! Normal service (moaning about how short the trip to Japan was) will resume shortly after. 

I also have to admit that one aspect of the trip I’m really looking forward to has nothing to do with Japan – it’s the flights to and from Japan with BA. Our previous Japan journeys have been fantastic and definitely represented an excellent start and finish to the holidays. Being able to sleep on a proper flat bed during the epic journey definitely makes for a less psychotic me upon arrival. 

All that’s left to do is complete about a month’s worth of work in five days, pack for all eventualities and switch off from work completely.


We need to talk about Evernote

Those who know me in real life know I’m something of an Evernote fan. An Evernote evangelist, even. I’ve used the app for years and spent quite some time singing its praises on this blog and elsewhere.

Over the years, Evernote has helped me get more organised when traveling for business; it has helped me complete my doctorate in psychology; it has even helped me get more reading done. It’s just an incredibly flexible and useful application.

But recent developments have me worried.

Evernote seemed to venture out into unconnected areas of app development (an app to track your meals?) and launched a bunch of physical items like bags and desktop organisers. It’s all very well to diversify like that when your core product is working (and selling) like a dream.

Evernote, however, is still a work in progress and is far from perfect.

Recently, they lost their CEO Phil Libin and his replacement fired over 10% of the workforce and seems to have put in place some cost-saving measures, including office closures. Talent is apparently leaving the business in droves and while the app is wildly popular, only a minority of users are actually paying for it.

It’s not all bad news, however. The new CEO, Chris O’Neill, has written about his plans for the company and it sounds like they’re planning a return to their core focus:

I joined Evernote as CEO two months ago because I saw the rare opportunity to help transform a product I rely on into a world class business. Since starting, I’ve gotten to know the amazing people here and have met many of our loyal users. This team has achieved three incredible feats: they’ve created one of the most important productivity tools in history, established one of the strongest personal success brands, and built a real revenue-driven business. My goal is to dramatically increase the impact of this solid foundation.

Evernote’s strength is in its core: notes, sync, and search. That’s where we’re going to focus. Achieving that focus means making some difficult decisions. Today we let go of 47 people from the Evernote team and announced the closure of three of our global offices. We are grateful for the immense contributions of each and every affected person.
I believe that a smaller, more focused team today will set us up for growth and expansion tomorrow. Here are two things that you can expect from us over the next several months: we will launch major foundational product improvements around the core features that you care about most, and we will pull back on initiatives that fail to support our mission.

Sad job losses aside, there’s a glimmer of hope in that message. A return to focus on what made them great and planned improvements to the app across platforms.

Why such passion and anxiety for a computer app? I suppose it’s because I use it so much and it’s become so central to how I organise my life. Knowing “stuff” is in Evernote reduces my stress, allows me to keep on top of work and really (I’ve said it before) serves as my “outboard brain”.

For someone whose epilepsy has left me with a less than perfect memory, an app like Evernote is more than handy. It’s crucial.

When Apple announced the massive upgrade to their own Notes app, my first thought was “that’s nice… but it’s no Evernote”. Maybe in time, it’ll become a realistic alternative to Evernote, but I suspect it’ll always remain on the Mac and iOS platforms. Evernote is basically platform agnostic and therein lies a good chunk of its flexibility.

As someone who organisations pay to advise their employees on personal productivity, I can attest to the difference an app like Evernote has made to employees’ ability to keep on top of workload and the psychological release it gives people. Yes, maybe a well-organised list on paper would have the same effect, but I’ve yet to see it.

My plea? Well, I hope Evernote follow through on their CEO’s promise and work hard to improve the stability and functionality of their core note-taking and information-organising app. All of that should come before new apps and any other diversification. I also hope that all of you who find Evernote to be useful think about upgrading your account to pay for the tool.

That will make Evernote the sustainable business it needs to be, for some time to come.

iPadding around…

I got myself a 128GB iPad Air 2 with sim last weekend and (Vodafone nonsense aside… that deserves a whole post of its own) took it on a week-long business trip. Paired with a Logitech magnetic clip-on keyboard, it was an excellent laptop replacement.

When standing up running workshops, it was my reference notebook, using Evernote and Dropbox. When at a desk, it was perfect for adding to said notes, responding to emails, adding tasks to ToDoist and keeping in touch with the team via Slack.

I had my Macbook with me, which only got action when I needed to create some powerpoint slides in a hurry. I could have done that on the iPad, but it was much quicker on the Macbook. A couple of long-ass train journeys to and from Cheltenham were the perfect opportunity to a) catch up podcasts, b) write some content for a new workshop and c) do a weekly review using ToDoist. After just a couple of days use, I can type comfortably quickly on the Logitech keyboard – it takes just a few moments to get used to.

At night, it was my entertainment centre, with more podcasts, comics via the excellent Comixology and movies. The Macbook was definitely relegated to second place this week.

I’m not saying I could survive using the iPad for work indefinitely, but I can see it being used for a day or even a couple of days at a time, given what I use it for. Combined with the Logitech keyboard, it’s a neat fit for my 10″ Knomad, which can also carry external battery, cables and a small notebook and pen. A very light and very powerful combo.

In comparison to the iPad Air (my last model), the Air 2 is super-speedy, the screen is gorgeous and now that I’ve installed iOS 9 (via the west of England’s slowest ever wifi connection…sigh) it’s even more impressive. Nothing like being able to see some Evernote content on one side of the screen while you write an email on the other. I think iOS 9 has increased the productivity potential of the iPad significantly.

Despite some initial excitement, I don’t have any interest in shelling out for an iPad Pro – the Air 2 is really as big as I’d like to get. Seriously.

Inevitable iPhone 6s Plus flip-flop

Pre-orders for the new iPhones went live at 8am London time this morning. I happened to be awake and was listening to a podcast and wandering through the bottomless pit of snark that is Twitter when I saw a couple of tweets mentioning the Apple Store.

I suddenly remember that iPhone pre-orders were live this morning. Based on my reflections after the Apple event earlier this week, I had decided to avoid this upgrade cycle and keep my iPhone 6 Plus for now.

And yet… there was a nagging doubt at the back of my mind that I should probably think this over one more time.

I had 40mins to make up my mind, as I knew I had to be in the store and pre-ordering at 8am or I would have to wait weeks. I weighed it up in my mind, did some more research online and eventually…decided to upgrade my iPhone 6 Plus for an iPhone 6S Plus.


After my public pronouncement that I wouldn’t, why did I shell out full-whack, un-subsidised hundreds of pounds for a new phone? (Not that I’ve ever been very consistent regarding tech in the past anyway – remember my foray in to the world of Android?)

I think it boils down to this. The iPhone is such a central tool in my daily life – professional and personal – that any incremental upgrade is worth the price. I’ll tell you very clearly what I’m not attracted to: the various photo-related upgrades or 3D Touch. They’re nice, but they’re not what tipped me over the line and into a purchase.

For me, this is about the faster processing power and the better camera. I multi-task with the phone constantly and use the camera incessantly. And not always on pictures of my meals or narcissistic selfies! I use my iPhone daily to scan documents and hand-written notes on the go.

Any gains on processing speed and image clarity are worth it to me. I’m also glad it looks like (though needs confirmation) that I won’t need to replace my existing iPhone cases when the new one arrives on September 25th.

It doesn’t end there

And to add insult to injury (to my wallet), I’ve been seriously considering upgrading my iPad Air for an iPad Air 2 with cellular connection. Why? Well, I took the Air out of mothballs the other day and used it as a laptop replacement for work. It was perfect.

Combined with a ultralight physical keyboard, I was able to do everything I wanted to do on a laptop: take meeting notes in Evernote, check and respond to email, look up stuff on the web, check calendar, directions via Google Maps etc. The screen was glorious and bright, very usable in the sun and a relief from the occasional squint I have to give the screen on my iPad Mini.

And all carried round in my Knomad, removing the need for a bag. Very light, very minimal. I definitely couldn’t survive without a bag when on one of my week-long business trips, but for a day away from the home office, it was perfect.

I need to do a little more research on the iPad Air 2, but I think it’s a likely purchase.

So what’s the lesson here, kids? Never believe me when I say I’m not going to upgrade a piece of Apple kit. Though of course, I’m sticking to my promise not to buy an iPad Pro. Definitely.

Almost certainly.

(Check back in November to see if I managed to avoid getting one)

Considering the new Macbook

Thanks to the appearance of summer in London for several hours in a row, I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon in the park and then in the garden, catching up on various podcasts and soaking up sunshine.

I particularly enjoyed Connected #35, where David Sparks made a guest appearance and shared his views on the new 12″ Macbook. I’ve reviewed it previously and would agree with a lot of what’s said here – but it’s definitely worth a listen if you’re considering getting one.

The Macbook is extremely light, so you won’t need to think twice before bringing it with you. The battery life is epic, lasting an entire work day (for me, at least). And the screen is an absolutely delight.

I suppose the outstanding question is: could this serve as your “main” computer. And the answer is really dependent on what you use it for. Email, web-browsing, video chat, listening to music and using MS Office while on the go? Definitely.

Video or audio editing, or anything similarly resource demanding? Probably not and your best bet is a Macbook Pro.

I’m in the former camp – nothing two demanding. I’d say the apps that are used most frequently on this laptop are: Evernote, ToDoist, Mail app, Calendar, Powerpoint, Safari, Slack and iTunes. Nothing too demanding or heavy there. Even with all running concurrently, I’ve not noticed any significant impact on performance.

And if you haven’t come across the Relay FM podcast network before, I can definitely recommend them. If, like me, you’re interested in getting stuff done with technology.

Up, up and away

Sitting in Heathrow T5 – the British Airways lounge, to be exact – waiting for my flight to Singapore. I don’t mean to brag, but I think I might be finally getting the hang of these long-haul jaunts.

I used my usual Evernote packing list (don’t laugh) to ensure I didn’t forget anything important. Like underwear. Or shoes. You may snigger at my use of something so geeky, but you and I both know there’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination realising you’ve left something important back home. And shelling out a stupid amount of money to buy it locally. Or do without and kick yourself mentally until you get home.

Any memory is about as reliable as a Lada. So yes. Evernote.

Once I’m onboard? My iPad mini is stuffed to the brim with entertainment – films, tv shows and magazines. I’m actually pretty tempted to avoid all sleep and just watch the entire season 5 of Game of Thrones. I’ve not seen a single episode and am beside myself in my attempts to avoid spoilers online or in real life.

My Kindle Voyage is charged and ready, for when my eyes can’t handle the iPad’s illuminated screen anymore. As per, I’m readying about four books at the same time and I don’t really sleep well unless I’ve read a least a few pages of something on its soothing e-ink screen.

I’ve packed my BA pyjamas in my hand luggage – a delightfully useful souvenir from last year’s first class flights to/from Tokyo. I’ll change into them as soon as it’s possible and get a better chance of some sleep. Yeah, I really don’t care what I look like. Being comfortable is a lot more important that looking snazzy once you’re on board. I’ve also got a fresh polo shirt to get into when we’re on approach, so I’m not a complete stink-merchant once I arrive.

My iPhone is bursting to capacity with the latest podcasts and some that I’ve been saving up for my week away from home. Lots of TWIT, 5by5 and Relay FM productions.

That said, despite all preparation, I’m still likely to arrive in Singapore a hot mess, as cranky as a bag of cats and wanting nothing more than coffee and a shower. Let’s hope I adjust to the time difference better than I did this week coming back from Miami.

As it’s hot (31C) and wet in Singapore right now, I don’t think I’ll be doing too much outdoors when I’m not working. Trips to the deliciously air-conditioned underground malls on Orchard Road, green tea frappucinos at Starbucks and potentially some Japanese curry.

Bring it on.


Still doing with ToDoist

This post, from over a year ago, has turned out to be one of the most popular on my blog. In it, I describe how in my move from iOS to Android, I was looking for a replacement for OmniFocus. After evaluating some options on the Google Play store, I opted for ToDoist.

Well, a year and a bit later and I’m still using ToDoist. I’ve since moved away from Android (which was strictly a temporary arrangement!) yet still use ToDoist despite being once again able to rely on OmniFocus.


Simplicity. ToDoist is my favourite productivity app (closely followed by Evernote) as it allows me to make life as simple or a complex as I want. Hierarchical ordering of projects, colour coding of prioritisation, sharing of projects. It’s all in there.

And after a year of solid use, I can say quite confidently “I’m hooked”.

It’s on my iPhone, my iPads, my Macbook and my iMac. Basically, every screen I look at during the working day has access to this app. it’s that useful. When I set up my new Macbook the other day, it was the very first app I installed! Anything I want or need to do gets added to Todoist within seconds. Either by typing in a reminder to myself or simply forwarding an email to a unique email address.

Using ToDoist, I can stop “remembering to remember” and just focus on what’s in front of me now. I can manage my workload, get reminded of what needs doing when and maintain a sense of control when it’s really important.

ToDoist is the first app I open in the morning (yes, even before I look at email) and the last thing I look at night. Seriously.

In a world of seemingly unending choice when it comes to managing your tasks, ToDoist wins it for me. If you’ve not tried it out and feel the need to start keep track of your life, then give it a go. It has both free and premium versions.

And I’m in no way affiliated with them – just a big fan :-)

And as of a couple of hours ago, it’s also available on the Apple Watch:

2014: My Year in Review

So, the end of another year. While I’m not a huge fan of celebrating New Year’s Eve – people do tend to go over the top in making rash life-changing promises, while others get quite maudlin – I do find it useful to look back over the year and reflect on what I’ve really enjoyed about it.

The rest? It gets filed under “useful life experiences” and I do my best to move on. A fresh start and all that.

For me, 2014 was a superb year. It wasn’t a daily walk in the park, but I had some superb experiences, made some tough decisions and survived some challenging situations – knowing more about myself and others.

I left my job, set up a new business and (so far) made a go of it. I finally got over my knee surgery and completed another half-marathon. And just days ago, I secured a place in the 2015 London Marathon!

Just like I did last year, in no particular order, these are my standout “2014 things” that I’d like to share. And in doing so, I know I’m missing out lots of equally important things, probably offending many in the process!

Book of the Year

3985This is a tough one for me. So I’ll begin this by immediately breaking my own rules and highlight two books I’ve enjoyed more than any others this year. The first is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It covers two of my favourite themes: creativity and the comics industry.

Set just as comics were taking off prior to World War II, it tells the stories of two cousins who write and draw their own characters and make it big as creators. It covers their experiences in life, love, dealing with loss and living through the war. You don’t have to love comics to enjoy this book, but I’ll admit the references to real world artists and writers were fun.

Chabon created some amazing characters in this book. It was so absorbing, I was genuinely sad to finish the book as I just wanted to see how their stories panned out.

The second book I’ll highlight is The Martian by Andy Weir. It’s a really absorbing story of how an astronaut survives a disaster during a manned landing on Mars and has to attempt survival until he can be rescued. There is a lot of physics, maths and chemistry in the first couple of chapters. I’ll admit I found it a little challenging at first, but it’s worth getting through these and into the narrative.

It’s being made into a film, so if it sounds interesting, I’d recommend reading the book first. They’ll inevitably have to cut lots of the content to make it palatable to a general audience.

Movie of the Year


A few months ago, if you’d have asked me to choose my favourite film of 2014, I would have screamed “Captain America: Winter Soldier” from the rooftops. I loved every minute of it. And I’ve watched it three times this year.

I know people who don’t even enjoy comics or know who Captain America is who enjoyed this. Think of it as the Bourne Ultimatum with super-powers. And Nazis.

However…the Marvel went and released what seems to be their sleeper hit for 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy. Wow. Just wow. It had everything: spectacular special effects, space battles, improbable action scenes and really likeable characters. Not to mention some very laugh-out-loud moments.

The film’s writers had their work cut out for them – the origins of the Guardians of the Galaxy are complex and, to be honest, a bit impenetrable to the non-reader. But I think they did an excellent job of bringing the characters together into a pretty cohesive story, setting them up perfectly for the planned sequel.

Superheroes aside, I really, really enjoyed Interstellar – well worth the numb backside after sitting in the cinema for well over three hours.

Comic of the Year

This really has been the year of the super-complex crossover in comics-land. I’m pretty much a Marvel-only reader, but have dipped my toe into the Image universe when something has been overwhelmingly recommended.

But for all the cosmic battles, identity-switching and grand reveals, my favourite comic of the year has once again been Marvel’s Hawkeye.  To be fair, I’ve been flagging this as a must read almost from the beginning of the series.

The creative team have focused on a non-super-powered individual whose personal life is a bit of a shambles. He hasn’t got the money and charm of Tony Stark, the healing abilities of Wolverine or the clear unambiguous morales of Captain America.


But Clint Barton – the Hawkeye of the title – is all the more interesting for it.

Living in a pretty shambolic apartment, his life centres on pizza, an adopted mutt of a dog, helping out his neighbours and battling Eastern European organised crime. All with a bow and arrow. While getting the living crap beaten out of him on a regular basis.

I think, in light of all the epic and cosmic stories Marvel is telling right now, his humanity and (relative) realism made him a more interesting character. That and the stellar art and dialogue provided by the very excellent David Aja and Matt Fraction.

Other honourable mentions go to “Sex Criminals” (which, despite the title, is really hilarious), the new reboot of “Fantastic Four” and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s ever-excellent “Captain Marvel”. The latter is being made into a film, so get on board now so you understand it all when it hits the cinema.

Trip of the Year

No surprises here: it’s our trip to Japan in September. It. Was. Epic. Every day spent in Japan was a delight, regardless of the city we were in. I learned a ton, ate more than two tons and took in more visual beauty than I’m used to.

2014-09-03 13.51.50

Highlights on the trip were seeing the monkeys, visiting an onsen spa and eating the best sushi I’ve ever had in my life.

Two weeks spent across Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo was simply not enough. I’ll definitely be back. I loved the fact that almost everything is different to London: the food, the language, the nightlife, the etiquette.

If I could bring anything back from Japan and implant it here in London it would be the Japanese ability to board planes quickly and quietly and the whole concept of the onsen.

Really. I’ll pay serious money to access hot springs and a clean sauna experience. If it can be combined with Japanese manners, then all the better. Although, I’d prefer not to be stared at quite so much. I’m going to put it down to the hairy chest and not think about it too much…

Moving on!

App of the Year

Across all of my very many gadgets, one app has stood out both in terms of how much I’ve used it and how much I’ve enjoyed it. It’s not overly complex, but does what it does very well. It’s Pocket Casts from Shift Jelly.

Simply put, it’s the podcast player that Apple’s own podcasts app should be. It has a wonderful interface, syncs across devices automatically and now, you can access your podcasts via any web browser. It’s worth every penny of the £2.49 app fee, I guarantee it.

Other excellent apps I’ve relied on this year have been ToDoist and Evernote. Both will help you get more done and relieve that nagging doubt that you may have forgotten something. Evernote is basically my external brain and the place anything I may need to use and/or remember in the future is stored. Well worth paying for a premium account for both of them, but they both have a very powerful free version you can use to get a taster.

Gadget of the Year

tumblr_inline_nccewcURay1qa1qd9Again, this probably won’t surprise anyone who has already read about my Apple-related excitement while in Japan, but my gadget of the year is the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s the iPhone I’ve always wanted: massive capacity, massive screen, but light and slim.

It’s definitely not for everyone, I agree. I’ve had friends and family (and strangers on the tube) stare at the size of it in incredulity due to its size. It’s most definitely a phablet, not a mini mobile phone.

But the screen size makes it possible to read longer selections of text comfortably and even watch video (video podcasts, as opposed to feature-length movies…I’m not a masochist!).

There have been moments when I’d briefly wished I’d bought the iPhone 6, rather than its larger brother. Especially when wearing skinny jeans.

It’s not a phone you can easily pocket. But it’s so much more than a phone, and I carry a bag anyway, so it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

Second favourite would probably be my 27″ iMac, all because of its beautiful, magnificent screen. It makes working from my home office an absolute joy.

So what about 2015?

I’m looking forward to plenty more travel. I have personal trips to Paris and Reykjavik already in the calendar. I’m hoping to make it back to Miami at some point. And there are business trips to both Singapore and Malaysia confirmed.

I’m hoping Apple don’t launch any more sexy gadgets that I’ll “need” as soon as they’re released. But I am looking forward to seeing what they do with photo management next year, in terms of a replacement for iPhoto.

I have a list of films I’m excited to see, including the new Avengers movie and the Star Wars sequel. I’m going to hope Avengers: Age of Ultron is as good as the first one and that Star Wars helps me forget the car crash that was the prequels. Yes. All of them.

I have one hell of a reading list to work through. “Work” makes it sound hard, and it isn’t. I love reading and I love my Kindle. It helps me read multiple books concurrently, without having to cart them around with me in a bag. You can really get lost in a book when reading a Kindle. And the new Kindle Voyage is a delight.

Outside of my own “circle of influence”, I’m hoping 2015 will have a lot less terrible, terrible news. There have been days where I’ve quite frankly turned off all news sources, just to avoid hearing about any more disasters, genocide and inhumanity.

I’m hoping the countdown to the UK 2015 General Election isn’t as painful and soul-destroying as recent political campaigning has been and that we can have a sensible national debate about the country’s direction – instead of apportioning blame.

Most of all, I’m hoping 2015 will be as fun, surprising, exciting and varied as 2014.

How about you?