581: “Work” Flows with Stephen and David

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Nothing really to add, just wanted to say good episode gentleman. Enjoyed hearing about how you guys do things for your businesses.


For space management, BetterTouchTool has a couple actions that are convenient. I’m not a big window management user, but I do have on my Touch Bar a move current window left/right 1 space.

I’ve stumbled upon an email workflow that I’ve not seen mentioned in our twittersphere. Twobird from Ginger Labs.

I have to work on a PC during the day, and I’m Mac and iPhone for my personal life. Twobird (gmail only) works exactly the same on PC. Mac, and iPhone and is beautiful. If you’re fed up of hearing about Hey and fancy something different.

Brings mail and calendar together with some other goodies.


Re backups.

I only own an iPad Pro 256 GB and an iPhone 128 GB at this point.

All my stuff is in iCloud. There are no other backups of my documents in Files or Notes in Apple Notes etc. not to mention the Photos app on which I have about 15.000 pretty valuable family photos some going back nearly 100 years! Of those I do have a separate backup, but still.

If an asteroid hits Apple’s data center, I’m basically screwed (I think we all would…) but you guys get my drift.

I used BackBlaze for years on the Mac and Time Machine backups as well. So I know of the importance of backups.

But since switching to an iPad solely then I’ve sort of let go of it and I rely completely on iCloud. And on other apps like DevonThink to keep my stuff “backed” up.

What do people only on iPad do out there for backups?

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Due to the app security model, I’d think you’d need a computer to dock it to - although I’m betting a cheapo $100 old computer on Craigslist would probably be sufficient. :slight_smile:

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One thing I was hoping @ismh would explain: with being so in on the G-Suite, why use DropBox over Google Drive? Seems like Google Drive would integrate better? I currently use Google Drive, but don’t hear it talked about a whole lot. Maybe there’s something I don’t know about Dropobox or maybe Google is reading all my stuff. :slight_smile:


I could be wrong (it’s been a long time since I went all in on Google Drive) but, accessing Google Drive on a Mac is pretty much exclusively done through a browser. There isn’t the same hook in to the file system that iCloud and Dropbox have.

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There’s a Mac app that can sync locally but it’s a bit rough.

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Regarding David’s suggestion to get the DevonThink devs on: YES, please :slight_smile:
Understanding the inner workings of their tool’s smarts a bit better would be really useful!


Thanks for that. I’ve used it on a Mac for a few years now and feel like it integrates pretty well right into Finder. I had a Dropbox subscription too and dropped to Just Google Drive since I felt like I got more free space with it out of the gate. Thanks for the reply. Good episode.

I’ve used it for a few years on a Mac and it seems pretty smooth. I use it just like any other location on my Mac right in Finder.

Found this comparison online just now. It’s a nice comparison between the two.

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I see a (not so?) subtle distinction be tween Dropbox and Google Drive, both in their design and, as a result, functionally.

Dropbox is about syncing files — at East as originally designed, the files exist in all locations, including in the cloud. Selective sync changes that to some extent, but you don’t have to use it, and deep down, Dropbox is just built to sync. It’s web interface is fine, but not as robust or responsive as Google Drive.

By contrast, I feel like Google Drive has always been about the cloud. First and foremost, your files are in the cloud, on Google’s servers. They can also be synced to your devices, but that feels very much secondary.

So to me it’s about which you want to be the first-class citizen: sync or cloud access. (I use both, fwiw: Drive for collaboration and certain kinds of data, like spreadsheets; Dropbox for files as files.)


Google has a desktop sync option just like Dropbox. Up till recently you had an option of Google Backup & Sync and Google Filestream, depending on whether you wanted all or just some of your files on your computer.

I have been using Google Filestream for a long time and it works very well. I also have Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud services for various business reasons.

OneDrive is just a mess on Mac, using up a huge amount of resources and takes forever to sync, especially the initial sync. Office 365 has similar problems which is why I avoid if possible. EXAMPLE: I had Word open yesterday but no files…3 Gb of RAM being used. For what??

Dropbox used to be my favorite: very fast, local LAN syncing, robust. Several issues though caused my to abandon them: truncated file names on iOS and their attempt to become more than a great syncing service, but rather take over my computer. Plus their resource usage increased by quite a bit. No longer lightweight.

iCloud has been very stable for me. The ONLY issue why I don’t use them more is the inability to search within files on iOS. Since I am mobile quite often, this was a big issue.

I have been running my business on Google Workspace for over 10 years. Had a few hiccups when Google went the Backup & Sync vs Filestream route. But the past few years has seen that straighten out. Fast sync + excellent search capabilities. NOTE: not saying anything about their privacy issues. Doesn’t bother me on Google Workspace. Might bother me if I had a personal account.

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Not a wedding, but my partner & I relocated from Seattle to Utrecht (the Netherlands) last year. All planned through GitHub. Worked fine!

(Actually, I find GitHub’s project boards a little clunky, but it got the job done.)

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It baffles me that there isn’t a better back up feature for folks who rely on iPad and thus iCloud for keeping them save.

What would that better backup look like?

I guess it would be an actual backup instead of relying on iCloud, which is more of a syncing service as mentioned in the episode.

So a sort of Time Machine backup for iOS or the opportunity to do off-site backup with other services.

Even just much better integration with usb drives for iPadOS. As it is now, iPadOS doesn’t even have a way of telling me how much storage is available on any external usb drive :blush:

“Plug in a huge USB drive, get a dump of all your device data, as it exists on the device” would be pretty cool. That would allow you, theoretically, to download all of iCloud’s data and then back it up.

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