Everybody has heard Facebook's mantra "Move fast and break things". Some people might even subscribe to it. The more time I spend moving fast, the more I realise I cannot move fast enough by myself. I've spent plenty of time sharpening my point to point computer control, and I've spent time organising my workflow so that I can move close to the "flow" of ideas to execution. The process is ongoing, and I'm pretty quick now (compared to how I used to be), and getting quicker. But it's still not enough. I need help.

Enter IFTTT or Zapier, Alfred2, and Workflow (iOS).

These tools can automate parts of your workflow. It's becoming impossible to move fast enough without using these tools - the internet moves too quickly - to stay on top it's time for man-machine 1.0.

To give you examples of what I mean:

Bookmarking. Bookmarking is a key part of workflow. I use Pocket, Chrome with extensions, Pinboard, Evernote and Instapaper in various ways. To keep these linked and backed up I use IFTTT recipes. Then I use an Alfred extension to quickly search my Chrome bookmarks - I need Alfred because I need the computer to respond immediately to my thoughts: I launch Alfred and type the title of the bookmark I want, hit enter and it opens: It really needs to be this quick if I want to keep my "train of action" (like train of thought, but without stopping the next task).

In this world of infinite internet distractions we need workflow tools to avoid ourselves being distracted and derailed by Buzzfeed and Co.


Anyone who is dabbling with health tracking knows that automation is the only realistic way forward: data is automatically pulled in to your apps from tracking devices. There is no way manually this is ever going to be effective. Now we know that smart things, such as a smart fridge, is necessary to automate the input of data as yet un-automated (like logging food). We don't have time to log food. We need it done for us. Hence a smart fridge is an inevitability, as with many other smart objects.

I suggest to everyone to sharpen their automation skills, because there is no avoiding the fact that man and machine are starting to work together.