My long streaming music journey comes to an end

Photo by Haithem Ferdi on Unsplash

OK Spotify, I give up. You win.

After trying all other streaming music platforms, I’m finally admitting that Spotify is the best option and worth paying for a premium subscription.

Here’s how I got here.

Back in the day, we had music players. They weren’t considered streaming music providers yet. We just needed a piece of software that was able to play the audio files (mostly mp3s) that we had saved on our computers. These music files could have been ripped from CDs or downloaded from (usually) legal sources.

iTunes became the massive gorilla of this category. Especially if you…


A look at the pitfalls of the digital Swiss Army Knife in our pockets

Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

We all love our smartphones. They’ve become the most indispensable pieces of technology. They’re with us at all times! Not knowing where your smartphone is can drive someone into a state of panic. There are so many life-changing things that our phones can be used for. But I’m always advocating for the best ways to use technology in our lives. An using your phone as an alarm clock is not one of those amazing uses.

What is an Alarm Clock?

Humor me as I get really philosophical here. What really is an alarm clock? We all have an image in our heads. Although maybe if…


The wearable tech I wear the most isn’t a household name

The Amazfit Bip

I get asked all the time about wearable devices. Which smartwatch is the best? Do I need one? What are the best features of a smartwatch? Of course, a lot of these answers will be personal depending on your needs and budget. But my smartwatch recommendation for most people perplexes them. It has a funny name and they don’t see celebrities wearing it.

I’m talking about the Amazfit Bip. Yeah, that’s the name of the device. It’s called the “Bip”. It’s from a company called Amazfit. Oh, you’ve never…


My most used Kindle feature is something you may be overlooking

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Amazon’s Kindle has most definitely changed the way that people read books. You now have the ability to take an entire library’s worth of books with you wherever you go. With an integrated backlight, you can read in almost any lighting condition. And the amazing e-ink screen likely has the longest battery life of any screen in your home. Your Kindle should be a big part of your reading system.

But how are you getting your books on it? Like most people, you’re probably making purchases through Amazon.com or directly on the Kindle itself. Personally, I very rarely buy books…


I’ve tried many meditation methods and the Calm app seems to check all my boxes

Photo courtesy of Calm

I’ve been meditating in various forms for well over a decade. I’ve done sessions at The San Francisco Zen Center, watched YouTube videos, and read countless books. I’ve even tried several different apps and websites over the years. But I keep coming back to using the Calm app. Since it was founded in 2012, Calm has been one of the most used apps on my phone. Here are 5 reasons why it’s worked well for me.

Anytime you name a program or content “daily” anything, you clearly want people to become regular users of it. The Calm app offers up…


Treat your digital workspaces as you treat your physical workspaces

Photo by Jesus Hilario H. on Unsplash

Are you a digital hoarder? Most of us have a vision in our heads of what a hoarder looks like right? They’re sitting at a desk with books and papers scattered everywhere. Maybe there are boxes overflowing behind them. Every inch of storage in their home is filled with…stuff.

This vision may repulse you, but have you looked at your virtual workspaces? Are you hoarding digital information in the same way? Let’s take a look at some of the most common areas where people are hoarding their digital materials and some easy ways we can clean things out. …


Use your location to make memories more sticky

Photo by Distingué CiDDiQi on Unsplash

I’ve listened to many audiobooks over the years. Some were great, some were mediocre. Some of them I remember more than others. But I think my ability to remember the content is strongly tied to where I was and what I was doing when I listened to them.

Let me try to explain myself. Most of my audiobook listening takes place while I’m wearing earbuds and moving. That’s usually while I’m on runs by myself. Maybe on a bike ride or car ride as well. …


And should we be concerned?

Image via Lifehacker AU

Do you ever feel like your phone is vibrating when it isn’t? Maybe it’s in your pocket, maybe it’s in another room. But either way, you feel like your leg is vibrating. Are we all so addicted to our devices that we just get this feeling even when it isn’t real? Let’s take a look at why this happens, ask ourselves how concerned we should be about it, and see what we can do to stop it.

This is a real phenomenon and it’s called “phantom vibration syndrome”. Studies show that up to 90% of the population have claimed to…


Do you schedule your days like a manager or a maker?

Photo by Behnam Norouzi on Unsplash

How long do you think the average meeting should be? Is it 1 hour? 30 minutes? Or you could say 55 or 25 minutes to allow us 5 extra minutes to get to our next meeting that is artificially too long?

No matter what industry you work in, we’ve long accepted these time slots as just how work gets done. We sometimes get skeptical to assume it’s a mistake if we see a meeting scheduled for 15 minutes or (gasp!) maybe even less!

But maybe it’s less about the duration of the meeting, and more about designing your schedule around…


My journey finding the most efficient way to watch TV

Photo Courtesy of Tivo Inc.

I still have a TiVo connected to my living room TV right now. It’s one of their (somewhat) modern-looking Bolt boxes. While most of my friends think of TiVo as an ancient tech brand on par with AOL or Sega, I still find their products to be the most efficient way to watch TV. I can admit that TiVo hardware is dying a slow death, what better time for an ode to the magic that was (and maybe still is) TiVo.

We weren’t huge TV watchers in my house growing up. Sure, we’d watch a bit during primetime but we…

Chris Jennings

I write about the intersection of technology, productivity, and mindfulness. See more of my work at christophermichaeljennings.com

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