7 articles to read this weekend

I’ve been using Instapaper more lately.  It’s become a great way to save articles I want to read later and save articles I want to re-read again at the end of the week.

I hope you find some of these articles as interesting as I do and add them to the reader of your choice.

1.  Taskmasters: how Israeli intelligence officers helped inspire the look of iOS 7. When Apple was looking to redesign the iOS, it looked closely at the productivity app Any.Do to mimic it’s clean, simplistic design. Remember, great artists steal and “nothing is original.”

The article also addresses the fickle psychology behind task managers, discussing how users quickly abandon apps when they’re lists get too exhaustive or when they simply want to try something new.

I personally use a combination of Evernote and Wunderlist for my to-do lists; Evernote for more short-term to-do lists and Wunderlist for personal, longer-term reminders. At the end of the day, you have to prioritize and get shit done, and that’s usually by writing it down. Or you can have technology recommend tasks for you.

Related:  Can Flat Design Change An Entire Culture Built On Ornateness?

2.  The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store. Like Steve Jobs, Bezos’s biological father abandon him when he was a little boy and had no idea who the billionaire was. That grudge may also be the reason Bezos, like Jobs, is so ruthless and impatient and want to build the future today.

All retailers are worried about Amazon crimping their business. Amazon reflects the new world based on simplicity and speed. If you need something, it’s probably on Amazon and it be there by the time you get home.

3.  Secrets of the Happiest Commuters. Commuting isn’t that bad as long as you have some gadgets with you to keep you entertained or productive. I blog, work, and sleep on my train into Manhattan every day. Commuting is a third place, “an interstitial mental space between home life and work.”

However, there’s one caveat:

“A person who commutes an hour each way has to make 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as a person who lives near the office.”

4.  The 5 Common Characteristics of Ideas That Spread. Your idea may be a good one but you still have to market and sell it. You may also need to reevaluate your platform. Banksy treats the public environment as his canvass, and more people get to see his art.

Keep experimenting with way to get recognition you desire. Not everyone wants to pay, especially Internet users.

“If you’re a professional, you do not get to say, “Ugh, now I have to go sell it”—selling it is part of it because if you do not sell it, there is no art.” — Seth Godin

5.  FEARLESS BLOGGING. There’s something about blogging that feels risky. And that’s exactly the point, as James Altucher explains:

“Ever since my first post, I don’t hit “Publish” unless I’m scared.”

Writing it out is a way to make sense of the world. Writing it out and publishing is a way to get criticized or praised or both, which is exactly the feedback you want back. If your writing sucks, keep doing it or consider doing some other form of art.

Looking for ideas? Altucher also blogs about “how to become an idea machine.”

6.  All Is Fair in Love and Twitter. First there was search, then social networking, and now Twitter, the next evolution in Internet consumption. That is, if you can figure out what to Tweet in array of easier, more intuitive self-expression apps.

Nick Bilton describes how Twitter emerged from Jack Dorsey’s brain into a multi-million dollar business that’s now making an IPO. It wasn’t always cooperative on the inside.

Thank goodness Nick Bilton appears to be the only writer at the Timesthat can accurately explain Twitter.

More Twitter highlights from this week:

7.  WHAT MULTITASKING DOES TO YOUR BRAIN. Mobile phones gave us all ADD. We can only do so much efficiently at one time. The brain needs to focus in order to create. It also needs time to wander but without a mobile in your hand.

You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away. The ability to just sit there … that’s being a person. — Louis CK