Roost 2.0 Review by Justin Murphy

roost 2.0

After seeing the OG Roost mysteriously appear in a Medium post by James Turner last year I’ve been keeping an eye on the roost and waiting for version 2.0 to come out. Realizing my terrible computing habits while debating the purchase; a coupon code popped up in my email so I figured “what the hell” and preordered it. Le Roost 2.0 arrived a month month, and now after a solid 60+ hours of usage, including many setup and tear downs I thought I’d share my thoughts.

To start off the design of the Roost is simple and lightweight, I quite like the logo too. One qualm I have though right off the bat is I wish it would feel a bit more sturdy. When packing up the Roost to head on my way I have to be mindful not to try and slam it back together as it feels like I could break it with ease. I'm sure a lot of this ‘flimsiness’ when opening/closing is due to the lightweight plastic design and isn’t really a problem, just worth mentioning. I have heard of users snapping their Roost, but these have been through means outside of "normal use" (i.e. drunken computing, backpack mishaps, airline misfortune).

THE ROOST WILL GET YOU NOTICED.

This is one thing I must stress for those of you who work in public, the Roost will get you noticed. I personally like to work in coffee shops and on my alma mater’s campus (still got that free 100mbps wifi :) ), and although I moonlight i’ve had individuals walk up to me and ask what it is, why i took the time to set it up, and if it’s worth it. 

RUBBER GRIPPY THINGS

While I can’t speak for other laptops, my Macbook Pro (Early 2011) fits the stand perfectly and is stable at any of the three adjustable heights. I can tip the stand to either side and my macbook will stay nice and secure in the little rubber grips. My only concern is for the longevity of the rubber grippy things, as you’ll see in the picture below, they’re stretched the entire time the laptop is in the stand. While I’m sure Roost did testing on this, I hope they hold up for a couple years of daily use as the Roost isn’t exactly a cheap purchase.

The Roost Stand was designed for one purpose, to get your laptop off the table, keeping those eyes up and your back straight. Through the many years of desks in the library or coffee shop for 7+ hours looming over my laptop working on projects for school/work my posture has certainly taken a beating, but I hadn't given it much thought.

Which brings us to the main reason I bought the Roost: to become a healthier user and in turn cure that ‘back ache’ after too far many hours gargoyling over my precious MBP watching motovloggers and techies on YouTube. Now that I was conscious of my habits, I knew I had to make a change.

YOUR BACK WILL THANK YOU

After my first 3 hour use, I figured it was just the placebo effect trying to justify the notsocheap purchase; But now after completing a website redesign, countless hours of client work and assorted daily use with the stand I can most certainly say it fulfills its purpose wonderfully. I am noticeably more comfortable when using the Roost, I can feel my shoulder muscles properly positioned, and my back has been writing my love letters. The overall roost experience is far more comfortable than I imagined and I honestly don’t think I could go back to working without one.

My new rule for working has become -- if (working > 30 min) { Roost }

⌘ + ? : Work faster with Cheatsheet by Justin Murphy

Those of us with various ever changing workflows are always trying to work faster, smarter and more efficiently on our computers. There are numerous applications out there to help automate things but learning keyboard shortcuts for your favorite apps is still the best way to improve not only your workflow, but your overall application knowledge too! This is where Cheatsheet comes in. A simple, 'there when you need it' application that helps you quickly learn new keyboard shortcuts throughout your Macintosh for any application.

Cheatsheet in Photoshop

Cheatsheet in Photoshop

"Just hold ⌘  a second longer"

Remember the first time you learned the shortcut for copy/paste? Life changing. This application brings that same feeling and efficiency to the forefront with little thought. Let's say you forgot a new shortcut, or are trying to find if there's a shortcut for doing *insert task* quicker, just hold down the command key a second longer than normal and.. BAM! There's your answer.

Personally I'm very familiar with the majority of shortcuts and I still thought this was a pretty cool little. It truly became awesome and blog-worthy though when I opened up Photoshop. Even with a decent amount of experience, I've never thought about learning the keyboard shortcuts. Cheatsheet has helped this become a reality, and fast, like a couple hours fast. Now i'm able to change brushes, filters, move through layers and quickly enable free transform without even thinking about thumbing for the trackpad. Best part? If I forget, the answer will be there in just a second.

It's free. Cheatsheet

Mailbox - The Review by Justin Murphy

So Mailbox for iOS was release a few weeks ago on the 7th. I signed up months ago for an early reservation, and i'm sure glad I did. Over 700,000 people are still waiting to try out this service, and it's 3 weeks into it's release. I found it interesting how Mailbox chose to release the service, but it makes sense. This form of release makes it easy for their servers to scale as the demand grows, but certainly requires some patience from their soon-to-be users.

Below is an archive of some screen shots from the app including setup and use. Enjoy!

Mailbox on iOS

Mailbox has changed they way I used Gmail, quite literally actually. I used to keep everything in my inbox or delete it, Mailbox has "made" me utilize gmail much differently with the archive feature feature. After about a week of use I've blown through the 7,000+ emails (mostly waiting for the bus and while I eat)  in my inbox and am insanely organized mail wise. I've never been good with email, I like to keep everything. My only concern with Mailbox now is how my workflow will integrate with the Mail.app on my Mac. I use the Mail.app mostly for archiving my mail offline and for lengthy professional responses to clients so we shall see over time how it affects me. Enough with my use of mailbox though, lets jump into the full review.

2013-02-22 14.14.04.png

When you first use Mailbox, it takes a moment to sync up depending on the amount of email you have bouncing around up there in the cloud, for me it was about 10 minutes. It runs you through a nice tutorial seen in the screen shots above and then you're presented with the workhorse that is the "main screen". When I was first organizing my mail I did run into one problem, Mailbox will only sync up with about 100 messages at a time and I got this nifty little error on the left. Thankfully this is only a problem when you have a shit ton of mail and will hopefully never happen again.

Swipe baby swipe.

Left, Right, Left, Right, Right, Right, Right, Left. If you know what it is by the Subject line, throw it across the screen. Blow through the shit, save the important stuff for reading later. That's it. Dead simple. It's creative, it's stylish, and the implementation makes it so much more than another shitty mail app for the iPhone.

Demo.

Verdict.

Like with any day-to-day application you've gotta use it and implement it into your daily schedule to determine if it is worth it to you or not. At the very least, hop on the reservation list since i'm sure it will continue to rise for at least the next month or so.

Then wait... and smile.... because it's free. :)

Once you finally get that notification, hopefully it will help you tackle email just as effectively as it has for me!