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Why Apple Music Is Indispensable For Me

Why Apple Music Is Indispensable For Me

When was the last time you found something that immediately became invaluable for you? Join me on that treasure hunt. It will pay off in only 5 minutes, promised!

Apple Music not only recently gained fame – ahem, I mean blame – for having one of the most confusing and cluttered interfaces in history, but the search really adds to this mess. In fact, the search is so bad, I was forced to create an additional list of links to access my beloved playlists.

As a huge fan of anything related to Sherlock Holmes and crime audiobooks, I’ve been on a quest for quite some time now. How could I listen to an audiobook every other day without spending too much of my hard earned bucks?

Since I’m a somewhat happy subscriber, I thought it might be worth it to try Apple Music to hunt them down.

The ever growing source of audiobooks

Yes, believe it or not, Apple Music has not only music but a great variety of audiobooks for your pleasure. Why you don’t tell us how many, you might ask? That’s indeed an excellent question, but I cannot put an answer to it. I doubt even Apple can, and I will show you why in a minute.

Audiobooks are, in fact, a big deal for Apple Music. Especially since we know how much audiobooks cost and likewise how hard it is to find the tasty ones. So it’s safe to admit, I like what Apple Music has to offer.

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Nonetheless, it tells a lot that only recently I found out much more about it. It’s because the search didn’t come up with anything I could even remotely agree with.

Searching – and not finding

Search might have been the most obvious approach to unravel the excellent audiobooks you were looking for… but it isn’t. You will only find stuff for which you enter the right full term.

Ready for an example? I know you are. Let’s start with the first thing that comes to your mind. It would be the term “audiobooks”, wouldn’t it? Wrong.

Audiobook search

    Even though it appears as somewhat successful, it doesn’t show anything interesting at all. Likewise, 80% of the results are music files. “Audiobooks”, considers the “s” at the end, which does more harm to the search!

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    Audiobooks search

      So, what should I do instead you ask? Well, now you’re asking the right questions!

      Start with something you’re sure exists. That’s the hard part, I know, but I cannot provide better advice. Otherwise, trial and error is your remaining option. For me it was a little easier since I knew all along, Sherlock Holmes would have to be somewhere.

      Sherlock Holmes Search

        That’s what I call a full blown hit! Look at the listing in the search that points to the various series the iconic world class detective features in.

        Pat yourself on your shoulder dear friend, you just cracked the box that holds dear the beautiful world of audiobooks.

        From here it’s a lot easier to dig up the related stuff, which contains, for example, the following pieces:

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        • Edgar Wallace (I’m German, though)
        • Edgar Allen Poe
        • Jules Verne
        • Die Drei Fragezeichen (Yes, I know)
        • Pater Brown
        • Morgenstern

        Those are all valuable audiobooks of excellent quality. They are heavily biased not only by my taste but even more by the fact that I’m a German guy.

        Even though it sounds like a bunch of work, it’s actually a lot of fun to follow along with the recommendations and discover something new every other minute.

        Recommendation

          Pro Tip! Watch out for regular updates to your beloved series. Each month there will be new episodes added to the already quite impressive lists of audiobooks.

          Updated series

            Conclusion

            Apple is obviously not too easy to tell, where the precious, high quality audiobooks reside. Quite understandable, since they want to make money on selling audiobooks within iTunes.

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            However, digging up audiobooks is actually a lot of fun and a never ending stream of high quality audiobooks is there for your entertainment.

            Just take care of storing the new found gold nuggets accordingly. Playlists, and how to easily discover things similar to what you just listened to is far from straight forward in the Apple Music ecosystem.

            My 2 cents on that issue: copy and paste the links from the audiobook series into apple notes. Then you will always have an up to date view of your beloved pieces of entertainment!

            Happy digging, dear friends!

            Please feel free to comment and connect with me in any way you like and I will be more than happy to help.

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            Jochen Burkhard

            Owner Burkhard Consulting

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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