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Marius Masalar
Content Strategist, Photographer. Bylines at The Sweet Setup, Tools & Toys, PhotoLife Magazine, and right here on Medium.

It’s time for me to leave this innovative but frustrating new take on email behind

It was my fault: I knew from the start that Hey wasn’t for me.

Still, I soldiered on because I was excited by the first real re-think of email since its inception; I wanted to make sure I gave it a proper try. I did my best to adapt, to use it as it’s designed to be used…but it’s been nearly a year now and I’m afraid I have to throw in the towel.

For all of its benefits — and there are several important ones—Hey turned my seamless experience with email into a slow, frustrating, opaque mess that I…


There are many things we can’t control, but changing our attitudes and decisions can have profound implications

If this year has taught me anything, it’s that we can’t control what happens in life. We can often, however, influence outcomes by carefully rearranging the landscape of our attitudes and decisions. Doing so, we find paths, make connections, and build relationships.

Carto is a game that explores these ideas through a map-making metaphor. You play as Carto, a girl struggling to reunite with her grandmother after a terrible storm sends you tumbling out of the family airship to the world below.

Finding Paths

Early on in the game, you’ll spend your time collecting lost pieces of the magic map that controls…

You should be too — they’re going to be big

I come across a lot of apps and services, many of which seem promising but don’t get me particularly excited. Every once in a while, a few gems emerge that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Here are three of them.

Glass: A Healthy New Community for Photographers

What if Instagram was built by photographers? That’s Glass, in a nutshell.

Glass is an alternative to Instagram that’s designed to be safe, inclusive, beautiful, and focused. Privacy is respected and money comes from users, so the platform’s needs are in alignment with its users’ needs — as it should be.

A few details that stood out…

A handful of useful recommendations for newbies and veterans alike

I’ve been using and sharing 1Password for an awfully long time now, and I wanted to gather a few tips that can meaningfully improve your experience of the service.

These aren’t hidden features, but if you’re new or haven’t spent much time digging into the settings you may not be aware of them yet.

Let’s start with the simplest.

1. Memorize the Keyboard Shortcut for AutoFill in Desktop Browsers: Cmd + \ or Ctrl + \

No matter which browser you use, once you’ve installed the 1Password extension you can use this keyboard shortcut to automatically fill in your login credentials.

On macOS devices, it’s Cmd + \ and on Windows machines it's Ctrl + \.


Save things to the right bucket, make time to read, and be willing to let go

There’s been a lot of conversation in my circles recently about how to effectively save links and deal with articles you want to read later.

The trouble these folks run into is that their queue quickly grows to impractical proportions, forcing them to give up, empty it, and start again.

I don’t pretend to have the one true solution, but since this isn’t a problem I run into, I thought it might be worth outlining my approach in case it helps.

Read it Later Services Are Not Bookmarking Services

This might seem like an arbitrary distinction, but I think it’s the root of the issue. Many people treat…

Meet despair, depression’s restless cousin, and learn how to overcome it

For those of us who concern ourselves with personal productivity, boredom can feel like an admission of failure.

There’s always something we ought to be doing, and if we aren’t doing that thing, we feel guilty. That’s the trouble with the Sisyphean drive to optimize and micromanage every aspect of our lives. It pretends that time, like a cup, is only useful when filled.

But sometimes—especially during these times—it’s not.

This Isn’t Boredom

Work is curtailed or vanishing, social obligations have thinned, and what we’re left with is an unfamiliar and often uncomfortable remainder.

It doesn’t feel like an abundance of free time…

An in-depth look at how these two productivity powerhouses compare

It always comes down to a choice between these two task management giants for me.

Over time, I’ve mostly settled on using Things, but as I tend to do once or twice per year, I switched back to using Todoist for a few weeks to see how things have changed and improved over the past few months.

Doist (the company that makes Todoist and Twist) recently unveiled one of the largest updates to Todoist in recent memory, a broad overhaul they called Todoist Foundations. …

I tried to cancel but couldn’t stay away—great content keeps me coming back for more

When I was a kid, I used to get lost in National Geographic each month. My family had a collection going back many years, and for quite a while I maintained a subscription to the magazine so I could devour each new issue as it arrived.

Later, it was joined by Wired, Popular Science, and eventually some photography and travel publications too.

As I got older and content migrated to the vast plains of the internet, my magazine reading languished and eventually died off entirely, replaced by the dopamine-dispensary of punchy, short-form writing the likes of which has been popularized…

I love how it works but hate how it looks

I wear my Apple Watch every day…but I’ve disliked how it looks since the very first day I put on the Series 0, and none of the subsequent models or strap options have changed my aesthetic antipathy for it.

I frequently experiment with different customized faces on my Series 4 to keep things fresh, but the problem isn’t the face design—it’s the case shape. While I understand why Apple chose it, I detest square watches; I haven’t yet seen a square watch I like the look of.

My hope was that Series 5 would be the generation where Apple feels…

Trading style for sound with Bose’s smart sunglasses

I don’t know what’s gotten into the water supply at Bose lately, but whatever it is has led to a burst of interesting, innovative, and experimental products.

The latest to emerge are the Bose Frames, a pair of sunglasses with built in speakers that pipe audio to your ears in a way that only you can hear.

What you need to know is this: they work surprisingly, freakishly well, so if you find a good fit and can put up with the styling, they’re a great way to minimize your daily carry.

Design and Comfort

Bose have created two variants of the Frames…

Marius Masalar

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