Microsoft Flow

I got very excited when Paul posted about Microsoft Flow the other day. Of course, with anything Microsoft, one always has to suffer a bit and ask “Why would they do this???”

Case in point, when I tried to sign up with my Microsoft account, it wouldn’t let me. I tried on a different device with the same result before I realised it was trying to use my school account credentials. This struck me as odd, until I went through the documentation.

Apparently, Microsoft would like to know why on earth I would want to use a personal account for this service instead of a work or school account. Judging by the comments, there are other people who are as riled up as I am. I’ve now had to sign up on the PowerUsers forum so I can post my reasons why.

The main reason is that everything (mostly) is tied to my personal Microsoft account. When I resigned last year, I had to leave my previous work’s Office 365 account behind because duh. I don’t want to attach anything to my school account because I will most likely finish up by mid 2018, and I don’t want to have to extricate myself from services then.

A third reason is all these things that I do for productivity (OneNote, Wunderlist, Pushbullet, programming) is because I enjoy it. Yes, it ultimately does help me with my daily tasks at work, but mostly it’s for my own personal benefit.

Those reasons are neither here nor there now, seeing as to get access I just signed in with my school account so that I could at least test out the service. I eagerly looked forward to building my long awaited Wunderlist > Onenote Flow…and of course Microsoft does not yet have integration support for many of its own products.

I’m not even surprised. I had considered building my own Python app to integrate Wunderlist and OneNote, but time is precious lately. I’ve now posted an idea on the forum.


My experience using Windows 10 Mobile: An analysis.

It sucks. It sucks so badly. The only reason I switched to the Insider Preview in December was because I was sick of the interminable loading dots and app crashes.

Well, on 10 I can say that the dots are still there, though not the app crashes. Whatsapp is as slow as ever. I do like the cleaner look and feel, and the fact that I can now use the Garmin Connect app on the phone, but there is nothing on Windows 10 Mobile that I would recommend above Windows Phone 8.1.

I’ve formulated an opinion, based on some facts and some anecdotal evidence I’ve gathered (partly from my own experience with Windows Phone over the last 3 years, and my family’s experiences). This opinion is that most of the “official” apps for Windows Phone were coded as afterthoughts.

The Whatsapp app should be fast because it’s been optimised for the OS. Clearly it is not. The same goes for Shazam. Although if Microsoft can’t even do it for their own in-house apps like Edge/Explorer or Office, then why would anyone else?

It is frustrating.


How do I schedule my schedule?

During induction, we did the “4 personality types” exercise. I hadn’t performed this exercise in a formalised manner before, but it turned out to be very helpful. Below is an example of the grid:

Here’s another one:

I fall firmly within the Analytical square. Taken from Think2By2:

The Analytical personality falls in the quadrant formed by the boundaries of Introvert/Thinker. Individuals in this quadrant are generally described as being logical, thorough, serious, systematic, prudent, cautious, and compliant. This personality type emphasizes working conscientiously to ensure quality and accuracy. Analytical personalities tend to focus on tasks, seek details and facts, and need structure. Positive descriptors include perfectionist, questioning, idealistic, sensitive, self-disciplined, and precise. Negative descriptors or weaknesses include moody, negative, critical, rigid, legalistic, touchy, self-centered, unsociable, and impractical. Examples of the Analytical personality type include Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

I’ve suffered a long time from what I now know is called “analysis paralysis”. It occurs when an Analytical gets caught up in gathering facts, making lists, and analysing pros and cons to the point where nothing actually gets done or the deadline passes.

It’s why I took so long to build my home server, and why my home network config is still not complete, and I actually have to redo everything because of some stuff that’s happening.

I’m currently suffering through it now with my scheduling/note-taking/tracking tools. I have no idea how to keep track of everything anymore. Before I would just do OneNote, and that was all I needed. However, my tracking needs have grown quite a bit over the last year, so I added Wunderlist to my toolset.

It doesn’t still quite do what I want to do though, so I spent a bit of time testing out all the task management tools, how they integrate with my current environment etc. Basically, I ended up wasting more time deciding on what tools I needed to use so that I wouldn’t waste time. There’s a reason why this blog is called Overthinking.

I have 3 accounts to manage: personal, school, and work. My personal account is imploding slowly into a mess of personal emails, newsletters, notifications, bills and appointments. My school account is about to get busy now that my registration was approved. My work account will descend into madness (even though it’s only been 3 weeks) because I am involved in a bunch of projects already.

I’v been sticking it out with Wunderlist, because since Microsoft acquired them, I have been looking forward to OneNote integration. That’s the dream.

In the meantime, I’ve got a disgusting combination of:

  • Wunderlist tasks, which show up in my personal calendar (regardless of whether it’s a work, personal or school task)
  • Office desktop apps for my work account (I no longer use the task tracking in Outlook to link with OneNote)
  • Outlook.com web interface for personal account
  • Mobile apps for everything

I’m feeling quite irritated with the general state of things. I even thought about coding something to help me, at which point I knew I had to just stop.


The Lumia 950 range is here!

I haven’t made much (any?) noise about the new flagship Lumias, but local pricing has been announced. Of course, the prices are far too high for what anyone would be willing to pay for a Microsoft phone, but that’s neither here nor there since these are for the fans anyway. Everyone is saying so.

On a more interesting note, Microsoft launched their local store. No Surface yet though, so what’s the point? Also, the 950 range is quite a bit cheaper on Orange, but doesn’t include the “free” Fitbit Flex. Here I was, hoping they would bundle it with a Display Dock :-/

At least Cell C is giving a free Xbox 360 with their package (to the first 1000 customers).


This is the one: personal computing device (rollback)

I’ve spoken about the Surface Pro 3 numerous times on here. It was The One, everytime. If anything, I would choose the next iteration as my new one.

No. I’ve had enough torture, being a Windows Phone supporter all these years, how much longer must I wait for Microsoft to officially start supplying Surface devices in SA? Now I have to hold out hope for a Surface phone too? Nuh-uh.

So I’m rolling back my decision on the SP3.