Sorted³, my new choice for task manager app @SortedHQ

A couple of weeks ago, I read about Sorted³ in MacSparky’s newsletter and since I had never heard about it, I decided to give it a try.

Their website is:
https://www.sortedapp.com

They have a 2 weeks Pro trial available for their app, and I have installed it on my MacBook Pro, my iPad and iPhone 8. The Pro feature set allows the devices to be in sync with one another using iCloud, among many other features. To me, this is a very important feature.

Over the two weeks I have used the app, I have come to like many of its features, yet the most distinctive one is the usability of the app, enhanced by a very slick UX which makes working with tasks a breeze.

You can have a great idea of how the app looks like in different use cases by checking their website at this link:
https://www.sortedapp.com/how-it-works

As the trial period is almost over, I wanted to do a little more research and I found this recent episode of the GTDJedi podcast, with guests the two gentlemen from Sorted³, Harry and Leo, with a nice and broad discussion about the past, present and future of Sorted³, I enjoyed listening to the interview:

https://www.tekside.net/gtdjedi/2020/12/29/p2gsyhm0no2qeekhtixlq9p4lpxc7a

I have been quite happy with the app so far, and since they provide an extension to their Pro features, I have decided to extend the trial to one full month before deciding on buying the Pro features.

After all, their app also works without the Pro features, that is it’s a FREE app, and that’s great. But I sense that I will be buying the full features soon…

In terms of pricing, the macOS version is a one-time payment of CHF 25 and the iOS/iPadOS is CHF 15 here in Switzerland, quite reasonable given that you are also given lifetime updates, unlike other apps which keep asking money for major updates.

Their support website at https://support.sortedapp.com has a lot of information and their quick tutorials and guides are definitely worth reading!

I look forward to learning more about Sorted³ over the next few weeks, and maybe it will become my main task manager, after many years of (sort of!) using OmniFocus…

2021-01-03 – Today I am grateful to my virtual mentor Hal Elrod @halelrod

“When something goes wrong, it’s OK to be negative, but for not more than 5 minutes“

Hal Elrod

Over the past few years, but especially in the last 12 months, I have read many books and stories and blog posts of people who have overcome different situations in their lives, and have achieved some notoriety because of how they did it, or for what they do after their lives have changed.

The latest personal improvement guru I discovered is Hal Elrod, and for some reason I had never come across his “Miracle Morning“ formula and the many books and speeches he has delivered over the past 10 years.

His personal story is quite something, including an almost deadly car accident and a rough time with an aggressive form of leukemia, from which he recovered.

I like Hal and what he does, and I now am a convinced “Miracle Morning“ practitioner, as over the past two months I have started to do the morning routine that he talks about in many of his speeches and books.

But I what I really found true is something that I have heard just today, in a keynote speech he held in 2020. He calls is the “5 minute rule“, and it’s worth copying again the same quote with which I opened this post.

“When something goes wrong, it’s OK to be negative, but for not more than 5 minutes“

Hal Elrod
The part of Hal Elrod’ keynote speech in which he talks about the “5 minutes rule“ (starts at 37’00“)

This rule alone would impact the lives of an amazing number of people, myself included. Just remember these three words:

Can’t Change It

Hal Elrod

For this rule, for the “Miracle Morning“ formula, for his books and podcast, I am very grateful to Hal Elrod, and am proud to having started to put in practice some of his brilliant advice.

Yo’ pal Hal, you rock!

2021-01-02 – Today I am grateful to my wife Laura Granata

Laura and I met in April 2012, and we started to date in May 2012. Together we have been romantic lovers, partners, parents, fiancées, married… and the best is yet to come!

Whether one believes in the horoscope or not, one funny fact is that both Laura and I are Leo. Laura’s sister and her partner are both Aquarius, and Laura’s parents are both Virgo. Funny coincidences, huh?

Laura is Italian like me, was born in Italy like me, yet unlike me she never lived there except for short periods of time, mostly during summer vacation. Lucky her! Where could I possibly find an Italian woman who had more international experience than me? Switzerland, of course!

Yet there is some Italy in how we met, as we happened to be sitting in front of one another at a pizza party on Friday April 13th 2012, held at an Italian restaurant in Ouchy, near Lausanne. And she surprised me as she liked beer better than wine, like I do!

I could ramble on and on about Laura, about her amazing qualities and strengths, and about how we sometimes argue for the stupidest reasons, like we just did a couple of hours ago. After all we are both proud Leos, and that causes friction, sometimes…

But one thing is for sure. She is my girl, and I am her “bel omm“.

And I am extremely grateful to have had her in my life for 8 years. And counting.

I love you leonessa!

P.S. The picture above was taken the very first time we played minigolf together in Lausanne, in July 2012. This has become a family tradition, and every summer we go and play minigolf together while drinking beer. And we have been doing that together with our daughter Alice for 5 years, now!

The most perfect Mary Poppins and Bert on Halloween night 2020

2021-01-01 – Today I am grateful to myself

As a rugged individualist, I couldn’t start my 365 days gratefulness journey without focusing on myself, Luca Bertagnolio.

I have been around on this planet for almost 52 years and a half, and it’s always been a very unconventional existence, and I am both happy and proud for this, though sometimes this has proven difficult to bear, both for myself and people around me.

Why being grateful to oneself, in the first place?

In my case, it’s because I had never considered gratefulness as an important aspect of our lives as human beings part of this amazing modern society. And yet, at some point in time, my life started to change because I started to embrace gratefulness.

Gratefulness entered into my life by storm in 2020, one of the many great things that 2020 brought me, thru the work of Bob Proctor, something which was suggested to me by my personal coach Dina Pataki.

Bob Proctor is a very interesting character, who is still very energetic at 87 years young, and has lived a life of continuous improvement of his own life thru improving the lives of others. He will be definitely the subject of another post in my gratitude series.

Bob Proctor uses his “stick man“ drawing to show how we are all made of both a conscious and an unconscious mind, working together with our body to make up who we are.

In his seminars he mentions gratitude, or gratefulness, as a key component to have within ourselves, and he shows the whole video “A Grateful Day with Brother David Steindl-Rast“ which I already mentioned in the intro post to this series. Here is that video, because it’s always nice to watch it one more time…

It’s thru learning about gratefulness that I have started to address the deeper issues that I had been carrying around within myself for the past 52 years.

And it’s thanks to gratefulness that I am now addressing them, also by writing about people to whom I am grateful for.

Thank you Luca for allowing gratitude to play an important role in your life.

My 30 years journey in computer security

It’s really hard to believe that I have been active in the domain of computer security for such a long time, yet this is what my personal timeline tells me!

I recently made this reflection due to an unexpected offer to present at the local (ISC)² chapter here in Suisse Romande.

Mauro Verderosa, Chapter President, got in touch with me via LinkedIn and asked me if I would be interested in delivering a presentation online, on a security topic of my choosing.

Given my passion for both public speaking and security, I immediately accepted the challenge and started to reflect on what topic to address, to make the presentation both interesting and pleasurable to listen to.

The plan became that of presenting a timeline of computer security and my involvement in different phases of the evolution of technology and events which had an impact on security, and how the industry responded, up to the present day.

In my reflections, I went all the way back in time to when I was first exposed to the Internet and to computer security, and the calendar went back to 1988! But if I consider my first computer and telephone modem, and not-always-so-legal accesses to ITAPAC, the public X.25 data network in Italy, we go back to even earlier than that, as I remember soldering the components for my 300 baud telephone modem electronics kit in 1987.

The “Nuova Elettronica“ italian electronics magazine with the 1987 article on the telephone modem kit which I bought for 165.000 Italian Liras, and built all by myself using my soldering iron!

Back then, I was using a Macintosh Plus as computer, after starting in 1982 with an Apple ][euro+ (the first ones assembled in the new Apple factory in Cork, Ireland) and then moved to an Apple //e, before starting with the original Mac in 1985.

Other than accessing a number of FidoNet BBS (bulletin board systems) and also using CompuServe for more serious e-mail use, I had never seen the power of a computer network until I started to visit the computer labs at Politecnico di Milano in 1987, even before I had finished high school! I was using my brother’s “libretto universitario“ to enter the labs, where Pasquale, the security guard, did not really do a good job of “intrusion prevention“! 😀

The rest of the story, which can become indeed quite long as I have a very good memory of those happy days, can be heard in my 21 minutes long presentation, found on YouTube:

I have also published the slides on SlideShare:

I really enjoyed preparing and delivering this presentation, and if you have been working in this domain as long as I have, I am convinced you will have more than a few shared memories, especially during my time at Cisco between 1998 and 2009.

Starting 2021 with gratitude

Wow! It feels weird to be calling 2020 “last year“, but this is what happens all of a sudden when December 31st is behind our backs!

And given the kind of year 2020 we saw, one would think that it’s no point to even look back to 2020.

I beg to differ.

While surely 2020 has been a challenging year, it brought many changes into my life, some of which are a harbinger of bigger changes, some have already started to appear, and others will no doubt come later in this 2021, and in every single new year after this one.

In this set of blog posts that I have just started to write a couple of minutes ago, I will reflect on some “whos“ whose lives have intersected with mine, and how our mutual relationship changed me.

I will do this from a place of gratitude, highlighting the positive impacts that even small things have had on myself in the past.

I will do this every single day of the year, starting today, January 1st 2021, or 2021-01-01 for those like me who like the ISO 8601 date format!

Where did I get the inspiration to include gratitude in my thoughts and feelings? It all started from this video, which I encourage everyone to watch with undivided attention for the next 5 minutes and 22 seconds.

It might change your life.

It did with me.

Happy watching, and may you all have a wonderful New Year 2021!

Luca

Photo by Leonhard Niederwimmer on Unsplash

Matt Ridley @mattwridley interview with @naval Ravikant

Those who like to read great books should definitely NOT miss the latest book by Matt Ridley “How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom“.

Matt Ridley has done many great interviews about his book in the aftermath of the launch, my favorite ones being those with Alex Epstein and Yaron Brook, both very much worth listening to.

Now, Silicon Valley legend Naval Ravikant has released a great interview with Matt Ridley, really more of a discussion between two amazing clear thinkers, in two parts, both very much enjoyable.

Lots of interesting themes around innovation, crypto, how the state can thwart innovation, and where the next Silicon Valley might be located.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Part 1
Part 2

The transcripts of the discussion can be found here:
Part 1
Part 2

Social media fasting, starting NOW!

Lately I have been reading different books on how to improve my habits and learn more about how our mind and emotions work.

One of the better books I have read is Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s “Personality isn’t Permanent“, a book I highly recommended also in a tweet which caught the attention of the author, who published it in his newsletter.

In his book, Dr. Hardy makes the case for fasting, something that I had tried only once, and I was convinced to try it again. And thus a new habit was born three weeks ago, with my Wednesdays dedicated to a water-only fasting, from the moment I get up to when I wake up the following day, 24 hours of fasting just drinking a lot of water, and avoiding heavy exercise like running.

So far, so very good! I am happy of the outcome so far, and will keep the experiment running.

Yet, in his book Dr. Hardy makes the case of fasting from social media too, during the day of fasting. And this is the next exercise that I want to try.

As a matter of fact, I was further motivated by listening to this video on YouTube, which is ironic as I have discovered it from YouTube’s suggestions!

Will quitting social media change my life too? It’s definitely worth trying!

A similar case can be found in Nir Eyal’s excellent book “Indistractable“, another book which I highly recommend reading after discovering it from my friend Halelly Azulay’s podcast “Talent Growth Show“.

Also, Dave Rubin of “Rubin Report“ fame goes on a full social media fast for the whole month of August every year, an idea I have always liked, and put into practice a couple of years ago. But then I relapsed…

The time is NOW. This will be my last message on social media for one month. I will be back in mid-August, and am sure that everything will be very much the same in the social media world.

I will have an exception for podcasts I follow, and will strive to also avoid YouTube, though there is a LOT of great content on it!

The risk I run is that I will enjoy being off social media, and that I might NOT come back. Definitely a risk worth taking.

Have a great summer everyone!

(Featured image Photo credit: Sydne Vigille)

How I discovered Objectivism, and why

My curiosity in the field of energy turned out to have a much bigger influence than I ever expected.

A staunch supporter of new technology, I always trusted nuclear power as the most advanced way to produce energy.

Enter Alex Epstein and his book tour in 2014, and when I heard his pitch for “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels“ at CATO, I immediately understood that I knew little to nothing about coal, oil and natural gas, and their importance to modern society.

Listening to Alex’s past “Power Hour“ episodes, I heard him mention the ideas and writings of Ayn Rand, and especially “Atlas Shrugged“. With the power of the internet, a few good online searches, and plenty of great content available online, the jump to Yaron Brook and his show, the Ayn Rand Institute website and online Campus courses made me realize that I was missing a fundamental part of knowledge to complete my life: philosophy. And that philosophy, the “Philosophy for Living on Earth”, is Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

It’s been five years now, and I am happy to have become a student of Objectivism, thanks to my interest in energy, my curiosity, and the guidance of a master of human flourishing, Alex Epstein.

This is why this book dedication, signed by Alex when I met him in person at OCON 2018, is so important for me. Thank you, Alex, you have changed my life in a way neither you nor I could imagine!

Alex Epstein’s book dedication signed on July 3rd 2018 at OCON in Laguna Beach, California.

Discussion on “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” Toastmasters speech

Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog post about the presentation on “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” that I delivered at the EPFL-Unil Toastmasters Club on August 29th 2017.

I would also like to thank Alex Epstein for the new information he has working on for the past 10 years, information that inspired me and allowed me to broaden my views.

This is the link to video on YouTube, with the slides embedded in the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOdWTRMCWI8

Here are some useful resources in order to grow your knowledge in the way Alex Epstein and I think about the importance of energy and human flourishing.

The blog post with the introduction to my speech:
http://lucaberta.com/mcff-intro

My speech on January 5th 2016 on the amazing decline in climate-related deaths from 1900 to 2010:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b25j5O2C99o

Alex Epstein guest of the Glenn Beck Show, a very good interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqHB0X_r_Kw

Alex Epstein speech at Google, a fundamental inspiration and source of content for my speech:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6b7K1hjZk4

Alex Epstein guest of The Rubin Report on the Climate Change Debate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJmL9hRrpIQ

Alex Epstein’s book on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Moral-Case-Fossil-Fuels-ebook/dp/B00INIQVJA/

The website of the book, where you can also download for free the first chapter:
http://www.moralcaseforfossilfuels.com/

Any feedback on my presentation, my ideas, and the reference model created by Alex Epstein which I also endorsed in my presentation is more than welcome. Please feel free to discuss it in the comments below or on Facebook.