Feb 12

Can You Get Your First iPhone App Made and Published in Less than 30 Days?

iphone app approvedOn January 12 I hired Danil, a young iOS programmer from Russia, to build my first iPhone app.

Eighteen days later, after testing the final build on my iPhone 4S (it was a pain in the ass to set up the provisioning profile on my device by the way) my app was ready for submission to the app store.

So the 30th of January I uploaded the binary files, filled the app description, made some screenshots for the app preview on iTunes and clicked submit.

I wasn’t expecting it to be approved in less than 2 weeks.

Today, the 4th of February, I woke up to an email from iTunes Connect telling me that my app was now “ready for sale”.

“It took me only 23 days and a few hundred dollars to put up a free iPhone app on the App Store.”

Now, I’m waiting for it to be “live” so I can tell everyone to grab a copy and start writing some reviews.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

Follow me on twitter @aleporte or add me on google+ +Alejandro Portela to be the first to know when my app goes live, or give me some feedback on it, I’d really appreciate it.

EDIT: “Emojizer, Words to Emoji” is now live on the App Store! Go download it and leave a short review ;)

Aug 11

The Ultimate Guide To Using Kettlebells To Achieve Low Body Fat, Strenght and a Six Pack

I got myself a 18kg kettlebell after reading The Perfect Posterior at Tim Ferriss’ blog (and then again on the 4-Hour Body).

I had seen these things before in some random internet marketing blog where a guy was reporting how much money he was making selling Kettlebells (and training courses) to his “small” niche. This was like 2 years ago…

Then, one of my card flourishing friends started posting his kettlebell workout videos on youtube and I thought he could be the perfect 1st guest blogger here.

In this post, David will talk about -almost- everything you need to know to get started with kettlebells.

There are many different exercises you can do but I personally focus on the “Kettlebell Swing“, and the results have been amazing considering that every workout takes me under 5 minutes.

Beyond fat loss, the swing will help build a superhuman posterior chain, which includes all the muscles from the base of your skull to your Achilles tendons.

So, here’s David’s long-ass wiki-style guest post on Kettlebells ;)

Continue reading →

Aug 11

4 Quick Tweaks To Avoid Compulsively Checking Emails and Tweets on your iPhone

ios productivityI got the bad habit of checking my email inbox and twitter timeline every five minutes from too many -long and boring- accounting classes back at the university.

After learning the hard way that my productivity would go down dramatically due to the lack of continuous focus, I knew I had to implement some kind of system to help me “get my head out of the twutter”.

Here are four different things that I did to instantly reduce social media and email distractions, increase my concentration and get more important things done:

Disable Push Notifications

When I made the switch from the official Twitter app to Tweetbot, the fact that I’d lose notifications got me kinda worried in the first place. But then I discovered that I could live with it.

I manage five different twitter accounts on my iPhone so you can imagine how big of a deal this was.

Most of the time you are not required to instantly reply to a tweet. In fact, I don’t know anyone who saved a friend’s life with a fast @ reply, do you?

If they really need to reach you, they can probably do it with a phone call, whatsapp, or a regular text message.

Put Your Social iOs Apps in a Stinky “Hermit” Folder

One of the things that I’ve tried is to put the most distracting apps far away from the main screen. This way I have to take some extra steps in order to get to them, which makes it less likely to happen being the lazy-ass person that I am, sometimes.

Enable Lockscreen Passcode

I’ve been trying this one for two weeks and the results have been truly… surprising.

Just by adding another security layer to the famous “slide to unlock” I turned checking twitter, facebook and google+ into a “pain in the ass” kind of task.

Now I have to reach into my pocket, grab my phone, take it out, wake it up, slide to unlock, remember a lame four digit passcode, enter it, swipe a few screens to the right, open a folder, click on the app icon…


so.not.worthy. (and that’s the beauty of it)

Go Offline

I’ve never been a fan of the airplane mode but I try to stay offline as much as I can to reduce distractions and increase battery life.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, I recommend SBSettings (on Cydia) to quickly switch your data and wifi ON an OFF, from anywhere you are, just by swiping your finger across the status bar.

You don’t need to implement all these tweaks at once, start with the passcode one and you’ll be surprised, it’s one of my favorites now!

I want to try to disable push emails for 30 days and see if I can do fine with just checking it once in the mornings (or once a week ala 4HWW).

Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter and google+ to join me on this productivity challenge, coming soon ;)

Jul 11

Minimalist Standing Desk DIY From IKEA’s $8 Mammut

DIY standing desk
I like reading in bed. In fact, I spent most of my hardcore university days studying inside it.

I never had a fancy Herman Miller’s SAYL chair anyway so I guess that’s why I chose to lay horizontally…

Well, that, and the fact that I’m a lazy motherf***er.

A few months ago I saw a cool infographic on the dangers of sitting down and then read about the “miraculous” benefits of standing desks.

I’ve always been a fan of watching other people’s clever IKEA hacks, mods and DIY projects.

Especially those kinds of “featured workstation setup” photo-posts where all you see is Apple gadgets meticulously organized by their OCD owners, who, by the way, need three 30″ cinema displays just to show off their minimalist panoramic wallpaper.

Such a GREAT source of inspiration…

Anyway, right when I was about to saw off the legs of an innocent LACK coffee table I saw my sister’s green Mammut stool sitting on a corner of her room, collecting dust.

I put it on my desk and, to my surprise, it didn’t only have the perfect height but it could also be moved around the house with ease.

This portable standing desk now follows me, and my macbook air, everywhere I go (inside the house, don’t think I am THAT geek)

standing desk ikea diy
I recently put a deck on top of it so I can use my magic mouse and wireless keyboard. I want to raise the macbook higher so it’s at eye level but that will require a little tweaking.

For now, I just tilt the screen back a bit. It works for me.

Back pain is gone and my feet are adapting pretty nicely. I’m sure the fact that I’m using barefoot shoes helps with this.

Some people use yoga mats to eliminate foot pain but I don’t think it’s needed. One of the points of working standing up is to make your feet stronger. And for that you’ll need to find the right balance point on the balls of your feet (never rest on your talons!)

But Why Use a Standing Desk?

Simple: Higher calorie burn and better posture. My last years in college studying in bed (deckchair, in summer days), and other un-healthy habits didn’t particularly contribute to any of that so why not try it now?

Doing this kind of “stupid little things” like walking barefoot, waking up earlier or drinking more water somehow “adds up”.

The best way to eliminate a bad habit is to start small.

Set an easy, sustainable goal wherever you think there’s room for change and go for it. Then, set another one. It will “add up”.

I will be working with this kind of setup for at least for a few more weeks and will report back with my thoughts.

Here is a nice TED talk by Google’s Matt Cutts talking about how to change your habits by sticking to doing little things for at least 30 days.

If you want to try this little standing desk challenge with me, find a way to rise your laptop so that your arms rest at a 90 degree angle while you are standing up and let me know how you are doing on google+ +Alejandro Portela.

If you have any standing desk tips or interesting links to share leave a comment down below :)

You can read more good reasons why you should work standing up in this great post by Gina Trapani at LifeHacker.

Jul 11

Thoughts After One Month Using Barefoot FiveFingers

Vibram fivefingers classics I’ve always hated running. Probably because it was that boring warm-up thing we had to do before playing sports, and also the punishment for “behaving nuts” during training. Ah… good times.

I picked up running about a month ago when I received my first pair of Vibram FiveFingers Classic (Europe). I read about them in the 4 Hour Body book by Tim Ferriss and then discovered this whole “barefoot running” online community, Nicholas Romanov’s POSE method of running and all that jazz.

I never thought there was an actual “technique” behind such a lame sport, but once I found out, I knew I had to try it.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve gone out running just a handful of times in this last month (maybe 9?) but for someone who “hates it”, I think it’s pretty decent.

I haven’t taken my Vibrams off since. I wear them 24/7, seriously, they are THAT awesome. Even though they could stink a bit… But that can be fixed.

I got a second pair of FiveFingers KSO (black) a couple of weeks ago, mainly to be able to cycle them with the Classics and to use them with jeans, for a more everyday casual look.

I only wear the Classics with shorts. And yeah, I know they look like girly ballerina shoes with frog toes and WILL -trust me- turn heads around every time you go out, but the feeling of the ground underneath your feet makes it totally worthy.

They also have this powerful ice-breaking “peacock effect” ;)

Walking barefoot on this kind of shoes is awesome, I’m sure you’ll fall in love if you ever try them for a couple of days.

It takes a while to “break them in” but once you’ve used them for a few hours you will not want to take them out again.

I ordered a new pair of Terraplana Vivobarefoot Dylan shoes from Amazon UK and they should arrive in a couple of days.

These don’t have the toes though :D

I highly recommend you try the barefoot experience, specially if you suffer lower back pain from standing for long periods of time (they fixed my back!) or simply want the PUA looks ;)

You can get the FiveFingers from Amazon.com -> Vibram FiveFingers or Amazon.co.uk if you live in Europe

If you want to connect with me you can follow me on twitter @aleporte or add me on google+ +Alejandro Portela where we can hangout. (Or you can just be FRIGGINAWESOME and leave me a comment down below).

Jul 11

It’s Never Too Late To Start A New Blog

How To Start Blogging AgainI created my first blog in late 2006. It was an ugly blogspot, with a long-ass url and everything… but it did the job.

I used it to post my videos and some other lame stuff. I was getting pretty popular on YouTube so I thought having a blog could be a good asset that I could leverage in the future.

I started to run out of content because I wasn’t learning card flourishes fast enough to post a new tutorial every week.

“So I decided to turn my blog into the go-to resource for all things card flourishing”

The blog got popular and I decided to switch to a self hosted wordpress blog where I would have more control over the content and customization.

I also got a cheap dot info domain (that’s an example of how little I knew about branding and SEO back then)

I also didn’t know anything about building email lists, traffic strategies, monetization, JVs, etc…

It really didn’t matter in the beginning, in fact, it took me a couple of years to make a hundred bucks on adsense…

“People came back to consume my content. Every single day.”

I was subscribed to ALL the good card guys on youtube and my job was to select -or curate- the crème de la crème for people to easily digest the best cardistry videos, all in one place.

I started using feedburner to sindicate my blog posts via RSS and email. I soon discovered that my audience wasn’t familiar with feed readers at all so I guess a big chunk of my first thousand blog subscribers were indeed, email subscribers.

Pretty cool huh?

I think so.

Then I kept buying domains (dot com domains) and building small niche blogs. I experimented with different types of monetization methods -mainly affiliate marketing- and before I had time to finish college, I found myself making enough money to live “comfortably” for a while.

It got better.

Why I Decided To Start Blogging… Again

So, I thought I should create this new blog as a way to give back to all the people who contributed to my “little success”, and also because I want to show my friends a behind-the-scenes look at how I work and who I really am.

Welcome to my new blog :)

If you want to connect with me you can follow me on twitter @aleporte or add me on google+ +Alejandro Portela where we can hangout. (Or you can just be FRIGGINAWESOME and leave me a comment down below).