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Can tech make my morning routine any easier?

What apps do (or don’t) make it easier to get going and be productive first thing in the morning?

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The sun rising through clouds over the ocean, with birds on the shore and in the air Vince Caligiuri / Getty

If you’re a tech CEO, a prominent security researcher or you run a news website, you must be the kind of person who just naturally wakes up and rolls out of bed in the morning, ready to get shit done, right? You’ve obviously got it all figured out.

Not exactly. On this special episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode talked to nine recent guests about their wildly different morning routines, and which apps and gadgets (sometimes) make those routines better. Loyal fans of the show will recognize the people they interviewed, but this is all never-before-published audio.

Below the embed are some highlights from a few of the mini-interviews with people like 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, security researcher Brian Krebs and the Editor in Chief of Recode, Dan Frommer.

You can listen to the new podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Even the most efficient or prolific people have their little morning routine hacks, favorite apps and, yes, some gadgets that they say make their mornings a lot easier. Here are highlights from some of the guests on this episode:

23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki: “The morning for me is very efficient. I’ve got to know what to expect. The thing I have now, which I love — which isn’t necessarily the safest — my phone is attached to the bike. So I FaceTime with people while I bike. And people always find that very disturbing. I don’t always have to look at the person, but it’s helpful! The beauty of biking is it gives me 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. No one’s calling, no one’s reaching out to me, and it’s outside, so I think well.”

Recode Editor in Chief Dan Frommer: “I will probably set three or four alarms, depending on the morning — two to four. Sometimes they’re five minutes apart, sometimes they’re 10 or 15-20 minutes apart. I will probably look at email first, with one eye closed, just to make sure everything’s okay, nothing melted overnight. And I check my texts, sometimes there’s a text from Kara ... or 30 texts from Kara, from the west coast, overnight.”

Security researcher Brian Krebs: “I have a big-screen TV in front of the treadmill that’s hooked up to an old computer, that essentially has a browser with a thousand tabs open. I’m reading email, I’m catching up on the news, I’m looking at RSS feeds, I’m just basically trying to suck down as much information as I can in about 45 minutes. I’m fast-walking at around 4 percent incline. I have a Bluetooth keyboard that I glued to the top of the treadmill; if I’m concentrating, I can actually type responses in email! But I try not to do too much.”

Have questions about morning routines, or want to share your own? Tweet them to @Recode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed, or email them to

Be sure to follow @LaurenGoode, @KaraSwisher and @Recode to be alerted when we're looking for questions about a specific topic.

If you like this show, you should also check out our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, such as the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on Apple Podcasts — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

This article originally appeared on

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