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A 294 post collection

Weekly plan bars

 •  Filed under Posts, Tools, Productivity

I've been having a successful run with the bullet journal and implementing Mike Rhode's daily plan bar but as a weekly view rather than a single day's view. Daily plan bars go on the left while a list of tasks for the week goes on the right. I'll do a better write up of this in time complete with a more annotated description.

Scaling Back

 •  Filed under Posts, Tools, Web Development

For a long time I've wrestled with a number of different terminal apps and tools in the hope of improving my productivity at the command line. Initially I used iTerm2, a terminal emulator for macOS, as my preferred terminal app. Then I also started using tmux, a terminal multiplexer, on top of that. Then came along Vim, the open source text editor, and I started using that as well.

This was the first time in a long time that I had started using all three again. The benefit of using this combination of tools is that I could run both my command line and text editor within a single app and very rarely have to switch away from it.

One huge pain point I couldn't get round though was the simple act of copying and pasting text between Vim and other apps. Despite a number of attempts to get it working I've decided to call it a day on this trio of tools.

  • Vim is a great text editor, but to be honest I'm faster coding with Sublime Text or even Atom for that fact. Yes, I use the mouse and yes I want to have features and plugins that don't require me to mess about with command line.
  • tmux is great for managing different command line sessions within a single terminal emulator but I don't think it's a necessity. Lately I've been doing away with split panes and using multiple tabs.
  • Which brings me to iTerm2. As great an application as it is, there's nothing that it offers that I can't get from Apple's own terminal emulator, Terminal.

So I stopped using Vim, tmux and iTerm2 and fell back to using Terminal and Sublime Text.

I've went full circle from starting with the basics, adding more tools to the stack, before reducing the tools I need for the terminal right down to the absolute basics. One app for the terminal and one app for editing source code.

I can see the case for using tools like tmux and Vim. Maybe you spend most of your day in a terminal as a system administrator and you're faster with Vim. Maybe you need to manage multiple servers on a daily basis so splitting panes in tmux suits your line of work. I get it. I understand why these tools exist and why you would use them.

Sometimes though scaling back is just as much a benefit.

Weekend Report #7

 •  Filed under Posts, Weekend Reports, Family

This weekend was something of a bust. It's that time of year when kids of a certain age turn from innocent little chaps and madams to plague carrying monsters. Little Drew started us off with a case of the lurgy last week and it's ran rife through the house. There's still a couple of us fighting on into this week. Hopefully by next weekend we'll all be back to full health.

On a more positive note this weekend saw the return of what for me is the greatest show on Earth. The Super Bowl. I get that not everyone likes it, but there's no denying it was a great game to watch.

I had no intentions of staying up to watch the game though having already started my lurgy phase and the fact that I was working the next day, so I recorded the game in the hopes of watching it the next day.

I already knew the score before watching the game, some media blackouts you just can't get through unless you unplug your wireless router but I needed that for work.

It certainly wasn't a disappointing game. The Falcons routed the Patriots in the first half but the momentum of the Falcons started to die in the second half. Despite the rocky start in the third quarter the Patriots stepped up and proved that there were more than capable of matching the Falcons in their first-half.

With the game tied, the Super Bowl went into overtime for the first time. The Patriots opted to receive the punt, made the drive to the red-zone and scored the touchdown. Game over.

It's hardly seems fair to decide a game like this, maybe they should play the whole overtime quarter regardless of the number of possessions each time has and decide it on points.

Anyway, that's the Patriots and the Brady/Belichick combo with their fifth Super Bowl win. So the countdown begins to the next season.

Me and Ethan are Packer fans but Jennifer and Drew like the Patriots and no-one was as happy as Drew was when he discovered that his team had won the Super Bowl.

Sketching some ideas

 •  Filed under Posts

Finally broke out the other stack of Field Notes notebooks I got with my Black Ice editions. Dedicating a notebook to sketching ideas for web based products like themes and web sites. First port of a call though is a new landing page for DigitalBothy.

A lesson in building habits

 •  Filed under Productivity, Posts

It's that time of year where people are starting to tail off on their new year resolutions. Let's face it, for most of us new year resolutions are nothing more than pipe dream. I don't do new year resolutions but what I do believe in are habits.

Habits are easier to build than new year resolutions and once they're part of your routine, you'll find that don't need to spend as much time building that habit again if you break it. This also makes your goals (or resolutions) much more achievable.

Ethan's golf has been progressing nicely over the past year. He's comfortable with his new clubs, he's familiar with his local course and he's getting to know more and more people through different levels of coaching and playing. His handicap didn't fall much last year, but he's adamant that this year it will come down and he's set himself the target of being at a handicap of 20 or less by the end of this year.

Rather than getting him to focus on the long term goal of reducing his handicap though I started him on something more manageable.

Building the habit of practicing every day for 20 minutes.

It doesn't matter what part of his game he practices on, it could be his swing, chipping, putting or playing out on the course.

He started off well. He needed reminders to practice in the first week, but he managed to get there. After a couple of weeks, his calendar now looks like this:

16 days of daily practice and all without a break in the chain.

I don't need to remind him to practice anymore. He just does it. He takes a look at his calendar and puts in the practice so that he can keep put the next 'X' in and keep the chain going.

The habit is now part of his daily routine but Ethan is still a long way away from that goal. Once the golf season starts in earnest he should see better scores on his scored cards and start to see that handicap fall.

Medium still isn't for me

 •  Filed under Blogging, Posts

I've wrote in the past about the blogging platform Medium and how I have issue with such a high volume of people writing under one roof and how the lack of

Here's what I wrote at the start of last year:

Access to the network is easy but I can't help but wonder if in the future they'll get it wrong and piss off a good chunk of their user base. I'd rather not take that chance.

Anywhere but Medium

Well Medium did get it wrong. The ad model isn't working for them. That and fifty of their staff have been dropped. What looks like a cost-cutting exercise is what they're calling a change in their business model. What that business model will be is unclear at the moment.

One option Medium has is to charge users for the privilege of using Medium. If Medium wanted to charge me to use Medium then I would be all for it. I love products that look for money up front before you can use their product. How else are they going to survive as a business?

I like the idea behind Medium but the recent change in their business model (or even lack of one) has me wondering how long they'll be around for. Not a nice thought, especially when it concerns a platform that many use to publish their thoughts and ideas. I'd rather not see it go under, but it needs to start adapting and fast.

Medium still isn't for me though. I'm happy to blog away from my own little corner of the Internet.

Announcing my monthly newsletter

 •  Filed under Posts

I'm starting a newsletter this year.

Yes, I'm a bit late to the newsletter thing and yes this is probably another newsletter that you don't need, but here me out before you make any decisions.

On the 19th of each month I'll send you a long form piece of writing about my thoughts on a topic that will usually revolve around technology, productivity or products. If you like my blog then you can expect content along the same lines, just in a longer form. Each month, I'll also include a link list of interesting titbits from the Internet that have caught my attention and I think are worth passing on.


Sign up here then please!

First edition drops on the 19th of January and is entitled, "Back to basics".