Category Archives: monthly

On this page:
  • Monthly review: December 2012
  • Monthly reviews: October and November 2012
  • Monthly review: September 2012
  • Monthly review: August 2012
  • Monthly review: July 2012
  • Monthly review: June 2012

Monthly review: December 2012

Last monthly review, I wrote:

What might December look like? I want December to be a time to:

  • celebrate and share the things I’ve learned in the past year
  • lay the groundwork for more awesomeness in 2013
  • reach out to people and help them out

To help my consulting clients prepare for the transition and also to help me ease into other kinds of businesses, I’d arranged to take all of December off from my consulting engagement much like I’d taken September off. During my regular consulting months, I kept 1-2 days a week free to nudge these other businesses along, but I wanted to experiment with full-time focus on building other businesses such as this conference sketchnoting idea. I’d still be available by bat signal in case they needed urgent help or questions answered, and I promised to check in every so often.

You’d figure that having three extra days to work on my business combined with the typical holiday slow-down would leave me with empty space to fill. I got tons more done than I expected. I sketchnoted the Lean Startup Day conference livestream hosted at MaRS (professionally!), to much delight and retweeting. I came up with a company name, designed my own logo, registered the domain and created a website, and worked on my marketing and sales plans. There’s something about focus, steady progress, and momentum. Despite the holiday closure of many of the events I regularly go to, I sketched a lot anyway.

W- took some time off work during the holidays. He usually works really hard, so I decided not to waste the opportunity. I blocked off time around my existing appointments and asked my assistant to postpone other arrangements until after the holidays. We spent our time trying new recipes, organizing the house, building a habit of exercise, and getting ready for the next year. I’ve been going to krav maga self-defence and fitness classes once a week for more than a month now, and I’m ratcheting it up to twice a week.

One of the other things I experimented with in terms of time was to use my mornings for coding and a little writing. It felt great to sit down and tweak my Emacs configuration for extra productivity, add small improvements to my Quantified Awesome, or tinker around with WordPress on my websites and blogs. I saved the afternoon for meetings, planning, and drawing. I’ll be back to a 3-day consulting schedule in January and February, so I’ll need to see if I can find the same balance on Mondays and Fridays or whether business-related work will take up all my brainspace. If so, then I’ll know that from March onwards, I should focus on building a flexible business instead of taking on full-time contracts that may distract me from what I want to learn and do.

What could January look like? I’d like to:

  • create lots of value for my consulting clients
  • start the marketing and sales process going for upcoming events – hope I’m not too late for the events in March!
  • delegate more: add a new person to my virtual team
  • maintain my twice-weekly fitness/self-defence class schedule

Post index for the past two months, newest on top

Monthly reviews: October and November 2012

In September, I wrote:

What will October look like? I took a month-long break from consulting in September, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and helping my clients get ready for the next major milestones. There are quite a few events in October, so I’ll be getting lots of sketchnoting practice. In terms of skill-building, I want to focus on lettering and typography. I’d like to ramp up my delegation so that I can get more things done, too. I’m also looking forward to gathering the papers for my first business tax return and HST return, wow. =)

October and November flew by in a blur. Conference season + consulting = chaos! While helping clients prepare for a big launch and analyze more metrics, I also took the time to sketchnote dozens of talks, do a professional speaking engagement, and reach out to lots and lots of people. I hadn’t done as much deliberate practice in lettering and typography as I thought I would, but I’ve made up for it in sheer volume and an improved digital workflow. I sketchnoted the Lean Startup Day simulcast hosted by MaRS Discovery District – my first proper conference gig, hooray! That worked out really well. It was a good two months. An excellent two months.

Now it’s December and I’m taking another month-long break from consulting so that I can focus on exploring other ideas. What might December look like? I want December to be a time to:

  • celebrate and share the things I’ve learned in the past year
  • lay the groundwork for more awesomeness in 2013
  • reach out to people and help them out

Post index for the past two months, newest on top

Sketchnotes:

  1. Sketchnotes: The 5 Key Elements of a Better B2B Content Marketing Strategy–Nolin LeChasseur
  2. Awesome Foundation Toronto pitch night: Kensington Mesh Network, Women and Tech, Lovecraft TO, 360 Screenings
  3. Sketchnotes from #ENT101: Business Model Canvas–Mark Zimmerman
  4. Made my largest sketchnote ever! Painting the MaRS Lean Startup Day banner
  5. Sketchnotes: Venus Ventures Town Hall
  6. Sketchnotes from #ENT101: IP Management – Creating Value by Protecting Knowledge-based Assets – Nathaniel Lipkus, Matthew Powell, Ashlee Froese
  7. Capturing my sketchnotes with Camtasia Studio Pro; organizing the digital workflow
  8. Sketchnotes: Girl Geeks Toronto: Vexed in the City
  9. Sketchnotes from #torontob2b: Dragging an Organization into the Digital Age; 7 Steps to Social Media Success
  10. MaRS ENT101: Meet the Entrepreneurs: Life Sciences & Healthcare – Peter Adams, Joel Ironstone, Trevor Van Mierlo, Alex Hodgson
  11. Sketchnotes: ENT101: Value Proposition–Joe Wilson
  12. Sketchnotes: #INNOTalkTO Innovatively Speaking – Joanna Track, Justin Raymond, David Nam, Brenda Rideout
  13. Discovering the MaRS #startupbookclubTO: The $100 Startup
  14. Sketchnotes from WordCamp Developers Toronto 2012 Day 2 #wcto
  15. Coming up with a three-word life philosophy
  16. Sketchnotes: WordCamp Developers Toronto 2012 Day 1 (#wcto)
  17. Sketchnotes: SOHO SME Expo 2012
  18. Sketchnotes: Startup Communities and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
  19. Sketchnotes: TEDxToronto 2012
  20. #SMref panel: Changing Nature of Influence–Moderator: Terry Foster–Panel: Matt Juniper, Patrick Thoburn, Ron Nurwisah, Eric Alper
  21. Sketchnotes: AndroidTO–The Business of Mobile
  22. Sketchnotes: #ENT101 Entrepreneurial Management–Jon E. Worren
  23. Sketchnotes: Different Types of Entrepreneurship, Kerri Golden, Allyson Hewitt (MaRS ENT101)
  24. Sketchnotes: Small Business Forum – Enterprise Toronto
  25. Sketchnotes: Quantified Self Conference 2012
  26. ENT101: Startup Law 101: Legal Launchpad (Arshia Tabrizi)
  27. Cameron Lewis at the Toronto Small Business Network meetup
  28. Sketchnotes: #torontob2b: Free trials, cold-calling, brainstorming
  29. Sketchnotes: ENT101: Lived It Lecture – Bruce Poon Tip (G Adventures) on Social Enterprise

Delegation

Business

Quantified Self

Life

Reviews

Monthly review: September 2012

Last month, I wrote:

In September, I’m looking forward to spending time with
my parents, sister, and brother-in-law; sharing lots of sketchnotes
from the Quantified Self Conference; putting together an annual
review; and learning more about mobile development.

It was such a busy month thanks to the trip. I haven’t even gotten around to doing that annual review or organizing the pictures from the trip. I’m already halfway through October!

What will October look like? I took a month-long break from consulting in September, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and helping my clients get ready for the next major milestones. There are quite a few events in October, so I’ll be getting lots of sketchnoting practice. In terms of skill-building, I want to focus on lettering and typography. I’d like to ramp up my delegation so that I can get more things done, too. I’m also looking forward to gathering the papers for my first business tax return and HST return, wow. =)

Blog index

Sketchnotes:

Quantified:

Travel:

Misc:

Reviews:

Monthly review: August 2012

Last month, I wrote:

I’ll be celebrating my 29th birthday this August. I’m looking forward
to getting together with friends, writing and illustrating my yearly
review, preparing for the conference in September, and winding down my
consulting engagement.

August was definitely a month for life tweaks. I’ve been getting used to the Asus Infinity TF700 tablet, and I’m starting to get the hang of drawing on it. I moved to a new phone and a new mobile provider – the Samsung Galaxy S3 on WIND Mobile – so now I’m all kitted out in terms of connectivity. Android development is fun and interesting, and I’m looking forward to digging deeper over the next year or so. W- and I painted our new shed, and now there’s plenty of space for our bicycles and other stuff.

We’ve been enjoying plenty of watermelons and other fresh fruits. I hosted a small get-together to celebrate my birthday, and instead of baking, I just cut up lots and lots of fruit to share. That was fun.

Many of my friends are looking for their next job opportunity, so I’ve been spending more time with them and thinking about ways to help out. As for me, consulting was great. I picked up an exciting new skill: animating my sketches. Now I’m taking a short break so that I can spend time with my family and participate in a conference in the Bay Area. I’ll be consulting for two days a week in October and November, and then I’m going to commit to figuring out other non-consulting business models. Onward!

In September, I’m looking forward to spending time with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law; sharing lots of sketchnotes from the Quantified Self Conference; putting together an annual review; and learning more about mobile development.

Getting the hang of my new devices

Life

Reviews

Business

Sketchnotes

Monthly review: July 2012

Last month, I wrote:

In July, I’d like to deliver a talk, sketchnote three more events,
learn more about EPUBs, and put together a small graphical ad for my
book. I’m also looking forward to learning more about accounting.
Whee!

… and I did! I gave a well-received talk on Quantified Self at the Toronto Girl Geeks meetup. I took sketchnotes of four events. I experimented with converting my e-book into EPUB and MOBI, and I released it for sale in the Amazon Kindle store. I’ve also been learning more about Quickbooks, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Summer is definitely in full swing. Aside from a few non-biking days because of weather or flat tires, I’ve been pedaling to work and around town. The garden is growing well, too; neat clusters of cherry tomatoes, bulging cucumbers dangling from the vines, and a profusion of basil that’s just waiting to be turned into pesto.

After a ton of consideration, I bought an Android tablet and have started integrating it into my life. It opens up a few interesting possibilities that I’d like to explore. With the new cellphone and data plan I’d bought in early August, I’ve got plenty of incentives to learn more about mobile development.

I’ll be celebrating my 29th birthday this August. I’m looking forward to getting together with friends, writing and illustrating my yearly review, preparing for the conference in September, and winding down my consulting engagement.

Business notes

Quantified Self

Sketchnotes

Family life

Tablet

Emacs

Reviews

Monthly review: June 2012

Business: What a month for business and learning! I took my first foray into the wonderful world of e-publishing, compiling my favourite posts from the last ten years into a PDF called “Stories from My Twenties”. And people voted with their dollars! Wow. I have to explore this further. Along the way, I discovered that I enjoy writing, editing, and formatting e-books. I’m looking forward to learning even more as I work on an EPUB version, and perhaps even learn how to build an index and other useful tools for reading.

I started up my delegation experiments again, and I’ve been having lots of success with data entry and accounting. I’m looking forward to working with a developer, too. Expanding my capabilities!

Drawing: I haven’t been drawing nearly as much, but I did make it out to three meetups at which I took sketchnotes. I like sketching meetups. I learn, connect with people, and help other people learn. I don’t have to worry as much about copyright issues compared to, say, summarizing a book. I did pick up Camtasia Studio 8, though, so I might use that to start experimenting with sketchcasts.

Plans for next month: In July, I’d like to deliver a talk, sketchnote three more events, learn more about EPUBs, and put together a small graphical ad for my book. I’m also looking forward to learning more about accounting. Whee!

Business:

Quantified:

Emacs:

Sketchnotes:

Miscellaneous:

Reviews: