Category Archives: monthly

Monthly review: January 2011

2011 was off to a great start. Lots of Drupal work, a conference, and a new project lined up. I started an internal project using Drupal 7, which is pretty cool. I got into the rhythm of making bread every week and of baking larger batches of food to share. I made time for some things I’d been procrastinating, and I had fun. I’ve been reading more books that analyze everyday life, and I’ve been having fun using those perspectives to examine my life. Good stuff.

Plans for January:

Work

  • [X] Finish Project M
  • [X] Finish Project S
  • [-] Start new project – Finished the month with Lotusphere, lined up a project for return

Relationships

  • [-] Host get-together – Postponed to February
  • [-] Send delayed holiday cards – Oops!
  • [-] Get into the habit of meeting people – Must work on this

Life

  • [X] Improve my routines: set aside time for drawing, sewing, and making presentations
  • [-] Post goals – Wrote goals, haven’t posted them

Plans for February:

Work

  • [X] Work on new project
  • [X] Put together talks for Deeper Insight, Remote Presentations That Rock, and the ITSC
  • [X] Mentor more people

Relationships

  • [X] Organize get-together
  • [X] Get visa and arrange travel details

Life

  • [X] Write up more reflections

Reviews

Sketches

Reflections

Geek stuff

Life

2011-02-05 Sat 17:44

Monthly review: February 2011

February was an interesting month at work. Lots of presentations, for one – that’s the easy part. Lotusphere was quite an experience, too. I’ve started helping with estimates, scoping projects, preparing paperwork, and learning new platforms. This is the longest I’ve worked at IBM without being heads-down on one or two projects. Instead, I’m juggling the plans for several. My manager isn’t stressed out about this, so I’m not stressing out about it either.

When it rains, it pours. If these proposals go through, they’ll probably sign at roughly the same time. Some of them are flexible and some of them have tighter timelines, so March and April promise to be full of learning experiences. This is great stuff, and exactly what I should be learning. Can’t wait!

From last month’s plans:

Work

  • [X] Work on new project
  • [-] Put together talks for Deeper Insight, Remote Presentations That Rock, and the ITSC: Did the second two, but not the first
  • [X] Mentor more people
  • Participated in Lotusphere
  • Learned how to estimate and scope projects

Relationships

  • [X] Organize get-together
  • [X] Get visa and arrange travel details
  • Learned new recipes

Life

  • [X] Write up more reflections
  • Experimented with Zipcasts, tweetchats, and other ways to share what I know

Plans for March:

Work

  • [ ] Shepherd more projects to signing and work
  • [ ] Learn how to implement web services on Websphere Application Server
  • [ ] Create and deliver more presentations
  • [ ] Finish blog series on blogging

Relationships

  • [ ] Host another get-together
  • [ ] Build a set of people to call once a week
  • [X] Check out Toastmasters again
  • [ ] Practise driving

Life

  • [ ] Refine my plans
  • [ ] Start seedlings

Weekly/monthly reviews:

Communication tips:

Other stories:

Monthly review: March 2011

I found this in my draft folder. Might as well post it!

Plans for March:

Ah, March. Wrapping up the first quarter with several projects on the go and even more proposals underway. I’m starting to get the hang of this. I wish the paperwork was smoother, and that we had more people in IBM with whom I could share Drupal and Rails projects! =)

Warmer weather means it’s time to get the garden going. We still get a bit of snowfall, but the forecast is looking up. Plenty of rain means free watering and no fussing about with hoses that could still freeze.

From last month’s plans

Work

  • [X] Shepherd more projects to signing and work
  • [X] Learn how to implement web services on Websphere Application Server
  • [X] Create and deliver more presentations
  • [X] Finish blog series on blogging

Relationships

  • [X] Host another get-together
  • [-] Build a set of people to call once a week
  • [X] Check out Toastmasters again
  • [X] Practise driving

Life

  • [X] Refine my plans
  • [X] Start seedlings

Plans for next month

Work

  • [ ] Get a good prototype together for project C
  • [ ] Get the paperwork in place for project M
  • [ ] Prepare for training on project I
  • [ ] Help with other work
  • [ ] Assist with “Get Social, Do Business”

Relationships

  • [ ] Put together more study group resources
  • [ ] Practise driving
  • [ ] Prepare for May trip

Life

  • [ ] Start garden
  • [ ] Write and draw a lot
  • [ ] Focus discretionary time on plans and experiments

Monthly reviews: April and May 2011

Time flies! Travel throws me a little off track when it comes to reviewing, but that’s okay – I’m back on the ground and will probably stay home for at least the next little while.

Based on March’s plans:

Work

  • [X] Get a good prototype together for project C
  • [X] Get the paperwork in place for project M
  • [X] Prepare for training on project I
  • [X] Help with other work
  • [X] Assist with “Get Social, Do Business”

Relationships

  • [X] Put together more study group resources
  • [-] Practise driving – eep!
  • [X] Prepare for May trip

Life

  • [X] Start garden
  • [X] Write and draw a lot
  • [X] Focus discretionary time on plans and experiments

Mostly there, except for the driving bit! I may just register for classes again, or set up a training schedule with W- and stick with it. But it’s summer and I’d much rather bike than sit in a car. Excuses, excuses… =)

Here’s what went on in April and May:

April: Started learning Latin. Worked on Ruby on Rails project (yay!). Gave a presentation on training. Helped with math study group sessions. Sewed a dress.

May: Celebrated my sister’s wedding in the Netherlands! Wore the red dress I made. =D Started the garden. Deployed a PHP site and conducted training in Colorado. Started with community-supported agriculture. Shifted to eating lots of salad and vegetables. Lots of learning. Some sewing, too.

My favourite posts:

How do I want June to add to my life?

I’m looking forward to lots of gardening, lots of biking, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Some of my friends are getting married – hooray! Work is ramping up, too. Back on the development track, making useful websites… Yay!

Monthly review: June, July, and August 2011

Oh dear. This is turning into a quarterly thing, which tells me that I need to figure out what I want out of these monthly reviews and how I’m going to distinguish them from my weekly reviews.

In monthly reviews, I want to evaluate my projects and reflect on any trends. It’s not easy to get that kind of perspective weekly, and a year is too long a time to wait. That’s what my monthly reviews should be, I think.

In my May monthly review, I wrote:

I’m looking forward to lots of gardening, lots of biking, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Some of my friends are getting married – hooray! Work is ramping up, too. Back on the development track, making useful websites… Yay!

This summer had much less gardening and biking than I would’ve expected. The flood of vegetables from the community-supported agriculture program meant that I didn’t really feel like growing more. I worked on development projects with global team members, so I stayed home instead of biking into the office. Fortunately, friends’ marriage plans went on exactly as expected. =)

September is all about preparation. We’re preparing for an upcoming trip, work projects, and personal projects. Winter’s coming, too. There’s so much to get ready. If I stop and think about it, I’ll feel overwhelmed, but bite-sized chunks will get me through it. Here we go!

Monthly review: September 2011

As predicted, September was a month of preparation. Work projects winding down and starting up; little things to take care of before our trip to the Philippines; personal projects like my home dashboard… It was a good month, productive but not overwhelming.

October will pass before I know it – and indeed, I’m writing this halfway through. We spent the first half getting ready for or enjoying our trip to the Philippines, where we celebrated my sister’s wedding. The rest of October will involve getting back into the swing of work, focusing on projects – maybe even setting up a new work laptop, if I’m lucky. That will make winter commutes better, because I’ll be able to work with just one laptop and I can leave that one at the office.

Personal projects: My home dashboard is working out quite nicely. Travel provided a great excuse to improve the clothing logs / analysis part. There are lots of little tweaks I can do to make it even smoother, but it’s already quite handy now.

I’d like to add more library functionality this month: showing the number of books that are ready for picking up, tracking the date/time they’re read, and maybe displaying some other statistics: mean time between books? This might make a nifty line graph: number of books going in and out of the house per week.

It would be really nifty to calculate the total volume and/or a bag-packing list, so I know if I can fit everything into two bike bags, if I should bring a backpack, or if I should wait until W- can either accompany me or take the car. (Yes, I have library days like that.) Amazon has product dimensions, so it might not be impossible to build my own tool, although there might be some packing inefficiencies. The next step would probably be to build a tool that automatically deactivates my holds when I get close to full capacity, but that might be way too geeky. Just In Time library checkout management. ;)

Yes, the library is very much worth our taxes and donations.

I’ll save the blog review for November or December, once routines are back to normal. One of the good things about being forgetful is that I learn a lot by going back over old posts. Maybe I can hack an “On This Day” feed into my home dashboard or my iGoogle page, so that I can see slices of days. You can see “On This Day” lists when you view single blog posts on my blog, and they’re interesting slices of life through the years. I also want to review my old blog posts, add more notes, and format them for the Kindle so that I can go through my notes in an easier-to-flip-through format.

Life is great!