Category Archives: monthly

Want to subscribe to just monthly updates instead of the whole blog? You can get it by e-mail or add feeds.sachachua.com/sachac-monthly to your feed reader. (I use Feedly.) Each post will include categorized links to the previous month’s blog posts, so you won’t miss anything!

On this page:

Monthly review: November 2011

Halfway through December, I know, but things got busy with two launches and home improvements. =)

From my plans for November:

… I’m going to focus on having a place for everything and everything
in its place. I’m experimenting with the stuff-tracking I’ve added to
my personal dashboard. Looking forward to sharing screenshots and
experiences, and maybe even opening it up so that other people can
track their things too. I’d like to see if I can complete a month of
tracking stuff, and what I find myself needing to add to it. Let’s see
how that works out!

I built a simple stuff tracker, and it’s up there now. My stuff use has stabilized – all the locations for my frequently-moved things are in the system, and contexts make it easy enough to update. I don’t update it as often as I could, probably because the web pages are somewhat slow to load and use on my laptop. Better mobile stylesheets or a native Android app can take care of that. I’ve used it to take notes on things I’m likely to forget, and I hope that will pay off.

I’ve misplaced my keys twice after months of not losing them, though. That was more about inattentiveness than forgetting where they are.

My December experiment will be tracking my time using Tap Log Records instead of Time Recording, and gathering ideas for building my own app. I want to see if switching tools will make it easier for me to capture other data in addition to activity, such as mood and ideas, and where the rough parts are so that I can smooth them over.

Monthly review: October 2011

October was an excellent month. My work laptop upgrade meant that I could bring just one laptop to work instead of two. I’ve added lots of things to my Quantified Awesome personal dashboard. J- has caught up at school, and is doing well. We’re looking into how to make the house more energy-efficient. I’m learning more about cooking, and have picked up some new recipes. Life is good.

From my plans from September: I added library functionality to my dashboard, tracking the currently-checked out items as well as some statistics on the books I’ve read (retail price, number of pages, and so on). I think I’ll postpone the blog review to December or August.

In November, I’m going to focus on having a place for everything and everything in its place. I’m experimenting with the stuff-tracking I’ve added to my personal dashboard. Looking forward to sharing screenshots and experiences, and maybe even opening it up so that other people can track their things too. I’d like to see if I can complete a month of tracking stuff, and what I find myself needing to add to it. Let’s see how that works out!

Blog posts this month:

Quantified Awesome:

Work:

Tips:

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!

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 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: 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