Category Archives: monthly

On this page:
  • Monthly review: May 2012
  • Monthly review: April 2012
  • Monthly review: March 2012
  • Monthly review: November 2011
  • Monthly review: October 2011
  • Monthly review: September 2011

Monthly review: May 2012

Business: I’ve been in business for a quarter. By golly. This business thing is pretty cool. I rather enjoy doing contracts and cash flow projections – and the actual work, of course. I ended up focusing on client work for 179.4 hours, including the occasional Friday, because I wanted to help a friend. So May was less discretionary than I expected, but I plan to refocus in June and July. I want to make sure I’m learning how to think like a business owner, not just as a contractor or consultant.

Drawing: Looking back, it doesn’t feel like I did a lot of drawing, but I posted quite a few. I think it’s because I’ve been drawing based on presentations and events instead of sitting down and drawing things on my own time. I synchronized the images with my phone, though, and I had a virtual assistant type in all the text from my sketchnotes. I haven’t worked on book reviews at all, though!

Life: A full month of biking to work, too. Hooray! The weather has been mostly cooperative, although I’ve been caught out in the rain a few times. I like the bike ride. It gives me a little space to think.

Tracking: I analyzed our yield from Cooper’s Farm and started tracking grocery receipts. Looks like we have a long way to go in terms of getting more vegetables into our routines.

So far, so awesome!

May 2012 in blog posts:


Lots of planning:

Lots of Emacs stuff:

Enjoying life:

Started delegating again:

Some analysis:

I went to lots of events. You can tell from my sketchnotes:

Some more drawing and thinking about drawing. I scanned and reviewed my old notebooks, too!

Monthly review: April 2012

Business: April was my second full month as an independent business owner. It’s awesome having a flexible schedule, especially as the weather warms up. Instead of laying the groundwork for another consulting engagement or other active income gig for September, I’ve been focusing on developing skills and content instead – writing, drawing, things like that. I think that will work out better for me with our plans for this year. In May, I look forward to doing consulting 3-4 days a week and using the other days to improve my system and learn more about drawing.

Drawing: I’ve been working on more visual metaphors and book reviews, and general drawing practice as well. Tracing pictures is easy, and it’s pretty fun too. In May, I’m looking forward to drawing more book reviews and meetup notes, and testing if I can review the images easily on my phone.

Life: Warmer weather is biking weather, hooray! I biked to work throughout April, except for two rainy days. I look forward to biking almost all the time in May as well. I enjoy the bike ride downtown, and it’s good exercise.

Time reviews: Did lots of things, yay!

Tracking focus: In May, I want to analyze the season’s output for the Cooper’s Farm community supported agriculture program. I also want to start tracking grocery receipts at the line-item level, which I might do with Lemon or with a virtual assistant. I’m curious about whether we can shift towards buying more vegetables this season.

Monthly review: March 2012

By golly, I’ve been remiss with monthly reviews. None since November – can that be right? Back to writing these!

March was my first full month as a business owner. Consulting is solid and good. I’ve also started doing illustration.

I like this. There are tons of things to learn, and it’s good.

I’m already most of the ways through April. I plan to bike to work all throughout the month, if I can help it. So far, so good! I want to spend April experimenting with more ideas. I like drawing, and I’m getting the hang of the tools I’ve added to my kit.




Weekly reviews:

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:



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!