Category Archives: monthly

On this page:
  • Monthly review: July 2012
  • Monthly review: June 2012
  • Monthly review: May 2012
  • Monthly review: April 2012
  • Monthly review: March 2012
  • Monthly review: November 2011

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.

… 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


Family life




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!







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.