Category Archives: monthly

On this page:
  • Monthly review: October 2013
  • Monthly review: September 2013
  • Monthly review: August 2013
  • Monthly review: July 2013
  • Monthly review: June 2013
  • Monthly review: May 2013

Monthly review: October 2013

Last month, I wrote:

In October, I’ll focus on consulting. In my discretionary time, I’ll focus on lots of drawing and thinking. I want to build that habit of daily visual thinking, and then I’ll use that to learn even more.

And boy, did I ever! I put together a PDF of 105 thoughts from October 2013 that compiled my notes from thinking through different things, and you can see a list (including some small sketches I didn’t include in the PDF) after the blog posts below. Not only did this give me plenty of practice in visual thinking, it also helped me focus and accomplish a lot. I hammered out a pretty decent drawing workflow that made the most of my new gear. I learned a lot about learning. I tidied up. I set up better backups and did some system administration chores I’d been procrastinating. Good stuff indeed.

November is going to be busy but good. I’ve got two projects going on at work, including some animation and voice recording. (That’ll be interesting to sort out with the cats and the heater…) I need to sort out possible tooth surgery for one of our cats and take care of other pet-related matters. We’re working on decluttering and organizing the house. Lots of things going on, and I want to continue doing my daily-ish drawing habit too. Let’s see how it works out!

Blog posts

Tons of sketches! You can browse through them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sachac/tags/2013-10 or check them out using this list:

Drawings

  1. 2013.10.04 Drawing and scanning morning pages
  2. 2013.10.04 Imagining the future(s)
  3. 2013.10.04 Legend of Heroes – Trails in the Sky
  4. 2013.10.04 Low energy versus high energy
  5. 2013.10.04 Weekly review
  6. 2013.10.04 What would be my ideal daily drawing setup
  7. 2013.10.05 Gardening thoughts
  8. 2013.10.05 How can I help people save time
  9. 2013.10.05 Logitech H800
  10. 2013.10.06 Consulting and focus
  11. 2013.10.06 Daily drawing – thinking on paper
  12. 2013.10.06 Possible pasts
  13. 2013.10.06 Weekend cooking
  14. 2013.10.07 Alan Kay
  15. 2013.10.07 Delegation
  16. 2013.10.07 JetPens
  17. 2013.10.07 Kinds of email
  18. 2013.10.07 Reflecting on friendships that work well and ones that need figuring out
  19. 2013.10.07 Sharing circles
  20. 2013.10.07 Sketchnote Media for thinking the unthinkable
  21. 2013.10.07 Where are my people gaps
  22. 2013.10.08 Backburner
  23. 2013.10.08 Hacklab Dinner – four courses, actually!
  24. 2013.10.09 Breaking down my visual vocabulary
  25. 2013.10.09 Cats
  26. 2013.10.09 Daily drawing updates
  27. 2013.10.09 Doodles
  28. 2013.10.09 More thoughts about delegation
  29. 2013.10.09 My passport misadventures
  30. 2013.10.09 Thinking about visual outlining
  31. 2013.10.09 What do I want to learn about learning
  32. 2013.10.10 Doodles medicine
  33. 2013.10.10 Late at night
  34. 2013.10.10 Playing with lettering
  35. 2013.10.10 Relaxing
  36. 2013.10.10 Relaxing
  37. 2013.10.10 Small paper
  38. 2013.10.10 Small paper
  39. 2013.10.11 Adjusting the speed
  40. 2013.10.11 Starting from enough
  41. 2013.10.11 Weekly review
  42. 2013.10.13 Watches
  43. 2013.10.14 Long weekends
  44. 2013.10.14 Long weekends
  45. 2013.10.14 Mapping out learning
  46. 2013.10.14 Mapping what you know
  47. 2013.10.15 Applying computer science to learning
  48. 2013.10.15 Current mapping limits and challenges
  49. 2013.10.15 Reviewing what you’ve learned
  50. 2013.10.18 Gardening notes
  51. 2013.10.18 Indexing
  52. 2013.10.18 Note-taking system
  53. 2013.10.18 Note-taking techniques
  54. 2013.10.18 Weekly review
  55. 2013.10.18 What I want to learn about gardening
  56. 2013.10.19 How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think
  57. 2013.10.20 Cooking notes
  58. 2013.10.21 Fitting multiple thoughts on a page
  59. 2013.10.21 How can I think on paper more effectively
  60. 2013.10.21 When do I pause or stop when thinking about something
  61. 2013.10.22 Different methods for (assisted) learning
  62. 2013.10.22 How can I tap the value I create
  63. 2013.10.22 My new sketching and thinking workflow, and mindmap comparisons
  64. 2013.10.22 Plenty of sleep
  65. 2013.10.22 What can I do to get more value from online courses
  66. 2013.10.22 What do I need to do in terms of system administration
  67. 2013.10.23 Evernote Fujitsu ScanSnap
  68. 2013.10.23 How can I find the right balance of thinking, learning, doing, and reviewing
  69. 2013.10.23 How to Ask Questions the Smart Way (Eric S. Raymond)
  70. 2013.10.23 Sketchnote Bullet Journal (Ryder Carroll)
  71. 2013.10.23 Thinking About Getting Better at Asking Questions
  72. 2013.10.24 Asking myself better questions
  73. 2013.10.24 Current state – backups
  74. 2013.10.24 Google Helpout
  75. 2013.10.24 Mindjet 14 vs Freeplane
  76. 2013.10.24 My processes for reviewing info
  77. 2013.10.24 Personal information architecture
  78. 2013.10.24 Quantified Self Toronto
  79. 2013.10.24 Sharing my mindmap
  80. 2013.10.24 What topics do I want to make progress in daily or weekly
  81. 2013.10.25 How I organize and publish my sketches
  82. 2013.10.25 Weekly review
  83. 2013.10.25 What do I want to do with my business
  84. 2013.10.26 Planning for the trip
  85. 2013.10.27 Time Management for System Administrators – Thomas A
  86. 2013.10.28 Deployment procedures
  87. 2013.10.28 Drawing on paper versus drawing on my computer
  88. 2013.10.28 Mindmapping chat with vitaminsludge
  89. 2013.10.28 My roadmap to becoming a better geek
  90. 2013.10.28 Setting up my development environment VMs
  91. 2013.10.28 Setting up virtual machines with Vagrant
  92. 2013.10.29 Accelerate your learning through visual thinking
  93. 2013.10.29 Bike versus subway
  94. 2013.10.29 Visual Thinkers Toronto
  95. 2013.10.30 Destructive scans – is it worth cutting apart my books
  96. 2013.10.30 How can I make the most of purchases
  97. 2013.10.30 How do I break a large topic down into small questions that I can handle
  98. 2013.10.30 Playing with style – how do I want to explore
  99. 2013.10.30 What kinds of thoughts are interesting or useful for me to explore on paper
  100. 2013.10.30 Why do I prefer bottom-up thinking to top-down thinking
  101. 2013.10.30 Why does note-taking matter to me
  102. 2013.10.30 Why does note-taking matter to me – positive
  103. 2013.10.31 How do I want to tweak four months of tilting the balance towards consulting
  104. 2013.10.31 Imagining an awesome day
  105. 2013.10.31 Possibility – Hire or partner with an extrovert to interview people
  106. 2013.10.31 Reflections on cats
  107. 2013.10.31 Understanding gaps
  108. 2013.10.31 What do I want or need to store on my backup drives
  109. 2013.10.31 What do I want to explore
  110. 2013.10.31 Why do I prefer asynchronous communication, and what can I do about it
  111. 2013.11.01 Weekly review

Monthly review: September 2013

Last month, I wrote:

I’m back to consulting on Tuesdays and Thursdays in September, with
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for my experiment with
semi-retirement. Let’s see if I can keep the momentum!

To accommodate some of the priorities and my clients’ plans, I ended up increasing my consulting to the equivalent of three days a week (two full days and two half-days for best responsiveness). I’ll keep the same pace in October, and then I’ll probably take off for some vacation in December. I don’t mind scaling my personal projects back a little to squeeze in some more consulting over a short period of time – I can see the value of the work I do, and I can still make time to write and draw.

September 30 was my second fiscal year end, so I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to reinvest in my business. Consulting is going well, and I want to get even better at drawing and writing. I bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap and have started using it to support a daily drawing habit, and I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback.

In October, I’ll focus on consulting. In my discretionary time, I’ll focus on lots of drawing and thinking. I want to build that habit of daily visual thinking, and then I’ll use that to learn even more.

Here’s what I wrote about in September:

Monthly review: August 2013

Last month, I wrote:

Anyway, the rest of August will be about planning ahead, and also
squeezing the most out of this wonderful span of discretionary time.

It was great to take a month off to experiment with Proper Retirement. A contiguous block of time is qualitatively different from the same time interrupted by other commitments. I learned a lot about writing and drawing, and I can’t wait to dig into both of those skills more. In particular, outlining made a big difference in how I can structure my notes so that I can flesh them out over time. I made a lot of sketchnote lessons as a way to teach other people (and myself), too.

Also, I turned 30! =) I ended up going into introvert mode all month, which was quite restful, so I didn’t have any parties aside from the Skype party that my friends and my parents threw for me. =) That was awesome.

I’m back to consulting on Tuesdays and Thursdays in September, with Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for my experiment with semi-retirement. Let’s see if I can keep the momentum!

Monthly review: July 2013

Last month, I wrote:

July will be about gearing up for more changes, getting better at
writing blog posts and making videos, and working on more projects
around the house. I like this. =)

No videos, but plenty of blog posts and drawings. Goodness, August is almost done. Anyway, the rest of August will be about planning ahead, and also squeezing the most out of this wonderful span of discretionary time.

Monthly review: June 2013

Last month, I wrote:

June promises to involve a lot of consulting and professional sketchnoting, lots of gardening and biking, and some big personal decisions. Let’s see how it works out!

This summer has been surprisingly cool, which is not a bad thing when biking. I’ve been scaling back consulting and sketchnoting events in favour of coding and working on personal projects, and I like the results. =) This was also the month we worked on the backyard patio, shovelling gravel and laying patio stones – that’s why family time went up quite a bit. New experiences, yay!

I experimented a bit with virtual meetups, too. Seems to be fun! Looking forward to digging into that some more.

July will be about gearing up for more changes, getting better at writing blog posts and making videos, and working on more projects around the house. I like this. =)

Time use

  • Business: 191.6 hours (27%) (~ 44.5 hours per week, good)
    • Build: 83.7 hours – 44% of business
    • Connect: 31.6 hours – 16%
    • Earn: 76.2 hours – 40% (~ 18 hours per week, good)
  • Discretionary: 130.7 hours (18%)
    • Family: 49.6 hours – 38% of discretionary
    • Play: 24.1 hours – 18%
    • Productive: 41 hours – 31%
      • Writing: 23.5 hours
    • Social: 15 hours – 11%
  • Personal: 95.5 hours (13%)
    • Bike: 23.4 hours
  • Sleep: 257.7 hours (36%) – 8.6 hours on average
  • Unpaid work: 44.7 hours (6%)

Blog posts

Monthly review: May 2013

Last month, I wrote:

It’s almost a third of the way through May already! I’m looking
forward to more consulting, sketchnoting, and illustrating. The
weather’s warmed up, so friends are starting to organize more
get-togethers. Then there’s planting the front and back garden,
studying Japanese (my goal for May: 500 lines in my spaced-repetition
deck), and drawing some more… May’s shaping up to be terrific.

Consulting/sketchnoting/illustrating: Lots of this for work, and some personal projects too. The one-page guide I drew for learning Emacs turned out to be a big hit. I want to put together guides like that maybe once a quarter (or even once a month if I get the hang of doing things)… I also compiled my 2012 sketchnotes in a collection, complete with a table of contents. It was fun working on things of my own!

I found an accountant who could review my books and answer my questions, yay! I amended my tax returns again, and I hope this time it’s final.

Friends: Failed on this one – completely forgot about a party that I was invited to because I was caught up in doing house-related stuff instead. I did co-host a couple of meetups, so there’s that.

Garden: The peas are doing wonderfully. The bok choy is starting to bolt (already!), and the tomato plants are still pretty small. The bitter melon plants are hanging in there, and the bell peppers are too. The pansies in the front are doing okay, although we’ve had one casualty. The lavender is growing like crazy. Hooray!

Japanese: I ended up using the pre-made Japanese decks for AnkiDroid instead of making my own, at least in terms of starting out with the vocabulary. I like the way that the listening decks include clear audio recordings. I also loop over audio from some of the anime that I like, and I’m starting to understand more and more of it. Yay!

Coding: I spent some time updating Quantified Awesome to use a newer version of Rails (all these security updates!), and setting up a Vagrant VM for easier coding. I’m looking forward to spending some time working on my technical debt by writing tests and getting the old tests to pass.

June promises to involve a lot of consulting and professional sketchnoting, lots of gardening and biking, and some big personal decisions. Let’s see how it works out!