Category Archives: monthly

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On this page:
  • Monthly review: March 2013
  • Monthly review: February 2013
  • Monthly review: January 2013
  • Monthly review: December 2012
  • Monthly reviews: October and November 2012
  • Monthly review: September 2012

Monthly review: March 2013

Last month, I wrote:

March: Some graphic recording, a keynote for the Emacs conference on March 30, and more writing and drawing and thinking. More biking too, I hope. And more planning and experimenting…

It was an amazing month! Lots of Emacs and Quantified Self hacking (and finally getting to meet all these Emacs geeks!), lots of drawing, lots of writing, lots of learning… =D

April will be more about slowing down and following up, I think. But this is good.

Monthly review: February 2013

Last month, I wrote:

In February, I’d like to do a lot more coding and a lot more drawing.
We’ll see how it works out!

As it turned out, I did very little coding (aside from consulting), a decent amount of drawing, and a whole lot of writing. Which is good, because writing makes me happy too.

I’ve signed up for Hacklab, a coworking space in downtown Toronto. It still takes me some convincing to get myself out of the house, onto the subway/streetcar, and to Hacklab, but it’s nice hanging out with other geeks. It will be even better when I work up the courage to go biking again, I think. Many people have been biking recently. I have bike envy.

Lots of review and looking ahead now that I’ve reached the 1-year mark of my experiment. There’s something worth digging into here. Things aren’t quite lined up right, and it’s good to have the space to explore it.

Haven’t been to krav maga in a while. The classes are a bit intense. I might join W- for the yoga classes instead.

March: Some graphic recording, a keynote for the Emacs conference on March 30, and more writing and drawing and thinking. More biking too, I hope. And more planning and experimenting…

Monthly review: January 2013

Last month, I wrote:

What could January look like? I’d like to:

  • create lots of value for my consulting clients
  • start the marketing and sales process going for upcoming events – hope I’m not too late for the events in March!
  • delegate more: add a new person to my virtual team
  • maintain my twice-weekly fitness/self-defence class schedule

I hit the ground running with a couple of much-appreciated tweaks and tools for my consulting clients.

I’ve decided to scale back a little on selling sketchnoting services for conferences because I’m also curious about developing other business models. Still, it’s great to have a few events lined up! I’d like to practise graphic recording, and am looking forward to ordering some equipment.

Patricia has been a great addition to my virtual team. I should send them more work. I’ve been a little remiss.

Fitness class has been less regular as of late, but at least I keep going even though I sometimes get really anxious.

In February, I’d like to do a lot more coding and a lot more drawing. We’ll see how it works out!

Monthly review: December 2012

Last monthly review, I wrote:

What might December look like? I want December to be a time to:

  • celebrate and share the things I’ve learned in the past year
  • lay the groundwork for more awesomeness in 2013
  • reach out to people and help them out

To help my consulting clients prepare for the transition and also to help me ease into other kinds of businesses, I’d arranged to take all of December off from my consulting engagement much like I’d taken September off. During my regular consulting months, I kept 1-2 days a week free to nudge these other businesses along, but I wanted to experiment with full-time focus on building other businesses such as this conference sketchnoting idea. I’d still be available by bat signal in case they needed urgent help or questions answered, and I promised to check in every so often.

You’d figure that having three extra days to work on my business combined with the typical holiday slow-down would leave me with empty space to fill. I got tons more done than I expected. I sketchnoted the Lean Startup Day conference livestream hosted at MaRS (professionally!), to much delight and retweeting. I came up with a company name, designed my own logo, registered the domain and created a website, and worked on my marketing and sales plans. There’s something about focus, steady progress, and momentum. Despite the holiday closure of many of the events I regularly go to, I sketched a lot anyway.

W- took some time off work during the holidays. He usually works really hard, so I decided not to waste the opportunity. I blocked off time around my existing appointments and asked my assistant to postpone other arrangements until after the holidays. We spent our time trying new recipes, organizing the house, building a habit of exercise, and getting ready for the next year. I’ve been going to krav maga self-defence and fitness classes once a week for more than a month now, and I’m ratcheting it up to twice a week.

One of the other things I experimented with in terms of time was to use my mornings for coding and a little writing. It felt great to sit down and tweak my Emacs configuration for extra productivity, add small improvements to my Quantified Awesome, or tinker around with WordPress on my websites and blogs. I saved the afternoon for meetings, planning, and drawing. I’ll be back to a 3-day consulting schedule in January and February, so I’ll need to see if I can find the same balance on Mondays and Fridays or whether business-related work will take up all my brainspace. If so, then I’ll know that from March onwards, I should focus on building a flexible business instead of taking on full-time contracts that may distract me from what I want to learn and do.

What could January look like? I’d like to:

  • create lots of value for my consulting clients
  • start the marketing and sales process going for upcoming events – hope I’m not too late for the events in March!
  • delegate more: add a new person to my virtual team
  • maintain my twice-weekly fitness/self-defence class schedule

Post index for the past two months, newest on top

Monthly reviews: October and November 2012

In September, I wrote:

What will October look like? I took a month-long break from consulting in September, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and helping my clients get ready for the next major milestones. There are quite a few events in October, so I’ll be getting lots of sketchnoting practice. In terms of skill-building, I want to focus on lettering and typography. I’d like to ramp up my delegation so that I can get more things done, too. I’m also looking forward to gathering the papers for my first business tax return and HST return, wow. =)

October and November flew by in a blur. Conference season + consulting = chaos! While helping clients prepare for a big launch and analyze more metrics, I also took the time to sketchnote dozens of talks, do a professional speaking engagement, and reach out to lots and lots of people. I hadn’t done as much deliberate practice in lettering and typography as I thought I would, but I’ve made up for it in sheer volume and an improved digital workflow. I sketchnoted the Lean Startup Day simulcast hosted by MaRS Discovery District – my first proper conference gig, hooray! That worked out really well. It was a good two months. An excellent two months.

Now it’s December and I’m taking another month-long break from consulting so that I can focus on exploring other ideas. What might December look like? I want December to be a time to:

  • celebrate and share the things I’ve learned in the past year
  • lay the groundwork for more awesomeness in 2013
  • reach out to people and help them out

Post index for the past two months, newest on top

Sketchnotes:

  1. Sketchnotes: The 5 Key Elements of a Better B2B Content Marketing Strategy–Nolin LeChasseur
  2. Awesome Foundation Toronto pitch night: Kensington Mesh Network, Women and Tech, Lovecraft TO, 360 Screenings
  3. Sketchnotes from #ENT101: Business Model Canvas–Mark Zimmerman
  4. Made my largest sketchnote ever! Painting the MaRS Lean Startup Day banner
  5. Sketchnotes: Venus Ventures Town Hall
  6. Sketchnotes from #ENT101: IP Management – Creating Value by Protecting Knowledge-based Assets – Nathaniel Lipkus, Matthew Powell, Ashlee Froese
  7. Capturing my sketchnotes with Camtasia Studio Pro; organizing the digital workflow
  8. Sketchnotes: Girl Geeks Toronto: Vexed in the City
  9. Sketchnotes from #torontob2b: Dragging an Organization into the Digital Age; 7 Steps to Social Media Success
  10. MaRS ENT101: Meet the Entrepreneurs: Life Sciences & Healthcare – Peter Adams, Joel Ironstone, Trevor Van Mierlo, Alex Hodgson
  11. Sketchnotes: ENT101: Value Proposition–Joe Wilson
  12. Sketchnotes: #INNOTalkTO Innovatively Speaking – Joanna Track, Justin Raymond, David Nam, Brenda Rideout
  13. Discovering the MaRS #startupbookclubTO: The $100 Startup
  14. Sketchnotes from WordCamp Developers Toronto 2012 Day 2 #wcto
  15. Coming up with a three-word life philosophy
  16. Sketchnotes: WordCamp Developers Toronto 2012 Day 1 (#wcto)
  17. Sketchnotes: SOHO SME Expo 2012
  18. Sketchnotes: Startup Communities and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
  19. Sketchnotes: TEDxToronto 2012
  20. #SMref panel: Changing Nature of Influence–Moderator: Terry Foster–Panel: Matt Juniper, Patrick Thoburn, Ron Nurwisah, Eric Alper
  21. Sketchnotes: AndroidTO–The Business of Mobile
  22. Sketchnotes: #ENT101 Entrepreneurial Management–Jon E. Worren
  23. Sketchnotes: Different Types of Entrepreneurship, Kerri Golden, Allyson Hewitt (MaRS ENT101)
  24. Sketchnotes: Small Business Forum – Enterprise Toronto
  25. Sketchnotes: Quantified Self Conference 2012
  26. ENT101: Startup Law 101: Legal Launchpad (Arshia Tabrizi)
  27. Cameron Lewis at the Toronto Small Business Network meetup
  28. Sketchnotes: #torontob2b: Free trials, cold-calling, brainstorming
  29. Sketchnotes: ENT101: Lived It Lecture – Bruce Poon Tip (G Adventures) on Social Enterprise

Delegation

Business

Quantified Self

Life

Reviews

Monthly review: September 2012

Last month, I wrote:

In September, I’m looking forward to spending time with
my parents, sister, and brother-in-law; sharing lots of sketchnotes
from the Quantified Self Conference; putting together an annual
review; and learning more about mobile development.

It was such a busy month thanks to the trip. I haven’t even gotten around to doing that annual review or organizing the pictures from the trip. I’m already halfway through October!

What will October look like? I took a month-long break from consulting in September, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and helping my clients get ready for the next major milestones. There are quite a few events in October, so I’ll be getting lots of sketchnoting practice. In terms of skill-building, I want to focus on lettering and typography. I’d like to ramp up my delegation so that I can get more things done, too. I’m also looking forward to gathering the papers for my first business tax return and HST return, wow. =)

Blog index

Sketchnotes:

Quantified:

Travel:

Misc:

Reviews: