Category Archives: review

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Monthly review: February 2014

Experiment/plan updates

2014-03-05 experiment outcomes

2014-03-05 experiment outcomes

Experiment update: Focusing on more packaging/publishing this year. Also ramping up experiments with delegation.

2014-03-05 Goals for 31

2014-03-05 Goals for 31

Life as a 31-year-old: Need to work on more exercise. Maybe take my bike out again, despite the snow and ice?

Blog posts

Weekly review: Week ending March 7, 2014

Started working on our taxes. Also visited J-’s school to find out more about course selection and the coop program. Fascinating. =) Fiddling about with LaTeX, too.

Lots of podcasting and presenting next week. Let’s see how this goes!

Blog posts

Sketches

  1. 2014.03.03 How I work with knowledge – seek, sense, share #pkm
  2. 2014.03.04 A path for learning AutoHotkey #path #autohotkey #automation
  3. 2014.03.04 Do I want to accept more work – Under what conditions #experiment
  4. 2014.03.04 Paths for web design #learning #path
  5. 2014.03.05 About me – Sacha Chua #bio
  6. 2014.03.05 How can I make my active plans and experiments more visible #review
  7. 2014.03.05 My paths to learning #my-learning
  8. 2014.03.05 Start, stop, more, less #plans
  9. 2014.03.06 Our frugal life #finance #frugality
  10. 2014.03.07 Maps versus tables of contents #information #organization

Link round-up

  • What is your PKM routine?: I’m always curious about how other people manage what they know.
  • Financial Independence and The Cost of Raising a Family: Actual numbers for the win.
  • Foggy Wednesday (Day 3): I like David Seah’s fogbrain reflections (insights, followup). He does a great job of stepping outside himself and watching what’s going on. How does he do that? Must practice this myself. Coincidentally, I’m learning more about NodeJS and Express myself, so doubleplus good. =)
  • My Completely Unscientific GitHub Survey: It’s good to check your assumptions against reality (and other people’s perceptions). =)
  • Student Notetaking for Recall and Understanding: A Lit Review Review: More research I want to dig into (Robert Williams and Alan Eggert, Kenneth Kiewra, etc.). So maybe there’s a research-backed reason for why I like these not-quite-high-level-gist-not-quite-detail notes and where I am on the sketchnoting spectrum…
  • Learning Problems: Incremental learning versus discontinuous / step-based learning. Also related: Mastery, the plateau, and sticking with it even though you don’t feel any significant progress.
  • Writers write and innovators innovate: “The big gap isn’t between people and firms doing incremental innovations and those doing big disruptive ones. The big gap is between those that aren’t innovating at all in any form, and those that are.” One of the things that encourages me to keep inching forward is the thought that it takes so little action to distinguish yourself from people who never take that first step. It’s depressing (how can so many people be stuck?), but it’s also encouraging (how can I help them get unstuck, and in the meantime, how can I make the most of these small steps?.

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (49.0h – 29%)
    • [ ] Build: Find a user-friendly RSS plugin for WordPress
    • [ ] Change Twitter background
    • [ ] Connect: Talk to Denise Bahs about upcoming session
    • [ ] Connect: Talk to other visual thinkers
    • [ ] Connect: Talk to blogging class
    • [ ] Connect: Talk to Meloney Hall’s group
    • [ ] Connect: Record primer with Jordan
    • [ ] Connect: Record financial independence show
    • [ ] Connect: Hang out with FI community
    • [ ] Delegation: Document process for setting up a public conversation
    • [ ] Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
    • Earn (17.7h – 36% of Business)
      • [X] Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
      • [X] Figure out why MOVs stopped having audio
    • Build (22.2h – 45% of Business)
      • [X] Build: Create visual bio
      • Drawing (3.8h)
      • Delegation (4.7h)
        • [X] Delegation: Add more web research and other basic tasks
      • Packaging (2.3h)
        • [X] Create PDF for Sketchnotes 2013
        • [X] Build – Emacs: Make a guide to Dired
        • [X] Build – Emacs: Prettify baby steps guide to Org Mode
        • [X] Set up LaTeX workflow again
      • Paperwork (4.4h)
        • [X] File payroll return
    • Connect (9.1h – 18% of Business)
      • [X] Connect: Talk to Brian Sharwood about Free Geek
      • [X] Connect: Work on slides for blogging excuses – Denise
      • [X] Have general hangout about learning
  • Relationships (14.8h – 8%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (9.2h – 5%)
    • [X] Call clinic to ask for summary of expenses
    • [X] Call the massage place to ask for a summary of expenses
    • [X] Download claim statements
    • [ ] Deposit USD
    • [ ] Follow up regarding transaction summaries
    • Writing (7.5h)
  • Discretionary – Play (3.9h – 2%)
  • Personal routines (25.9h – 15%)
  • Unpaid work (5.4h – 3%)
  • Sleep (60.3h – 35% – average of 8.6 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending February 28, 2014

It turned out to be course selection time for Grade 11 and 12, so we spent the week discussing options. Intense stuff. J- does well in science, tech, and math courses, so we’re leaning towards those types of courses. I’m setting up various (paid!) work tasks to give her a flavour of the kinds of skills people are looking for, too. If she can pick up computer programming skills through robotics and web development, she’ll probably be well-suited for co-op and university programs.

That took just about all of our brainspace for the past week. I have to catch up on planning, writing, and creating. It was time well spent, though.

Blog posts

Sketches

  1. 2014.02.24 Aha, a plan for the things I want to write #experiment
  2. 2014.02.24 Emacs tips – use Dired to manage files #dired #emacs
  3. 2014.02.24 Reminding myself of freedom #freedom #experiment
  4. 2014.02.24 Yes, but how do you make money #experiment #business
  5. 2014.02.26 Thinking about delegation and projects #delegation
  6. 2014.02.27 Art #goals #drawing
  7. 2014.02.27 Automation #goals #automation
  8. 2014.02.27 Delegation #goals #delegation
  9. 2014.02.27 Design #goals #design
  10. 2014.02.27 Development #goals #coding
  11. 2014.02.27 How can I make it easy to print collections of my sketches #packaging #sharing
  12. 2014.02.27 Learning from people #goals #my-learning
  13. 2014.02.27 Map for getting the hang of Emacs movement #emacs #map #guide
  14. 2014.02.27 Thinking of tasks I can assign to J- to help her build her skills #delegation
  15. 2014.02.27 Writing #goals #writing
  16. 2014.02.28 Are there ways for organizations to help me scale #experiment
  17. 2014.02.28 What outcomes do I care about #experiment

Link round-up

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (55.5h – 33%)
    • Earn (18.4h – 33% of Business)
      • [X] Deposit cheque
      • [X] E1: Apply wall
      • [X] E2: Re-record and re-animate new segments
      • [X] Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
      • [ ] Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
      • [ ] Figure out why MOVs stopped having audio
    • Build (22.5h – 40% of Business)
      • Drawing (7.2h)
      • Delegation (5.3h)
      • Packaging (7.7h)
      • Paperwork (1.2h)
      • [X] Create PDF for Sketchnotes 2013
      • [X] Delegation: Interview more tech applicants
      • [X] File federal annual return
      • [X] Invest time into technical delegation
      • [X] Make darker grid and release SVG
      • [X] Package Sketchnotes 2013 – http://sach.ac/sketchnotes2013
      • [X] Reflect on what difference I want to make in the world
      • [ ] Build – Emacs: Make a guide to Dired
      • [ ] Build – Emacs: Prettify baby steps guide to Org Mode
      • [ ] Delegation: Add more web research and other basic tasks
      • [ ] Delegation: Document process for setting up a public conversation
    • Connect (14.7h – 26% of Business)
      • [X] Connect: Chat with Evan about visual thinking
      • [X] Connect: Check what’s going on with the Quantified Sandbox
      • [X] Connect: Hang out with Matthew and learn more about d3js at HackLab
      • [X] Have general hangout about learning
      • [ ] Connect: Talk to Brian Sharwood about Free Geek
      • [ ] Connect: Work on slides for blogging excuses – Denise
      • [ ] Connect: Talk to Mel about delegation
  • Relationships (3.8h – 2%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (6.3h – 3%)
    • [X] Go for eye exam
    • [X] Reflect on two-year mark for experiment
    • [X] Test org-clock-jump-to-current-clock
    • Writing (4.9h)
  • Discretionary – Play (7.7h – 4%)
  • Personal routines (23.7h – 14%)
  • Unpaid work (12.9h – 7%)
  • Sleep (58.7h – 34% – average of 8.4 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending February 21, 2014

This week, I focused on delegation and design. Lots of updates to my blog design, yay! =) Next week, I want to dig deeper into making useful technical resources, and to making sure my technical assistant has good stuff to work on.

Blog posts

Sketches

  1. 2014.02.19 Actually, I enjoy web design and development #geek #web-design
  2. 2014.02.19 Imagining wild success for this experiment #experiment
  3. 2014.02.19 Teaching people to fish, selling fish, fishing for yourself #experiment #sharing #my-learning #teaching #confederates #community
  4. 2014.02.19 Website goals – #blogging #wordpress #web-design
  5. 2014.02.19 What am I looking for in terms of editing blog posts #editing #writing

Huh. That’s weird. Really? Five sketches? And yet 9.6 hours tracked under “Drawing,” and a generally relaxed week. I wonder what happened there. I think part of it was that I spent more time doing web design this week, and conceptualization got filed under drawing too. 

Link round-up

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (54.4h – 32%)
    • Earn (15.0h – 27% of Business)
      • [X] Deposit cheque
      • [X] Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
      • [ ] E1: Apply wall
      • [ ] E2: Re-record and re-animate new segments
      • [ ] Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
    • Build (33.6h – 61% of Business)
      • Drawing (9.5h)
        • [X] Draw the next step for Emacs-related sketches
        • [ ] Make darker grid and release SVG
      • Delegation (7.4h)
        • [X] Delegation: Delegate some writing-related tasks
        • [X] Delegation: Interview tech applicants
        • [X] Delegation: Interview more tech applicants
        • [ ] Delegation: Document process for setting up a public conversation
        • [ ] Invest time into technical delegation
      • Packaging (0.5h)
      • Paperwork (1.9h)
        • [X] File federal annual return
      • Coding (12.0h)
        • [X] Choose a responsive framework
        • [X] Build – Coding: Add trails to my website
        • [X] Build – Coding: Make sachachua.com more responsive myself
        • [X] Build – Coding: Set up my local dev environment again
      • [X] Experiment with better microphone – clearer-ish audio, more convenient?
      • [X] Make baby-steps guide for Org Mode and TODOs
      • [X] Outline “Baby Steps Guide to Managing Your Tasks with Org Mode”
      • [X] Flesh out “Baby Steps Guide to Managing Your Tasks with Org Mode” a little
      • [X] Move to larger drive – AOMEI restore worked fine
      • [X] Set up a system for backing up my backup drive to the computer downstairs
      • [ ] Build – Emacs: Make a guide to Dired
      • [ ] Build – Emacs: Prettify baby steps guide to Org Mode
    • Connect (5.8h – 10% of Business)
      • [X] Connect: Chat with Evan about visual thinking
      • [X] Connect: Chat with Greg about Emacs
      • [X] Connect: Check what’s going on with the Quantified Sandbox
      • [X] Connect: Hang out with Matthew and learn more about d3js at HackLab
      • [X] Follow up on conversations
      • [ ] Have general hangout about learning
  • Relationships (0.2h – 0%)
    • [X] Work on project with W-
  • Discretionary – Productive (14.7h – 8%)
    • [X] Go for eye exam
    • [X] Reflect on two-year mark for experiment
    • [ ] Deposit USD
    • Writing (7.5h)
  • Discretionary – Play (6.9h – 4%)
  • Personal routines (23.1h – 13%)
  • Unpaid work (6.1h – 3%)
  • Sleep (63.5h – 37% – average of 9.1 per day)

Reflection: Two years into my 5-year experiment

“Monotony collapses time; novelty expands it,” writes Joshua Foer in Moonwalking with Einstein. It feels like more than two years since the start of my 5-year experiment with semi-retirement, which is what I jokingly called this adventure into a self-directed life. So far, amazing. This year, I focused less on consulting and event sketchnoting, and I focused more on creating my own content. More than 500 sketches and three mini-eBooks later, I feel happy about this decision, and I’m curious about where else it can lead.

I’ve also been ramping up my delegation and systematization. Since I’m still doing a bit of consulting here and there, I think that these processes will help me get even better at making and sharing things even if my attention is divided–and that can come in handy later on. Let’s see how it goes.

2014-02-16 Two years into my 5-year experiment #experiment #review

2014-02-16 Two years into my 5-year experiment #experiment #review

I’d done a pre-mortem of possibilities for failure back in 2012, but I don’t think I wrote about the success criteria or vision. (That’s odd!) Somewhat belated, but here it is. This experiment is shaping up to be about whether I’ve got what’s needed for a good self-directed life. I think success for this experiment would be:

  • exploring uncommon questions and ideas
  • having a happy life at home
  • helping lots of people grow
  • having sold plans and a great foundation for next steps
2014-02-16 Goals and success criteria for my 5-year experiment #experiment #success

2014-02-16 Goals and success criteria for my 5-year experiment #experiment #success

So, how was this year different from last year? What might next year be like? What would wild success at the end be like?

2014-02-16 More detailed evaluation of 5-year experiment so far #experiment #review #evaluation

2014-02-16 More detailed evaluation of 5-year experiment so far #experiment #review #evaluation

The first year was about getting the hang of paperwork and consulting. This second year was about coming into my own. Next year will be a good year for growth and resilience, I think. If I can continue on that path, I think it’ll be interesting.

Monthly review: January 2014

January – back in Canada after December’s trip. Lots of reflection on how I want the next few years to go. I’m writing this halfway through February, which is shaping up to be a month of packaging and delegation. Learning lots. =)

Sketches

  1. 2014.01.01 2013 in review
  2. 2014.01.01 Cats
  3. 2014.01.01 How can I simplify life further
  4. 2014.01.01 More thoughts on delegation
  5. 2014.01.01 Routines I put away for the trip and which ones I want to put back
  6. 2014.01.01 Shoes
  7. 2014.01.02 Google Helpouts – 15 minutes or longer
  8. 2014.01.02 Google Helpouts – Imagining an ideal session
  9. 2014.01.02 Making things happen
  10. 2014.01.02 What would it take to make colour part of my workflow
  11. 2014.01.03 Easy ways to track time
  12. 2014.01.03 Exploring colours
  13. 2014.01.03 Learning in spirals
  14. 2014.01.03 Staying on the time-tracking wagon
  15. 2014.01.03 What are my current learning areas
  16. 2014.01.05 Asking myself better questions
  17. 2014.01.05 How can I keep better track of experiments to try
  18. 2014.01.05 How can I learn to bring people together
  19. 2014.01.05 How can we improve our cooking
  20. 2014.01.05 How do I use my time
  21. 2014.01.06 Building a reputation as a speaker
  22. 2014.01.06 Canadian winter tips
  23. 2014.01.06 Extrapolating my futures
  24. 2014.01.06 Learn how you learn
  25. 2014.01.06 Learning how to think in sentences
  26. 2014.01.06 Time-tracking and multi-tasking
  27. 2014.01.06 Tracking time with Org mode
  28. 2014.01.06 Transforming timestamps and dates
  29. 2014.01.06 Why am I happier with selling my time at $5 for 15min vs 200+ per hour
  30. 2014.01.07 Map for learning Org Mode for Emacs
  31. 2014.01.08 Dealing with impostor syndrome
  32. 2014.01.08 Sharing what you’re learning
  33. 2014.01.09 Ambition
  34. 2014.01.09 Blog ideas
  35. 2014.01.09 Building a review habit
  36. 2014.01.09 Organizing my sketches into collections
  37. 2014.01.09 Tips for organizing your Org-mode files
  38. 2014.01.09 What do I find challenging with podcasting
  39. 2014.01.10 Helpers Help Out 05 – Make Your Listing Better
  40. 2014.01.10 Post-production notes – HHO5 Make Your Listing Better
  41. 2014.01.12 Being my own client – part 1 of 4
  42. 2014.01.12 Being my own client part 2 – Projects
  43. 2014.01.12 Being my own client part 3 – Emacs, blog
  44. 2014.01.12 Being my own client part 4 – buying back time
  45. 2014.01.13 Stuff I’ve tracked
  46. 2014.01.13 What kind of a good life do I want
  47. 2014.01.14 Increasing my delta – part 2
  48. 2014.01.14 Reflecting on semi-retirement
  49. 2014.01.14 Ways to increase my delegation-fu
  50. 2014.01.15 General questions for coaches, role models, and mentors
  51. 2014.01.15 Getting started with professional sketchnoting
  52. 2014.01.15 Google Helpouts – Would I consider setting aside more time
  53. 2014.01.15 How I free up time
  54. 2014.01.15 How do I feel about interactive sketchnotes
  55. 2014.01.15 My current strategies for personal and professional growth
  56. 2014.01.15 My why, goals, and vision
  57. 2014.01.15 Paying myself first with time
  58. 2014.01.15 The balance that works for me
  59. 2014.01.15 Thoughts on getting paid vs giving things away
  60. 2014.01.15 What’s my 20 percent – Where are my moments of truth
  61. 2014.01.15 Where I am and where I want to be
  62. 2014.01.17 How can I assign 30 hours of work a week
  63. 2014.01.17 How can I hack podcasting
  64. 2014.01.17 Mapping a strategy for outsourcing podcast work
  65. 2014.01.17 Planning my post-podcast process
  66. 2014.01.17 Thinking about delegation goals
  67. 2014.01.18 Reflecting on the Helpouts experiment so far
  68. 2014.01.20 How could I get more out of my sharing v2
  69. 2014.01.20 If I were a master of delegation
  70. 2014.01.20 What do I want to be more intentional about learning
  71. 2014.01.21 Breadth and depth in reading
  72. 2014.01.21 Understanding more about how I learn and share
  73. 2014.01.22 Mapping what I’m learning – update
  74. 2014.01.22 Quantified Self Toronto – Sugar, Black Box, Photo Metadata, QS Sandbox, Data Theatre
  75. 2014.01.22 Recognizing potential fears
  76. 2014.01.22 Taking a closer look at the impostor syndrome
  77. 2014.01.22 Then what is blogging’s place in my life
  78. 2014.01.22 What do I look for when I read – What are my goals
  79. 2014.01.22 What kinds of books suit me well
  80. 2014.01.22 Work and its place in my life
  81. 2014.01.23 Exploring negative feelings
  82. 2014.01.23 Mapping a path to understanding Stoicism
  83. 2014.01.23 What’s challenging or different about self-directed learning
  84. 2014.01.24 A conversation about writing
  85. 2014.01.24 A path toward improving my writing and sharing
  86. 2014.01.24 A path toward learning from people
  87. 2014.01.24 Being my own editor
  88. 2014.01.24 How can I do work that’s more useful to myself and others
  89. 2014.01.24 Not about swapping one master for another
  90. 2014.01.24 What do I look for in blog posts
  91. 2014.01.24 Which parts of my writing process have I thought a lot about
  92. 2014.01.24 Why are we so attached to deadlines
  93. 2014.01.27 Current curiosities
  94. 2014.01.27 Finding tasks to delegate
  95. 2014.01.27 How can I improve my animation workflow
  96. 2014.01.27 How can I improve my book-reading workflow
  97. 2014.01.27 More thoughts on drawing on paper versus computer
  98. 2014.01.27 Self-directed learning flow
  99. 2014.01.28 Book – Decode and Conquer – Lewis Lin
  100. 2014.01.28 Delegation and helping people build their skills
  101. 2014.01.28 Delegation and helping people learn
  102. 2014.01.28 Helpers Help Out plans
  103. 2014.01.28 Moving past learning
  104. 2014.01.28 Reflective learning
  105. 2014.01.28 Translating my curiosity into actions and experiments TODO
  106. 2014.01.28 Understanding coaching in my life
  107. 2014.01.28 What do I get out of delegation
  108. 2014.01.29 Building people’s capacities
  109. 2014.01.29 Calibrating the right level of reach or obscurity
  110. 2014.01.29 Reflecting on visual book notes
  111. 2014.01.29 Spice combinations
  112. 2014.01.29 Translating what I learn
  113. 2014.01.30 Confederates
  114. 2014.01.30 Inspiring people to learn Emacs
  115. 2014.01.30 On packaging and publishing
  116. 2014.01.30 Publishing – what’s in my way, and how do I get past it
  117. 2014.01.30 Small steps towards publishing
  118. 2014.01.30 Thinking about my path to packaging and publishing
  119. 2014.01.30 Time to upgrade our Internet plan
  120. 2014.01.31 Getting good ideas out of your head – a path to publishing