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2. Lessons learned from the past week

  • I'm very finicky when it comes to organizing. None of the popular organizing forms quite fit the weekly schedule + TODO list that I want to use. Custom letter-size forms are easy to make. I'm not sure how well I can translate to a smaller size; maybe if I do one week per page and then have the TODO list on the next page...
  • Last week was find-a-group week. I tried Toast IT, Zero Gravity Circus and JCSA. Toast IT was the best in terms of social interaction, self-improvement and networking. That's something that's earned a fixed place on my calendar. I can join the other two groups maybe once a month.
  • I'm pretty good at impromptu speeches and networking, but not really social small talk. I work best when the context is well-established and I feel I have something to offer people. That's why Toast I.T. works very well for me, but social chats like JCSA language exchanges don't really do the trick.
  • Keeping track of my expenses is a breeze with Gnucash, a free and open source program that makes record-keeping fun and easy. I just sent my mom a summary of my credit card transactions and a detailed transaction report for everything involving a credit card. Whee!
  • Working out my finances is scarily fun. I've just finished drawing up yearly and monthly spending plans based on a general guide for international students and my expenses for the past two weeks. I used Calc to recalculate remaining monthly budget automatically as I put in my initial estimates and then adjusted them based on my spending goal. I've decided to allocate more money to groceries and books than I had previously spent, and I've built in a small splurge allowance for little things I want. I'll test that spending plan this month and post additional reflections in September.
  • The calendar I'm using right now really works for me. I should look into making an electronic version of it so that people reading my website can get a better feel of how I like to plan my day. I also need to work on a good contact management system to keep track of all the people I meet (and it turns out that I meet quite a number of new people each week)...

今日ほとんどの子供が持っているビデオゲーム機でさえコンピュータである。 Even videogame machines owned by most children today are computers.

1. Five lessons learned from last week

  • Research groups are good. The lively exchange of ideas will inspire and support me, and besides, group meetings often have food. It's worth postponing my individual interest in personal information management if I can't find other people who are working on the same area.
  • I'm good at networking and relating to people quickly. I'm still a little shy, but I'm starting to be good at remembering names and faces, and people here don't mind helping someone get settled in.
  • A personal organizer makes me feel more on top of things. If I can find a ring-bound paper organizer with the same structure as my current planner, I'll switch to it. I really appreciate having weekly and daily goals, and might prepare my own templates if I can't find an organizer that normally does that.
  • I can write 800 words easily once I get going. I prefer writing in one go instead of filling out an outline because the former feels more like writing e-mail to someone, and I can get pretty long-winded in e-mail.
  • My writing style seems to be matter-of-fact and conversational. Dominique thinks I've found my voice.

近年では、電子コンピュータがますます重要になってきた。 In recent years electronic computers have become increasingly important.

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Page: reflections
Updated: 2005-08-01
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