Category Archives: monthly

Want to subscribe to just monthly updates instead of the whole blog? You can get it by e-mail or add to your feed reader. (I use Feedly.) Each post will include categorized links to the previous month’s blog posts, so you won’t miss anything!

Monthly review: January 2009

What an wonderful start to 2009!

Despite the economic challenges, there have been many small things to be happy about. I started the year with two things I wanted to learn more about: organizing events and thinking visually.

Well, you get what you ask for! <laugh>

Event organizing:

I hosted the first Web 2.0 for Business community call with Amy Shuen as our external speaker. She spoke about the ROI for Web 2.0 at work, and people really enjoyed the interactive discussion. I wish I’d figured out how to record it on the teleconference before the call, instead of after! Next time, I’ll get that all sorted out.

I’ve also volunteered to help out with some real-life events. I’m organizing LifeCampTO tomorrow. It’s an interesting experiment because people shared what they’re looking for and what they can help with beforehand, and this allows everyone to do that kind of face-to-face facilitation I did at the Greater IBM Connection party. It’ll also be an interesting experiment in using the sound and video system at a venue. Fortunately, the Linux Caffe folks are nice people, and the people who’ve signed up for the event can help me figure all of this out too. =)

And then there’s DrupalCampTO, too. That’s going to teach me about asking people for money. =) And figuring out swag that makes people smile and helps people connect while not being a waste of the planet’s resources. =)

As for visual thinking:

I started playing with numbers in calculating my personal ROI on shared talks, and then I played with drawing it. I also played with jazzing up an otherwise bullet-y presentation. That was fun.

Other highlights:

  • Quinn visited, yay!
  • Had a great Skype party with my family and friends in the Philippines. We had so much fun laughing and sharing YouTube videos!
  • Lots of good stuff happened at work, even though it was mixed with many of my friends and role models scrambling for opportunities.
  • Baked awesomes
  • LEGO laughter

Next month:

  • Whole bunch of talks and lectures =)
  • Getting into lots more Drupal development
  • Fixing up that conference site
  • Maybe making more baked awesomes?
  • and learning a whole bunch more about events, and visual thinking, and connecting, and wonderful things

Monthly review: February 2009

The key thing I learned in February 2009 is that delegation is something I can learn and something I can benefit from. I hired a number of virtual assistants through oDesk, including a couple of computer teachers and an assistant who’s my age. In the process of delegating tasks, I learned more about the processes I use and how to make them better. I look forward to continuing to explore this.

Related posts:

I also spent some time thinking about presentations. I gave a lecture on Enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management at the Schulich School of Business:

and I spent some time thinking about the use of a backchannel, what could help me become a better presenter, and how to get better at meetings.

I learned a little bit about events, too: Lessons from LifeCamp and plans for the next one. I also volunteered to help organize DrupalCampToronto.

At work, I developed custom code for the Drupal-based Transition2 system, improving its content management and community features.

In March, I plan to:

  • Sort out my paperwork
  • Finish this phase of Transition2
  • Further integrate virtual assistance into my processes

Monthly review: March 2009

<stretch> What a great month! I learned so much. =)

From last month:

  • Sort out my paperwork: Almost there. I just need an updated reference letter from my manager. Hooray!
  • Finish this phase of Transition2: About to release today!
  • Further integrate virtual assistance into my processes: See below!

We’ve made a lot of progress at work on a new release of our website, which will be deployed today. Along the way, I learned a lot about Drupal, and I shared our lessons learned at DrupalCon 2009 in DC.

I shared some tips and thoughts on public speaking and virtual conferences, which are becoming more popular at work:

Other geeky things: I shared my library reminder script. Gabriel Mansour’s ported it to Ruby, which is probably much more readable. I learned how to make directed graphs with Graphviz, too.

I also started delegating lots of tasks to virtual assistants, and that’s been interesting too. Here are some of my thoughts:

and I’ve documented some of my processes:

I’ve also shared two of the posts I asked my virtual assistants to put together for me:

(… and my blog has the #1 spot for the search “managing virtual assistants” on Google! Nifty.)

These experiments in delegation have prompted me to think about my own goals and see what else I can ask people to work on.

I’ve also been able to turn that energy to other people’s goals. I brainstormed ways I could help my parents’ business, even over a distance. I helped my parents learn more about ebooks and market research on the Net. I also created a Google Adwords campaign for my parents’ company. I like how I can do split testing on the ads, and Google will optimize the delivery over time. So far, 20 people have clicked through.

Thanks to the wake-up calls and to some schedule shuffling, I’ve been waking up early to write. It’s a great time to share what I’m thinking about or what I’m learning about life.

I finally got the next LifeCampTO sorted out: LifeCampTO: April 5 (Sun), 10:30am – 1:00pm, LinuxCaffe, too!

Weekly reviews:

Week ending March 29, 2009
Week ending March 22, 2009
Week ending March 15, 2009
Week ending March 8, 2009

March had Ada Lovelace Day and Pi Day. =) Whee!

Plans for April 2009

  • Virtual conferences and public speaking: I will put together two webinars and at least four blog posts about tips for public speaking, particularly for remote presentations. I think that would help make a difference at work.
  • Bicycling: I will get more comfortable on my new bicycle so that I can easily run errands or ride my bike for fitness and enjoyment.
  • Delegation: I will delegate more tasks and develop more processes.

Monthly review: April 2009

Better late than never! =) Here’s what April 2009 was all about:

I thought about my typical day’s happiness, what makes me happy at work, what makes me happy in general, and happiness as a martial art.

Software development
I’ve been getting better at writing design documents. Our staging and deployment practices (particularly with my Drupal Makefile) are pretty good, too! Learned a lot from the previous phase of our Drupal project…

Virtual assistance
I found myself talking to more and more people about virtual assistance, so I wrote some tips for getting started with virtual assistance. Turns out transcription is awesome. Imagining more possibilities for talk management and talk information too! I shared some tips on building a team.

I had a great conversation with Isaac Ezer and Andrew Louis. I wrote a quarterly review and weekly reports (April 5 April 12 April 18 April 24). I drew a map of my financial network and thought about making ridiculous amounts of money. I enjoyed riding on my bicycle, working on wool skirts and learning piano pieces

From last month’s plans:

  • Virtual conferences and public speaking: I will put together two webinars and at least four blog posts about tips for public speaking, particularly for remote presentations. I think that would help make a difference at work. Hadn’t worked on this, although I did put together a few abstracts.
  • Bicycling: I will get more comfortable on my new bicycle so that I can easily run errands or ride my bike for fitness and enjoyment. DONE!
  • Delegation: I will delegate more tasks and develop more processes. DONE!

Plans for May:

  • More Transition2 work
  • Get ready for another presentation crunch
  • Finally have that get-together Done!

Monthly highlights: December 2009

The best surprise of December was the response I got to my post on What can I help you learn? Looking for mentees. I’m looking forward to developing the relationships I started from there, and to meeting many more people in the future.

Limiting my blog to mostly one post a day turned out to be a great idea. Prioritizing my post queue was fun and interesting. Here were my favourite posts for the month.

Year-end is a good time for reviews and plans, and I posted a few thoughts:

More reflections on what I do and why:

On perspectives:


Geek stuff:

In January 2010, I’m looking forward to:

  • Reconnecting with friends in the Philippines (Hi! Catch me before January 16)
  • Completing my permanent residency application and bringing my cat over
  • Braindumping as much as I can at work and in life