I got a Polish email adderess wrong, I should have guest that an email address without at least one Z was a mistake.

Pocketcasts sync has become so bad that I think I have to switch podcast app. It keeps going back to a previous point in an episode. Really defeats the point of being able to switch between devices.

One of the main reasons I still pay for Ulysses is ‪ the ebook rendering. It’s one of its best USPs over other markdown editors…But i could just use pages for that after sharing to rich text from save day drafts or ia writer. ‬ Maybe it’s time to move on.

Wieliczka last week (a photo with my Fuji x100t) for a change. 📷

I finished work today and packed my computer away. I won’t need it till Monday when I enter work. A year ago this was unthinkable when I was a teacher which is why my wife was surprised when I told her.

“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Gutenberg”

Using Paper Like Da Vinci

One of the comments in Walter Issacson’s biography of Da Vinci really stood out to me. He mentioned that Da Vinci grew up in a notaries’ household so he had access to paper and experience in notetaking, but paper was a precious commodity for him so he filled every part of paper with sometimes seemingly disconnected ideas.

These seemingly disconnected ideas, maths formulas next to drawings, might explain his creativity and how he saw the world differently from other artists.

That reminded me of how Austin Kleon’s recently described his studio.

My studio, like my mind, is always a bit of a mess. Books and newspapers are piled everywhere, Pictures are torn out and stuck on walls, cut-up scraps litter the floor. But it’s not an accident that my studio is a mess. I love my mess. I intentionally cultivate my mess

Creativity is about connections and connection are not made by siloing everything off into its own space.

Austin Kleon - Keep Going

After reading a call to arms like that, I made sure to use my commonplace book more freely. Quotes don’t have to stay separated and gaps should be filled.

My pricy Leuchttrum notebook is a beautiful mess.

  • There is scribbly handwriting next to intentional penmenship practice exercises.
  • There are quotes next to summaries of blog posts.
  • There are lists of podcasts I’d like to see next to sketchnote icons I was practicing.

In the feature image you can see the first page of my latest notebook. I usually make it a page to test pens and see how they work on the paper but sometimes I try and come up with a clever word or something. I made a mistake while writing and that worked out even better.

It’s taken me a long time to get over the notion that a beautiful notebook should only contain fancy, good looking items but now I relish ruining a good notebook. It’s the only way I can get myself to use one.

It’s definitely nothing against any particular creator(s) but I’m all podcast tshirted out. They’ve been over done. Every week there’s a limited sale and they come around so frequently that I just don’t want any.

Dumb mistake I still make. Thinking I can/should write while doing something else (listening to a podcast, watching a film, listening to most kinds of music). Sure, I can still write. But the quality and quantity are always reduced.

Do I renew my Adobe Photography CC subscription 🤔

Our motivations are heavily informed by the media. Our social feeds are populated by endless images of wealth, travel, power, relaxation, beauty, pleasure, and Hollywood love. This virtual runoff perpetually seeps into our consciousness, polluting our sense of reality and self-worth every time we go online. We compare our lives to these largely artificial constructs and structure our plans accordingly, hoping to eventually afford a golden ticket to these misleading fantasies.

Distracted by the never-ending stream of aspirational media, we forfeit our opportunity to define what is meaningful on our own terms. - The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future eBook: Ryder Carroll

I’d like to announce that I’m not running for the Democratic party nominiation for President.

Back to work doing a job I love with great people and with an exciting product launch. I am so grateful and will remind myself of this when I get grumpy over a surprise project or one of the other “downsides” of my current job.

A Note of Intention - How I’m Staying More on Task with Digital Devices

For most of 2018, I kept a “daily plan bar” in a softcover moleskin notebook. I really enjoyed the discipline of setting out what I planned to do that day and then seeing the reality take shape. It was also great to plan downtime and useful to realize what was feasible in a given day.

I still haphazardly keep a plan bar, but my new job involves mostly sitting at a desk and writing so the need to have reminders of being in this place at that time isn’t as compelling. So I, of course, keep it less.

As I was on a thinking walk last weekend I wondered if some of the aspects that made a daily plan bar so useful could be adapted for another use. Writing a note of what I planned to use a device for. Let me explain.

Getting swallowed by the stream

I frequently have lofty intention for how I’m going to use my smart device (usually my iPad but laptop and phone also apply). These intentions usually center around edifying consumption, mainly reading an ebook, or creating something, for example writing a blog post. Unfortunately, my actions don’t always match those intentions. Before I know it I may find myself crawling through email, getting a “quick” hit of social media or just swiping around pointlessly.

If only there was a way to help my actions match my intentions. Step up to the plate what I learned from Atomic Habits and the daily plan bar.

Pointing and calling

In Atomic Habits, James Clear describes a trick called “pointing and calling”. All you do is point at the thing you notice (the trigger for the habit) say out loud the action you are thinking of taking and the outcome. The reason for this process is to draw attention to the triggers and to help evaluate the outcome. It helps make clear the hidden thoughts you are having.

At first, I thought I should do this with my device. Simply state out loud what I am about to do on the device “I’m going to read” but then I realized that writing these actions down might be of greater value.

In the same way that the daily plan bar showed my intention and then actual course of action, writing down (on a index card/post-it note or in my notebook) would provide a visual reminder of what I wanted to do on this device and I could list how long I intended to do the action for. Once the activity is completed, I could mark what really occurred.

For example, “Plan: read for 30 minutes. Reality: Read for five minutes”

This also provides other benefits. If I find myself with five minutes of downtime and instinctively pick up my iPad, I have to think about what I want to do and then write down “plan: Do nothing really, swipe a bit, scroll, waste time.” Which provides an opportunity to change and stop that bad habit. I can also track my intentions with my device over time.

Making it happen

It’s all well and good thinking that this will happen, but actually carrying through is another thing altogether.

To help me, I’ve stuck a posit note onto my iPad screen. That means I have to remove it if I want to use the device. It’s almost as easy to add my note of intention as to ignore it.

So we’ll see how this little experiment goes.

I should “spark joy” some of my domain names. > “Thank you silly idea for the joy you brought me”

< turn off auto-renew>

Discussion starter: What is a change you’d like to see in society? Can be big or small. Preferably a positive statement (I.e. “I wish people shared/expressed this value” rather than “I wish there were fewer people of this political view”.)

I wish people were more patient.

An Update on Podcast Free Commutes

A couple of days ago I shared my experiment, and thinking behind it, in not listening to podcasts while commuting. I thought I’d share a little update now.

The first day was delightful. I used my notebook and stuck with my goal of not using my phone till I got to work. The return journey was the same. The second day I forgot my field notes notebook and so used my phone to save an idea. Guess what, I found myself scrolling and using my device after I saved that idea 😞. still, I corrected and went back to reading. Day three was fine on the way to work, but I ended up listening to a podcast on the way home. In my head it wasn’t against my goal as I was listening while waiting for the train…but I continued listening on the train. So not a great success. Today is day four and the morning was better. More focused and I didn’t use my phone in the morning. To prevent using my phone on the way home and getting into a podcast bing, I decided to not use my phone once I left the office. That helped set a clear boundary which I stuck to. Tomorrow is the last day of the experiment. I think I’ll keep it going but perhaps with two evening commutes for podcasts still.

Locked out of home so I thought I’d play with Halid and darkroom then I decided to try lightroom as darkroom didn’t have noise reduction. Interesting difference.

…I left my keys at home and I’m now locked out as my wife is away. Guess I’ll go do the food shopping.

The shortcut action for lightroom on the iPad is okay. I mean it’s better than not having it, but being able to import straight into lightroom would be FAR better. (also Lightroom CC should add file size export options. If you have to send a photo to a magzine/printer, you have very different requirements.)