Can you draw a face with just vertical lines? 🤔 ✏️

Yesterday evening I suddenly had a random idea*, could I draw a face with just vertical lines? I grabbed my iPad and Apple pencil and gave it a go to find out that I could indeed draw a face with just verticals lines.

I tried a few combinations and the decided I had gone as far as I could do I’d try horizontal lines to see the difference. I started drawing and again reached the end after about five variations. I was about to call it quits with a warm glow on my face when I suddenly realised. “Vertical lines can be hair!”

Suddenly a whole host of new options were open to me as hair, then beards and more facial hair became a possibility. Then I realised ears could be shown with vertical lines and even piercings. I had given up to easily and almost missed out on a whole world of extra possibilities by not spending more time thinking and experimenting.

Obviously drawing a face with just vertical lines isn’t exactly a revolution or really something any of us will need to do on a day to day basis but it was fun and the main lesson —to not give up easily and keep exploring an idea — is very useful for everyday life.

*I believe this idea was a synthesis of practicing faces based of Activities from @Rohdesign and Austin Kleon

Read More Books 📚

A reminder from myself yesterday. Books are rewarding and I should read more. C23B8CB7-A57A-487E-B30E-9C231127B251.jpg

Just finished the show notes for the final guest episode of the sketchnote army podcast season 5. Spoiler alert 🚨 It’s a great one.

A Commonplace (book/blog)

Have you ever stumbled upon an idea that moved you into action? This last week I did in a minor way after listening to an episode of the sketchnote army podcast with Austin Kleon. In that episode he mentioned the way he was using his notebooks and within a day, I had picked up a new notebook to experiment. Perhaps this idea will inspire you into action as well. Or maybe not.

Creating a commonplace book

Austin shared how he had started carrying a pocket notebook and logging various elements during the day. Later he’d go back over those pages and highlight the key items and ideas. Eventually, they might turn into a blog post or a book. I had heard him talk about similar notebooking techniques before when he called it a commonplace book. This inspired me to go out, buy a new a6-ish size moleskine and record. I had already been doing something similar at my work desk on pages of A4, but the pocket book had the advantage of being with me not only at my desk but also on the train, when in bed and basically everywhere.

There’s something charming about keeping an analogue notebook in an increasingly digital world.

commonplace book quote

the digital commonplace

Of course, the natural extension of this new notebook was to start sharing some extracts online, specifically on It reminded me of the charm of early blogging. When it wasn’t so serious, when you didn’t need a specific goal or career from it and mistakes were useful and a sign of growth. You didn’t (and don’t) have to present yourself as an expert in something you just started out in.

This digital commonplace book or adversersia had some obvious advantages such as linking to music or videos online as well as sharing items. Even though analogue tools have a charm, digital tools provide some extra functions. Of course, we don’t have to choose one or another, we can have both.

por que no los dos

The need to dig deeper

Keeping this notebook has made me really appreciate deeper content and devalue shallow, entertainment focused items. I want to be clear here, I’m not saying entertainment is wrong, I’m not saying you should do or feel the same, this has been my reaction. When reading a book or something of greater depth, material is provided for the commonplace book. A quote here, an idea there, a beautiful graphic to copy. When the material is shallow, repeating the same talking points, then it’s much rarer for my book to see any difference. I’ve almost gamed myself to want to read more books than blogs.

I had actually been feeling guilty or FOMO about not being to keep up with all the micropodcast that have been starting up (especially with starting one myself. How can I expect people to listen to my own if I don’t listen to theirs?) but this notebook has helped me deal with that.

We can’t do every great things, and trying to have it all, result in having nothing.

By trying to keep up with all these podcasts and blogs, I’m missing out on reading great books. So I’m making a commitment, to fill my adversaria, to read great books and go deeper.

I keep wanting to “like” things here…but I don’t want to favourite them. I’ve been trained not to comment but star on social media and it’s not easy to untrain yourself.

Drafts for Mac 🖥

Drafts for Mac Status Update - Drafts Community

Yes, Drafts is coming to the Mac. Much of the groundwork for this release was done while building the Drafts 5 update. We are now in the process of building the Mac user interface and Mac-specific features.

Although I’m very much an iOS user, having the option of drafts on the Mac will be great. Of course, I’m writing this in drafts.

Pay every debt as if God wrote the bill - Ralph Waldo Emerson (playing with my common book) 25692641-3365-4730-9BEE-A33EDB7454FC.jpg

Idea for a relay crossover episode Federico and John Siracusa talk pasta workflows. Call me @ismh

My hypercritical and PCalc T-shirt’s arrived 😎

It’s Just Not for Me

Well, it happened. A company I really like released a product that I have no interest in buying to the extent that I don’t even want to buy it to support them. I hope it sells well but it’s just not for me. I’ve seen this happen before and after that point every product a company made “wasn’t for me” so I’m really hoping this is a one off.

I finally took @gr36 ‘s suggestion and moved all my podcasts to Pocketcasts and started a big clean up. The good and bad news is there are too many good podcasts at the moment.

Icro now has image upload. This makes me happy. is coming along nicely.

Got a couple new pens to play with after discovering a great stationary shop in Krakow.

Moving webhosts can really be a pain (but at least I’ve finished).

Just completed my first day at my new job. It was busy, not too overwhelming with information and fun “hum why doesn’t this usb c to display port cable work?”