Now and Then Update: October 2018

I was updating my now page and thought it was a shame to delete the events from last month. So I’ve decided to write up a kind of “change log” at the start of each month reviewing the last month and highlighting what’s coming up this month. It’s a bit like a monthly review meets journal or whatever.


My goals for last month were - Spending time with my new baby (YES!) - removing and stopping old projects (stopped many, but there are more I should probably stop!) - experimenting with new calligraphy styles (definitely did) - Finishing “the ninja project” (made some progress yesterday but didn’t do much previously) - regular exercise (I got ill at the end of the month and with travel meant this was not a good month)

Some key events in the month were - in-laws coming to visit, thrice - Going to the International Sketchnote Camp in Lisbon - iOS 12 came out with shortcuts. - I returned to work from paternity leave.

Unexpected delights - Arbitrary stupid goal was a fun read - David Spark’s Siri Shortcuts guide was useful - On Writing Well has been a delight - I got my company to pay for me to do the CopyBlogger Content Marketing Certification Course


This month my goals are - Spend time with my daughter - Continue the Copyblogger course (and not fall behind) - Finish the “ninja project” (if possible) - Finish reading On Writing Well - Try some new Calligraphy styles - Get writing portfolio finished - Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Upcoming Events

  • Parents visiting
  • A close friend’s birthday
  • A wedding
  • A new product launch


Autumnal may well be my favourite word in the English language. It’s partially because it has such wonderful sounds that flow smoothly into each other – no fricatives to be found here. But it’s also because of what the word represents.

To me, Autumn is a time of coziness. Of warm drinks, Golden colours and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Heat and energy radiate out of it at all times, be that in the mid-day sun, the new fashion items to wear or the red leaves that now lie on the ground.

This warmth is something I try and live out in my life, not just in this season but always. - To share what I have with those in need, and not. - To be friendly even when people aren’t friendly to me (I’ve found this more difficult recently) - and to gather those closest to me whenever I can.

Admittedly “Fall” has some similar phonetic qualities but I can’t divorce it from its other meaning. But as a writer who focuses on an American audience I have to fall for its charms, at least superficially.

Deep down my heart belongs to Autumn.

Sometimes I think about the similarities between Tumblr and Micro.Blog.

Unfortunately Headlines and Titles Always Matter

We all know the classic truism to not judge a book by its cover, and yet we continue to do so. Even if we move past the cover, the odds are we still judge the book by its title. In our world of ever closer connections and abundance of information we have to use some clue to filter the wheat from the chaff.

Today I found myself doing that very thing on As I scrolled my timeline I saw a new post and didn’t immediately click. I looked at the title, considered what it might be about and weather that would be relevant or interesting to me. Of course I also weighted the profile who was recommending this post into my equation.

I am incredibly thankful that microblog hasn’t descended into linkpost, clickbait and their ilk butit doesn’t change the fact that headlines and titles are still one of, if not the key factor in me choosing to read a post or not.

Just added a SFD of a reading log page on my Micro.Blog. My aim is to better track what I read over time. I wonder if I can create a workflow to automagically add to it 🤔

Austin Mann's iPhone Xs camera review 🔗

Austin Mann’s iPhone Xs camera review 🔗 Surprise Austin takes great pictures with an iPhone again. This weekend I took a photo of a friend on sunny day when he was standing in the shade and it was hot. I suggested moving into the sun for a better picture, but he declined. Smart HDR would have lead to a much better end result. Then there was another moment at home where I suspect Smart HDR would have helped.

This is really making me want a new iPhone.

Yesterday at the airport I wrote out my main takeaways from the international sketchnote camp and today I picked my three main takeaways. There are more I could have chosen and will apply but these really resonated with me. #isc18lx

“We have tears in our eyes As we wave our goodbyes, We so loved being with you, we three. So do please now and then Come and see us again, The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.”

Goodbye #ISC18LX 3C730A74-48F8-4066-86F0-938B4BF75078.jpg

Lettering practice with @rohdesign and @claire_ohl at #ISC18LX love nesting little letters here and there.

Take the first step

After a session at the International Sketchnote camp in Lisbon today I felt challenged and excited to share more of my sketchnoting online. It’s something I’ve resisted doing because I don’t feel I’m as good as others and I know that there are sometimes mistakes in my sketchnotes: crooked lines, spelling, running out of space. I was, however, reminded of the value of sharing your work as you go along and that, in reality, the process is what is really of value not the product.

But how could I start? What step would be the easiest to get me to share more of my sketchnotes.

The first step.

In my case, this would be taking the photo of the sketchnote to share. If I don’t take the picture, I’ve got nothing to share. Once I’ve taken the photo then I’ve got something to share and it’s fairly simple to type out a note and share the sketchnote from there. But taking the photo is a hanging point for me. I often don’t take my phone out, and when it is I forget to/ resist take the photos.

In fact, even if I don’t share a sketchnote after photographing it, immediately or after a wait, I still have the sketchnote save and more available to share.

I think this applied to many other areas. Just doing the first step can get the process going.