trms links #2

Here’s some more cool stuff from the Internet.

  • GTD in 15 minutes. The world of productivity on the internet is full of snake oil. There is a method, however, which is simple and has found success with many, me included. This website explains David Allen’s Getting Things Done method quickly, for free, with no tricks or things to sell you.
  • SankeyMATIC Beta. Sankeys are these graphs, like the one on the right. This website allows you to create one in a relatively quick and easy manner. They’re a good way to confirm your suspicions about where your money went this month.
image 21
  • The TeX FAQ List. I had a lot of fun a little ago writing this post about how to get started with LaTeX for beginners. This link is right up that alley, as the TeX FAQ List is, as you might surmise, a rather comprehensive list of all questions a (La)TeX user might have, answered in a clear and easy to understand way.
  • I Love PDF is a website I come back to time and time again. Anything you might want or need to do with PDF files, such as splitting, merging, or converting them, you can do there, for free. Sure, there are offline solutions, but this is pretty convenient.
  • OmniAtlas. I love maps. I love history. For people like me, OmniAtlas is a feast for the eyes, with plenty (currently 747!) of historical maps. Get on it.

trms links #1

A collection of interesting things I find around the Internet.

Tech

  • nanoc, a simple, lightweight, open-source, extensible framework for small static sites and blogs
  • miraheze.org. Ever wished you could have your own Wikipedia? You can easily and for free at Miraheze, with no catch and no ads.
  • keybr. Touch typing is arguably among the must-have skills in the modern age. Keybr teaches you how to do that and provides you with a way to practice your speed, at any level. I’ve used it for literally hours. (proof)

Knowledge

  • Our World in Data, in-depth research about our world (literally!) using data. Their blog is immensely insightful and one I highly recommend following.
  • Books by People at Edge.org. Unsure about what to read next? This is a constantly-updated list of books written by people at Edge.org, researchers who are leaders in their field. (including Richard Dawkins, Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker, and more.)

You Need a Quarterly Review

quarterly review 1

In this post I’ll tell you what a quarterly review is and why you need one.

Why do I need one?

Most of us are so deeply concerned with running our life on a day-to-day basis that we forget about the long term. What is it that you are trying to achieve, exactly?

Being productive every day feels great, but what are you really working towards? This kind of question should not be relegated to the back burner, it should be something we answer more often than we currently do. At the same time, however, we do still need to run our day-to-day affairs.

Extreme focus on the short term causes long-term blindness. Extreme focus on the long-term causes short-term blindness. We should aim to strike a balance, where we can still run our daily life while also being concerned about where the road is going.

For me, this balance is provided by performing a general review of my life every three months. I will now show you what this review looks like.

Got it. What should I do?

Every review, I answer a series of questions about the three months that passed and the three months that will follow. This allows me to evaluate my performance in the past and make changes in the future, to better align myself with my long-term goals.

This is what some sample questions would look like (click or tap to expand):

Quarterly Review

Of course, the questions vary from person to person, and I would highly recommend, in fact, you have to take the time to think about them. Coming up with your own questions is very much part of the process of understanding your medium- and long-term self.

I like to make categories first, and then to come up with questions related to such categories. This is why I used a mind map (done with the excellent mind-mapping software MindNode,) as it allows me to visually branch out categories and questions.

Every question about the past three months is paired with a question about the next. This is crucial, as performing a quarterly review without thinking about how one could be better in the future is not that useful.

Make a bunch of questions, and make yourself sit down to answer them every three months. You’ll be surprised at its effectiveness.

Check Your Mac’s Battery Health with coconutBattery

Back when Apple started throttling devices with degraded batteries, much ado was made around iPhone battery health. So much ado, in fact, that they not only published a very lenghty explanatory page about it, they also added a profusion of battery-related functionality to iOS. Graphs, buttons, statistics: you name it, it’s in the Battery section of the Settings app.

Read more

The Archive Custom Theme: iA Writer

The Archive is an outstanding piece of software for personal knowledge management, especially of the kind I spoke about in my last post. Among its strengths1 is its custom theme engine, allowing users who are willing to tweak a few .json files to create new color schemes from scratch. Since I love iA Writer‘s design, I thought: why not make The Archive look like Writer? So that’s what I did, and you can download the results.

To download the themes, right-click on the themes you want below and save the files in a place you’ll remember. Then, open The Archive’s preferences and go to the Theme tab. Click on “Open Theme Manager” then “Open Theme Directory.” Move the files you downloaded there.

Dark ThemeLight Theme

I tried to stick as closely as possible to Writer’s color palette, in both its light and dark mode. I highly recommend using one the same fonts Writer uses, which they graciously release for free to the public.

Changelog

  • 1.0: Initial release
  • Dark 1.1: Fixed the unfocused background selection color. Huge thanks to reader Sebastian for the heads-up!

Notes