Posted on Sun 05 August 2018

Mid-year review, 2018

I've been working on this post since June. Now that it's August, it barely counts as a mid-year review.

Anyway, let's take a look at my 2018 goals. I only set two big goals for 2018:

  • Move house
  • Release Larder for iOS

I haven't done either of these yet. Our current lease doesn't expire until August so moving house won't happen until after that.

Larder for iOS has finally hit beta. This is super exciting because I started working on this app more than a year ago (maybe even two) and struggled to make time to finish it. Recently I spent a few weeks making it my top priority and managed to get it out the door at the end of July.

I still have work to do before it's ready to be launched publicly, but this is a big step in the right direction.

Apart from those big goals, I set out to get 5 specific updates released in Exist for iOS:

✔️ Weight syncing from Apple Health

✔️ Meditation syncing from Apple Health

✔️ Add weekly graphs to the Today screen

  • Add the Trends screen (a feature that our Android app has had for ages)
  • Menstruation syncing from Apple Health

The first three of these are done and launched. Recently I released an update to Exist for iOS that added a whole new screen and refreshed the design to match our recent web redesign. I still have time to finish the other two in this list before the year is out, but right now I'm working on some improvements to the sign up and first run experience.

I'm happy with the progress I've made in Exist for iOS this year, especially compared to previous years when I struggled to ship updates often because I was working a day job as well. I've also done lots of under-the-hood work this year, refactoring old code and adding tests to improve the performance and stability of the app.

Finally, I also made a list of things I'd like to do more of this year when I was planning my 2018 goals. Most of these require ongoing work but I've ticked off a few that I'm doing regularly without reminders.

✔️ Swift

✔️ Testing my code

Working with Swift and writing tests are the two things I do most on workdays now. I'm slowly porting Exist for iOS to Swift by writing most new code in Swift, and it's now at 18% Swift, with the rest being Objective-C.

✔️ Taking more photos and saving mementos

Since we got a puppy in March I've had lots of excuses to take more photos, so I'm definitely filling up my camera roll more this year. I'm still hanging out for when I can afford a polaroid photo printer so I can print these on-demand small enough to stick into my journal or planner.

✔️ Spending more time outside

Our puppy has also helped me spend more time outside, since he goes out every day for play and walks.

✔️ Cooking new recipes

I've been cooking a new recipe for dinner once a month or so. I've found maybe 3 or 4 recipes I'll make again, so that's been successful overall. I've also been baking on weekends more often, and have tried lots of new recipes in my baking, too.

✔️ Switching off from work on weekends

I've been trying hard to switch off from work on weekends with mixed success. When it works, this gets me doing hobbies and activities I don't make time for during the week.

✔️ Practising French

I've recently started trying harder to practise French daily. I've set a recurring reminder in my task app, which is helping a lot.

  • Drawing and painting
  • Piano

I've also set recurring reminders for weekends to draw or paint something and to practise some piano. Taking away any measure of how much or how well I need to do those things, reminding myself to do them, and treating them like a checklist to work through on weekends has helped me feel more motivated to do them.

  • Going out/being social

I've put some effort into going out and being social more, but I'd like to increase this a lot more. Now that we live in the outer suburbs and I'm not doing theatre, which is where I met most of my Melbourne friends, I'm struggling to find opportunities to be around people. But I want to keep working on this for the rest of the year.

  • Self-compassion

Self-compassion is a work in progress, but it's definitely better than it was a year ago.


I've already started making my list of things to do more of in 2019, and some of those will probably bleed into the second half of 2018, such as these:

  • Participate in open-source
  • Save money
  • Read books
  • Eat vegan
  • Experience art and culture
  • Learn non-iOS programming
  • Make time for side projects
  • Blogging

I've been reading books a bit more lately, started learning Kotlin and Android development, and submitted my first pull request. I've been starting side projects left and right, but need to knuckle down and get them ready to share. I've also switched back to soy milk and have been looking for opportunities to cut out animal-derived foods where I can, without being super strict.

But I'm not adding these to my 2018 list just yet, as I don't want to put myself under too much pressure.


P.S. I make some stuff you might like: Exist, a personal analytics app to help you understand your life, and Larder, a bookmarking app for developers.

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