Posted on Wed 15 February 2017

Monthly Review: January 2017

sun in field

Last month's review. All monthly reviews.

What went well this month

  • Exist year in review user reports. We launched annual reviews for all Exist users and they went down really well. We'll definitely continue these in future years.
  • Working weekday mornings at RescueTime. I started out working 2.5 days at RescueTime and spending the rest of my week on Hello Code, but I didn't like the strict separation for several days in a row. Now I'm working 7-11am weekdays and I have every afternoon to work on Hello Code.
  • Hellas headphones. These Bluetooth headphones are quite tight, so I can wear them during workouts and they don't move around at all. They're also much better for wearing at my desk since they have no cord to get in my way.
  • Tap dancing. I took a private tap lesson and bought a piece of flooring to practise on. I haven't been practising every day, but a few times a week, and I'm really enjoying it.
  • Treadmill desk. I cleaned our long-abandoned treadmill and set up a makeshift platform across the arms for my laptop. When it's not too hot it gives me something active to do while getting through emails or writing.
  • Iroshizuku inks. Most of my fountain pens have quite fine nibs now, so I've been able to try out some wetter inks than I had previously. This month I tried some Iroshizuku inks for the first time, and they're every bit the premium inks they're cracked up to be. So far I've tried fuyu-syogun, tsukushi, and yama-guri, and they're three of my favourite inks ever.
  • Exist press. We were lucky enough to be mentioned twice by Merlin Mann on different podcasts this month, and by a Gizmodo article. It really helped with signups, and hopefully will help us build some momentum with higher revenue for this year.
  • Cartoons. I started drawing little cartoons recently to express some of the feelings I couldn't find the right words for. I've finally plucked up the courage to start sharing these on Instagram even though my drawing skills aren't good. I'd like to keep this up in future.

January goals

✖️ 4 posts for my blog

I only published one! I've already published two more in the first week of February, since my motivation has increased a bit more recently. I'm still working through a big batch of drafts I wrote during the holiday break, so it's mostly a matter of editing and sometimes collating images, but it was enough to put me off for most of January.

✖️ 4 posts for the Larder blog

I only got two posts published on the Larder blog. I've started working on some interviews for future posts, but I'm taking a break from writing content about being a junior developer for a little while.

✔️ 1 Exist for iOS App Store release

✔️ 1 Exist for iOS beta release

It's a bit difficult to figure out exactly how many releases of each kind I did this month, but I definitely did at least one of each. I actually think I did around 3 beta releases and 1 or 2 live releases.

✔️ Start rewriting Larder's iOS app in Objective-C

I didn't actually do this specifically, but I did something that fulfils this goal's purpose, so I'm counting it as complete. I had already written a lot of the basic features needed for a Larder iOS app in Swift. But I was having a lot of trouble with the Xcode converter and migrating to newer Swift versions. I'd given up on the app as being too broken to recover, and it had been months—maybe even a year—since I'd touched any Swift code. It seemed like the best way to move forward and get a very basic iOS app for Larder released ASAP would be to rewrite it in Objective-C, which I'm more comfortable with.

However! I opened up the Swift code recently and decided to play around with it just to see if I could get rid of some of the issues I was having. Half a Sunday morning later, I had it fixed and actually running on a device. Not only did I manage to figure out all the issues and fix them, I also didn't feel as worried about writing Swift after taking a look at it again.

So my new plan with Larder will be to add the last couple of features needed to release the Swift version I've already built and get it out to beta testers ASAP.

✖️ Attend 3 social events of any kind

2/3! I went to a rally early in the month to encourage the Australian government to close our off-short detention camps and allow refugees to be settled in Australia. I also went to my tap lesson, which I'm counting as a social event since I had to interact with a stranger for an hour. February is already ahead of January in this area, but I've also realised I need to be careful about not scheduling too many events too close together, as I need time to recover after each one.

January's focus habit

Working out.

I was really struggling with motivation to exercise this month, carrying on from the holiday break. Setting up the treadmill desk and picking up tap dancing helped, as I have more variety in how I get my exercise in now. I've also started doing more bodyweight exercises while watching TV or reading, such as squats, lunges, and push ups.

Books read



Goals for February

  • Finish login screen for Larder's iOS app
  • Release a beta update for the Exist iOS app including one new feature
  • Publish two more cartoons
  • 4 bike rides (I want to get more use out of my bike when the weather is more mild than it's been lately)

Focus habit for February

None. I need a break.

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