We lost our little buddy one year ago today.
He was the sweetest animal I’ve ever known. The thing I remember most about him: you barely had to say two words to him, and he’d start purring loudly, probably followed by him flopping onto his back for fluffy belly rubs.
A feedback loop is system where the output is fed back into the system as an input. They exist everywhere in nature, and they typically come in two flavours: positive feedback loops, which move things away from a state of equilibrium, and negative feedback loops, which work to preserve balance.
Standing still is generally a safe bet. We don’t have to expend any energy, and we don’t have to concern ourselves much with the possible outcomes. We just stand there, and watch the world go by.
Making progress is a little different. Making progress is risky.
Since mid-February, a notebook has become a big part of my productivity system. There’s something about putting pen to paper that’s inherently more satisfying to me than poking at keys to make characters appear on a screen. Over six months later, I’m still writing in it daily.
I don’t carry my notebook with me everywhere, though. I carry very little with me, in fact: my phone, wallet, and my keys (and really, only the keys that I need).
Glitch creates randomized project names when you remix a project, and they look something like adjective-noun.glitch.me. You can always rename these later, but oftentimes they’re just too amusing to bother (I’m looking at you, victorious-beer).
So, what if you decided that you were going to remix the node starter app, and then had to spend a couple of hours building an app based purely on the random name you were assigned?
Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
Why am I having such a hard time with this? What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m not smart enough to do this. People hired me to do this work, but I’m never going to figure this out. I’m a fraud. There are at least a couple of common threads with these statements, but I think the most interesting one is that each of these statements is an implicit comparison that I’m making between myself and someone that’s, y’know, good at what they do.
I’ve got some iOS apps as side projects (they’re in dire need of updates, but that’s neither here nor there). To keep things organized, I use a Manuscript (née FogBugz) account that I opened six years ago for planning work and, more relevant to this post, to capture (almost) all customer feedback. There’s a custom mailbox set up with an email address in my business domain, to which customers can send questions and comments about the apps.
A couple of weeks ago, Julia Evans wrote a retrospective on what it’s been like working remotely that resonated with me, given that today is my one-year anniversary since taking a remote position. Since this is my first fully-remote job, taking some time to reflect on how things have gone seems like a good idea.
Julia answered some great questions about working remotely, so I’ll do the same here.
I’ve slowly been moving over to Things 3 for task management, but more than that, I’ve been re-thinking just how my system needs to be fleshed out so that it works best for me.
As part of that move, I’ve been re-evaluating the way I think about capture. Typically, you’ve got an inbox, where you log all the incoming stuff in your life, and which you process periodically. That’s fine for the usual do-delegate-delete-defer type tasks, but if I want to use Things (or whatever task management system) to capture everything, I’ve found that I need a place for things that live somewhere between the inbox and a project.
Tinkerer with a strong interest for development, of both the personal and software persuasion; easily defeated with spatulas. Equal measures enthusiasm and concern for tech's effect on the world. He/him.