Year of Self

Year of Self

Articles
For the past couple of years I've eschewed the practice of the New Year's Resolution in favour of broader goals or themes for the year. These have been helpful for me in providing an overall direction or guidepost for me as I work to make incremental improvements or changes throughout the year. Where I've been... The first of these, "Year of Less", helped me to de-clutter mentally and physically, as well as direct my efforts towards a few specific projects and tasks. This ultimately gave me more focus on those tasks and helped me to find both professional and personal growth. Most recently 2018 was my "Year of Done." The overall theme was one of working things through to completion and reducing procrastination. This was all about not putting off…
Read More
Agile Resolutions

Agile Resolutions

Articles
We're coming up to the end of the year again. I'm already starting to see the conversations starting about one of my most hated holiday season traditions: New Year's Resolutions. Why am I such a grinch about self improvement? Why be opposed to people making a change for the better? I'm not, and I'm not. It's not the change, or even the resolution itself that I have problems with, it's the "New Year's" bit, and all of the associated issues that come with it. When people make a New Year's Resolution they are saying that when January first rolls around they are going to make a change in their life for the better. They want to eat better, exercise more, be nicer to people, take more time for themselves, take…
Read More
Simple Isn’t Easy

Simple Isn’t Easy

Articles
Simple and easy -- These are two words that the English language allows people to confuse and that often become the source of misunderstandings of all sorts of sayings, advice, instructions and all manner of other communication. What's the difference? Easy is a measure of difficulty. If something is easy to do, it doesn't require a great deal of effort and most people will be able to complete the task. The level of ease may depend on other factors, tall people can reach things more easily than short people for example, but generally speaking if something is easy the majority of people will be able to do it without much stress or difficulty. Simple is a measure of complexity. If something is simple there are few steps involved, or no…
Read More
Sharpen the Saw… Or Something

Sharpen the Saw… Or Something

Articles
Writing software is something I've loved to do for a very long time. But a little over a decade ago I made some career choices that meant my day-to-day no longer involved the production of code. I became an amateur developer. Since then I've noodled around with things here and there, and have even managed to write some code that I or a small number of other people have used, but I find it hard to prioritize the time to do these things. Despite coding not being one of my day-to-day tasks anymore it's still something I'm involved with indirectly every day so it makes sense for me to keep that skill set as sharp as I can. Possible solution - scratch my own itch: find a problem I want…
Read More
Remove the Barriers

Remove the Barriers

Articles
The key to success is quite often getting started. The laws of conservation of energy apply to the macro scale of our lives as much as they do to the basic physical principles of the universe. A body at rest will remain at rest, while a body in motion will remain in motion. For anyone who's ever tried to "[get in shape][get-in-shape]" the starting of that routine is often done with sheer willpower. That's hard enough at the best of times. Most of the times we don't make that healthy choice easy because there are just to many little barriers in the way. These are barriers that tend to overcome our willpower when it's time to do the healthy thing, but they're generally not major obstacles. The key is to…
Read More
A Case for an Open Podcast Directory

A Case for an Open Podcast Directory

Articles
Podcasts have come a long way since people started just recording audio files and posting them to a website. Over the last decade the advent of RSS and mobile technology has provided publishers with the ability to produce text, audio and video content and have that content delivered directly to millions of subscribers around the world. While many podcast enthusiasts find shows based on recommendations from friends or social media, the most common way to find new podcasts is through a podcast directory, specifically the iTunes podcast directory. Even though I no longer own any Apple devices many of the top podcast clients have search features powered by the iTunes directory. It has become the de facto place to find a new show on your favourite niche topic. What happens…
Read More
Analogue Journey Update

Analogue Journey Update

Articles
It has been about a year since I started my analog journey. It's has had some ups and some downs, but overall the experience has been extremely positive. I stopped bouncing back and forth between task-tracking tools and productivity systems. I tore it all down, I went back to basics, and found simplest way of doing the things that needed to be done. Most importantly I found something that I could sustain over the long haul. Despite the many hats that I wear, I can really only wear one at a time. The whole point of adopting my simple Journal based task management system was to not lose things. But time marches forward. Unrelenting, it drives us down the long road of progress. And this week, a little over a…
Read More
Year of Done

Year of Done

Articles
Done. It's a word that conjures up finality. Following in the footsteps of 2017's "[Year of Less][less]" I have christened 2018 my "Year of Done". I'm not a big fan of resolutions, be they New Year's or otherwise. I do however like the idea of a theme for the year. After some soul-searching, add some cognitive down-time in the month of December, I have decided that "done" will be my theme for 2018. I've told this to a couple of people over the last few days, and the most common question I get back is: "what do you mean by '*done*'"? For me, and for the purposes of the theme, I have two specific meanings of the word done. The first one is the most common sense of the word…
Read More
Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

Articles
*This is the third article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/), [part 2](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-2-re-educating/), and [part 3](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-3-bullet-journal-exploration/) before continuing.* I always thought that fountain pens were kind of neat. A quaint throwback to a simpler time where people put pen to paper when issuing an invitation to dinner, and when manners and etiquette were the order of the day. The journey down the path to owning multiple fountain pens begins with the rest of my analogue journey that I started earlier this year. Notebooks, pens, paper and other stationery products have become the tools of my trade. It didn't start with fountain pens, of course, I didn't understand them at the time. But I've begun to and…
Read More
Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

Articles
*This is the third article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/) and [part 2](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-2-re-educating/) before continuing.* I've been experimenting with a slightly (drastically?) more analogue lifestyle for the past few months. It's not that I'm becoming some kind of anti-tech zealot, just that I think I can find a bit more balance in my life. I've written before about my adoption of notebooks and paper for my handwritten notes at work, but I didn't talk much about the *how*. It's no secret that I'm a bit of a systems and tools guy. ([Knightwise](http://www.knightwise.com/) is undoubtedly rolling his eyes right now.) When it came to my newfound use of pen and paper to track work and take…
Read More