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…
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Simple Isn’t Easy

Simple Isn’t Easy

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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…
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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…
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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…
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Year of Done

Year of Done

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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…
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Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

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*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…
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Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

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*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…
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Analogue Journey — Part 2: Re-Educating Myself

Analogue Journey — Part 2: Re-Educating Myself

Articles
*This is the second 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/) before continuing.* The second part of this tale starts a very long time ago. My relationship with notes and note-taking is one fraught with missteps, mistrust and frustration. I had always been a decent student. Mainly, I would later learn, because I had a pretty good memory -- particularly for things that I hear. Up until I was about 15 this served me well and I got good grades without a ton of effort. Then something changed. In my memory this is a sudden change, but much like the loss of my wiry teenage physique it was probably gradual, and I'm probably the only one…
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Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

Articles
About four months ago I declared bankruptcy -- of a sort. It was a kind of technological bankruptcy. This is the the tale of that decision but to find its roots I need to take you back to a time before I'd come to this realization. A time when, for me, technology could solve all of my problems. This goes back years -- though I'm not sure how many at this point. For some time I've been battling my way through the jungle of productivity tools. Apps, sites, systems, tricks, life hacks, [thought technologies](http://www.maxedmands.com/notes/2014/07/20/interesting-concepts.html), and anything else you can imagine. Early in 2016 I committed to picking a tool and sticking with it. The app I chose was [Todoist](https://en.todoist.com/web). This was far and away the best tool I'd used because…
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Like a YoYo

Like a YoYo

Articles
I bought a ticket. The steam liner is in dry dock. Sometimes you have a good idea. An idea that will, in the long run at least, save you time. That idea makes so much sense you can explain it to other people and they shout "Yes! I get it! You should totally build a steam liner!" But you shouldn't. There are ways to get across the ocean. You can buy a boat. You can build a boat. You can even design your own boat from scratch, smelt all the metal for the hull and concoct a bespoke engine out of recycled lawn mower parts you got for cheap on Craigslist from some guy named Sal who said they fell off the back of a truck. Or you can buy…
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