Open Thinkering


Weeknote 01/2022

Gate in Northumberland National Park

Here we are! The first week of 2022 is officially here and I’m not sure what to think of it. Considering life in years based on calendars is, of course, entirely arbitrary. As far as I’m concerned, we’re still in the month of Nivôse in the French Republican Calendar…

Since last writing a weeknote, it’s been my birthday, Christmas, New Year, and I’ve returned to work after a lovely trip to Devon to see the in-laws. I say “returned to work” but the day I had planned to work (Wednesday) was actually filled with a delightful walk on the England/Scotland border with Aaron Hirtenstein. Aaron recently moved from Oxford to just the other side of Northumberland National Park so hopefully it’ll be the first of many.

After taking down the Christmas lights and decorations with the kids on Tuesday, I performed a Past Year Review (PYR) while they played a lot of video games and Hannah returned to work. The PYR process was incredibly helpful in finding things that I have energy for and things that I don’t. I’ve printed out the results and stuck them next to the desk in my home office:

✅ Do these things in 2022

• Watch sun rise
• Side projects (use SOFA principle)
• Holidays
• Kayaking
• Growing plants (tomatoes, other)
• Wild camping
• Going out for family Sunday dinner
• Mountain biking
• Date night

Avoid these things in 2022

• Job-seeking
• Admin
• Work-related drama
• Atheneum consulting
• Twitter
• LinkedIn
• Organising events
• Staying in same room as family
• Anti-vaxxer nonsense

On Thursday I had an impromptu catch-up with my fellow WAO co-op members and experimented with Xero Projects. I’m going to run a proposal in next week’s meeting to experiment with it for one month with one client and I’m hoping it will pass. I think it could help streamline our workflows a bit. Things kick off properly with clients next week, so I just set things up, tinkered around a bit, and wrote a long-overdue post about learning resource discovery.I

Although I didn’t go as far as the detailed spreadsheet comparisons I made when purchasing a smartwatch and camping gear last year, I did do some background research before buy a Boox Note Air 2. As I mention in this post, it’s a curious device — an e-ink tablet that runs Android. It’s pretty much the only device in its class, and I’ve been using it every day since receiving it on Tuesday.

As ever, I experimented with doing something different with Thought Shrapnel but in the end just published three things as usual on Friday. I’m going to get back into the rhythm before sending out another newsletter. Yes, I know it’s been a while!

Other than the above, there’s not too much to report other than I made the trip to The Bike Place in Kielder with my daughter this weekend to buy her a bike for her birthday. They sell ex-hire bikes and, due to the pandemic, the ones they have on offer are very lightly used! She’s delighted with getting a better bike that she would usually be able to get, and I’m delighted with the savings.

Next week, Laura and I are onboarding John onto our main client projects, as he quit his job at the end of last year. He’ll be helping us not only with project work, but is also taking over as Co-op Secretary and bookkeeper now that Hannah is working full-time for NHS Digital. I’ve already told my fellow members of my plan to take as much of April, August, and December off in 2022 as possible. This is not only for my own physical and mental health, but also to spend time during the major holidays with my holidays, and potentially to kick off non-remunerative projects.

Image from my walk with Aaron.

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