I read about focus mate. Main principle is Human Accountability. You start a video session with a stranger and just do your work. This happens while the video camera is ON. I suppose just the fact that someone is watching you, alone prevents you from procrastinating.

I can see it working for at least some personality types, for whom external accountability matters more. (Obligers) I assume people for whom internal accountability matters do not procrastinate at all. (I may be wrong)

Then there are rebels (As per Gretchen Ruben's personality types) who do not give a damn one way or the other. I suppose such people may not even want to start a session.just because …

I'm gonna try it. They have a few free sessions, just to try out.

Photo Credit : Chase Clark

2019 Review

look back

Earlier I wrote about how Jan 1st is not a special date in any way.

While I still believe that for starting something new, or changing, calendar years give us well defined time against which we measure progress (and make plans. Or is it the other way around ?)

365/366 days is well agreed upon time. So it is as good as 30 or 90 days.

While we can “start” any day and “look back” approximately 360 days later, we are more likely to do that when everyone considers starting a new year.

Enough defending my (conflicting) views.

Let us look at 2019


  • I switched themes for both my blogs
  • Wrote 9 blog posts during first half (and none during the second half. See the next point.)
  • Started seriously using TiddlyWiki. That has been my most updated “blog” (?) in later part of 2019. I have written about friction-less blogging. TiddlyWiki is the closest to zero friction. The file is an HTML. I only have to git push is every once in a while (Thus TW on my machine is more up to date than published one.)


Udemy courses

  • Pen and Ink Sketching (completed)
  • Android
  • Kotlin

I started learning Elm using various free resources, but dropped it. I might pick it up again at a later date though.

Drawing - Sketching

I did not post lot of my sketches on my blog. But I posted more on instagram (less friction to publish directly from the phone).

16 on instagram, only 5 of those on my own site.

I drew a lot more throw away sketches for my kids, but did not always take pictures.


I was without assignment one third of the year.

It allowed me to focus on learning. But to be honest, I tried to “start learning” too many things. (See section about learning)

My last assignment was with Niteo. I consider it to be time most well spent. I wish I could have continued longer.

While at Niteo, my MBP “died”. I think it was SSD. Got it repaired by “local” shop much cheaper than official one. So far so good. 🤞 I rented a dell laptop and installed Ubuntu (and once my MBP was back, Deepin) on it. The development tasks were easy/same as macOS. But I have grown used to macOS now.

Plans for 2020

Reviewing my similar sections from past review posts, I have realized that I was very bad at predicting future and planning for it. (There are some people who plan and follow thru, and I admire them, and want to be like them.) able to

Some of the things I see myself continuing is use of TW. I also started another TW - which is personal. I'm using it as my online diary. Since no one is gonna see it, I feel less conscious.

I am trying to use it for “Morning Pages” (Originally Julia Cameroon, made popular by Tim Ferriss)

Smart reader may have noticed that there is no review for 2018

Photo Credit : Nathan Anderson

Change What You Don't Like


These days book I'm reading - Keep Going It has an entire chapter titled

You are allowed to change your mind”

He talks about how we are “afraid” to change our mind, as it (now a days) indicates “weakness”.

Some interesting quotes from this chapter :

I thought I was wrong about everything. I was wrong about that too.

If you’ve never changed your mind about something, pinch yourself; you may be dead.

.. be open to possibility and allow yourself to be changed.

(My full notes about the book here)

One of the problems I had when blogging was assigning Categories.

I can understand tags, there are usually a LOT (I assume that is expected.) I assumed Categories need to be “limited” - Somehow I started using categories and tags interchangeably.

That did not make sense.

Initially (pelican, nikola) there used to be one category for a post (and multiple tags)

But with hugo - even multiple categories are supported.

This added to (my) confusion.

I used to grep categories in the older posts so that I can use consistent categories. It was painful.

It never occurred to me to completely get rid of them. Till now.

Initially I had Categories and Tags are menus, so that readers can find posts that belong to specific taxonomy. But I am not sure how many regular readers I have.

So starting with this blog, I've decided to not use categories for the new posts.

I've also removed Categories for the old posts.

Photo by Ross Findon