The Wednesday Writeup - Issue #7

Welcome back to The Wednesday Writeup!

This week has been a weirdly sleepy one. I feel like I'm losing some of the momentum that I had last week, and today in particular I'm having trouble even getting this out. This weekend I even got demoted in Duolingo for the first time after four months of daily usage!

But I'm trying to keep up with a few of my key habits and working to get that momentum back, and that starts by sticking with this weekly commitment.

What I'm Doing

I'm nearly finished with this cohort of Building a Second Brain. The course is coming to a close next week, but before we move into project management, this week we have finished our journey of capture. With a lecture on progressive summarization last Friday, intermediate packets on Monday, and maintenance of capture systems today, we have a fair bit of what we need to keep a second brain. Next week we will be learning how to apply it to create things and manage projects. Personally, I think I'm having most of my troubles with the course because of how different Roam is. Still worth it, but I'm having to think hard about what parts of BASB to keep and what I should handle differently for my own system.

I pushed out a few new features to gatsby-theme-brain earlier this week. They were features that others had requested, so hoping the system is even more usable for folks now.

I'm starting to do a weekly highlight reel for changes to my Public Brain. I'm still figuring out the best way to propagate interesting changes since there is no RSS feed or anything like that. After chatting with a few folks, I decided doing a weekly twitter thread could be a good way to share the best notes and updates that have been made.

What I'm Thinking

There have been interesting discussions on twitter the last few days about Community Digital Gardens. Although people are starting to create their own spaces to share thoughts and dump more raw notes and links in the fashion of Roam, at the moment there is nothing connecting these spaces together. Right now I'm thinking that an early solution could be to allow for multiple installations of my theme on the same site and have a blend of owned notes with automatic linking between them. Still exploring the ideas here.

The need to constantly course correct. It is so easy to fall off track, and there is energy required to stay on track with the things that are valuable. I need to get better at understanding my energy levels, what influences them, and how best to balance the work that I do based on my energy.

Things to Read

Book: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

I'm about half way through this book so far, and as of now I have gleaned two things: Feynman was an asshole, and Feynman was a genius. Maybe asshole is too strong of a word, but he had a propensity for pranks, some of which seemed to go very solidly into the realm of being quite mean, especially because he was such a genius. It is incredibly entertaining though listening to the stories of his youth, his time at college, and his scientific career.

It isn't necessarily a book full of actionable tips or anything, but it's incredibly interesting hearing his approach towards problems he has faced, his propensity towards experimentation and tinkering, and his humorously logical way of living.

Newsletters: Superorganizers & Divinations

I have been subscribed to Superorganizers for about two months now (linked an article of theirs a few issues back in fact), and in that time there have been a number of great interviews (with folks like Seth Godin, Nat Eliason, and Marie Poulin) and productivity articles that have come through my Inbox. It isn't free (although there is lots of great free content you can start with to see if it seems worth it), but I think the cost has been worth it.

And a few weeks ago they began a bundle with another, more business focused, subscription called Divinations. I'm less familiar with Divinations, still going through the backlog, but since getting in on the bundle I have already seen several interesting articles about the business models of different companies and deep dive numbers based analysis into certain business decisions, and I'm looking forward to spending more time reading the posts about strategic approaches to building a product or business.

There are also a number of tools and other resources provided to subscribes of each, as well as a few extras included in the bundle. I believe it's the same cost to subscribe to one as it is to subscribe to both, so if the content of either interests you I would recommend getting the bundle.

Things to Watch

Anonym.s Roam Tutorial Course

The course is still in the early stages, but after watching this very first video yesterday I was immediately reminded just how powerful Roam is. I am really looking forward to seeing how the course progresses, and I plan to do some slower rewatches of this video to get some tips and tricks until it does. In about 6 minutes, Anonym.s highlights project and task management, journaling, habit tracking, book note capture, spaced repetition, reviews, and goal management. Really excited to get more details on each of those areas.

Location of the Week: Water of Leith, Edinburgh

When I was living in Edinburgh last fall I was lucky enough to spend the couple of months in an AirBNB in Stockbridge. The place I was staying was right next to the Water of Leith Walkway, a really nice path that runs along the river for a total of about 12 miles. I spent many a day either walking along it one way to head to the ocean and the neighborhood of Leith, or the other direction to enjoy Dean Village and beyond.

I had some really nice days just walking along the river listening to Sherlock Holmes or an episode of Critical Role, and enjoying the fresh air. I have to say, at this point in my life if I could choose to live anywhere, I think it might be somewhere along that river.

Signing off until next week
- Aengus McMillin