This weeknote doesn’t carry much about the work I am doing. I was finding my weeknotes about work probably worked better as their own standalone blog posts. If I write any work related blog posts I will link out to them from my weeknotes.

  • I’ll publish these on a Friday every week. I’ll try not to make them too worky. There’s more to life than work, work doesn’t define me, work it girlf— Stop, Si.
  • There didn’t seem to be too much rain this week round these parts. Good for running. Helped me get that 1000 miles for 2019.
  • Following a tweet thought, Brendan Dawes wrote a quick blog post, It’s Good to Talk. Bren’s words resonated. A month back I was reflecting for the past couple of years I’d gone into my shell or stopped talking to many people or some such. Maybe my time at DWP had made me a recluse. Maybe working away a lot doesn’t help. Maybe holing myself away in the shed is a problem. But the cross gov design meet towards the end of the year was the perfect tonic, talking with people and about problems and about design. And the last Leeds gov design meet of 2019 was up there too. I managed to fit in a couple of video chats before the Christmas holiday, and jotted a list of four people I promised to talk to but never got round to. And in the new year I am going to work somewhere different every fortnight. Look sideways more as, er, someone once said.
  • I spent Friday lunchtime having a video call chat with a couple of people. Jesse posted on Twitter he was welcoming random chats, so we chatted. It was good to talk. It was good to set up the end of the working week with some watcha doing.
  • My seemingly gradual move away from Evernote as my default note storing platform was um noted this week when I was making a list of books laying about the house I hadn’t opened or read: I was using the iPhone’s native Notes app. I’ve been using Notes more and more over the last year, not exclusively but definitely more. Why do I still use Evernote? Permissions. I can share Evernote notes with anyone with access to the web. They don’t have to have Evernote (Evernote notes can be viewed through a web browser) and they don’t have to have an Apple device (which you need for Apple Notes). There’s stuff in Evernote, a lot of stuff in there going back to 2009 (I first used Evernote during my break after I left Brahm). Hardly any of it I refer back to. If Apple Notes was to solve its shareability Evernote would be gone.
  • 2019 was a pretty lacklustre reading year for me. I don’t record every book I read in Goodreads but I record most books in there (mainly because I am quite a Kindle user). I am going to get back to the reading habits of a couple of years back, about a book a week. I have that list of books too so I know what I need to get through (not that I can share it from Notes).
  • Looking forward to a day in teh garden this coming weekend.
  • RIP Syd Mead, a person who drew me into the design of things and the possibilities of things through the films he worked on that I watched. Thanks, Syd.
  • I wrote a quick out-of-my-head piece on my running adventures in 2019. TL;DR was I enjoyed doing lots of running and going to do more going forwards.
  • I finally fixed the tags bit of this blog: It wasn’t hiding the tags part of the page when there were no tags. I had 20 minutes the other night and had the MacBook open. The code is over on Github if you want to nab it for your Github Pages hosted blog.
  • Lots of people have been openly publishing their own end of year review, but I’m not going to openly publish mine. There’s stuff I want to do and not do and that’s for me to work through. Yeah, it’s a list of more of some stuff and less of some other stuff. Stare out of the windows on trains is on the more list though. A good habit, a healthy habit I’ve lost over the last few years as I’ve tried to cram every moment out of my day. That’s not a good approach for your mind.
  • Last year felt more and more of us about my age were talking about what next after what we are doing now? I just want to keep doing more of what I am doing now, but maybe not the best long term strategy. Maybe running is helping my mind put off those thoughts, it’s something I can do now, and reading articles like this on adapting to keep doing as I get older are not helping.
  • I love to watch some good TV but rarely get the chance these ~days~ years. December I seemed to take a lot in though. Watchmen (still have to watch the last episode, which I must do this weekend or I never will…). A lot of The Big Bang Theory with the boy. Doctor Who returned and ha I nearly clapped at you-know-that-reveal and I was definitely cooing at the location supers. Dracula is setting up for some fun horror but putting it on three nights in a row when some us have started back at work isn’t fun. And I am still dipping in and out of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and my second watch of The Americans (which is still so so so good).
  • At Morrison’s using one of those automatic checkouts I was reminded of a few months back an elderly lady asking “why is the I Bought My Own Bag harder to tap than the Done?” Everyone might not be a good designer but your everyday person knows shitty design when they sees it.
  • Talking of shops, No new batteries needed: the start-ups bringing wireless power to devices is the headline of this FT article, going on to talk about replacing the labels on shop shelves with small electronic screens, and how you power them (the article talks about “distance charging” technology). Are screens “better” than labels? What are the advantages of screens over labels? The resources for this to happen: Making the things, running the things, and then “retiring” the things. Which is more sustainable environmentally? Is this an example of digital/tech solving a human problem (sure must be a lot of graft from people to keep them labels current) without consideration for the wider ecology? And isn’t this a service designy problem?
  • Talking of better had lots of chats about “what is tech for good?” in the last few months. What is good? Is everything done for government good? What if a private did something that is good? Does tech in there skew chats, even exclude approaches as they are seen as tech only? It goes on. (Totes recommend the Tech for Good Live podcasts on all this sorta stuff.) Be fun to revisit some of those in light of the election result and now Cummings’s blog post. I’ll leave you with that: What is good in this context?

Decent reads


Did you like these weeknotes? Maybe looking for some that are better? Give these a try: Mark Boulton, Mark Hurrell, Matthew Solle, Chris Thomas.


This post tagged with:
weeknotes, 2020 weeknotes

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Running in 2019