For 2019’s Q1 I want to do a ‘weekly hack’. There are many small odd jobs around the house, on my computer, our network, or in my workflows. They often are in my todo lists, but never get done, simply because they never have any urgency attached to them and so the rest of my life goes first. Yet they often do hinder me, and keep nagging to be resolved. Either that or they are the small wished for fixes (I really should have a page for X / I really should make a template for Y).

So 12 ‘hacks’, fixes or odd jobs in Q1 2019 it is. If it becomes a habit after that it will mean doing some 4 dozen small things to make life easier per year. That’s a lot of things done incrementally over time. A first braindump gave me some 20 things to choose from (and the one I ended up doing first wasn’t even on that original list, but came to me later 😉 ).

  • 19#01 Create and use a template for the first read through and note taking of a non-fiction book.
    I made it in Tinderbox, which is an outliner plus mapping tool by Mark Bernstein. The template is mostly based on this WikiHow page on reading non-fiction, with some added questions (e.g. concerning assumptions made by the author)

    (the template in map and in outline view).
    For each book I copy that template. Each element in the outline/map is also a note which can have text, images etc. Tinderbox then lets you export the whole thing as a document, in this case the summary of my reading notes of a book. Which can then be blogged or published in other ways. [Category: workflow, habits]
  • 19#02 Did an edit in Open Street Map. For a long time open data consultant and activist, I actually do very little with data. My focus is on helping government entities change, so that their data becomes available routinely and at high quality. So, while Open Street Map (OSM) is a re-users of large amounts of Dutch open government data I never actually edited something in it. Peter’s suggestion this week triggered me to change that. [Category: learning]
  • 19#03 Export notes from presentation deck. I regularly give presentations, and use the speaker notes to write out the story and to present. Writing up the presentation story afterwards I used to copy by hand the presenter notes to my text editor and then turn it into a blogpost. This is however time consuming (copy and pasting text from each slide). To make that easier I searched for an applescript online and adapted it to my use. Now copying the notes to the clipboard is just one click, and then it is stored in my ClipMenu tool to past into whatever editor or word processor I want to use it in. Available from github.
  • 19#04 Add an ‘on this day’ function. To show blogposts from earlier years on the current day. Added and fixed a plugin, that provides a shortcode.
  • 19#05 Automatically transform bank journal entries into procurement journal entries Made an Applescript that takes the bank journal entries from my double entry book keeping system as csv, and then for the entries that are marked as procurement, creates the correct entry for the procurement journal. Output is in CSV again, which I can directly import into my book keeping system. Script published on github
  • 19#06 I redid my changes to the Semantic Backlinks plugin to display webmentions differently on my site. After an update my earlier changes had been overwritten. So following my own earlier documentation, I fixed it again.
  • 19#07 Fixed the authorization header issue on my site. This was keeping me from using microsub and micropub applications to post to my site. Having tried various things suggested online, in the end the Drupal fora provided the right answer. Adding RewriteRule .* – [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}] to htaccess solved the issue
  • 19#08 Added experimental check-ins to the blog. Ultimately I’d like to recreate the Plazes and Dopplr experience, available to just my network.
  • 19#09 Wrote a new front page text for my professional web presence.
  • 19#10 Redid all the tile stones on the roof terrace, in preparation for putting some plants, berries, there.
  • 19#11 Convinced a site I’m following to switch to a full article text rss feed, replacing the title/summary only feed they had before. I had asked them a long time ago, and they wouldn’t saying it was too difficult. This time, figuring out which CMS they used I included the description of where in the settings to make changes. Positive response within the hour. Lesson: enable people to act by including what they need to do so.
  • 19#12 Growing more edible things for the little one, and ourselves Got berry shrubs (and planters) for the roof terrace. Blueberries, red berries, raspberries, and blackberries. It gets a lot of sun up there. Hopefully that translates into lots of berries.