New Feeds, Habits, and Jobs

(I've been tinkering on this post all weekend, and I wanted to get it out of the door before it's next week. Here goes!)

I always forget, and there's no good reason for this, how difficult it is to establish new routines and new habits. Two weeks ago, I moved for the second time this year. this week I started a new job and even though I have more free time than I did before, I'm still coming up at loose ends and I find myself wondering why I have a hard time concentrating and getting into "the grove." There's so much to do, so many tasks collecting dust on my todo list, and I'm only half keeping ahead of everything.

I have two things to report that I missed on the last update: I have new full-text feeds for posts about org-mode and emacs. Hopefully these will get included in relevant planets soon for your reading pleasure.

There's also been some :discussion on the "Bad Org Mode Habits" post. You may be interested.

As an aside: the astute among you will notice that Matt Lundin and I have made a folk page that is automatically updated anytime there's a page that links to or is tagged with Matt's handle (i.e. "madalu.") This includes an RSS feed that he (or you) can use to track his updates and mentions. Use the edit page functionality to see how to make such a page for your own notification purposes.

Everything else on my list is pretty boring. I'm, slowly trying to follow my own advice in bad org mode habits.

The organization I was using for my lists and notes worked really well when I was commuting all of the time and working off of laptops on the go. Among other limitations, I think I basically had to give up any sort of really complex project. Now that I have more time, I can tend to more gnarly projects that I've wanted to tinker with that I just haven't had the time for. Without a train ride and "home time" to define my free time for fiction writing and other projects, it's been hard to adjust.

It has also been hard for me to get a real sense of how my free time remains limited (because that's the nature of free time,) even if there's a lot more of it to go around. Adjustment is always hard and changes, particularly big changes, have a ripple effect. Things I've been doing differently include:

  • I've made some big changes to the blog post writing tooling, so that new blog posts are written in my org-mode files rather than in their own directory. (I updated the above emacs code with some shell functions that make the publication process easier (if you're using that code.) This seems minor, but is pretty big in terms of how I'm using org I've never really used org for anything other than notes and one off projects. It's a good shift.
  • While I used to dock my laptop to the desk and use it with an external monitor, I'm switching to just using the laptop dock and working on the laptop on the desk. This might not be ergonomically ideal, but it feels better and is a bit more coherent. Particularly with the addition of a third laptop for work.
  • I caved and installed emacs on my work laptop (Windows.) Rather than adapt all of my emacs crap to work with Windows, I'm basically copying and pasting the important parts, and starting from scratch. It's not pretty, but it works. And being able to use emacs and do the things that I want to do there, is a good thing indeed.
  • With only a few thousand more words to go on the novel. I'm taking a bit of a break to rethink things, and hopefully this afternoon rewrite a few outlines so I have a good way of drawing this project to a close. Then writing, then lots of editing and lots of other writing.
  • A bit more than two weeks ago, I got a new cell phone. It's a HTC Inspire (ATT "4g,") and I like it rather a lot. I still think that Blackberry does email and messaging better. This is a better computer to have in your pocket. The Kindle App is really usable. I have a text editor/note program that works great, and all the other little incidentals just seem to work and be there. If only the messaging where a bit better. eh.
  • The new job is going well, though I'm still in the "I wonder what this will look like when I'm actually fully up to speed" phase. I expect that I'll write even less about this job than my last job, and retreat further into "tycho." I like this. I may, however, write some features of the new job: the fact that I'm using Windows on my work machine and various aspects of digital collaboration, which I still find fascinating.

That's all the news that's fit to print!

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