Don’t blame the tools – blame yourself

How often you have heard or even said; I couldn’t finish the project because my <tool> hasn’t let me, or something similar. Let me tell you, that’s bullshit.

The tools are only as good as you are

Let’s create a example for this blog post: A todo list or GTD app. This also works for project management tools like Jira.

Your project management won’t go from 0 to Hero only because you buy a great app that helps you managing your todos. It’s still you that has to work on the tasks on your list. There is no magic application, that processes your list and automatically get’s it done.

If you don’t work on it, another application won’t help you out here. Another ton of notifications also won’t help you out. The tool is only a helper, to remind you and help you organize your day.

Master a tool, don’t replace it

How often I have heard something like; Oh, Todoist doesn’t work for me, I have tried it for a week and I haven’t gotten done anything. Well, also BS. When you subscribe to an advanced tool like Todoist, that can do wonders in terms of organizing and scheduling, than you also need to put in the effort to master the tool. All in all, there is not much difference in task lists, like Todoist, Things or Wunderlist. The difference is what you make out of them.

Let’s look at another example for this point; IDEs. IDEs are Integrated Development Environments. They are used by developers for writing code and getting their stuff done. If you just use and IDE like a text editor and not use the powers they have builtin, you may throw a ton of money out of the window. And here it is even more important to familiarize yourself with the application. But only if you use an IDE, you won’t be super productive from hour one. You need to learn the tools and the functions to master it.

All in all it won’t do you any good, to switch from application X to Z to Y. In my opinion it can take a year or more, to really master an app. So before you haven’t dived into it, don’t even think about switching

It’s you

Unless you don’t decide to develop an application you have to use what’s there, it may not everything fit 100 percent to your style of working, but still can adjust. There are tons of solutions, with plugins or external services to connect and combine any tool with. There is always a way, so stop bitching around and get shit done 🤷‍♀️

Silence your fucking phone

At the time of writing this, I am still on Crete. Still relaxing at the pool and enjoying doing less. Enjoying the nothing and the silence. B it there is one thing, that can still drive me nuts here. PHONE NOTIFICATIONS.

BEEPBOP, RING, DONG, DING, BLUBB. It’s this default ring tones, you know them, from Samsung, Apple, and a ton of other phones. The most time I wear headphones and listen to some audio book or calming music, you start getting into the zone. Either you are short before drifting away or really getting into your audio book. CLONG, somebody gets notified by his phone about some useless bullshit near you. They don’t even realize that they annoy everybody around them. They are used to the tone, damn zombies. They don’t recognize it, because they don’t care about life.

They won’t calm down anyway, starring on their phone, just for the next DING-DONG. No matter if it’s a game notification or some relatives that send funny pictures everybody has seen already.

I don’t blame you for this, I have times too, when I wait for messages or where I was addicted to my phone. BUT I blame you for not silencing your phone in public. Especially

In situations that are annoying enough, like commuting, waiting in lines. I bet there are more people like me, that just want to get away from this situations and listen to audio books or read in such situations. DING CLONG, CLICK, RING are the most alarming sounds and it’s just freaking impolite.

SO PLEASE, SILENCE YOUR FUCKING PHONE!

My Workspace – May 2018

As I enjoy to see other peoples workspaces, I thought to also share mine.

Here you can see the desk in my homeoffice. It’s build with a kitchen table top from the hardware store on top of an IKEA Alex drawer and two normal legs.

1. MacBook Pro 13.3 Inch

This is my main work station, my daily driver. It is maxed out, except for the hard drive (which I regret now). I use it to write, to code, to edit video. Just everything.

2. Acer EB321HQU (32 Inch)

A beast of a monitor. It has only WQHD, which means 2560 x 1440 pixels, but at this size it has the perfect amount of pixels.

3. Batman

This is a little figure, which I got as a present from my girlfriend to Sysadmin Day last July.

4. A little wooden shelf

Nothing special. I built this by myself. It’s the same wood as the table top.

5. Shitty tiny Thinkpad

A little Thinkpad from Lenovo I use for testing some stuff.

6. My Airpods

The most incredible headphones I’ve had so far and not because of their sound quality. The accessibility is just amazing. Put them out of the case and they connect magically to the Apple device you are using at the moment.

7. Das Keyboard 4C Ultimate – painted white

I really enjoy mechanical keyboards. I love the clicky sounds and the feeling when you write for a long long time. Last year I painted the cover white to match the look of my custom painted MX Master. When it comes to keyboards I am a huge nerd. I own about 12 of them. But this one, is still my favorite.

8. Logitech MX Master – painted white

I am not a huge mouse person. But when I nearly damaged my finger from using a Trackpoint all the time, I needed to switch back to a mouse. Since then I only use the Logitech MX Master. I own like 3 of them 🤷‍♂️

9. Rode Podcaster

Simply one of the best affordable USB Microphones I have tried. Cool thing here is, you have a direct monitoring output on top of the microphone where you could connect any headphones.

10. Bose Companion XYZ

I don’t know the exact model number. They were around 100 bucks and still sound amazing.

11. THE NOTE

For a week or so I am using the note everyday. I will explain to you what it is, tomorrow 😜I will link it in this post.

12. Softboxes

I mounted to softboxes above my desk to have a descent light while working and filming.

That’s it!

If you have any question or recommendations on my workspace, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, see you tomorrow! 👋

Blogging on the phone got real

The postman just was here and delivered me my 12th keyboard. BUT this keyboard is not for my notebook, desktop or tablet, it’s for the phone.

While I was visiting my parents last time, I had to write one of my 10 minute posts on the phone and came to the conclusion, that nearly everything is fine, except the thumb typing, which is exhausting.

Then three or four days ago, I saw a video by Tim Ferris, where he presents, what stuff he has in his backpack all the time. Most of the stuff wasn’t to interesting for me, except the keyboard. Tim always carries this little Logitech keyboard with him, to be able to write just anywhere and that’s awesome. So I didn’t think about it too long, and just ordered the same keyboard for me. And today it was delivered.

The packaging was nothing special, but that doesn’t matter anyway 😉 I unboxed it quickly and now I am writing this blog post with, to give it a try.

Setup

The setup worked fast and easy as it should these days with a bluetooth keyboard. I cannot experience any lag here. So quite good.

Feeling and Handling

I should be about 200 words now. To be honest, you have to get used to the switches and the feeling. Since it’s spill resistant it has this rubber surface, which doesn’t feel nice, when you are used to apples magic keyboard, but I will give it a try.

The keyboard itself has a nice weight. The included stand is to light in my opinion, as it only works when it’s attached to the keyboard. I probably won’t carry it with me, the plan is to just lean my phone against something or so 😉

After 300 words, I am slowly getting used to the keyboard.

First conclusion

After writing this blog post entirely on the iPhone and this keyboard, I have to say; It works exactly as it should. If you can get used to he rubber surface, it’s definitely worth a try 👍

Urgh, of course

22:40:35 – You are commited, you are burning for something, you are prepared and BAM; It of course doesn’t work as it should. Welcome!

Yesterday I have written about, how and why I am behind my schedule, and that I want to get back to it and film a DEVLOG, finally. And yes, I did film one, and yes, I will cut it tomorrow evening and publish it, when I am at home.

After starting the camera and doing a quick intro, I fired up the app, and wanted to work on the first task, which led me to a huge bug, I wasn’t able to fix right away. It needed research. But honestly who wants to watch me an hour straight googling and trying stuff, this is totally not interesting to anybody. So I turned the camera off and stopped recording my screen.

That’s not too bad at all, because it also shows another side of software development. On good days, you write a 100 lines of code in 20 minutes, on the other day, you can sit whole day on like 1 – 10 lines of code. So I will publish it anyway.

Ok, what’s next? Since I haven’t managed to work on the frontend today, I will push this part onto tomorrow, where I will have some offline time, where I can work on styling and stuff. The rest of today will be picking up my girlfriend and working on another few API issues.

That’s it for today! See you tomorrow! 👋

Mindmapping FTW

Ok, a not 10 minute post on this blog. I haven’t got a blog up again for productivity stuff. Deal with it.

But since I now have worked out all the concepts for Codalong, I have brain capacity left for thinking about the new blog. I thought a bit about it and wanted to document it, so started writing on a paper, but then I remembered a post about mindmapping I’ve read some time ago.

Back then I thought, “Mindmapping, that’s for old people, not for me”. But today I just downloaded XMind, because I got it available in Setapp anyway and gave it a try, and BOOM it’s awesome. I have also setup a mindmap for Codalong, for stuff that I had in my mind but couldn’t really describe yet.

And that where I see the power, just for getting ideas out of your head and putting them somewhere. XMind also has this Idea screen where you just can write down things you have in mind without ordering them right now.

I will now try to incorporate them more into my life 👍 See you again in a 10 minutes blog 😉

Backend Month done + DEVLOG progress

Yesterday I realized; I AM ON TIME, with my learning plan. I wanted to look at it, because I thought, damn I am late again.

Suprise, suprise, I am on time. February just finishes today and I have finished my NodeJS course.

So I am stocked working on some other things than writing down Mongoose queries or things like

exports.dumbController = (req, res) => { ...

I will now start with the backend of my training app, which will be all about time tracking. Over the month of February I got soooooooooooo many ideas, what the app could do, to improve my time tracking, I am hyped to work on it 😺.

110 words in 5 minutes, bad writing day. Another thing I could talk about is DEVLOG, I haven’t had time to edit it right now. But I’ve also recorded a few scenes across the week that could go into it. Maybe the first season won’t be even published, because it sucks. But I am still thinking about it.

Also I prepared for my Frontend month a few seconds ago, by purchasing Wes Bos course React for beginners some minutes ago. I am already very profound in Angular 2+, but I wanted to learn something totally new and after Facebook changed the licensing of React, the community seems to grow even faster than the Angular community. It’s always good to know more than one framework and being able to compare.

But(!) I am even more hyped for April, because that will be MOBILE month. Can’t wait to build the mobile version of my time tracking app.

Enough for today! See you tomorrow 👋

Start again – hauck.io

Ok, so now we have this website hauck.io that I don’t like anymore. Both design and content. I like the productivity stuff and all the new stuff, but the blog has too much history for me. So let’s do something about it. Let’s start over.

The content

After coding and doing sysadmin stuff I have another huge area of interest and that’s productivity and getting shit done. All in combination with digital gadgets like computers and phone. And that’s basically it. The blog will be dedicated to how to be productive as hell with the help of technology, and also without.

I am already working on new stuff, but I want to put the whole blog down and only import the stuff that I like. So sorry guys, there will some time without blog posts 🤷‍♂️.

The design

I am a very routined developer, in python and also in php, but am definitely not a huge frontend and design guy. So I watched a few videos design, read a book on design, read another ton of blogs and started designing the new theme for hauck.io and here it is:

It’s not total ready now, but it does it’s job, — ok my girlfriend just came in and didn’t like it too much 🤷‍♀️ but for now, it’s ok. I also don’t like to fancy designs, so it should focus on the content.

The code

For starting the theme I am thinking about giving CSS Grid a try. Wes Bos just launched a free course on that. Let’s see if I can get some hours to work on it.

Otherwise I will be using Understrap. Which is a fork of the underscore starter theme for WordPress with Bootstrap 4, Sass and all the stuff you would need to set up.

I will do a video, when I’ve decided on the technology and maybe also have the first prototype ready.

What else?

I have tried to make a graphic today, for a simple rule that:

If you like it, you can use it anywhere you want 😉

See you next time

in Main | 358 Words

2018 – January Roundup

Welcome to my first monthly roundup. As the title states, this kind of post, will appear every month. Now it’s the 1st of February, so let’s see what was January about.

Stuff that I tried

Bear instead of Evernote

Ended up, using it side by side. Evernote for living paperless and Bear for taking notes. The iPad version of Bear is awsome, although it needs some work.

(nope, still tell siri or alexa to set a timer)

Pocket instead of Instapaper

I wanted an ability to save blog posts for later, for what Instapaper is an awesome solution. But I thought it would be quite awesome, to have the ability to have a kind of website to recommend all the articles to you. That’s why I tried out Pocket. It works well, I will tell you more about it, next month.

Overcast for listening to podcasts

The biggest thing in terms of new apps in January was Overcast. If you are looking for a podcast client for iOS look no further. There will be probably a review on hauck.io, but more on that later.

Health / Fitness

I signed up for a new gym and started training again. Everything comes to staying fit for me. I am more focused, more steady, more productive, more awake, get up better in the morning, when I am in a training routine.

Also I started to do a lot more cardio than in the past.

Meetups

I attended like 4 meetups this month, about webdevelopment, wordpress and devops stuff.

Projects

This was the biggest part, I had to deal with and think about in January. I haven’t published anything on hauck.io this month and as everything in life, this has a reason. I don’t like the blog anymore, it’s too broad. It’s about software development, it’s about productivity, about apps, about soft skills, you get it.

I want to experiment a bit. So I thought of splitting it again, into multiple blogs, so people only interested in coding and tech, won’t get bothered with soft skills stuff and vice versa.

And here is the plan for this:

  1. CODALONG will be the blog for coding and tech related stuff, like django, python, javascript and devops topics
  2. HAUCK.IO will be for productivity and apps that help you achieve this
  3. DANIELHAUCK.net (this blog you are actually reading) is an approach for a personal blog and stuff like this, that would fit into all the blogs and also offers some kind of conclusion
  4. PROJECT Foo for which I don’t have a name yet, which will offer german tutorials for wordpress and will be video-only

I am not reachable

It’s now the third week of 2018 and I already have made some changes, little changes, but they already have shown a major effect on my overall well being. Let me tell you about it.

Cause

In the first week of January I was on vacation, at least I should be. I wanted to have some time for myself and my girlfriend. Time to set goals and reboot. I really love the work I do, also if it requires me some time to put in all nighters or be on call most of the time. But this time I couldn’t calm down for a single day. Every single day, I got another mail, another instant message, ‘hey could you… please?’. In the last years I would have jumped to my laptop and fixed all the issues in my holidays. This time it had another effect.

Effect

In general I have disabled most notifications on my phone, so I get less distracted. There are a few apps, like phone that should ring and wake me up or notify me. But this time I have gone a bit further. I have deleted all messaging accounts and mail boxes, that were related to that job. The same goes for my iPad. I deleted Jira, Confluence, Hangouts and some Airmail Inboxes.

You won’t believe what an amazing relieving effect this had. As long as I am not sitting in front of my notebook, I am not reachable. And this feeling is scary first but then amazing.