Adventures in Excel

I use Excel almost every day. I think it’s underrated by most people because so much of it is inscrutable. I try to watch Joel Spolsky’s “You Suck at Excel” video at least once a month. It’s chock full of tips that make Excel less work to use. The video also makes me chuckle. I’ve been working on a project that I estimated to take about 1000 hours to complete. I’m a couple of months in and wanted to see how my estimate was looking.

MeisterNote Announced

It feels like we are experiencing a renaissance of knowledge management. I find new apps and services everyday. Today, I discovered another one from MeisterLabs: MeisterNote. It sounds a lot like Craft with some super powers. I generally like what MeisterLabs makes, even though they are webapps.1 Their designs are playful and it feels like they actually use what they make. I really wish MeisterLabs would do a better job showing what their apps do instead of explaining in text and cartoons.

Video and Chat Etiquette

This article by Florian Haas had me nodding along through each paragraph. It’s ostensibly about distributed development teams but it’s really just about generosity. Many of us have been thrust into remote work with little training in etiquette. Some of us had to re-frame what we know about face to face work while others continued along with the same bad habits. Florian is pretty blunt about how disruptive these bad habits are.

The DEVONthink Field Guide

David Sparks has a new Field Guide out and it might be the biggest one yet. This guide covers pretty much all of the DEVONthink functionality and even includes a sample database to work with. David covers every detail of the app, from the settings to integration with third party apps. These are focused lessons that get to the point, unlike the random stuff I find on YouTube. David gets straight to useful information without wasting time asking for likes or telling me to check out other videos.

The Modern Complexity of the Simple Blog

While researching a new platform for Macdrifter.com I learned just how complicated simplicity has become. I wanted to avoid Medium or Substack which meant I needed to accept my role in managing the publishing platform. I wasn’t prepared for how complex plain-text blogging has become.1 One popular trend is to implement a what I would consider a software development pipeline and not a blogging system. I love technology as much as the next nerd, but I do not understand this trend of increasing the dependencies and technical infrastructure for turning Markdown into HTML.

Cornell Notes

I know. I drone on about digital notes and apps like Obsidian and DEVONthink. But, I also love writing on paper. I always have. I was the weird kid in high school using graph paper to take notes and it’s not much different today. My preferred style of note is the Cornell method. I learned this by accident in college. Through trial and error I started dividing my pages into the the primary note body and the meta data sections and then I discovered that there’s actually paper designed for this purpose.

Write More

I liked this analogy by Antoine Lehurt: After the “keep it simple” in programming, the “keep it short” for writing. I often write too much.

Feeds and Redirects

EDIT: Apparently https is hard and I am not up to the challenge today. I updated this post with a new feed address. Well that wasn’t a great re-launch of this site. I probably broke some RSS feed readers. In case you came here randomly and want a feed URL it has changed. The old feed: http://www.macdrifter.com/feeds/all.atom.xml Has now become: http://www.macdrifter.com/feeds/rss.xml and the https version is here: https://www.macdrifter.com/feeds/rss.xml It may update automatically as a result of the .

Obsidian Templater Fun

I’m still having fun and friction with Obsidian. But let’s try something a bit more challenging than deciding on a folder structure for our notes. One of the things I like about modern text editors is that they are incredibly extensible. Most have a plugin architecture and also support some sort of scripting language. Obsidian has both and they are built on JavaScript. This article concerns the extremely powerful Templater plugin for Obsidian.