Jay's Journey


Didn't see that coming! Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels

This week I had a conversation with my manager, and it didn't go at all like I expected. But first, a little background.

Since late last year, I was promoted into a new role that I never applied for.

At first, I was kind of upset about it. And before you get mad at me and judge me for being some kind of a-hole for not being happy about a promotion, hear me out.

Prior to being moved into my new role, I was really happy where I was and with what I was doing for work. I was efficient, and frankly, had everything down to a system where I was working way less than 40 hours a week. I wasn't managing any other team members that directly reported to me, but I was leading other teams' efforts toward project and company objectives.

And, since I'm a salary worker, that meant I was being paid the same amount of money, and having a lot of time that I could use for things I wanted to do outside of just work.

And, if you've read my previous posts, you'd know that I value time more than money. And, so, I had a pretty sweet setup that was paying the bills AND giving me back a ton of time that I could use in any way I wanted. And, the icing on top was, I was killing it with my then-manager, and getting all kinds of accolades for the quality of my results.

Notice I said “results”, and not work. That's because I'm truly blessed enough to work for an employer that values results more than how many hours my butt is in a seat. My employer believes in flexible work, and it's the foundation of the work culture there, and I love it.

As a guy who loves efficiency, this is great for me because I don't like wasting too much time on non-productive activities while working – as well, when I'm done with my work for the day, I want the freedom to go do something else, and not be held captive until the clock strikes a certain time of day so I can yabba-dabba-do my way out of the office.

And, since I work from home, I no longer have to deal with time-wasters sidling up to my desk to talk away the next hour babbling about literally nothing while keeping me from getting my work done.

So, yeah, I totally love that I work from home full time, and I work for a company that measures actual results and value instead of how much time you wasted sitting in your chair, even if you finished all your work for the day. I used to work for a company like that, and it used to really frustrate me.

Ok, so back to the story, I had a sweet setup, didn't have to work a full 40 hours ever because I'm efficient, effective, and focused... you with me so far?

Now, this sweet setup got interrupted when my manager's manager's manager saw I was doing a really good job in my current role. There's another division elsewhere in the company that needed a guy... not just any guy, but a guy they can trust to do a good job.

And out of nowhere I get asked to [virtually] meet the head of the department within the division where they need the guy that can do a good job. I was told initially that I would be “helping out”, so I'm thinking I'm being asked to help them out for a few weeks, but not leaving my current role or management structure.

So, I meet with the department head, and we hit it off. He says I'm hired, and that I'll be leading a team that will start small, but will be growing to several team members within the next year. I was a little confused as to why they'd want a temporary person to grow a team, so I asked about that... if I'm only helping out, are you sure you want to build a team under me if I won't be sticking around?

Turns out, I was mistaken (by not being told the whole story). When I hit it off with the department head, it turns out they wanted me to join them permanently, and yes, they want me to build my own team.

Hence me getting a little upset. Building a team means more work. I was liking the work I was doing, and killing it, but not having to work any harder than necessary to get all that done. Growing a team means more work. Dammit, my little setup is no more!

So when I first joined the new division, my new manager, who I interviewed with and hit it off with was throwing a bunch of stuff at me. Mostly because he has to grow his department due to lots of funding and it being a priority for the company that his department and the division as a whole to grow to meet demand.

And, since there's lots to do, and he doesn't have his full team to do it all, I was having to jump in and help out wherever I could. As a result, I'm not just leading one team, I'm leading two. To be fair, the second team is just temporary (for real temporary this time), so not a forever thing.

Well, it also turns out that the work we're doing is work I'm actually enjoying. It's been a long while since I was doing hard(er) work that I was feeling both challenged AND fulfilled at, so this was kind of cool. And even though I just joined a few months ago, I've already got some quick wins that have been making their way up the senior management chain.

And yet, still no full 40 hour weeks required so far. Again, my knack for efficiency is keeping the overtime monster at bay.

Then, earlier this week I have the unexpected conversation with my new manager. We go over the staffing for both teams I'm leading, and then he says that by late spring, he'll have found a permanent lead for the second team I'm helping out with.

I told him that so far, it hasn't been a huge time commitment, so if he needed me to stay on longer for that second team, I was happy to do it. Then, he says this, “You're totally doing a great job, and you're crushing it on both teams, but I don't want to burn you out. I need you for the long term, and overloading you with two full time teams is not a good way to keep you for the long term.”

Now, you might be thinking he's just being nice and trying not to hurt my feelings, but he'd been directed to put me in for a title promotion by his boss's boss, which also means a higher pay raise to go with it. That wouldn't be in the works if they were just letting me down gently.

They're actually concerned that if they give me too much, I'll either flame out, or want to leave. And they're willing to take active steps to prevent that from happening.

Imagine... how many times has it been the opposite? Like, “we really appreciate all the extra hard work you've been doing, and we realize you haven't gotten a raise and are so tired you can't see straight, but we need you to hang in there just a little while longer (with no real end date in sight) and we promise we'll make it worth your while”... and then proceed to do absolutely nothing but continue to crush your soul and work you to near-death.

This was the opposite, and my work is getting noticed in a positive way many levels above. Now, they want to be sure I'm not being overwhelmed and am in the Goldilocks zone at work. Amazing.

So, it's not that I'm lazy at work, it's that I value time to an extreme degree and even have to take steps to protect it from professional time-wasters. I don't like to waste it, I like to maximize it, while also enjoying the dividends that being efficient and effective with time management pays back by not having to bust my butt a full 40+ hours every week.

And the other side effect is that it helps produce results that bring value to the company and get noticed by my manager and several executives above him. Everybody wins, and when that happens, life is good.

tags: #reflections #productivity

If you like my work and you received value from this post, please consider buying me a coffee: Like my work? Please consider buying me a coffee.

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This post was originally posted on my previous blog site called Jay's Journal on March 9th, 2018.

It's Not Always Crystal Clear

Today turned out to be a great day. The week? Not so much. But today turned out great.

At work, the project team I'm on was able to submit our deliverables. There wasn't instant agreement on the content of those deliverables, but we eventually did reach common ground, and submitted in time for our deadline.

That felt really good, as I will say that I had a big hand in finding that common ground with all team members.

And while I don't necessarily enjoy making decisions by committee (I prefer a hierarchical structure, but that's just me), it's how things work here, and so I can adapt.

I've been doing really well here. Better than well, excellent, actually. My performance reviews and rewards have been top notch. Tangible indicators that my contributions here are both respected and appreciated.

All in all, that feels great. Now combine that with the fact that we were able to come together as a team and pull out our most recent win has me simply stoked.

And, as I touted the team's latest victory to my manager, his question to me was, “What do you have planned for next week's [win]?”

While I said, “Sitting around the pool sipping pina coladas” in a joking manner, I really wasn't. But, alas, it was only a joke because it wouldn't be true.

I did forecast the team's next set of tasks and future wins, and that I do know to be truth. And he did, too, so he was good with my answers.

But there's something else that gave me a little extra pep in my step today.

I gained a bit of clarity... about what's next.

Not what's next week, but what's next for me as a person. Now, to be fair, I've had a lot of ideas about what I'd like to be next, or what I think I would like to be next, but turns out a lot of them were pretty fleeting.

Fun? Sure! But doable as my next thing? Not really.

So, you might ask: If you're doing so great at work, why are you thinking about what's next?

The answer is: Because, it's what I do.

Maybe it was the military, or maybe lessons learned while growing up, or earlier on in my IT career, but I always need a fallback plan.

It's not an option for me. In my time, I've found myself suddenly laid off more than once. Somehow, I've always managed to stay employed, and land on my feet.

I could say I've been really lucky, but I'm not sure it's all luck. Some of it has to be either preparation, or the ability to seize opportunities that arise from a sudden change of circumstance.

Those opportunities may not be immediately beneficial, but the smaller ones certainly do lead to larger ones.

So, in the back of my mind, I always ask myself the question: What if you lost your job tomorrow?

When I don't have a good answer, I feel vulnerable. I feel like I need to have an answer to that so that a sudden change in circumstances doesn't mean a sudden change in lifestyle.

And, for the past couple of years, I thought I had my what's next solved. Turns out, the ideas I came up could be an eventual thing, but not my absolute next thing.

Well, an epiphany has been brewing. It started as a small seed, but it's blossomed. And has now turned into an undeniable need to take action to make it real.

And, as it turns out, my next can serve as the basis of everything else I've wanted to do, even the eventual stuff.

This time, though, my what's next isn't just one thing, it's two things, with the option to turn into three.

But, in order to quench this thirst, I have to start with one. The one that is the heart of all else. The one that will help facilitate all my other wants and desires for what I'd want to do next if I found myself without a job.

What's more, my absolute next will also help me be better at my current job, perhaps even prolonging my usefulness here. And, it will also help me to possibly make extra money on the side, which would fund my other ventures and passions.

Ok, so what is this next thing I want to do that's got me so excited?

I want to become a copywriter. And right after that, a career and relationship coach for men.

So why a copywriter? When I set out to really think this through, I realized a few things about myself.

First is, I love to write. I find it to be relaxing and therapeutic. And no, just because I can write lengthy posts doesn't mean I'm actually any good at it.

So, becoming a copywriter will challenge me to improve my skills. Maybe say more with less words, make a larger impact with fewer lines on a page. I'll bolster my love for writing with the knowledge of knowing how to write better.

Second is, I want to make extra money. Can never have enough saved for a rainy day, or eventual retirement. Copywriting will give me several avenues in which to do this:

  1. I can write professionally as a freelance writer.
  2. I can write personally to promote products I believe in, and earn affiliate commissions based on my words and feelings about those products.
  3. I can use these skills to write copy for my life coaching website with actual skill and knowledge on how to make the most impact and land clients that would be excited to work with me.

For me, these are very practical reasons for wanting to learn how to be a copywriter. It's applicable here and now, and in the future.

If I found myself suddenly unemployed, my copywriting skills, and all that I intend to do with them could (potentially) enable me to launch an entire business based around this set of skills alone, offering me flexibility of time, hours, and even work location.

Is it any wonder, I'm walking around with my head help up high, smiling, and not feeling as vulnerable as before?

I've finally figured out “What's Next”, and it feels fantastic!

tags: # thoughts #reflections

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You've Got Mail! Photo credit: Yannik Mika at Unsplash

I don't mean too many emails, I mean too many email accounts. With emails all up in them as well. I've just got too many email accounts.

Why? Well, I kind of collect email accounts like some people collect purses, or shoes, or salt and pepper shakers. And this past weekend, I finally realized that it's not good.

Why do I collect email accounts in the first place? Well, mostly because I like to try out new email services. Let's face it, since email as a service is kinda boring, most email providers have to market their service as being unique.

You know, the whole, “A Unique Approach to Email” is the headline. And, to some extent, each email provider does do email a bit different than the other. So, I like trying that unique thing. And, over the years, it's translated to like close to 12 different email accounts. <—– I already updated that number like 3 times while writing this post as I keep remembering more accounts I have laying around.

Some accounts I pay for, and some I don't. The ones I don't pay for are an issue because the old saying goes that if you're not paying for the product, you are the product.

But, with a provider like Zoho (yes, I have an account with them), they'll give you a free account and won't do evil shit with your info. But, for places like Yahoo and Google, and even Microsoft, yeah, they do.

I ditched Yahoo years ago after they had the biggest email breach in human history. It's true, look it up. And, I have Gmail out of necessity because, you know, YouTube, but would ditch them entirely if I could – damn those digital crack dealers!

And, with different email accounts come different email addresses. And with different email accounts and email addresses comes email sprawl – email on many different servers in many parts of the world. And because most email providers offer an email migration tool of some kind, I'm a propagator of my own email across different services.

Because it's just. So. Easy!

I've been on a quest to find the email service that won't be evil with my email by snooping on or selling my data. Then, it needs to have function and utility to enable me to manage my email in a way that's fun, or at least in a way I don't hate it.

A huge bonus if the email service is end to end encrypted with zero knowledge, meaning the staff or third party contractors or anybody but me can't read my email.

Each email service tends to have it's own value triangle: Features, Zero Knowledge Encryption, Fun to Use – You can only pick two.

As I'd like to get this post out relatively quickly, I won't go into which service meets each of the elements of the value triangle, but maybe in another post.

For the purposes of this post, I've come to the realization that I have way too many email accounts, and this past weekend I started to do something about it.

I started by first embracing the fact that I can't have all three elements in the value triangle. Then, based on that, I decided that in order to have all three elements, I'll need TWO email accounts. One that does what I want without zero knowledge encryption while being fun to use and fast, and then one with zero knowledge encryption that can at least do the basics without sucking too bad.

I settled on the two that will get the job done for me in the way I need to and want to:

  • Fastmail as my daily driver: It's way fast, feature packed, and at least private, but without the zero knowledge encryption.
  • Protonmail as my virtual safe deposit box: Stuff I'd only want my spouse, priest, attorney, or doctor to know go in there. I also have their VPN service, so it's kinda free and I get a stupid amount of storage, like 500GB.

And, by doing that, I feel relieved. Like I'm getting a handle on things.

Now, for all the email addresses that I have out there. I'd started using an email masking and forward service a couple of years ago called SimpleLogin.io. It's great because you can create an email alias, on the fly even, for every website you have to sign up for some kind of an online account.

It's also great for signing up for newsletters, basically, anything you have to give out your email address for. Instead of giving out your real email address that they can sell, give them an alias instead.

Then, when that alias email address is sold or compromised in some data breach (which happens daily now), you can easily disable that alias in the SimpleLogin dashboard.

So, just today I had to register for jury duty. On the county's website, I created an alias on the fly of the countyname@mydomain.com. And now that email alias forwards email to the actual mailbox of my choosing. SimpleLogin also allows you to specify multiple mailboxes to send that email to.

That doesn't really help me as I'm a recovering email account collector, but it's good to know I can do that if I want. So, with that service, I can also give people an email address that I can determine where it lands. It saves people from having to always update my email address, or even have to keep several of them in my addressbook entry.

I just give them one address, and whichever or how ever many email services I use on the back end, all they need be concerned with is the one email address I gave them.

So, the next step is to take the next week or two, and pull all my emails off these other services other than the two I've decided to use, and cancel the rest. Until I fall off the wagon again, that is.

tags: #technology #reflections #productivity

If you like my work and you received value from this post, please consider buying me a coffee: Like my work? Please consider buying me a coffee.

And, if you'd like to stay up to date with new blog posts, subscribe for free email delivery each time a new post is published. I hate SPAM just as much as you do, and your information will never, EVER, be shared or sold.

This post was originally posted on my previous blog site called Jay's Journal on February 6th, 2018.

Here's to ME!

Last week, while at work, I started something that I never intended to start. Turns out, I needed to do this mini-project way more than I realized. Both in result, and in actual benefit.

What I started last week was to chip away at organizing my work emails, and took on the challenge of figuring out the best way to leverage Microsoft's OneNote alongside Outlook. The MS Office suite is standard issue at work, and while I've been using these and many other Microsoft products for multiple decades now, I never really took the time to learn OneNote, let alone learn how to use it with Outlook to create a killer productivity combo.

But, starting last week, that's exactly what I did.

First Step: Email

I started with trying to figure out a way to reduce the size of my inbox, without losing any emails. I keep all my emails for work, for various reasons, most of which benefit me at some time or another. I learned a very long time ago not to rely on subjective and inaccurate human memories, it's all in black and white. This helps on many levels and for many reasons.

At my work, we're not allowed to use the standard archiving feature of Outlook. It's automated, it's reliable, and... it's disabled.

And with me having less than 1GB free on a 5GB mailbox, I had to do something. Having just started the new year, there's no way I could cram an upcoming year's worth of email into less than 1GB of space.

So, I first went through and deleted all the crap. All the meeting responses (Accepted, Declined, Tentative). The meetings already happened, and I just don't care who accepted, declined, and “tried their best” to make it any longer.

Then I cleaned out all the corporate announcements. I'm sure it was important to know about our upcoming open enrollment, but it already happened, and I signed up. As well, can I no longer keep the announcement of a company vice president that I never met is stepping down several months after the announcement went out in the first place. Again, by now, it's already happened, and we all know who replaced him or her.

So, after that, I went from .98GB of free space to... 1GB of free space. Yay, progress, but I need to do more. Way more.

Second Step: OneNote

Knowing the Internet has an answer for everything, I did a search on how to master OneNote. It's a tool I've used for a while, but never really used it. In other words, I used the basic features and functions, but never went beyond that. So, I found some articles on Lifehacker and Make Use Of and found my answers.

So, I set up a way to tie in my Outlook tasks to OneNote, which are tied to this year's project notebook. I then figured a way to export my emails to a separate notebook called oddly enough, “Archives”. Then, I ported all my emails over to the archive notebook, and deleted the originals from my mailbox.

I rinsed and repeated with my sent folder, and any other sub-folder I had in my mailbox that has lived past it's usefulness.

After several alternating crashes between Outlook and OneNote, my export/import process was complete.

  1. Because Microsoft
  2. I had a LOT of emails to push across

So, after archiving all emails prior to this year, I had like 3GB of space left. Now THAT'S progress! But still not good enough.

With OneNote, I organized my notebooks for my projects, and my general notes, and now they're easy to find and use. Organization is starting to be fun again! I'm on a roll, so I'm gonna do more.

Third Step: Outlook again

Now that my entirely useless emails from past to present are gone, and all my known project emails that lived in their own folders are moved out, where else could I free up space?

Well, of course, my INBOX (cue scary music)!

In the previous years, I'd tried, and failed, at keeping my emails in their neat little folders, according to their topic or project. And, by failed, I mean some made it into their folders (already archived now), but most simply got left in the inbox.

So, I start combing through my inbox to find the emails that belong to specific folders, and I move them there. Then, I repeat the Export/AppCrash/Import routine between Outlook and OneNote.

This took a while. As I had tons of emails in their respective folders, I had even more email that was unorganized in my inbox. But, in this case, patience won the day, or the week, in this case. After chipping away at it, little by little, my inbox had only the emails from January 1st and newer in there.

My inbox now had 4.1GB of free space. Pretty good, eh? NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

And, being a glutton for punishment, I decided I could do even more.

Fourth Step: Reinventing my Outlook Experience

I decided that if things were going to change, they really needed to change, from top to bottom. So, I completely revamped the layout of my Outlook. I stripped away persistent menus, added useful side widgets, and basically brought my Outlook to a very minimal yet functional appearance.

For my inbox, my calendar, even my tasks – every single section, now has a fresh new and uncluttered look. In this case, uncluttered doesn't mean unusable, it means easier to see and do what I need when I need to. Then, when I don't need Outlook, it stays out of my way.

Next, I set up some custom inbox processing rules. There are several emails that come in with alerts and notifications that just don't impact me. They're automated blast emails from various systems and products that I don't personally use or maintain, so I set up a rule that intercepts those before they hit my inbox and take them directly to my Trash.

That alone saves me close to 50 emails a day, and up to several hundred over a weekend.

Then, I created new subfolders that actually make sense for what I'm doing this year for work. Easy to read, easy to access, and it has to make sense to use or it's gone.

Once that was done, I created a couple of “Quick Steps” with Outlook. These are handy little buttons you can click that will do one or more thing with or to your email when you click them. So, I created quicksteps that would take any email I select, then it would give it a Category with a color coding for easy reading, and then would automatically move it out of my inbox and into the folder designated for that Quick Step.

So, I have multiple Quick Steps created, and they're all visible at the top of my Outlook workspace, when I have my menus pulled down.

Now, I do have to manually select the email, and select the Quick Step that is best for that message, but that's not a bad thing. It's not bad because I now am present with each email, and have to decide what to do with every email that comes into my inbox.

I either, Quick Step it based on which category and folder it needs to go in, I can delete it, or I can reply to it, then Quick Step both the email and the reply, or when the time is right, archive it to my OneNote.

Whichever I choose, I have to read my email in order to decide what to do with it.

And, the beautiful, glorious result is: I've reached INBOX ZERO! Plus, 4.8GB out of 5GB free!

I have no emails in my inbox at the moment. When emails come in, I read them when I'm able, I process what to do with them, and get them out of my inbox.

If I'm worried that an email that gets Quick Stepped into oblivion by being out of sight from my inbox and hiding in a folder (which could also happen if it's buried within hundreds of other emails in the inbox), I Quick Step it, then go to it's new location and right-click the message and place a follow up flag on it for a time that's appropriate, and set a reminder from the same flagging feature.

By adding the flag, it places that email in my “To Do” list, that I can now see all the time as part of my new minimal heads up layout for Outlook, and the reminder will pop up in my face when I set it to, so that I can really take action on it if I somehow ignore it glaring at me from Outlook as a side widget.

And there you have it! Inbox Zero, a way to sustain and maintain it, and a stress-free way to handle emails without running out of space.

All the things I never declared as a New Year's Resolution, but did it anyway, and am so stoked about my new organization system!

Have you done anything unintentionally (at first) this year that you can claim as an unexpected New Year's Resolution win?

tags: #thoughts #reflections #productivity

If you like my work and you received value from this post, please consider buying me a coffee: Like my work? Please consider buying me a coffee.

And, if you'd like to stay up to date with new blog posts, subscribe for free email delivery each time a new post is published. I hate SPAM just as much as you do, and your information will never, EVER, be shared or sold.

From the unknown! Image credit: Pedro Figueras: Pexels

This is an origin story of where this blog originally came from, and what my goals and aspirations are for this latest iteration of it.

I actually started blogging back in like 2004. It was a brief effort, and never really captured my attention.

And, ever since then, I'd try new blogging platforms and get excited about it, and keep it up for a couple of weeks, then move on to something else. If for nothing else, there was consistency in my inconsistency.

I did realize, however, during that time that the more I tried to write, the more I actually enjoyed writing. Even to this day, I really do enjoy writing. Whether it's business writing for work, or blogging, I do enjoy it.

Just not too much all at once. Otherwise I get bored and go on to other things.

This Blog In A Previous Life

That inconsistency has carried itself over to even my most recent iteration just prior to this one. A version of this blog was over at a platform called Listed.to and was called Jay's Journal. I never did do a custom domain name for it, as it was mostly a writing outlet than it was a blog meant to be a standalone destination.

Fun fact: The domain for jaysjournal.com, .net, and even .blog were already taken, so I had to go with jaysjourney.blog for my new blog away from Listed.

My writing was aggregated with other writers on the Listed.to platform, so I got some exposure and attention that way. It was there that I got the most feedback and interaction, and it was quite satisfying.

Direct emails via the newsletter feature garnered some encouragement from my readers, and the platform even had a guestbook that several were so kind to leave messages of praise and encouragement on.

After setting up this blog and preparing to bring over the posts from Listed, I realized, I wrote A LOT over there. Probably the most consistently inconsistent (or vice versa?) and prolific writing I've done up to this point.

And, even with all that, I was still inconsistent in posting. There's just something about routine that my mind and body rejects. Not just with writing, but with so many other things as well.

Doing the same thing every day kind of bores me, and even the most exciting things can become daunting if having to be done every single day. Perhaps I'll explore the mental and emotional underpinnings of that in future posts, but suffice it to say, I simply resist routine.

I think what further contributed to extended absences away from writing were also with the platform itself. “Listed” is a blogging feature that comes baked in to a paid subscription to Standard Notes.

Standard Notes in and of itself is an extremely secure note taking app. It's really good, actually... and almost too good. See, it's zero knowledge, meaning that all notes and files that are saved in the app are encrypted and unreadable by anyone at Standard Notes.

I was so impressed by the app, and its focus on privacy and security, that I reached out to the app's founder. He's a really great guy, very down to Earth, and he and I seem to have a lot in common in our philosophies and viewpoints.

In fact, I was even able to land a copywriting project for the website redesign of Standard Notes. That enables me to say that at one time I was truly a “professional” copywriter. Not for sales copy, but for how to use the various features that come with Standard Notes. It was a great experience working for him.

Well, when it comes to the app, however, I ran into issues with it. After not logging in for a while, it became difficult to log in and have access to the advanced features that come with a paid plan. I still was paying for the plan, but then my account lost sync to the access to those features.

It kept telling me my subscription lapsed and I need to upgrade. But, I already did.

I engaged the support team, and they weren't able to really solve it, so I got a refund. Well, without a paid plan to Standard Notes, I'm not able to post to the Listed blogging platform.

So, after the most recent holidays passed, I thought I'd give it another try. However, I changed emails, and was able to add my new email address to my account, and could still access all my notes. Then I remembered that my paid plan was no longer active, so I reactivated it.

And, lo and behold, my account was still out of sync with the advanced features. No matter what I did, I just can't get it to sync up. And, I have a lot, like I mean a LOT of notes. Again, I can still access them, but I can't manage them in the app the way I want to with the advanced features I'm paying for.

Well, even with that being the case, I figured I'd still be able to post to Listed because all of my posts are still up on Listed, and the notes that I posted as blog posts are still in my Standard Notes account.

However, during my absence from the platform, it seems they changed how the blog posting feature interacts with my actual Standard Notes account. And so I was prompted to enable my “Listed author” account from within the notes side of things. I figured if I did that, I'd be able to post again directly as my previous persona.


When I activated my Listed author account, it created a whole new account. It was at that point I figured it was time to move on. Not because I was angry or upset, but only because I didn't want to have another series of back and forth emails with the support team.

It's Not Them, It's Me

I just don't really want to mess with it anymore. And, that's what brought me over to Write.as for my blogging platform. It's as simple as Listed was when it worked. However, with Write.as, it's just meant for blogging and the occasional writer's notes, not full on note taking like Standard Notes, and I'm good with that, too.

Now that Apple has enabled users to have end-to-end encryption for their notes and other data, I'll just use the built-in notes feature that comes with my Apple devices and iCloud account.

I'll still be forever grateful to the founder of Standard Notes for the opportunity to work on a writing project for him at a time when I was super passionate about writing. So much so, I thought I might want to make a second career out of it. And while that's changed a little bit, I've modified the goal around that somewhat, and will also share that in another post.

What's Different This Time?

And so, where does that leave me with my issue with inconsistency in how often I post to my blog? Well, I'm not sure, to be quite honest. As I mentioned earlier, there's consistency in my inconsistency. But, I think this iteration may have some staying power, in terms of more prolific posting, and here's why I think that.

I'm putting multiple strategies in place to help:

  • I'm bringing over all my previous posts from my Listed.to blog, Jay's Journal. There's quite a few of those, and so that'll keep this blog fed for a while just with those.
  • I plan to review all my re-posts from Listed to provide updates from those older posts. This will allow me to share with you how I think those posts aged, and provide any new updates or breakthroughs to my previous mindsets.
  • As a 2023 resolution, I shut down a side business that was taking too much of my time and not providing enough of a value to make it worthwhile. The net benefit is that I now have more time to draft out blog posts well in advance.
  • And finally, since I'm able to use Apple Notes with my devices, I can capture blog post topics and ideas on a whim and access them anytime I'm at my laptop and can crank out a draft whenever the mood strikes me and/or I've got some free time on my hands.

To be clear, I do have a full time job, but you'd be surprised how much extra time shutting down a side hustle has freed up for me. And yup, you guessed, it, I'll be blogging more about that later as well.

(Question: Have you subscribed yet for all these updates I've got planned? If not, you can do that at the very bottom of this post)

Even as I write this, it's on a day that I already posted to my blog, and so I'm just drafting this knowing I don't need to post it today. That's because I don't intend to post more than once a day. But, by stacking my drafts, I can simply select one to post each day, while working on more drafts each day.

When I've got enough drafts stacked up, I can skip a day or two, if needed. So long as I've got a draft ready to post each day already in queue, I'm golden.

And Where's This Blog Going?

So lastly, let's cover where I'd like to take this blog. To be honest, I'd like to build up a readership. And as long as I'm being honest, I wouldn't mind making a few extra bucks by readers buying me a coffee, if my writing is bringing value in some way.

And, eventually, I'd like to see if I can (or even want to) build a community by way of premium content, and recurring subscriptions that include virtual meetups and even one on one conversations and/or coaching.

But, clearly, that would be up to you, wouldn't it? I mean, if there's no appetite for premium content or virtual gatherings in groups or one one one, then I'll just continue to write here on my blog probably more for myself than anyone else. We'll see. I'm open to possibilities, but not expecting anything grandiose or career-making from the blog.

I'm just keeping it real, but am also open to being surprised, too. Hoping you'll stick around to see what happens, though.

tags: #reflections #thoughts #technology #privacy #security

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Since the Write.As platform is a minimalist blogging/writing service, there's not a lot by way of sidebars and frilly site navigation. I love that.

It's clean and, well, minimalist, which makes in uncluttered. However, I'd like to give you a way to see all the groupings of blog posts by their tags, so here we are. The tags page.

Simply click on a hashtag and all posts that share that hashtag will appear for you to see all on a single page. Enjoy!

#updates #thoughts #opinion #reflections #diet #rants #observations #productivity #technology #privacy #security