Jay's Journey


Will write for coffee Image credit: Tyler Nix on Unsplash

When I first launched this blog, I wanted to use a donation service as a way to earn tips for my writing. In my research, I'd come across two well-established players in the donation space: BuyMeACoffee.com and Ko-Fi.com. Both have similar as well as different features between them.

In this post I'll highlight the similarities as well as differences, along with the reasons I chose Ko-Fi.com over BuyMeACoffee.com.

First up, let's talk about BuyMeACoffee.com. This platform is all about supporting creators, whether they're writers, artists, or musicians. They offer a variety of ways for creators to monetize their content, including a “buy me a coffee” button that can be added to websites and social media profiles, as well as a full-fledged storefront for selling digital products.

One of the biggest draws of BuyMeACoffee.com is its low fees. The platform only charges a 5% transaction fee, which means that creators keep 95% of the money they earn. Plus, they offer a variety of premium options, such as the ability to accept recurring payments, customize the look of your storefront, and even sell physical products.

One thing I didn't like too much was that in order to withdraw your money at any time, you'll need a Stripe account. Otherwise, you'll need to reach a minimum amount before you can withdraw.

It's not that I'd need the money instantly, but I don't really care to set up a Stripe account. I have PayPal and I'm pretty happy with it, for the most part, and don't really want to set up another similar service.

So, one of the reasons I prefer to use Ko-Fi.com is that they enable their users to connect their PayPal account to receive their payments.

So now, let's talk about Ko-fi.com. This platform is similar to BuyMeACoffee.com in that it's all about supporting creators, but it has a slightly different approach. Instead of a storefront, Ko-fi.com offers a simple “buy me a coffee” button that can be added to websites and social media profiles. The button is a simple call-to-action that allows fans to support creators with a one-time payment.

One of the biggest draws of Ko-fi.com is also its low fees, it only charges a 3% transaction fee, meaning creators keep 97% of the money they earn. They also offer a few premium options such as the ability to accept recurring payments, and the ability to offer digital downloads.

Both BuyMeACoffee.com and Ko-fi.com are great options for creators looking to monetize their content. While BuyMeACoffee.com offers a full-fledged storefront and more customization options, Ko-fi.com has a simpler approach and even lower fees.

So, whether you're a creator looking to monetize your content or a fan looking to support your favorite creators, both platforms are worth checking out.

And while I chose Ko-Fi.com for my donation and soon-to-be subscription service, you really can't go wrong with either one. I hope this helped you in some way.

tags: #thoughts #technology

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 31st, 2018.

Don't You See It?

When I look around, I see an unending amount of examples of people just simply getting in their own way. I’m sure I do this as well, but it’s easier to look outward rather than inward sometimes.

Mainly because I strive to be efficient and save time, without sacrificing quality, every chance I get.

For me, time is more valuable than money. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked at time in this way. I value it, I hate to waste it, and I resent others who just piss it away freely and without a second thought.

Time is the probably the ONE thing you can’t get back, make more of, stop, or even slow down. And, so, for me, time is a precious unit that I can’t bear to waste.

But, aside from a few exceptions, most people just don’t care how much time they waste. It gets rather frustrating.

Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in a sea of people who all do things in the worst way possible, wasting so much time without giving it a thought, and I’m the one guy who really tries to get it done faster, easier, and with much less stress.

Today is a great example. A week ago, I sent an email to someone detailing exactly what I was needing from them and why. My thought was that if I explain this ONCE, I won’t have to answer questions piece-meal, one email question followed by one email answer at a time.

The alternative would be to drag out a simple 5 minute request to instead be spread across several days, with multiple emails for the one simple request (borrow 2 company laptops for testing software).

In other words, I was trying to be efficient by getting it all done in one shot. I know, silly me, what was I thinking?

My email goes a week unanswered. Sigh. So now, I have to send another email to follow up to the one I already sent, basically re-requesting what I already spent time requesting the first time.

The good news is, the second email worked. The question for me is: Why did it take TWO emails to get ONE response?

Ok, so, in this person’s reply, he adds another person to the CC, and says that he’s directing my request to her and that I can work with her to get what I’m requesting.

Great... another person to have to work through to possibly NOT get what could be given in 5 minutes.

And, so I send the obligatory reply, thanking Mr. One Week for his reply, and then have to acknowledge the new person on the email, offering to work with her and help her in any way necessary to complete my request. (It’s TWO laptops to test some software on, that’s it!)

Which in turn begins another loud-sigh moment. She replied, and adds YET ANOTHER person onto the email, saying that I’ll need to set up some time to discuss my “needs” with her and this new person.

All when the original request is typed out TWICE in the email thread below her message.

So, now I have to set up a meeting to request two laptops that were already requested twice before, so they can understand what I’m asking with at best a 50% chance that they can actually fulfill my request, or instead, and more likely, send me over to someone else.

And I know what you’re thinking, because it’s exactly what I’m thinking. Just write back and reference the other emails below and save the time in the meeting.

And you’re thinking that, and I’m thinking that, because it would be efficient, and the fastest, even easiest way to get things done.

HOWEVER, we’re dealing with people who just couldn’t care about doing anything the easy way. And so, my daily uphill battle in Corporate America continues, just as it always has, and always will... with no improvement in sight.


tags: #observations #rants #thoughts #opinion

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Gmail, not my computer Image credit: Stephen Phillips – Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a generally negative view of Google as an email provider, let alone a corporation. Back in the day, when I didn't know any better, I loved using Google's email, calendar, and docs.

The ease and simplicity of using their services was just too good to be true. And, it turns out, it actually was.

When news story after news story came out about Google's downright evil corporate surveillance of it's users, I stopped using Gmail and Docs many years ago. I also vowed never to use these services ever again.

And I get it. They're a business, and since I didn't pay a dime for these amazing services, they should be allowed to make money somehow from the services they offer. Which is why I chose not to use their services as I eventually learned, I was the product.

To be clear, I do have a Gmail account, but that's just to be able to create playlists, like videos, and comment on YouTube. I don't actually use the email or the docs.

So, I never thought I'd say it, but here we are, and I'm just as shocked as you are. I'm going to miss Google. And that means that at work, they're in the process of migrating us all off Google Workspace over to M365, which is Microsoft's attempt at email and collaboration.

More like Microsoft's email and convolution. Ugh. Thankfully, it'll take a while before I have to use M365.

I'm no stranger to M365 as I used it for my small side-business because I refuse to use Google products, let alone pay for them. So, I know what awaits me when my employer makes the switch, and I'm kind of dreading it.

Having had to use Google Workspace at work, I've become more and more impressed with Google Workspace's ability to actually get work done. The collaboration features are really solid. But what's been even more surprising to me was the individual tools that enable me to get work done.

Little things like the ability to click a button in your calendar entry to create a pre-formatted Meeting Notes document that fully references your meeting from the calendar entry itself. From there, you're asked if you want to share that same document with your attendees – where, because it's Google Docs, you can all view and edit simultaneously. What's more, when you create bullets, you also have the ability to assign bullets as tasks to any of the attendees.

Yeah, Microsoft let's you do that, kinda, with Teams, and Word and Sharepoint, and Outlook fat client, etc. Not as smooth or out-of-your-way easy like Google does it, and, you've got about 3 different tools to do the same thing. Thus, making it hard for a work team to know which tool to use for which task.

The result of this is that information your team needs is spread around several tools and storage locations. Sure, everything is really stored in Sharepoint, but it's disjointed and disparate.

Heck, OneNote doesn't even let you tag users STILL. After years of enterprise users begging Microsoft for the ability to @mention users in OneNote to be able to use OneNote in a task-collaborative manner, Microsoft still couldn't give a shit.

Google Meet is kinda meh, and it needs some updating in features, needing tighter integration with Google Drive, Keep, and Tasks. But from what I've seen with Google's ability to create a truly functional productivity suite, I'm sure it'll continue to get better over time.

Spaces in Google have really gotten pretty good. Spaces are virtual work rooms where chat, documents, and even tasks can be centralized and coordinated. Combined with the features that Google Drive and Docs offer, I'm just really impressed, and much more productive and efficient as an individual and as a member of work teams.

And, since my employer is footing the bill, I don't have to worry about betraying my principles. But, in secret, I really enjoy using Google Workspace as my project documents, emails, calendar, and the ability to stay organized and productive has never been better.

So, this is why I say, reluctantly, and albeit surprisingly, I'm going to really miss Google. Sigh.

tags: #technology #productivity #thoughts

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 14th, 2018.

Hey! Not Fair!

While at a Super Bowl party a couple Sundays ago, I overheard two guys talking while I was grabbing my Buffalo wings. These guys, who were each wearing their favorite football team's jerseys, with neither of their teams actually in the game, were sharing why they “hate” Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

“It's like, this guy [Tom Brady] is in the Super Bowl every single year”, one of them said. And then the other one continued, “Yeah, and the Patriots? Really? Couldn't some other team get a chance to play for once?”

What I Was Thinking

Thankfully my back was turned to them, because it took all I had to keep from laughing. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots team and staff are definitely the stuff of legends. Love them or hate them, they've built a dynasty that belongs in any conversation that includes Dallas, San Francisco, Green Bay, even Pittsburgh.

Did any team that has won a Super Bowl, whether it's once, or multiple times in their franchise's history, ever just show up off the street for the Super Bowl and was instantly awesome?

The answer is NO. The Super Bowl is the pinnacle game that determines the one true champion of the sport for that year. To get there, you have to endure a regular season of at least ten bone-crushing games. Then, if you've got enough wins, you get to go to the playoffs. That's several more bone-crushing weeks.

Then, only after you've eliminated all comers in your conference, you get to face off with another team that defeated all who dared in their conference.

Then, and only then, do the two best teams, one from each conference, get to duke it out for the right to claim “World Champion” until the next year.

When the new season starts, it's a clean slate for all teams, and every team has the same chance to progress through the gauntlet that eventually sees the two best teams face off for the title for another year.

So, the teams that get there fought hard, each and every game. The teams that didn't win, didn't necessarily fight any less hard, although some actually didn't fight as hard. And some teams couldn't last as long on the field. And other teams made bad decisions, or made enough mistakes to cost them the game.

In a nutshell, it's a COMPETITION.

So what these two guys were bellyaching about, wishing another team had “a chance” to play in the Super Bowl other than the perennial Patriots, is to me all about the concept of what's fair.

These guys didn't think it was fair, that the same team would keep going back to the Super Bowl. Nor did they think that it was fair that one quarterback should have so many appearances in this one championship game, seemingly year after year.

But yet, at least one other team has more Super Bowl wins than New England, and that's the Pittsburgh Steelers. Has anyone griped about wishing another team had a chance to play in the Super Bowl during any of their multiple appearances and subsequent wins?

Doubt it.

Fair’s Fair, or All’s Fair?

I see this a lot in children's competitions now. Everyone gets a trophy for participation for just about any sport now. Even some 5K runs in town now offer ribbons to all who run the race.

One NFL player landed in hot water a few years back for giving his kid's Participation trophy back to the sport's organizers, saying that the only trophy his kid will receive will be the one for actually winning.

So, with all that... is working your ass off, preparing day and night, never stopping or quitting until you reach your goal, only to finally reach it, “fair”?

Or, is “fair” allowing other teams and players that didn't spend as much time on the things needed to make the best of the best to play in the biggest football game of the year, so that the joy and reward is spread around evenly?

So, what is the concept of “fair”?

In my mind, there is no such thing as “fair”. Period.

There's being the best, and then there's everyone else. In sports, in career, in life.

The best prepare. The best take the challenge and make the sacrifices needed to be the best. The best make opportunities to succeed even when there don't appear to be any. The best will find a way to win, to achieve, to overcome, to finish what seems impossible to sometimes even start.

Not just in a game, but in every situation in life.

And when you give it your all, your heart and soul, in the preparation, the sacrifice, and physical and emotional pain it takes to elevate yourself to the next level, and still lose, it hurts!

It sucks. It feels futile. It makes you question everything. It can even make you give up.

But, those that don't give up only get stronger. They only get better. They figure out what went right and what didn't, and improve what went right, and fix what went wrong.

In other words, figure out a way to win. It may not be that game, or that job you wanted, or the promotion you thought for sure was yours. But, if you keep going, keep working, keep improving, it could be the next one. Or, it may be the one after that.

And the one you finally win could be even better, even sweeter, even more amazing than the ones you lost.

My First Experience With Competition

My first taste of winning came when I was 9 years old. I was in a kid's bowling league, and my mom would take my brother and I to the bowling alley every Friday night to practice, then every Saturday morning to bowl in our children's league. I'd even beg my mom to take us several nights during the week so I could practice even more.

I took to bowling pretty well. I seemed to have the hand-eye coordination needed, and I was able to take coaching from older mentors really well.

That season, I won a record 8 trophies, and, was the only minor that was invited to bowl in an adult tournament, and actually kept up!

Up to that point, I'd never won anything that I could remember. And so, I can imagine what it would feel like if that despite my hard work and preparation for each game, combined with the focus and concentration and the will to win each game, despite setbacks, those trophies were given to other kids that didn't win.

It would suck more than losing! Not because I was stingy and didn't want to share with others. It was because I was able to put the right things into place at exactly the right time to win those games. Maybe another bowler even spent more time than me preparing. But, in the end, I did what was needed to win.

If that would have been negated because someone else felt bad, and needed some kind of validation that even though they lost, they still won something... what motivation would that kid have to ever push themselves for anything?

In my years, I've played sports, went for jobs, was put in for promotions, even tried to get the girl that was out of my league.

Sometimes I won, other times I lost (many times, actually), but in the end, I have a job I love, in a career that I've been doing forever, still working to be the best every day, and yes, I even got the girl of my dreams.

So, no, I don't believe in fair where everyone gets a trophy for playing. I believe in the reward going to the person that put in the most work, to get the result needed to win the game (or job, or promotion, etc.).

That's what I call “fair”.

tags: #thoughts #opinion

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.

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Chillin' like a villain Photo credit: Lisa Fotios at Pexels

I'd intended to post all during the weekend, until I the honey-do list started piling up. Then, when I finished it, I decided I was too lazy to write. Saturday turned into Sunday, and now, here we are on Monday.

I guess my grand plan didn't work out in the first weekend I tried to do something different. Oh well, rather than beat myself up, I'll just be glad a I had a weekend to try to relax.

The weekend didn't go all according to plan, however, even beyond not publishing any new posts. We'd made plans with my youngest son for Sunday. We thought it would be great to invite him and his wife over on Sunday so they could bring their baby, our granddaughter, over for a fun visit. Our granddaughter is 10 months old and she's beyond adorable.

So we thought, let's make an afternoon of it. Have the kids over, then we'd invite my wife's parents, who are also the great-grandparents, over as well. My son, my father-in-law, and I would work on my car while the women visited and gushed over the baby.

Then, we'd order some pizzas, have an early dinner, and everyone would be home by 6pm. Monday (today, as I write this), is a holiday for me, so I'd even have an extra day to relax. It was a nearly perfect plan.

Everyone agreed and was on board. It was going to be a great day. Then, Saturday night happened. And Saturday night has unfortunately become a little too normal.

On Saturday night, my son and daughter-in-law got into yet another blow out argument. Thankfully, by the time the night was over, they were able to calm down and talk things through, or so my son tells me.

However, we told them that they should probably take Sunday and try to work through their issues. It was late on Saturday by the time we got word they were talking calmly again, and we were too beat on Sunday to entertain anyway.

So, I just tried to relax on Sunday, but still worrying about my son and his family. My wife called her parents earlier in the day to let them know we weren't going to be able to get together after all, and they understood.

And with a relaxing Sunday, I still have the rest of today as a holiday to get my final hours of long-weekend relaxation in before going back to work for a short week.

So, I figured, as I took the weekend to rest, let's get another blog post published, and get back on track. I'm back to getting back on track, and will continue to try to improve. That's the best I can do at the moment. Thank you for reading and for sticking by me on this blog.

tags: #thoughts

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.

See my face? That's Ninja face! Image credit: The Internet

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm publishing to this blog, and to my Ko-Fi page anonymously. And, you may want to know why.

When it comes to my online presence, in any of it's forms, I prefer to be anonymous. And mostly, it's because I tend to be a pretty opinionated person. I like to speak my mind. As such, I feel that when I post anonymously, my thought or idea or message is what gets the attention, and not necessarily the person behind it.

And, quite frankly, that's not the only reason. I prefer to post anonymously because I may say things about others or even my employer that I won't want to be tied to myself. Not because I always want to disparage, but because in this day and age, it's easy to be canceled for not going along with the groupthink or by being misunderstood entirely.

I've always been somewhat of a contrarian, but these days, the price for being one is very, very high. So, I want to be able to speak freely and share without fear of retribution. As well, some of the things I may write about might cast someone or an organization in a critical or even negative light and I don't want to ruin a relationship simply because I have an opinion that might be less than positive.

Does that mean I hate the people I'm discussing or talking about? No, not at all, and really in most cases, I may think the world of somebody, but not agree with their opinion on some topic or action they may have made.

And, if I'm ever discussing a person or company, I won't name names. Because, when posting anonymously, the anonymity should go both ways. That's to protect the innocent, and since I'm not a journalist, I'm not out to direct rage or anger at anyone or anything.

I'm simply sharing my thoughts, attitudes, and opinions for the sake of sharing and not for the sake of demanding change. I hope that helps answer the question of why I won't show my picture or share any details about myself outside of the most basic and general.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

tags: #thoughts

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