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Weeknotes, 21/04/13

This week has been a healthy combination of homework, family, reflection, plotting, writing, pissing about online, good food, naps and sitting outside, although I’ve put serious focus on OU coursework this week.

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Writing from bed with legs outstretched seems to work best, with my paperwork spread out all over my duvet for quick referencing. I finished a design assignment on Friday night (glamorous + aspirational recreation…). The first part was product analysis including user perspective interviews, and the second part focused on researching and writing a design brief. I particularly enjoyed market research and interviews, teasing out insights and trends from data I collected myself. I felt really awkward making observational sketches though and dithered for ages, putting them off until I couldn’t avoid it any longer. When I use pencils I draw lines over + over again. After failed graphite attempts I used Sharpies (from my #DSC01 box) and I was as bold as the lines I made. (I’ve unsubscribed from Quarterly for the meantime. It was awkward trekking to the sorting office when they weren’t signed for and I’m saving money for the summer, but I especially miss the Stanford ones and the things I’m now *not* learning.)

I’m now starting to look at which courses to choose to complete my Open University degree as I get 60 points free choice. I want Level 3 courses (challenging so will keep me engaged, and should ramp up the class of degree I get). Right now I’m thinking about “Marketing and society” and “Fundamentals of interaction design”.

This week things seem to have come together well. I ticked off necessities without sacrificing anything. I already use Fences on my desktop, which has simplified + streamlined my startup processes.  This week I found a post from NevBlog, sharing his transformation of his desktop into his to-do list. I don’t have a desktop image right now because updating drivers made my computer think Windows in invalid and I have had better things to do this week than rifle through paperwork, but tweaking Fences has been working well.

During my meeting with Julie a fortnight ago she suggested I split my focus & activities into five areas: online income, admin (including finances), communicating + clients, CPD (learning software, developing further knowledge), and personal projects. I now have a Fence for each of these too (also in capslock!) and my to-do list items are living in those groups.

As well  as these Fences grouping icons by type, I’ve started using a big red box titled “TODAY:” to drag things into. Stuff is getting done. I’ve also been making sure that I have all of my favourite software on my normal laptop, so that when I want to sketch or check a file I can do it quickly without faff. Compatibility between Adobe versions has been giving me headaches but it’s almost sorted.

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I was also chaperoned to a garden centre, and ended up squeeing over neon + cardinal tetras, lionheaded rabbits and African bullfrogs, as well as desiring things I didn’t know I wanted (because really, I don’t). Freestanding garages, play houses with ladders + mezzanines, huge stone objects with holes carved in them, bonsai trees, raised vegetable planting beds: mostly aspirational earthiness junk. Also, a curved ~10 seater bench to go around a tree, for only £149.99! All things that might be much more practical when I actually have a garden and/or house and/or tree. Ask me again in 20 years. Although if I ever want to spend more than three digits on something which isn’t a) hand-crafted and beautiful, b) likely to actively improve lives in the long-term or c) utterly necessary, I would be satisfied to need gold codes, verified by two externally sensible people, to spend any money at all.

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