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.
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.
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.