This edition of the newsletter comes just a few days after celebrating my birthday. This year has been exceptionally strange for us all, but a certain level of realisation comes when you can’t do the things you usually do to celebrate. Despite restaurants and bars being open, the rising cases in the UK left me thinking that going out to celebrate simply wasn’t the right thing to do.
Many people are carrying on regardless and in some cases activily treating restrictions with contempt, but conversations I had this week really struck home to me. I met two people that had lost loved ones due to COVID-19 and I saw first hand the deviation that it can cause to what appear to be fit and healthy people.
By staying at home I am not just protecting myself, but those around me, and without sounding too much like a government advert — we all need to do our bit. In fact, I enjoyed my birthday more than ever, spending time with my family, and making a picnic to eat by ourselves on the grass at a local reservoir. I have spoken many times of the positives we can at least try and take away from this awful experience together, and if nothing else it has taught me to focus on the things that really matter and not worry about anything else.
Back Making Videos
This week I released a video review of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and also a look at the colour of the Note 20 Ultra. It feels good to be back getting some creative juices flowing after spending a few months concentrating on other things. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 overall, even though it wasn’t for me, was great to use. I love using truly new things especially something as exciting as this leap forward in technology.
More than the phone though, the video felt great to release, I have wanted to make and publish so many videos over the last few months but I just never got around to doing it. Hopefully, this is the start of making a few more, and although I have made quite a few in the ten months between my personal YouTube release, I have been behind the camera and creating for my day job.
I have learnt so much and developed my skills that they are immediately obvious between the two fold videos. I wouldn’t be able to do this without hitting that publish button, and it’s important to remember that you will always hate your first few steps whatever it is you release. When I think back to the first writing I did on the internet I cringe at how bad it is — but you don’t get better if you don’t first start.
Social Checker V2.0
Unfortunately to go alongside my enjoyment of making videos and editing them together, I can’t release one and forget about it. To go along with this I have increased my usage of Social Media and begun religiously checking comments, posts and all sorts of useless information that goes along with it. For one simple reason — FOMO.
I don’t want to miss what is being said about the topic I am talking about, or not see a comment when it is first left. I want to feel like I am doing this properly, and at least for a while, pretend I am a real videographer.
When all the people you admire and take inspiration from do things a certain way, you feel like this is just the way. Doesn’t matter if you are making videos, writing blog posts, or following minimalism. You desire to feel like you image they feel and often times it is not the best way. It is important to retain yourself, recognise changes and be mindful of their consequences.
I have walked this path before and know that this increased usage is not good for me. It starts off well enough but resolves into feelings I want to shield myself from.
Design Your Engine First
Following on from a great post by Jeff Perry about the unimportant things we worry abut when choosing a note taking app. I wanted to expand on this slightly. The way you take notes and the access you have to them afterwards is infinitely more important than the app you use to collect them.
You can have the best, most expensive note taking app in the world, but if you don’t have a system for collecting your thoughts and being able to refer to them easily then it doesn’t make a bid bit of difference. Time and the again I fall for a new app that is going to improve my ability to do X better — and that is emails apps, note apps, task managers — when in reality all I need to do is keep doing the thing.
On the flip-side of this, I have been using Roam Research for quite a while now, and it allows me to dump ridiculous amount of information with almost zero separation and leave it to form its relationships. This can be done in other services, including a recent update to Notion, but the system I have works tremendously well for me.
OK, I screwed up. I just can’t work out a way to share photos well enough than upload them to Instagram. Other tools are great, special shout out to micro.blog again, but they just don’t cut it. I can’t find a way to reach people with photos that I can on Instagram. I hate the way it has become, and trying to adopt everything into it. I don’t ‘use it’ in a sense that I don’t scroll through it or go into the Discover tab — I just post and look at friends photos.
How long this will last I don’t know, but given my increased interest in taking photos again it may carry on longer than before. I won’t be posting updates or anything like proper social media people should, but I will be sharing some photos going forward, so follow me if you really have to!
Before I Go
We are at a bit of a tipping point in the UK, with cases rising and some restrictions being put back into place. We’ve all had a bit of fun pointing and laughing at some situations in the US, but it’s times like these that I realise we are all susceptible to stupid and need to pull together (in a metaphorical sense, social distancing please).
I have been urging you all for years to take the very best care of yourself, well by doing that you're taking the very best care of others around you. You are spectacularly more likely to catch COVID-19 from someone you know than a stranger in the street, so it is the people you love and care about that are most at risk.
There is also some conspiracy theory QAnon level weirdness going on in the UK right now. I have no idea why, and it can’t just be stupid people can it? I miss going out and having a few beers as much as the next person, but it's time to be sensible about it — wash your hands, put a mask on and keep your distance. It’s that simple.
Until next time my friends.
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