Termination of the Blog Experiment

Self-reference is usually annoying. And I am guilty of over-employing it on this blog. However, I have made some findings, since the transition to a post every Sunday, that I feel I ought to share for the sake of transparency.

My first observation is that the blog still lacks direction, a compass if you will. This I assume would explain the almost non-existing readership of this blog.

Tied neatly into this, is a feeling of a lack of expertise. Often, in writing these posts I try to cover a topic I find interesting, however more often than not these are topics I am not well versed in. This has led to me to question the validity and utility of my posts. There are many people who are more knowledgeable in these areas, who have much more insight to share than do I.

So I suppose this is an end to the experiment. I love writing as you can probably tell, but writing in vain feels like a wasted effort. Therefore, I will continue to write privately, and if one day I have something truly valuable and unique to share, I will be sure to be share it.


Blog Consolidation

It’s time for some changes. For too long this blog has been left stagnant and ignored – all but for my very infrequent posts. It is time to actually do something about it.

First of all, content on the blog has been too varied. When writing a blog it is good to think, just as when writing a book, “who will be reading this”. For a blog, it requires someone to come back week after week to see what’s new. In reviewing my blog posts of the past, I don’t see quality as the issue, but the disconnection between posts: a lack of a theme or topic. You may notice that there are three tags to the blog: Art, Society and Technology; and four categories: Opinion, Tip, Review and Update.

This system of categorisation, on review, is not very meaningful. But this is not the problem, the problem lays in the way I approach blogging:    


At no stage is the question “does this align with the blog” come up. From now on it will.

The next hurdle, is closely related to the first, and that is the sporadic nature of posts: few and far between. This does not make it easy for a reader to come back to read the blog. From the diagram above, you can see where this comes from. A blog post appears on the blog whenever I complete stage 3 which is clearly not very often.

So from now on: a blog every Sunday with a topic relevant to the blog.

Design changes may be made, but the changes to the blog will be meaningful, not just painting over a cracked wall.

GTD System v.2

Last year I wrote about my transition from Evernote to Apple Notes, Reminders and Google Drive. I will be honest, I have not been using that system for a while now. A few months after (circa September), I noticed a big hole in the system: Apple. Reminders and Notes are great apps, but they only work (offline at least) on Apple’s macOS and iOS.

The iOS part was fine, I use an iPhone, but I don’t use a mac. I was using Apple Notes and Reminders on my PC using icloud.com. It wasn’t perfect because it required some trickery with Chrome, but it was feasible and almost as good as the iOS apps. This was when the only PC I owned was my desktop. I used an iPad and iPhone whenever I was out.

In September, I started University which meant, I needed a laptop. And not because I wanted to type up notes in lectures or anything so trivial. I needed a laptop to write code (I study Computer Science). Remember earlier how I mentioned that Reminders and Notes work offline only on Apple’s OSes? Well, that was a problem. I need to be able to use my GTD system everywhere: on the train, plane, bus, ferry, wherever. These places often don’t have (useable) Wi-Fi.

I noticed this when trying to perform the Weekly Review on the train, the perfect location. A few hours to spare in relative quiet and comfort. I opened Reminders on my laptop and nothing. It doesn’t work because it’s a webpage not an app and the train WiFi just didn’t work at all.

I realised that this system was not going to be usable anymore. Before, it was fine, I only used Reminders and Notes offline on my iOS devices. However, I needed to replace Reminders and Notes with apps that work (offline) on Windows, iOS and other platforms for the future.

In a quest for universal Notes and Reminders apps I found Simplenote and Wunderlist.

Let’s start with Wunderlist: it’s brilliant. It has everything Reminders has apart from location reminders which I never used. It also allows for tags! Which is one major shortfall of Reminders. It also has a few other smart features all shown below.


Simplenote is not really much better than Apple Notes (apart from being multi-platform), but I couldn’t find anything much simpler that still featured folders/tags. However, Simplenote was no good either. It failed to do the most important thing of a notes app: sync properly. I couldn’t trust it so had to switch. I did research the problem, but even if I could fix it, Simplenote was a bit too simple. It has no formatting.

So the quest continued, and I stumbled upon a good old friend: Google Keep. I remember using Google Keep long before I came across GTD. In fact, I remember it being the alpha version of my GTD system (back then (2015), it didn’t have folders so I used it as a sort of reminders app).

Google Keep is remarkably similar to Apple Notes which I like. It has one disadvantage though which is organisation of notes, they’re not very neatly displayed and cannot be rearranged by title.

In all, my current system is not so different from the Apple system that came before it. It’s simply a more universal, platform-independent one which I hope will serve me well for years to come (switching systems is not particularly fun). In the next blog post I will cover Inbox, the email client I use to maintain inbox zero.

Good day

Hello all. Some time has passed since my last blog post so I thought that I would just inform you that yes, I am still alive. In fact I’ve spent the last few weeks (not feeling alive) studying for exams, taking exams and then analysing exams – sounds fun, I know. Before you start to worry, which I don’t think you will, these exams were completely meaningless. I don’t mean that I don’t care, but they do not bear any weight on my final results. Apart from education I’ve been doing a few other things.

Steve Carell as John du Pont in Foxcatcher

I’ve seen a few films which would be Foxcatcher: A film that goes on for too long and has meaningless scenes a bit like this sentence and Birdman: or (the unexpected virtue of ignorance) which is actually the films full name. I did actually prefer the latter because it was funny, witty and it was just fantastic, whereas Foxcatcher felt really long and incredibly slow. Although, Steve Carell?!

Cheers for reading this really short blog post, but I just wanted to update you guys, I means that’s the point of a blog. I hope to see you soon.

Update 2.0

cropped-cropped-ver-2.jpgHello! Welcome to update 2.0 which isn’t really as major or fancy as it sounds because all the big changes have already happened, but I still want to go over them for a brief moment and then go on to explain the future of the channel. The stuff that has already changed, as I’m sure you’re aware of if you’ve watched any of my recent videos, is the logo, the intro, outro and general tweaks to the design of the channel. So far the reception has been positive, although I would like to hear more of your opinions on the updates, so comment away.

But that’s not really what this blog is about, that’s stuff of the past. So let’s talk about what’s happening. I’ve always faced this dilemma: ever since the beginning of this channel, I’ve always been at school and obviously I need to prioritise my education. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect all of you guys for watching my videos or that I don’t care for the channel, instead it means that I need to strike a balance between my education and YouTube. YouTube is something I enjoy doing and I may have already said this before, but I’d like to say it now, YouTube isn’t something I’d like to pursue for the rest of my life.

There are a lot of fantastic YouTubers who make a good living from it and I’ve actually done a video on this exact topic called “The benefits and drawbacks of YouTube”, but for me it’s not the path I want to take. Yeah, it would be fun to do along the side, even if it makes revenue it’s just not something I want to do as a career per se. I talk about this in more detail in that video I just mentioned.

homepage-feature-03The point is I’m studying for computer science, ie I’m taking the A level courses that will help me to do computer science at university. This is my plan (the optimal result). I’m not 100% sure on which aspect of computer science I will venture, but I just love the workings of computers. For now it means that I’ve got to spend a considerable amount of time studying which ultimately means a far less frequent timeline of videos. There may be spots of time were there won’t be videos so I’d like to make you guys aware of that. I’m sure you’ve already experienced it  and when I have been vacant people haven’t broken out WW3 so I’m sure people won’t cry “Is he dead?”.

I have no concrete times of when I can and can’t produce videos yet, but if you follow me on twitter @mrbeady9 you will receive updates on stuff, yeah! This will probably last for two years because A levels consist of two years: AS and A2, but don’t fret as I assure you when I have the time I will produce high quality videos. I’ve got videos planned, but no products to review, actually I have an interesting review coming. However, I would really like to strike a deal with some companies and get some review products in.

This blog post is actually an adaptation of a script for a video soon to be released on this topic so it didn’t include any information about the blog and so I thought I’d add some seeing as this is the blog. The blog will most likely benefit from this if anything because many of my video ideas will likely turn into blog posts as I won’t have time to record, edit and upload them. So good news for you guys!

Before, I end I’d just like to mention that we’re at 247 subscribers which isn’t bad, but I’m still not satisfied and I think if I put a lot of effort in we can reach a thousand by mid next year. I think this year hasn’t been groundbreaking, thank god we can still walk, but I think there was definitely a halo period during summer where I was pushing videos out like there was no tomorrow and the analytics show that periods like that are the best in terms of growth.

I’d also like to thank you for supporting me and watching the videos and I believe they we can really build something truly exceptional here and I say WE, because it’s not just about me and my channel. In a sense it really is our channel, a joint effort, because without you guys this channel wouldn’t exist. It would just a be a place with a few videos with no interaction and I’m sure some of the videos wouldn’t even exist because I wouldn’t have the inspiration to create them without you guys. I really mean it, thank you so very much, and I say it a lot, but I’ll say it again, thank you. Once more for luck, thank you. This video has been a bit longer than I anticipated, but know you know the full(ish) roadmap for the channel.

This is update 2.0, the next step forward.

Bucket List

Hey! You guys get early access to a video I’m creating tomorrow. The video will be uploaded tomorrow, but I’m going to tell you what’s in the video. Darn! You guessed it, it’s my bucket list. Without further ado let’s count up to 21.

1. Go sky diving  
2. Be a train driver
3. Build an application
4. Go to all continents
5. Get a degree
6. Raise a family
7. Go skiing
8. Learn German
9. Take part in a triathlon
10. Take up kayaking and badminton
11. Trek the Inca trail
12. Climb a mountain
13. Fly in a hot air balloon
14. Buy something for a random person
15. Do a public speech
16. Go on a blind date
17. Learn a martial art
18. Go on a road trip
19. Go on a cycle trip
20. Re-learn to sail
21. Sleep in an igloo

I will go into more detail in the video being uploaded tomorrow so check the channel. I might also start uploading videos to the blog a day before the channel, if you like the idea please do tell me in the comments.

Happy Friday!

I’d like to wish you all a happy Friday – the day that marks the end of the working week and the start of liberty or in most cases housework. I mean not to bring up that dreadful song “Friday”, but I wish to genuinely wish you a happy weekend and I wish to tempt you to do something different, interesting and even a bit bizarre. As they say life is too short for sitting around.  I’ll be honest I didn’t have a clue what to write about today, but I still aim to interest you in doing something new and foreign. We have a tendency to become comfortable and not challenge new tasks. Without challenge we would have no innovation.