Here is my digital life in 2020, on productivity, on writing, on teaching, on drawing, on reading, and on learning.
I built a productivity system to support my daily work.
All my notes and scanned documents go to MZHub—My digital organizing system. This is the Zettelkasten system and my second brain. I built it by using Ruby on Rails and keep shaping the tool to fit my daily note-taking needs.
Flash Card system
Whenever I read books or learn online, I extract key points and store the knowledge points as a flashcard in the system. Then I randomly pick them for review.
I built a focus system that runs 3 focus sessions per day. I can setup focus sessions quickly via custom shortcuts and write a reflection after each session ends. The focus sessions sync with the calendar so that I won’t conflict with them with other events.
I write weekly email newsletters and occasional blog posts.
My newsletter is like my public diary reflecting how I’m doing each week. I also include several links worth sharing each week. They are mainly about web technologies, accessibility, and productivity.
I switched to Substack since 2019 October and it fits my need so far. Simple and work done.
I moved the newsletter from Mailchimp to Substack and now all my newsletter archive are in one place. The Substack reminds me of the TinyLetter service, which I used during my writings in 2014. Both give me the simplicity to write without all those distractions. – Makzan’s Dispatch #19w42: Moving to Substack
My go-to writing app is still iA writer. The color syntax and typography is the reason to use iA Writer. Furthermore, I can use the external folder to sync the file editing between iA Writer and Working Copy. This is useful for my course materials writing which is hosted on Github. Whenever I made changes in iA Writer, I can push the changes in Working Copy app.
I have been teaching since 2010, both in-person classroom and book writing.
I built MakClass mainly for in-person classes. I create a classroom for my students. It is a private space to raise questions, to post class announcements, to share ad-hoc class notes.
- Code is for storing PDFs, Jupyter Notebooks, Code examples. I also create a subfolder to store an 11ty-powered website. Each folder comes with README to explain what’s it about for each folder.
- Issues tab is for learners to raise questions.
- Wiki for aside information.
I record the explanation and create quizzes on Teachable to sell the course. This is my new move and I’m now polishing my first course before it goes published.
I sketch using Moleskine Flow and draw explanations using Notability.
I like the paper-like feeling of Flow. It is my general drawing and hand-writing app on iPad.
I use vector exporting for Notability. I can change the styles and post-process my explanation graph after drawing on Notability.
I use HyRead to borrow books from local libraries. I also read on Kindle and listen to books on Audible.
I joined Skillshare and Coursera’s year plan. Every week I finish one chapter in the current course. Currently, I’m learning Mathematics for Machine Learning: Linear Algebra.