2017

2017 was an interesting and great year for me. This was the year where this wiki was born. The first year where I am doing this looking back piece. Looking at my time passed and things I've done and learned over this time. Previously I did it in the comfort of my own diary. More importantly though, this year was when Learn Anything came to existence.

Released Learn Anything

The website was launched on May 12 and looked like this:

The website was simply a query box to search for a mind map to open. Where the mind map would then open in MindNode where all my maps I made lived at the time. The mind maps are still live and can be explored here.

I wrote a small article on how fast Learn Anything came to exist from the simple maps I made in MindNode to an actual website that people can use. And the big reason for it all is one pull request that Angelo did. The pull request added a simple search bar to the website after that everything followed. Many ideas and a lot of iterations and 3 entire design overhauls. With one more in the works. Hopefully the last one in a while.

In many ways Learn Anything occupied a large portion of my time this year although I am very sad with how things turned out in the end as I was not contributing as much to the project due to my growing confusion of the website stack we had with React and JavaScript and DynamoDB. Things didn't click for me and I found myself left out in many ways and frustrated about the speed with which development could be going in and with which it went. This will change with 2018 as I found already ways in which I can help and we have a healthy and ambitious roadmap going forward. The most exciting thing about this project is that it is never ending. There is an infinite amount of things you can do to complete our goals of trying to create most effective learning paths for all topics on Earth. And that is exciting.

Evolution of Learn Anything

Here is evolution of Learn Anything in pictures:

Original mind map I made to share my notes

Me deciding to split the huge map above and to just share links

Angelo came and we made a website with just a search bar that linked to MindNode

After many struggles Angelo managed to render the maps inline on the website itself. No more MindNode. Devops was always the map we tested our render on because it was unlike any other map. I added the 🦄 button but the contribution process was painful as people had to edit JSON files.

How our main mind map looked with all the starting nodes. Plus our brand new white theme we made.

Front end map rendered with our white theme. We also made the zooming in and out and everything super smooth as we moved to D3.js.

We added the black theme in addition to the white theme.

The huge redesign that we did thanks to Cristian's mockups. I think the landing page looks perfect as it stands now.

Our new renderer in action. People can now edit and add things to the website and the process is actually enjoyable and inviting.

Adding a resource to the website.

And this I think is just the beginning of what we can make. Working on open source projects is truly amazing.

Writing

I wrote a lot more this year than I did in 2016. Here are all the articles I wrote this year in chronological order:

The last article I found quite funny as I did actually never write again in my blog after it. But this was because of one reason. This wiki.

Started a wiki

This wiki was born on September 2017 and I have very very quickly started filling it with content. Having a wiki like this. A living, breathing document. Ever changing. Was a breath of fresh air for me. In many ways this wiki is one of the tools I use to complete my idea of Knowledge bootstrapping. Seeing everything and anything a person knows. Easily queried and at any time. A transparent workflow. Transparent tools and thoughts and ideas. In fact together with this wiki I started sharing all the Trello boards I made which I now conduct publicly as well:

Only one board there is private. The Focus board. This is where I try to align my life to things I need to be doing and focusing on as my time and energy is limited. Here is how it looks now:

But it will change as I learn and make and try new things.

My workflow changed

I actually changed many things throughout this year. I started to approach things differently compared to last year. I wrote about how I wrote Day Evaluations every evening for every day of the year in 2016. I actually stopped doing that. In honesty, I stopped for two reasons. The first reason is that I found some entries quite depressing and I found myself overanalysing every day instead of living it. Routine things are great to an extent of them being useful to achieving a goal. The reason I started to write these evaluations was to be conscious with myself doing things I should and want to be doing. And having a place to look back on to see how my life and my thoughts changed over time. Year after year. Month after month. I decided to live more. And think about problems I want to be solving and things I want to be doing and enjoying my time in the meanwhile. I now split my Day One into more dedicated journals.

And I started doing Evaluation of my life weekly instead of daily. I also started using many tools to help automate this evaluation phase for me. Most importantly I started to heavily use Timing and WakaTime to stay on top of things I actually am doing over what I think I am doing.

I also started to use social media a lot more than I did in 2016. I started using Instagram a bit more often and I plan to use it more in 2018. It's a pretty great outlet in actually sharing your life through pictures, videos and stories and it's pretty awesome to look back at it after a while. My favorite social networks are still Twitter and GitHub where GitHub is where I spend the vast majority of my time.

One big realisation I had and something I always try to keep at the back of my head is the crazy dopamine addiction that these services try to induce on you. Instagram likes. Twitter retweets. The awesome thing about these services is that you can fine tune your experience to what you like. And share things because you want to, and not because you want to be acknowledged for something. It's a freeing and empowering feeling using these websites and social media as tools that benefit you.

In short though, I want to take this idea of sharing everything much more seriously in 2018. Sharing things I know continuously in this wiki. Sharing some direct pieces of things I know through my Articles. Making more YouTube videos and even streaming myself doing and coding things. But more importantly I want to build tools that empower people to do more things.

GitHub

I love efficiency and great software. That is my passion and I can spend entire days tweaking and making things so they work just right. Building systems and workflows on top of software so software fits my mental model of how I want to do things rather than fight the software all the time to do things I want.

I made a few things on GitHub this year. Most notably I started to actually code things. Currently in form of Alfred workflows. I made these few workflows this year:

All of these workflows I use daily now and love. And I have many many ideas on how to improve them as well as ideas of new workflows to make.

I am loving learning more and more about Go language. How to write it effectively and how to use it well to solve the problems I have with code. My current ability to problem solve sucks. And I tried a lot to improve it this year but there is always ways to improve. My biggest problem I have is that I want to do so many things that I end up doing nothing. There are so many things I want to learn. So many things I want to build. So many things I want to read. And so many things I need to do. And this list keeps growing.

In many ways I am happy that I always have something to do but in many ways I am unhappy because I am at the cross roads of not knowing what I should do next. Fortunately I think I have a solution to this problem and I am exercising it with every day. Hopefully I learn to channel my focus and cleanse my mind of useless things in this coming 2018 year.

Year in pictures

Top posts from Instagram

Music I liked

Artists

Albums

Tracks

Other

Wrapping up 2017

All in all it was an amazing year filled with experiences and unforgettable moments. I have a plan going forward in how I want to do things and how I want to approach life in general.

I have lived some 22 years thus far:

And I spent too much time in the browser and not enough time in the editor this year. 🙈

I am super excited to what 2018 will bring. Too many awesome things are happening at once and I am glad I am part of some of these awesome things. ✨

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