🏃‍♂️ Dammit … 20secs off my best.

Didn’t know about this… Press and hold iOS ‘Do no disturb’ button for options to turn it on for this location or the current diary entry.

🏃‍♂️

It was clear that @rafeblandford had a nicer home office than anyone else on the Zoom call so @ew4n and I stole it when he stepped offscreen briefly… I’ve now inadvertently used it on several client calls.

I always refuse freebies from clients’ suppliers, but the nice people from Slack sent me this as thanks for some help unrelated to the day job and I’ve a soft spot for their product so… NEW COFFEE / WATER (definitely coffee) BOTTLE 😍

Knowing that a spreadsheet wasn’t updated correctly isn’t the same as a root cause analysis.

Wanted: a smart doorbell product that stops ringing when the door is opened.

Everything seems to be optimised for me being out… which I’m not much at the moment.

☕ Finishing up the @seycoffee Karo Mariam this morning - it’s been a real treat. Not sure when I’ll get any more as it’s a US import 😔

🏃‍♂️ 10 days of not running (or much exercise at all) have got me very out of shape alarmingly quickly - not great practice for my first ‘proper’ 10k soon.

So I’m going to be one of ‘those people’ that post my runs for a bit for some public accountability 😬

Twitter’s had 12 years to build-up a graph of my interests and activity… 🤦‍♂️

Alexa bringing science to a family dispute this morning…

But who is the ‘other Amazon customer’ schooling them on light wavelengths? And how can they get this right and still not handle the apostrophe character code correctly?

My Mac’s desktop now being much improved with some lovely dynamic scenery wallpaper. Also check out this team’s Aerial screensaver add-ons.

I don’t normally lust after ‘salmon’ pink dials but these copper hues and the raised numerals on this Fears watch over on Bark & Jack are 👌.

Chuffed that Coda featured my silly ☕ Coffee Tracker in their monthly newsletter.

It’s #InternationalCoffeeDay ☕ so what better time to open a new bag of Karo Mariam from Sey Coffee. Tasting notes say “peach, delicate tea and sparkling acidity” and who am I to argue… Delicious.

How had I not previously been aware of Apple’s new floating store in Singapore?

I hadn’t realised how much of my daily energy I got from the joy of laughing / thinking / collaborating with others in-person. Without it every disappointment is magnified and every success feels less. 😕

In other news, dissappointing thing is dissapointing.

It’s National Coffee Day in the US, but not in the UK, where it takes place on 1st Oct which is also International Coffee Day.

I’m just going to drink a lot of coffee all week and call it a job well done. ☕

It looks like Todoist have built a ‘Trello mode’ and TBH it looks great. I often use this layout in Notion for managing tasks but miss the other task management features. Telling that their blog-post stub is ‘Kanban Board’ 👍

The cupboard is running low and I want to add some new (to me) roasters to my coffee tracker. Who would you recommend? ☕

Home working: How to measure team happiness beyond what people say

This is a ‘note to self post’ for reference later.

At the recent ‘Gov DMs in the Ether #7’ event I asked other delivery managers across government for advice on measuring team happiness whilst everyone was working from home. I was curious what techniques my peers used in addition to what people self-reported, when they lacked the normal cues of body language and personal interactions.

I got some excellent suggestions:

  • Encouraging (celebrating, even) respectful conflict.
  • Drawing up a team charter.
  • Leaving stand-up calls open after they’ve finished for casual / follow-up chats (or opening the call early).
  • Running an anonymous temperature check exercise collecting a ‘happiness score’ and reason why.
  • Using an approach like Niko Niko.
  • Encouraging the group to be (when needed) ‘unhappy out loud’ and agreeing as a team that that is a sign of trust.

This is far from an exhaustive answer, but it was 6 good starts that give me threads to follow-up. My thanks to everyone who answered my question and the facilitator.

This is our neighbour’s cat. I spend a lot of time convincing him this isn’t his house too.

I took this photo early-on with my current client. It summed up how things were going during an office move at the time.

Putting Notion in my Mac’s menu bar

Updated (8th May 2019): CSS amended to support database views.

I use Notion every day. It’s my favourite place to manage tasks and take notes on client projects, but I missed the ‘quick-entry’ mode of my last productivity app which saved lots of clicks between apps and pages to record a new entry.

I wanted one-click access to my most-used Notion pages (my task list and a quick-entry notepad).

Fluid (a Mac utility that turns websites into apps) saved the day. Because Notion is excellent via a web browser I could make each important Notion page into a Fluid app and pin it to the menu bar (that step needs a $5 license for Fluid). By using a floating window these pages hover over my other work and, with some custom CSS, the interface fits well into a smaller window. Because Notion's web app works offline, so do my menu bar icons.

I still use the Notion desktop app for other tasks (or to use these pages full-screen), but my important pages are now a click-away and sync instantly if they're simultaneously open in multiple windows / on other devices.

My 'Scratchpad' page in Notion is a one click away at all times. I use it to quickly record things for use later.

To do this I made a Fluid app with this config:

In this screen:

  • 'URL' is the 'important' page's public link copied from Notion (located in the 'Share' menu).
  • 'Icon' is a graphic from The Noun Project to provide a neat, greyscale, menu bar-sized icon.

When created, the new app needs to be configured and pinned to the menu bar:

In this screen the most important change is to set the window level to 'floating'. I recommend completing the login steps for Notion before pinning to the menu bar (Fluid calls this 'Pin to Status Bar', located in the menu under the name of the new application).

Once pinned, the new app will function correctly but is best optimised for smaller windows with some layout changes via additional CSS.  This can be applied by right-clicking the app's menu bar icon and selecting 'Userstyles'.

In this window:

  • The left pane lists all the additional CSS to be applied. Create a new one by clicking the '+' button and give it a name - I called mine 'Clean'.
  • The patterns pane lists all the URLs this CSS will be applied to. I apply mine to every URL in the 'notion.so' domain - the stars at the beginning and end will match any sub-domains or paths.
  • The line-numbered pane is where the CSS to be applied should be added.  

I chose to hide most of the menus and page titles, and apply smaller page margins with my CSS. Some is a bit clumsy as the specific elements I wanted to change didn't have unique IDs or classes, but it works:

/* CSS version 4 - updated 8th May 2019 */
/* This version adds support for pop-ups on database screens and hides commenting */

div.notion-topbar>div>div:first-child,
div.notion-topbar>div>div:last-child,
div.notion-help-button,
div.notion-sidebar-container,
div.notion-frame div.notion-scroller.vertical.horizontal>div:first-child,
div.notion-frame div.notion-scroller.vertical:not(.horizontal)>div:first-child,
div.notion-frame div.notion-scroller.vertical.horizontal>div>div>div.notion-selectable,
div.notion-frame div.notion-scroller.vertical:not(.horizontal)>div>div>div:not(.notion-selectable)>div>div:nth-child(1),
div.notion-frame div.notion-scroller.vertical:not(.horizontal)>div>div>div:not(.notion-selectable)>div>div:nth-child(2),
div.notion-frame div.notion-scroller.vertical:not(.horizontal)>div>div>div:not(.notion-selectable)>div>div:nth-child(3),
div.notion-peek-renderer>div:nth-child(2)>div:first-child,
div.notion-peek-renderer> div:nth-child(2)>div.notion-scroller.vertical>div:nth-child(3)>div {
    display:none !important;
}

div.notion-topbar,
div.notion-topbar>div {
    height: 30px !important;
}

div.notion-page-controls {
    visibility:hidden !important;
    margin-top: 0px !important;
}

div.notion-page-content {
    padding-left: 20px !important;
    padding-right: 8px !important;
} 

div.notion-selectable {
    max-width: none !important;
}

div.notion-topbar,
div.notion-cursor-listener,
div.notion-frame,
div.notion-frame>div:nth-child(1),
div.notion-frame > div.notion-scroller.vertical > div:nth-child(1) {
    width: 100% !important;
    max-width: 100% !important;
}

div.notion-frame>div.notion-scroller.vertical:not(div.notion-scroller.horizontal)>div:nth-child(2),
div.notion-frame>div.notion-scroller.vertical>div.notion-scroller.horizontal>div {
    padding-left: 12px !important;
    padding-right: 12px !important;
}

div.notion-peek-renderer>div:nth-child(2) {
    top: 5% !important;
    left: 8% !important;
    right: 8% !important;
}

div.notion-peek-renderer>div:nth-child(2)>div.notion-scroller.vertical>div:nth-child(1)>div,
div.notion-peek-renderer>div:nth-child(2)>div.notion-scroller.vertical>div:nth-child(2)>div {
    padding-left: 20px !important;
    padding-right: 20px !important;
}

Once the 'Userstyles' window is completed, close the window and re-start the app to ensure the new styling is applied and you're done.


Sign-up to Notion using this link and get $10 credit to a paid account. I use (and recommend) the Personal plan ($48 per year) when I needed to store more that the Free plan supported.

Tweetdeck on iPad

I want to use Tweetdeck on my iPad without losing the screen-space of the URL bar. This would normally be as easy as adding the website to the home screen (via the share menu), but for Tweetdeck the initial login jumps out to Safari and doesn’t return.

Fortunately, a bit of cookie hacking and a Mac laptop can get this working. Jay Sitter has documented the steps and it works well. Note the comments below Jay’s post that Web Inspector needs to be enabled on the iPad first.

Turn on the Web Inspector in Safari settings in iOS first

Hooray for people that document their learning on the internet.