Go into any inventor’s lab, physical or figurative, and you’ll find projects in different stages of development. For each thing that’s ready to share, there are often dozens of little experiments and explorations tucked into nooks and crannies. Some of my biggest successes were things I set aside for a few months or years before spotting them in the corner of the workshop, dusting them off, giving them a new paint job, and sharing them with the world. Here are some things on my mind lately, many of which may slip between the cracks if I don’t write them down.
- Simon Willison is amazing, and he has a great post about summarising Hacker News threads with AI. He uses Claude and I’m using chatGPT. He’s pointing to Hacker News and I want to point to Metafilter. But I have a little demo working and it’s pretty great.
- Last year (or was it two years ago?) I recorded an entire concept album. It’s actually pretty good. I enjoy listening to it. I have dreams of releasing it as a multimedia website experience, so you can follow along with the story while listening to the songs.
- I have an image hosting app called Piccadilly that lets me put a file in a folder and have it appear on the internet. I want to make an expanded version for adding text beside it. I got it half working, and it’d be good to pick back up again soon.
- I’ve been making tarot cards for my little invented religion. The next thing I need to do is buy a standard deck of cards (empty ones would be even better) so I can start play-testing what my set should be comprised of.
- I’ve been writing vignettes for the fantasy stories I do for my kids. It’s been going great, and I have a tiny collection I’d like to add to when I get a chance.
- My grandpa just passed. Fortunately he wrote a book about his 101-year life, including working at the legendary Bell Labs. I’ve scanned the pages, OCR’d them, and now I’m fixing typos from the OCR process. I’d like to make this into a website. Even better: links out to the stuff he refers to, such as being involved in the Berlin Airlift, his patents, locations of his childhood home from the 20s, and so forth.
- I want to analyse my use of chatGPT over the first year (technically the first 13 months or so). It’s possible to download all chatGPT conversations, so I’d love to see how I’ve used it. I’m thinking of starting with simply dividing code questions from non-code questions, then showing in a simple infographic. Maybe code is a green dot and everything else is blue dot. I’m thinking of doing this today.
- I’ve been doing a lot of financial analysis stuff since it’s the end of the year. I have a custom spreadsheet that I’m enjoying reconciling, categorising, and finding trends from. This is a priority today and this week.
- A few weeks ago I was practicing my illustration skills. It’s been a while since I posted something on Instagram, so maybe I should.
- I’d like to hang a TV on the wall of my office so it’s easy to load up a movie or something without it being a floating window in my workspace. I’ve been idly thinking about how that might work.
- My son is getting back into Mariokart in a big way. I enjoy playing with him, and I’m looking forward to carving out some time for us to hang out.
- I’ve been reading actual, physical copies of books! Imagine! I need to set aside time to read them or I’ll never get back to them.
- I’ve been improving my firehose app and I’m pretty close to having permalinks so I can start owning my own content with my own URLs. I’m seeing some strange bugs I gotta fix in order to get this working.
- I recently wrote a blog post about the last 12-18 months of design decisions at my startup where I’m the founding designer. I should finish that up and publish it.
- I should update my backups and projects folders.
- My thesis is going pretty well, but I do need to define the next several weeks of work. I also need to congratulate myself appropriately for how well I hit my previous two targets, to help motivate the next ones.
One of my life hacks is writing big lists like this and then purposely telling myself not to work on most of them. I know the things on this list that need to happen next. Which means I am saying good bye to the other ones. For now.