Freelance Friday 066 - August 16

Lot's of coding was done this week, and a bit of running, and a few chapters were edited in my upcoming book called The Freelancer's Guide to Marketing. I don't have an ETA yet, but I'm making progress weekly so maybe early in the school year.

If you have marketing questions you want to make sure are answered, hit reply and let me know so I can include that information.

I also got to dig into some JavaScript stuff I wasn't familiar with for a client project. Yup coding something in WordPress was fun this week...and it was JavaScript. I promise I'm feeling fine.

If you’ve found my content helpful I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

The car was needed on Monday so I went out late Sunday afternoon and ran up and down a local river. You can see the video and my recap of the run here. Only 7 more runs to do to complete the local Quest for 10.

Over at Liquid Web I had a piece on the 1% errors that can kill your freelance business. Go read it and make sure you're not making them.

Friday Five

1. Ben Furfie - Maybe you don’t need a CMS

Ben had a great podcast talking about using a CMS, or not using a CMS. Sure it’s an older podcast but I still think it’s relevant. In fact, I’ve got a client site coming up that I was going to put in a CMS, but really it’s for a phone number. In the 5 years it’s been on WordPress no one has even submitted the contact form.

Time to build a plain old HTML+CSS site.

2. I Don’t Mind Getting Lost at All

From Kate on Adventure Journal:

But I would argue that occasionally losing one’s way is actually not that bad for us. After all, nothing will give you sharp presence of mind quite like not knowing where you are. Plus it forces us to engage in dying arts like navigation, orientation, and figuring out which direction is which. It makes us figure our way out of tricky situations, tap our self-reliance, and fend for ourselves. In the age of GPS, Alexa, and artificial intelligence, those skills are in danger of vanishing.

Recently I met a few adults at the bottom of a local trail who were aghast that I was heading out into the mountains with just a picture of how it all fit together in my head. They were even more concerned that I had never quite been to this area and I was going alone.

I smiled and said I liked adventure and headed off for my 5 or 6 hours. Yes some route finding happened and no I didn't pull out a GPS device at all. I found new areas in the mountains that were awesome and had a great time figuring out where I was.

I've been out with my phone many times and have had the maps fail me. I can't believe the things people take on with only a phone to guide them and no idea how to navigate the land around them. The fact that I can recognize most of the mountains in my area from any angle gives me tremendous safety as I head out.

Nothing is foolproof, but relying on some electronic device to tell you where to go seems foolhardy to me.

3. How Joe Casabona Stays Organized

You should read the whole post but what stuck out to me was the hybrid analogue and digital tools he uses. He says he uses and needs both.

I'm 99% analogue for my personal organization of tasks. I use Trello with clients, and am dabbling with Github Issues/Projects/Milestones as an alternative.

Every so often I feel overwhelmed and break out Things 3, but it's always been long enough that I just wipe the remote database and start from scratch. It lasts a few weeks and then I drop Things 3 again in favour of my analogue only approach.

If you're interested, I wrote a book about what I do called Analogue Productivity

** 4. Get your kids on a Project Management System?**

This sounds crazy to me:

When Tonya Parker, a mom in Illinois, wanted to better organize her family life a little over a year ago, the first thing she did was set her kids up on Trello, a web-based project-management tool. Parker’s four children, ages 9 to 18, now use Trello, which is more typically used at work, to keep up with chores, to-do lists, shopping, and homework. "I use it every day to keep track of what schoolwork I need to do, or places I need to be, things to buy," Hannah, her 15-year-old daughter, says.

How about we slow down and don't commit to crazy making things and don't pay attention to work when it's not work time? We keep a web calendar, mainly so my wife can have it on my work calendar when I need to be home with the kids in a "normal" work time. Then there is the family paper calendar. My wife and I sit down about once a week to see what's up together and then we just do what we want in the week.

No family project management here, but I'm a nerd that prefers a Bullet Journal to productivity software for my personal stuff.

5. Driving is the price of 1st class citizenship

Interesting piece about driving:

My neighbor’s passing was shocking and heartbreaking. But at the time, it felt like a basically unavoidable tragedy. In our small city in Michigan--like almost everywhere in America--driving is the price of first-class citizenship. We never stopped to ask whether a different bargain was possible. Since her passing, approximately 1 million more Americans have been killed in car crashes.

I'm not sure I'm behind all the arguments made in the article, but I regularly ask myself why cars always get the preference as I bike commute around town or walk with my kids places. We always have to be vigilant so that a car doesn't take our lives unless we're in the specifically "walking safe" areas of town.

Also interesting, the streets that are cramped for cars and force them to go slow, or not even show up, are so much more peaceful for people to exist in.

Since the dawn of the automobile, governments have been slow to address its downsides. "We have gloated too much over the usefulness of the motor car," said The New York World in a 1913 editorial. "We put it into reckless hands. We make no effective laws against its misuse."

In the years since, American government at all levels crossed a line. Instead of merely accommodating some people’s desire to drive, our laws essentially force driving on all of us--by subsidizing it, by punishing people who don’t do it, by building a physical landscape that requires it, and by insulating reckless drivers from the consequences of their actions. To page through the law books today is to stumble again and again upon evidence of automobile supremacy. The range and depth of legal supports for driving is bewildering. But these laws, which are everywhere we look, are also opportunities.