Monthly Review November 2017

"Wait, what?", you might say. "It's March 2018, why would you publish a review for November now?" In fact, I started writing a review in December, but I got busy, and then my mind was preoccupied with other things. I even started questioning whether I should continue the monthly review tradition at all. The truth is, writing review's like this is beneficial to check in with one's goals and personal growth, but it can also a painful process if the numbers don't look as favorable as you'd want them to be and you have to stand face to face with your weaknesses. If that wasn't enough, putting these thoughts on a public blog also means that you're sharing an inner monologue with the world, possibly making it discoverable and archived forever. I have observed many other people who are much better at articulating their weaknesses, though admittedly many do it in a somewhat safe space, anonymously or as part of a motivational blog post in which they describe how they've overcome them. In the online world, there's always tension between authenticity, which requires admission of defeat, too, and building a personal brand, which demands to shine the best light on yourself.

The beginning of a new year is always a time of optimism, a chance for a fresh and better start, but I feel I haven't been mindful and self-aware enough to make a difference. That's why I have not only decided to restart these monthly reviews with a February post but also retrospectively cover the months November, December and January. These reviews will be a bit shorter and, for obvious reasons, will not include any goals. I had a lot of thoughts about writing a yearly review together with new year's resolutions, but I'm skipping this one. It's in my plan for next year, though, because then I will have a whole year of data to look back on. Regarding the monthly reviews, I'm planning to write them step-by-step in the upcoming days so that I can publish the February review before the 15th, just in time for inclusion in Belle Cooper's newsletter.

That said, let's get started with a look on November.

Goal Review

Time to check in with the goals I set for myself last month:

Reducing screen time at night

I'm still not up to where I'd like this to be, but I'm faring much better this month.

Getting CloudObjects phpMAE released

Success. I've published phpMAE and its dependencies including documentation on GitHub and I wrote an introductory blog post on the CloudObjects Blog. But this is just the first step, so there's plenty to do here for a next goal.

Finish the book I'm reading right now and start a new one

Success. I'm through with the book my mother recommended me, and now I'm reading a recommendation from my sister. I think it's time to tackle my _own_ book reading list next.

Develop an improved system for tracking my to-do list.

For this goal, I'd say it's ongoing. My idea was to make Habitica the primary tool and let other task management systems feed into it. This plan, however, seems not to be practical. Instead, I've decided to use Habitica for gamification and scoring purposes only, and I developed a Zapier-based integration for Highrise and Habitica. I've documented this with a tutorial on this blog. This is one step, but a big plan or overall organization system is still missing at this point.


As usual, I'm sharing guest blog posts I've written. In November, BlazeMeter published a tutorial I wrote called Create Your First OpenAPI Definition with Swagger Editor.

On the CloudObjects side of things, a publicly usable version of phpMAE was released. This release was one of my goals, and I already mentioned it above, but I feel this deserves to be said twice :)

I'm also quite delighted by the fact that these monthly reviews are paying off as an inspiration for other people to have a look at their life and using tools quantify their productivity and happiness. Jeremy Cherfas first shared his thoughts about time measurement and time management in direct response to my last review, then published his own November review. Jason Irwin also wrote a monthly review and set goals for December with a direct nod to Jeremy and myself. It's a great feeling to be able to inspire others.

My October review was also included in Belle Cooper's monthly review newsletter.


This section is the part of the review where I take out my calendar. So, in November I attended a total of four tech- and entrepreneurship-related meetups and events, including the first of a new series, called Startup Melt. Apart from that, I've also been to a talk about Effective Altruism (EA) and another meetup of a local EA group. EA is the philosophy of "using reason and evidence to do the most good". It's something I've discovered during previous research on the Universal Basic Income (UBI) and read a bit about already, so it's really great to find a few like-minded folks to talk about it in real life. Another highlight of the month was undoubtedly the celebration of my sister's birthday, which took place in her own apartment for the first time.


Here are the numbers from RescueTime, based on 200h 14min of logged screen time:

  • 24% Software Development (down by 1 point from 25% last month)
  • 17% Social Networking (up by 3 points from 14% last month)
  • 12% Business
  • 8% Uncategorized
  • 8% Reference and Learning

In focus booster I recorded a total productive time of 108h 56m.


My average daily mood, as tracked in Exist, was 3.67, slightly lower than last month.

Entertainment and Media

I've continued watching various Star Trek shows, both old and new, on Netflix. I don't have kept exact track of what and when I watched.

Final Remarks

I've skipped a few sections for which I don't have or cannot reconstruct the data or where I feel it doesn't make sense to include them, considering I write this a few months after November.