Weeknote, Sunday 22nd May

I spent some time restructuring my setup in Ulysses for writing. It had spiralled completely out of control, with countless filters, folders, workflows and who knows what that I had developed – and promptly abandoned – over the years.

Instead it now has a clean structure which focuses on what kind of writing it is; Blog posts; Books; Newsletters; and a catch-all bucket for other kinds of creative writing, whether that is short stories or exercises. There’s also a single bucket for Ideas, and I use tags to annotate those ideas according to kind. Some are observations, where I’ve seen something and attempted to capture it. Some are fragments: a line from a character, something that just pops into mind. And then there’s blog post ideas, which range from a single line to a few half-developed paragraphs.

This is all part of a move to try and have less-but-better tools, and to stick with them and use them consistently. I’m an absolutely terribletool hopper, moving from software package to software package depending on mood. This is a very destructive habit if you want to make things, and one that I want to get out of. It’s hard: half a lifetime of playing with new software and hardware for a living makes it awfully tempting to try new things.


I have temporarily put other books on hold while I wade into Tripp Mickle’s After Steve, which is an excellent account of the post-Steve Jobs era at Apple. I’m about half way through and really enjoying it. The level of research is excellent, although I don’t think that the structure Mickle has adopted – which bounces between Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive as point of view characters – actually does the narrative of the book any favours.


Nothing completed this week but I have been hammering what I think are three good ideas into shape.


Friday was our last day of Sky subscription, which meant a desperate race to watch all the hundreds of hours of content we had recorded (we didn’t make it). It’s odd going back to just the thirty or so channels, but also pretty refreshing: I can’t lean on the crutch of just diving into whatever’s on the Sky movie channels as a default option.

If you’re my age, 2 Tone will have been an influence: the documentary “2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry” is well worth a watch, not just for the great music but also for the fantastic background. It does not, though, answer the most important question about 2 Tone: why did Jerry Dammers never get his teeth fixed?

Meanwhile, on the internet…

Elon Musk continues to be an ass. This interview with his first wife is really interesting, and one passage from it really stood out: Musk telling Justine that her grieving for the loss of their first child was “emotionally manipulative”.

Speaking of assholes… anything Musk can do Ellison can do better.

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