Groundhog Day Resolutions - April 2020

Things have certainly changed a lot since March's GHD post.

March's Primary Goals

1. Run a marathon

The race was canceled the Thursday beforehand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was disappointed to hear the news, but given how quickly things have escalated it was for the best.

I decided to run the race solo seeing as I was already trained and tapered. I finished in just under 5:40. Not the time I was aiming for, but I'll take it for a first attempt.

2. Research zettelkasten products

I've been using zetteldeft for the last week with some success. I'm still not 100% sold on this setup and I'd like to evaluate some other products in more detail. But for now it works.

3. Set up detail pages for my minor goals

All minor goals now have detail pages, unless they're too small to really need one.

4. Start a bodyweight exercise routine

I've been using bodyweight exercises for the last two weeks. It's been a couple of months since I last had a routine, but I got back into the groove fairly easily.

It makes a nice change from running.

Primary Goals for April

1. Make some art

I have two art-related goals this year. Now seems like as good a time to work on them.

2. Read something

I may not finish an entire book, but I'd like to make a start on my reading goal.

3. Release Bee Button

It's a small project that I'd like to get finished up and released.

Choosing goals for this month was tougher than usual given everything that's going on.

Zettelkasten Tools

Since I started back on GTD I've been looking for a way to organize my notes, and zettelkasten seems like it might be a good fit. Zettelkasten is a method of taking and organizing notes in a linked way. has a great overview of the system and how it works (and can explain it far better than I can).

There are a lot of different tools available for implementing the system, and all are slightly different in their approach. Before I get too far into things I'd like to try out a couple of different ones to see what feels right.

Ideally I'd like it to use text files and integrate into Emacs, but during this research phase I'm happy to try other setups.

These are the tools that are currently on my list to try:

Emacs tools

A fairly recent tool that is still under development.
I currently use (and enjoy) deft for taking notes, so this might be the easiest upgrade path.
"An opinionated setup for managing large collections of interlinked org files."
"Org-mode wiki + concept-mapping"
A cross between deft and the notmuch email client.

Other tools

Looks really slick, but is Mac/iPhone only. If I used Things for GTD I would probably love this.
Open source and uses Markdown to store notes.
The Archive
Mac only, but uses plaintext for storing notes.
Roam Research
An online app that is currently in beta.
Open source and can be set up either as a web app or desktop app.
A work-in-progress system built for use on the command line.

I could probably list a dozen different wiki's as well. I've used MediaWiki and LionWiki with some success, but I'd prefer to use a dedicated system if I go the online route.

Groundhog Day Resolutions - March 2020

Even with the extra day, February still felt far too short. Here's how my primary goals went:

February's Primary Goals

1. Create a system to track my bodyweight workouts

I'm sticking with text-based + Emacs for this one. It's not glamorous or exciting, but it works. I wrote a couple of small scripts to extract data so I can (eventually) make graphs to track my progress.

2. Get blitzmax-mode on Melpa

blitzmax-mode was submitted to Melpa on February 11th. There's a fairly hefty backlog of packages, but aside from some minor fixes it looks good to go.

Update: It was accepted into Melpa on March 8th.

3. Create a project plan for bee button

I've split the remaining tasks into a bunch of smaller milestones. I'd estimate it will take maybe 20 hours to finish.

4. Create detail pages for all my major goals

All major goals for 2020 now have detail pages.

Primary goals for March

1. Run a marathon

Training for this started back in November. I'm currently tapering before the actual race which is a nice change of pace. Right now I'm feeling a mix of nerves and excitement, although I'm looking forward to not having to run so much.

I've also been feeling unmotivated for my other goals, so I'm hoping that getting my first win of the year will give me a boost.

2. Research Zettelkasten products

So far I've found a few Emacs packages but haven't really used them properly. I'd like to try out a few different solutions before settling on anything.

3. Set up detail pages for my minor goals

I'd like to have detail pages set up for the most important ones.

4. Start a bodyweight exercise routine

Once the marathon is done and I've had some time to recover, I'd like to start working out every week.

I'm expecting a week of recovery time after the marathon, so I'm keeping things a little lighter this month.

New tools I'm trying out

Although I'm pretty comfortable with my current Emacs-centric setup, I think it's useful to try out new tools to see if there is functionality I find useful. Over the last month I've been trying out a couple of different products:


Notion is a little hard to describe. It's a great way to take notes and organize ideas, but it can also be used to organize tasks into projects or store bookmarks.

If you've ever used a wiki, Notion works in a similar way but is much more user friendly. Definitely worth trying out, especially if you prefer taking and organizing notes in a visual way.

Notion for storing notes

FocusBooster is my usual go-to for pomodoro tracking, but for the last few weeks I've been trying FocusBooster. It has a desktop app which is handy, and it sends weekly emails with productivity stats. Unfortunately it does not have an API, but otherwise it's extremely polished and stays out of the way.

It also has a bunch of reports and stats which are always fun to look through.

FocusBooster for pomodoro


Taskade is great for creating and organizing task-lists. I've used it for a couple of recurring checklists, but overall I prefer org-mode for anything more complex.

Taskade for weekly tasks

Groundhog Day Resolutions - February 2020

January absolutely flew by this year. Here's how my goals went:

January's Primary Goals

1. Finalize my 2020 major goals

My five major goals for 2020 are now listed. I feel like the list is a little short, although I only completed 2/3rds of my major goals last year so perhaps it's for the best.

2. Finalize my 2020 secondary goals

2020 secondary goals page has been added.

I think I'll end up adding more goals as the year goes on, but for now I'm happy with what's on the list.

3. Set up the 2020 hub page

The 2020 hub page is online. I still need to create individual goal pages.

4. Create (and follow) a release plan for The Book

The wheels are in motion here. So far it's been far, far harder to get things ready for release than the initial writing process.

January's Secondary Goals

1. Create a game for FFSJam

Complete failure here. Didn't even make a start on it.

Primary goals for February

1. Create a system to track my bodyweight workouts

I currently use Emacs + org-mode to track my workouts. I may stick with this, or more to something else. Either way, I need a way to track what I'm doing and what progress I'm making. And I'll probably want to hook it up to Beeminder.

2. Get blitzmax-mode on Melpa

I released the first version of blitzmax-mode back in 2017, but it still needs installing manually. I'd like to get it on Melpa to make installation and updating easier.

3. Create a project plan for bee button

It's been a couple of months since I worked on the project, but I have some lists hanging around of what's left.

4. Create detail pages for all my major goals

Having some form of tracking for major goals was a big help last year.