Here is your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Friday,” a list of what I’m enjoying or pondering… why not put on my monthly Spotify playlist in the background whilst you peruse? Tim Ferriss fans amongst you will know how blatantly this is a borrowing of his original 5-Bullet Friday (to which I heartily recommend you subscribe).
positive habit hack —
“Write a Medium post every morning” to capture events as they happen. I found myself prepping for a particularly intimidating meeting and had the idea that I should take each agenda item, create a draft blog post for it, and just write whatever came to mind. The result was doubly useful: a ten article series that I’ve scheduled for the next ten weeks, and a deep sense of preparedness going into the meeting. If you’re going to do the prep, why not get yourself something to show for it at the other end?
app developer I’m admiring —
“Teazel” maker of cryptic crosswords apps featured in past 5-Bullet Fridays. When somebody takes a concept that’s intensely hard to explain, requiring hours of study and typically several books of examples… and condenses it down into a couple of cheap cheerful apps that enable & encourage… that’s the sign of a great design & implementation. Inspiring, to the point that I’ve featured them twice now. Even if your curiosity for cryptics only extends to what’s freely available (ie no charge) from the app, please give them a go.
tv episode that wins —
“Black Mirror’s White Christmas” on Netflix. I was so glad to find this made available after so many years longing to see it again. It’d once been broadcast on All4 but then missed out on distribution as it fell between the seasons. They’ve grouped it in with series two now, which makes the most chronological sense. The episode is one of the very darkest Brooker has penned, and leaves me with a very twisted sense of frosty horror indeed.
phone holder that’s saving me £100 —
“Phone sticks” from Amazon. I’d been comparing webcam options for months and scraping by with a foot-high clamp stand that, whilst useful for tabletop FaceTiming, just can’t reach high enough to work with my standing desk setup. The sticks cost only £10 and have changed the game: they attach the phone to top of external monitor so I now look like I’m looking at the camera; they are easily detachable yet completely stable. Just what I needed!
site that looks great for writing —
“Reedsy” web editor. I tried scrivener on the recommendation of a friend and thought it a little troublesome with respect to shortcut keys, file storage & backup, and certainly price. A year or so later I’m enjoying reedsy as one of the tools that’s taken the hint from Medium in terms of usability and appearance. On track for NaNoWriMo 2021… who’s in?
historic video I’m enjoying —
“Jordan Peterson the Harvard lectures” circa 1990. It helps put things into perspective when Maps Of Meaning which, published in 1999 and begun in the mid-1980s, is still 100% consistent with his message today in 2020: that’s *thirty-five years* of delivering the same consistent message. It makes me glad to know that he’s always been there for us whether it’s via (1980s-2000s) overheads & stamps, or (2010s) Quora, or (nowadays) podcasts & audiobooks.
film I’m rewatching —
“GATTaca” with Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Gore Vidal. Great soundtrack cinematography plot and pace. Takes it a bit far with the night swimming towards the end, but this particular scene helps to deliver the key narrative as brother overcomes brother. A reverse Cain & Abel scenario. Ultimately a demonstration of what can happen when you raise your eyes to aim at that which is most high and seemingly least achievable.
And, as always, please give me feedback on Twitter. Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Let me know! Just send a tweet to @olisteadman and put #5BulletFriday at the end so I can find it.