My day job has been off the charts in 2021. Barely six weeks into the year and I’ve engaged in as many projects as I had in 2020, which then nearly quadrupled the number I tackled in 2019. Working from home — instead of being a road warrior — has enabled me to be significantly more productive on a professional level but there is a downside. I have less time to concentrate on my personal digital life. So if there’s a theme for 2021, it is simplifying.
Along those lines, I’m doing some digital housekeeping — tweaking my social media presence, tuning preferences across applications and trimming back on services that have fallen by the wayside. On the video conferencing front, I’ve invested in technology to simplify my on-camera presence. As a consultant, I need to be ready to use whatever video collaboration platform a client chooses, and that can create a range of issues from technical incompatibilities to codec failures to bandwidth headaches. So far I’ve managed to put together a camera, microphone and encoder combination that seems to work with both Windows and MacOS within Teams, Zoom and GoToMeeting as well as Discord, Google Voice and FaceTime. Admittedly, the setup is fragile but at least it is technically consistent — configure once, use for all.
Maintaining my various sites has been a challenge this past year, so I’ve turned to process automation and content consolidation. I’ve folded my professional site, cjkainz.me, into its own section within Friday Sushi. Managing two sites became a pain, so merging two into one makes it much easier for me to link, track, edit and update content. I’ve built out a single Resume/CV page that now lists everything short of some pre-professional jobs in high school and early college. My previous attempts to manage content separately just didn’t work on a number of levels, so I’ve gone back to the traditional linear format to better compliment my LinkedIn profile.
Moving online in 2020 has simplified some personal interactions, too. After a fairly lengthy and close to a two decade hiatus, I’ve reengaged in nearly virtual tabletop role playing with friends near and far. We’re charging through a D&D 5e campaign using Fantasy Grounds and running two different storytelling-style Star Wars RPG campaigns within World Anvil. Using World Anvil has rekindled my long dormant markup skills as I’ve been building pages and tools to make my own gaming life simpler. That “code now, reuse later” mindset has spilled over into work as I’ve been building a greater array of templates and tools to enable me to focus more on clients and less on mechanics.
Anyhow, I hope simplifying can help you, too — it certainly is making it easier for me to share more with everyone.