Weekly Check-in: 9/27

The tide is turning in the newborn struggle.

catIllustration by Kelsey Holmes

For the sake of accountability, I am trying to regularly writing check-ins on my work in progress.

See all check-ins here.

Last Week's Update

The tide is turning in the newborn struggle (aka the great battle for sleep). Although Zoe is still waking up every few hours to eat, she's sleeping longer in between, which means I'm able to piece together 5-6 hours a night. Good enough!

With that structure, I've put in a solid few days of work on ListNote, re-writing the document storage backend, adding folders, live collaboration, shared projects, and a re-designed UI. I also added unit testing and fixed 6 bugs. Special thanks to my Tandem colleague Andriy for helping me think about the design a bit.

New UI!

I'm basically at the point where I'm ready to shart sharing ListNote with more people, and also start working on my second project, so I'm feeling like it's a pretty big milestone.

Wins of the Week

  • Tons of progress on ListNote:

    • Collaborative editing with y.js (60% done)
    • Folders (and using folders to organize daily notes)
    • Backend tests & Github action integration
    • Moved document storage to the database
    • Added project settings & the ability to share with others
    • A bunch of smaller improvements: autolinking, refreshing when resuming from sleep, and improvements to the visual design
Project Settings Screen
  • Started writing about the details of the Javascript testing library project
    • I have more of a sense of the problem I want to tackle, which is that there are five different types of tests on the frontend - unit, component, visual snapshots, interactions, and e2e. Each is handled by a different library, so everyone has to glue together multiple testing frameworks.

Learnings of the Week

I read an interesting book this week on parenting complex children (ADHD, anxiety disorder, etc).


I secretly suspect that I have some form of ADHD - part of this productivity journey for me has been helping me get more out of myself, and in turn helping others do the same, so I appreciate the deep dive into the parenting aspect as one way of framing the task at hand.

  • At a high level, the book's big idea is that for complex kids, the solution starts with the parent, not the kid. There's no magic bullet to change the kid, just a slow process of changing expectations, tactics, and mindset to bring the best out of the kid.

  • One of the neat things was the acronym PINCH - which is the only ways to motivate kids with ADHD (e.g. traditional rewards and punishments don't work):

    • Play (make it fun)
    • Interest (connect it with their interests)
    • Novelty (make it new)
    • Competition (who's going to win?)
    • Hurry up! (make a deadline)
  • "Naughty or neurological" - a phrase to ask yourself to determine whether a kid is misbehaving because of intention or a brain issue, in which case punishment is probably not helpful.

  • "Strategies, systems and structures" - three layers to work on simultaneously to make sure any type of behavior change sticks.

Quarter Goals

  • Get ListNote to a releasable state - getting closer!

  • Get to clarity on my next project

  • Build a community to give me feedback

Goals for the Week

  1. ListNote - other than completing collaborative editing, I want to use it a lot this week and iron out any bugs and polish before sending it more broadly. If you haven't tried it yet, please give it a try!

  2. Javascript testing framework - I've researching on the state of the art in JS testing. The next step is to interview frontend developers on what they're doing and what their pain points are.

  3. Community - When ListNote is ready, the plan is to blast it to a broader audience, so the next step is to draft that email.

Please drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. 🙏🤘


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