Thoughts on productivity,
communication and tech.
 

September 13, 2012  

I read a lot about current events in the IT business and I and love to learn about new tools.

But one thing I’ve realized is that it is important to put my foot down from time to time and actually use the information.

Every action you take has an opportunity cost. For example, the time spent learning something could be spent doing something.

Taking action is a good way to test if something actually works in reality. For example: You might read about a cool new web design technique, but unless you try it out then it’s hard to actually know:

a) if it works for you
b) if it works well
c) if it is something that could actually benefit you

And so on.

We can learn a lot by studying, but we can only test the things we learn by taking action.

Learning is a personal investment — and a very important one — but it is important to remember that taking action is what ultimately moves us forward.

Learning is fun and can be relatively easy. Taking action requires more effort and can be quite hard. But the benefits of taking action and moving toward one’s goals can often make the effort worthwhile.

 

September 12, 2012  

Hard work, skill and dedication are important when getting stuff done.

But it’s also important to use the right tools for the job.

There is a lot of truth in the idea that using the right tools is half the job.

The right equipment can also help make life easier by simplifying things.

So today, have added a section to the website called Tools where I have listed software that I like to use.

I view this as a resource page and I may update it from time to time.

You can hopefully benefit from the time I have spent finding and learning these tools.

 

August 22, 2012  

I chose to build my own WordPress theme for this website.

I did so because I wanted the flexibility of adapting the layout to my personal needs and wishes. Using an existing theme and sticking within its boundaries did not appeal to me. I did so on a previous website and it simply was not satisfying to be restricted by the design of the theme.

A number of hours

While I had experience with HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP before I started, it was still a challenge. I needed to figure out how I would like the website to look, which colors to use, which fonts to use and so on. Since it was my first WordPress theme, also needed to learn how WordPress themes work. I also, for example, wanted the website to use HTML5 and CSS3 and that was a bit new to me as well.

I did not clock my hours, but I know that I spent a number of hours building the theme. While there are many tutorials and tools as well as a lot of information regarding WordPress themes on the Internet (thankfully!), there is no single place that tells you how to build your entire theme exactly as you would like it to be.

No theme is perfect

One big lesson is to not spend too much time making the theme perfect. Because a WordPress theme will never be perfect. It will always have some shortcomings. There are always features that can be added and stuff that can be tweaked.

In my opinion, it is better to get it out there in reasonable time, because otherwise there is a risk to get stuck in an “endless” improvement cycle, resulting in a theme that doesn’t get released because it simply becomes too boring/draining to work on it.

Positive and negative

To sum up, I think that:

  • The big benefit of creating your own WordPress theme is that you can get a theme that suits your needs. It is also a big learning experience, at least if you’re doing it for the first time.
  • The biggest negative thing about creating your own WordPress theme is that it can take a lot of time, at least if you’re doing it for the first time.

In the end, was it worth it? Yes, I think it was.

Would I recommend anyone else to do it? It depends. It might, for example, be a good idea for a person who knows how to code and who sees WordPress theme creation as something fun and exciting.

But someone who does not know how to code might be better off by using a free theme or paying for one — or by outsourcing the work to someone else.

 

August 14, 2012  

One common writing mistake is the excessive use of complicated words.

The big problem with complicated words is that they make it harder for the reader to understand what the words mean. And if the reader does not understand the words, the text has failed.

Here is a sentence with complicated words:

To gratify my exquisite taste for modern-day cinema, I chose to experience the summer blockbuster called The Dark Knight Rises.

Here is a simpler version:

I like movies so I went to see The Dark Knight Rises.

The simpler version is almost always better to use. It’s shorter, easier to read and easier to understand.

 


 
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