Rediscovering the Personal Site

It’s been an interesting start to the year to say the least, but one positive from it has been the renewal of my interest in both my own blog and the blogs of others.

I’ve been reading blogs, or personal sites would probably be a more accurate term in 2015, since I came across them in my second year at university in 2006. Back then I loved the idea of people publishing something to the internet and quickly set my own blog up. I came across a number of great writers who like me were just finding their feet in the world of Web 2.0. In the 8 years that have passed since then, I’ve had a number of my own blogs and lost my motivation/desire to post to them all at various points in time.

In the early days of the blog, there was what felt like a strong community. A group of people writing about what interested them in a way which was new and exciting. It was inspiring to see others sharing in this way and it made me want to do the same. In the years since I left Uni in 2007 there seemed to be a change amongst the blogs I read. They became focused and somewhat same-y in their content, it felt like the blogs lost their personalities as their authors pursued a desire to be better writers. A few of them managed to maintain the personality that drew me to them in the first place, but, many didn’t and as a result the blogs either died off or my interest in them waned. It was sad and with that homogenising of content my own inspiration and desire to write also dried up.

Over the last few months I’ve started to notice something different. Perhaps it’s just that my own mindset has changed, or it could be that I’ve been finding a bunch of new sites, or a reaction to the likes of Facebook who seem to want to be the internet rather than part of it. But the personal site seems to be rising like a phoenix from the flames.

Many of the sites are specialised, with focused content, but they no longer seem to be of one voice talking about the same thing all the time. They have personality. The posts, whilst often being focused around a similar subject, are varied and seem to be a reflection of the people who write them. It’s both inspiring and a joy to read these sites. They might be writing about a pen, a notebook or a new Mac, but they are doing it in a way which is interesting and engaging.

These personal sites have the polish and high standard that the web in 2015 demands, but they seem to be returning to the personality and interest that was so apparent in the the rise of the blog back in the mid naughties. It’s refreshing and I’m thankful for it. I applaud those behind it and I hope it continues long into the future.

River Path Grass from Baron Fig ›

My favourite notebook creators have just realised another limited edition of their Apprentice note books. The River Path Grass edition has just been announced ad it looks just as nice as the previous editions. I own all three of the previous limited edition apprentices and use one everyday (more soon) and they are becoming indispensable to me.

Give a Damn ›

As I read Give a Damn by Bruce Layman I found myself nodding a long in agreement. Perhaps it’s just the way I’ve been thinking of late, or perhaps it’s because of the new focus I seem to be finding for my business, but something about it resonated with me. Resting well is important, I know only too well as I recover from the effects of doing too much in the last half of last year, but there’s a difference between rest and laziness. Doing something can, and should, be a part of that rest.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition is a bit of a bumper one with a combination of interesting and geeky. There’s a look at what London could’ve been, some thoughts on work and showing up, a history of a typeface, a pen review and reflection with the benefit of hindsight.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition, covers the new MacBook, a review of the iMac with 5K retina display, the struggle of packing the perfect bag, and the emotional rollercoaster of being a freelancer/self-emlpoyed developer.

Merci Wiggo: An interview with Sir Bradley Wiggins ›

I was going to add this post to Sunday’s edition of The Week in Links, but felt it deserved a link of it’s own. Bradley Wiggins finished his road cycling career with Team Sky in this year’s Paris-Roubaix, or The Hell of The North, and embarked on his run in to winning his sixth gold medal at the Rio Olympics. Sponsor and producer of the kit for Team Sky, Rapha, conducted this interview prior to the race.

Chapeau Sir Brad.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition arrives a bit later than normal. A combination of catching up on a little work this afternoon, watching my favourite cycling race (apart from Le Tour) and then being engrossed in final round of The Masters after church this evening has been the cause. If it’s a bit late in the day for you, you might have to make it these links your reading material for your Monday morning coffee.

The Week In Links

This weeks edition has only four links, but they are packed with interest. There’s a short post to get that started that will of particular interest to those who run their own business, followed by a series of posts giving a few details into the behind the scenes of starting a new company (they make my favourite notebooks). Following my trend in recent weeks of looking into notebooks, there’s a review of the latest Field Notes colours edition, and then an in-depth article into the beginnings of the Apple Watch.

Sit back with a coffee and enjoy.

My Homescreen: April 2015

Most of the interest has been on my iPad this month since there are a few additions there and only one change on my iPhone.


April 15 iPhone


The Rest


Scanbot – I’ve recently begun using my iPhone to scan my shopping receipts and consequently Scanbot has found itself promoted to my homescreen in place of the no longer needed Rightmove app from last month.


April 15 iPad


The Rest


Tweetbot – Despite the fact that it’s still not been updated to the iOS7/8 aesthetic, it’s ability to sync with my Mac and iPhone has forced me to bring it back to my iPad. I simply have too any hashtags muted in Tweetbot on my iPhone that not having it on my iPad was driving me nuts.

Adobe Comp – Adobe have been busy lately and have updated and introduced a new app. Leading the way is this new one, which seems to finally bring the kind of functionality to the iPad that I’ve been looking for. Since Adobe updated InDesign CC a couple of months back to introduce Creative Cloud Libraries I’ve begun use the extensively and I expect this new apps role in my design process to grow as a result of that.

Adobe Color – I’ve had this on my phone for a while, but a recent project had me sitting back in my chair with a cup of tea creating some possible colour schemes on my iPad. Again it’s integration with the other Creative Cloud apps is the killer feature.

CreativeCloud – Since I started my Creative Cloud license I’ve been making use of the 20GB of space I paid for to house my projects. The iOS app was always lacking though, but a recent update has improved it and joy of joys, I can now view multipage documents in the app.

When Creative Cloud was announced I was annoyed, I liked owning my software, especially when my livelihood is dependant on it, but I’ve been really impressed with the recent updates. Adobe have really stepped up their game in this regard and there’s no greater proof of that than the growing use of their apps beyond the Mac in my design process.