Hjertnes' blog


2023-01-23 12:49

Over the last few weeks I have to a larger extent than before tried to do stuff with Shortcuts. While some of it is amazing, other parts are really weirdly terrible.

  • Why isn’t there any good way of doing a multi-value form in there?
  • Why can’t I just give any block a name without having to add a set variable” block?! Would have made it a lot easier to find things.
  • The mac app is really fucking slow
  • Why isn’t there something like a function?
  • I really wish it had better data structures and blocks to deal with them. Like lists, adding, removing, finding, filtering etc.
  • And the features for changing shortcuts as you go are really terrible. Most of the time when I move things around I usually have to re-assign most of the variables affected.

In the end I ended up just writing a simple app in SwiftUI for the more complex of the things I tried to solve with Shortcuts.

How I use my iPad Pro

2023-01-17 05:44

I love my 12.9” iPad Pro. It is the 2021 version, the first one with M-chip in it. This is how I use mine.

It is always with an Apple Pencil either laying next to it or attached to the side. And I always use one of those Apple accessories with it. Either a Smart Folio or the Magic Keyboard. It is that ridiculously expensive keyboard thingy that turns it into a kind of MacBook.

My iPad is usually in the Smart Folio most of the time, and I put it the Magic Keyboard case when I’m using the keyboard or trackpad for as long as I’ll be using that. And I usually only bring it when I’m not also bringing my MacBook Pro. But I always bring it in any situation where I have my iPad and would like to type more than a sentence or two.

Part of me wish there was a way to kind of have a Smart Folio that I didn’t have to take off when I wanted to use the Smart Keyboard.

A bunch of terrible and funny Baseball caps I found browsing etsy

2023-01-12 06:01

I did for some ADHD reason decide to start looking at baseball caps at etsy while watching a movie. Or the person I watched it with hates Men in tights one of my favourite movies and a movie we watched together a while back. So I started to look if I could find one of those dumb Robin Hood Hat baseball cap” combinations that movie features. The short version is that: I didn’t. And I’m very dissapointed at the internet for that.


2023-01-11 05:30

It have gone a while since I got my longboard now. About three months I think.

In general I’m very happy with how well it has gone.

Haven’t really hurt myself at all, except some really minor things. Like fallen off and had a limb for a couple of days or had a sore ass for a few days. A large part of why is partly that I always wear helmet plus set of protective gear and that I in general have been very careful about always balancing pushing myself and always being in control.

Also I’m very happy about how fast I’ve gotten to where I am.

The most impactful thing on my skills have been to skate to work any day where it is doable. I just skate where it is fun, take public transport where it is the most convenient and walk the rest. I also go for rides during weekends and such when it is weather for it. But that isn’t as often as I’d like at this time of year.

It is so much fun to have a mode of transportation where I kind of do it mostly because I think it is a fun thing to do and not for the convenience.


2023-01-10 13:05

I used to have my own thing that did something kind of similar, but when I heard about Daytum on Do By Friday I quickly started to move my stuff over to it.

At its core Daytum is just a way to track stuff with timestamps and whole numbers. You can use it to track a lot of different things. As long as it is based on Date/Time and can be represented by a number.

The structure of things is that you have categories, items, entries and attributes.

Categories are like tags and just have a name or title. Items also have a name / title, plus that you can add attributes to either the Item itself or the entries of the Item. Entries are inside an item, at its core it has a timestamp and a amount (integer value) and some categories or attributes if you have them. The default categories are the ones of the parent, but you can change it.

I use it for three different things in my life:

  • To keep track of when I last did something
  • Have a mindful todo list I’d like to do not too infrequently
  • Track metrics of things I’m trying to improve. Like how much I’m walking with Molly, how much I run at the gym, how much I weight lifting I’m doing et the gym and things like that.

It works quite well. The dashboards aren’t the best. But I’m quite happy with it. And the thing of going through the list of items in Daytum is really good for me and my ADHD to remember to do things if I notice I haven’t done it today or in a while.

Rubik's cube

2023-01-09 16:03

I’ve owned a handful of them over the years. But never actually learnt how to properly solve it.

For the longest I just twisted until I got frustrated and did something else.

But then at the end of this year. Probably around November I actually started to learn it and how to solve it. And I kind of like it.

It is kind of like programming. You learn some algorithms to solve some problems and you apply them. And sometimes you fuck it up and have to start from zero.

Social feeds

2022-12-31 08:20

I’m so happy my ADHD works in a way where it is very hard for me to get addicted to scrolling social feeds when I have something interesting to do.

The two exceptions being YouTube and TikTok.

I kind of have to add things on my todo list to do stuff like Scroll past 200 posts on mastodon” every like 4-5 todo item to even get past my feed.

If I don’t I forget about it or see that there is 10 000 unread posts waiting for me. Going to the top isn’t a solution because it will just repeat itself. And I follow people because I like their stuff.

The only thing that work for me is to work it into my day to chip away at it to not let it grow into a overwhelming amount of stuff to scroll through.

It’s so weird to me that I literally can’t get into reading what’s going on in the social apps and discords I’m in while others can’t drag themselves out of them.

Planning & reminders

2022-12-29 06:53

After writing about my task management system yesterday I thought I’d get to my insane reminders & calendar setup today.


I have 2.5 calendar setups. The .5 is the corporate Exchange / Outlook calendars I have at work but don’t use more than I have to. Outside of that I have a digital Fantastical setup where all of the calendars live in iCloud and a analog A5 Hobonichi Techo Cousin.

Let’s start with the Hobo.

It has two big calendar spreads or it has more. But there are two I use a lot. It has a two page spread for each week, and a single A5 page for each day in a different section.

What I use the week spread for is two things.

The first: it has this section on the left that isn’t really a part of any day, in there I write a bulleted list of all my goals of the week. Like what my targets for weight loss are, how many times I want to go to the gym. Habits I’m working on etc.

The second: in the day sections I write down anything I do that day that either involves other people or me going anywhere. No times or anything. Just write them down there. Plus that I always write down where I’m going to work that day (as a consultant I sometimes work from home, sometimes from my employers offices and most of the time the clients offices). I find this very useful to see that I don’t over-book myself. And make sure I have some days of the week without other people.

This is obviously very high level. But it makes it really easy once I got into it to use it to see where I’m open to doing stuff.

Now onto the day pages. The first thing I do with them is that I take a ruler and divide them into three more or less identical columns. And then I write down all the most important things I need to do during the day. It isn’t like a very detailed TODO list like the ones I have to work after. But it is more like a all the most important things that I really should get done that day. It typically contains all the stuff from the weekly page. Plus a bunch of priority tasks. I treat it like a lot of GTD purists treat due dates.


I have a bunch of different calendars here: personal, work, routine, Molly(my dog), Ea(my daughter). All of them are color coded.

The way I use digital calendars is that I add everything to them, because it makes it much easier for me to accurately know if I have time for something or not. Pluss full day events for where I’m working if I’m working or if I’m traveling somewhere or if I have my kid etc.

I put in when I usually get out of bed and when I typically get up so it is easy to scan what my available area is. And you find a lot of weird stuff like taking the dog for a walk or travel back and forth to work etc.

I don’t always fill it, but if I’m doing something important or something that require going somewhere I put it there.

Reminders etc

I use two kinds of apps for reminders that notify me. The default Apple Reminders app and Due.

Due I use for everything that I want to be nagged about until they are done. This are typically things that are really important that I get done at all or things that are really important to get done at a specific Date/Time. If it is the latter I usually use a combination of Due and Calendars.

And Reminders I use for shopping lists and things I want to be reminded about that isn’t that time sensitive.

My tripple todo list system

2022-12-28 09:39

This probably sounds insane to most people with a normal brain. But I keep three separate task lists, and this is all separated from things like calendars, reminders and things like this.

I have one big todo list system. It is neatly organised most of the time into projects, sub-projects and so on. Tagged with due dates, flags etc. It is managed through a plain text system called Taskpaper.

This is kind of the database or master list of everything.

Then I have a bullet journal like system in the iOS/macOS app called Agenda. I have different notebooks and templates for different things. One for work, one for going to the gym, and a bunch for personal stuff usually organised into Daily, Monthly and Yearly notebooks.

I basically use agenda for two things. I have a notebook where I write bullets for everything I do. Just to have a log of things. Useful surprisingly often. And I have template for all of my routine stuff that I do every day, every week or things I need to do before I have my kid, after I have my kid, while I have my kid etc. Plus that everything I need to deal with now or soon are added to my daily note.

In addition to this I always have either a Rhodia dotpad (or similar) or my pocket notebook. This is where I just write the 5-10 next things I have to deal with. When I run out of things on it, I update Agaenda and find some new things from there and add to it. And so on. If I for some strange reason run out of things there I look in the Taskpaper.

And I usually do the same kind of dance for work things.

It is a ridiculous system that is very redundant. But it is really efficient at just letting me file stuff away without it disappearing and focusing on what is right in front of me without getting overwhelmed.

Yes I have to update three different things. But the thing I actually use as I work as close to zero potential for getting lost in a settings screen or some dumb automation rabbit hole. I just look at the pad and cross things off and move on to the next thing. When I’m done with a page, I just tear it off (if it is a Rhodia) or turn to the next if it is my pocket notebook.

Made with ❤️ in Bergen, Norway by Eivind Hjertnes