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Projects WordPress Work & Productivity

Readability Theme Progress Update

Last week I delve into web sustainability which led to running several tests using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. As I knocked out one suggestion then the next I was surprised how simple delivery enhancements can speed up even the leanest website.

PageSpeed Insights

Websites are heavy, even a simple blog post can easily pass 2 megabites just displaying text. As I drilled down the path to a score of 100 the suggested fixes turned into a game. By removing Open Sans as a web font I saved 300ms. It’s a secondary font on this theme and I didn’t even perceive the swap for my browsers default of DejaVu Sans. Here are some of my favorite enhancements.

  • Setting font-display to swap can save a few seconds. Fonts can be render blocking until the whole page has downloaded. Yikes.
  • Fewer calls to third party servers really do make a noticeable difference. Even Jetpack which leverages caching and a content delivery network adds unnecessary weight to a page.
  • After purging every unnecessary bit from this theme some of the pages load in less than a second.

Caching is easy

A few years ago I shrugged off caching, I always tried to keep my projects lean so adding a plugin to scrape off 500 milliseconds didn’t seem important. However, when you add up those extra kilobytes and half seconds over the total viewership of a website the improvements can be easily perceived.

  • JavaScript is a beast, less so when cached
  • CSS and HTML can be cached allowing for the DOM to fly by
  • I also gained a new respect for lazy loading images

Enough ranting, here’s some screenshots.

PageSpeed Insights Report for this website on the Desktop view.
PageSpeed Insights score this website for the Mobile view.

For kicks check out my PageSpeed Insight results for this page.

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Work & Productivityvideo

Getting Things Done with the Bullet Journal

Video: How I use David Allen’s Getting things done system with the Bullet Journal Method as a web developer

In 2013 I found myself stressed out, I had to many commitments and not enough time; or so I thought. Up until this point I kept track of all my everything in email or my head. When I missed an important deadline I often complained that I was overworked. I started researching productivity methods online and came across multiple posts referencing David Allen’s Getting Things Done in the comments.

How Getting Things Done cleared my mind

GTD frequently references finding a trusted format to store your thoughts, commitments, projects, and responsibilities. The hardest part was actually discovering my trusted system. GTD doesn’t do that for you.

Limiting collection points

Dave Crenshaw in many of his Lynda.com time management videos references limiting your collection points to the fewest possible. I found this helpful in funneling what grabs my attention. However, no matter how hard I tried to limit communication points almost every project or client had a list dedicated platform. Sadly this is just how communications in 2019 works.

I’m a member of five Slack Workspaces, Two email address, three messaging platforms, two Calendars, two voicemail accounts, and a Basecamp. This isn’t a complete list and it’s always changing.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible tell our supervisor or client you won’t use their favorite service because you’ve purged to only a few accounts That’s where the Bullet Journal helped me navigate the chaos.

The Bullet Journal is my single point of captured information

Independent of the source everything I need to do is added to my Bullet Journal. This way I capture everything at regular intervals and quickly note the task in an abbreviated style. It always begins with Rapid Logging in my Daily Log collection spread.

A Daily Log spread in my Bullet Journal
A Daily Log spread in my Bullet Journal.,Nothing fancy.

I take no time to worry about penmanship, grammar or presentation. My Daily log serves as an almost real time dump of what’s in my mind. If I need to clean things up and expand on anything I create a custom collection to drill down a subject, or plan a long term project. Even if it’s something like recurring due dates added to my Monthly Log.

The benefit is that I still capture everything that’s competing for my attention and time. However, once in my journal I rarely have to return to the source unless an update has been posted or I need to grab very specific information such as an error message, very long url, contact information for a vendor or simply a file attachment.

Have any questions? Feel free to comment below.

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Reading Work & Productivity

Deep Work by Cal Newport

I’ve read more than a few good reviews of this book and finally decided to pick up a copy.

Whenever I take vacation I like to read and reread books on work and productivity. During this particular vacation I’ve read The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll and reread a few chapters from Getting Things Done by David Allen