It's the new year, and look, already COVID-19 is not dominating the headlines anymore! πŸ˜†πŸ˜­

This week, I've started to use my home office for work again, not only for fighting bosses in Castle Nathria.

Getting myself Sorted

Back in October, I mentioned that I was using TickTick for time-boxing my work. Since I didn't like the apps's UI, I returned to using Things for tracking my tasks, and manually blocked time slots for each of them in my calendar. In his recent newsletter, David Sparks mentioned the app Sorted, and for me it hits the sweet spot in terms of design and functionality. What I enjoy the most is its auto-scheduling feature which allows me to quickly recover from unplanned work or getting distracted. It assigns new time slots to my remaining tasks and shows me the fallout of what needs to be pushed to another day.

My modifiers went home

Inspired by t00mietum's keyboard layout, I gave "home row mods" another try. The home row is the row of keys where the fingers rest on ASDF and JKL;. "Home row mods" is a keyboard layout hack that puts the modifier keys (e.g. Shift, Control) on the home row. This is made possible by using the "mod tap" feature available in firmware like QMK where quickly tapping a key will trigger its usual function, but holding it will turn it into a modifier. For example, holding "D" now functions as my Shift key, and for symmetry, holding "K" does the same. First, this improves ergonomics: Having to stretch out my fingers less, especially the pinkies, feels substantially more comfortable. I'm actually using my new right Shift key for a change! Second, it frees up all thumb keys of my Lily58 for layer switching. I even put numbers and symbols on their own layers. Having a virtual numpad on the right hand side makes entering numbers easier than reaching up with both hands. My next split keyboard will not even have a number row anymore.

Coming up

Due to the exploding infection numbers in Ireland, the kids will not return to school on Monday, so that's going to be interesting. I'm going to pick up live streaming again -- with a new strategy.