Daily: Autobiographical Forms Kickoff

Daily: Autobiographical Forms Kickoff

SUMMARY: Inspired by a web comic, Dave kicks off an experiment with “autobiographical form design”.

On My MindAlso: new mouse!

After reading the collected autobiographical comic Emitown TPB over the weekend, I had the crazy idea in the shower that perhaps I, too could have some kind of daily focus. While I hate making more work for myself, I know that I’m most motivated when I’ve got something I can share with people that’s “real”. It’s useful data, I believe, because there are some people out there going down new and unfamiliar paths. It’s TOUGH. Sometimes SCARY. I’m hugely appreciative of anyone who takes the time to show how they’re doing it. I think that’s the spirit I want to capture in these dailies. Plus, it is hilarious to think of “form-based autobiography”. I am pretty sure I am in a niche of one, here :-)

I’ve kept some descriptions terse for a modicum of privacy. And credit where it’s due: the whole “silos” idea is something I am stealing from my friend Gary.

This is essentially a list of the topics I mentioned in yesterday’s post, with more details filled-in. I just used Adobe Illustrator to layout the text using my newly-licensed font Proxima Nova (which is what all the form redesigns are using) and am going to stare at it. There is a second part of this I want to design as part of an upcoming Multiple Goals Tracker enhancement to the Concrete Goals Tracker, but I didn’t want to make a day of it. 45 minutes is what I ended up spending, and tomorrow I’ll review it in the morning and refine it.

Over time, I think this experiment will yield some Illustrator skill optimizations, and perhaps some idea for improved digital workflow. It should be interesting. I’ll commit to this for two weeks and see how it goes.

Logitech Anymore Mouse MXIn other news, I got a new mouse to replace my aging Logitech Nano VX, as it has started to double-click by itself and it produced much rage in me at Starbucks. The new one is, despite Logitech’s failure here to please me, is the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX. Like the mouse it replaces and still bears a resemblance to, the Anywhere MX is wireless AND will allegedly track on GLASS, which would be awesome; I’ve had issues on very slick tables. It also has a new “unified receiver”, which means that it can support multiple mice AND (compatible) wireless keyboards with a single USB plug. I got the mouse on sale at Staples for $20, and there’s another $20 rebate on it, so that drops the price by 50%. I can imagine Dad nodding approvingly. We’ll see how it works out in practice. I also looked briefly at Microsoft’s offerings, as they have been making mice for a long time as well, but this year’s designs are unexpectedly ugly; they remind me a bit of pill bugs! Ugh. I don’t even want to know how I am making that connection.

The next form update in the queue is the Task Order Up, but I have a lot of work this week to take care of first. Fingers: crossed!


  1. Christine(@isekhmet) 12 years ago

    I’m completely intrigued by your silos. What an interesting way of looking at your day. I find that I am juggling so much in so many different areas (but in a good way!) that it is hard to create a way of looking at it all at once but this opens some possibilities for me.

  2. Pen & Ink 12 years ago

    Hmm, I don’t understand your math here. $20 cost less another $20 rebate is 50% reduction? I’m thinking you mean either it was $40 at the register, or it had a net cost of $0 for a 100% reduction.

  3. Federico Figueredo 12 years ago

    I’ve been doing something similar myself but using HTML (anyone else hates typing in Illustrator, or is it just me?) I must say that I love the horizontal array of the information and might end up stealing it from you.

    PSno1 (in which I step in your toes): I’m intrigued (read itched/bothered/ticked) by the use of a textured rule below the title and the grandiose handwritten font on the top right corner. I’m going to assume you know what you’re doing of course, but I’d love to know the reason you chose that.

    PSno2 (in which I slightly resemble a sycophant): You really should give “The 4-Hour Body” a read. The first 3 chapters (which serve as an introduction for the whole book) shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes and will leave you wanting more.


  4. Author
    Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Christine: You might find today’s update, which I’m about to post, interesting too!

    Pen&Ink: I dropped a word, it looks like…$20 off: $79 regular price, marked down to $59, with another $20 rebate on a VISA gift card for a total of $40 saved.

    Federico: I’m just messing around with the fonts and rules, not worrying too much about the look. And I was in a Pirate Mood when I chose the handwritten font :) Looking forward I am, too, to reading the 4HR Body!

  5. Federico Figueredo 12 years ago

    Thanks for the answer David. I am interested in the design process because it seems like a very interesting idea and also because…

    Every designers’ dirty little secret is that they copy other designers’ work. They see work they like, and they imitate it. Rather cheekily, they call this inspiration.

    Of course, I’ll continue to track the development of these forms so I can be sufficiently inspired ;)