A New Thing a Day: November 2014

Welcome! This page collects all “one new thing a day” design/making challenge posts for November 2014. The idea is similar to the February 2013 “product-a-day” challenge, except this time I’m being a little more liberal in my definition as to what a “new thing” is; you can read more in my kickoff post, where I define a new thing as:

  • Anything tangible I can make that can be reused, shared, or automate my creative support processes.
  • Anything that can be sold, or helps sell something I’ve made before.

There are some others doing a similar challenge this month, such as Amy Segreti and my friend Penny (who has been doing this ALL YEAR).

Things That Were Made

"Nov 30: Backup the Backup

DAY 30: Improved Backup System for Digital Files

After switching to a network-attached hard disk for saving all my big digital files, I enjoyed the convenience but knew that THE DRIVE WOULD FAIL SOMEDAY. I still needed a way to back it up that was cheap, flexible, and convenient. I picked up a cheap USB3 hard disk dock and a 3TB drive, and it’s WAY better than backing up on DVD or even BDXL. LINK TO POST

"Nov 28-29: ETP Almanac

DAY 28-29: 2015 ETP Almanac Updated, Shop Updates

9 hours of updating, e-commerce updates, and process improvements related to the Emergent Task Planner Daily Almanac, which consists of nearly 3000 pages of dated journal pages. LINK TO POST

"Nov 27: Turkey Dinner

DAY 27: Turkey Dinner

Due to yesterday’s snowstorm-induced power outage, it didn’t look like there would be Thanksgiving dinner. The power came back in the late morning, and turkey happened! I am thankful. LINK TO POST

"Nov 26: Task Progress Tracker Flipped Layout

DAY 26: Task Progress Tracker with DONE on the Left

A request to put the DONE boxes on the old Task Progress Tracker on the left side rather than the right. I thought it wouldn’t look good, but I actually like it better! LINK TO POST

"Nov 25: Picking Colors and Pork

DAY 25: Picking Colors and Pork Shanks

Progress on the full-sized ETP hardbound notebook came in the form of cover samples. So many colors and textures. Also, I made a braised pork shank as a bonus THING-A-DAY. LINK TO POST

"Nov 24: Thimble of Patience

DAY 24: A Thimble-full of Patience Card

Feeling extremely low of patience and energy over the weekend, I had an idea of trying to visualize it using a photo of a thimble. The result is a 3×5 index card to help express grouchiness while subtly encouraging reflection. LINK TO POST

"Nov 23: Visualizing Uncertainty

DAY 23: Experimental Uncertainty-Persistence Visualization Form

While working through my extreme lack of motivation toward tedious tasks, I had the idea of trying to make a visualization tool that showed me what uncertainty looks like as a chain of tasks. LINK TO POST

"Nov 22: Shipping Methods

DAY 22: Review of Shipping Methods

With the number of specialty-run products I’m thinking of, and ongoing difficulties with wholesale and international shipping, it’s time to review shipping methods again! LINK TO POST

"Nov 21: Not Working Card

DAY 21: Too Busy to Work Card

It’s okay to blow-off a thing-a-day challenge, so long as you make a thing-a-day excuse day! LINK TO POST

"Nov 20: MicroUSB Drive connected to Card

DAY 20: Micro USB Drive attached to Card

I needed to loan a really tiny USB flash drive to someone, but it was so small that I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t lose it. What followed was a brief lesson in using thread and hole punches. LINK TO POST

"Nov 19: Compact Calendar Updates

DAY 19: Compact Calendar 2015 Updates

I thought this would be a nice quick update. I was wrong, but the Compact Calendar 2015 packages are updated! LINK TO POST

"Nov 18: The Wrong Paper Bands

DAY 18: The Wrong Paper Rings

The “currency bands” I ordered last week arrived today, and they do not fit the packaging need I had in mind. I’m posting it as a Thing-a-Day because process-wise, I am advancing a goal through elimination of possibilities, which is a good thing way to spin this setback instead of being frustrated. LINK TO POST

"Nov 17: ETP Variations 2

DAY 17: Two Full-sized ETP Refinements

Got the estimates for producing a full-sized ETP notebook from my printer, and I am going to move forward with it. There are layout decisions to make though…LEFT SIDE or RIGHT SIDE design? LINK TO POST

"Nov 16: Annoyed Task Planner

DAY 16: The Annoyed Task Planner (ATP)

I woke up late in a bad mood, annoyed at every little thing. I had an inkling of an idea how to capture this feeling in some kind of form that really understood how annoyed I was, and yet still encouraged me to get something done (or not) LINK TO POST

"Nov 15: Updated Web Page

DAY 15: New Front Page Slide and Page Layout

I’m not sure what happened to Saturday, but I picked something simple to do: a new “november challenge” slide for the home page! And then I had to reorganize and rewrite it, because I have a different attitude today than I did when I first made it. LINK TO POST

"Nov 14: Project 1401 Documentation

DAY 14: Project 1401 Documentation

It was yet ANOTHER busy work day. I was able to repurpose some of the work I was doing into something related to a video game goal, Project 1401, by making a helpful (to me) diagram of the key concepts in the game’s graphics system. LINK TO POST

"Nov 13: Packaging Possibilities

DAY 13: Packaging Supplies and New Possibilities

Another busy work day, so I only spent about half an hour reviewing the shipping supplies that arrived today. The coin envelopes and 8x5x11 mailers gave me several ideas. LINK TO POST

"Nov 12: Start of an ETP Instruction Sheet

DAY 12: Fast Sketch of ETP Instruction Sheet

I was very short on time today. I allowed myself to produce a non-finished piece of work, a quick outline ofwhat would go on an Emergent Task Planner Instruction Sheet to be produced on a commercial press. Minimum run: 10,000 sheets, which starts to get into some money. However, I’m confident I will use all the sheets up. LINK TO POST

"Nov 11: Lightroom GHDRR Process

DAY 11: Using Lightroom to Make a Photo Collage instead of Writing a Report

I originally was planning to design a new form today, but got sidetracked by the need to fix my digital photography workflow AND write the November Groundhog Day Resolutions Review. So, I used my digital photo workflow to generate content for the Groundhog Day review, and then classified the workflow itself as an “improved process that saves time”, thus qualifying it as today’s Thing of the Day! SNEAKY, I KNOW. LINK TO POST

"Nov 10: Bad Futomaki Rolls

DAY 10: Bad Futomaki Rolls

I was in the mood to make a kind of sushi my mom used to make, a fat maki roll known as futomaki. It came out not as good as I liked, but I gained an appreciation for the process of mastering the smaller details that go into mastering the whole. LINK TO POST

"Nov 09: UPC Labels

DAY 09: UPC Labels, Packaging and Shipping Process

I ordered some shipping materials to support and upcoming product, which expanded into playing with a hand-me-down label printer to create UPC labels. This opens many possibilities for short-run products. LINK TO POST

"Nov 08: Raw Chart Life Balance

DAY 08: Raw Chart of Life Balance

I’ve been in a weird state of mind regarding achievement, satisfaction, and managing my expectations. Today I was compelled to write some of it down in the form of a hand-drawn chart. My gut tells me there’s something important buried in it, but I don’t know yet what it is. LINK TO POST

"Nov 07: ETP 8811 Preview PDF

DAY 07: Preview PDF of ETP Hardbound Journal Pages

A couple people have asked for a PDF of the design to try out with their workflows. I’ve uploaded a 8.5×11 preview PDF for downloading. LINK TO POST

"Nov 06: ETP Hardbound Journal

DAY 06: Production Begins on Hardbound Full-size ETP Notebook

I have wanted to make a full-sized nice notebook for a long time, and after a year of looking for a critical supplier we’re ready to start making one! It will be a while until this actually goes into production, but the specs are determined and I just sent the mockup file for full-sized prototyping. LINK TO POST

"Nov 05: ETP To Go Sticker

DAY 05: ETP To-Go Task Sticker

This is the second request I’m working from: stickers! This is a 4×3 inch ETP-style task list w/ tracking. I may produce a very small run of these. The problem is that the stickers are rather expensive to make, so I’m not sure if I can sell them profitably. In the meantime, enjoy the free download and use a 3M restickable glue stick! LINK TO POST

"Nov 04: ETP Reporter Notebook

DAY 04: Reporter-Style ETP Notebook Mockup

I really like reporter-style notebooks. This is a first-pass design mockup of the concept, featured a reformatted day-grid area. I’m not quite happy with it, but I’m presenting it as food for thought to anyone who is interested. My main concern is that the notebook is far too cramped. LINK TO POST

"Nov 03: Decluttering System

DAY 03: A Decluttering System

I have been wanting to declutter the living room for a while, as it is unpleasant to work in. I got a bunch of shoeboxes together and started moving the small stuff into them, and now I just need to label and move them downstairs. The “thing” is a diagram I made, showing the improved locations of various functional groups of stuff. LINK TO POST

"Nov 02: Good-Enough New Business Card

DAY 02: A ‘Good Enough’ Business Card

While I like the old cards from 2012, I’m in a somewhat different place today careerwise. This new business card is “Good Enough” to fulfill the roles of being a notecard and something simply to remember me by. In the past, I have slaved over design for days. NOT TODAY! LINK TO POST

"Nov 01: Numbers version of Compact Calendar

DAY 01: A Numbers Version of the Compact Calendar

The Compact Calendar has always been available as a free downloadable Excel spreadsheet. Now that I’m switched over to Mac, I figured I might as well make one for Apple’s “Numbers” spreadsheet program. This is a little harder than it sounds, as many of the complicated date formulas in the Excel original don’t translate. LINK TO POST