Monthly Archives: November 2012

adventures in sketchnoting: practice practice practice!


I recently bought the book, The Sketchnote Handbook as well as its pdf version and although the book was scheduled to release on November 30, the PDF was made available for download early so I got a chance to read the book and get started on my sketchnoting practice.

One of the things I like about the book is the section that has exercises for sketching. I ordered the hard copy of the book but it’s so beautiful that I might never use the exercise pages for practice 🙂 Good thing OneNote has a feature that allows you to create templates for your notes. I’ve basically taken screen shots of the exercise pages and pasted them on a note and saved it as a template.

it’s pretty easy to do on OneNote 2013. Once you have the page laid out the way you want it, go to Insert –> Pages –>Page Templates (page templates again) and menu should come out on the right hand side.

Screenshot (13)

At the bottom most part, there is a link to save current page as a template. Just click on in, name it what you want, and you should have the new template saved and ready for use.

Screenshot (14)

you can view my practice notebook at!467

adventures in sketchnoting


Ever since I inherited F’s Samsung Slate I’ve been spending most of my extra time on it and I’ve really been enjoying the tablet experience.

I’d always been on the quest for the perfect stylus for my ipad as well as the best app for sketching. Even though I’ve managed to find some decent tools (I was using the Adonit Jot Pro and the GoodNotes app and Paper by FiftyThree), it’s nothing compared to this! What I love most is this feature to have one app snap to the side while having another one on the main stage. It’s perfect for sketchnote practice, here I have the TED app snapped to the side playing a video and OneNote on the main screen. A great plus with OneNote is being able to share the notebook with a public link (you can also choose to share this to specific people and require them to login with their Microsoft ID. You can view my practice notebook here!467&authkey=!AJ3l3mwI7Xg9WFg


I’ve always loved one note and it’s great to see that it continues to be a great tool.

I’m up!

When you’re working and married with kids (in my case it’s still just A kid for now) it’s easy to lose yourself in the day to day, go on autopilot for the necessary things to do just to get through a week. Any extra time, you spend it resting cause its difficult to keep up with the energy of kids!

Im glad that F and I have done good on making sure we go on date nights at least once a month, though most of the time, we speed through dinner to go home to our cute little munchkin. It’s great to be able to have a chance to focus on each other too.

One more thing I need to get in order is my me time. It’s been difficult for me to get back into a rhythm of doing things. I’ve had to adjust from single to married to pregnant to mother mode in the recent years and I’ve used that as an excuse to not have time for myself and do the things I used to do (blogging, coding, reading, etc). I have had time but its mostly in bursts, so it never had a chance to be part of my routine. You’ll notice the past few days I’ve been active on the blog scene but I have a feeling it won’t be for long, although I do hope I stick to it.

I’ve always enjoyed reading blogs from the past. Whenever I feel nostalgic, I blog hop across the many blogs I’ve owned (note to self, I should email myself the links to all my blogs and back up my self hosted ones). It’s too bad my first ever blog was hosted on geocities, I won’t even get started. After that I’ve had at least 6 different blogs from anonymous, to work related, tech blogs, personal blogs.

When I started blogging, it was more for me to be able to rant and express myself, than to share my what I know or learned. My friend was thinking about blogging to keep herself occupied but then she said, “why would people want to read what I have to say”. She feels the same about other social media, she’s more a lurker than a sharer on Facebook. It made me think about myself, does anyone really need to hear about my feelings or ideas? I guess I probably should have kept a diary or something but I didn’t want to bother with running out of paper or handwriting or losing a file so i blogged online. And then geocities died so I still lost that part of my life but then I started going back and forth between blogspot, WordPress and live journal and a few self hosted ones. I guess the reason I hopped a few times was because there were some blogs I started that was meant for reflection and some that were meant for sharing tips, code, technology etc. and then there were those that were neglected too long that I’d forgotten their credentials.

It was my job at microsoft that got me started on the habit of blogging to share code/new technology. Although I was still kind of blogging for myself ( I have terrible memory and blogging helped me remember how to do stuff, teach myself and teach others too) a huge amount of it was spent thinking about structure, adding images to make it more understandable, step by step guides. When I left that job all of a sudden I found myself not being able to write anything simply because I thought I needed to structure it, or I need to have pictures to illustrate my point, ending up in the idea not being blogged at all. I envy people who are able to do this naturally, but I’m one of those people who’s brain just flies all over the place. I think I started blogging to make sense of myself, and when i started doing it for an audience, I began to hold back more, edit myself more, and it just became too much of a chore. I did try maintaining two separate blogs for personal and stuff meant to be shared but I always ended up neglecting or forgetting one. I’ve also had a “one blog fits all” phase but when I was getting a lot of hits for my tech posts, I was too embarrassed to post personal ones. I think it was also because a lot of my then audience came through my job so I didn’t feel i could express myself as freely. But now that I think about it, just like in real life, you shouldn’t be ashamed about it. If its something you’re comfortable doing, you can talk about anything and everything on your blog. If you’re posting for your personal blog, I don’t think you should consider whether people would want to hear what you have to day say. I think as long as its something you aren’t ashamed to be associated with, then by all means post! If they don’t like what you have to say, they can always move on.

Well that was a rant and a half.

fix: The response to the metaWeblog.newPost method received from the blog server was invalid:

Was having this error when using live writer 2012 to publish to my blog. Turns out the culprit was one of my plugins. If you’re having the same issues, disable all your plugins and if you don’t get the error, then you might have to use brute force in checking your activated plugins one by one.

Also, the editor was acting up for some reason, the only way to fix it was to change themes.

And just like that, I have 2 posts for tonight.

getting back to tech

Lately, the little man has been getting into a more predictable sleeping pattern, and that’s given me back a stretch  of time in the evening to focus on things at greater time spans. Also, F recently had his birthday and received an ATIV Smart PC Pro so I get to inherit his Slate 7 (why didn’t they just stick with the slate naming convention? it’s much cooler and easier to remember). Thanks to MSDN, the slate 7 is now a slate 8, or as I like to call it, the SL8 :p

Ever since little was born, every waking moment I have has been spent feeding, playing, watching over him. Okay I admit, chronic TV series watching has also become part of our daily regimen (and if you must know, it’s Dexter, Homeland, Walking Dead, Revenge, Newsroom, Suits, Covert Affairs, White Collar, Parenthood and we even tried to give Flash Forward and Alcatraz a chance). When most of your time is spent at home, you need something light to keep you entertained, and something that you can pause/play without having to “get into it”.

So far, I’ve managed to install the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 developer tools, and familiarize myself with the new interface, and other consumer features.

Everything seems to be working fine except for the screenshot shortcut (Windows Hardware Key+Volume Down Button). A few other things that I would like to find out is if there is a way to enable access to the “samsung store” with  an upgraded slate. There are a few samsung exclusive apps that would be cool to have.

The features of a “natural born” windows 8 citizen that I am enjoying is the ability to stream the music that I have on my main desktop without having to copy over files. It’s seems to be the music that I’ve purchased with my zune pass. Also, with skydrive, I get access to pictures and videos from all my machines which I’ve logged in and installed Windows Photo Gallery (including windows 7 devices). UPDATE: more information on this feature here:

Will continue to explore more, hopefully I’ll get some time to play with the dev tools soon. For now, I’m glad I’m at least blogging again.