Posts in Category: everyday life

Very random thoughts on a Wednesday (night)

It’s summer in Berlin! And Berlin during summer is just awesome! <3

The previous winter was a very intense time for me. Mostly of course because of my new job. – Meeting new people, answering new questions and starting new routines often made my head swirl, I had to constantly regain my focus and was “distracted” from a lot of other things. But I have the feeling that I’m gaining back a lot of the control again and have even made some plans for a few side projects…

And I’ve been reading a book with the correspondence and love letters between Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann. Reading intimate love letters while sitting in a Berlin UBahn is a weird thing. My mind is in this very private, sensitive and fuzzy and cosy place, while my ass is sitting on a warm spot from somebody else’s ass, my nose is inhaling millions of different smells and my ears are hearing Justin Bieber from my neighbour’s earpods…

My current favorite podcast: Methodisch Inkorrekt! It has been my go-to podcast for almost a year now, but I just can’t get enough of those two physicists, who talk about topics from the science world and about various others things. – They. Are. Hilarious!

Oh… and favourite song this week: TILTED by Christine and the Queens (the french version is actually better, but I like the dancing part in this version, because it’s not too polished):

Weekend Project: Standing Desk

One of the good things about working from home is that I have the total control of my workspace. I know that I sit too much, so I decided to build a standing desk.

The Haul

I had a vague idea of what I was looking for and a budget in mind when I drove to IKEA. Some hours later I was back with my brand new EKBY ALEX, which I decided to mount on the wall with three spare EKBY HÅLLs I had. I also bought a pair of special door hinges (I couldn’t find the proper translation for Aufschraubscharniere mit Feder, so I linked pictures) from the local hardware store to transform one of EKBY ALEX’s drawer into a keyboard tray. And in order to mount the hinges, I bought a piece of wood (54cm long, ~6cm wide & ~1.3cm thick) to reinforce the base of the drawer. I also bought white adhesive foil to cover up some pre-drilled holes on EKBY ALEX and 2m of white cable tunnel to manage the cables.

The Assembling

Standing Desk Keyboard Tray

1. drawer with special hinge; 2. wood reinforcement for the drawer; 3. drawer after applying adhesive foil.

Putting together IKEA furnitures is always fun and EKBY ALEX wasn’t that difficult. The only tricky part was building the keyboard tray. I left out the front of the drawer during the assembling and screwed it afterwards to the drawer body with the special door hinges. (Be cautions with the door hinges, they snap!). Above are details of the process in pictures.

Standing Desk Result

The Montage

Here is a infographics with some facts about sitting vs. standing desks. It contains a nice graphic about at which height at a standing desk and the monitor should be. The book beneath my monitor is btw the final book of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (completed by Brandon Sanderson): A Memory of Light.

The Result 

The whole project took me two days to finish and I’m pretty happy about the result. I’ll have to buy a smaller keyboard, because the drawer is a tad too small to hold a regular keyboard with a mouse next to it. But right now I’m writing this with my 11″ MacBook Air in the tray and it’s working totally fine!

Working in front of a standing desk is something one has to get use to. The first day was very hard for me and I had to go back to my normal desk after ~20 minutes. ^^” But I’m getting better at it.

And here is a fun article about standing desks from The New Yorker.

Comic Source

Send later!

I sometimes talk with friends and colleagues about how we deal with the many important and unimportant emails we get during the course of the day. And I noticed that everybody has some smart tricks to do that, but almost nobody has ever heard of an email scheduler like Boomerang or Right Inbox.

The thing is that I have the habit of reading my emails in the morgen during my first cup of coffee (hmmm… coffeeeeee!) and I reply to the important emails immediately. For the not so urgent emails I schedule a time slot after the lunch break (when my stomach is full, but my brain is empty) to reply to them. But of course somebody on other side also uses emailing to get over his/her after lunch coma and would write me a “Re: Re:” in an eye blink. – So the textbook definition of a “Re: Re: Fwd: Re:”-spiral begins and I end up doing nothing else but emailing for the rest of the afternoon.

BoomerangSince last year I’ve been using the mail scheduler Boomerang to help me to break out of the “Re: Re: Fwd: Re:”-spiral. I still take my afternoon time slot to write/answer emails (aren’t we all victims of our own metabolism?), but I let Boomerang send those emails some hours or even some days later, so I can keep my afternoon relatively free from email duties. I also don’t mind to write emails in the evening while watching an episode of House of Cards, but I don’t want to bother anybody else with business emails at that late hour. So I schedule them to be sent at around 8:30 in the next morning. I also schedule party invitations or other sorts of private emails to be sent after 6:30PM or at 11AM on Saturday, so I won’t distract anybody else during the day with these sorts of information.

I also use Boomerang for pushing interesting newsletters to the evening or weekend. But since companies know when the best time is to send out newsletters (and surprise(!) it’s not 7pm on a Saturday), I have also set up filters to let them skip my inbox and land in a special read later folder. Friends of mine who broadcast cats pictures in the middle of the day also land here sometimes… 

I often wish that people and particularly companies would use emails with more responsibility, but I guess that that is a wishful thinking. Nevertheless, if I got you interested in email schedulers, here is a discussion on reddit about Boomerang and co.!

Comic Source

Je suis Charlie

Cartoon by Michael Shaw, published Feb. 2006 in The New Yorker