I finished the #larder #api #docs today! It’s so fiddly to include all the code samples and stuff, but now it’s done. My next steps are to build the UI for developers to create and manage their client apps in Larder, and make sure the oauth “authorise” page is all styled nicely, then that’ll be done.
In other news, I added the #changemap search field autocomplete suggestions to the “add a new suggestion” form last week, so you have to click “no, my suggestion isn’t any of these” if there are matches. And since then we’ve had zero new suggestions. It definitely works, I tried it, but I guess nobody has a new idea that isn’t a duplicate. Success? 🤔
Not a lot was done today. I slept badly so gave myself permission to have an easy day. However, in the evening I managed to get some more done on the #larder #api docs I’m writing. Thankfully some of it can be copied from the Exist docs. There’s still a lot to do though. Literally a thankless task, but I want to write high quality docs so the barrier to people making a thing with the API is as low as it can be.
Worked on the login process for #larder for #ios and some refactoring. Tried AppCode again, since it’s been a year or more since I gave it a shot, but I like to use a dark theme for coding and AppCode makes all my fonts look bold when it’s in dark theme. I thought this problem might have been fixed, but it hasn’t and it’s really bugging me. Plus, AppCode makes my computer hot and noisy because it struggles to run such a big Java app. Undecided for now, but not sure I’ll stick with it long-term.
Today I did some overdue #support tickets instead though, and later tonight I set up macOS in a vm on my pc so I can build some #ios apps. I do have a macbook, but I’d rather be at my pc. I actually got that running with few issues, and I can build apps in xcode without it taking too long — performance seems decent. I’m going to have a go at learning #swift to build the #larder iOS app. I don’t really want to steal it from @belle, but she has enough on her plate already.
Changed my #rescuetime hours this week to be 4 hours every morning so I have afternoons off for #HelloCode. I was finding it hard to be totally switched off from Hello Code for 3 days a week, and to plan everything I need to do for RescueTime in just 3 days. This setup seems to work better.
Last week I sent a new update of #exist for #ios to the App Store with some bug fixes and some different bug fixes to my beta testers. I also wrote a new post for the #larder blog about why I blog about my code even though I’m not an expert.
Got #exist’s “location name” attribute sorted on the dev server today, did some #support requests, and later released #larder for #android v1.0! Nice to have the stable version out there. Anecdotally it seems like most paying users are using the app, meaning maybe it seems more valuable to Android users right now, meaning we should get the iOS app out too so we can convert some more folks. Onwards and upwards.
The experiment with the #Larder github releases page went okay. We got maybe a dozen signups out of it, which isn’t bad given how low they’ve been in general. They’re still trickling in too so hopefully that’ll continue for a bit longer. And of course, hopefully many will convert.
This week will be back to #exist, doing some little bits and pieces. Today I started adding “day length” as an attribute, ie. hours of sunlight, which we can already grab from Dark Sky. That one should be easy and completed in the next few days. I also added a Google Maps map for location on the web dashboard.
I changed the flow for suspending accounts to make it a little more difficult, as many people suspend their accounts rather than deleting, but never come back. It costs us in server resources to keep their accounts up to date (we keep syncing their data as a courtesy, for when they return) so I’d rather fewer people did that.
Not sure what I’ll work on next, I have a few other little niceties to pick from.
Ugh. One of my hard drives died yesterday — thankfully the least important one but still a massive pain as, through boring upgrade history I won’t bore you with, it had the boot partition stuff on it. So Windows wouldn’t boot even though it was still installed elsewhere! Anyway, sorted that out, and had my first occasion to grab a backup from out of Backblaze for some things I lost. Very easy, recommended. Now I’m spending the next day or so downloading my music library from Google Music at a piddling speed, and after that I’ll download many gigs of Steam games all over again. Fun.
Today I created a page explaining the GitHub weekly release email feature of #larder, something I find nifty and I think more folks would want if they only knew about it. I’m going to attempt a Show HN later tonight (early morning in the US) to see if it gets some love, though I’m bracing for the inevitable crappy comments. If you see it on the New page give it a vote! 👍
Released the weekly email feature for #larder tonight. Each week you’ll get a report on any of your starred #github repos that have had a release in the last week, along with the release notes. I hope it’ll be pretty handy! You can also use it as a “read later” feature, if you bookmark things to come back and read — users can choose to include a list of all bookmarks added for the week, per folder.
I emailed everyone with github connected, even users with expired trials, and got one happy tweet and one upgrade out of it so far which is a good start :)
Somehow I’ve picked up a cold again. I felt very sluggish today and didn’t get much done, but improved a little in the afternoon. Tonight I got the basics of editing and deleting working for #larder #android, so it’s almost a full CRUD client now. Just noticed we got another yearly subscription too, which is fantastic. I really think at this stage what Larder needs to grow is more people seeing it, rather than more features. Hopefully some interesting interviews on the blog will help that.
#exist-wise I am tossing up between trying to do some stuff for the weekly email this week (like including some graphs), and getting stuck into the architectural changes for #manualtracking. I think probably the email could benefit from some more useful trend info, but I don’t have a clear idea of what exactly so there’s a chance I could waste days trying various things and have nothing to show for it at the end.
Anyway, hopefully I feel a bit better tomorrow so I can get something done, regardless of what I pick!
I was quite productive today, but not in my usual form. Today was more about writing and editing. First I published an interview with @belle on our new #larder blog. Then I played editor for a bunch of her other posts for various places, and gave some feedback. I also replied to the waiting #support ticket I had, and then later had to follow up with an Exist user who’d disputed his first monthly subscription charge as “unrecognised”. Another friend who’s a user showed me that the statement descriptor does get cut off sometimes and comes up as “Hello Code” instead of “Hello Code exist.io” so I swapped the order of those to hopefully avoid future confusion. Also hoping this user closes the dispute upon realising what the charge was.
Another busy #HelloCode day today:
- Drafted a blog post for #exist about our new Todoist integration
- Finished replying to #interview questions from @josh so he could publish our first interview on the #larder blog
- Finished my first draft of my first personal #essay attempt. Got some feedback from @josh so I can refine it before pitching to editors.
- Drafted a post for the Larder blog about my work schedule
- Worked on a post for the Hello Code blog about fixing a tricky #exist for #ios a while ago
- Emailed some active Exist for iOS users to see if they’ll beta test for me, as I have a tiny pool of testers
- Republished my #sketchnotes post from my #blog yesterday on Medium
- Cleared my inbox
- Sent a media pitch about Exist
- Thought I finished the Larder import/export guide but it needs some changes still
Oops! Forgot to log yesterday. Here’s what I got done:
- Sent #exist for #ios update to the App Store for review.
- Submitted an Exist guest post idea for consideration
- Made a new list of #larder blog topic ideas after chatting with @josh about our angle for the blog
- Republished our last Exist blog post on Medium
- Published a post of my #sketchnotes on my #blog
- Edited a draft for my blog about how I work with clients on content
Another smashing day today. One thing I love about my current approach of starting work at 1pm is that I can go out for brunch without it affecting my workday 😏 So here’s what I’ve done today so far:
- Started a guide to exporting bookmarks from various browsers/services. This will eventually be available for #larder users to help them import bookmarks into Larder.
- Republished my #blog post about tools I use for writing on Medium.
- Pitched guest posts to three different sites as part of my #marketing push for #exist
- Added a link to our Exist roadmap to help users ask IFTTT to let us integrate with them
- Took screenshots of some of my own Exist correlations to be used on the homepage as examples
- Emailed a contact at a media site about republishing some posts from my blog and the Exist blog
- Drafted a little post for my blog about some of my #sketchnotes
- Emailed a media site and a couple of prominent bloggers about using Exist to get insights from productivity data
Another big day starting work at 1pm, though things seemed to take longer today. Here’s what I got done:
- Finished my first #client #content article and submitted it
- Drafted, edited, and finished off my second (and last) client article and submitted it (that’s right, no more client work this week! #HelloCode time ahoy!)
- Planned #larder blog topics after discussing with @josh last night what kind of audience to focus on
- Brainstormed guest post topics to go with yesterday’s list of places to pitch guest posts to
- Pitched some articles from my #blog and the #exist blog to be republished on a tech site that’s syndicated our content in the past. Unfortunately, my contact has left the company and I got a big run-around when trying to figure out who to contact now, so that may not lead anywhere
- Hit #inboxzero
Phew. Big day. This working from 1pm until dinner thing is going pretty well so far. I was a little late getting started today, but apart from a break for a late lunch, I worked (on various thing) right until now… 6:30pm. And got a lot done. Success! Here’s what I did:
- Sent my weekly #newsletter and the #blog newsletter for #exist
- Republished an Exist blog post on Medium
- Made a list of possible topics to write about on our new #larder blog
- Made a list of marketing ideas for Exist (mostly places to pitch guest posts, but some other ideas too)
- Drafted a #client #content article
- Completely emptied my inbox
- Did the #research for my other client article for this week
Tonight I had a big chat with @belle about our stupid, continual lack of growth (for both products) and what to do about it. As part of our marketing ideas I set up a blog for #Larder on its own domain, so it can get some direct attention and content. We’ll keep thinking about some other marketing extras, like referrals or give-aways or something. In the meantime all I really know how to do is keep working on the products to make them better, so I guess that’s what I’ll do.
Easing back into work after a weekend away. I also followed up on some #exist #support stuff, with some more to look into later. Updated #larder for #android with a fix, and tweeted it and updated the site once it went live. I’ll email all users tomorrow.
Also realised I have to submit my case against Larder’s “disputed charge” before tomorrow. Ugh. Apparently the user lost their card and just disputed all charges from around that time. Even though he wanted to pay for Larder, and has no issue with the charge, he hasn’t told his bank to cancel the dispute. So we get slugged the penalty and go through the massive hassle of making the case that we didn’t charge him fraudulently, for a chance at getting the penalty and his charge paid back. FUN. TIMES.
Today I got some nutrition attributes set up in #exist and started getting data for them from Jawbone UP. Next I’ll do Fitbit, maybe others later).
Also did some more work on #larder for #ios yesterday, trying to add a success message after saving a link. I can’t get any callbacks when doing networking in the background, so I’m not sure how to know if a link saved or not when using the share extension. I’ve seen other share extensions pop up success messages after saving something, but I can’t figure out how they’re doing it.
Posted an update to my #patreon account today for higher-tiered patrons, and spent some time on #ios projects. For #larder I started working on adding a success message when a link is posted, and for #exist I fixed a couple of small bugs in how data was presented to the user, and had another go at debugging a long-standing bug that stops the user’s data from loading.
I can’t help myself. Redesigned the #larder homepage again yesterday. I think this is really truly the last change for a while though.
I did a little on the Larder #android app, but various things have kept me from getting much done on it — mostly #exist #support and some old #client work. @belle and I also discussed marketing for Larder, and came up with some ideas to get it better-known. I’ll try to spread my time between the Android app and marketing work over the next month or so.
Also, today one of a precious handful of paying users cancelled their subscription after just one month, which was very painful for my ego 😞 so I emailed to ask what I could be doing better to get their business again. I hope they bother to reply so I can at least use it as an opportunity to improve the product.
I deployed the #larder public folder feeds today, and added a new changelog to the account page so people can keep up with what we’re adding without me emailing them. Looked into using the Trello API to replicate what we’ve marked completed there, but it was easier to do it myself and be able to rewrite the updates.
Anyway, here’s an example of a public folder feed. I don’t think it’s something I’ll use, but I hope the users that wanted it like it.
So we launched the new #larder 14-day trial two days ago, and although I got one or two rude responses to the announcement email, overall it seemed to go down okay. We’ll have to see how it goes long-term though. I hope it converts better.
Once that was done I moved onto creating the public folder feeds for users who want to publish a nice list of bookmarks. It’s pretty much done, and I will deploy tomorrow I expect. After that I think the next big feature will be the #android app, as the web app is now “good enough”.
This afternoon I got #larder’s browser extensions updated to handle the upcoming trial changes. I’m still waiting on the #firefox one to be approved, then we can deploy the changes once all the various bits are in sync.