Clever Laziness


Juan Villela

I like lists. I make them all the time to help me keep track of just about anything I need to know. There’s only so much I can hold in my head at a given time. So offloading certain information for later use frees up my head to focus on executing tasks relating to the listed information.

That being said, I also make lists for mundane things. After some time, these became spreadsheets. And now, it’s a sizable amount of Airtables. I’m not sure why I make them. I guess I just want to keep track of things.

I have a pretty simple spreadsheet that keeps a record of my bookmarks. These are articles, podcasts, tweets, videos, and webcomics that I like and want to reference at some point. I don’t think I ever have. But hey, they’re there in case I need that information.

And I guess that’s the whole reason for making these. If for whatever reason I require something I saw/heard/read at some point in the past, it’s a couple of taps away. And not having to bear the mental burden of keeping track of them in the head is nice.

Like Merlin Mann said in the last Reconcilable Differences episode ( 112), “it doesn’t cost me very much at all to write these things down; it could cost me later in the future not to remember something”.


As I said, these are now mostly Airtables. And that’s worked very nicely. They have a great API and I’ve made a couple of Shortcuts on my iPhone (where I do almost all my capture) that require little interaction to save something. I’m also in the process of making a chrome extension for capture on my desktop. And this is all very convenient and unnecessary and cool. But I’m also about to hit my free limit on Airtable.

And while I’m happy to pay for something as vital as my spreadsheets, Airtable’s pricing is a bit too high for my needs. So I thought of using Google Sheets since I already pay for a G Suite account and they have a decent API as well. But then I wouldn’t have a nice UI to look at my spreadsheets.

So I think it’s time to up my game. The next step here is to make a PostgreSQL database for all my stuff. Hasura provides an easy setup for PostgreSQL + GraphQl that can be launched on a small Heroku app. I can then create a nice UI for it on my site and add some authentication. Yeah. This sounds awesome.

See Also

Tools of the Trade

A Pen Addict episode discussed the importance of having the right tools for optimal productivity and simple elegance to them. Here's a list of the most important tools I use every day as a web developer.

Spreadsheets Revolutions

I was dissatisfied with the current bookmarking solutions out there, so I decided to make a custom one instead. This started with a myriad of Airtable bases and then—for some stupid reason—I decided to roll my own hosted database.

On Procrastinating

For a lot of us, procrastinating is the norm and getting some work done is the accomplishment of the day. I have no idea how to solve that problem. And that's not what this post is about. But let's talk about it anyways.