The Weekend Cleanup Project

Everyone has their own weekend routine. Some would prefer to lie down, relax with a cup of coffee or maybe tea, and watch some Netflix series. Many others would rather hang out, tired of their work from home time alone.

While I do enjoy relaxing every now and then, most of the time, I’d rather just sit by myself on my laptop and spend time “optimizing”.

That’s the one thing that I cannot do on most days of the week because it’s not important, or is it?

This weekend was a particularly special project.

I’ve been journaling since 2005 when I was in my 5th grade and those notes still exist – all handwritten, in a huge pile of notebooks.

But recently, there’s this concept of “second brain” that goes beyond regular journaling.

It helps you collect your thoughts, bookmarks, and a lot more in a single place.

Being the organisation freak that I am, this weekend was dedicated to the same purpose.

Organizing My Personal Knowledge Management Systems

The first task was to find a notes app that just works. Until now, I tried 100s of note apps, going from the popular Evernote to many obscure, indie developer apps found on Github.

I’ve tried enough to know what to intuitively look for now.

Here’s my current stack of note-taking apps:

  • Obsidian: This is probably the fastest notes app that I’ve ever used. Fewer features, but extremely customizable and also, locally stored. That works for me. If you prefer centralized storage, Notion and Roam Research can be good alternatives.
  • TickTick: This one is for todo. I’ve invested a lot of time in this app and moving to another one makes no sense. There’s not much that many apps do differently in this space but TickTick has kanban boards, notes, habit trackers, and some other gamification that keeps me hooked here.
  • Google Calendar: I’ve tried a lot of day planning apps to find the one that’s best. But Google Calendar is just right for this job. It’s intuitive, clear with colour codes, and syncs across all apps. Also, the widgets are a nice touch.
  • Notion: When Notion was first launched, I almost immediately jumped onboard as soon as I could, got all set up and spent hours organizing my Personal Knowledge-base. This was before it was called the Second Brain. But Notion’s slowness has always hindered a lot of things that I would be able to do much more easily like opening up a new note, searching through the existing database of notes, etc. For now, the only thing I use Notion for is to send bookmarks and save links directly to a database. Since it’s done using the Notion Web Clipper, there’s not much that I have to wait for.

While there’s room for improvement, Obsidian works extremely well for notes. And with the right community extensions and core plugins, it functions like a super companion to your thought. There are no speed issues here either because it’s all local.

Notes are done, I have it all migrated and organized into these apps.

Now onto the next step!

Backing Up Data

I have a laptop with a 256 gig SSD. That’s more than enough for what I generally do – write articles using Google docs and publish them to WordPress.

But recently, I did a Google Takeout which took up a huge chunk of my laptop’s storage.
So, it was time to clean that up before it started bothering me.

This was quick. I converted my old 1terabyte laptop hard drive to an external drive using the hard disk case and got it backed up.

Also, I set up Syncthing (shoutout to the dev, it’s a brilliant app!) so the data is always in sync with my laptop, phone, and tablet which I can then move to the hard disk.

I don’t upgrade to a bigger SSD for my laptop for one main reason – it’s not upgradable. And two, even if it was, having so much data inside my hard drive makes me want to spend hours organizing it and creating scripts to automatically organize it and more.

Cleaning the House

After buying a robot vacuum, it has been a month since I did not clean the floors manually. I was used to cleaning before that, so a lack of physical activity was showing on my usually flat tummy.

So, I decided to grab the mop and clean up the entire house manually every alternate day. And for the other days, robot vacuum to the rescue.

The workout, early in the morning was absolutely worth it and I felt amazing after the sweat. Why don’t people work out more often is beyond me! It’s fun once you get in the groove and your body starts liking and craving it.

Finishing Touches

There are very few things that need putting back in place because I don’t like misplacing them in general. This week though, I had a ton of work that made me slack on organizing things a bit.

After handling it across the house, we got a spectacularly neat house now! The results are so satisfying that I can repeat them at least every weekend.

What’s the weekend project that gives you an extreme sense of happiness?

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Hi! I'm Ninad, a marketing and tech enthusiast. I enjoy learning about everything from old-school sales letters to bleeding-edge tools and technology used in marketing.

I'm also a minimalist. On a busy day, you'll find me with no more than 10 browser tabs. Free days? Probably just one.

If you love marketing, automation, personal finance, or just random conversations, you're at the right place!