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In English Not Defteri | Notebook

How I Work Right Now (June 2020)

I’m always interested in reading how people work, what type of workflows they have. It’s probably because for so long I felt like I didn’t really have one or the ones I tried didn’t stick with me too long. Now I know why that was the case but it deserves its own post (spoilers: it was undiagnosed ADHD).

Since I’ve been redoing almost all of my workflow, I also wanted to write about it. Not just to say these are the tools I’m using but also have a conversation about it because, like I said, I love talking about tools and workflows.


Roam Research: Currently the backbone of my workflow is Roam Research and I have to thank Johannes for pointing that tool out for me. Other than being the perfect tool for me to research, take notes and manage all that stuff I’ve been doing; it also changed my approach to the tools I’ve been using and how I should be choosing them instead. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that Roam is what I needed because I’ve tried Evernote, Workflowy, Notion, Simplenote, Notes.app, Google Keep, random text files everywhere, just physical notebooks and many other method and tool you can probably think of —and yes, I also tried the “Roam alternatives” but none of them sticked with me. Only Notion had some potential but it didn’t worked for my own personal case, probably because it’s more team focused.

Task Management: But when it comes to task managing I’m still sticking with Things for pretty simple reasons like reminders, automation, pulling tasks directly from the other tools I’m using etc. Also it’s Upcoming tab with calendar events makes easier for me to see what’s up next.

Reading and Research: It all happens in four main place and a helper to keep things under control.

Newsblur for RSS, which in my case where I mostly keep up with the internets. Also decided to forward news-related newsletters to it so I can only keep personal ones in my inbox.

Pocket to read online articles and highlight, Kindle for most of my book reading. These two basically where “the reading” happens. Other than the paper books of course.

DEVONthink is my own personal library. Most of my research materials and other files I want to keep organized goes inside it.

When I highlight things or take notes in any of them I usually pull them to Roam now. At this point, another tool Johannes recommended comes into play: Readwise. It’s a tool that collects all of my highlights from everywhere you can think of and then I can review them, add tags and notes to them and organize however I want. With that, I organize all that notes from Kindle and Pocket —which otherwise would be left to collect digital dust— and export them to Roam. In DEVONthink’s case, it gives me a really easy way to take all of my annotations and use it however I wish.

Writing: My go-to was Ulysses since I moved to macOS. But both subscription thing and noticing some aspects of it not really working for me, I’ve decided to move to iA Writer. Since I enjoy writing in Markdown and it also makes it easier to export however I want, a tool like that is just what I need. If the thing I’m writing is academic or needs some extra formatting and/or MS Word stuff, I just export it when I’m done and continue from there. And so far, iA Writer does all of these just the way I want. (For example I wrote this in iA Writer and posted it to my blog as a draft.)


Right now the current flow seems working just fine for me. With help of little bit scripting and automation, adjusting some settings here and there and using Alfred‘s powers when I’m on the laptop, I think I’m getting there.

In the meantime, I’m also thinking writing about Roam and my personal experience with it. And then maybe a personal piece on the stuff I mentioned at the beginning.

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Blogchains In English Not Defteri | Notebook Rethinking the Internet

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 7

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

On most of what people call “the internet” I’m somewhere between lurker and behind the locked accounts. I want to draw more solid lines on that but maybe what I need is just going with the flow and seeing where it’s going to take me.

What I’m actually thinking about lately is actually my newsletter. I want to go back writing it and making it one of my regular online presence but I’m not really sure about the shape and the frame I want to put on it.

I already took some steps on the infrastructure side of it (which I have explained why in detail on the draft of the first new issue which still waiting me to finish it for, I don’t know, two weeks?). But I still don’t really know what I want that newsletter to be. Sure, keeping people up to date in a way that’s much readable and accessible than Twitter and maybe adding links to things I enjoyed and want other people to see. But what else? Are these enough to write a newsletter?

Probably one thing that’s blocking me to plan this whole thing is I’m still not sure what I’m going to put in this blog. Because I still don’t have a solid idea for one of them, it feels impossible to shape the other. Where’s the line between the blog and the newsletter? I know many people have this line drawn long time ago but when I was writing the newsletter I wasn’t blogging so I used that format pretty much similar to how I blog. Now I’m making those two my main online places so I have to do the hard work.

This is probably the moment I should plan a format for the newsletter. I still don’t know what it’s going to be but the only way to find out is to experiment. In the meantime, this blog is where I’ll be.

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In English Not Defteri | Notebook

The Average Reader

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.

An Interview with David Simon – Nick Hornby

Warren Ellis shared this quote on his newsletter Orbital Operations, I think, couple weeks ago and it’s on my mind ever since. Wanted to post it here to save it as a reminder for myself.

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Ahmet Nerede | Where's Ahmet In English Not Defteri | Notebook

‘Work in Progress’ and Thoughts on How to Create in Dark Times

Cover of the zine called "work in progress vol 0.0 now what?"

[This piece first published at my newsletter “Weird and Deadly Interesting at May 5th, 2018. Slightly edited this part to publish it on my blog. If you’re interested, you can subscribe my newsletter here.]

There is something I want to mention, a project which I was a part of, called “Work in Progress”. It’s a zine project by Andrew Sempere and he was kind enough to include one of my writings from my newsletter to his project.