Examples of making your own luck

For my writing in public challenge, I somehow came across Nat Eliason’s article on how to get lucky. In it, he uses Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code as a case study on success. The three books he had published prior were described as failures. It wasn’t until after he published The Da Vinci Code, that these three books then went on to each become №1 best sellers.

“I really didn’t sell many copies. It was not until ‘The Da Vinci Code’ came out that I had really any success at all. Of course, the previous three novels…

A look into different levels of consumption

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Many areas of our lives can be divided into activities where we are consuming or creating. While not all metrics are valuable, being aware of this ratio in certain activities is worthwhile. Especially, if it impacts your health or short/long term goals.

Finding the right balance can be difficult. Globally, the average person consumes 7.5 hours of content per day. Companies often push and optimise for the appeal of consumption. In 2017, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings said their biggest competition was sleep. Isn’t that insane?

In the words of an ex-Netflix employee:

When I was there we had two metrics…

A list of Roam Research alternatives

Last updated: 13th July 2021

Roam Research has been my favourite software to write in for a while now. They were the first to popularise backlinks, block references, among other key features in the note-taking space. This is a collection of alternatives that I have used or are on my radar in case anything happens to Roam.


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Writing has always been something I wanted to get better at, but lacking the discipline in putting in deliberate practice. Part of this is because I find writing extremely discomforting. But occasionally, I’ll come across a quote, an essay, or even a tweet that sparks a bit of inspiration, and the thought constantly lingers the back of my mind.

When I was trying to teach myself to code, I came across this fantastic course called Learning How To Learn. It’s a free 4-week evidence-based course that describes how the brain approaches learning in a fun and practical way. One concept…

The best free Roam Research alternative

There’s no doubt that Roam Research has been leading the way of the new wave of note-taking apps, inspiring others to adopt their features and writing experience. One of these is Logseq, a privacy-first open-sourced outliner. As much as I enjoy using Roam, there is always the risk of confidential data being compromised on an online service. Logseq has been on my radar for quite some time and with their release of a desktop app, files can truly be local-first, similar to Obsidian. After trying to replicate my Roam workflow in Logseq, I have to say I am incredibly impressed…

Mem is a new note taking app with the tagline “Capture and access information from anywhere”. Using Mem as my daily driver for the past month, it definitely feels optimized for this purpose it to other apps like Roam or Obsidian. First impressions so far are that it’s different and it’s incredibly fast. Below is my experience using it, my main use cases are daily planning and information dumps.

If you are familiar with the concept of tags and making pages from other apps, you can get started very quickly. Mem uses #’s for tags and +’s for pages (also…

How to use Zettelkasten in Roam Research, a step by step process.

When starting out in Roam, one advice beginners often get is to just start writing and develop your system over time as you see fit. After using Roam for over a year, my database is starting to feel a bit unwieldy, leading me to look into a better system. One such system, is the Zettelkasten method.

But how do we implement a Zetelkasten in Roam? There seems to be two distinct ways people in the Roam community are approaching this, a paged based or block reference approach.

Page Based Approach

Shu Omi outlines his method in the below video which uses a page…

A Hypernotes review

Hypernotes first caught my eye after watching Francesco D’Alessio’s first impression video and his ambitious description of Hypernotes.

“Better than Roam Research or Obsidian, Hypernotes is the latest bi-directional note-taker on the market.”

Since then, I have tried using Hypernotes as my daily driver for note taking. The short summary is Hypernotes is a great introduction to the world of bi-directional links, but not yet ready for heavy use. The more I wrote, I ran into limitations that impeded my workflow while encountering incomplete features. Here’s my experience on how it currently stacks up against Roam. Hypernotes appears to be…

Like many, I was captivated by the unfolding of the GameStop saga. A demonstration of how everyday investors can move the market. A few other old-school stocks got taken along for the ride, even those without high short interest, a key catalyst for the rally. One of these was BlackBerry. BlackBerry is a nostalgic brand for me, a company that hadn’t crossed my mind for over a decade. So when I kept seeing the name popping up, I was curious to what had happened.

The first posts I could find dates back to Nov 28th 2020, which then cascaded into…

The Psychology Behind Simping

We go on the internet with different reasons and goals in mind. It could be to find out the answer to a burning question, chat with a friend or watch a few dog videos. One similarity all activities share is consuming your attention. Monetisation of attention as a business model has led businesses to strategically capture our attention and engagement for profit. Individuals have also adapted, creating a branch known as the Simp Economy.

A New Simp

Why do people form connections with people they’ve never met or interacted with? In 1968 a psychologist named Robert Zajonc conducted a series of experiments on…

Travis Chan


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