Weekly Inspiration #1 – The Dreadful Life of Van Gogh, I Can’t Pomodoro, and More

I can never figure out what to blog about. So instead of one long post on one particular topic, here’s Weekly Inspiration #1! It’s full of interesting facts, thoughts, ideas, and other things that occur during a week in the life of someone like me.

Let’s dive in!

Note: There are no affiliated links in this post. I just love some websites.

A One-Paragraph History of the Life of Vincent Van Gogh

He once served as a missionary, possessed an unstable mind, endured a shabby life, and during an argument sliced his own ear off. He was also known for going to extreme measures when trying to convince people who disagreed with him; he would burn his own hand with a candle until they agreed. Yet during the last few years of his life, as he entered in and out of asylums, he produced some of the most famous pieces of art ever known to man.

One place to find more information on Van Gogh is The Van Gogh Museum.

EXTRA NOTE: Surprisingly, ART 100 (Introduction to Art Concepts) lectures are my favorite lectures so far this semester.

Keeping Tabs on People

…in a nice way, of course. Peepo Journal is my first sprint project, and I almost finished the first version (very-rough-and-ugly-but-it-works) on Friday.

I have a friend who (unsurprisingly) thinks docs and sheets are good enough for jotting down notes on people. I am tempted to try to prove him wrong (unlikely), but I think I’ll just add this to my “Projects No One Will Ever Use” list.

EXTRA NOTE: I’m going to finish and release the first version of PeepoJournal next week. Stay tuned!

tomato and pasta

I Can’t Pomodoro

The Technique

The Pomodoro technique involves focusing on a task for 25 minutes, then rewarding yourself with a five-minute break. I’ve tried Pomodoro on and off over the past few years, mostly unsuccessfully, and last week I decided to give it another shot.

Spoiler Alert: It didn’t work (again).

My Failure

Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but my productivity doesn’t increase much, if at all, with Pomodoro. Whenever the 15- or 25- or 30-minute timer beeps, I feel like it’s interrupting my work. I’m often still halfway through a task, my brain on fire, itching to finish what I’ve started. Thus I simply skip the 5-minute break and restart the timer. After a long stretch, my brain sort of crashes.

I wonder if it is more productive to 1) break out of “flow” mode and take a break when the timer beeps, or 2) ignore the timer and keep pushing through (obviously crashing at the end).

EXTRA NOTE: For those of you who love Pomodoro, Pomodor is an awesome app.

Tweek.so Screenshot
next week’s plan in progress

Tweek – Planning Your Week

I have tried so many different to-do apps over the years, yet I found none of them completely satisfactory. One feature I’ve been frantically searching for is an app that displays a weekly view and allows for weekly/monthly tasks, to the point of thinking about creating my own app.

Tweek.so, which just launched on Product Hunt this week, has caught my eye – for the time being, at least. This task app features a beautiful, minimal interface that is both pleasant to look at and easy to use.

EXTRA NOTE: No more Kanban weekly planner clones for me; hooray! Sunday-Monday-Wednesday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday columns can be an awful mess.

Diving Into Design

This week I stumbled across so many awesome design resources! Some are informative and others are fancy, but most are just plain cool. Below are three of my favorites:

EXTRA NOTE: I absolutely love color palette generators. (I mean, who doesn’t?)


My Week in Ten Words: Somewhat stressful, somewhat fun. Quite some free time. Yummy food.

Question of the Week: How can people stay motivated?

August 30 – September 4, 2020

Catherine Chen
Catherine Chen

Inspire and be inspired.

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