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Stellar Recap | Newsletters, Productivity, & One Thing Project

Stella Min
Stella Min
Hello there,
I’m Stella and you’re receiving this email because you signed up for Stellar Recap, a weekly newsletter where I share my latest explorations and discoveries, along with any other gems I came across. Thank you for being here. If you enjoy the newsletter, please share it with a friend. If this email was forwarded to you, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on future issues.

Explorations
Much ado about newsletters. This week, I’ve been testing different newsletter platforms and productivity apps. As you can see, I’ve settled on Revue. I initially chose ConvertKit upon discovering that the company launched a paid newsletter option. ConvertKit’s fees amount to 3.5% of every paid subscription, compared with 7.5% on Revue and 12.5% on Substack. The platform didn’t quite work the way that I thought, however, so I ultimately ditched it. More on that this upcoming week on my blog. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about free email platforms, check out this post where I compare Medium to Substack, Email Octopus, and MailChimp.
The notion of productivity. It’s been 3 months now and I am still hooked on Notion. The fact that I’ve stuck with Notion speaks volumes. I’ve chosen the app over Trello, Asana, ClickUp, Roam, Obsidian, and TiddlyWiki.
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Discoveries
More efficient this time. While I love Notion, it’s not the best platform for tracking your time. It requires nesting multiple tables and creating a rollup. I’m an avid user of Excel, so this feels highly inefficient to me. Instead, I went on the hunt for apps where I could log my time. This is how I discovered Timesheet.io. I’ll be giving it a test-run this week. Feel free to test it out with me.
Hunting for a vaccine appointment. I’ve been aggressively searching for locations where I can make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Colorado (where I live) extended eligibility to anyone who is 16 years and older starting on Friday, April 2. If you live in Colorado, the Denverite published a comprehensive list of vaccination sites. The sites I’ve found most helpful include COVIDCheck Colorado and the Colorado Vaccine Hunters Facebook group. I hope your luck has been better than mine.
Prioritizing the vulnerable. During my hunt for vaccines, I came across an incredible local doctor named Dr. P.J. Parmar who was recently featured on national television for his clash with Gov. Polis on vaccine distribution. Dr. Parmar was reprimanded for prioritizing vulnerable immigrant, refugee, and asylee populations (see this MSNBC news segment), which is the primary population he treats at his clinic called Ardas Family Medicine. He is also the founder of Mango House, a dedicated space for the same population and a source for tasty Burmese food, Syrian food, and more. Dr. Parmar is an incredibly impressive person and speaker. I highly recommend watching his TEDx Mile High talk to learn more about his approach to medicine.
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Recap
One thing project. I started a structured journal where I allow myself 15 minutes to write a simple and concise answer to a question prompt. I then reflect on these answers to see if there is anything I hesitated with or want to revise, which provides deeper insight into my values and preferences. My questions this week were:
  • If you could only read articles and books about one topic, which topic would you choose?
  • If you could magically swap lives with someone right now, regardless of whether you feel qualified to take over their profession, who would you swap lives with?
  • You’re about to be appointed as the top leader of an organization or company. Which organization or company do you want it to be?
  • If you could try something new today or tomorrow, ignoring any limitations, what would it be?
  • What is one default behavior or bad habit that you would change?
If you’re interested in journaling alongside me, With each question, I recommend allowing yourself only a minute or less to think about your answer before writing down a response. Also, quickly write down why you chose your answer. Don’t over think it. Force yourself to write down as much as you can within those 15 minutes. Leave the heavy thinking for when you’re reflecting on your answer. When reflecting, note whether you struggled to find an answer to the question or if your mind was bursting with choices. If you want to revise your answer, don’t delete or erase what you initially wrote. Instead, write an addendum and your rational. At the end of the week, review your responses and see if you can spot any patterns and summarize a few takeaways. For example, I realized that I tend to overweight the achievements of others and underweight my own. If you struggle with the same issue, remember that it’s quite possible that many people admire you for the accomplishments you tend to overlook.
Digital Gems
  • Amazon’s Twitter Army Was Handpicked for ‘Great Sense of Humor,’ Leaked Document Reveals (The Intercept_). Side note, this whole debacle is how I discovered Generated Photos, a service that produces unique profile images using AI.
  • What can you do once you’re vaccinated? (NY Times). Important factors to consider, given your risk-tolerance, to help you navigate this next stage of the pandemic.
  • Every anti-trans bill US lawmakers introduced this year, from banning medication to jail time for doctors (Insider). Also see my blog post for trans educational resources.
  • Artist’s memorial for the victims of the mass shooting that took place in Boulder, CO in March 2021.
  • “Breast Cancer gets Worse in the Spring and Fall. But…Why?” (6 min. video) by SciShow. Interesting facts about seasonal patterns in cardiovascular disease, hormone fluctuations, and breast cancer. Basically, I now have a health-related justification for becoming a snowbird.
  • Our Bodies Replace Billions of Cells Every Day (Scientific American). On any given day, our bodies replace an estimated 330 billion cells. That means all of the cells that make you “You” are fully replaced within the course of 80 to 100 days.
  • Should We Edit Our Children’s Genes? Would It Be Cruel Not To? (The Ezra Klein Show 55 min. podcast). The discovery of CRISPR enables us to edit the genes of animals, plants, and humans, for the better or worse. What sort of implications should we be thinking about?
  • Schmoozing And The Gender Gap (The Indicator 9 min. podcast). Evidence supporting the boys’ club hypothesis and the implications for remote work.
View more snippets of my digital consumption here.
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Wishing you a productive week
Thanks for tuning into my first newsletter! Don’t forget to subscribe, if you haven’t already. If you’re looking for more ways to connect, check out my website or follow me on Twitter–@TheSassyologist.
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Stella Min
Stella Min @OhhStellar

Stellar Recap is my personal newsletter where I share digest of interesting media that I've come across during the week, along with any personal updates.

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