Jan van Iperen


Dutch entrepreneur with broad interest, connecting people in the ingrediens industry. Passion for minimal, functional [fill in the blank].

660 words

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Automating the sh*t out of it

There are moments in life you realise you are repeating too much. Too many elements of a weekly or monthly routine that are repetitious.

And whatever the repetition is, for most an automated alternative is available.

Admin 🤯

For me, one of the irritations of being my own boss is the administration part of it. And talk about repetition right there...

Some weeks ago I said: "Enough!" and started lining out which processes of my incoming admin could be automated.

Turns out that with Zapier, I was able to tackle most the repetitive work I usually did by hand and by myself: collect incoming invoices from g suite, rename them with a standardised structure and file them in the correct folders on a shared drive that my accountant has access to.

It takes some time, but after having it functional there is no looking back.
Even better it stimulates the drive to find similar solutions for the other parts of the administration.

It is important to keep looking at what you do from a layman's view and simply ask the question: Should I be doing this or can it be outsourced? And in latter case, the digital automated solutions should come first.

Now, I am saving time and have room for more automated improvement.


On Journaling

So here's the thing: While I have given it many different names over the years (blogging, note taking, writing), I come to realise that the majority of my writing and publicly sharing is actually journaling. Even the saving and sharing of interesting links usually is part of the process that enables me to put things in perspective, to have a trail of thoughts that enable envisioning a bigger picture or work towards a next step within a certain process.

With this realisation comes a decision to address journaling I'm a different way and to differentiate in the purposes of journaling.

Private Journaling 🔏

This is my daily routine, journaling thoughts, feelings, reflections, tasks and plans for anything that concerns me, both professionally and private. I used to have a dedicated locally run blog for that. But that also meant maintaining the blog code, which drew away from the content at times.

Now I have incorporated journaling in VS Code, with the extremely friendly vscode-journal exension. It is simple, quick and highly accessible. Something I have open all day, that allows for quick search and lets me write in Markdown, fully tailored to my requirements.

Internal Journaling 💼

Although being my own boss, I have forced myself to start documenting certain aspect of my business as if I am a multi-employee company, even with the idea that an on-boarding process should be in place. A result from the "bus test" and a SWOT analysis of my current business practices.
In order to make it clean and accessible, I started using Notion for this, which really serves the purpose.

Public Journaling 🌎

So this is something that has bugged me ever since I started publishing publicly:

  • time-wise it often is form over substance, mainly due to FOBO and just because I like tinkering with design
  • the urge to "publish" is something you force upon yourself, not necessarily for the better content
  • shifting platforms (over the years I used PHPNuke, e107, Wordpress, Jekyll, Ghost and Hexo for this purpose) is something that is really nice for your learning curve in coding, yet the result is a restless image. And I am not a designer, it is not my portfolio, I do not have a personal site that acts as reflection of my technical skills.

For this reason I am focusing on text, on content and will use Standard Notes for my public journaling practices. Yes, this is a notes application and platform, yet their service to "list" your notes in blog format is an elegant and simple solution. With the security that you want on your written word.

Here we go.