Sage advice. Looking back on 2015 I’ve definitely been guilty, skilled even, of starting plans and projects without finishing them. Whilst this falls firmly into the “do this better next year” bucket for 2016, I wanted to have a quick look back at what went well in 2015.

5 Highlights

Best experience

Ice climbing Fox Glacier in New Zealand, which should be a post all in itself. Got some amazing pictures (coming soon) and shots on the GoPro, and the road trip down there was pretty stunning. New Zealand really is beautiful country.

Best city

Best new city I travelled to was Queenstown on the south island of New Zealand. It was my first time in NZ the year before, and I thought the north island was great, but the south really is in a whole other league of scenic. The view down onto the city from the top of the Luge was amazing.

Best exhibition

We went to Melbourne for a long weekend (close contender for best new city), and they had an exhibition on at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image called Screen worlds. An interactive history of film in relation to advances in technology. Basically everything I love in one exhibition - it was perfect.

Best blog

I’ve dipped in an out of Signal vs Noise, the blog from the always amazing Jason Fried, but I’ve found myself returning to it more than any other in my list. Best post I came across was called Give it five minutes. It really resonated beacuse I find it so easy to be reactive to everything, so definitely something I want to be more conscious of myself. Coming from a industry vet like Jason felt reassuring as well.

Best book

Best book I read was Creativity Inc, from Ed Catmull on how they built and run Pixar. He seems so genuine, and getting a peek behind the curtain on the processes and creative management at Pixar was fascinating.

5 favourite apps

iA Writer

iA Writer has been pretty indispensable for notes and general writing, and after trying a bunch I love how distraction free it actually is. Might just be because it’s not in a browser, but I’ve really enjoyed using it.

Basecamp

Basecamp I used a few years back at Digicave, but came back to it again for managing side projects, and loved how non-nonsense it is in comparison to other apps on the market.

Mailbox

Mailbox was best way to manage email, it was just so well designed. From the authentication tokens to the app, it was perfect. Pretty devastated this one shut down. Shakes fist at Dropbox

Thunderspace

I’ve always thought I was more creative/productive listening to music, and was skeptical of listening to rain, but this app can’t be beaten for focus work or meditating. Just amazing,

Onetime

When you’re friends are across timezones, knowing when they are available to see a message or a call is important. Onetime does this in a nice and visual way, and also easy to forecast call times. Simple and fun.

Things I’m excited about in 2016

Want to make more time for reading, meditation and writing. Sounds trivial but I want to have a morning routine that has all three of these, and making my own good coffee in the mornings. I only meditated a handful of times this year, and just need to work on it being a discipline that I actually stick to this year. There’s also hopefully going to be a lot of travel next year, which is my favourite thing to do, so really looking forward to seeing some new places.

Reading list for 2016

I can’t remember where now, but I read a similar year in review on someone elses site, and they were trying to do a book a month. I’ve really slacked off with reading for years, and wanted to give it a go to see how many I could get through. Here’s my list for next year:

  1. How google works
  2. Introducing aesthetics
  3. The language of things
  4. The architecture of happiness
  5. Books vs cigarettes
  6. The art of travel
  7. Ways of seeing
  8. The consolations of philosophy
  9. B is for Bauhaus
  10. Intelligence of the flesh
  11. How music got free
  12. The road to character