Finally Working in Basecamp

I bit the bullet and signed up for Basecamp to better manage my work with Close Mondays. I didn’t even realize it, but I was sold on Jason Fried’s recent forward for a book:

People struggle to know where a project stands. People struggle to maintain accountability across teams. People struggle to know who’s working on what, and when those things will be done. People struggle with presenting a professional appearance with clients. People struggle to keep everything organized in one place so people know where things are. People struggle to communicate clearly so they don’t have to repeat themselves.

I didn’t need project management software, I needed all of the above.

I think the biggest thing is giving someone an assignment via the old way – emailing them, putting it in Slack, etc. That’s fine, but it’s hard to have a record of everything you asked. Or asked of one person. Or things you assigned that are due this week. Or next. And those things float in my head – is it done? Will it be done? Should I send an email about it to follow up? With Basecamp, I can answer all those questions with a few clicks.

I’ve used Todoist for years, but that was mostly just me. Now that things are getting busier, I needed to bring in some help, and managing all that was becoming stressful without a system in place. It took a few months, but I think I found a home with Basecamp.

Making Sharable Clips with TikTok Videos

Using TikTok videos to promote your thing across social media can be tough given the format of the video. The Toktok video is great for sharing as an IG or FB story, but what about everywhere else?

For this clip, I took the raw TikTok video, and put it in the middle of a 1280×720 video (I use ScreenFlow), then took the client’s existing Instagram Story assets and put them on either side.

The result is a shareable video clip that shows off a cool make-up sequence, and reinforces the brand and the actual release we’re trying to promote.

Slow Miles, More Smiles

A month ago I hit 100 miles in one week, between running and biking. That took a tenacity, a mental drive to get out every day because I was running for a cause (we all gotta run for Tommy Rivers Puzey). Finding the drive internally is a challenge, but I’m working on it. Got in a few 30 mile weeks on my feet, and feeling good. Slowing down, focusing on recovery, instead of trying to get faster on every freaking run.

Tonight was the first night after a ride where it wasn’t dreadfully hot. There was no sweat dripping into my eye balls, no feeling like I just got caught in a rainstorm. Instead it felt like a hoodie would have been nice for my back porch dinner.

Another Bandcamp Roulette

Made another Bandcamp Roulette. Still messing up (note the right side screen clip doesn’t take up its full space), but that’s how we learn, right? Also need to figure out an audio ducking solution. Right now all the audio gets recorded into ScreenFlow, while the video of me is recorded using an iPhone. Separating those two channels of audio is easy, but its getting them in sync in post production that’s the hard part.

Evening Tunes – Dengue Dengue Dengue

Completely random Bandcamp find – open the app, electronic, go down the rabbit hole, click on something with some interesting artwork, and wow… this is seriously good evening jams.

No algorithm, trust your gut, trust your eye.

Downtime Thoughts

It’s amazing how we stayed in touch before 2006-ish, before Twitter. Before Facebook. We emailed one another, texted, called. All things we can still do, but none with the endorphin rush of opening up Instagram and seeing the likes, and a peek inside the lives of hundreds of our closest friends.

And IG Stories – oh my goodness! Videos, horror, outrage, kitties – it’s like shots of espresso right into the eyeballs.

Lately I’ve been spending more time on Flickr, as I think I wrote before. Pick a tag, any tag, and get lost in amazing photos. Sort of like Bandcamp, which you all know I love.

It’s the open web. No algorithm. No influencers. No computer-bases trickery to keep me engaged, plugged in, and scrolling. I mean, I love street photography, but there’s only so much I can look at.

The one thing, though I do enjoy with Instagram is the number of runners I follow, and they post some pretty inspiring imagery and stories and videos, and that sometimes helps me get out the door.

Just Get Out the Door

Too hot. Felt sluggish. Didn’t have enough time between eating and this planned run. It might ran.

Fuck it.

Put on my shorts, and it all went away. Shoes, grabbed the keys, and drove to the nearby lake.

Did some speed work yesterday, so I knew I needed to take it easy. You know, you can sort of get to the top of any hill so long as you take your time. You can take one step, rest for a minute, and then take another step. That’s how tonight’s run felt. Pull back, keep it slow, keep that heart rate down. Take more photos, listen to the crickets. Smell the night air.

Got dark quick, but was still able to get back to my car with a bit of day light. Stood next to the lake for a bit, listening to a kayaker paddle back to shore.

Part of How I Make My Videos

My first Bandcamp Roulette in awhile. My roomie watched the series for the first time recently, and said she thought it was great, and of course that was the kick in the pants I needed to make a new episode. OUTSIDE VALIDATION. I need to remember to make these things for me, and to keep discovering fun new music.

Still trying to fine tune my process. I used to sync iPhone video (w/ audio) with screen capture of the Bandcamp slider for the first part of the video, then make another video using the same set up, but screen capturing a different section of the Bandcamp website. As you can imagine that got a bit tedious, more moving parts, more room for error.

Now I just capture the full Bandcamp website and zoom in on relevant sections during post production. More editing, but I like being able to shoot it all in one take, which I think keeps thing more spontaneous.

My video editor of choice is Telestream’s Screen Flow, which I’ve been using since my Skull Toaster days, as you can see in this post from 2018:

At the time iMovie just wasn’t working for me, and though I’ve used Final Cut Pro before, it seemed like overkill for what I was trying to do (as you can see above). I stumbled upon Screen Flow from a software bundle pack and I’ve been using it ever since. There’s a learning curve for sure, but once you figure it out you’ll be making videos in no time.

Say Yes to Stuff For You

My Freelancer Workshop pal (we’ve been talking every week since November 2019) requested that I ask them what they said “YES” to this week. Then I thought about it for myself.

I said yes to a “virtual running form assessment” with Jess Wayashe. I can read all the articles online, and watch all the YouTube videos, but it’ll sure be nice to get some real professional feedback on my run form. I met Jess years ago in Philadelphia, through friends, and we keep in touch on Instagram. She posts a lot of informative running and fitness stuff, so give her a follow (here).

Proper form is important to avoid injury, and I want to keep running as long as I can, so saying yes to this will probably pay off in the long term.