Google AdSense auto optimize

I barely remember even having this blog, let alone the fact that Google AdSense is installed and working here.  But it is.  It’s been years since my daily or at least frequent posting, however the website is still getting some traffic, and, apparently, still earning something from the ads.

I never really considered monetizing this blog – it’s more of a personal space on the web, but I do occasionally play around with money options to see what’s there.

Google AdSense

Today I received an interesting email from Google AdSense, which notified me of some adjustment they did without any trigger or action from my side, which apparently will increase a 63% increase in the ad earnings from now.  This is very cool!  My last payout of a minimum threshold (70 EUR) was back in August, 2020.  With this new increase, chances are I will get through the line some time this year.  We’ll see.

Fascination with Notion

Over the last couple of months I’ve been really fascinated with Notion.  It has really grown, improved and matured!

If you are not familiar with Notion, let me tell you about it.  Like many cool things, it’s difficult to describe in one sentence.  So here are a few.

Think of content management systems, like WordPress or your favorite wiki.  Now, think of only the good parts of that.  Now, add the ability to easily create and manage basic database tables.  Now add templates.  Now add some basic automation to it.  Now add API.  Now add collaboration.  Now, once again, think of the good parts of all that.  And that’s what you have – Notion!

Once you imagine all that, probably, the first and most important question you’d ask is: What do I use it for?

The simple answer is – pretty much for everything.  But you’ll have to figure it out yourself.  Same things will and will not work for different people, because we are all different.

Here are a few things that I either have done already or still playing with in Notion:

  • CRM.  Our company CRM was getting outdated pretty fast and we were looking for an alternative for a while now.  Notion came along, and we tried to adopt it for this particular need.  It took me around a week to build up all the tables, templates, and automation scripts, and then another 2-3 weeks to prepare, cleanup, migrate, and enrich the data.  The result is not perfect, but it is significantly better than what we had.  And we have space to grow and improve.  Our old CRM has now been in read-only mode for a couple of month, and we are checking it less and less.  I’m pretty confident it will soon be decomissioned.
  • Personal Journal. Not to be confused with the blog, although there’s a huge overlap.  For my rare and occasional blogging, I still prefer and will use this WordPress.  But for more private things, Notion does it really well.  My personal journal includes a whole lot of things like notes, habbits, lessons learned, and even affirmations – something that I’ve learned from other people’s templates.
  • Weight Track. In preparation for the yet another sailing regatta, I started tracking my own weight and exercise.  This works particularly well with goals and milestones.
  • Personal Finance.  Over the decades, I’ve probably tried a gadzillion personal finance applications, tools, and approaches.  In Notion, I’ve built the one that works for me.  And it only took me a few hours of clicking around, while figuring out how to convert between accounting and databases (spoiler: it’s easier than you think).
  • Quick Notes. Again, one of those areas where I shift from tool to another tool after a few years.  My latest choice was Google Keep.  It turns out, I can build a better (for me) version of Google Keep in Notion in just a few minutes.  All I need to do now is import the content from my old and forgotten Evernote account (or do I really need those notes? probably not).

And that’s just me. And that’s just in the last few weeks.  Other people have been using and building in Notion for a lot longer, and for their own needs.

I’m pretty sure that if you give it a try, you’ll find something that it works for really good really quick.  And also you’ll keep or revert to some of your current tools and applications as a better alternative.


Quick Summary of 2023

Now that most of the Christmas and New Year celebrations are behind us, I think it’s a good moment to recap the year 2023 (in my yet another attempt to get back to writing here).

Reflecting on the year past, it seems that I was mostly consumed by two things: work and sailing.

In terms of work, the year started off with rather pessimistic forecasts for AlleoTech Ltd.  We were still wrapping our heads around the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, crypto-winter, and the Russian-Ukrainian war.  But, after all, we did a lot better than expected.  Mostly, this was due to the retention and growth of the old clients, as well as some expansion into Germany and Israel.  And yes, the Israel situation affected us as well, but it looks like everything is getting under control.

In terms of industries, maritime / shipping was the largest one for us this year, with fintech, marketing, and technology following closely behind.

Apart from work, I’ve done quite a bit of sailing this year.  I have finally created the logbook, where I keep track of the sailing trips, miles traveled, night shift hours, and other useful tidbits.  Here are some statistics from the logbook for the year 2023:

  • Number of sailing trips: 12
  • Nautical miles traveled: 1,290
  • Days at sea: 39 (spread across 10 month, with September and December being the only exceptions)
  • Night shift hours: 18
  • Boats sailed: 8
  • Countries sailed: 4 (Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, UK)

Just to put the above into a bit of context, I’ve started logging my trips from May 2021 (covering 2.5 years until now).  Since that starting point, I’ve had 32 sailing trips, traveling a total of 4,048 nautical miles (80 miles a skipper, the rest as crew).  I spent 91 days at sea 7 countries (adding Turkey, Spain, and Italy to the above), with 96 hours of night shifts.  That’s been quite fun and I hope this continues this year and on.

The rest of my time on shore, was spent with friends and family, enjoying food and drinks.

Overall, 2023 was quite a challenging year, but it was good.  Hopefully, 2024 will be even better!

Writer’s block and the power of good habits

Back in a day when I was blogging almost on a daily basis, writing a new blog post was a zero effort for me.  That includes coming up with the idea for the post, the actual content, typing, formatting, and every some promotion around social networks and among my friends and colleagues.

The last few years, however, I stepped away from blogging and shared my thoughts, ideas, and useful links on a variety of media, such as internal company Slack, and a multitude of instant messengers, like Telegram and WhatsApp.

All that brought me to where I am now.  Most of the content that I shared on social networks and instant messengers is buried in the archives, never to be seen again.  My creative powers are diminished to the point where I’m struggling to verbalize a tweet.  And my publishing productivity as practically non-existent.  Even when I want to write up a short blog post just like this one, every cell of my brain is resisting the idea.

However, I want to bring that skill back.  I’ve setup daily reminders to blog.  But they aren’t doing much.  At least for the last month or so.  I’m constantly distracted by the ideas of reorganizing this website, catching up with history first, and so on.  But nothing ever happens.

So, I guess, for the next few weeks you’ll see my hectic attempts at restoring order.  For now, I will write for the sake of writing.  Just to get back into the habit of it.  And while I’m at it, you’ll probably be puzzled by the unusual randomness of subjects, inconsistency in length, quality and schedule, weak attempts to fill in the blanks, and other weirdness.  Bare with me.  Or not.  After all, the web is huge.

2019 – what a year!

Today is the last day of 2019, and what a year it has been! It feels like it packed enough for a decade.

In January, there was an internal company announcement of me resigning from CTO position in Qobo Ltd, a job I had for 4.5 years (which is my second longest run in one place). In February, this became public and I wrote this blog post.

Most of February and March, I’ve spent recharging my batteries, exploring my options, going to interviews and solving technical tests. While there is a huge market in Cyprus for an experienced IT professional, I didn’t feel like getting yet another job. I needed something new.

So from March or April I’ve started putting a few things together. Running a business is not my native habitat, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time. I’ve started putting a few ideas, people, and first clients together, and, slowly at first, the wheels started turning.

AlleoTech Ltd was incorporated in July, and by then everything was in motion. A startup is like a newborn child, it takes all the time and effort, and then some more. But I’m proud to say that next Wednesday we’ll celebrate a 6 month birthday.

It’s been a wild ride so far, but everything seems to be working out just fine. Even better than expected in all of ways.

With all that going on, I’ve learned a tonne of new technology and how people use it. I’ve also met more people this year than probably in the last ten years. I’ve also got schooled in a number of non-technical areas, such as accounting, legal, marketing and PR, sales, and finance.

I’d like to thank each and everyone of you, without who none of this would be possible. You are all great!

Next year looks to be very promising and exciting. There are quite a few things in the making and it looks like I’ll be quite busy for a long time to come.

Once again, thanks, and have a very Happy New Year!