Jan Monschke

Weeknotes 1/2021

#new year · #side projects · #board games · #audio books · #series
January 03, 2021

Happy new year 🎉

welcome to my first ever weeknotes entry! Last year, I’ve enjoyed reading the weeknotes of others and started to love the format so much that I decided to give it a shot myself (thanks Chris and Thomas).

These posts will be different to my not-so regular blog posts in that they will be shorter, more personal and hopefully more regular 😅. You will see random coding thoughts, side project updates but also life updates, recommendations on books or TV series, and maybe even recipes that I love 😉.

Side projects

Let’s start this entry with an update on which side projects I’m currently (and actively) working on. I will ignore the massive pile of half-started side projects for now.


Somewhere is an interactive storybook for kids written in WebGL. It’s a student project at the film university of Babelsberg that I’m helping out as an advisor on all things web technology and act as a helping hand on their landing pages and basic interactions. The project is still very much in stealth mode and will be published after they got graded in the first quarter of this year. I can’t wait to show it around, the students have come up with such a nice story and a great format to tell it.


So…Ping…well. This project is even more stealthy than Somewhere 😂. Heck, we don’t even have a domain name for it yet. Let’s say it’s going to be some sort of podcasting tool that I’m working on together with my buddy Julian. It’s the VERY early days, which is why I can’t share much about it yet. Julian is working on the initial designs and flows, while I am setting up the base architecture for the web app. It’s an interesting problem to solve because it involves real-time collaboration. Ping’s proof of concept will be based on NextJS, Firebase and XState 🥰. I hope I can share more about it soon.


I am trying to reduce my daily screen time, so my partner and I have agreed to have at least one board game evening per week. On those evenings we put away our phones after dinner and focus on the game afterwards. The first weeks we have played Azul a lot and we love it. It’s pretty well balanced and has a high replayability factor. It can become quite addictive and you might find yourself wanting to play more and more rounds, so make sure to set yourself a time limit 😄.

Another measure we are trying to take to reduce screen time is to listen to audio books together. We started with Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind which is great! However, we haven’t really found a good situation for when to listen to these books. Listening to it while playing board games was quite distracting, especially when you have to learn the rules of the game. We’ll try out other setups in the next weeks.


We finished watching I may destroy you this week and oh boy was it an emotional rollercoaster. The acting is so on point and the story so heartbreaking at times. I highly, highly recommend the series.

Song of the week

This one is my go-to songs to focus while working, enjoy 🎼