historical A statement at the end of a book, typically with a printer’s emblem, giving information about its authorship and printing. OED

When you find yourself wondering, “how does one make something like this?,” it’s a good time to look for a colophon. If you make something cool, consider letting others know how.

This Very Site

This page is built with Jekyll, currently hosted on GitHub Pages, and looks like this under the hood. It uses Michael Rose’s Minimal Mistakes theme, with a few of my own modifications.1

Jekyll and GitHub Pages make for a great alternative to WordPress if you’re looking for more control, want to learn more about what is going on behind the magic, or just plain don’t want to pay for hosting while you’re a student or emerging scholar/professional. If those things resonate, I suggest you check out Trevor Jones’s series of posts on setting up a Jekyll/GitHub Pages blog and/or Mike Greiling’s post “Jekyll from Scratch”.2

To the Minimal Mistakes theme, I’ve added Bigfoot.js for the fancy pop-up footnotes, Reveal.js for a splendid presentation alternative to PowerPoint or Keynote, FontAwesome for most of the icons, and James Walsh’s Academicons to supplement Font Awesome with the Open Access lock, Academia-dot-edu, Orcid, and Zotero icons.

The favicon (the little ellipsis in a speech bubble) is “Blog” by Scott Lewis, available with a CC BY-3.0 license from the Noun Project. I chopped and screwed cropped and shrank it into the favicon format.

Whenever possible, I link to WorldCat records for books. Why not work to make library access a default practice?

Writing Formats

I’ve been using Fletcher Penney’s MultiMarkdown so long, it’s committed to muscle memory. In other words, it’s part of my way of interfacing with the world, just like other languages and syntaxes. If you plan to use any variant of Markdown, I recommend this one.

Journaling and Attention Management

For keeping my mental lines of flight somewhat directed, I’ve developed a system of Monthly Planning Files that blend Ryder Carroll’s “Rapid Logging” Bullet Journal system with aspects of Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro Technique.

I explain that system a lot more in my GitHub repo for the planning files, which you’re very welcome to download and adapt for your own brain. It’s not a fully-featured project management system with active reminders, of course. For that I use OmniFocus.

Notekeeping & Text Editor Programs

Atom excels at code editing and general note-taking. It’s free, plus there are many extensions and themes. Since I rely a lot on Github-Flavored Markdown for both website making and bullet-journal style notes, I’ve swapped out the stock Markdown package for David van Gemeren’s language-markdown and minimal-syntax-dark. If you’re not that into the whole Markdown thing and just want a code editor that can make the pretty, Jan T. Sott has crafted a spate of lovely themes. I enjoy his Paraíso Black for Atom so much that I might try to make a version of Minimal Syntax Dark with some of those colors.

Once you add a few plug-in packages, Atom provides a variety of features that make it the writing equivalent of the maximal-minimalist, delight-is-in-the-details visual aesthetic that The Designers Republic™ often use for Warp Records. For those unfamiliar, that means it’s ace.

  1. Michael Rose has a page about his various free, open source Jekyll themes in case you’d like to see others. 

  2. I’m probably going to make a separate post about all this before long, but until I do, here’s a bunch of other useful links for Jekyll things. Michael Rose’s “Going Static”, Mike Greiling’s “Jekyll From Scratch”, & Barry Clark’s “Build a Blog with Jekyll and GitHub Pages” all do the job of introducing Jekyll admirably. Carl Boettinger’s “Learning Jekyll” and W. Caleb McDaniel’s “Open Notebook History” each show how Jekyll- or Git-based sites work well for scholarly notebooks.