CW15 2019 - Weekly Review

Atlassian Summit 2019 - LV

This week Atlassian started to release their presentations from the Atlassian Summit to Youtube. Below are the videos I have watched so far that I have taken away some points which I will apply to my work life.

What I really found interesting is the “Project Posters” which seems to be a really good tool to share the information in a transparent way the actual context of Projects we have so that anyone can gain these insights and really see the decisions behind them.

I also liked the approach to have a one page meeting note for all reoccurring meetings to make it much more dynamic and user friendly.


Really cool video that has a very good example of the impact of “multi tasking”

There are so many more great videos, you can see them here:


Curve App

Curve is a banking service that doesn't give you a bank account, but enables you to load all your Visa and Mastercards to their service and they send you a card. With this card you can use the app to select which card you want to pay with. It is totally free and it actually works!

What this also enables you to do is to switch your payment card up to 14 days after your purchase. How it seems to work is that Curve pays for the item for you and then charges your own card later with keeping the meta data the same as if you were to purchase the item with your own card.

If you’re a privacy freak the service is not for you, they will harvest a lot of data about your spending habits. But if you’re like me, the convince of having just one card makes up the giving up of my purchase data.

If you utilise my referral code below when you sign up, we both will receive a reward.

My Code: NRYY78XE

End of an Era at Work

This week a good friend and my boss actually had his last day at work. He empowered and inspired me to be the best I can be and also pushed me outside my comfort zone on such things like presenting at a conference. I wish him all the luck in his new endeavours!

Uninstalled Instagram

This week I made the decision to uninstall instagram from my phone and to be honest it feels very liberating. This means I don't have any social network apps on my devices (except LinkedIn)

CW14 2019 - Weekly Review

Pulling the Reset Cored

This week I’ve made a conscious decision to try and reduce my heavy productivity approaching of using a personal JIRA cloud set-up for work and personal life task management. My original concept was to utilise a toolset which I use at work in a professional environment to be able to obtain more knowledge and skills with the tool. But after my greater than 2 months usage of this approach I actually didn’t see any organic crossover of knowledge as we have a JIRA admin at work who has the knowledge and responsibly to handle some of the topics I was wanting to address with my approach.

So, now what? I have pretty much used all the big task managers from OmniFocus, Todoist, Things, Trello, Google Keep, Wunderlist, Timely, the list goes on and it was never really doing it for me . . . I’ve decided to pull the reset cord on my task management approach and try to approach it from a minimalistic approach that a/ forces me to think lean and not bloat things up and b/ has an aesthetic which is minimal and friendly. After careful self debate I decided to try out one of the new Moleskin Digital Studio apps called “Actions” ( which I was loving the design and could see the visual value it could bring to my new approach.

There we have it, I’ve been using Actions for the past week and so far I have noticed a more increased focus on my side with tackling topics. I will write up more of a review of the tool and my process in the coming months.

Lazy Mode Enable

Since coming back from the States I have noticed that I have slipped back into a consuming lazy approach to my free time. This is something I want to and need to address. With this I will dust off some unfinished projects and evaluate if they still make sense and then continue the drive (watch this space). I am also back on my daily meditation schedule after being away for a few weeks, I need to build back up to my 20 minutes a day again!


Final Thoughts

The sun is staying up later and the weather is improving! This is the time to break out of hibernation and push yourself! I personally have a lot of big projects at home and work which will be happening in the next couple of months and I truly look forward to embracing the challenge. Especially when it comes to house specific tasks where I need to do stuff which I would not normally do, I think its good to have a mixed of different activities in life and not just sit in front of the TV and consume!

Magazine Feature - Quality Assistance


I’m truly happy to announce that a short article myself and a colleague wrote on Quality Assistance, how we approached the transition from Quality Assurance and how it works in a Games as a Service company is out now and printed!! I’m truly grateful for the opportunity which Test Magazine gave me and my colleague.


You can subscribe to the magazine to see the article at the link below:




It seems overly simple, but a lot of people dismiss the act of being grateful, and this has adverse effects.

I notice in a couple of people within my social circle who are always complaining and being so cynical about life and what's happening, it’s soo easy to criticise and complain, and it’s rather infectious to the people who continuously hear it (also brings the mood down). If the complainers simply practised gratitude now and again, they would realise they don’t have too much to complain about. Whether that’s their loving and supportive partner, the new apartment they are living in that keeps them warm and safe or the job they have that gives them soo much freedom and trust which not many employers empower. When you think about it, we all have something to be grateful for, and just taking a couple of minutes a day to recognise this will have a powerful effect.

This positive thinking will set you up for success!

Time flies when you don't look at your watch

It’s been some time since I posted here and a lot has changed in my life which has had a significant impact on the schedule of posting I wanted to keep up, let me begin . . . .

We purchased a house! Crazy I know. This was an idea I gave up many years ago when the price of a house was sharply increasing and seemingly growing out of my reach. But it happened and with that process (which wasn’t the simplest), moving and renovation tasks that sunk large portions of my time. We have a Trello board full of topics that are still needed to be tackled for the house as well, so I guess I have now a new long term project on-going.

Christmas and the new year happened! We had both of our parents over for Christmas and this of course was a time we wanted to spend some quality time with them.

My Grandad was sent to the hospital in the middle of January, so we flew out to the UK to visit him as well as the rest of my family.

The first few weeks of work started somewhat quiet and was helping the easing of a new year and gold period, but then change after change impacted some progression on projects which meant I slipped behind on where I wanted to be out now. But ah well, that only consumes 40 hours of my week.

So yeah, a lot of excuses but not all valid! I want to write here more on a regular basis and share all the exciting things that I stumble on during my routines and activities! I will do better!

Spaghetti Ice Cream!

If you’re ever in Germany, head over to any Italien Ice Cream Shop and you will be able to get this lovely creation called “Spaghetti Eis” it’s something you won’t really see outside of Germany. It was apparently invented by an Italian who emigrated to Germany and I guess got a little bored!


Quotes for Thought

So recently Elon Musk got in some murky water with him smoking weed on a podcast with Joe Rogan. Watching the latest Casey Neistat video it made me want to watch the 2hr long vidcast because of the following statements made:

“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt

“Happiness equals reality minus expectations” - Tom Magliozzi

Amsterdam, Netherlands - April 2018

This is a short post about a trip I recently took to Amsterdam, Netherlands for the Easter weekend this year. My girlfriend and I decided we would do a little road trip there (because its about 4 hrs drive away) and below is a snippet of what we got up to and what I recommend you see the next time you’re there.

First of we stayed slightly out of the Centre at the NH Amsterdam Zuid Hotel which is reasonable in cost and only about a 30 minute tram ride into the city center.

We didn’t want to do all of the traditional sightseeing in Amsterdam stops as it was Easter weekend and packed. We opted for a Moreno laid back and relaxing trip.

Day 01

Lunch - Foodware


This is a really cool and relaxed space. It’s setup like a deli and you design your own meal based on what high quality ingredients are currently on offer. Not only is the food really high quality the price is so reasonable.

pictured: Chicken, green beans and roast potatoes in a creamy truffle sauce.

Afternoon Snack - De Koffie Salon at Hay

As we were at the Hay House we decided to sit down and have a relaxing coffee and a cheeky little snack. The quality of the coffee was really great and having the atmosphere of being apart of a design store made it a unique experience on our trip.


Dinner - De Hallen

I was informed by a colleague who was in Amsterdam last year that a visit to De Hallen was a must. The atmosphere here was amazing, sooo many people enjoying their evening and really an amazing assortment of culinary delights. We ended up going for tacos and they were really tasty (and a little spicy). Afterwards we went to the cinema also located in this space to watch “Ready Player One”.

Design Stores We Visited:


- X Bank

- Hay House

- Sukha

- Nordic New

- Hutspot

- The Frozen Fountain






 Day 02

Breakfast - Locals


As usual we didn’t opt to have breakfast at the hotel, but we ventured into the city looking for a nice spot for a coffee and some light good to start the day. A quick search on fourquare x Google and TripAdvisor alerted us to a small spot that had exactly what we wanted. We weren’t disappointed, the coffee, service and food were really great and our sitting location enabled us to watch the world go by through the large windows.


Lunch - Pluk


While Crisscrossing the channels the previous day we went by a cool looking spot which we added to our places for a stop. This was called “Pluk” and it was a nice break from the showers outside. The food was pretty good but I have to admit my smooth bowl still had some solid lumps of frozen herbs which weren’t so great but it was tasty overall. I could recommend this spot for a short coffee stop / to-go


Afternoon Snack - Vinnes

After a bit of walking we decided we needed a little break and a coffee to wake up a little. We stumbled across this corner retreat by accident but it was a happy accidentally!

Dinner - Cafe Amoi

One thing that we heard a lot was that the Asian food in the Dam was some of the best around! Because of this we booked a table at Cafe Amoi and we truly were happy! The food quality was exquisite

Other Stores & Activites We Did:

- Moco Museum - Banksy

- Hema

- Canel Tour (Lovers) // Cannot recommend


Games Quality Forum Europe 2018

This year I am happy to be on the board for the yearly Game Quality Forum Europe ( I’ve been attending this event since its inception many moons ago and every year not only does it change location but its quality gets better and better and this year is shaping up to be the best yet with not only the speakers but the community around the event.

You can get the agenda for the event here:

With Video Games becoming ever more complex, the stakeholders involved with ensuring quality grows with it. We started with the event primarily being from a QA perspective to it growing over the years to include Localisation and this year we’re happy to include Customer Service into the fold. This will help all parties involved gain vital insights and to see what kind of synergies can be created with working closer with the different departments.

Last year, I also had the pleasure to present the Quality Assistance approach which we at InnoGames are currently focusing on, as well as our general approach to Test Automation. This was also my first public speaking event and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. The event also enabled me to start a series of Knowledge Sharing events with Rovio and Nordeus that really helped all companies learn and expand their knowledge and see what areas we can grow together in this ever complicated world. 

I’m really looking forward to this year’s event and I cannot wait to exchange knowledge during the events breaks and evening events as well as to see what the wonderful speakers bring to the table.  



I lived on the sunny rock called Malta for around 1.5 years and I regularly get asked for tips and recommendations when it comes to people visiting the island. So below is my short guide to the island and what I recommend.




If you go to the Island you must try the below, there are really great places and they are all completely different. This helps you get a sense of the culture of the island (sorry no Maltese restaurants)


Best Cannoli - Busy Bee Cafe 


Amazing Mezza - Ali Baba


Really Great Homemade Mozzarella - HiMù


Tasty Meat and an Experience - Sciacca Grill 


Really Great Quality Food - Wigi's Kitchen


Great Plastizzi - Crystal Palace


Places to Visit

I can highly recommend the following places to visit to get a sense of the island 


Walk around the Capital City - Valletta 


Watch the Mid-day Gun (everyday at 12:00) - The Saluting Battery 


Visit the Island’s first capitol and a firmiliar TV set - Mdina


Walk Around the Citadel in the Capital of Gozo - Victoria 


Wander the Beautiful Streets of the Three Cities -


Other Recommendations

- Avoid using the White Taxi’s where possible, use ecabs as they charge fair prices and usually have good service -

- Get a bus card for the duraction of your visit. When I lived in Malta all buses go to and from Valletta and this usually serves as a good base -


I often find it interesting what people have on their computers and how they lay out their desktop. As I use my iPad Pro as my main computing devie I live by the apps I have installed. Below is the latest screen grab of my current iPad screen. I only have 1 screen as I like to organise apps into folders. 



My main apps are:

Evernote for document scanning, note taking and article reading

OmniFocus which is my second brain

Calendar which helps me focus my time effectively  

YouTube is my main consumption tool

Book Recommendations - How I Developed

I get asked quite a lot about what books I recommend for productivity and what books helped me get the current mindfulness I have currently. Below are the books in the order I read them, that led me on a journey to where I am now:

1 - The Beginning

To start with I read the following 3 Books from 99u, they are relatively small reads and are quite easy to consume. These books helped me get into the mindset of a freelancer, treating everyone as a customer and how I should act with that.



- Make Your Mark -

- Maximize Your Potential -

- Manage Your Day-To-Day -

2. The Method

The following books helped me then start work on my second Brian (my system) for being able to tackle the tasks that my clients / customers through at me.




- GTD -

- Making Ideas Happen -


3. The Mindset

Next came a long these 3 books. Each one targets a specific growth area and enabled me to grow as an individual. They really open your eyes to a new way of thinking and allow you to gain a different perspective.  


Better Effective Time for Book Reading

I ofhen get asked “how do you manage to read so much?” And people seem to be expecting some kind of magic formula for this. But actually it’s even simpler than that. What I did for a few months is track how long I was doing pretty much everything, and what this showed is that my walk to and from work wasn’t being utilised effectively. I was just listening to some music on the walk, and I also noticed that this ended up just amplifying whatever mood I was in (good if I was feeling awesome! Head if I wasn’t) I firstly decided to listen to some podcasts instead, this solved the mood amplification topic but still wasn’t a truly effective use of my time.

Many people I follow and respect always talk about how they manage to read more by utilising audio books, so this was something I was actually wanting to play around with. But one of the main sticking points was “when?” Could I listen during the day and this is something that always put me off, and then a light bulb clicked! I can utilise the 40 minute commute block a day for listening to audio books and what did you know, in a 3 week period I complete an audio book quite easily, this means with reading one book the old fashioned way and utilising audio books I was averaging reading 2 books a month. This entail made 2017 the year I read so much and I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot.  

So, to summarize! Look at your day, and see what activities you do which aren’t requiring your full attention (like walking to work) and utilise that time much better!

Chocolate Microwave Cake

If you ever have the urge for chocolate or something a little sweet, use the recipe below to make a quick and simple chocolate cake in less than 5 minutes. 


1. Get a small bowl

2. Put 1/4 Cup of Flour into the bowl

3. Put 1/4 Cup of sugar into the bowl

4. Put 2tbsp of cocoa into the bowl

5. Put a pinch of salt into the bowl

6. Stir the dry ingredients together

7. Add 2tbsp of vegetable oil to the bowl

8. Add 3tbsp of water to the bowl

9. Mix all together until its a chocolate goo (add extra water if its looking dry) 

10. EXTRA - Place a handful of frozen raspberries ontop of the chocolate goo

11. Place in the microwave on full power for 2 - 3 minutes

12. EXTRA - Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top 


There you go a very simple recipe for a delicious quick chocolate cake for 1  

Digital Only Life - Last Hurdle

For a while now I’ve switched from using pen and paper for notes, ideas and thoughts to using purely digital tools. For me my main tool is my iPad Pro 10.9 which I find the perfect size for carrying around to meetings as well as being able to throw it in my bag whenever I go anywhere.  

But one of the last bastians of the physical world was by daily gratitude journal. For me I use the 5 Minute Journal ( and its something I have in my apartment and what I utilise every morning and evening to help me reflect and be grateful for where I am in life. The company behind it launched an iOS (iPhone) and Android app but for me it just wasn’t gelling to me for some reason, and so I needed to work on an alternate. 

I’ve been using the “Day One” ( journal for some time as a reflection journal, which I used whenever I’ve encountered a tough day to be able to reflect on it and try to learn from it. I thought this could be the best platform for moving my gratitude journal over to it, but the problem was I would have to manually add the structure each day (the questions I need to ask myself) which would not only add to the amount of time it would take to create an entry, but would also enable my mind to see that its too much effort and try to convince me not to write in it. 

The solution was to utilise the “Workflow” ( app to build a structure that would work and then everyday I just run that workflow and hey presto! We have a simple and somewhat “elegant” solution. I’ve now been running this approach for 1 month now and haven’t missed a day. 

If you’re interested in the workflows I created you can grab them below: 

Morning Journal - 

Evening Journal -