Daniel Santos

Week 23, 2024

This week I kept experimenting with LangoTalk and its AI chatbots, as it has shown to be a nice addition to my learning resources.

I have consistently used LangoTalk, now for over a week straight, chatting with its Japanese bots whenever I've got some minutes to spare, but none of my native Japanese language partners on Hello Talk do. This happens quite a lot, as me and them are normally 12 hours apart from each other, the same experience I get with my son. Bots are never as close as real humans, but I have to admit that I have learned a couple of words and expressions with them.

My current problem with Japanese is actually that I can't decide how to keep track of vocabulary. New words and sentences come all the time, which is nice, but I end up forgetting a lot of them because I'm not recording what I learn. I'm resisting to using Anki and any Anki-like apps, because I'm not a big fan of SRS — unless I was reviewing something previously learned to study for a test or exam, which is not the case, as all terms and concepts are new to me.

The thing is, while I'm undecided on what to do, I might have my learning stalled... I hope I get over this indecision soon enough.

Meanwhile, we've been talking to my son in Japan. With the friends he's made there it is now usual for him to go out with them, knowing new places. He's recently visited very beautiful parks and forests, and, according to him, even a place where there was a “haunted house”.

I'm happy for my son and the way he's been getting along in Japan. It's nice to see him surrounded by friends, not only because there's always someone around him, but also because this way he's able to keep good mental health, something very important.

On the other hand, it's difficult for me to put up with the distance, sometimes. My wife and me both talked to him this week, twice, but the conversations were short, in part because of the time difference (as I've said, it's 12 hours ahead in Japan, after all), so it feels to me like it's never enough to completely do away with the saudade. But we try to do our best, both us, here, and him, over there...

This week, after a long hiatus — so long that I can't even remember when it started —, I've used Workflowy again. I love outliners, and this was the first web outliner that I used to help me organize my tasks and information. I then briefly tried out Checkvist, later moving and settling with Dynalist, the tool I used longer, only exchanging it for Logseq years later, and then exchanging Logseq for Obsidian, which I learned was developed by the same team behind Dynalist.

I like how both Dynalist and Workflowy handle syncing between their mobile and web apps, and I love how much Dynalist has to offer in its free tier, much more than I've ever seen being offered by any other platform. Workflowy has a 250 item/month limit on its free tier, which is too little for me to setup a proper knowledge base, but the problem is Dynalist's development seems to have stalled since 2021, probably because they've been focusing their energy in Obsidian, the newer, probably more profitable, kid on the block.

Workflowy, on the other hand, is still being actively developed. Its unlimited pro version costs 49 bucks a year, and has backlinks implemented, what turned it into a perfect tool for knowledge management, PKM and note taking. I'm really tempted to signup for their pro tier, first to move my notes into there, but also to maybe store my vocabulary and language learning too. But I'll have to sleep on it, probably for more than a couple of nights...

I finally made a decision and ditched my old and faithful iPhone XS Max for a newer, iPhone 15 this week. The screen is a little smaller now, but the general performance and speed improvements paid off. I'm happy like a child who gets exactly what they wanted from Santa in the Christmas morning... 😊

#english #weeknotes