Activity Tracking: Fitbit Flex 2

It is my 3rd month of wearing Fitbit Flex 2, an activity tracker, after some 6 months of hesitation (of whether to buy or not, remembering the price is not so cheap) and regret (for not having the time to look for it when I was in Singapore). Since I joined my current employer, I drive to work, meaning the amount of walking has significantly decreased. With that concern, and the self consciousness that I had gained weight, I decided that I need to monitor my daily activities. I don’t want to replace my beloved watches, so the smarter tracker with screens are out of options.

Image result for fitbit flex 2 lavender
As seen on http://www.fitbit.com

So far, I have to say that this Flex 2 is the tracker I’m looking for.

Pros:

  • Cheap (compared to other Fitbits, still more expensive than Xiaomi Mi-band 2, which, by the way, I cancelled buying because it doesn’t sync with iOS). I bought it online for SGD 160 in Indonesia (unfortunately they only sell certain, more popular Fitbits in stores), where in Singapore you can get for SGD 108 or USD 60 in US.
  • Simple and small, just like regular bracelets. Unlike other bulkier trackers, this one is really like bracelets and comes with 4 color options (black, navy, lavender and magenta).
  • Waterproof. Yes, I don’t swim, but yes, I tend to wet my wrists during my daily activities. Or even worse, forget to take the tracker off and take it to the shower after workout.
  • Reminder to move. This is the most useful feature (which I tend to ignore after 2 weeks of using, but still it’s useful). You can adjust the reminders according to your needs. For example, I have the reminder every hour during working hours. And it will vibrate every hour (for you who are too lazy to read the manuals, when it vibrates to remind you to move, the LED will turn magenta with 2 white LEDs on).
  • Long battery life. As advertised, the battery can last up to 5 days with normal use. I tried synchronizing Flex 2 with my phone for calls and text messages alert (yes, this includes WhatsApp messages alert), and the battery only lasted 3.5 days.
  • Bangles and pendants available for purchase, making it fancier to wear.
Weekly Stats
Weekly Stats sent by email
Image result for fitbit flex 2 bangle pendant
As seen on ebay.com

Cons:

  • No Heart Rate sensor. The ones with HR sensor are approximately $100 more expensive, so I thought, why would I need one? But then today I feel like I need it during exercise.
  • Only recognizes walking and running, despite the claim that it can auto-recognize 4 types of workout (walking/running, swimming, aerobic, yoga).

All in all, I’m satisfied with this tracker, because it’s definitely what I need. I can set my own goals and get alerted when I reach my daily goals. I don’t, however, input my calorie intakes anymore after 3 weeks. Too lazy to do that. LOL. It will be a great help if the app can automatically calculate the calories after I upload a picture (of food).

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Project Manager as Organization’s Agility Initiator

It’s only the third week of November 2017 and we’ve seen a lot of businesses closing down throughout the year. Shocking enough, some famous names are among those closed.

Image from: The Straits Times

Why Those Businesses Are Closed is probably the first question people have in mind. Of course, when it comes to business, the main reason for closure is that it cannot survive today’s market. The next question will be why it can’t survive. Generally speaking, disruptive software-based competitors are the ones to blame, but they’re not the only reason. If we ever dig deeper, then we will find out that the startup businesses work in a faster, more precise and adaptive way than those older businesses that customers, especially when it comes to retail, seek for in this ever evolving world.

Project Management Institute, realizing that business operations are run by project managers, has published ‘Agile Practice Guide’ together with their ‘Project Management Body of Knowledge’ 6th Edition guide this year. This publication is firming project manager’s position in an organization: to be the agility initiator. In short, to help the organizations survive in the agile era by spreading the agile work ethics to the project teams which, expectedly, will spread even wider to the whole organization.

How Does Agile Project Management Work will be the next question people have in mind. Most organizations today are using the conventional project management method, where project plans are created and firmed prior to executing the projects. This is a very good way of running a project, but not so effective today, since this method typically takes a very long time (in some cases even months) for project planning alone.

Agile project management is not necessarily a new thing: in earlier version of PMBOK, waterfall method was introduced. Even though waterfall and agile are two different things, but the idea is the same in the sense that both do high level project planning and work on the details when the project is running. This way, projects can be completed within a shorter period and more specific, desirable results. It is not a secret that customer is #1 factor in a business’ success. Today, competition is getting tighter, hence customers have more options. If one business cannot keep up with customers’ demands, then they will certainly choose another option. When a business has no customer, then it will soon be closed down.

Project managers are the key persons of a business – they are the single point of contact between customer and an organization. Surviving organizations will quickly see their project managers as their best opportunity to change the way they’re working to agility. Starting with project teams, to continue to the whole organization, while keeping the business goals in mind.

[in Bahasa Indonesia] Penerapan Sekolah 5 Hari

Setelah ditelusuri, ternyata opini untuk menerapkan sekolah 5 hari dengan durasi belajar 40 jam seminggu/8 jam sehari mulai tahun ajaran 2017-2018 sudah lumayan lama juga ya keluar, dan saya baru dengar beritanya tadi pagi di radio saat perjalanan ke kantor. Memang keterlaluan anak satu ini, mentang-mentang sudah lulus dari sekolah jadi tidak care lagi dengan perkembangan dunia pendidikan. *lebay*

Mau ga mau saya jadi bernostalgia soal jam sekolah saya jaman dulu. Kebetulan di Indonesia ini tiap ganti menteri pendidikan (tiap kabinet namanya ganti-ganti, mulai dari mendikbud, mendiknas, sampe balik lagi mendikbud), kurikulum sekolah juga pasti ganti. Otomatis, kebijakan soal cara penilaian siswa sampe buku pelajaran yang dipake pasti ganti (dan sayangnya lagi, jarak umur antara saya dan adik saya pas 5 tahun, jadi orangtua kami ga bisa berhemat secara buku yang saya pake ga bisa dipake lagi sama adik saya).

Masa sekolah paling bahagia itu tentunya TK. Sekolahnya sih memang Senin-Sabtu, tapi sistemnya pagi-siang (tiap bulan ganti), sekolah Senin-Jumat 2 jam 15 menit sehari dan Sabtu 1 jam 30 menit saja. Lanjut SD (yang menurut saya kelamaan, sampe-sampe pas kelas 5 saya udah mulai nanya ke nyokap: kapan lulus ya, lama amat sekolahnya?), kelas 1-2 masih sistem pagi-siang dengan durasi yang lebih lama, Senin-Sabtu 2 jam 30 menit sehari, dan kelas 3-6 sekolah seharian (awal-awal kelas 3 rasanya sekolah itu lamaaaaa banget), Senin-Jumat jam 7.00-12.10 dan Sabtu jam 7.00-11.00. Lulus SD, saya sebenernya pengen lanjut ke SMP di negeri sebelah (alias SMP lain, karena TK-SD saya di sekolah yang sama, jadi bosen ketemu lingkungan dan teman-teman yang itu-itu aja), tapi apa daya kepentok ijin. Waktu itu bokap merasa saya masih terlalu kecil untuk dilepas ke sekolah yang jauh, jadi terpaksa saya lanjut lagi di SMP yang sama. Jam sekolahnya Senin-Jumat jam 7.00-13.30 dan Sabtu jam 7.00-11.00, dengan tambahan ekskul dan bimbingan 1-2 kali seminggu jadi pulang jam 4 sore (saya ga pernah ikut ekskul yang ga wajib karena males pulang sore). Tidak ada kendala yang berarti selama SMP, selain masalah psikologis masa puber yang bikin saya dan teman-teman galau ganjen norak nakal (kalau dilihat dari kacamata saat ini).

Lulus SMP, akhirnya saya diijinkan masuk ke SMA yang saya mau, dengan pertimbangan SMA yang bagus menentukan universitas yang bisa ditembus. Jam sekolah masih sama seperti waktu SMP, juga dengan komposisi ekskul dan bimbingan yang sama. Yang paling berkesan dari masa SMA adalah ternyata SMA saya termasuk SMA unggulan, ga cuma di Jakarta tapi di Indonesia, sampe-sampe kepilih jadi SMA percontohan si kurikulum baru (saat itu, tahun 2002), Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi (KBK). Yang paling berubah dari KBK ini adalah sistem penilaian (dan libur) yang tadinya per caturwulan (cawu)/4 bulanan, jadi kaya anak-anak kuliahan, per semester/6 bulanan, dan nilai di raport tidak boleh dibawah 7,5 (saat kelas 1-2) dan 8 (kelas 12). Ya, sistem kelas pun berubah saat naik dari kelas 2 ke kelas 3, karena saat saya kelas 3, KBK mulai diterapkan di semua sekolah lain di Indonesia (atau baru Jakarta ya?), dan sistem penomoran kelas yang tadinya 1-6 SD – 1-3 SMP – 1-3 SMA, diubah jadi kelas 1-12.

Saya inget banget, saat saya SMA itu, saya tiap hari Senin-Jumat pulang jam 13.30 (KBK ini emang sekolahnya cuma 5 hari seminggu) dan hari Sabtu diisi ekskul, sementara temen-temen di sekolah lain rata-rata pulangnya jam 15.30 dan sebagian hari Sabtu masih belajar juga, dan sebagian besar mereka bilang saya enak banget bisa pulang cepet. Saya sih cuma ketawa aja waktu itu, sambil dalam hati setengah menggerutu: apa enaknya?! Loe enak pulang sekolah sore masih sempet main-main, sementara gue begitu sampe rumah harus buru-buru buka PR dan belajar untuk ulangan. Yes, sekolah saya se-nggak santai itu. Disiplinnya amit-amit, pelajarannya intens banget sampe-sampe mau ijin sakit aja mikir 1000 kali (ga masuk 1 hari = ketinggalan pelajaran jauh banget), jadwal ulangan umumnya selalu lebih cepet seminggu dari sekolah lain dan saat anak sekolah lain sibuk ulangan umum, kami pun sibuk dengan pelatihan-pelatihan yang dirancang sama sekolah buat siswinya (mulai dari pelatihan jurnalistik sampe narkoba udah pernah dijabanin deh), dan pelit banget buat ngasih libur (trust me, even jaman-jaman force majeure macam banjir ato demo gede-gedean pun teteeeepp guru-guru rajin kasih tugas buat dikerjain di rumah.. baru saat itu saya ngerasain ‘belajar di rumah’ as in bener-bener belajar dan ga libur).

Jadi menurut saya, diterapkan atau tidaknya aturan sekolah 5 hari seminggu ini betul-betul tergantung dari sekolah masing-masing. Tujuan utamanya kan katanya biar baik guru maupun murid bisa benar-benar memanfaatkan waktu libur akhir pekan untuk keluarga, tapi ya semua tergantung kebijakan sekolah juga. Kalau sudah ditetapkan 5 hari seminggu 8 jam sehari sekolah, harus dipikirkan juga gimana biar anak-anak ga tertekan, apalagi kalau guru-guru masih membebani dengan PR dan ulangan. Yang ada nanti kualitas pendidikan ga membaik, waktu kualitas dengan orangtua juga ga tercapai, ditambah lagi muridnya stress.

*Semoga kualitas pendidikan Indonesia bisa semakin ditingkatkan lagi, terutama dalam era globalisasi ini, agar para pendidik juga bisa memberikan pandangan yang luas kepada para murid sambil mendorong agar murid mau ikut berpartisipasi aktif dalam mengemukakan pendapat di depan umum.

*Bersyukurlah anak-anak jaman sekarang karena populasi guru killer sudah menurun drastis dibanding jaman saya sekolah dulu.

*Setelah hampir 3 tahun ga nge-blog pake bahasa Indonesia, ternyata kangen juga dan lumayan bisa mengalir lancar tulisannya.

I’ve stopped exposing myself to local news…

Today happened to be the millionth time someone discussed the local news with me and I was left out, leaving the person say: “you should start reading news”. Well, I have stopped reading and watching local news since I can’t remember when. I try to keep myself updated every time, but only from my discussions with my dad and colleagues. This fact is pretty shocking to anyone who knows me, as I’m normally this resourceful person.

I have my reasons for this:

  • The news is too dramatic. I don’t know if it’s the matter of the TV channels trying so hard to get their ratings up or the reporters cannot get high quality news to report on, but I feel that most of the time the news is too dramatic. I agree that a headline should attract people, but not with too much additional drama into it that I can’t differentiate the truth to the “seasonings”.
  • The news is too repetitive. I know that it’s impossible to get new information in the count of hours (for TV news), but the way they’re repeating it is kinda sickening. For example when a public figure passed away, all channels would show the same news about the figure’s roles when he was alive, how he died, and so on and so forth that it’s so boring. No one would report on the different side of him.
  • The news is meaningless. I often spend my time on the plane reading newspapers and find myself disappointed with the content. In later days, the news is getting more and more meaningless that after I finish reading the last page I don’t feel like I’m gaining something. The newspapers are reporting something, giving people information, but that’s it – no additional value from reading them.
  • The news is (somehow it feels like) scripted. The older generation would say that we are lucky today to be able to get press freedom, but the truth is the freedom itself feels binding. Behind all those news, I believe there’s one guy who’s directing everyone. He’s the one who directs what the media should focus on and what they shouldn’t. The speed at which the media’s focus on one topic redirected to another is always unbelievably fast that people would forget the former as soon as the latter takes the spotlight.

So I’m focusing myself on technology news and international ones today. Happy May day! 🙂

about first notice

Holla! Pardon me for being absent for it’s-too-long-I’m-keeping-track-no-more. The main reason to that is that somehow I can’t connect to WordPress anymore from work. Dang! (I really hope that my bosses, clients and colleagues are not reading this post. LOL. I need some refreshing sometimes from work and blogging is was a quick way to do that. Now my only distraction is coffee. 😦 I’m a caffeine slave.) The secondary reasons are a lot of excuses I’m making myself, starting from “I got no inspiration” days to “my life is too boring” days.

I remember someone from work asked me (and a group of colleagues sitting together) during lunch one day: what is the first thing that you notice from others?

Some people (mostly guys) mentioned body posture, some answered face, and I showed them a blood type comic that I got earlier. It says that people notice others (in this case, guys notice girls) differently, according to the blood type. (I can’t find it on Google..) The blood type comic was proved to be wrong, though, as first notice really is subjective to the person. My answer really was “the most unique feature of the person’s body, most of the time from the neck and above“.

For those who know me, they would know how much I ignore people around me if they are also ignoring me in the first place (I can be really mean not to see people walking pass me if they also don’t talk to me). On the other hand, when they start getting my attention, I pay attention to every detail. I got to know a girl back in my uni year, we were in a group so we worked together for a week or so, without me knowing that she actually has a twin sister. The next occasion I, still didn’t know that she has a twin sister, saw someone who looked exactly like her walking pass me without greeting me. I’d known that she was a different person after taking a look at her face, because they’re different. That’s how detail I am. Again, I don’t really pay attention to my surroundings it sometimes is depressing others.

Still, whatever your preference, first impression matters, so always be nice to everyone you meet. (I can’t and won’t change, though.. :P)

ignorance is bliss

I met an old friend last weekend and he was coming with his 4-year-old son. Do you know what’s so special about kids? They are honest. And ignorant to those they don’t fond of, without any ignored adults feeling offended.

Ignorance is Bliss (image taken from theinspiredminds.com)
Ignorance is Bliss
(image taken from theinspiredminds.com)

This then came to mind: every adult has his childish side, it’s only a matter of ‘how much’ that decides his maturity. Of course, in case of ignorance, an adult will feel offended when he’s ignored by a fellow adult.

In order for us not to be ignorant, we need to keep in mind that nobody likes to be ignored – pay attention, especially to those you care for: what they say and what they do – but that doesn’t mean that you meddle in all their problems as well. Again, privacy is important. Unless someone’s your spouse, I’m pretty sure no one likes it when somebody else is shadowing his/her life (well, even if she’s your spouse, I’m sure she still needs some privacy).

Ignorance is BlissBeing mature means you can balance your care with your ignorance when it comes to others.

pricey fashion items every woman over 25 should have

My sister, the best friend who knows me the best (and would frequently hate me for being me), has always labelled me as being the stingy big sister. Lately, however, she was quite shocked with my desire to purchase branded, pricey fashion items (she wasn’t so shocked when I decided to buy an iPhone since she knows well enough that I’m a geek). I’m still stingy, but I’m spendy. Lol. Not all items worth the high price, IMO.

Here are the items that I think worth buying at expensive price (and every woman at the age of over 25 should have):

1. Leather wallet that can hold up all your notes, coins, and cards (I know we girls like to keep discount and membership cards other than those credit cards 😉 ).

Ladies' leather wallet that can hold all your cash and cards (image source: www.navadesign.com)
Ladies’ leather wallet that can hold all your cash and cards
(image source: http://www.navadesign.com)

2. Leather pumps for work which you’re feeling comfortable to walk in. (I’m a girl who believes that it’s not worth to buy those fancy bling-bling pumps which you can only wear to a party or social events.)

Leather pumps for work that are comfortable for everyday wear (image source: coolspotters.com)
Leather pumps for work that are comfortable for everyday wear
(image source: coolspotters.com)

3. Branded tote bag that can hold all those things you take here and there without hurting your shoulder.

Branded tote bag that can bring all your must-take items everywhere (image source: www.handbag4ladies.com)
Branded tote bag that can bring all your must-take items everywhere
(image source: http://www.handbag4ladies.com)

4. Branded watch that goes with all kinds of styles – by ‘all’ I mean from party to sports.

Branded watch that can be worn from a party to a sporty event (image source: actionprices.blogspot.com)
Branded watch that can be worn from a party to a sporty event
(image source: actionprices.blogspot.com)

5. A good, comfortable pair of blue jeans – it doesn’t necessarily be branded, as long as you look good in them (and by ‘good’ I mean: slim-thigh look).

A good pair of jeans - I prefer pencil, dark blue jeans (image source: www.numerounostore.com)
A good pair of jeans – I prefer pencil, dark blue jeans
(image source: http://www.numerounostore.com)

6. Basic beauty products that don’t cause your face to rash and pimpled: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and foundation. This one is a bit tricky as every woman has her own suitable product that might not be suitable for others.

Basic beauty products (image source: www.speakforchange.org)
Basic beauty products
(image source: http://www.speakforchange.org)

7. Gold earrings, necklace with beautiful pendant, bracelet, and ring that you can wear every time, everywhere. My tip for this one is to take some time to browse around the stores to find the one you feel most wearable before deciding to purchase. Oh, and don’t forget to get the certificate so you can re-sell them if you’d like.

Gold earrings and necklace with beautiful pendant for everyday wear (image source: www.aliexpress.com)
Gold earrings and necklace with beautiful pendant for everyday wear
(image source: http://www.aliexpress.com)

Other than those items listed above, I will still seek the cheap ones. 😛