ALL Articles

Dann's Unofficial Guide to Finops X

Dann's unofficial guide to FinOps X. Geared towards practitioners wanting to make the most out of their experience at the conference.

5 ways to actually use the notes you take

Congrats. You take lots of notes. But are you actually using the notes you take? Here are some ways to start.

How I back up my Obsidian vault to Github (free & cheap options)

How to back up your Obsidian vault to Github for free, and automate recurring backups

10 tips for smart Obsidian usage

Distilling my overarching productivity philosophy into ten tips for smart Obsidian usage.

Obsidian Physical Object System and Template

A look at my Obsidian People Note system, built for busy people that are often in meetings for work. Uses Templater, Dataview, and Meta Bind plugins.

My Obsidian People Note Template

Updated Feb 2024. A brief tour of my People Note template for Obsidian, using the Templater, Meta Bind, and Dataview plugins.

Obsidian Meeting Note Template

Updated February 2024. A detailed tour of my Obsidian Meeting Note Template, a full-featured system for taking and recalling notes from both work and personal meetings. Uses Templater, Dataview, and Meta Bind plugins.

Apple's Vision Pro future, as told in three parts

The Apple Vision Pro feels like the beginning of something new, despite robust existing VR competition. How did Apple pull that off?

My Obsidian Daily Note Template

Updated January 2024. A brief tour of my Daily Note template for Obsidian, using the Templater and Dataview plugins.

My best of 2023: a year in review

Reflecting on a year of accomplishments and favorite moments in 2023, including a closer look at the performance of this website

Dann's Indie Holiday Gift Guide 2023

Why do newspapers and magazines get to have all the fun? Here's Dann's 2023 Holiday Gift Guide! An assortment of cool and unusual gifts to buy yourself and/or others.

How Kagi finally let me lay Google Search to rest

Google Search is dead to me. Here's how and why Kagi's high quality results and compelling value proposition allowed me to fully make the switch.

Daily Driver Task Management System

Updated September 2023. A robust task management system designed for people who have trouble sticking with task management systems. A cross between bullet journaling, GTD, and a simple to-do list.

Avoiding Lone FinOps Purgatory: When and how to grow your FinOps team

When you're the first FinOps hire, it's easy to get stuck as a one-person team indefinitely. Here's exactly how to identify when you need to grow, and how to make the case.

From Engineers to Executives: Delivering Cost Reports to different users

Different levels of your business think about costs a little differently. Here's how to build three distinct cost reports to serve different users.

The Mixed Reality Hypothesis

With the Vision Pro announcement, Apple presented its version of a Virtual Reality future — a vision that's radically different than anything else in the space.

Unit Costs will change the way you think about your cloud bill

Cost-based Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aren't just for business-level metrics. You should integrate Unit Costs at all levels of your application's spend.

Convincing Your Company Adopt Finops

Two tangible practices you can implement to positively foster a FinOps culture

A path forks ahead: a meditation on future FinOps career options

There are so many different career options for FinOps Practitioners. This is an exploration of these paths as I thought about my next role.

On Making Big Career Changes

I've made several large career changes over the course of my professional life, and I've learned a few things in the process.

Scenario: your monthly invoice is over budget

You're a FinOps practitioner, and January's invoice is above forecast. Let's explore four different ways this scenario could play out.

How Dann sets up new computer

Detailed instructions for how I set up a new MacOS laptop (all applications, settings) exactly the way I like it. Snapshot of February 2023.

Margins are the new budgets

How FinOps Practitioners at SaaS companies can ditch traditional budgets by updating the way they think about margins

OpenAI's ChatGPT as the ultimate form of abstraction

Artificial intelligence just took a huge leap forward, and is the ultimate form of general knowledge abstraction

My best of 2022: a year in review

Reflecting on a year of accomplishments and favorite moments in 2022.

Why I write a newsletter (and you should, too)

I launched The Dann Chronicles monthly newsletter nearly two years ago. Here's what drives me to continue.

Ask a Finops Practitioner: When to prioritize cost?

Q: Does a company have to be at a certain level of maturity with performance reliability and security before cost becomes a priority?

Creating a FinOps practice as the first practitioner

So you've joined a company as the first FinOps practitioner. Here's how to build out your practice from day one.

A bit of career news from yours truly

After four rewarding and fulfilling years at Datadog, I've decided to join a startup called FullStory. Here's why.

Recalling Books You've Read, Made Easy

A simple ~30-minute system that will help you recall key information from every book you read for life.

My best of 2021: a year in review

We made it through another year. Here's a look back at all my favorite things and accomplishments.

How launching my first website changed my life

It all started eleven years ago with a simple Wordpress blog.

My best of 2020: A year in review

A look back at everything I accomplished this past year.

Evolving your cloud-cost strategy as you scale

A framework for thinking about cloud-cost strategies at different stages of your company's growth.

5 things I learned writing my first full-length play

My first full-length play was produced in NYC in 2019. Here's what I learned throughout the two-year writing process.

An exhaustive list of my favorite things in 2018

A look back at 2018 through the lens of all the things I used, consumed, or enjoyed. From books to apps to tools to media, and everything in between.

All the world’s an ad, and we are merely watchers

New technology enabling the insertaion of ads into video content may be coming soon.

Canary in the coal mine

First they came for Gawker...

My best of 2016: A year in review

A look back at everything I accomplished this past year.

My best of 2015: A year in review

A look back at all the things I produced and consumed in 2015.

How to install a new WordPress theme

Depending on your flavor of Wordpress (.com or .org) you may have trouble installing a third-party theme.

Being plucked from obscurity

So much depends on luck. Yet it doesn't feel like luck when it happens to you.

How I built and promoted WorkBurst, my first OS X app

How I built my first OS X app from scratch, and got press on launch day.

Pitching journalists: 5 things your competitors aren’t doing

As a former tech journalist, I share some tips for getting noticed by the press.

The time I was almost drawn into a Futurama episode

The story of how waited just a little too long and missed my chance to be drawn into a Futurama episode.

My best of 2013

A look back at everything I discovered, learned, read, wrote, made, and accomplished in 2013.

My best of 2012

A look back at 2012. My first yearly-review post.

Epiphanies I had while teaching myself to code

A few early epipanies I had after a year of playing with code.