As someone who enjoys programming as a hobby outside of work, I've found it very easy to make any digital inconvenience into a potential side project. One key place where this happened was keeping track of when I'd last watered my growing plant collection. I used an Airtable spreadsheet to track all the information relevant to my plants, and it worked great except I wanted an easier way of determining with a quick glance which plants hadn't been watered in a given interval of days (this interval being set for the individual plant.)
I smelled a potential side project almost right away. I built a Node project (my first from scratch!) that used theAirtable API to pull a list of plants and their photos from the database if they were at or past their "next watering date". I hosted it on Glitch, one of my favourite coding platforms, and it worked and it was great. Well, it was only great as a side project exercise.
But in terms of practical functionality I still had to remember to visit the site and check it, which would be a whole new habit for me to pick up. What would be better is if the days I needed to check a given plant would just show up on a given day, perhaps right in my calendar for convenience. I revisited available Airtable integrations; it turns out there's a way to subscribe to the calendar view of a given Airtable field.
Now the name of the plant that might need a check up shows up right in my daily calendar app. This is ideal for me, especially as I lean on my digital calendar to help ground me during all this time I'm spending inside. And, as a developer, I still feel there's a valuable skill that got exercised! I had to use the best tool for the problem I was trying to solve and think critically about my initial solution.
If you're interested, I've made a public version of this base available here.