Retaining more of what you read

Knowledge will only compound if it is retained. In other words, what matters is not simply reading more books, but getting more out of each book you read.”

7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read (James Clear)

From James Clear: A helpful list of tips for retaining more of what you read.

I’m giving this a shot by treating every book as if I need to write a report on it afterwards. That means a lot of note taking. I’m hopping between physical notes on steno pads and using Notion more frequently as my personal knowledge base.

Visual storytelling in meetings

“Story telling matters as a foundational part of communication between people. You can tell stories by writing, speaking, filming, drawing, coding, and much more. […]

By adding visuals to your communication, you invite others in to participate and understand. You’re able to focus on the idea rather than each other, which is disarming and makes communication smoother.”

The value of quick visual storytelling (Automattic Design)

Shoutout to Joshua Wold for this blog post on visual storytelling.

I’m also a visual thinker. On the rare occasions that I’m meeting with folks in person I’m usually hitting the whiteboard.

Unlike Joshua, though, I rarely lean into this skill during virtual meetings.

It’s not that I don’t have the tools — I have a small Wacom tablet on my desk at home — it’s just that it feels so… weird?… to initiate this sort of thing over a Zoom call.

Maybe I need to change that?

Make time management a habit

No matter what time management method you choose, you have to continue it until it becomes a habit. Only then, when you do it without even thinking about it and by focusing on your work, can you start experiencing all of the benefits of managing your time.”

How I Manage My Time To Be More Productive (Rafal Tomal)

As a remote worker, I’m constantly struggling with time management as I try to nail down a more perfect schedule. That’s why I appreciate other folks, like Rafal, sharing their experiences and approaches.

Sustainable Web Manifesto + Contract For The Web

“We all share and use the web, just as we all share and live on this planet. This manifesto is a public declaration of a shared commitment to create a sustainable internet. […]

If we embrace sustainability in our work, we can create a web that is good for people and planet. By signing this manifesto you declare your commitment to create a greener web.”

Sustainable Web Manifesto

The sustainable web manifesto covers five areas:

  1. Clean – Services we buy/create use renewable energy
  2. Efficient – Use the least amount of resources possible
  3. Open – Accessible services, users control their own data
  4. Honest – No misleading or exploitation
  5. Regenerative – Support an economy nourishing people & planet

Related, Tim Berners-Lee and his “contract for the web“:

The Contract for the Web was created by representatives from over 80 organizations, representing governments, companies and civil society, and sets out commitments to guide digital policy agendas. To achieve the Contract’s goals, governments, companies, civil society and individuals must commit to sustained policy development, advocacy, and implementation of the Contract text.

Contract For The Web

It covers nine principles:

  1. Ensure everyone can connect to the internet
  2. Keep all of the internet available, all of the time
  3. Protect fundamental online privacy & data rights
  4. Make the internet affordable & accessible to all
  5. Respect & protect peoples privacy and personal data
  6. Develop tech to support the best in humanity, challenge the worst
  7. Be creators and collaborators with the web
  8. Build communities that respect human discourse & dignity
  9. Fight for the web

I don’t agree with all of the above, but I do appreciate that these movements are taking shape. Internet governance is an incredibly important topic, and I feel like we’ve managed to dodge it for the last 20+ years.

How school boards can help the housing crisis

“When it comes to excess lots, the board shouldn’t sell the land; it should instead negotiate long-term leases with rental-apartment builders or such non-profits as Options for Homes, with the requirement that the projects be designated affordable.”

How school boards can help fight Toronto’s affordable-housing crisis (TVO)

This goes for excess public land in general. Put the property to use for the public good. Plant trees, lease to affordable housing developments.

A new golden age of housing

“Co-ops often have units large enough for families, provide a stable place to live, and usually have below-market housing charges. (Some residents of Ontario co-ops pay even lower rents if they qualify for subsidized units.) After all, there’s no landlord trying to turn a profit.”

Ontario may be headed for a new golden age of housing co-ops (TVO)

Ontario went through a boom of co-op housing in the mid-20th century. Then it all fell apart in the 90’s with government cutbacks. I think we’re due for a resurgence, given the ongoing housing crisis.

+ Co-ops have piqued my interest lately. Housing co-ops are top of mind, but so are co-op organizations in general. From the Ontario Co-Operative Association:

“A co-operative is a legally incorporated organization that is owned by its members, who use the co-operative’s services or purchase their products. They can and do provide virtually every product or service, and can be either for-profit or non-profit enterprises.”

What is a Co-operative? (OCA)

A co-op feels like the logical legal entity to form around a community-centric, for-profit (or not-for-profit) organization, be it for housing or business.

Advice for new marketers: Focus on the outcomes to increase your value

To truly increase your value, you need to understand what drives the company’s long term growth and focus maniacally on that. This means elevating your mental frameworks from tactics (i.e. “I must publish three articles a week”) to strategy (i.e. “I must find a way to help our events team sell more tickets”). And it means structuring the content operation to lead to outcomes (i.e. “webinar signups”) and not outputs (i.e. “publishing 10 tweets a day”).”

What I wish I knew five years ago about building a career in “content” (Sean Blanda)

This post from Sean Blanda is a must-read for anyone in the content marketing space, or thinking about entering the content marketing space.

My colleague Chris Carfi has a great model for thinking about this. Every time we sit down to talk through a plan, he starts with one question: What does success look like?

By starting with the objective, we can work backwards — figuring out the metrics that indicate success (goals), how we’ll get there (strategy), and the specific tools we’ll use to implement the strategy (tactics).

It’s kinda like planning a trip in Google Maps. You start with where you want to go (objective), then based on how much time you have (metrics), you choose a mode of transportation (strategy) and the route you want to take (tactics).

Sidenote: I need to do this more often with my personal projects. ?

Riding 3000km to WordCamp Europe

“In May 2020 members of the WP&UP team will be leaving the WordCamp Europe 2019 venue; The Estrel, Berlin, Germany and undertaking a gruelling 3,000 km ride across Europe to the 2020 #WCEU venue; Super Bock Arena, Porto, Portugal.”


Shout out to my fellow cyclists + WordPressers for making one hell of a trek. For the unaware, WP&UP is an organization providing mental health support for folks in the WordPress community.