For some time now I’ve been interested in writing publicly. Not necessarily blogging to build an audience or develop “content” for the sake of content. Instead writing for me is about learning, the sharing of ideas and getting things done.
Lately I've found myself having similar conversations with friends and colleagues about lifestyle design and maximizing output at work. These conversations are one of the many reasons I enjoy going to work at COCO each day. Sometimes these conversations include tools, life hacks, lessons learned, philosophies, observations, concepts or ideas that both resonate and can easily be applied. These usually end with a follow-up message and links to resources being shared.
It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but it just dawned on me that sharing these resources and synthesizing the lessons I’ve learned and will learn is an excuse to write more. I’m not sure why it took me this long to arrive at this realization.
All that being said, here are a few products, tools and books I've been obsessed with in July.
I use both the VSCOcam app on my iPhone and their Lightroom filters when shooting with my DSLR. There are two things I really like about these guys. The first is the way they went about building a community around their product. They didn't start with the tech, instead they focused on digitally replicating classic film which appealed to their core customers. The user experience of their app also reflects their attention to detail. The Verge did I pretty good feature on the founders. You can check it out here: Explore the minimalist Oakland HQ that inspires VSCO co-founders Greg Lutze and Joel Flory
I don't consider myself a good writer or more accurately a good "blogger". I do however communicate a lot in writing, especially when it comes to managing projects. AI writer is the tool I use to draft pretty much anything I write. From tweets to emails to this very post, everything passes through this tool. They have an iOS and desktop app connected via the cloud which I find extremely useful. Most times I’ll have an idea and start fleshing it out on my phone before putting the finishing touches on it on my laptop. The best part about this app is its sentence mode. Whenever I need to agonize over the wording of a sentence I find it a life saver.
Its very easy to get distracted on the internet and I've found (for me at least) when I have a lot of tasks to get done in a day I need to focus. I find shutting down notifications for an hour and working through one action item at a time works best. I use my Time Timer to help me stay focused. It's also a great tool for keeping brainstorming sessions on track.
I love a good book, specifically non-fiction or books with actionable information I can apply. There are two books I found myself revisiting a few times in July. The first is a year without pants by Scott Berkun. It took me a while to get to this book on my reading list but I'm glad I finally did. It has fundamentally changed the way I approach remote collaboration.
The second book is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I usually don’t discuss philosophy publicly but I've found so many of the core principles of Stoicism applicable in today's business environment and in life, I thought it was worth sharing. I'm also fascinated by the concept of Stoic Optimism, an idea I came across in Ryan Holiday's book The Obstacle is the Way. Ryan did a guest blog post on Tim Ferriss' blog that does a great job of breaking down some of Stoicism's principles, while providing some actionable takeaways. You can find it here: Stoicism 101: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs.
That's all I have for now, until next time.
Ps: I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing this in