Blogging is fun again.

Today will mark the 16th consecutive day of posting here. Easily my longest streak. And you know what? It’s fun again.

Each day I post. Each day I feel good about it. Then I look forward to posting again tomorrow.

All of my favorite procrastination techniques have become null and void:

  1. The pressure to Win the Internet is gone. There’s no time to wait around for an industry changing idea to write about. You’d better pick a topic and then figure out how to write about it.

  2. I also can’t spend hours indulging myself with workflows or platforms or fiddling with different notes apps. There’s writing to be done. No matter how ridiculous or small or silly.

  3. When I’m posting to my own site, I only have to worry about what I think. I don’t have to think about algorithms or recommendations or any of the other nonsense that only proves you know how to dress for whichever dinner party you’re attending.

This is all good. Progress! Defying the odds. Sharpening the grey-matter. All of that…

The Publishing Department of the Agency

Today was the first day of class for the incoming strategists. Actually, it was the first of our two-day writing bootcamp that we’re conducting before the official start of class next week.

The other tracks have been doing bootcamps for years, but this is a first for the strategy track.

We decided to do it, and focus on writing, for a few reasons.

  1. Out of everyone in an agency, no one writes more than the planners.
  2. Most people overestimate their ability to write well.
  3. It’s more fun to evaluate work without distractions from bad writing.

It’ll hopefully give them a leg up before the start of class next week. If nothing else, even the awareness of the importance we’re placing on writing should eliminate the careless mistakes that show up once the bullets start flying.

Houses of Pain

As I mentioned a few days back, we recently moved into a new house. We looked at a little over 20 houses before we bought this one. It’s amazing how many odd houses there are out there.

It’s easy to label suburban houses as sterile, but even the most McMansion of exteriors can contain malformed horrors within. Sometimes the cookie cutter only shapes the outer crust, leaving the interior undercooked. They look fantastic in the online photos, and everything might seem fine on the outside, but then when you open the door, it feels like pealing an orange only to find that it’s rotten on the inside.

The most heinous of houses were those with additions or altered interior spaces. People aren’t hiring architects anymore.

Proportions are off. Flow is wrong. Square footage is carved into small, dark rooms, in search of use beyond murder-most-foul.

Anyways, all of this is in service of pointing to a post explaining why McMansions are so abhorrent:

McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture?

Sometimes people ask, why is xyz house bad? Asking this question does not imply that the asker has bad taste or no taste whatsoever – it means that they are simply not educated in basic architectural concepts. In this post, I will introduce basic architectural concepts and explain why not all suburban/exurban/residential houses are McMansions, as well as what makes a McMansion especially hideous.

Existential Consumer Reports

Just an idea I had after Consumer Reports proper turned the Audi we test drove into a Prius.

One day we were white-knuckle driving on the freeway in Oakland. The next day we were buzzing through Walnut Creek in an egg-shaped road appliance.

Yes, it’s good to buy things that work well. But does it matter that something works if it doesn’t also validate your existence?

Enter: Existential Consumer Reports.

Streamline Input, Not Output

CJ Childers writes that the basic, most ignored principle of note taking is to streamline input, not output.

Make it fast and easy to capture. Don’t worry about finding it quickly.

I’ve been using this principle for a few years now with email and physical filing.

Some people have a reason to sort email into multiple folders. You don’t. Search is good enough to find anything you might need later. Just archive it and move on with your life.

For physical files, make a folder for each letter of the alphabet. File things in the folder that seems to make the most sense. Enjoy your freedom. The terrorists hate it.

Relax, you’ll be able to find it later. But if you’re like me, you’ll never need most of it again.