Well-Read Life™: The Google Guys Use Paper

Well-Read Life™: The Google Guys Use Paper

Google Ventures’ Jake Knapp created the sprint process that provides the title of the book, which he co-authored with Google Ventures’ John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. The sprint is a method, as the book’s subtitle promises, to help “solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days.”

To do that, a small group of a company’s key players devotes one full work week to prototyping and testing a new idea. But how do you get these busy people to focus on solutions for just one issue? And for five days?

Ban all electronic devices from the work sessions.

And, as Knapp said in a recent interview, “Start on paper.”

Techo Lineup – Hobonichi Techo 2017

Techo Lineup – Hobonichi Techo 2017

The time has finally come! We now bring you the full 2017 lineup scheduled for release on September 1st. There are 79 total designs, so please take your time looking through them all!

It’s that time of the year! I’ve used the Hobonichi Techo for my journal and daily log for years now. The folks at 1101 are previewing this year’s lineup of planners and accessories leading up to the release. If you’re a Techo fan this is one to put on the calendar.

Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter: “Gmorning! Cleaning my office. Here’s a bunch of My Shot drafts. Songs take time. https://t.co/nL5RntS3EA”

Mr. Miranda tweeted a whole bunch of shots of handwritten lyrics for the hit musical Hamilton today. Including some lyrics that didn’t make the cut. So cool! worth reading through his stream today.

The Write Stuff: How the Humble Pencil Conquered the World — Popular Mechanics

The Write Stuff: How the Humble Pencil Conquered the World — Popular Mechanics

Chemistry was a young scientific field in the 1500s, so the locals couldn’t have known exactly what they found. They did notice one crucial fact about the new material: the graphite made a darker mark on paper than lead, which had been used in styluses since Roman times. So they called it black lead. English people cut graphite into chunks and put it into sticks that could be used to write. They wrapped the sticks in paper or string and sold them on the street. This new tool was called the pencil—a name derived from pencillum, the Latin for a fine brush. Making your mark would never be the same.

An excellent primer on the history of the pencil.

A Note about Notes

A Note about Notes — CJ Chilvers

Every nerdy note taker has their own philosophy and system for taking notes. I won’t bore you with mine, but I do want to share a basic principle of note taking that is often ignored in even the nerdiest of circles.

Concentrate on streamlining input, not output.

And, hence, why I take notes by hand. I find it the most friction free and possibility rich of any other available option.

Let’s bring women and people of color to the the Blackwing Volumes editions | Woodclinched

Let’s bring women and people of color to the the Blackwing Volumes editions | Woodclinched

We have the 725, modeled after Bob Dylan’s guitar; the 211, a tribute to John Muir; the 1138, a movie reference to a George Lucas film; the 24 for John Steinbeck; and most recently, the beautiful be-Yankeed Volume 56 for Joe DiMaggio.

These are all fantastic tributes, and I love the story behind them. But they represent just one demographic of those who made history. What about a pencil that Blackwing fans who are women, or people of color?

Hmmm… As a person of color myself (African-American) I agree. I think of great writers like Langston Hughes or Ralph Ellison (who is a cousin of mine, by the way) who are equally deserving. I suggested James Audubon to Andy as another good potential pick because a lot of people don’t know that he was of partial African heritage (his Mother was Black). No matter what, I support this effort.

Hemingway’s Mighty Pencil

If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to. First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333, which is a damned good average for a hitter.

— Ernest Hemingway, on why he always wrote his first drafts by hand with pencil and paper.