Ten thousand steps every day.

For 500 days.

From November 24, 2019 to today: April 7, 2021.

Total number of steps, as of 4/5/21:

  • 6,889,773 steps
Screen shot from my Fitbit dashboard
  • 3,563 miles or the distance from my home in Decatur GA to Haines AK, near Juneau

Is “A World Without Email” Possible?

If email is not the first thing you look at each day, it’s close.

Email is not just a tool that we use at work.

Email drives everything we do. It sets our priorities.

Email has become the work.

And it’s become the great interrupter.

In his new book A World Without Email, Cal Newport says about email: “everything is interrupted.”

The average knowledge worker checks email 77 times per day. Some suggest as many as 125 per day.

Constant interruption keeps us from deep thinking or doing. …

This show, Ted Lasso, is so good. I’m mildly obsessed with it: listening to podcasts about the show, reading in-depth articles, and even playing the ear-wormy theme song on guitar.

It’s my favorite season of comedy since…maybe…the second season of The Office.

Ted Lasso (from Digital Spy)

It’s funny, but also smart and full of heart. And full of really great ideas on leadership and building teams.

Quick plot synopsis: Ted Lasso (played by Jason Sudeikis) is an American football coach hired, through somewhat silly and impossible circumstances, to lead an English Premier League soccer team.

Lasso is clueless to soccer but wise in the…

Barry Lopez’ Lessons from his book Horizon

Barry Lopez died on Christmas Day.

Barry Lopez was a nature and travel writer. His most famous book is Arctic Dreams, which won the National Book Award in 1986. Last year I read Horizon, which, like Arctic Dreams, is a travel book, an environmental book, and even a philosophy book.

But in addition, its lessons apply to business.

Image courtesy of https://thesebonesofmine.com/

In Horizon, Barry Lopez travels to all ends of the earth — literally. From the Arctic to the South Pole and many spaces in between, like the Pacific Northwest, Kenya, Australia, and the Galapagos. Lopez works to truly understand the places he…

Living Dangerously, While Never Leaving Your Couch

Reading, especially this year, allowed me to travel the world and travel across time, finding and broadening my perspectives. Below are those books that accompanied me in that journey.

As in prior years, this list only reflects the books I read cover to cover. I abandoned or have yet to complete many others. My inability to complete those books is not always an indictment of the quality of those books. Often, my fleeting attention span diverts me to new books, while leaving other incomplete.

In earlier years, I had several big themes and topics I dug in deep. This year…

Growing insight from Cloud Compost

I am a collector of notes.

5400 or so in Evernote, at last count.

I have notes about everything:

  • Books I’ve read
  • Ideas I’ve come across
  • Movies I’ve watched
  • Half-written essays
  • Random ideas

I’ve been doing this because I planned, someday, to go through all of these notes.

I had the false belief that somewhere, deep in this content, was something valuable: insights, new perspectives, articles, connections…hell, even a book.

I had the belief that, magically, these notes would sprout and grow into something insightful.

This was my compost pile in the cloud.

Yet nothing happened.

The compost just sat…

Jeff Tweedy's memoir, Let's Go (So We Can Get Back) includes expected anecdotes about his growing up, his struggles with addiction and the evolving nature of his band, Wilco. It's also about his creative process, which I found most fascinating.

I've pulled a few of the creativity lessons from the book. Please keep in mind these nuggets are not as valuable as they are within the context of the book, but it's still valuable (to me, anyway) to have a concise list.

Be Vulnerable

It's a strength. His "superpower.” He has a "bone crushing earnestness, a weaponized sincerity.”

Tweedy says he is

The last thing the world needs is another list of books read, but I’m adding mine, nonetheless.

I enjoy using the quiet time of the holidays to look back at the books I’ve read and identify a few key themes and ideas that are consistent in these books. These books, in turn, provided ideas that propelled me throughout 2019 and beyond.

Some common themes (and books they showed up in) include:

  • Appreciating cultures different from my own (Horizon, Washington Black, Disappearing Earth, How to Be An Anti-Racist, Shadows of Statues)
  • The continuous search for meaning (Man’s Search for Meaning, Sapiens…

My family and I recently spent 12 days out west, visiting the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, with short visits to Bryce and Arches National Parks. We ventured across most of the Colorado Plateau, absorbing the landscape and contrasting this radically different world to our home in Atlanta.

At Arches National Park, in the visitor center, I picked up the book Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. Abbey was once a park ranger in Arches and this book is full of his observations about desert and outdoor life. …

These are the books I read in 2018. These books correlate to places I went, or places my mind went. These books complement my journeys or became the journey themselves. This list is really a summary of the year lived.

Each of the books listed below I read beginning to end. (There is also a great list of 2018 abandoned books I should put together.) There’s a sense of accomplishment in making it through an entire book. I share my list on Goodreads and enjoy measuring my progress against a goal. …

Andrew Marti

technologist, cultural omnivore, book nut, father

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