A warm welcome to the 200+ of you who've joined since the last issue!
I celebrated my birthday on May 2nd (and decided to give myself a break from writing this newsletter). Here are some of the things I've learned in the past year.
I received some really sweet birthday presents from my friends and colleagues, and got featured in Mashable and Gumroad. They must have known! Kidding, I really have Matt & Justin to thank.
Grateful for another year and the chance to do things I love for a living. Thanks everyone for your support.
With gratitude, Janel
Creators are making bank selling...Google spreadsheets An interesting look into how creators are monetizing by selling Google Sheets & Notion templates. Love that my friends and I are the opposite of an Internet scam. "Perhaps the fact that these informational products are the exact opposite of those classic internet schemes is what's connecting with users. Real people, who aren't shooting fancy sales videos in front of mansions and Ferraris, sharing what they know about a topic they excel at in the most non-flashy medium possible: a spreadsheet."
The Great Online Game “The Great Online Game is an infinite video game that plays out constantly across the internet. It uses many of the mechanics of a video game, but removes the boundaries.” Play this abundant game well, and you'll find that there is unlimited upside potential. A creative, fun and thought-provoking read.
Work On What Matters "We all have a finite amount of time to live, and within that mortal countdown we devote some fraction towards our work." How do we work on what matters?
Avoid snacking (working on easy and low-impact tasks)
Understanding Decision Fatigue Fantastic read about decision making. Learn what decision fatigue is and improve the quality of high value decisions in your life.
My favorite tips:
Make important decisions early in the day to prevent fatigue creeping up on you
Empower and delegate some decisions to others, so you can focus on the important ones
Plan for decision fatigue in others and act accordingly (see your doctor/lawyer in the morning when they are fresh!)
17 Tips To Help Your Landing Page Convert Blake Emal has audited over 500 websites. He shares the top tips he has to make people take action on your website, along with examples. He reminds us to use a single call-to-action, inject social proof in your copy and show, not tell.
Email, Explained From First Principles Email, explained in full detail. This will answer multiple layers of "why"s. Did you know that the @ symbol has been used for centuries in commerce? "In Spanish and Portuguese, it denoted a custom unit of weight. In English, it came to mean at the rate of similar to the French à. The @ symbol was already included in the first edition of the ASCII character set in 1963, years before the symbol was first used to designate the network host in a predecessor of today’s email in 1971."
Resources & Tools
CleanShot X - The ultimate screen capture tool for Mac. It enables you to take scrolling screenshots, record GIFs/video, annotate quickly, and upload to the cloud. It's not free, but it's well worth the one-time purchase of $29. I use it almost daily.
Design Gems - A curated collection of resources for designers in a single place. Includes accessibility tools, mockups, and generated content.
Skribbl - Free hand-drawn illustrations, for use anywhere without attribution!
Personal Websites - A list of handpicked personal websites. If you're planning to start one of your own, these will inspire you. Click here to see mine.
Take A Brain Break
Stumbled - Do you miss StumbleUpon? This site has you covered with an eclectic collection of interesting websites that refresh at a click of a button. Check out Jumpstick which is another fun alternative.