Issue 3

Welcome to a previous issue of The Journal. To get the latest issue delivered to your inbox, once a month, sign up for the newsletter here.

I hope this issue finds you well. I’d like to welcome the 16,000+ new subscribers to this issue. We’re now 38,000 strong.

This month’s podcast guest is Brad Dowdy, the king of pen and paper. He’s going to help us find the ultimate paper notebook to hold your ideas. More on that story and links to listen directly below.

As always, thanks for reading, and enjoy the issue!

Kevin Rose

Who makes the best paper notebook?

(the notebooks I used purchased for testing)

For me, notebooks are idea books. Places where you sketch out future projects you might someday build. As such, they should be treated as important archives of your information.

So I set out to find out who makes the best notebook, in terms of paper quality and construction. Have a listen to my conversation with notebook and pen expert, Brad Dowdy. Brad goes deep down the rabbit hole. It’s geeky, but worth the listen.

Listen to the Podcast
SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher

Links from the Podcast
Midori, Maruman, Rhodia, Field Notes, Nock Co.

My favorite notebooks
Midori MD Notebook (notes)
Midori Spiral Camel (sketching)
Maruman Mnemosyne (sketching)
Baron Fig Apprentice (pocket)

The Japanese Art of Hikaru Dorodango

Translation: Hikaru “shining” Dorodango “mud round dumpling”

Just when I thought my obsession with Japanese aesthetics and culture couldn’t go deeper, I find out about these beautiful handmade shiny mud balls. Best of all, you can make them yourself at home. Give this mesmerizing video a watch. Wow. (Video: 1:48)

The power of saying “no”

Have you ever said yes to something, only to dread the obligation when it comes due? I have, many-many times. I recently read a blog post by Seth Godin on saying “no.” Here are his thoughts (republished with permission):

Seth Godin: On saying “no”
- If you’re not proud of it, don’t serve it.
- If you can’t do a good job, don’t take it on.
- If it’s going to distract you from the work that truly matters, pass.
- If you don’t know why they want you to do this, ask.
- If you need to hide it from your mom, reconsider.
- If it benefits you but not the people you care about, decline.
- If you’re going along with the crowd, that’s not enough.
- If it creates a habit that costs you in the long run, don’t start.
- If it doesn’t move you forward, hesitate then walk away.

Thanks, Seth. I’ll respectfully add a few of my own to the list:
- If you’re going to say no, do it now. “Maybe” is not fair to the asker.
- If you’re unsure, sleep on it, then say no in the morning.
- If you’re saying yes out of fear of offending the asker, say no, you’ll grow stronger.

Seth runs a great blog. Also, check out his interview with Tim Ferriss.

How I finally fixed my WiFi problem with eero

I have certainly pissed off a WiFi god in a previous life. My WiFi is great if you’re in the same room as the base station, but go down the hall and you’re screwed. To improve things I’ve tried multiple brands, more borg-like antennas, and expensive extenders. Nothing has worked.

The eero’s approach is different. Rather than one massive Cylon basestar to cover the entire house, it uses multiple units that talk to each other through a mesh network. Setup was beyond simple (almost too simple) all done via an iPhone app. After plugging in all three units (about 30–40 feet apart), the unthinkable happened. They all meshed, and I had beautiful blanket coverage, even in my previous dead zones.

Two things to note
1. After reading several online reviews, it’s clear that single unit base stations (e.g. Asus, Apple, TP-Link, Netgear, etc.) do outperform the eero in terms of raw (close proximity) speed. However, when you’re talking remote dead zones the eero shines. I’d personally rather have full house coverage (albeit slightly slower) than issues with distant video streaming.
2. They are expensive. A 3-pack will run you $499.

My final take
If you’re having WiFi issues, then this is a great solution. I’m now three weeks in, and all continues to function flawlessly. Buy a 3-pack on Amazon and return them if they don’t meet your needs. If you’re just looking for faster WiFi, consider a top pick from The Wirecutter, a site I trust. More information:

Handmade coffee pour over station

I purchased one for my home, loved the construction, and ended up buying a three cup version for the office. Each station is handmade made out of salvaged Oregon walnut. The stand works with the Hario V60 dripper and decanter. The Clive Stand — $195

App of The Month

Nothing good this month, no need to waste your time by telling you otherwise.

Monthly Zen

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.”
~Chogyam Trungpa

“Staying stuck in your past is stealing from your future.”
~Robin Sharma

Sprint, a new book from GV (Google Ventures)

My friends at Google Ventures have just published a new book called Sprint.

What is Sprint? In short, it’s a refined five-day process for building and testing products. A lot of it revolves around using structure to cut past abstract debate, enabling you to build and test your products faster.

Since you’ve read this far (thank you), I’ve convinced GV to give away 75 free copies to The Journal readers. Click here, then use the code “SprintJournal”. (NOTE: The books are gone) The code will stop working after its been redeemed 75 times. Please be a good citizen and only use the code once.

Thanks and see you next issue, be well,


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