A-Players: Week of October 18th

Hello again all.

This week was a tough one. A combination of long work hours, school, and a particularly persistent head cold made this week feel so much harder than it should've. I was sick for the past several days, but as we head into this next week I'm finally feeling more normal again. I'm hoping that I can get writing of some sort out in the next few days to make up for this week's A-Players being so late in the weekend.

This week's troubles aside, it did have some pretty fantastic reading in store. In-depth looks into owning your work, how analytics can harm your output, and the minute details Apple's new Sam Francisco font all make the list - as do some fantastic photo pieces from a certain design & art website.

Lastly, before I let you guys dig into this week's links I just wanted to mention how incredibly awesome the past week's Back to the Future festivities were. A newspaper cover heavy in satire, the perfect carbonated drink, self-tightening shoes, cameo appearances, and much more were the highlights. If you haven't seen the trilogy recently, there will never be a better time to watch. All this fun & the movies themselves certainly made being sick a lot more bearable - it was a delightful celebration of art and culture 30 years in the making.

I hope you all enjoy this week's round of links, and I look forward to seeing you guys back here again next week. Have a great couple of days.


  • Sharing your words - Matt Gemmell - Both as a reader and as a writer I love Matt Gemmell's work. It always comes across as so perfectly and intricately crafted, every single word. I often wish I could write things even a tenth as good as him, and I wonder to myself how he got as great as he is. In this piece from early this week Matt shared a small personal story about some of his very beginnings as a writer - along with some of the small tidbits of solid advice that I've come to expect woven into his readings. If you're a writer, thinking about being one, or even just feel a little curious about writing then Matt's piece is worth your time. His stuff is always so good, and this piece is no exception.

  • Death to Analytics — The Brooks Review - Ben Brooks wrote a great post in the beginning of this week on why he thinks that website analytics can be more hurt than help for the up-and-coming writer. I think I'd noticed Ben mention this opinion before on Twitter and in some of his previous writing, but this piece made it even clearer why he thinks the way he does. His points made me think twice about how my current setup's analytics might be influencing - even subconsciously - the writing that I create and the things I link to. I haven't reached a decision as to my own analytics and whether I'll be keeping them on or off in the long run, but Ben makes a convincing case here. Definitely worth a read - thought provoking stuff.

  • Arriving at San Francisco - The Syndicate - A follow up to last week's link, the second part of Nick Keppol's deep dive into Apple's new San Francisco typefont is terrific. With the typographic terms and basics covered, Nick tackles the various features of San Francisco in its main 4 incarnations, what those are characterized by, and what each form should probably be used for. I said last week that I wasn't all that deep into typography myself - and that's still true - but I am supremely enjoying Nick's writing on the new font. This is the sort of stuff I'll be looking at as San Francisco continues its spread across Apple's products and third party software - and backed with a little information now I feel ready to fully enjoy that.

  • Hobonichi Accessories — Three Staples - In what was by far my favorite stationary-related piece of the week, Jinnie from Three Staples talks us through some of the accessories she's accumulated over the past year for her Hobonichi planner. There's a wealthy ecosystem of different offerings for the Hobonichi out there, and seeing Jinnie's favorite picks made me both tempted to head over and order a Techo planner for this upcoming year, and also tempted to check out more of those sweet Hobonichi-specific accessories. The only problem with that being I'm not sure I'd be able to fit the Techo into my current analog-to-dos-workflow. Maybe someday I'll work it in, and before then I'm sure Jinnie will keep me feeling just slightly envious until the day I finally give in and buy one.

  • Treehouse Hotels Robin’s Nest - Ignant.de - Almost as long as I can remember my parents have had a coffee table book in our house with photos of many beautiful and interesting tree houses. This piece from Ignant.de earlier in the week taking a look at a little tree-house resort in Germany reminded me a lot of that book. And it made me smile that wonderful treehouses are still being made today. Take a look, it might make you smile as well.

  • Modern Houseboat · Berlin - Ignant.de - Lastly, rounding out this week, we have another gorgeous piece from the folks at Ignant.de. I don't know if they always have as many great photo pieces up as they did this week and I've just never noticed, or if they took this week to seriously step up their game. Either way, I found myself escaping to upstate New York, up into treetop cabins, or - in this piece's case - looking into the gorgeous rooms of a modern-day houseboat. I need these sorts of pieces during a week like this to keep me sane, and Ignant delivered the goods. Take a glance at the site sometime, there's plenty of gorgeous art to consume and be inspired or relaxed by.

Cheers,

~Mike