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Keeping a Notebook

Like many other web developers, I’ve built myself a blog more than once, then didn’t write in it.

I started keeping my Notebook about a month ago. It’s definitely the most continuous blog I’ve ever kept.

With other blogs, I internally would set this high bar that everything on my blog needed to be perfect—a long-lasting, authoritative institution of a webpage. Why would I want to publish something that’s not perfect?

(Because I don’t have time or care enough for that!)

The Notebook format is just like publishing GitHub Gists. They’re self-contained, Markdown-files-turned-webpages.1

With Notebook, I often publish a post within 30 minutes of thinking of it. I open Drafts, start writing, re-read/edit, then publish.2

Sometimes I want to write about how I’m a big iPad nerd. Sometimes it’s about my design philosophy. Sometimes it’s thoughts on gender experience. My Notebook isn’t an Apple blog, a design blog, or a gender blog. It’s my place to publish on the internet.

There are no comments, & I don’t feel any judgement about what I post.3 I’m not putting my thoughts into the feeds of a thousand people I’m scared of disappointing. I can just be me. If no one reads it, or if a post were to go viral, I don’t especially care either way.

There’s a much lower bar to “writing in my notebook” than “publishing on a blog”4—especially when that’s a site I don’t think very many people look at. I can get something out quickly, without feeling like it needs to be perfect. Posts are written exactly the way I speak. They have a date, but no timestamp.

If people are curious what I’m thinking about or working on, it’s public here. Or if it’s just a quick document I want to share, I can put that here. Sometimes I write several posts, one after another. I don’t set expectations about what you’ll get or how often or why. It’s just me. This is my Notebook.


  1. I love being able to publish a decent-looking webpage on my own domain super super easily! Gatsby + MDX is amazing.
  2. If I can’t/don’t want to write a post immediately, I keep a short list (in Things, before someone asks) of ideas. Honestly though, I’m way less likely to write a post if it sits on that list for a bit than if I’ve just had the idea & run with the spark.
  3. Including the fact that I want to use footnotes kind of often, so I do.
  4. Though this is pretty roughly a blog, I like @jxnblk on non-traditional journals.
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