Some things to do in 2020

Here is a selection of things I hope to spend time reflecting and acting on throughout the year. Previous iterations of this look-forward have ranged from vague to specific: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Vague seems more fun, as is posting this when it’s ready rather than on the first of the year.

Reclaim email. I’ve spent some time over the last several days clicking “unsubscribe” on almost every automated email I receive.

It’s funny to think that it didn’t take long for email to go from a cool useful tool we used to communicate with each other to a thing primarily used by marketers to keep us constantly tracked and informed.

I’d like to find something closer to a world in which I thought about Brands when I needed something rather than a constant stream of Brands.

The second part of reclaiming email is deciding when it should be a part of my life. I’m blessed—🙄—with 3 email addresses that require some amount of daily attention. My current way of dealing with this is to leave each open in its own pinned tab so that they’re available to me throughout the day.

I just closed those pinned tabs and will determine a different workflow for when to check and process email. My guess is that it will have something to do with a schedule. We’ll see what that turns into.

A bonus level to this is tackling the mess that Slack, “the constant email”, has become.

Support independence. I spend a lot of time reading peoples’ updates on a single company’s platform. I spend an outsize amount of money on another single company’s platform.

When I buy books, I’m starting to spend time looking for the source rather than relying on Amazon. This has been a pleasant experience that has started to lead me toward a more diverse set of books in general. As my familiarity with smaller presses goes up, so does my awareness and happiness.

I also finally started supporting a couple small publications via Patreon or Substack last year. These are some of the most useful and enjoyable to me and I’d like to keep finding them.

And I’m continuing to dive into the world of IndieWeb. I’m going to make that a priority throughout the year. Our first local gathering is just over a week from now and I’m looking forward to seeing where that takes me.

Support community. I’m getting more and more frustrated with the idea of everything needing to be “big” or work at “scale”. While I haven’t identified anything concrete yet, I think there are community sized issues that can be approached without a reliance on big.

There will likely be a correlation between the independence I support and the communities I support. Or, maybe: I want independence to be something communities have access to.

My idea of independence in this context is something along the lines of “the community has access to the tools it needs to communicate”.

I could keep rephrasing this for a while, but however it works out and whatever it means, I’ll spend more time on community.

Happy 2020, y’all! 🎉

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