Since the early 1990s, people have been using the transfer protocols of the World Wide Web to share ideas and document their lives.
The wealth of information that has since been (and continues to be) shared online affords anyone with an internet connection the opportunity to travel beyond their limited lived experiences and tap into the knowledge of others.
The networked world provides us with the chance to expand our spheres of influence and directly choose the stream of inputs that shape our thoughts and actions. By choosing to expose ourselves to a wide variety of ideas, the writing of others can introduced new insights, tools and practices into our lives that will shape our future self.
Asked by a few friends to share my favourite sources of information online, I've compiled this short list of recommended reading which should provide a few rabbit holes to fall down.
Newsletter for discovering interesting ideas in the world of technology and business. Packy does a great job to break down complex topics from the perspective of a non-expert who has done enough reading to explain things to newcomers while avoiding presenting ideas in an overwhelming and unapproachable way. Each post is a deep dive (20-25min articles) that builds a comprehensive argument on topics ranging from NFTs and the creator economy to company spotlights and imagined mergers/acquisitions.
The essays on Farnam Street do a great job of distilling ideas as a gateway to further reading - books, mental models and frameworks from interesting and inspiring people. Whenever I came across a new term on a Podcast I was listening to or blog post I was reading, my curiosity would bring me to a Google search page that inevitably had a Farnam Street post as one of the top results. Ever since I added fs to my RSS feed, it has become a stream that surfaces new ideas and topics to incorporate into my life.
Recommended reading: Mental Models, 12 Life Lessons From Mathematician and Philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota
Paul Graham founded Y Combinator, the startup accelerator that helped launch companies including AirBNB, Twitch and Reddit amongst others. Graham is a great writer and thinker who draws from his experiences to talk about passion, technology, business, creating, productivity, writing and above all, choosing to do good work. Startup founders all are a bit crazy in one sense or another and I think that has given Graham a lot of life advice to share from the things he's witnessed.
Anne-Laure writes about mindful productivity, answering the question: “How can we make the most of our lives without sacrificing our mental health?” Every article is concise, supported with research and full of actionable takeaways to be mindful and intentional about self-improvement.
No introduction needed. The blog that became Atomic Habits - necessary reading for anyone interested in taking control of their life and becoming more intentional with how they live.
Recommended reading: The Beginner's Guide to Deliberate Practice
Tiago Forte is a productivity machine. His posts are in depth explanations exploring how we can design systems for learning, thinking and doing that align with our intended outcomes. His systems for Personal Knowledge Management and digital organisation have inspired the way that I take notes and retain + put to use the ideas I come across.
Recommended reading: The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information
A series of essays written in 2014 that act as both biography and crystal ball for how the development of software has consumed (and will continue to consume) the networked world that we now find ourselves in. A great introduction to the processes and frameworks that continue to drive rapid development in in software and technology. If this doesn't get you excited in learning more about the startup world, I don't know what will, but even for those not interested, there are a lot of models that can be applied to how one chooses to live.
Recommend reading: Tinkering versus Goals
David Perell writes about everything, but some of his best essays center around the future of work & education, interesting aspects of culture and the process of writing itself. I read David's Ultimate Guide to Writing Online the week before I started this blog and it was the straw that broke this Camel's back. The week after, I shared my first post.
Recommended reading: Why You Should Write
Erik Torenberg founded On Deck which provides a suite of courses for developing skills that take advantage of opportunities provided by the internet. He writes a weekly newsletter where he breaks down viewpoints of himself and others on: the state of education & work, business & startups, markets & society amongst other things.
Nat Eliason writes about marketing, creativity, productivity and life/work on the internet. He wrote another one of the posts that inspired this blog (How to Start a Blog that Changes Your Life) and continues to deliver interesting ideas after moving on from the marketing agency he founded.
Recommended reading: Improving Idea Flow
Brandon Zhang is a student at Columbia University who hosts an interview podcast where he talks to online creators and dissects their thought-processes and all the nuances in their life. Brandon asks great questions and his podcast introduced me to a lot of the creators who work I now follow. Even though he has since been on hiatus from writing after shifting focus toward Twitter and his Podcast, his past writing definitely warrants a read.
Recommended reading: Reading with Intention
Salman not only writes great essays and stories about creativity, learning and passion, he also illustrates the whimsical illustrations that go along with them. His weekly newsletter is one of the highlights of my week and his many pursuits are an inspiration for how I want to live my life unencumbered by one restricted area of interest.