June 14, 2021•641 words
Coming back to Listed has been very refreshing these past few days. I noticed quite the aesthetic refresh for our Listed blogs, and it looks great. The default theme is still very light and loads very fast. I can't say enough about Listed and Standard Notes.
I'd like to highlight the efforts of Mo Bitar who's the founder and creator of Listed and Standard Notes. He's created a killer app that puts privacy and security first, while also making intentional choices around his product. Listed is a great way for an everyday somebody to share their thoughts and showcase their creativity without needing to know how to create a website.
I've interacted with Mo and even did some ghost writing for him back in the day (like way back in 2019). Mo is an amazing individual and from what I experienced in working for him is that he seems to approach life in the same way he approaches Standard Notes and Listed. Simple (as in straightforward, no extra complication), well thought out, and most of all, intentional. His writing is nothing short of brilliant, thought he'd probably deny that. But it is. That's why I linked to his Listed blog earlier in the post.
Mo is a true "creator of value" in that he brings immediate value to what he's created, and keeps improving it over time. Not for the sake of change in and of itself, but because there's a new feature or back-end capability that brings even more value to the product. However, his writing brings value as well.
We get a glimpse inside the mind of someone who really has mixed creativity, problem-solving, technical abilities, and dare I say a philosophical approach into the things he does. I remember when I was doing some writing projects for him, I used to have to rush to get my emails over to him before a certain time in the late morning. That was because after that certain time, he was done checking emails. Done with the distraction of not just mine, but everyone's emails, until the next day.
To me, that was profound. And he showed me, although probably unbeknownst to him, that you can compartmentalize your day. Mo made email an activity, with a start and an end. Not a day-long process switching from background to foreground to background again, ready and willing to interrupt at any time. By making something like email an activity, so much time and energy are freed up. That freed time and energy can go into more creative things. Productive things. Personal and relationship things. All the things.
I've written about Standard Notes and Listed before. Here on my own blog, and through ghostwriting projects for the product. I still stand by my gratitude for the product and grateful for Mo, it's creator. I really enjoyed working on his projects, and he gave me a shot at writing when no one else would.
So, I think today's lesson is that in order to see differences, both good and bad, you need to step away for a bit, however long that bit may be. Mo steps away from email at a specific time every day. I stepped away from blogging for much longer, I must admit. But the stepping away was refreshing, and allowed me to see differences in my writing, how cool the new Listed site looks, and enabled me to enjoy sitting at the computer and writing out thoughts and feelings again.
When we're too close to something, even invested to an obsessive degree, we lose sight of the things that are important. And that's how one person's email schedule taught me about learning to step away. Anything truly important will still be there when I come back, except I'll be refreshed and ready for what's needed of me while doing that thing.