All past newsletters arranged in reverse chronological order

Empty phrases to describe your career

If you’re using the following words to describe your career, watch out for a fallacy. These words are so common in the workplace that we contract them without thinking what it really means.

“There is no growth” If you’re looking at growth from a promotion and hike point of view, you’ll always be disappointed because there’s always one more ladder to climb. Inside your head, define what ‘growth’ really means and evaluate against those.

“It’s not challenging” No job or role is challenging in itself. So if you think some other company or role is going to give you a challenge, it may not. If you want challenges, you’ll have to stretch your boundaries right where you are.

“I’m not passionate about this” Passion is overrated, at workplace, especially at the beginning of your career. Our first jobs are typically the ones we never imagined we’d be doing. But yet, here we are. For the first few years, just put your head down and work. If you do find your passion, devote some time to it as a side hustle.

These words gets thrown around very casually. They have become part of our workplace vocabulary but they may not be the accurate choice of words.

Next time you catch yourself using them, pause and think.

Random things I learnt/observed

1. As a creator, is consistency the only parameter to success? I worship consistency. I respect anyone who’s consistent. Until I saw this tweet. It got me thinking. There are ways to be successful without being consistent…at publishing. However, creators consistently need to put in the effort to their creations. As I write this, I’m clear in my head. Consistency is indeed king.

2. Take control of meetings that matter to you It’s easy to get stream-rolled in meetings. You have an idea but you struggle to voice it out because everyone else is p̶a̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶a̶t̶e̶l̶y̶, aggressively making their points. But, you must find a way to take control of meetins that matter to you. Don’t sit. Walk to that white board. Pick up a maker. Start taking notes. Act like a traffic cop, orchestrating the conversations.

For the meetings that don’t matter, I recommend scrolling Twitter.

Quote of the week

“Our words aren’t there to be read, savored, and appreciated, but to pass unremembered while they help get somebody to the thing they want” Torrey Podmajersky on UX Writing in Strategic UX Writing

The best UX writing is invisible

Book Recommendations

The Making of Prince of Persia

This one’s a collection of journal entries by Jordan Mechner, the maker of Prince of Persia in the 80s. A very personal account gives us an insight into the mind of a creator who isn’t sure about the his creators’ success.

Video of the week - Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

Tool of the week -

Okay, this one’s fun. I won’t tell you what it’s about. Go take a look.

#12 3 Unexpected Starts of 2021

When I published by Annual Review of 2020, I set myself a few goals. It’s end of March and I haven’t made progress on many. Instead, I picked up new goals. And that’s okay!

What I realised from my personal goal setting exercise is that personal goals cannot be set like a organisation goal. Personal goals are driven by intuition, emotion and complete serendipity. You cannot feel bad for not doing things you committed but instead picked up new ones. It’s okay! It’s alright! As long as you keep making progress, you’re fine.

Here are three new things I started in 2021 that wasn’t in my plan

I started making TikTok style videos I never get in front of the camera because I get awkward. I tried making videos in the past and sounded too pretentious so I hated it. One weekend, I was trying to make a ‘productivity’ video (h/t accountability partners - Praveen Ramesh & Akhilesh Subramanian) and I hated it. Since, I had the setup ready I just decided to make something funny and I shared it. Since then, I’ve made ten videos and I had fun doing them.

Actionable tip: If you want to do something and it seems daunting, set up the environment. In my case, I bought a tripod, AirPods and anything else until I ran out of excuses to make a video.

I started baking Baking wasn’t even remotely on my radar, not now, not ever. One night, I was watching baking videos on YouTube and out of impulse, I ordered a baking oven. Since then, I’ve made 3 batches of cookies and 2 batches of brownies. They were okay. I ate them all.

Actionable tip: There’s nothing that’s “not my thing”. Even if it mildly interests you, give it a shot. You might just end up enjoying it.

I started getting interested in No Code tools Okay, this one’s recent but I have a feeling that this one’s her to stay. There’s a lot of buzz on social about No-Code tools. I’ve always been skeptical of no-code tools because I thought they’re limiting. My blog is not on Wordpress or Wix (It’s on Jekyll) because I wanted the customisation. But, no-code tools (especially Bubble) are bloody powerful. I am kicking myself for not getting in early and I want to build at least one no-code app with 100 users by Q2

Actionable tip: Be ready to revisit things and change your opinions. Things get better over time. I always bought wired keyboards because I thought the latency is better. I bought the Logitech K480 and Logitech Pebble and it’s been good

You can read my full Annual Review along with 2021 goals here

Random things I learnt/observed

1. Now is a good time to start creating, tomorrow would be too late If you’re looking to make a living out of content creation, now is a good time. The early adopters of this game (David Perell, Ali Abdaal) are slowly showing everyone else how to do it. It is going to get so much harder to differentiate yourself and attract an audience. Without an audience, it becomes 10x difficult to make money. Find your niche before someone else finds that niche.

2. It’s not expensive to test product ideas any more Figma changed the game, No-Code tools are taking it to the next level. Organisations must be ready to have disposable designs and prototypes useful only to test ideas. If you’re truly embracing agile, then use these tools quickly test ideas and get feedback

Quote of the week

“A brave man isn’t someone who doesn’t experience any trace of fear whatsoever but someone who acts courageously despite feeling anxiety.” read on The Little Book of Stoicism

Book Recommendations

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in 5 days

This one’s for the makers. If you’re trying to get from idea to product, this book will help you

Video of the week

Tool of the week - Workano

Worknao is a tab manager on Chrome (and Chromium based) browsers. It helps you organise tabs into projects and add resources/task. The idea is to easily context switch. Very useful while researching

#11 - Content as an attraction channel

There are two ways to network on the internet. You find something interesting, you reach out to them and you establish a connection. Let’s call this the outreach way.

Then there’s the much better way, the attraction way.

You don’t go anywhere. You stay where you are and you attract people towards you by posting your ideas online. You could write blogs, create videos or make comics. You sort of build your own personal community unified around your ideas. The more you post online, the more you attract people.

Your content could be your primary audience building lever. For that to happen, you just have to be consistent with your content.

Post your ideas online. Start with Twitter.

Random things I learnt/observed

1. Think of Twitter as your public idea repository Somehow, Twitter makes it feel like anyone could talk to anyone. To me, it’s more than ‘social media’. Most people don’t post on social media because they think “What will my friends say?”, “What will my colleagues say?” Your worst tweets are just ignored, it’s not the worst thing to happen. Start documenting your ideas publicly and let serendipity do its thing. Likes and RTs are bonus, not the goal. Posting consistently, that’s the goal.

2. The purpose of communication is to communicate and not be grammatically accurate. Grammar is important, no doubt, but the goal is to communicate effectively. If English isn’t your primary language, you should be appreciated just for communicating in a language that you don’t speak at home. And you find that the world is far more forgiving about the rules of English if you have something valuable to say. What’s right in the UK is wrong in the US and English serves them both equally well.

Quote of the week

“Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft” - Ed Catmull in Creativity Inc

Book Recommendations


I’ve been rewatching Silicon Valley and it reminded me of Disrupted. Why? Because Dan Lyons (author of this book) is also one of the writers for the show. This book is HILARIOUS an anyone working in SaaS would relate to it. Unputdownable.

Video of the week - Spaced Repetition

Tool of the week - RemNote

If you’re looking for a free web based alternative to Roam Research, then consider Remnote. It’s also got spaced repetition functionality built in! It’s gotten much better since the last time I saw it.

#10 - Language Matters

If you’ve been working at an office for as long as I have, you’ll recognise rudeness in someone’s words even if the words themselves aren’t rude.Over the years, we’ve grown to accept it as “This is how an office environment is”, it doesn’t have to be.

A simple change in vocabulary could do wonders. Next time, try replace the usual phrases with the phrases below

“How’s it going?” instead of “Is it done?”

“I built on top of your idea” instead of “I made changes to your idea”

“I noticed something” instead of “There’s a mistake”

“Need more time?” instead of “Today was the deadline”

“Need some help with it?” instead of “Gentle reminder”

“Sharing this will lead to…” instead of “Don’t share this”

“Was this intentional?” instead of “Did you proofread this?”

“Take care of the situation” instead of “Clean up the mess”

“This is not your best work” instead of “This can be better”

“Need your help to unblock us” instead of “Bumping this up”

“We were waiting for you” instead of “We started without you”

“I need it because…” instead “I need it now!”

“This activity is blocked” instead of “I’ve been waiting for a week”

“Let me get you caught up” instead of “You missed the last meeting”

“Are you adding the examples?” instead of “Where are the examples?”

Random things I learnt/observed

1. Execution is in your control, outcomes aren’t When I started this newsletter (impulsively), I would check the number of subscribers everyday. Then, I stopped bothering because I realised that I had no direct way to impact that. Sure, I could share on Instagram and convince few people to subscribe but I wasn’t enjoying that process. So, I’ve just decided to put my head down and write every week without bothering about the numbers. At its worst, this would be my weekly public diary and that’s not a bad outcome to have.

2. Think of tools like cooking accessories I started baking. That’s where this epiphany comes from. When I started, I didn’t have any of the accessories like the measuring cup or mixer. I baked my first batch of cookies by eyeballing the ingredients and it turned out okay. For my third batch of cookies, I used measuring cups, bought all the ingredients and followed the recipe to the tee and it turned out slightly burnt and salty (I still ate it all). But, I had a much better experience cooking because I could measure accurately, and mix slightly easily.

The lesson here is this - tools can be categorised into must-haves (like oven, flour and chocolate), good-to-haves (measuring cups, ice cream mixer) and luxuries. As long as you have the essentials, you can get the job done. If you can afford the other tools, go for it - it definitely makes life easy.

Quote of the week

“It’s the author’s responsibility to find readers, no the reader’s responsibility to find the author” - James Clear, author of Atomic Habits (As heard on David Perell’s Write of Passage course)

Book Recommendations

The Psychology of Money

In the odd chance that you haven’t read it yet. If you grew up in India, relationship with money is more emotional than logical. It doesn’t have to be.

Video of the week

Tool of the week - Dualless


I highly recommend using a second monitor. If not, this tool might come in handy. This lets you divide your screen into different sizes so that you minimise the time spent on switching between screens

#9 Why (and how) to get started on a personal website

I always thought personal websites were kinda lame. I mean, who would create a website to write about themselves? That’s just so narcissistic.

How very wrong I was.

Turns out, it’s the most important digital asset you could own.

Imagine walking into an interview in 2010 without a resume. That’s exactly what it means to not have a website in 2020. It’s your online identity. A website could help you land your dream job. You could write, organise and showcase content about yourself.

Last week, I decided to collate all my blog posts on ITSM under a single page. You can see it here. This now becomes my credibility badge in the world of IT. Since I work in IT Service Management, I could use this to feature in industry publications, land podcast opportunities and even conference speaking slots. And, it took me 30 minutes to create.

Here are few actionable tips to get you started right now

1) Buy a personal domain Go to or and buy a personal domain. Preferably, dot . I prefer owning one domain with your name rather than multiple mini brands. Take it from me, I own 8 domains and I don’t know what to do with them.

2) Build a website Build a website with SquareSpace or Wix. Go for the most basic paid plan. If you can code, use WordPress or Jekyll. My website is on Jekyll because it gives me a lot of flexibility but the downside is that I need to code.

3) Write a Start Here page (Here’s mine as an example) This page is like your online home (h/t David Perell). Write about who you are, what you do and what you want to be known for. Link to your popular content. If you don’t have content yet, link to your tweets. No tweets? Start tweeting

4) Publish and update the link on your social media bios.

That’s a start.

Random things I learnt/observed

1. Your goals can change When 2021 started, I publicly committed to few goals here. I forgot about them but I’m glad I did. I’m not pursuing these goals but I serendipitously started pursuing few others. It’s hardly been 2 months and I’ve done things I never planned to do. As long as what you do makes you happy, it doesn’t matter if it’s what you planned to do

2. The only unconquerable challenge with global online communities is the time zone difference I’m grateful to online communities (Ness Labs, Write of Passage & Alex and books). They have a bunch of Zoom calls that I’m not able to make, thanks to mother nature. I fear this might be the unconquerable challenge in online communities.

Quote of the week

“Looking at the achievements of past greats is alternately inspiring and utterly discouraging” - The Daily Rituals

Book Recommendations

The Little Book of Stoicism

A good primer to Stoic philosophy. I’m new to the concept myself but I find it very interesting and actually applicable in our daily lives, unlike other philosophical teachings.

Video of the week - How Stoicism Made Me Happier

Tool of the week -

Okay, not technically a tool but I’m running out of tool recommendations! This is a nice little website I discovered. If you’re looking for content inspiration, this could help. First 5000 ideas are free, so take it for a spin.

#8 Why (and how) you should be making new friends online

I tweeted something last week and immediately regretted. While I haven’t changed my opinion about the core idea, I felt like I tweeted from a place of privilege.

“If you’re not meeting and connecting with new people on the internet right now, you’re missing out”

I grew up with the internet. I made more friendships online with people I’ve never seen from countries I’ve never been too. Somehow, making connections online seems far more easier to me than socialising at a party or a meetup. However, I’m wrong to assume that’s the case with everybody.

I wanted to stress on the fact that we really ARE missing out on something if we don’t connect with people on the internet. 2020 has great for me on that front. I discovered a lot of new people on Twitter and it led me down a “productivity-rabbithole” filled with episodes of note-taking, book reading and fun gadgets.

Fast forward to now, I’m part of a cohort based course called Write of Passage (grateful for a scholarship) where I get to interact with so many interesting people around the world.

I value connections that form over the internet because they are organic. You don’t connect with someone on the internet because you go to the same school, you live in the same neighbourhood or your parents know each other. You connect because both of you truly have something in common. It’s not the physical realm that binds you but the intellectual.

If you’re looking to connect with like minded people online, try these

1) Search for topics you’re interested in on Twitter with a maximum following of 5k. Browse tweets. Click on profiles that interest you. Follow them. Engage with them. DM them.

2) Pick a topic that interests you. Join a closed community. If you can, join a paid community. There are so many available.

3) If you’re shy, then create content. Keep creating content about a topic for long enough and you’ll start attracting like minded people towards you.

Happy connecting!

Random things I learnt/observed

1. Spending time to clean up your YouTube algorithm is worth it YouTube is a great way to discover new content. Their suggestion algorithm is really good if you spend some time to tune it. Spend time to review your home page and click on “Not Interested” to the videos that you don’t want to see.

2. It’s okay to get emotional about work For a long time, we’ve been told “it’s just work” but the truly passionate ones will know it’s stupid. For something that we think about for 60% of the day, it’s okay to get emotional.

Quote of the week

“…you can choose choices but not outcomes.” - Matt Haig from The Midnight Library

Book Recommendations

Daily Rituals

When we read about famous people, successful people, we always only get to know them at a macro level. This book has the daily rituals of few known names (many unknown ones), outlining everything they do from the time they wake up till they go to bed.

More Book Recommendations

Video of the week - How to write a book summary

If you have one hour (or 30 minutes in 2x), watch Tiago Forte summarise a book live. Insane skill to own.

How to Write a Book Summary - Tiago Forte

Tool of the week - Magnet


We don’t realise it but we waste a lot of time switching between windows. I use Magnet to arrange windows on my screen so that I minimise the time I spend moving between windows.

#7 - Worst Possible Thing to Happen When you Share your ideas Online

No one will see it.

That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Many of us don’t share online thinking “What if someone thinks it’s stupid?”. The truth is - no one cares enough to stop and think that.

The worst possible thing that can happen when you post your ideas online is that no one will see it. The best possible thing is that attract an audience. The downside is 0, upside is infinite.

Start posting your ideas online. If you’re looking for an easy & low resistance way to start, I wrote about Twitter as a thinking tool in one of the past newsletters

Random things I learnt/observed

1. Your productivity is directly linked to the efficiency of your system. You are more likely to browse Instagram while you wait for a page to load, a file to download or simply Google Chrome to open Gmail

2. There’s a lot of wisdom in personal conversation If you’re looking for content ideas, look within your serious text messages. A good conversation has so much insights. Don’t find anything? Find people to have good conversations with 😊

Quote of the week

As human beings we are naturally inclined to seek out immediate solutions to uncomfortable problems and prioritize quick wins to advance our ambitions - Simon Sinek from The Infinite Game

Book Recommendations

The Warren Buffett Way

I’m a stock market noob but it’s fascinating. I randomly purchased this book on Audible with the free credit. I expected to learn stock market techniques but instead I learned how to evaluate a business. Even if you don’t invest in stock market, the way Warren Buffett looks at a business is something all of us ought to know.

More Book Recommendations

Video of the week

All you need is a dime to write - David Perell

Tool of the week


Honestly, this tool doesn’t do much. You can capture an idea and send it to yourself. BUT, it’s helped me capture so many ideas ever since I installed. Why? Because it doesn’t do much. So least resistance.

I’ve linked to Things 3 and I quickly capture any idea that comes to me and I sort it out later in the day

#6 - How to take notes from books

For a long time, I used to think like this - “I want to read more.” This year, I realised how very wrong I was.

When I looked back at the books I read, I remembered nothing. It was as if I’m reading the book for the first time.

The problem is - we overestimate our memory. By merely consuming content, we assume that we’re taking in information. But the reality is that we retain very little of what we read.

That’s where note taking comes in handy. If you make it a habit to take notes while reading books, you can just revisit the notes to refresh your memory. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s how I do it

1) Highlight/note-down anything that makes sense 2) Categorise them into 3 - ideas, examples and stories Ideas - Anything completely new. Implementable. Useful in your life. New additions to your mental model Examples - Real world idea implementation. To support an idea Stories - Anecdotes. Generally interesting. You look smart by knowing them. 3) Give them relatable tags - eg. #product, #culture, #hiring

Whenever you need wisdom, just revisit your notes and filter by the tags

I use Readwise & Roam Research for this workflow but you could do it with a simple note taking app

P.S There’s a lot of wisdom on note taking but I like this one

Quote of the week

Almost all modern work requires personal organization - Dan Charnas from Work Clean

Book Recommendations

Thinking in bets by Annie Duke

We tend to think of life like chess, with predictable moves and set rules. In reality, life is like poker. No matter how great your hand is, certain things are always left to chance.

Read this book to get comfortable by thinking in bets rather than thinking in an if-then-else algorithm

Video of the week

Tool of the week - Scapple

I call this a visual ideation tool but you might find it to be just a mindmapping tool. This tool helps you when you have raw ideas in your head and you want to map them out. You can move things around and you’ll be able to see patterns forming. Whenever I have an abstract thought in my head, I turn to Scapple.

It’s also easy to communicate a complex idea. Eg, this is my Twitter header where I have a map of everything I tweet about