Edition 38: Music is good for the soul

A playlist for getting sh*t done

(I’m off this week and next, visiting family and taking care of a few things, so this newsletter is a little shorter and less essay-ish than usual.)

I split my time in weird ways these days. I spend part of it mentoring, part of it writing, part of it researching. 

My mind needs to task switch a lot, and I have a hard time finding words when they’re being poured into my head. Working remotely means I’m often at home or at a coffee shop, and while I love the ambient noise, finding my focus and zoning out isn’t always the easiest when the couple next to you is having a tragic and fascinating heart-to-heart.

So, I’m sharing with you my favorite working playlist

Here’s what you’ll find in there:

  • Lots of jazz and modern instrumental
  • African funk
  • Hip hop in other languages

You will not find too much chill, zen music in there. That kind of stuff is great for the pool, but it doesn’t keep my mind moving forward enough for work. If there’s words, they’re in foreign languages because not knowing what someone is saying, but hearing the emotion is a great motivator for me and tends to propel my train of thought, rather than derail it with a great turn of phrase.

Many thanks to the people who have contributed to this playlist over the year, many of whom have much better musical taste than I do. 

What do you listen to when you’re trying to be creative?


I’ve been using And.Co for awhile to invoice, time track and send proposals to freelance clients. It’s well-designed and really nice to use. 

I’m pretty bad and had been using a contract borrowed from a friend from years ago. And.Co lets you customize their template with awesome things like a harassment clause and more. I’m also really impressed with their support, which is very human and answers on weekends.

All this, and it’s free.

Reading // Eating // Using // Watching
I am slightly revamping this section. Do you like it? Hit reply and let me know.

Reading //
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss // Adding so many books to my Goodreads because of “favorite opening line” threads on Reddit //  I have a good notebook system, but I still read this article on the Strategist about planners //

Eating //
The husband requested I put this Korean bulgogi-inspired bolognese from NYT Cooking into regular rotation. Maybe use less soy sauce than the recipe says, but it’s delicious over rice or pasta.

Watching //
Haven (Netflix), loosely based off of a Stephen King story, and a decent mindless SyFy show.