Tim Brown

Hey there! 👋 Tim Brown here. This newsletter is very occasional and includes a mix of both professional & personal things.

More about me: tbrown.org 
October 14, 2022

Breath of the Wild 🏔️

Earlier this year, I wrote about freeing time. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done professionally. It both energizes and calms me, and I end up making things I’ll use later. Just this week, in multiple meetings, I shared things I wrote and sketched months ago. They were already there, set aside during freeing time, waiting for t...
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October 11, 2022

The Artist, the Architect, and the Advisor ♻️

Today, I want to tell you a very short story about three friends — we’ll call them the Artist, the Architect, and the Advisor. First, briefly, some context. Generative machine learning models are a new kind of creative material, part of the next wave, and the force of this material is already starting to reshape the landscape of design...
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April 4, 2022

Patience 🧘

Patience helped. 😅 I recently set a quarterly goal to share more on Twitter — specifically work stuff, from my @typesetting account. I thought I’d break the ice by paraphrasing bits of Flexible Typesetting as threads, so that’s what I started doing. It felt so good to share! I could see that people were appreciating and saving the info...
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April 3, 2022

Freeing time ☺️

Recently I caught up with my friend Robin Rendle, who encouraged me to write more. So I thought I’d share a few words now and not stress about it so much. (Part of what causes me not to write is worrying that the thoughts I would share are not valuable enough — or not shared in the right places. Should I publish this to Hey World, or w...
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June 11, 2021

Sipping and studying ☕️

Some books are for sipping and I’ve written about this before, so I’m not going to write about it again yet. But I thought of it just now as I carried a five pound book up from my desk in the basement to my chair in the living room where I often study for a few minutes at a time, mostly in the evening but sometimes on lovely afternoons...
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June 4, 2021

Polywork ✅

Behold, some of what I have been doing. A couple issues ago I talked about not making time to update my website — well, along came Polywork. I love the idea of making plain that we are more than our job titles, commits, and tweets. Personal websites can do this, but a network that focuses on open-ended milestones and encourages us to s...
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May 23, 2021

Playlists and an idea 🎧

Took advice from Headspace and created music playlists to go with the different ways I spend time. Based on my previous idea of working modes, I have playlists for fielding, focusing, and freeing. Used all three this past week to good effect. * * * Woke up early the other morning with an idea for a short book. I’ve had this in mind for...
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April 28, 2021

What I’m doing lately 🧑‍💻

Conference talks, demos, utilities, articles ... during my 18-year(!) career, I’ve been able to work on side projects like these regularly. One of my favorite side projects is my personal website. I found a little time a few months ago to tinker with the way it looks. I like it. What I haven’t made time to do is share many updates abou...
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April 1, 2021

Working modes 🎮

A while back, on Twitter, I shared some thoughts about how I spend time working. “For years I’ve noticed distinct periods of time when I am either “focusing” (concentrating hard on one project) or “fielding” (coming up for air, assessing the landscape of needs). Today I decided to name them. Names might help me be more intentional in t...
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March 14, 2021

Opening some parentheses

I work with a dozen different teams. Some more than others, depending on the pace/schedule of projects and the collaboration model. Most days I have no meetings, or a few short meetings, and lots of unscheduled time. Other days, my calendar is completely packed. I would say the ratio is 50/50. Good meetings are like tiny milestones so ...
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March 6, 2021

Peas on Friday

Another day in the books but I worked too hard, like yesterday. Eileen is very supportive but I can’t keep it up like this. I have a great manager and a great team, we’ll ease it up somehow, but it’s a tall order. The projects are all important and engaging. Man, even this note is all about work! Peas. That’s what I started with. Peas ...
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March 5, 2021

Hey world

Publishing a blog/newsletter through HEY seems like a pretty fun idea, so I’m giving it a try. Because of the way HEY is designed, I feel good using it for email. And I feel good right now too, writing this note. :) I’ve made design tweaks to my website, but I haven’t posted anything in a long time. Only so many hours in the day. Been ...
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