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Time saved multipled by the number of times we save it

Every time we create a better system for doing what we do, we save time exponentially.

It’s not just about the one hack that saved 20 minutes when we didn’t have a second to spare, it’s about what systems can do for future efficiency. All of a sudden, one solution multiplies time saved by the number of times you save it.

Ts = time saved, TsF = time saved in future.

The equation is… Ts x # of TsF = X (total efficiency)

Now we’re talking about total efficiency continuously expanding because of one solution or system.

If we’ve solved a problem once, why put ourselves in a position to have to solve it again? Whether email templates, chrome extensions, lists, workflows, calendars, or anything else, we have a lot to gain by eliminating wasted movement.

If you’ve come across any systems, solutions, apps, or anything else that has limited the need to solve for an issue again, please, hit reply and let me know about it!

I’ll get us started with one…

Over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of Boomerang for Gmail. It allows you to schedule emails as well as have them ‘boomerang’ back to your inbox after a designated period of time. Instead of juggling who you need to follow up with in your head, Boomerang does it for you.

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Biggie Stardust

I love when ideas, people, or art bounce out of their category and co-mingle with something just as timeless & beautiful from a completely different category.

When I was walking around at the Renegade Craft Fair a few weeks ago, I saw Biggie Stardust and had to have it. (Is that freakin’ awesome or what?!)

Both comforted by a palette that would put these two geniuses together and impressed by the illustration itself, I’ve been thinking more about the energy of curating differences as opposed to similarities. The subject or style might not be the same but perhaps there’s a philosophy, approach, or vibe that aligns seemingly odd pairs.

Maybe we should be looking for similarities beneath the surface.

Maybe you’ll help me find them.

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7 people doing cool shit

These people are all charting new territory.

They show their colors, differentiate, embrace their unique perspective, and build cool shit that satisfies their thirst for life while making incredibly important contributions to the world.

You should know who these people are. Ev-approved.

AJ & Melissa Leon – these two are the badass couple behind Misfit Inc., the ‘professional troublemakers.’ I was familiar with their work before meeting them a year or so ago, and am constantly inspired by their ambition, dedication, and focus on social issues, equal access, and creative models for everything from community development to software. They do it all… at an incredibly high level.

Levi Baer – this guy is a dynamo. An educator, a speaker, a game maker & a dude who keeps your entire orbit more positive & potent. I’m lucky to collaborate with him regularly and am so thrilled about the ways he engages his students, friends, and colleagues in raising our collective game by communicating & building more collaboratively & openly.

Kamilah Rashied – she’s a quadruple threat. A curator, community builder, a SHero, and an activist, it’s been my pleasure to get to know this incredibly talented woman over the past few months. She’s helping the Art Institute evolve their Community Outreach in the most incredible of ways, and her dedication to art, Chicago, and the way we collectively weave the two together is truly inspiring.

Chad Little & Leonard Hollander  – the dudes behind Arbor Projects, the restaurant, cafe, and bar located next to IPaintMyMind Gallery in the Green Exchange building. Their creativity and love for all things culinary keeps their space and offerings continually full of experimentation, innovation, and most importantly, amazing flavors.

Jeffrey Davis – a poet, a creative businessman and the head honcho of Tracking Wonder which helps authors brand & launch their books, Jeffrey is one of the most heart-centered, gracious, creative, and intelligent people I have ever known. I’ve known him for 3 years now after meeting at Camp GLP and it’s always a blast to see him every summer & pick up a bit of his juju.

If you’re ever in touch, let them know that I think they’re awesome.

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I’ll live forever now


  1. Click this link and press play in the Youtube video that appears.
  2. Then, come back to this page and read the first paragraph of lyrics while listening to the song.

‘Miss Nina Simone, Jimmy Jones
Missy Elliot musically were my relatives
Never forget my Andre
Papi mi casa es su casa
Baby I made an entrée
Maybe I make your moms plate
Maybe we not gon’ sleep tonight
In the night you and I laugh about how you Gemini
Already fried the chicken
But leftovers was my inner thigh
Nah I’m lying, I’m just playing
You can read this book with me
I’m trying to re-imagine abracadabra for poverty
Like poof I made it disappear
Proof I’m made of happiness
Everything is everything
But I still haven’t paid my rent
Ugly is ugly
So molly makes me joyful now
When I get down, I’m already up
Molly the water, I keep the drink in the cup
My druggy is druggy we just some kids out of luck
Ooooh they ain’t tryna’ see me shine my shine
A bullet on my time, my time
Fuck it, I’ll live forever now

As a society, what experiences do we inherently validate? Even more importantly, what experiences do we inherently invalidate?

Should we be judging the experience or the context that produced it?

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Let’s disagree

Let’s disagree

It’s easy to curate consent in the digital age.

Algorithms that batch & feed, the ability to unfollow “friends” on Facebook, and demographic grabbing advertisements that are all about how we label ourselves, and what we do or do not want to hear.

That goes from our latest purchase on Amazon to whatever political candidate currently causes us the most stress.

If we want to avoid anything contrary to our current belief, it’s a fairly simple exercise. What’s more, if we’re looking for proof of something, we can surely find it.

I’m probably guilty of it as much as the next person, but it’s given rise to a question about how to access information outside that which will merely confirm our biases. (It’s also made me think of a digital property that could be the solution, but I better keep that to myself for now.)

One media outlet that helps me check myself is The Economist. It’s always full of great information, supports a global citizen worldview, and gives plenty of insight into macroeconomic trends.

It’s also hilariously biased in favor of free markets, is borderline unethical in their manipulation of graphs & tables, and can’t help but lavishly romanticize capitalism of years past.

They’ve taken a stance and they’re out to prove it.

All in, I know they’re going to help me learn because I know how to decode the real info from the bullshit. I subscribe every other year, inevitably, because I need a break from the machinations of it all.

That said, I propose a resolution: when someone advocates for an idea contrary to our own (outside of racism, sexism, or any other -ism we have no lack of moral clarity on) lets invite them to tell us more, and ask them why, without condescension or sarcasm.

I don’t expect us to do it every time we hear something that seems far out, but it’s a good reminder for the certain, jaded, lummox in us all.

Even if that person doesn’t satisfy our curiosity, it’ll at least it give us a chance to listen and something new to research.

Let’s gain more perspective. Let’s disagree.



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Getting data quickly

Getting data quickly

Recently I’ve thought a lot about getting data quickly and the massive advantage in doing that. It’s about reducing the possible options to a more manageable number, and then being able to clearly discern a new way forward based on distilled information.

I recently drove around Chicago to potential locations for IPaintMyMind’s Shared Walls™ loaned art program. Instead of sending 4 emails to 6 locations over the course of 4 weeks, I was able to immediately eliminate three options in a single afternoon.

I reduced the time it took to figure out what locations were viable options from 4 weeks to 3 hrs.

Getting data quickly allows us to exponentially save time by efficiently discerning what we shouldn’t be working on.

This article talks about getting big data quickly, so it’s focused on the insights analytics provide us about our web traffic, but the same logic applies to any data set that helps us build or provide better solutions for our communities & customers.

How much more strategic impact can we affect if we’re obtaining vital data 2x, 5x, or 10x faster?

That said, let’s get our data fast, and soon.

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Back at it + a question for you

Back at it + a question for you

You might have been surprised to get a newsletter from me recently after a two month hiatus.

I’ve been pushing on a few projects that I’m excited to have made progress on (which I’ll tell you about soon), but I’m also stoked to get back to sharing and exploring with all of you.

I’ve been writing despite the slow publishing, so I’ve got plenty of nuggets to share & questions to ask.

In the meantime, I have a question for you and I’d love it if you took a second to reply… but no sweat if nothing comes to mind.

What’s the coolest, most edifying, or interesting article, story, or book you’ve read this summer? It can be about anything, from self-driving cars to a feature on synchronized swimming at the Rio Olympics! 

I’ll get back to you soon and enjoy the end of summer!

Be kind, stay curious…

– Ev

P.s. If you like art, photography, travel, great coffee, insane food & smiles, I’d love it if you’d follow me on Instagram. I just got back from New York and a camping trip at Chain O Lakes near Antioch, IL, so there’s plenty of street art and sunsets to peruse.


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