Work Notes #20

Last Saturday, I wanted to write a new issue of my newsletter, “DigitalThought” (subscribe here), and I juggled around different ideas. Finally, I decided to go with the current state of being overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. As I was writing, I suddenly realized what the problem was: Negative White. The online magazine I founded over ten years ago had become something that was always itching in the back of my head.

So, I had to admit: It was no longer possible to keep going forward with this project. At least for now. That’s why I decided to close it down on Sunday. The next issue of my newsletter will further explain the reasons for that decision, and I will unveil some of my learnings from those past ten years. So be sure to subscribe (yes, shameless self-promotion).

Besides this significant event, the usual work awaited me. I had to start discussing the setup for our UX project, where I’m responsible for looking at the article level. There were the weekly calls for project Diamond and daily business to keep track of.

However, two meetings sparked a special joy. On Tuesday, I meet with the project leaders of a new joint venture by two publications within our sister company. They wanted to learn more about the human-centered journalism approach that we drive at We had an engaging and fruitful exchange. Some might find meetings a drag, but if they’re like this one, they’re just inspiring.

And, finally, on Thursday, we once again did the Team Canvas for our Community team since our new colleague joined last week. We blocked a whole morning to do the canvas. Once again, this tool was highly useful in starting a discussion. We talked about our values, needs, expectations, and goals. And we aligned in our ways of working. I can urge everyone to do this with their teams. 

This week, I learned (again)…

  • that letting go isn’t easy. Nevertheless, I should trust my gut and admit my limits even if it’s painful. Ultimately, the decision is a good one.
  • that taking dedicated time to talk about culture and value is crucial in building a trusting team.