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DESK of Tobias van Schneider
Hi Isidro
Welcome to the 130th edition of this email.
Tobias, why haven't you written in weeks?

Hey Isidro

Last time I wrote to this weekly email list was in the first week of April. It's been the longest break so far, and I guess I really needed it. The past couple weeks and even months have been a challenging and introspective time for me on a personal level. It's difficult to go too much into detail, but in essence, the feeling of being a stranger in my own life isn't something I deal with on an everyday basis. Maybe the absence of writing (which is a way of thinking, sorting through my own thoughts) has influenced to this overall state. It's a process, after all.

In my last email I've mentioned to you a couple thoughts on the future of this email list and asked for your input by filling out a couple questions. And wow, I got so many replies I'm still overwhelmed. THANK YOU SO MUCH! While I still haven't read every single reply (around 2000 replies) and with the help of my editor Lizzy, we've managed to get a good grasp on the overall theme and mood of these answers.

Asking you for your input surprised me and opened my eyes. Where I expected you (the reader) to be very specifically interested in a certain topic, the majority of replies I've gotten suggested something different. Most readers told me to embrace the randomness and that "every email should feel like a surprise". I also did not expect that so many readers appreciate these personal updates much more than a well prepared article about a certain topic such as design or business advice. Out of all replies, it became very clear to me that personal updates and a sense of randomness is much more appreciated than I initially thought myself.

After much thinking, here is what we're going to do with this email list:

1. Embrace the unexpected in every aspect

This can mean many things, but first and foremost it means that I'll embrace the fact that you enjoy more random topics and personal updates. Embracing the unexpected also means that I'll not hold myself to write this email every Sunday night, but whenever I feel like is a good time. It will be a surprise in your inbox, either once a week, multiple times a week or even less than that. Of course, for productivity purposes (because I know myself) I will come up with some sort of schedule and structure.

2. Close new sign ups

I've already removed links to this email list everywhere a couple weeks ago. I'll now officially close down new sign ups to this email list, meaning it won't be able to grow beyond of what it is, and most likely become even smaller and more focused.

I'd like this all to feel a bit more special and personal, and as part of that I believe it is a good idea to close public sign ups and make this list invite only from now on. Of course, you can can still unsubscribe at any time (see footer of this email). If I'll open sign ups up again publicly is up for question, but I just like the idea of making this more exclusive and focused. As of now, we're around 35.000 people on this email list.

3. Work through your wish-list of articles

As part of the 2000 replies I got, there were many more specific things readers asked me to write about, many of things great ideas and things I'd love to share with you. My editor (Lizzy) and I will take this as a to-do list and sprinkle articles related to your questions and topic suggestions into some of these future emails. I'll also open up a way to make sure there is a chance for more dialogue with you and a more streamlined way for you to ask questions or suggest topics you like to hear about from me.

4. Less web-versions & more personal things

I've previously used this email list to share article drafts with you before they appeared on my blog. I will still occasionally do this but in part of making this email list more closed and personal, I'll not provide web & shareable versions for everything. I'll still post some, or mostly different kind of articles on my blog, but things shared via my email list should feel a bit different. I of course know that I can't prevent anyone from sharing this email, and I even encourage it if you like to forward this email to a friend.

I believe these changes mentioned above should be a first good step in making this email list come to life again. I've enjoyed writing for you over the last couples years and there is no reason to stop it now. But I welcome a bit of change.

BIG thank you again for reading, and especially to those who've been supporting this email list and been reading from the very beginning, I feel honored to be on this journey with you.

Keep creating & talk soon

PS: I am cleaning up this email list in the next couple days, which means I will remove inactive subscribers. Sadly, the way to do this is technically a bit weird and sometimes people get removed even though they've been active. If you are not receiving any emails from me within the next 4 weeks, please reach out on Twitter or via email so I can re-add you. But I will make sure to be careful with cleaning up the list, I wish it would be easier too. (:
Tobias van Schneider
Yours truly,
Tobias van Schneider
P.S. <3
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