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Welcome to Morning Notes!

Jordan Harrod
Jordan Harrod
4 min read

Hi, it's Jordan Harrod! If you're recieving this, it's because you originally signed up for my Substack newsletter, which has been on hiatus for the past few months as I worked through what the future of the newsletter might look like and how to make both a sustainable effort for me and a useful part of your inbox.

Before I get into what this newsletter is, why I switched over from Substack, and what you can expect going forward, I want to start by saying that you can unsubscribe from my newsletter at any time via your account here. From there, simply sign in using your email (you'll recieve a link to login), click your profile image in the bottom right, and turn off subscriptions. I highlight this at the top because I know that I've effectively opted y'all into this transition by default, and not everyone wants another email in their inbox.

❓What are Morning Notes?

Over the past few months, I've fallen into a bit of a mindful productivity content rabbit hole. From the The Obstacle Is The Way (💲), to Ali Abdaal, to Ness Labs, I've discovered a wide range of different mindful productivity strategies and apps that have helped people around the world increase their productivity without compromising their mental health, something I've certainly struggled with in the past and found particularly challenging over the past year.

Most of these tools have turned out to not be that useful for me, but one that I've come back to every time I sit down at my desk in the morning are morning notes. For about 5-10 minutes, I'll write down whatever thoughts happen to be bouncing around in my head, offloading those ideas so that my mind is clear enough to approach the work I've planned for the day while still keeping a record of those ideas that I can reference in the future.

In the context of this newsletter, Morning Notes will be a weekly snippet of the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head that week, from algorithmic fairness, emerging technologies, and the intersections of my experiences with ADHD, mental health, and productivity. I'll be sharing tips and advice based on my experiences and reflections, as well as the content that has informed my ideas, from books, to videos, to articles, to podcasts.

❓Why Couldn't You Do This on Substack?

The Short Answer: I felt like I'd already limited myself on Substack and wanted to start fresh with a new system.

The Longer Answer: About two years ago, I changed the name of my YouTube channel from everydAI to Jordan Harrod. I wanted to cover topics that didn't fall squarely under "Artificial Intelligence", but I felt like the original channel name limited the scope of the topics that I could cover. And while this change helped me feel more comfortable tackling a wider range of topics, I've realized over the past few months that I'm effectively a different person on every platform. On YouTube, I'm technical and impersonal, on Instagram, I'm your average grad student, on Twitter, I'm a tech news commentator, and so on.

To be clear, this isn't necessairly a bad thing. In fact, the nature of each platform inherently highlights different parts of a user's persona. But in my case, none of these personas feel particularly authentic, and I've increasingly been unhappy with the feeling of being limited to making certain types of content. So, in an effort to be more authentic to who I actually am and make content that I actually enjoy creating, I've been working on redesigning my "brand" to be more consistent and authentic across all the different places you can find me on the internet. And at the end of the day, using Substack didn't feel particularly authentic for a relatively casual newsletter that I don't plan to monetize via memberships/subscriptions*.

❓What's Next?

Currently, the plan is to send weekly newsletters on Fridays for the foreseeable future. I'll say now that I'll do my best to be consistent, but there will likely be weeks that I skip for work/life reasons. You'll always be able to find past issues on my website even if you're not subscribed, and if you have any questions or things you'd like to share, you can always ping me on social media or shoot me an email.

*Affiliate links will be labeled with a 💲 following the link

☀️This Week's Snippets

Normally this is where I'd share snippets of the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head that week, but considering the wall of text above this, I'll wrap this up by leaving some recommendations of content that caught my eye this week.

👂🏽Listening To: You're Wrong About - I think I recommended this podcast twice in the four or five substack newsletters that I sent, and I'm bringing it up again here. Specifically, their latest episode on the McDonalds Hot Coffee Case and the preceeding episode on Murphy Brown vs Dan Quayle.

📖 Reading: Exhalation by Ted Chiang (💲) - h/t to Thomas Frank for recommending this book to me! It's a compilation of tech-focused science fiction stories, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in technofuturistic fiction or artificial intelligence.

🎥 Watching: Schitts Creek - My mom has been trying to get me to watch this show for literal years, but I kept putting it off until about two months ago when she literally sat me down at my grandparents house and made me watch the first two episodes. She was right.

🧠 Quote of the Week:

"Build a life that you don’t need to escape from." - Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday (💲)

That's all for this week! If you enjoyed this newsletter, consider sharing it with a friend. And if you haven't already subscribed, you can do so here.

Thanks for reading! ❤️ - Jordan