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Designer, writer, teacher. I love building things.

Five Books in 2021 Journal, Issue #15

I ran a zine called Plebe in the 90s, then brought it back in 2014. I’ve done ten issues of the new Plebe since then, so I’m going to combine them into one volume and that will be my second book (out of five planned!) this year.

I could write…

Five Books in 2021 Journal, Issue #14

Tomorrow I’m going to give my son a book for his birthday. I’ve been working on it for the past year, and now it’s finally done. Today I was asked by a friend if I was “willing to share the table of contents and any thoughts you have about structure…

I did a stupid thing

I loved my time at Twitter. I worked there for nearly four years starting in 2014. Most people probably remember me as being very high energy, very talkative, and pretty positive. I was really happy to be there, and I let everyone know it.

Then in 2019 I decided I’d…

Notes from backstage

The startup where I work is going to launch their product to the world this week. As I write this, our website hasn’t yet been updated, the software isn’t widely available, and our only users are beta testers. But soon we’ll step out on stage, and that will all change…

Lots and lots of people like dark mode on their phone. I’m glad they have the option, because a lot of people find it more comfortable. But I’d like to explain what it’s like for someone like me. White text on a black background gives me a headache in about thirty seconds. If I try to suffer through it, it can give me a migraine. It’s awful.

Imagine if reading a few lines of text could throw off your entire day. That’s what the dark mode phenomenon is doing to some of your users if you don’t give them the choice to select a different theme. I’ve skipped articles and stopped using software because of a forced black background. No headache is worth it. I may not be in the majority, but I’m not the only one, either.

Five Books in 2021 Journal, Issue #13

The first book is done! It will be here in a few weeks. But I’m not really feeling as excited as I was hoping I would. That was really hard! Even for someone who knows that creative projects are always harder than you expect.

“The first 90% is fun. The…

Memories of 9/11

When Covid hit, and everyone was glued to the news, we all learned a lot about health care together. That’s how 9/11 felt too. When the towers were still rubble in Manhattan, and the smoke still filled the air, we all jumped on the internet and began doing research. Who…

Five Books in 2021 Journal, Issue #12

Today I got a copy of my first book in the mail. In issue #8, I talked about how the previous version was much too small. This one feels much nicer, because the book got a lot longer. And I’m still thrilled about how the cover looks.

First draft on the left, latest revision on the right

There are still…

Last month my friend died, so I started putting together our digital archives. I wanted to back up our emails and iMessage chats, because we chatted about everything starting in 2010 or so. Emails are easy. I have 699 emails from him, and Google cheerfully documented them all, including a…

Five Books in 2021 Journal, Issue #11

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really writing five books this year. I’m just arranging five books worth of words I’ve written over the years. Much easier.

Yesterday I finalised the cover for my first book and ordered a copy from the printer. With one item checked off my list…

Jon Bell

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