😴 Modern Makers #37 - The importance of sleep

🛏️ How to optimise your sleep 🧮 Rows, a spreadsheet on steroids

Welcome to issue #37 of Modern Makers.

This week in the agenda:👇

🧮 Focus on Rows, a spreadsheet on steroids
🛏️ How to optimise your sleep
😼 What are NFTs? And why you should be paying attention!
🆓 Bubble makes some changes to its free plan
🆕 A new trigger for Airtable on Zapier


This week, I had the opportunity to try Rows (formerly known as Dashdash), a spreadsheet tool that I heard about following the announcement of a $16 million Series B. This European startup based between Berlin and Porto wants to revolutionize our good old spreadsheet. The great strength of Rows seems to lie in the very large number of native integrations it offers with other tools whose data we manipulate daily in our work: Stripe, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Salesforce, Hubspot, Crunchbase or Google Maps. A spreadsheet on steroids!

Similar to what you can find on Airtable, Rows offers a template marketplace that allows you to easily duplicate a spreadsheet in your workspace. As an Account Executive, I’m particularily interested in this template that allows you to fetch emails from prospects via Hunter.io or this one that will automatically fetch LinkedIn profiles corresponding to a given role within the company of your choice.

In terms of pricing, the free plan seems pretty generous. Plus, Pro and Business plans range from $59 to $499 per month.

I love their Welcome video, makes you want to try it straight away, doesn't it?

📚 Book of the week

Why We Sleep - The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

Author: Matthew Walker
Release date: January 2018

Matthew Walker has become a key figure in the world of sleep in recent years with the publication of his bestselling book "Why We Sleep". A book that I had read in part in 2018 (from memory, I had to stop about halfway through the book). Matthew is now on Masterclass so I was able to treat myself to a catch-up session this week. When we talk about productivity we often tend to overlook what may well be the most important thing in the end - our sleep. The ultimate productivity hack of sorts! Here are 5 important points to remember and try to implement in your daily life:

  1. The impact of caffeine & alcohol - caffeine is not bad in itself. In small doses, such as a piece of chocolate or a few grams of coffee, the effects are usually mild. But high caffeine consumption can disturb your body and mind. In addition to coffee, caffeine is also found in tea, energy drinks, protein bars, and even aspirin! Also, beware of decaffeinated coffee. Although it contains less caffeine than regular coffee, it is not caffeine-free. 50% of the caffeine you have ingested is still in your body 6 hours after ingestion. Ideally then, try not to consume caffeine in the afternoon. Caffeine also affects the quality of your deep sleep, the most restorative sleep for your systems (cardiovascular and immune systems). A single glass of alcohol in the evening can have a strong impact on the quality of your sleep. Alcohol is a sedative drug that will also make you wake up several times during the night. This is called sleep fragmentation. Alcohol will also disrupt the quality of your REM sleep. People who have more REM sleep live longer on average. Finally, it has been proven that alcohol has a negative impact on our ability to retain information.

  2. The importance of napping - A nap can help you boost your memory, increase your performance at work, improve your mood and reduce your stress level. Here are 3 rules to follow for an ideal nap. In terms of duration, start with 20 minutes. This is the perfect length for your body and it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit into your schedule. The best time for your nap? In the early afternoon, after lunch. Avoid napping after 3 pm as this can disrupt your night's sleep. The best environment for a nap is a dark, quiet and cool room (18 degrees Celsius/65 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal). Therefore, avoid napping on the sofa in the living room in full daylight.

  3. Are you a Night Owl or Morning Lark? - These two groups each represent about 30% of the population, with the remaining 40% being in between. Whether you're a morning lark or a night owl actually depends largely on genetics. There are at least nine genes that will influence your chronotype. Don't be too hard on yourself if you try unsuccessfully to get up at 6am each morning. It's hard to fight genetics after all! As society has chosen to favor early risers, those in the night group are more likely to experience health problems such as diabetes, obesity, or heart disease. For those who are more curious, it is possible to carry out a DNA test to find out your chronotype. You can also find the free Horne-Ostberg Morning- Eveningness Questionnaire (AutoMEQ), which will help you get to know yourself better and possibly adjust your sleep.

  4. The best way to go back to sleep if you wake up at night - you probably wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep. If that’s the case, some exercises and activities can help you. For example, you can read a few pages of a book, listen to some soft music, or do a meditation session focusing on your breathing. Also, try to lower the temperature in your room (open the window in the middle of summer for example). Above all, don't make the mistake to check your emails or your Twitter feed (or even Modern Makers 😉).

  5. Some other tips to optimise your sleep:

  • Fill up on vitamin D - try to get at least 30 minutes of natural light every day.

  • No smartphone in the bedroom.

  • Don't exercise just before sleep - try to finish your exercise at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

  • A warm bath will help lower your temperature once you are in bed.

  • Recommended activity before bedtime: Reading, meditation, light stretching, listening to music.

  • Try to have a light dinner, with smaller portions than for lunch.

  • Have a routine and try to go to bed at the same time every day (whether on weekdays or weekends).

  • On average, a human being will spend between 25 and 30 years of his or her life sleeping. It's surely worth investing in a good mattress, isn't it?

  • Associate your bed with just two activities: sleep and moments of intimacy. So avoid eating, working, or watching TV once you're in bed.

PS: I can give you a 7-day free trial with Masterclass. If you are interested, here is the link to take advantage of this offer. 🚨 It expires today!

Some other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🙀 Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000 - The New York Times - you may have heard of NFTs (for non-fungible tokens). This New York Times article looks back at the latest rather crazy sales of these digital goods, whose transactions are recorded directly within the blockchain. The creator of one of the most famous GIFs in history sold a single digital version of his work for nearly $600,000. A real revolution to which I intend to pay attention this year. I also recommend this thread by Morning Brew to better understand what NFTs are all about

  • 👋 Clubhouse Is Booming. So Is the Ecosystem Around It - Wired - an interesting article on the many products and businesses that start gravitating around Clubhouse. Despite the absence of an API, these services allow bypassing some of the current limitations of Clubhouse in order to enrich the user experience.

  • 📢 My ultimate guide to public speaking - Michael Ashcroft - Speaking in public is a very stressful experience (even for speakers with many years of experience). The fear of public speaking is real. This article gives us several tips on how to prepare for our next public speaking event, from creating our slides to evaluating our performance and managing stress just before going on stage.

Webflow is organising a webinar on 14 April. Vlad Magdalin, CEO of Webflow, and other members of the management team will share more details on upcoming features. To participate and ask your questions, simply register at this address.

A new feature Release Tiers is now available on Bubble. Until now, a Bubble application automatically benefited from the latest updates made by Bubble's technical teams. This could sometimes be a bit of a hassle. This Release Tiers feature allows you to choose to update Bubble every day at the same time, thus limiting potential problems related to platform updates. In addition, Bubble also announced some changes to its free plan. From now on, apps within a free plan can no longer be published, can no longer use Bubble's API and can’t have more than 200 records in their databases. Not a surprising choice in my opinion: Bubble offered one of the most generous free plans. This decision should help to increase the company's revenue, especially in order to attract new investments (as a reminder, Webflow raised $140M last January). More details on this change on Bubble's forum

Tally now offers an option to host your forms on the domains and sub-domains of your choice. Tally takes care of the hosting and SSL certificates and allows you to customize the metadata of each form when the link is shared on Twitter or Facebook. It is also possible to inject some code to integrate third-party services such as Google Analytics, Intercom or Hotjar for example. More details on Tally's blog

A new Airtable trigger is available on Zapier: New or Updated Record. This new trigger allows you to trigger an automation when a record in your Airtable database is updated. Until now, the only way to start an automation following a change was to create multiple views within Airtable. A change made to the record will make the record enter a new view, a signal that Zapier would use as a trigger. A process that was clearly not ideal as we were dealing with many views on our Airtable base.

With this new trigger, we can now define which fields in a table will be used as a trigger for Zapier once these fields have been modified. Let's take the example of an Airtable base acting as a CRM. You have a table with your different opportunities and a "Status" field which is a single-select with several options (Qualification, Discovery, Negotiation, Signature). You can now trigger an automation as soon as one of the opportunities changes to Negotiation status. And you could automatically send an email to your boss so he can be aware of this change.

📦 And also…

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Have a great week, and keep building!


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