Modern Makers #52 - How to Find Your Ikigai

🇯🇵 How to live a better and longer life 🧙🏻 Wized turns Webflow into an app builder

Welcome to issue #52 of Modern Makers

In the agenda:👇

🇯🇵 How to find your Ikigai - some learnings from Héctor García's book
🧙🏻 How Wized turns Webflow into an app builder
🆕 Some new features on Notion
💰 announces a $5.5M funding round


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Welcome to the new makers who have joined us in the last two weeks.

At the moment I’m really into note-taking and knowledge management applications. A highly competitive space, with a long-standing player such as Evernote and a plethora of new entrants including Notion, Roam Research and Obsidian. I use Roam Research and Readwise, which automatically synchronizes the highlights of my Kindle readings as well as my favorite Twitter threads. Roam's backlink feature is awesome but the lack of a mobile application is starting to be a problem.

This week I discovered Reflect which offers, among other things

  • Mobile application

  • Backlinks

  • Kindle and REST API integration

I’m curious: which tool do you use for note-taking and for managing your second brain?

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📚 Book of the week

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Authors: Héctor García & Francesc Miralles
Release date: 2017

This book aims to help us live a better and longer life, taking inspiration from Japan. It’s the country with the highest life expectancy in the world and the highest ratio of centenarians. So, what can we learn from Japan?

  • What is Ikigai? It's a Japanese concept, which you can translate as “the happiness of always being busy". A bit like what french philosophers call "la raison d'être". We all have an Ikigai. Some of us have found it while some other are still looking for it. Finding it requires time and patience.

  • The 4 keys to longevity - the book explores these 4 keys elements - diet, exercise, Ikigai and strong social ties (being part of a community)

  • Don't eat too much - There is a common saying in Japan that saids “Hara hachi bu” which is repeated before or after eating. It means “Fill your belly to 80 percent”. Try not to eat too much. Stop when you feel you're about to get full.

  • Join a community - A moai is an informal group of people with common interests who look out for one another. For many, serving the community becomes part of their Ikigai. What community can you join today?

  • Get out of your comfort zone. Expose yourself to new things, new challenges, new points of view and new cultures.

  • When confronted with a big goal, try to break it into several small tasks. Take care of them one by one as part of a daily ritual. Rituals will help you to enter a state of flow. Don't worry about the result, it will happen naturally as long as you stick with your rituals. “Happiness is in the doing, not in the result”

  • What is resilience? When you have a clear Ikigai, you pursue your passion no matter what. Resilience isn't just the ability to persevere. It's also the ability to focus stay focus on the important things rather than the urgent things. To deal with setbacks and the inevitable ups and downs of life. Resilient people focus on what they can control.

  • When you take a hit, you need to learn from it, make corrections and set new and better goals for the future

  • Focus on the things you can control. You can only control the present. Don't worry about the past or the future, focus on the present moment. Worrying about things that are beyond our control accomplishes nothing. “The only moment in which you can be truly alive is the present moment”

  • To find your Ikigai, you should follow your intuition and your curiosity. Follow the things you enjoy doing. Escape the things you don't like. Have something that keeps you busy doing what you love. Surround yourself with people who love you.

  • Beyond resilience: how to become antifragile. A term coined by the philosopher Nassim Taleb for things that get stronger when harmed. How can we be more antifragile? 1. Create more options (multiple streams of revenue for example). 2. Bet conservatively in certain areas and take a lot of small risks in others (When it comes to investing, invest a majority of your money in an index fund and the rest in several startups). 3. Get rid of the things that make you fragile (bad habits and toxic relationships)

  • Stay active - don't retire. Keep doing the things you love even after you retire. Do them until you die.

  • Exercise every day, make sure your body is always in movement.

“Life is not a problem to be solved. Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people who love you.”

Three other content that caught my attention this week:

📚 Book Writing with James Clear and Mark Manson - Podcast - Brains - Julian Shapiro has launched his podcast in collaboration with Courtland Allen. This episode features a conversation with authors James Clear (Atomic Habits) and Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck). They discuss, among other things, the advantages of the book as a medium.

🏀 The Fire That Forged Giannis Antetokounmpo - Article - The Ringer - Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first NBA ring this week at just 26 years old. A consecration for this kid from Athens who started playing basketball at 14. Here is an extract from the book "Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP" which will be released on August 10th. Inspiring!

🔚 Quitting is good, actually - Article - Zapier - Changing careers. Stopping reading a book. Giving up on your side business. These decisions are difficult because we see them as failures. We feel we are wasting all the effort we have put into getting to this point. Past time and efforts are in the past. Focus on the present and the future. Knowing when to walk away is an essential life skill.

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

Wized is a tool that turns your Webflow projects into real web applications. Founder Jonas Beisswenger ran a web agency for several years, using Webflow for the front-end of his client's projects and being forced to export the code generated by Webflow. Out of this frustration, Wized (formerly Platform Wizards) was born.

Wized allows you to :

  • connect an Airtable database to your Webflow project

  • set up a sign-up and log-in system for the users of your application

  • accept online payments with Stripe

  • connect any API including Zapier and Integromat for automation

In terms of pricing, Wized offers 3 plans: a free plan, a €19 per month plan and a €99 business plan. Here is a 4-minute video to better understand how the tool works.

Have any of you already had the opportunity to test Wized?

A lot of interesting news from Notion in the last few days. In bulk:

  • a new toolbar on mobile apps - Changing the type of a block is now much faster and easier. The same goes for changing the style of a text (color, background color, bold or italic text, etc). These changes are being rolled out gradually to Notion users. Be patient if you don't have access to this new toolbar yet

  • new options for numbered lists - in addition to numbers, we can now make lists with letters (a. b. c. d. e.) or with Roman numerals (i. ii. iii. iv. v.)

  • a new URL format for your public pages - The URLs of your public pages now have [yourdomain] URL format. To change your workspace URL, just go to Settings & Members → Settings → Domain

  • an improved Calendar view on iPad and Android tablets - this new view displays information for each item without having to click on it. We can also move items within the calendar via drag & drop

Notion has also made official the launch of its EMEA HQ in Dublin. GM Robbie O'Connor explains in this interview the reasons behind the choice of Dublin (without mentioning the tax advantage of course 🤫). announced a $5.5M funding round co-led by First Round Capital and Spark Capital. This tool created in 2017 wants to revolutionize our good old spreadsheet. The idea is as follows: keep the same experience of the spreadsheet as we know it (with more than 400 formulas supporting the syntax of Google Sheets and Excel) while adding field types, automation possibilities, forms, relational databases and project management with Kanban & Gantt views.

Several templates are available (Finance, Marketing, Sales, Startups...). Four native integrations are currently available: Slack, Microsoft Teams, MailChimp and Gmail. The API and the Zapier application should be released soon.

Here is the link to join the waiting list.

PS: it’s hard to imagine a better domain name for this product 😅

📦 And also…

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Have a great week and keep learning.


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