Why you should signal your intent

Plan Your Next #81

👋 Good morning from Los Angeles! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #81 of Plan Your Next. A Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.

Welcome to the 500+ people reading this newsletter!


💡 What’s new?

🎨 I’m about to launch the 4th Approachable Design Workshop on Nov 6-7th. It’s for the design curious, who want the confidence to choose the right colors, fonts, and textures to build their own unique style. In two days, you’ll create your own design kit that lays the foundation to making better design decisions for you or your company.

You can join the other 150+ people on the waitlist here, and we’ll be opening up enrollment soon.


Good morning from Los Angeles!

I have a number of pet peeves, but not using your blinker when driving is high up on my list of Things That Annoy Me More Than They Should.

Here in Los Angeles—in a city where blinkers could dramatically improve the living organism that is traffic—the turn signal is used about as often as the COVID vaccine is being used by the far right.

It’s those infuriating moments where a car will slowly come to a creep, out of nowhere, locking you into a lane without giving any indication of what they’re about to do.

Wasted seconds feel like drawn-out minutes when a car decides to take a left and selfishly forces you to work around their agenda, giving you no insight into what they plan to do. Or the car that cuts in front of you without using the universal language of automobile Morse code throws the hours of practiced meditation and Stoicism back into Seneca’s stately beard.

Do I overreact? Hell yes.

It’s a selfless act, but the vertical wrist flick of the plastic wand resting underneath your index finger does two things: First, it shows me what your intent is, giving me the chance to plan my reaction. Secondly, it’s forcing you to commit to a decision, even if ever so briefly.

Signaling your intent is an inherit act of goodness. It gives the world permission to opt-in to your process. It’s what gets people excited and interested in what you’re planning to do.

To me, it’s not something I’m all that comfortable with. Writing this newsletter is forcing me to say something, as difficult as it can be week to week.

Another way to signal your intent is to talk about what you’re working on in public. This is the essence of signaling to the people around you what they should pay attention to. We get to enjoy the ride with you, without any surprises, feeling the rollercoaster of the journey with you.

I’m not a perfect driver, and I’m easily driven mad like most people if I’m cut off. But tossing me a signal ahead of time gives me the option to pay attention to what you’re about to do next.


⚡️ Two creative hits for next week

📕 There are 130,000+ active subreddits on @Reddit. Alex found the best book-related subjects. If you ever have a problem finding your next book to read, check out #5.

Paul Millerd’s writing around living as a solopreneur has struck a chord with me, and #12 of this thread—embracing a new identity—is something I am slowly starting to embrace.


👋 See you next Sunday

If you’ve forgotten who I am, here’s a little bit about me. As always, my calendar is open to chat about your next adventure, crazy idea, or if you’re feeling creatively stuck.

Have a great week,

p.s. If you enjoyed this letter, would you please let me know by tapping on the heart below?