Viktor Bijlenga

Twenty Four

It’s my birthday (Jan 23), so it’s time to sit down and write the yearly summary of things I’ve thought and learned during the year. I’m turning 25 this year, which feels like a major milestone. Check out the other lists Tjugotvå (In swedish) and Twenty three. Those are my twenty four things.

  • Enjoy the Moment.
  • Always take the stairs.
  • Eating good makes life easier and better. Embrace your possibilities.
  • You laughed at Alex och Sigges podcast a lot during the year.
  • The basics are still important. Eat, sleep, repeat.
  • Be patient and work hard. Things take time.
  • Don’t use your phone while eating together with people. Be present.
  • Less complaining. Choose your bathroom sink battles wisly.
  • You stopped checking email before bed. Less stress. Great.
  • Vintersaga is a great song.
  • Watching Casey Neistats daily vlog has been a good time.
  • The Penny board (mini skateboard) is a great way to add fun to the equation of transportation between A / B.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel is a great movie. Watch it again.
  • Take better photos. Buy a camera with a good lens. You miss it.
  • Write more.
  • Oscar Linnros was your most played artist on Spotify.
  • Learn more languages. It might be fun.
  • A good name for a brand is incredibly hard to come up with.
  • The news is not a source for happy-go-lucky. But a great way to excel at På Spåret next year.
  • When learning new languages, learn the fundamentals. It makes troubleshooting so much easier.
  • Building a company is a commitment. Remember that during hard days.
  • Express your dreams more clear. It’s easier to make goals then.
  • Making everyday life easier for other people is easier than you think.
  • Patience.

Interview: Brunello Cucinelli+

This is a question of balance. Those who come to me and say, “You know, I work 15 hours a day,” I say, “I am not interested.” I am interested in the quality of working hours, not the quantity. The brain of the human being. Do you think that during the first five hours of the day you are the same as you are in the last five hours? No way. You’re tired, and if you’re tired, you stop listening, and the decisions you make are risky.

A good read and a good reminder.

Box – Industrial robot art+

Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping onto moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera.

I like this video. It’s a beautiful but weird combination of technology and art.

Swissmiss on Good Life Project+

Tina Roth Eisenberg aka Swissmiss is one of my big inspirations in life. Her values affects mine thoughts and values.

I loved when Tina told the story about when her daughter described of what Tina do as work:

You sit in front of a computer and laugh.

It made me smile.

Too Many Images+

Discover your image weight on the web. Find out the image weight in your pages, compare to the HTTPArchive average and discover what images you can optimize further.

A simple CLI tools that may be a fun thing to integrate into your performance testing stack. It asks and answers the question, too many images?

Maximize Your Creative Energy+

I’m not perfect at balancing work/life, and I will probably never be. To be able to improve, I have to think about the long term effects and create methods which works for me. It’s a hard work, but it’s worth it. You should do it too.

I wish that the Tictail store email template would be improved

A few days back I tweeted a thought I had for a while:

A simple wish that my online shop solution of choice, Tictail – would consider to improve the email which is sent to the customer as a confirmation when something is shipped.

Current email template design

Emails currently look like down below, when something you bought is shipped from a store powered by Tictail.


I think that this design is good, but it’s too focused on Tictail. I wish that the store’s brand would be the focus, since the communication is between a store owner and a customer.

The reasoning behind this, according to Tictail – is to establish trust and reliability for shoppers around the world1, ensure safe and protected transactions through the platform2 and add the benefit of being part of a strong community of entrepreneurs3.

Okay, those reasons sounds healthy to me. I want to be able to trust the store/plattform and have the opportunities that comes with a large community of creative people that creates something they believe in.

So I tweeted Tictail again:

A bit later I got a reply + multiple people had joined in to the discussion at this point.

At this point things are getting interesting I think. Growth is mentioned as a factor of how they have decided to brand. Not only trust (in which in this case the customer already has trusted both the stores brand and Tictail enough to actually buy something).

I understand that growth is important for a startup. And I truly understand how important the brand can be to be able to create and sustain a sustainable business. But don’t let your growth be more important than your customers’ growth.

This is exactly my point from the beginning. I’m working on creating a brand with a consistent experience – on my website, business card and store as well. Hopefully the values that the brand communicates creates a good experience for my customers. A good experience, which results in more happy people.

Suggested email template design

So this is my simple suggestion on how you could improve the email template. I know your design team can make it even more beautiful, because I trust Tictail as a brand.

Let the store brand be the focus, and co-brand with your brand in a subtle way. It’s a win-win situation.

In the long run, a better experience for your customers (the stores) is making way for a better experience for their customers (the stores customers). Which, once again, is a win-win situation.


Note: Both the store and the Tictail logo would link to their respective URL:s.

If you want to talk with me or follow me, I’m @viktorbijlenga on Twitter.

Matt Mullenweg: The State of the Word 2014+

Interesting insights into the current state of WordPress and whats to come.

The last year has certainly been a good one for WordPress. I think the core team has made an incredible job improving upon an already great system. The responsive admin panel is a big improvement. I also think automatic updates was a great addition too.

I’m excited for the future of WordPress.

John Gruber at XOXO Festival+

John Gruber of Daring Fireball talks about the early years of his blog. I wish that I would have been at XOXO Festival to enjoy it, but watching it while doing the dishes was also a good experience (maybe next time?).

John shared those three valuable lessons, which made me think.

  • Know when to be stubborn.
  • Know when to be flexible.
  • Prioritize quality over money.

Why should I write in English?

This is a post for me, and it might be a good thing for you, too. It’s gonna be my place to go, when I get that feeling – why am I doing this writing thingy – in which I write in a foreign language. A post to remind me of why I should write in English. You can call it a manifest, or a just what it is – a good reminder of a few things.

It’s good practice to practice

English is not a native language for me. It’s harder than Swedish. It’s harder to find certain words or write those jokes. It will probably always be like that. But it will get easier, If I practice. It’s okay to struggle. Remember the beginning. You’ve come far.

More friends, more feedback

The world is getting more global every minute. Just look at your website analytics. People from all over the world has visited this site.

Keep on writing

Oh, you think it sucks today. Ok. Great. Just do something else for awhile. Take a step back. Just don’t quit. It’s not the language, it’s just one of these days. It’s maybe time for a shower to clear your mind.

Share your thoughts with other people

Contribute to the community (read: nice people of the internet). Give back. Someone might learn something, something might happen. It’s fun to be apart of something bigger, that’s not limited by knowing Swedish.

Interview with Jonathan Ive+

I can’t stop listening to this man. His voice is so beautiful, and I think that you can hear just by listening to him, that he is a one of our times greatest designers. Just watch it.

On being an Early Riser+

Erik Beirnskold:

Myself, I am a wannabe morning person. I’m not the one to sleep away the whole mornings, but I am also not the one to naturally get up really early. But I want to be.

Why is this you ask? It’s actually quite simple. You get ahead. Quickly. Just think about it. If you are up and start your day at 5am, you will have had time to catch up on the news, do some important work and be ready to tackle the rest of the world as it wakes up around 8-9am. It works because most people do not get up early, but if you do, you are already at an advantage to everyone else.

First of all. I enjoyed this post, since I have a hard time to get up really early. Just ask my girlfriend. She is my inspiration, since she always gets up before me. I’m tired of rolling out of bed, just to get out of bed.

I’m working on adjusting my sleep, since I know that I think/work better before lunch. My trick at the moment is to turn back the clock two minutes every other day. It’s a good pace for me and it helps to adjust my morning routines over time. Let’s see how it works out.

OS X Yosemite: Tips, Tricks, and Details+

A great post on Macstories filled with those little bits that helps to get the most of Yosemite. I learned that I don’t need to open AirDrop in the finder anymore to be able to receive something. A small but useful improvement for me.

Rename a common filename to something useful with Hazel app


You get a lot of attachments in the mail with the same name – example “your-company-name.pdf”. You think it’s unnecessary to rename stuff manually and


  1. Download Hazel app.
  2. Set up a new rule containing the following for your downloads folder.

    If Any
    Name contains “your-company-name”

    Do the following..
    Rename with pattern [date added]_[creator][extension]

  3. Done! Your files will from now be named in a more convenient way.

Video: Zack Arias on Honesty+

Yesterday I watched this talk by Zack Arias. It’s probably a must see for every creative person who felt that feeling – “I’m not good enough” or “why does everything bad happen to me”. Honesty is a good approach to many of those questions we have in our mind. I also believe that patience is important key to self confidence as a creative worker. Don’t compare yourself to much against other. Make things you believe is good work.

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