One Pager: Thomas L. Friedman


Thomas L. Friedman – the three-time Pulitzer prize winning journalist from the New York Times is my hero. He shaped my point of view around climate change, globalisation and technology after I met him at Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership event last year.


Only Tom doesn’t use those words, because when you have a few Pulitzer’s you prefer language like, “Markets, Mother nature and Moore’s Law“. The book that these ideas come from is called “Thank You For Being Late” and is one of my top 10 books of the last 10 years.


“Good artists copy, great artists steal”.


Anyway, I think that part of being a good storyteller, whether you’re an activist or an evangelist, is making sure that you only steal from the best people. But in order to steal from them, you need to steal well, understand their intent and credit them at the correct moment.


In order to do this, I have got into the habit of creating one pagers. It’s a skill I learned after chatting backstage to Commander Chris Hadfield at a conference a few years ago, and then seeing him teach in great detail in his online Masterclass (lesson 17 if you have a subscription – worth every penny).



Each one-pager takes me about 3 hours to create but I can remember it almost instantly once I have taken the time to draw it properly. To steal from one of my favourite stationary brands Field Notes,


“I don’t write things down to remember them later, I write things down to remember them now”.


So this is my one pager for Thomas L. Friedman. It covers an excellent talk I watched him give at Google and a brilliantly succinct 2-minute explanation of how he writes a column. (Both videos are below).


Writing things down like this help me to remember them. And colouring in, whilst pretty, works well because it slows my brain down and helps me to concentrate on what I have written. Turning off your mobile devices while you’re doing this is essential.




Big one-pagers also look pretty cool in a huge portfolio! The key of course is not to use a notebook or art pad, but a badass A2 sized graph pad (like this) that gives your ideas and doodles space to breathe.


I don’t usually share stuff like this but a good friend I chatted to today thought people may be interested if I posted a few more personal notes. So here you go. One-pagers. They keep me out of mischief and ensure that I always have something useful up my sleeve to say. Try creating one for yourself. I think you’ll enjoy the process…



Side note: I posted my notes from that Chris Hadfield keynote if you’re interested. It was one of the best presentations I ever seen, so I broke down his talk to try and understand what made it so good >> The Presentation Secrets of Commander Chris Hadfield