A User's Guide to Erik Bjäreholt

What is this?

This is a user’s guide to me, Erik Bjäreholt.

It’s a way for me to share some of my thoughts, preferences, and work style with you. It’s a way for you to get to know me better. It’s a way for me to get to know myself better. It’s a way for us to work better together.

The idea came from listening to Dustin Moskovitz on Tim Ferris podcast.

My Goals


I’m paying for recurring contributions to my open source projects. See the jobs page for more information.


My days are roughly grouped into:

  • Focused work day
    • I try to get 8h+ of focused work done, like programming.
    • Interrupting me during this time is a big no-no. Asynchronous communication works fine, but you might have to ping me if I miss it.
    • At the end of the day, I usually take a while to “cool down” and get back to a state where I can relax and interact with people again without getting annoyed.
  • Relaxed work day
    • I answer emails, respond to issues, and do other work that doesn’t require as much focus.
  • Day off
    • I don’t work at all, and I try to avoid thinking about work. Usually I spend it with friends and family, some video game, or Twitter.

Since I work independently, I don’t always follow the standard 9-5 work week. I try to keep a regular schedule, but sometimes I work weekends and sometimes I take days off during the week.


I’m a big fan of asynchronous communication. I don’t like to be interrupted, and I don’t like to interrupt others. I think the best way to do that is to use asynchronous communication, and to use it well.

I also like leaving a paper trail. I like to be able to go back and see what we talked about, and I like to be able to share it with others.

One of my weaknesses is that I’m not very good at keeping track of what others are doing. People often reach out to me offering to work or contribute, but I am rarely the one to reach out to see how it’s going (as I have trouble keeping track of everyone, and I don’t want to nag/stress). I could improve in this regard (and I’m working on it) but in the meantime I would like to request you do your part and reach out to me with status updates yourself.

Here are some of my thoughts and preferences on different forms of communication:

Questions and Answers

I’ve historically spent a lot of time answering questions on the internet, both for my own projects and others. Given that, I’ve had my fair share of low-effort, confusing, or outright nasty encounters.

The best prescription of remedies I’ve found is the How To Ask Questions The Smart Way guide by Eric S. Raymond. It’s a long read, but well worth it. Read it once, live it forever.

I love answering good/smart questions.


I like email!

I use email for work communication. I don’t use email for personal communication. I don’t have email notifications on my phone. I check email when I want to, not when email wants me to.

GitHub Issues and PRs

I do a lot of work in open source, and I use GitHub Issues for that. I regularly check my notifications, and I try to respond to issues as soon as possible. If you are awaiting my reply and it has been a week, don’t hesitate to ping me, as I may have missed it.

Video Calls

I use video calls to keep in touch with friends and collaborators. I try to limit them, as I find it difficult to focus when I’m awaiting a call.

You can use this Calendly link to book a call with me. If unannounced, there’s a chance I will cancel it if I’m busy. (Don’t worry about the 30min limit, calls can usually go a lot longer).

Phone Calls

I feel like I’m part of a generation that shuns phone calls (to my parents disappointment). Although I’ve improved, I don’t like phone calls, and I miss >80% of them. They interrupt me. I prefer asynchronous communication over phone calls.

In the rare event that I happen to be free, I don’t mind though, especially for friends and family.


I don’t really like meetings, especially not with more than 3-4 people. I find them draining and exhausting, constantly thinking “what am I doing here” if I’m not talking and could just have heard the gist or read up on it later.

As such, I prefer asynchronous communication over meetings. There are exceptions, of course.


You can chat with me on both Twitter or Discord as @erikbjare.

I also chat with friends and family on Facebook Messenger (which is common in Sweden).


Feedback is welcome, but as everyone, I like it nice and constructive.

You can submit it as a pull request so I can quickly address it.

Thank You

Thank you for reading this user’s guide to me. I hope it helps us work better together.