About The Notes



A short daily post to help us move the world forward.



Workshops to help narrow the divide between where you are and where you want to be. 


 And then there's me, the Noter-in-Chief. 



Hello! The Lightning Notes is a short daily post to help us move the world forward. It features great ideas and striking stories to remind us that we matter and that improving the world is our matter.

If I do my job right, you can read a Note in 1 to 2 minutes with your morning coffee or tea and leave feeling a little bit better about yourself and the world. 

Looking for a place to start? Here are Notes on the antidote to shame, how to be immortal, and the way to win anything. Or these interviews with Sherman Alexie on creativity, Krista Tippett on living meaningfully, and George Saunders on the purpose of art.

Like what you see? Get The Notes in your inbox daily or weekly -they're free and flashy.

Want an in-person Lightning Notes experience? I take these Notes off the page and into the world with workshops on narrowing the divide between where we are and where we want to be. Click here to learn more!

My name’s Caitie Whelan. I’ve sold fried clams and lip balm, raised pigs in Italy and washed basketball jerseys in New York, worked the counter at a pizza joint and the foreign policy portfolio in the United States Congress.

Now, I run The Lightning Notes. And I, who love words, don’t have the right ones to say how much it means that you would spend time with these Notes.

Thank you. Thank you.

I grew up in Maine’s salty air and still don’t like seafood (more lobsters for you!). At Brown University, I studied cultural anthropology, won a Truman Scholarship, and did very little laundry, which freed me up to co-found a school in India with a community of lower caste musicians.

After school and India, I worked in Congress for six years, becoming a Senior Foreign Policy Advisor there. Then I left to build the business I wanted to give the world - these very Notes.

These days, I live in Maine. I still don’t like seafood, but I do do a bit more laundry than in college. I sit on the Portland Parks Commission and the board of the Treehouse Institute and Brown University’s Women's Leadership Council. I root for the underdog, love public libraries, and have arms-flung-wide-open in appreciation for you sharing some of your day with The Lightning Notes.

Thank you. Thank you.