The Minimalists

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The Minimalists
Millburn and Nicodemus speaking in 2014
Millburn and Nicodemus speaking in 2014
OccupationAuthors, filmmakers, podcasters
GenreMinimalism, simple living, intentional living, self-help, memoir
Notable works
  • Essential: Essays by The Minimalists
  • Everything That Remains: A Memoir
  • Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
  • Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life

The Minimalists are American authors, podcasters, filmmakers, and public speakers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The duo began pursuing the minimalist lifestyle in 2010. After experiencing significant improvements in their quality of life as a result of adopting and practicing the tenets of minimalism, the pair launched a website in December 2010 to share their experiences.[1] In late 2012 the pair moved from their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, to a cabin in Philipsburg, Montana, to focus on their writing. After four months in Philipsburg, they moved to Missoula, Montana. In late 2017 they moved from Missoula, Montana, to Los Angeles, California, to focus on the creation of a studio to further spread their message of simple and intentional living.[2]


Millburn and Nicodemus created their website in the hopes they could help others through writing and posting essays discussing their personal journeys adopting and practicing the tenets of minimalism. Topics on the website include simple living, health, relationships, and personal growth.[3] The site now has an annual audience of more than four million readers,[4] and it has been featured in The Wall Street Journal,[5] Time, and The Guardian and on NBC, FOX, NPR, CBC, CBS This Morning,[6] and Today. In keeping with the tenets of minimalism, the website displays their essays in a simple layout and has no ads.

Asymmetrical Press[edit]

Millburn and Nicodemus, with author and traveler Colin Wright, co-founded Asymmetrical Press, an independent publishing company and author community, in 2012.[7] Asymmetrical Press currently publishes works by The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn, Colin Wright, Josh Wagner, Shawn Mihalik, Robyn Devine, Chase Night, Robert Brown, and Kelli Donley.

Joshua Fields Millburn[edit]

Joshua Fields Millburn

Joshua Fields Millburn (born June 29, 1981 in Dayton, Ohio)[8] is an American author,[9] writing instructor,[10] and minimalist.[11] "Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism…and everything started to change."[1] He states, "Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.”

Ryan Nicodemus[edit]

Ryan Nicodemus

Ryan Nicodemus (born October 23, 1981 in Knoxville, Tennessee)[12] is an American author, personal mentor,[13] and minimalist.[11] Ryan's family moved several times but eventually settled in Lebanon, Ohio, when Ryan was eight years old. Ryan began pursuing minimalism after he was laid off from his job as a corporate executive.[1]



  • Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists[1]
  • Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life[14]

Essay collection[edit]

  • Essential: Essays by The Minimalists[15]


  • As A Decade Fades[16]


Less Is Now[edit]

In 2017, Millburn and Nicodemus began working again with Matt D'Avella, director of their documentary film, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, on a new film project to be entitled, Less Is Now. For the project, their team captured footage throughout The Minimalists' 2017-2018 Less Is Now international tour, as well as a special live invite-only event in Los Angeles in February 2018. Final studio footage is to be shot in 2019.[17]

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things[edit]

In 2013, Millburn and Nicodemus approached film director Matt D'Avella of Catalyst to join them on their upcoming world tour to promote their newest book, Everything That Remains. D'Avella had filmed the promotional video for the book earlier that year, and Millburn and Nicodemus wanted him to film their experiences and interactions on the tour so they could include the footage in a future project.

In 2014, D'Avella accompanied Millburn and Nicodemus on several legs of the tour, filming their travels, their events, and their interviews with contemporaries and members of the media. As they periodically reviewed the dailies, they all agreed a narrative was beginning to emerge. It was then that they decided to form a partnership to develop the footage into a documentary film.

In 2015, D'Avella completed the post-production of the film with assistance from the design firm, SPYR.

In 2016, the partnership of The Minimalists, Catalyst, and SPYR released the film theatrically in May as Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. They subsequently released it on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vimeo in August, and on Netflix in December.

Listing of authors and the books that were cited in the film:

  • Dan Harris, 10% Happier
  • Patrick Rhone, Enough
  • Tammy Strobel, You Can Buy Happiness (And It's Cheap)
  • Colin Beavan, No Impact Man
  • Leo Babauta, Zen Habits
  • Joshua Becker, Clutterfree With Kids
  • Christine Koh, Minimalist Parenting


  • 2018: The Minimalists, accompanied by Rachel Cruz, Chris Hogan, and Anthony ONeal of Dave Ramsey's financial team, as well as singer-songwriter Canyon City, made stops in Birmingham, Alabama; Louisville, Kentucky; and Nashville, Tennessee, as part of their Simply Southern tour.
  • 2018: The Minimalists visited Australia and New Zealand to conclude their Less Is Now tour.
  • 2017: The Minimalists made tour stops in the United States and Canada as part of their Less Is Now tour.
  • 2016: The Minimalists, along with producer "Podcast Shawn" Harding, launched their podcast, The Minimalists Podcast, in January. The Minimalists made 15 tour stops in the United States and Canada May–June to promote the theatrical release of their documentary film, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. They were joined on several stops by the film's director, Matt D'Avella, and members of the film's design firm, SPYR.
  • 2015: The Minimalists made over 35 tour stops in southwestern Canada and the western United States May–June to promote their newest essay collection, Essential, and to promote the newest works by the authors on the Asymmetrical Press roster: Considerations by Colin Wright, Shapes the Sunlight Takes by Josh Wagner, and Particles by Shawn Mihalik. The tour, WordTasting, also featured performances by singer-songwriter Skye Steele from his latest album, Up from the Bitterroot.
  • 2014: The Minimalists made 100 tour stops in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia[18] to promote their book, Everything That Remains.
  • 2011-2013: The Minimalists made 51 tour stops in the United States and Canada.[19]


The Minimalists strongly encourage their audience to contribute to their communities as part of their minimalist journeys, and Millburn and Nicodemus lead by example: they've worked with Scott Harrison of charity: water to build wells, Tyson Adams of Jhai Coffee House to build a school in Laos, and Joshua Becker of The Hope Effect to build orphanages.[20] In 2018, they began working with Gem City Market, a budding supermarket cooperative in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, to build a supermarket in the west side of Dayton, noted as one of the most significant food deserts in the United States.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan (January 1, 2014). Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists. Asymmetrical Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-1938793189.
  2. ^ Nicodemus, Joshua Fields & Ryan. "About Joshua & Ryan". The Minimalists. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Bowers, Annie (2011-12-20). "Do As The Minimalists Do". Dayton City Paper. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  4. ^ Christenson, Stephanie Taylor. "Could You Be a Minimalist?". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  5. ^ Beck, Melinda (June 12, 2011). "Shop 'Til you Stop: How to Treat Compulsive Spending". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "De-cluttering your way to happiness" CBS This Morning, Retrieved July 25, 2013
  7. ^ Vince Devlin, "Minimalists start unique publishing company in Missoula", Missoulian, February 24, 2013
  8. ^ "Amazon Author Page". Amazon. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Millburn, Joshua Fields. "Joshua Fields Millburn - Author". Joshua Fields Millburn. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  10. ^ "General Writing Class". The Minimalists. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan. "The Minimalists". Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan. "About Joshua & Ryan". The Minimalists. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  13. ^ Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan. "Private Mentoring Sessions with Ryan Nicodemus". The Minimalists. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  14. ^ Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan (2011). Minimalism : live a meaningful life. Columbia, Mo.: Asymmetrical Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0615648224.
  15. ^ Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan (July 27, 2012). The Minimalists: Essential Essays. Columbia, MO: Asymmetrical Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1938793011.
  16. ^ Millburn, Joshua Fields (2013). As a Decade Fades. Columbia, Mo.: Asymmetrical Press. p. 284. ISBN 978-1938793028.
  17. ^ "Projects". Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Minimalists". Eventbrite. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  19. ^ "Previous Tours". Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  20. ^ "About Joshua & Ryan". Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  21. ^ "Food Hardship". Retrieved February 6, 2019.

External links[edit]