Tips for Productive Reading

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Most people will agree that it is good to read, but not all reading is equal. Some people get a tremendous amount out of their reading and others get very little. Here are some tips for making your time spent reading as productive as possible. 1. Take notes. Even if you never refer to your notes again, the process of taking notes helps you sort out what you feel is important and will help you remember it. You'll have to choose between pixels or paper for your notes. Using something like Evernote or DevonTHINK will make it easy to find your notes later by subject or search. On the other hand, many people feel they recall information better when they had to write it by hand the "old … [Read more...]

Powerful Routines

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I used to drive an old white Jeep Cherokee and I kept forgetting to put the gas cap back on and close the gas door. (Fortunately, I always remembered to take the nozzle out of the truck and put it back on the pump.) I'd drive away from the gas station with the gas door hanging open and wouldn't notice until I parked and headed into my office. Finally I made a very simple change to my gas getting routine. Instead of putting the gas cap on the little slot on the gas door, I started putting it on the pump where the gas nozzle rests. When I finished and put the nozzle back on the gas pump, I'd have to pick up the cap. Once it was in my hand, it was hard to forget to replace it and shut the gas … [Read more...]

Single Biggest Productivity Tip

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My biggest productivity tip is very simple. It isn't a fancy application for your computer. It isn't a complicated process. It is very basic and very easy. Here it is: At the beginning of the day, take out a blank piece of paper and place it in the center of your desk. At the top write the three most important things you want to accomplish for the day. These are the three tasks that are important enough that their completion will allow you to declare the day a success--regardless of what else gets done. That is it. It is simple and easy to do, but if you follow that advice you'll find your productivity will skyrocket. Your day is like a jar that you are trying to fill with three large … [Read more...]

Interruption Prevention Strategies

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If you work in an office, you probably deal with interruptions. Now, not all interruptions are bad--the whole point of working in an office with other people is so that interactions can occur. However, it is possible to get into a situation where your entire day is spent dealing with interruptions. If you need to cut down on the interruptions in your life, consider some of these methods. 1. No seating If you have your own office, you might consider getting rid of the extra chairs. People are less likely to come in and stay for a long period of time if you don't have a place to sit. You can keep a fold-up chair in a closet or behind your desk for situations where it is needed. 2. … [Read more...]

Simple Time Savings Investments

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Poor organization is one of the biggest productivity killers. When you can't find a tool you need or have to sort through a pile of outdated papers to find the one you are looking for, it slows you down and eats up valuable minutes that could be spent on something more important. In this post, we are going to look at some simple things you can do to help make your life more productive by organizing specific areas. Most of these are things where 15 minutes of focused effort will go a long way toward saving you hours in the future. 1. Clean out your closet You've probably heard the saying, "You can't see the forest for all of the trees." A similar, but less popular quotation is "You … [Read more...]

Going Back to College

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Summer is ending and students are headed back to school. But what if you are past college age, replete with family responsibilities, holding down a full time job, and still feel like some additional training would improve your career? Thanks to the Internet, there are all kinds of options for getting a degree while keeping your current job and still making it to your kid's baseball games. I recently completed an online master's degree in software engineering through Harvard's Extension School, and I can definitely say that in a world where you have to constantly retrain yourself with new skills, online education is the future. Most online degrees give you some flexibility regarding … [Read more...]

Getting the Most out of College

Multicultural College Students outside on campus

With students all headed back to school, it is a good time to look at some ways to get the most out of college. College is a fascinating place and most people won't fully appreciate all the opportunities they were given until years later. With that in mind, here are some tips for students wanting to get the most out of their college experience. 1. Networking A large part of the value of a college education is the people you meet, but to really take advantage of that you are going to have to intentionally network with people. Don't be the person who sees every person as a potential "networking" opportunity, but do be someone who is friendly and keeps in touch. Facebook and LinkedIn … [Read more...]

5 Efficient College Tips

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There are two ways to approach college. The first is to be intentional and plan out your studies. The second is to just let college "happen" to you. Obviously a little planning can go a long ways toward giving you the best educational experience. In this post, we are going to look at five tips for making your college years more efficient. 1. Take intersession courses from a junior college. Over Christmas break of my junior year, my brother and I took American History from our hometown community college in seven days. These were eight hour days with two or three tests each day. The rest of our time was spent studying. It was very challenging, but those seven days of focus cleared … [Read more...]

Intuit Productivity Webinar

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Yesterday I participated in a webinar sponsored by Intuit called "Get More Done. Today." with Craig Jarrow (blogs at Time Management Ninja) and Mike Williams (CEO at David Allen Company). Dan Schawbel moderated the event. I had a great time answering questions and learning some new tips and tricks from Craig and Mike. If you'd like to view the recording, click here or on the image below. … [Read more...]

Becoming Selective

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Back in Mozart's day, music was a rare thing. If you had an opportunity to hear good music, it was a special treat and something you'd definitely want to take advantage of. Now days, music can be found everywhere. People listen to it while working, while driving, while exercising. Music can put you to sleep at night and wake you up in the morning. With access to music everywhere, the hard part is deciding what you are not going to listen to because there are just so many options. It wasn't that long ago that books were a rare treasure. They were difficult and expensive to produce. Even after the invention of the printing press, there was limited choice on what was available to read. … [Read more...]

vLetter Handwriting Font

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Several years ago, I wrote about vLetter's handwriting font. I got an email from them a few months ago asking if I'd like to try out an updated version of the font. The big difference is that in the past you had to write your text and then convert it to your handwriting, now it will let you write with your handwriting font directly and it is smart enough to figure out which version of each letter to use to make it connect correctly with the letters that come before and after it. If you have an existing font from vLetter, they can upgrade it to the new smart font. Otherwise you'll need to download the form and write all the words as shown below. This provides vLetter with the information … [Read more...]

Home Office Update

Mark Shead's Home Office

Several years ago I did a post on my home office setup. Since my home office is constantly evolving it seemed like a good time to do an update. One thing that has changed from a few years ago is that where I used to spend short periods of time video conferencing, I now spend pretty much 8 to 9 hours a day on video conference with clients. Previously, I had two glass top desks setup in an L shape with a single 30 inch monitor. I've moved these desks on either side of the room behind where I sit and have gone to double Bivi desk with three large monitors. This gives me a reasonable amount of work area and I can roll back to one of the two glass desks if I need to spread out some … [Read more...]

Discrimination Against the Unemployed

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A reader named Susan left an interesting comment on Never Hire an MBA. She doesn't like the article, but what I found interesting was this part of her comment: Are you familiar with discrimination laws, well although there is not currently a discrimination law that would protect individuals from potential employers from discriminating against individuals who are unemployed, I am proud to say that I am one of thousands who have signed a petition against little minded people who discriminate against the unemployed. I hadn't heard of this before, but after a little research I found that some employers are including requirements in their job postings that basically say, "we only consider job … [Read more...]

Getting More Done

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If you want to accomplish more than those around you, you have two options: Spend more time working. Do more in less time. There aren't any other options.  To get more done, you'll have to do one or both of these things, so lets look at them in more detail. Spend more time working This is how most people try to get more done. They work 10 and 12 hour days, work weekends, etc. While this can definitely help you accomplish more, it doesn't scale very well. If you allow 8 hours per day for sleep and eating, you can't go beyond 16 hours of work per day. If you were able to convert all of your extra time into productive work, you'll only be twice as productive as the average … [Read more...]

Making Yourself Indispensable

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Since the economy is now in recession, the current state of affairs is causing many people rethink how they view their job security. Those life-long  jobs we hear our grandparents speak of, unfortunately, do not exist in the numbers they once did. For most people, their best option is to make themselves one of the employees that stands out from the others in terms of willingness to work, enthusiasm and dedication to the business. Here are a few suggestions to help "recession-proof" your job. 1. Keep a positive attitude I once heard a story about a person in nursing school that was considered for a job over others, simply because of their good attitude. While many other students were … [Read more...]

Reader Question – Smarter People

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What makes some people smarter than others? How smart someone is can be measured in many different ways. The most common standard way of measuring intelligence is an IQ test. If you have an IQ of 100 then you are a completely average person. If you IQ is above 100 you are above average. A raw IQ score measures on type of intelligence. However there are many people with modest IQs who have amassed an extremely large amount of knowledge. This pool of knowledge makes them extremely intelligent. Often they will outperform someone with a higher IQ simply because they know so much. In theory, there is very little you can do to improve your raw IQ. However you can very easily expand your … [Read more...]

8 Habit List Usage Ideas

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We've had some great response to the Habit List post. Here are several usage ideas for the Habit List: Negative Items - If there is something you are trying not to do, you can add it to the list as negative item.  For example, "Didn't watch TV" could be one of the items on the list. Different Lists for Different Places - Part of the idea of the Habit List is to let you focus on your tasks with habit type items out of the way.  If your habit list gets long, you might want to use different lists separated by where you will use them.  For example, you might have one list for exercise, another list for work, and a third for your home stuff. Teaching Your Kids - The Habit List also … [Read more...]

12 Tips for an Organized Desk

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Here are twelve quick desk organization tips. These are things that have worked well for me and help me maintain an organized desk (most of the time). Most of them are probably applicable to others as well. If you have any desk organization tip suggestions of items to add please add them to the comments. (Update: If you  are interested in seeing my desk, checkout this post for photos.) Get rid of pens and pencils you don't need. - I have one type of pen I like to use, but every month or so my pencil holder gets filled up with other random writing instruments. If you aren't going to use it, don't feel bad about throwing it out. It is just clutter.  The less clutter you have, the closer … [Read more...]

8 Video Conferencing Tips

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For the past several months I've been working on a project that involves being on a video conference call pretty much 8 hours per day with people all across the US. This has been an interesting experience and I wanted to share some of my tips for making video conferencing work effectively. 1. Good lighting Typical webcams look 100 times better when they have enough light. Adding a few light bulbs can make a huge difference in improving the way you look on the screen. I purchased some large CFL daylight balanced bulbs. They keep me from looking pink or blue and make the quality of my images much better than what it looks like without the lighting. If you can get sunlight from a … [Read more...]

Creative Business – Tie Society

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Some time back I wrote an article called You Are Self-Employed. The premise was that being an employee doesn't really offer any job security and if it doesn't offer job security, you may want to consider starting your own business. I also mentioned that it is probably easier to start a business today than it ever has been. The comments were where things got interesting though. It turns out a lot of people think of starting a business as something that requires huge amounts of capital. But not every company requires millions of dollars to start--particularly if you are willing to be creative. This past week I got a call from a company that is doing just that--being very creative. They … [Read more...]

Paradox of Powerful Tools

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I once worked with an organization that was using two different word processors. They had an old mainframe system with an integrated office suite that been in use for years. The mainframe was accessible from dumb terminals as well as from the newly added PCs. As they added PC's, more and more employees began switching to Microsoft Word. Word was a much more powerful system than the mainframe word processor. The mainframe only offered basic formatting (bold, italics, and underline), a single mono-spaced font, and a few other features like tabs and the ability to center a line of text. It seemed obvious that individuals using Word would be much more productive than those who used the … [Read more...]

How to Make an Insanely Simple Paperless Filing System

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This is a guest post by Arjun Muralidharan, author of The Productive Student, a new blog about productivity for college students and all productivity buffs. Mark's paperless project has always been a favorite of mine to follow. He uses DevonThink to manage incoming documents from his Fujitsu ScanSnap. It's a good system, but for me, it lacks two things: It doesn't handle all my files, such as Word documents, Keynote presentations and other file types well. Third-party software independence. In accordance with GTD, I like to have a comprehensive system that's cross-platform and can live independently from software such as DevonThink. While a system with DevonThink will work … [Read more...]

Email is Permanent

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Matthew Tanin, a fund manager at Bear Stearns, has learned an important lesson about email: It is, for all practical purposes, permanent. It is easy to think of email as a conversation. You say something and get a reply back and both parties hit delete and it is gone. However, in reality, much of the email you send is stored permanently somewhere--especially when you are dealing with corporate mail servers. If you send a message out, it will go into your sent items and will usually be backed up on your local mail server. Even if you delete the email from your sent items, it is likely to be merely "flagged" for deletion and still backed up. When it gets to the other end, it is probably … [Read more...]

How to Memorize Verbatim Text

Memories in Your Brain

If you are visiting from StumbleUpon and like this article and tool, please consider giving it a thumbs up. Thanks! Memorizing does not have to be as hard as most people make it. The problem is that most people only know how to memorize by reading the same thing over and over again. You have to learn to memorize. In this post we are going to look at how the brain remembers and then show how to use that knowledge to come up with a method for memorizing verbatim text.  Any tip or trick that will improve your memory even slightly is well worth the effort. In this article we are going to focus on a technique that will let you easily: Memorize a speech Memorize the Bible Memorize … [Read more...]

Living Within Your Means

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When we purchased our first house we put down a large down payment. Our realtor was surprised to find out we didn't have any other debt. Getting the loan was no problem as we bought quite a bit less house than what the banks said we could afford. This all seemed normal for us--we try to live within our means if not a little below it. Several years later the realtor stopped by to say hi. He said, "You and your wife were really an inspiration to me. We've started paying off our debt and trying to get our living expenses under control." Evidently his normal customers weren't people who lived beneath their means. When you spend less than you make, you are buying flexibility and freedom. … [Read more...]

Reader Question – How to Wake Up

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What is the best way to wake up if you haven't slept? If you feel drained because you haven't had enough rest, the best thing you can do is go ahead and get some sleep. This is a little like asking "How can I stop from feeling thirsty when I haven't had anything to drink?" Your body is trying to tell you something and you should listen to it. There are somethings you can to to help stay awake, but you can only trick your body so long. Here are a few things might help if you are having trouble focusing because you are tired: Take a short walk - The exercise will help wake you up. Lower the temperature - If you feel overly warm your body may start trying to go to sleep. Work standing … [Read more...]

You Are Self Employed

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I was recently talking with a friend who said he'd be scared to try to start his own business because it seemed so insecure. I asked, "How is that any different than what you do working for someone else?" After a moment's pause, he admitted that it really wasn't. When it comes down to it, you work for yourself, regardless of who is the owner of the company that cuts your check. It is your responsibility to market yourself, develop your skills, identify trends and position yourself to profit. Abdicating these responsibilities doesn't somehow put you into an "employee" category where you have more job security. Most successful people see their jobs like this. They are in a business … [Read more...]

Intelligence Follows the Wheel

I ran across some interesting research the other day that I wanted to take a few moments to share here. For years scientists have known that giving mice "enriched" environments makes the mice smarter. They would put in colorful toys, tunnels, exercise wheels, etc. and mice who lived in the "enriched" environments performed better on tests than the mice in the non-enriched cages. Finally some scientists started trying to figure out exactly what it was in the enriched environment's was making the mice smart. It turned out it wasn't the colorful balls or toys. it all came down to the exercise wheel. Even though the mice loved the toys the thing that made them smart was running on the wheel. … [Read more...]

Father’s Day iPad Giveaway

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I've been writing some posts for Manilla and they asked me if I'd be interested in working with them on an iPad contest giveaway for Father's day. The long legal rules are here, but here is how it works in a nutshell. Once a day from now until the day after Father's Day I'm going to tweet a question from @Productivity501 tagged with #manilladad. Tweet back an answer (also tagged with #manilladad, so we can track the answers) and you will be entered in the contest. It doesn't get much simpler than that. Manilla is going to handle contacting the winner, etc. If you want all the legal details, check them out here. Hope to see  your answers on Twitter! … [Read more...]

Capsul8 – Preview for Productivity501 Readers

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When you get a newspaper, you can cut out an article and come back and read the same thing later. It doesn't change after you read it. The web isn't like that. The article you read today, may not be around tomorrow or the version that is here tomorrow may be very different from what you have today. Capsul8 is a startup that solves this problem by giving you a simple way to take a snapshot of a web page and collect these snapshots into a "capsule" where each web page is a different "chapter" that you can easily navigate through and share. Some of the capsules listed on the Capsul8 home page include: A collection of web pages paying tribute to Steve Jobs. Articles about the … [Read more...]

Effort vs. Ability

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Scientists did an experiment with a bunch of children where they gave them several tests that got increasingly more difficult.  After the first two tests, they told the children that they had done very well. Group A was praised them for being smart and talented. Group B was praised for their hard work. Next they gave them a very difficult test--so difficult that many children didn't get a single question right. They then told both groups that they hadn't done as well on this test and asked them if they knew why. The students from group A said that it must be because they weren't smart enough. Group B said that it must be because they didn't try hard enough. That in  itself is … [Read more...]

Christmas Gift Ideas

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Christmas is coming soon so I thought I'd do a few posts with gift ideas based on things I've used this year and found to be exceptionally useful and or fun. Here is the first post and I'll try to do a few more as I think of ideas and have time to write about them. If you have suggestions, please add them in the comments. You might be able to suggest the perfect gift that another reader hadn't though of. Fingerless Gloves Fingerless Gloves ~ $3.50  My office is in the walk-out basement of our home. It is typically 60 to 65 degrees in the winter, but when there is a strong wind on the walk out portion of the house, it can get a lot colder. This isn't to big of deal because I can … [Read more...]

LifeRemix Announcements

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Productivity501 is a member of LifeRemix--a network of bloggers who are all focused on enriching people's lives in one way or another. Everyone has been pretty busy writing books, starting podcasts, and creating courses. Here are four of those projects ranging from a free manifesto PDF to a paid course on living without clutter. The Tower Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Non-Conformity has released a new manifesto called The Tower. You might be familiar with his previous Brief Guide To World Domination. The Tower is a beautiful PDF that is designed to be viewed on an iPad. (But in my experience looks very nice on a normal computer screen.) There is also a Kindle version available. It … [Read more...]

Shopping Challenge Wrap Up

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the Holiday Shopping Challenge. We had a lot of great Christmas shopping tips and suggestions. The winner of the $250 gift card is Jennifer Marie. She was chosen based on a random number from www.random.org. So how did my shopping, turn out? You can read about it below. My Dad The local hardware store was offering a sale on "gear wrench" sets. These are wrenches with the normal open end on one side, but the closed end has a gear mechanism in it that allows it to turn the bolt in one direction, but it "slips" when you push it the other. So it lets you ratchet the wrench back and forth to turn the bolt without needing to take the wrench off and … [Read more...]

Holiday Shopping Challenge

American Express Platinum Concierge

Last week I got an email from someone at American Express asking if I'd be interested in doing some Christmas shopping (at their expense) and blogging about it. To really make it enticing, the offered to give a $250 gift certificate away to a reader of Productivity501. (See below for details.) So here is the plan. In this post I'm going to discuss some strategies for getting the most out of your credit card benefits and rewards programs--particularly related to Christmas shopping. I'll use American Express as an example, but most everything will relate to other cards as well. Then I'm going to try to buy 5 gifts for family and follow up with a post on what I found in a week. In that post … [Read more...]

Desk Organization Tips

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A few months ago we put out a request for tips on keeping a desk organized. Here are the tips that were submitted. Simplify instead of organize. Have as few things as possible, and you don't need to organize. Leo - Zen Habits Try to keep the desk clean, leaving only the essentials on its top. The rest goes into the drawer, boxes, the archive, or the bin. Your computer, the phone, and the paper you are currently work on is enough. Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann - DEVONtechnologies LLC Buy the smallest desk you can possibly find - then you're forced to be organized! Joe Bennett - Tweddle Group Clean desk is key. Have the following folders available on one of those accordion style … [Read more...]

Announcements

Here is a collection of products, events and applications that people have sent in over the past few weeks that might be of interest to readers. If you try any of these things out, please take a few minutes to leave a comment on your experience for others. Manvotionals The Art of Manliness has launched their second book, this one is called Manvotionals. Christmas is coming and it might be the perfect gift for a man in your life. Executive MBA Online Fair The Economist is holding an Executive MBA online fair.  Executive MBAs are generally aimed at people who are mid career and follow a schedule that allows busy professionals to complete their MBA degree while working full time. They … [Read more...]

Are You Reading Too Much?

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

I ran across and interesting quote by Albert Einstein the other day. Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. ~ Albert Einstein This isn't exactly the best known quote by Einstein and I doubt many teachers quote this to their students. Reading is generally a good thing, but if it starts becoming a substitute for thinking on your own it can hold you back from reaching your potential. This quote touches on a problem that holds many people back from actually accomplishing things. It is easy to spend so much time researching that you never actually … [Read more...]

End Malaria Book

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The Domino Project has released a new book called End Malaria. The book is available for the Kindle and in paperback. It is a great idea! They got a bunch of authors together and put together a book where $20 from every sale goes to help end malaria. The contents are short essays by many famous business authors. There are three sections: Focus, Courage, Resilience. The contents of the book are great. They are all short and you can pick it up and randomly read any page to get something out of it. What most impressed me though was just the idea for the project. It is a great example of how creative thinking and a little organization (ok maybe a LOT of organization) can bring people … [Read more...]

Share Your Desk Organization Tip

I'm collecting short desk organization suggestions.  Just visit this form and fill it out with your 200 character or less suggestion for keeping your desk organized. If you have multiple tips, feel free to add more than one. I'll edit them and publish a big list of desk organization tips. Feel free to share this link with anyone else you think might like to participate. http://bit.ly/pkXJNq … [Read more...]

Write Hot Truth

Danielle LaPorte is hosting a tele-Q&A on communications. It will cover topics from blogging to publishing.  She is doing this as a fund raiser for someone who is trying to donate $50k to Write Girl--an organization that tries to help at risk girls find a voice through writing and communicating. Checkout the info page to see if this is something you might be interested in doing. … [Read more...]

Productivity501 Community Links

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A week or so ago I asked what Productivity501 readers had been writing. This post highlights some articles written by our readers. I encourage you to check them out. If you see something that you like, be sure to let the author know in their comments or in the comments here. As someone who does a lot of writing, I know first hand how encouraging it is to hear from a reader. Managing Expectations Begins with your Members and Clients - William Biggs works as a communications consultant and has been a long time reader of Productivity501. This is an article he wrote about working with donors for non-profits. Much of it is relevant to the for profit sector as well. Don't Focus on … [Read more...]

Donkey, Mule and Garden Hoses

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 A MULETEER set forth on a journey, driving before him an Donkey and a Mule, both well laden.  The Donkey, as long as he traveled along the plain, carried his load with ease, but when he began to ascend the steep path of the mountain, felt his load to be more than he could bear.  He entreated his companion to relieve him of a small portion, that he might carry home the rest; but the Mule paid no attention to the request.  The Donkey shortly afterwards fell down dead under his burden.  Not knowing what else to do in so wild a region, the Muleteer placed upon the Mule the load carried by the Donkey in addition to his own, and at the top of all placed the hide of the Donkey, after he had … [Read more...]

App Inventor

If you want to make applications for your android phone, but don't know how to code, checkout App Inventor. It is kind of like Apple Automator, but for Android devices. It is getting a lot of use in education, but looks like it could be useful for anyone who wants to be able to do something automatically on their phone. … [Read more...]

Google Plus

I've started playing around with Google Plus. It has some interesting potential. If you are on G+, please consider following (or should I call it circling) my profile. Be watching for some up-coming contests on G+ as I figure out how it works. … [Read more...]

Do Airlines Need a CLO – Chief Lying Officer?

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My wife, two kids and I had a trip planned to Florida to spend a week with her family on the beach. Originally we were going to drive, but at the last minute decided that was a bad idea and bought plane tickets on Delta. My parents graciously drove us to the airport in Kansas City. We checked our luggage and paid the $50 to take the pack and play and our suitcase. The fee was expected, but it still amazes me how much airlines can get by with. Oh well, at least Delta doesn't charge for using the restrooms like some airlines are trying. We went through security, found we had drastically over-estimated how long that would take, and settled in to wait for a few hours watching the planes with our … [Read more...]

News, Quotes, Thought & Misc

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Google Plus & Google Apps Google Plus is starting to offer games on their new entry to social networking. However, they still haven't figured out how to let Google App users (you know, the people who pay google to use Gmail on their own domain) join the service. It seems odd to roll things out to you paying customers last. Are Ebooks a Good Deal? I've seen from several sources that students are buying ebooks in record numbers.  I can understand the advantage of ebooks, but the economics are usually pretty poor. If you buy a real book, take care of it and sell it to someone taking the class next semester, I think you'll have a hard time justifying the cost of ebooks. Of course if … [Read more...]

What Have You Written?

Have you written anything that you think readers of Productivity501 would enjoy?  If so, send a link to your best article or blog post to contact@productivity501.com. We'll select some of our favorites and publish them in a community links post. … [Read more...]

Aversion to Change

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Across the country, state and federal funding is being cut for education and this has left many communities scrambling to figure out what to do.  I was originally hopeful that less money would prompt a reassessment of the fundamentals of education and encourage schools to really focus on the things that will give kids the tools they need for a successful career and benefit society as a whole. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be what is happening.  The small town where I live voted to raise local taxes to make up some of the difference in funding to try to maintain the status quo as much as possible. I'm not opposed to paying more in taxes if the result is better educated kids but doing … [Read more...]