Posts tagged ‘productivity’

March 12, 2012

Social Media Bootcamp

In 37 easy steps …

November 14, 2011

Telecommuting = Productivity

This surprises me not at all (except that brick & mortar travel agencies still exist).

(via Lifehacker)

November 3, 2011

Asana: Like FaceBook, but with the opposite effect.

A single place where people can see every project colleagues are working on, answer questions, and get instant updates about how the work is progressing.

And it’s free!

Some recent articles:

August 24, 2011

Why DropBox Is Easily Worth $5 billion.

Great article from Business Insider on the DropBox app (which I use to great benefit … and it’s free). Also, see the accompanying article about the cloud and our outdated allegiance to “files” (hint: we really don’t need them).

Dropbox is a blockbuster because it has magic economics.


August 18, 2011

Green Collar

One of the great advantages of being a knowledge-based professional with a very specific work flow — i.e., a research report is submitted, edited, checked for compliance, returned to author, goes through some back and forth, then signed off and published/distributed — is that I can work from anywhere in the world, in any time zone; my kick-ass laptop and reliable WIFI service are all the “office” I need. It’s not in my nature, nor is it possible to “slack off”; the job is strictly task based: reports must be read and returned in a timely manner, publishing deadlines must be met, administrative data must be kept up-to-date. I’ve been successfully working in this highly efficient and win-win telecommuter manner for the past eight years or so, and I find it incredible that there continues to be debate on the matter.

Just today, LinkedIn featured a story from Fast Company entitled Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?, a title I find, oh, just slightly condescending, to be as polite as possible about it. And it’s quite amusing because the determining factors all hinge on whether the employee rates this consideration. I believe it would be far more useful to create a similar infographic for management, with questions along the lines of:  “Are you a control freak? micro-manager?” “Do you believe your employees are capable of doing their jobs without your constant supervision?” “If you can’t physically see an employee, do they no longer exist?” “Do you know how to use email? a cellphone? land line? IM? Skype?Webex?” Well, I could go on — and on — but will refrain for the sake of brevity.

Anyhoo … this new infographic came across the wire this afternoon and I thought I’d share it. Not nearly so paternalistic in tone as the FastCompany/Mindflash version and speaks to what I believe are the obvious advantages (to employees, managers, and the environment) of corporations re-tooling their antiquated analog attitudes about “work”.

And for your listening pleasure …

August 17, 2011

My First Company (Store)

Over the past few days I’ve been busy building this e-commerce site for a client. They have branches right across the country and this stand-alone store allows everyone in the company to procure branded items online with ease. The site features a custom selection of products, easily expanded to include new items, is fully operational — shopping to shipping,  and was built using a back-end provided by Volusion.

[Takes a bow.]

This is a great service for any enterprise that wants to provide an endless range of branded products/ stationery/holiday cards, etc., using a platform that operates independently and doesn’t tie up in-house staff with sourcing/inventory/delivery. Companies can incorporate all manner of special coupons or pricing for client gifts or staff incentives.

Very cool.  And I got to brush up on my dusty old HTML skills in the process.

(Not to mention becoming rather too familiar with Canada’s bizarre federal/provincial tax structure. Do you know, for example, that provincial sales tax for the residents of lovely PEI is calculated on top of GST. That’s right! They are are taxed on tax! Quebec too. Come on. How messed up is that?! )

August 16, 2011

Love a Duck

Aside from Time’s endorsement, aside from its respectful privacy policy, aside from a desire to encourage healthy competition with Google, I’m a convert to DuckDuckGo because it provides an instant lorem ipsum page (along with a lot of other cool little quick links) on its tech goodies page. It’s a sweet story, check it out.

The 50 Best Websites of 2011 TIME Specials


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August 16, 2011

Proofreading Checklist

This is totally how I work … reading in levels, paging through again and again, back and forth. Happy to see I ain’t the only one!  I suggest making a laminated printout of this to present to your boss/client the next time they expect instant turnaround. (And don’t they always!)

Never proofread by reading a manuscript through only once looking for errors. The mind is not able to process all of the information in a document in one pass. Instead, read every normal, uncomplicated manuscript three times:

1. Read for grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
2. Read again for content errors.
3. Read a final time for consistency in format, list items, and choice of words.
4. If the manuscript contains any of the following, read through it once for each characteristic after you have finished the three readings above:

  • Statistics, numbers, or dollar amounts. Do a separate statistics proofread.
  • Dates, telephone numbers, addresses. Do a separate numbers check. For important dates, telephone numbers, and addresses, look up the original information and compare the records. For advertising copy or direct mail, dial the phone numbers to be sure they are accurate.
  • Special formatting. Do a separate check of special formatting to be sure it complies with requirements.
  • Headings, numbered lists, sections with titles. Do a separate check of the headings, sequences of numbers, and titles on sections. Check to see whether the stated number of points is present. Check consistency in formatting.
  • Tables, charts, graphs. Do a separate accuracy check to be sure the visuals match the originals.
  • Cross references. If the manuscript refers to other pages, do a final proofread for cross-references after the manuscript has been printed for the last time.
Check these areas where errors are most likely to occur or be missed:
    1. Captions and titles in tables, graphs, and illustrations
    2. The first words or paragraph of the document
    3. The last words or paragraph of the document
    4. The text break at page breaks
    5. Titles and running heads
    6. Titles or other words in all caps
    7. Words in large type
    8. Headings
    9. Table of contents
    10. Page numbers

Much thanks to :

August 16, 2011

For my pals in production …

… you’ve probably heard most of these before, or at least a version of them. I certainly have, both while freelancing and also, somewhat surprisingly, from various bosses in the brick-and-mortar workplace.

Aren’t they all just so adorable … those clients from HELL!?

Click image ... better to laugh than cry!

August 16, 2011

Tweet Organization

If, like me, you telecommute and are not subject to IT jamming your ability to integrate professional social media networks — Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. — you may find one certain tool very helpful: Tweetdeck. Perhaps you’re already using it!

This little blog is fairly new so all these links and resources are being built as we go and tweetdeck is the latest addition, but it’s been available for quite some time.
Our Supervisory_Analyst deck is organized with a column for newsfeeds (Reuters, AP, New York Times, et. al.), a column for editorial contacts, one for fun (gotta follow Snoop Dogg!), and a few others. Very easy to set up and modify as you go.

A quick scan to any column, and you can catch up on your custom filtered tweets, ignoring the rest. Bliss. Plus, there’s a handy pop-up that displays incoming tweets (and helps keep one awake during periods of text fatigue). Highly recommended and … best of all … FREE.

August 13, 2011

Work is what we do …

… rather than a place we go.

The era of the nine-to-five job is over. Even just a few years ago, you were expected to commute to work, put in your hours and drive back home. Once you left work, it was done until you came back into the office the next way.

(via Mashable)

August 4, 2011

They’re not kidding around!

With captivating simplicity, the workshop was a powerful approach to unlock the full creativity of staff. The progression of skill building exercises creates a uniquely grounding experience of three-dimensional self-discovery interwoven with genuine team values.

Now this is something I can envision every sales/trading desk participating in. Invite research! Invite IB! It is serious results-oriented "play".

A university in Switzerland has put this into practice to design online communication strategies and applications and has published a fairly intense book of guidelines, available at their site.

URL: User Requirements with Lego

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