I heard a business coach speak recently on the subject of productivity, and was struck by something she said about to-do lists: make sure to keep each task manageable. So rather than noting that you have to write your company’s marketing plan, break the job down into multiple steps you can tackle, cross off, and feel good about.
It’s an interesting point, and one I don’t always adhere to. My main work related to-do list is pretty big picture, in fact — as a freelancer, I like to have a good high-level sense of how much, exactly, I’m juggling — though I do sometimes write out a secondary list so that smaller tasks don’t fall through the cracks.
Which doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement, of course. Rather than reminding myself to prepare some advance posts for this blog, for instance, I suspect I’d be better off committing to a specific number — say, enough for next week. And rather than noting that I need to research an article I’m preparing, it might make sense to define a couple of micro-topics I’d like to explore.
Courtesy of Brian Goulet, we’ve got our first official review of the new A4 Habana! “What more can I say? It’s a Habana and it’s big.” To get his thoughts, watch the video above or check out the overview/summary on his blog.
Also worth sharing is this review of the new refillable J. Herbin rollerball at the Writer’s Bloc Blog. “With its transparent body and simple design, the J. Herbin refillable rollerball … is a welcome addition to Exaclair’s new products for 2012.”
Don’t forget to contact us if you review an Exaclair product so we can feature it here!
An infographic in this month’s issue of National Geographic caught my attention shortly after I came back from the Smokies about the growth of digital photography.
It’s not available online, unfortunately, but it was a fascinating reminder of what hobbyists and vacationers have known for some time: people are taking a lot of pictures these days! In 2006, Americans took 53 billion digital photographs (that’s 177 per person). In 2011, the number had grown to 80 billion (or 255 per person), and by 2015 it is projected to be 105 billion.
I’ve certainly enjoyed taking my fair share of pictures, yet I try not to take too many, because I often feel like people are too busy photographing things to actually, you know, experience them. This is especially true at parties; I remember, a few years ago, being at the closing night of a legendary New York bar, and thinking I must be the only one who wasn’t documenting the event for posterity.
That said, in Tennessee, I only hesitated for a moment before I joined a row of people who were trying to take a picture of a mama bear and her cub down a hill to the side of the road. (I would love to have more bear pictures.) In the end, it was too dark to get a good shot from so far away, but it was still thrilling to have spotted them.
A couple years ago, I tried and failed to bat back the tangled mess my RSS reader had become. (Categories helped me prioritize, and I cut some subscriptions, like BoingBoing, that I knew I could never keep up with… but I’ve still got more than a thousand unread posts.)
Social media mavens say that people are relying more on their friends (through Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and less on personal subscriptions to keep up with Internet content. That isn’t quite true in my case — I’m on Facebook, but I’m not very active, and I gravitate first to sites like the New York Times and Slate, which I’ve had bookmarked for years — though I often find great blogs and articles through Quo Vadis’s own social mediapresence. Still, I’d be curious to learn more about other people’s habits. What’s your preferred mode of navigation and/or discovery? Has it changed over the past few years?
It’s something old, something new this Friday with reviews of the Canadian Minister (similar to, but slightly different than, the US version) and the hot-off-the-presses Hebdo, a new format for 2013 with lots of space for Sundays!
The Minister is the “cadillac of agenda diaries,” says Heather Burke of Smart Space Organizing. “This is an excellent agenda for those who need to write some detail regarding their appointments, or for a busy family schedule that also relies on a calendar to keep them organized.”
The Hebdo is “an excellent addition to the Quo Vadis line,” says Laurie of Plannerisms. “The book is narrow, slim (less than 1/2 an inch thick) and very lightweight so it could comfortably go anywhere with you in your bag.”
Thanks for the great reviews, guys, and happy Friday!
It’s the most important tool I own, and I never set foot behind a bar without my book. The alphabetical tabs make it quick and easy to look up a recipe, and inside I’ve got years worth of classic cocktails, house recipes, syrup and mixer recipes for prep or to share with guests, variations, and layer upon layer of correction fluid and margin notes. It’s absolutely indispensable to me.
Morgenthaler uses a Moleskine address book for this purpose, but you could easily use the insert that comes with your planner (assuming that, like many of us who are tethered to our cell phones and computers, you don’t already use it for addresses) and move it with you from year to year, as it grows. And of course, you could store more than cocktails — I know I’m always looking up the quantities for my favorite pancake recipe on the weekend, which I can never seem to remember…
We were up in Western Massachusetts to celebrate the Easter holiday. I took the opportunity to go to one of my favorite places on earth: Nash Dinoland.
Nash Dinoland is a family-owned and run museum and archaeological site. They opened in 1939. The wife of the owner is over 90. She was kind enough to keep the museum open a little past closing time so I could go out to the quarry in the woods to see the ancient tracks in the stone. The museum features plaster of paris representations of dinosaurs and of course, dinosaur tracks.
Here is a description of the discovery of the dinosaur tracks:
“In 1802, a young farm boy by the name of Pliny Moody was plowing a field in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He unearthed a stone slab that had strange markings on it that looked a lot like large bird tracks. He took the slab to the educated people of his day, who were mostly christian clergy, to get their opinion on what they were. They declared them to be the tracks of Noah’s raven. (Noah, when he was on the biblical ark, sent out a raven that never returned to the ark.) It was thought that the raven finally touched down in South Hadley and left its tracks in the mud. This is what the tracks were thought to be until the 1830′s.”
Since I had already eaten my chocolate bunny Lori gave me another treat for Easter – my own dinosaur track! I have checked, and looked and pondered, and I think it might be from a coelophysis or a close relative. The track is estimate to be 185-200 million years old. I traced the track with my fingers and crossed the distance in time to when this dinosaur track was made. Since the track was pretty clear, I don’t think the dinosaur was running, just walking in the mud, looking around – much like me.
Anyone else been to Nash Dinoland or a museum like it?
Our latest Writers’ Project interview is live! This month, we sat down with Michelle Krell Kydd, who writes about the history, myth, and folklore behind different scents and flavors at her blog, Glass, Petal, Smoke, and various other outlets. It’s an unusual niche, so be sure to check it out and learn how Michelle discovered her “nose,” what she’s working on, and her love of the pencil.
While you’re there, you can catch up on some archived interviews with cookbook author Maggie Green and playwright J.D. Eames.