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Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Who’s the Boss?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Tell Technology you’re Boss! 3 Tips from blogger TalentCulture from Brazen Careerist.

While technology has helped us all take great strides, sometimes it’s good to scale back a little. Here are 3 ideas to rein in technology.

1) Make an email policy.

What do you do when you just want to check your Inbox and you see a time sensitive email? TalentCulture suggests: Everyone has 24 hours to reply to all non-emergency emails; build in a time buffer, just to be on the safe side

2) Be Here Now.

Try having a device-free meeting (other than the presentation computer) so people can be more engaged and less distracted. I worked for an organization that held an annual planning meeting. I remember more than once not being able to use a computer during the day-long meeting.

3) Say Goodbye.

TalentCulture says: “When you’re away from the office, leave the office behind.” We know that sometimes that isn’t possible, but having a designated place to work and a place to leave work behind (even at home) is important. It’s good to unplug from work.

Unplug, Eat Lunch, Be Productive

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The NTC blog focuses on PubMed, training and presentation tips, adult learning principles and more. This blog entry is going to tell you to forget all about that…for just a little while.  I recently received an email with the heading: HATE HAPPINESS? THEN KEEP EATING LUNCH AT YOUR DESK. Well, that caught my eye. A recent article in Fast Company talks about the personal and work benefits of not only breaking for lunch, but moving away from your desk (completely away, not just away from your computer screen).

Sometimes I think we take more care in recharging our phones than ourselves. It’s a fact of life. We must eat to charge our body. Chris Cunningham an organizational psychologist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that where, how, and who we eat with is as important as what you eat.

The gist is…our work can drain us emotionally and drain us of our energy. Unplugging during lunch (a walk, lunch with a friend, a personal phone call) can help recharge us and keep us productive for the rest of the day. We may not be able to take a full hour, but every little bit helps!

Outliners

Monday, October 21st, 2013

OMG! I sat down to write this post, but first I did a search of the NTC blog to see when I had last written about mind mapping tools. OMG again! The date was October 20, 2011. Almost exactly 2 years ago today.

Mind mapping tools help you visually organize a topic using boxes and circles and connecting arrows…oh my! Click here to see some very elaborate examples.  With mind mapping tools you can include content (text, files and links) so you can build the topic as you go along. Mapping tools often save your work in a proprietary format which may not retain formatting when you export into Word, for example. 

Fast forward 2 years and now let’s talk about outliners (not as pretty as mind mappers). As of last week, I had never heard of this type of program. Outliners are similar to mind mappers, but with outliners there is more emphasis on the text or content you are developing. From the Outliners of Giants site: “Outliners combine the functionality of a word processor with the ability to give a tangible structure to interrelated blocks of information.” The outlining tool is almost like a puzzle waiting to be assembled.

I read the article linked below and I tried the free version of The Outliner of Giants. I was preparing for a meeting and I thought the tool would be a good way to capture some of my thoughts and then use the outline as a collaboration tool during the meeting. You don’t need to create an account, Outliner of Giants connects to your Google Drive account (Use your regular Google login). You can export to Google Drive and continue to edit the document or you can export to Word from Google Drive and continue working on the document.

Follow this link to read about 5 outliner tools:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2038607/5-free-tools-to-organize-your-thoughts.html

Completely Obsessive Apps

Monday, November 19th, 2012

David Allen is a ‘getting things done’ guru. The CEO of Intentional Software was a chief developer for Microsoft Office. Together, they are working on an app that they say we need. An app that is “obsessively helpful and completely app-agnostic”. They want the experience to be about you, not the interface or the data mining process.

Live online chat with David Allen tomorrow, November 20th at noon CT/1 ET. Follow the links below.

Read about Getting Things Done:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3003010/how-official-getting-things-done-app-will-free-your-mind-and-empty-your-inboxes

Log into chat: http://live.fastcompany.com/Event/GTD_QA_With_Getting_Things_Done_Author_David_Allen?5g5