I came across a quick survey by Harvard Business Review
to assess my personal productivity style. And, surprise, wouldn't you know that I am a planner
Planners prefer organized, sequential, and detailed thinking. They create to-do lists,
(yup!) set aside time for tasks,
(generally, yes) and prepare thorough and accurate project plans.
(whenever possible, yes) They don’t waste time on anything unproductive or unimportant.
(I generally dislike re-work and wasting time, but sometimes it is unavoidable) They comply with laws, policies, regulations, and quality and safety criteria, and they frequently complete work ahead of deadline.
(think those are all givens in a professional environment, but yes.)
Productivity tools that appeal to Planners include: project management apps like Tom’s Planner and digital lists like OmniFocus, which let them track work by project, place, person, or date
(never heard of either of these, but I have used similar tools in the past); agendas, an iPad app for creating and sharing interactive agendas
(not strictly-followed, but yes, I do frequently mark down what I have to do to keep track of tasks); label makers, file folders, filing cabinets, drawer organizers, and pen holders.
(yay, office supplies! Fast Company even suggests that color-coding can make you a more efficient thinker
Sounds accurate to me!
Whether you are a planner like me or are looking for ways to get more organized this year, here are some helpful tools and tips that you might enjoy:
What results did you get?
- Customizing a Planner -- an overview of how one blogger created a customized planner for herself to manage the day-to-day and look-ahead to other events in the year, complete with beautiful pictures. I am a big fan of the Martha Stewart office products, too, and a fan of keeping both a physical and digital agenda. There is also a more-recent post with pictures of her 2015 agenda, too.
- Getting Organized -- Real Simple is one of my favorite go-tos for tips on how to get organized, and this article offers some advice on how to finally conquer the home organizing projects that you've been putting off (I'm probably guilty of many of them, myself.)
- TeuxDeux -- a simple and "designy" to-do list app for your iPhone. (As an aside, there are three clever variations of the app/brand's history that are worth a quick read for a chuckle.) Free
- DoIt.im -- another app-based to-do list, but this one is available for both iOs and Android devices. Those who are interested in stats and pie charts will also enjoy the task analysis charts offered by the app. Free 30 day trial / $2.00 a month thereafter
- Google Planning Tools -- I had to include this one for my fellow marketers out there. A handy reference of services provided by Google which allow you to see trends, brand insights, and consumer preferences over time to help you prepare for your next big campaign.
Take the assessment and let me know!
In continuing to tweak the modified 2014 layout
that I posted earlier last week, I disabled a number of legacy plugins and replaced most of them with the streamlined Jetpack plugin by Wordpress.
Those with blogs hosted on Wordpress.com should already be familiar with the Jetpack features, but those with self-hosted instances of Wordpress, like me, can get the same features now, too! For some reason, I remember trying to install this years ago, but failed or at least was caught off-guard at needing to sign up for a Wordpress.com account to complete the set-up. Needless to say, I am happy that I finally revisited it, even if I am late to the party.
Here are some of the improvements that you'll see:
Nicer social share icons:
these icons are found at the bottom of both current and archived posts. I might take some time to replace or recolor the default icon set to match the theme, so just a heads-up in case you see any changes here (FYI, this is nitpicky, in the grand scheme of improvements that I am working on, so it might be pushed out to the future.)
Nicer contextual posts:
these recommendations are found at the bottom of both current and archived posts. Right now, a lot of the related posts will not have featured graphics, but remember the content clean-up comment I made earlier this week? Well, I am continuing to work on cleaning up previous content, which will include adding featured images and basically purging the "General" category (a majority of the private posts will be re-categorized as "Personal" while others will be re-categorized as appropriate), so the related posts area will certainly look "prettier" in due time.
Enhancements in the comments:
login using your online accounts (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) in order to post the comments, reply to comments (nested comments), and subscribe to comment feeds.
You'll also notice that the size of the featured image for an individual post changed, such that the image is slightly narrower and the amount of unfilled space (diagonal lines) is reduced or, in most cases, completely eliminated. In the past, my featured images were not large enough or the sizes fluctuated over time, causing a diagonal line background/space filler to show. So glad I finally took some time to improve that one.
I am still continuing to tweak both the plugins and the layout, but the changes should be minor enough as we go along so I don't see the need to take the site offline again. Still, if anything is completely broken, let me know.
In the meantime, also be sure to follow F-R.org on Bloglovin:
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
So, the site is back! I took it down over the weekend as I worked to clean-up a lot of the content. Needless to say, it was a mini-overhaul.
What you'll find:
Most, if not all, of the pages on the top navigation bar have been refreshed. My bio still needs some re-writing, but I am going to mull that over for some time. Some of the older pages that have been around for over a decade were eliminated and combined with the top navigation pages. Don't worry, it wasn't any useful content.
Categories have been renamed and combined. Entertainment, for example, has all of the movie reviews, book reviews, and random, fanatic Nine Inch Nails and/or Trent Reznor-related project updates that I have been known to post. #sorrynotsorry
Many posts have been re-titled, tagged, and links updated. Since I am a one-woman show, there are over 700 posts, and only so many hours in the day, I still have a lot of work to do on this front and will continue to do over the next week. Mainly, I was working from the oldest posts to the newest, since a lot of what was posted was random or personal content from over the years that needs to be tailored or made private.
And, finally, a new layout! Needless to say, ain't nobody got the time anymore for making layouts from scratch, especially when there are a number of perfectly competent web designers feeding into a listing of thousands of themes to choose from on the Wordpress site. Once of these days, I'll get my coding chops back, or at least find something basic enough that I can work with, but today is not one of these days. This one is a child-theme of Wordpress' Twenty Fourteen, so it is similar to the previous version. My motive here was how much I hated that skinny, black lefthand sidebar in the native theme. For me, it was too small to be useful. This layout nicely eliminated that sidebar to focus on a large center section for content and a fat, right sidebar and footer. I believe it is still responsive, although I haven't checked it out on my tablet or phone yet. I also changed the colors to a dusty mauve chromatic instead of the kelly green links and accents that were previously featured in this layout, since I liked that better.
There is still some tweaking to do over the next few weeks, but it is a start. Please enjoy!
Question: How long does it take to go through 700+ blog posts and over a dozen categories to recategorize, tag, and edit content?
Answer: As soon as I am done, I will let you know!
Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me over the next week or two...
I finally had the guts to post the message that I have been meaning to post for quite some time... burned-bridges.net, a fundamental chapter in my so-called "online life", is at the end of the line
. The domain name
registration is up on the 15th; however, for the purpose of having the time to transition links, I will renew the domain for one more year while I sort through the content. I wrote up a quick summary of my feelings here
12 years is a very long time
, but I think this was the right call to allow me to focus on developing this blog as well as my personal resume/portfolio website. I briefly considered scrapping both domains
and focusing just on the new one, but that would be way too heartbreaking at this junction. So B-B.net got the short end of the stick, primarily due to the lack of interest over the past several years on my part.
I can't stress this enough, though, that the demise of B-B.net is not the beginning of the end
for everything, as far as my "online life" is concerned. It is the end of the domain name
-- and, yes, with that, a lot of memories. This domain is active, though, and I purchased two other domains a few months ago that will be active until 2017 and therefore need a hosting account of some kind... so it is not the
Overall, I recognize, as a marketing person, the importance of online presences to build credibility -- a personal brand. I also recognize, as a human, the importance of personal history and creative outlets, which is why that this might always be an underlying interest/hobby of mine, no matter what the form or domain name. With that said, there are good things to come. I just need to find the time to make them happen, and I can assure that it will be a slow process. It's just time to evolve.