Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Gift for You: Rock-Bottom Prices on Three Books (Project Management Minimalist, PM Minimalist Mentor & WORTH SHARING)

Happy Holidays! Here's my gift to you: BIG SAVINGS on my three most recent books! In fact, I have drastically reduced the prices on all of these to the lowest allowed by Amazon!  (Yep. I tried to go lower, but my Amazon Author's pricing system wouldn't let me go below these.)


The Price Cuts

Here's a summary of these new, lowest-possible prices:

  • All Kindles: Now just $2.99. That's 70% off. (Savings: $7.00 on each Kindle)
  • Paperbacks: 52% - 72% off (Minimum prices allowed for these physical books is based on number of pages, print production costs & other factors.)
    • The Project Management Minimalist: Now just $6.99. That's 72% off. (Savings: $17.96)
    • The PM Minimalist Mentor:  Now just $9.99. That's 67% off. (Savings: $19.96)
    • WORTH SHARING Essays & Tools... : Now just $11.95. That's 52% off. (Savings: $13.00)
Scroll down for details about each book, plus links to background videos & supporting freebies.

 
  • Book overview:  122 pages of PM guidance, including 35 PM tools with PM "Minimalist Squeeze" strategies for tightening up your PM, tips for working with your team, and lots more!
  • Find it on Amazon:  Paperback version or Kindle version
  • Learn all about this book.
  • Learn about the PM Minimalist Support System & Freebies (videos, audios, coaching tools, performance-based tests & do-it-yourself workshop outline)

  • Book overview:  This is a collection of coaching tools designed to help your project team get organized and work their way through all ten "Nuts and Bolts" Steps as outlined in The Project Management Minimalist. Included: 10 sets of coaching tools and scripted meeting guides, suggestions about which team members should participate in particular meetings and guidelines for facilitating team building discussions. NOTE: You could easily build your own Project Management workshop based on the Project Management Minimalist (above) using this book and the videos, course outline, etc. listed in the PM Minimalist Support System & Freebies 
  • Find it on AmazonPaperback version or Kindle version
  • Learn all about this book. 
  • Learn about the PM Minimalist Support System & Freebies (videos, audios, coaching tools, performance-based tests & do-it-yourself workshop outline).


  • Book overview:  This is an eclectic compilation of practical PM tools, thought-provoking PM essays and suggestions for helping individual project managers and their teams stay sane while delivering quality finished products. Over 300 pages, it consists of 54 chapters and hundreds of links* to additional PM resources. Most of the chapters were originally published as blog posts and have never before been released in book form.
  • Find it on Amazon:  Paperback version or Kindle version
  • Learn all about this book. 
  • * NOTE:  Some links to the free online references in this book may have changed since the book was originally published. If you're having trouble finding something, check one of these resources: Mike Greer's WORTH SHARING websiteMichael Greer's PM Resources Archives or the free podcasts, articles & team tools in my Inspirations collection.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Video: Monitor Your Air Quality w/Plume, State of the Air, BreezoMeter & AirNow (w/ safety mask recommendation)


California's recent wildfires taught me an important lesson: You don't need to live inside the exact boundaries of a natural disaster to risk the potential health problems it might create. Despite living many miles from those fires, our skies turned brownish-orange and our air quality deteriorated drastically, with fluffy ash accumulating on our cars overnight like tiny gray snowflakes. 

It was scary! And it was made even more frightening by our inability to answer these three simple questions: 
  • Exactly what kind of pollutants, if any, are in our air? 
  • Is it safe to breathe or exert ourselves outside?  
  • If the air's not safe, how can we protect ourselves from the pollution?
After doing some searching, I discovered that there are apps that can help you answer these questions. In the video below, I review a few of my favorites and make a recommendation about a readily-available safety mask that can help you keep your lungs healthy if you need to work or play outside when the air is bad. If you find it valuable, please share it with a friend. It could help you both get through bad air events with your lungs (and your health) intact. 

YouTube Video: Monitor Your Air Quality w/Plume,
State of the Air, BreezoMeter & AirNow (+ recommended safety mask)



Other Posts You Might Like

Friday, October 26, 2018

VOTE! Why & How in 3 Simple Steps (w/links to tools & info)


https://youtu.be/YGJoizYE4Js
Watch 4 min video: "President Obama Doesn't
Have Time For These 7 Excuses Not To Vote
"


Why Vote?  


These quotes say it all: 
-------------------
"You can either vote by voting or vote by not voting. If you don't vote, someone else's vote counts more. IT'S MATH." - Occupy Pragmatism
-------------------
"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote." - William E. Simon
-------------------
"If American women would increase their voting turnout by 10 percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children." - Coretta Scott King
-------------------
"The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men." - Lyndon B. Johnson
-------------------
And then there's my favorite thing to say to my non-voting relatives or friends when they whine about their elected officials: "Did you vote? No? Then you clearly have no right to complain!" 


How to Vote: Three Simple Steps


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Travel Back in Time, Through the Mountains of France & Around the World with Robert Louis Stevenson


[NOTEThis article contains a lot of beautiful, but sometimes complex, prose. If you'd prefer to listen to, rather than read, this material, click here. You'll get my audio narration which you can easily download and play at your convenience.]

From a Brilliant Writer, Brilliant Travel Essays


What do you get when one of the best writers of all time sets out on a personal odyssey with a donkey and documents his travels?  You get delicious prose like the paragraph below, describing a night under the stars in the Cévennes mountains in France, circa 1859:

"Night is a dead monotonous period under a roof; but in the open world it passes lightly, with its stars and dews and perfumes, and the hours are marked by changes in the face of Nature.  What seems a kind of temporal death to people choked between walls and curtains, is only a light and living slumber to the man who sleeps afield.  All night long he can hear Nature breathing deeply and freely; even as she takes her rest, she turns and smiles; and there is one stirring hour unknown to those who dwell in houses, when a wakeful influence goes abroad over the sleeping hemisphere, and all the outdoor world are on their feet.  It is then that the cock first crows, not this time to announce the dawn, but like a cheerful watchman speeding the course of night.  Cattle awake on the meadows; sheep break their fast on dewy hillsides, and change to a new lair among the ferns; and houseless men, who have lain down with the fowls, open their dim eyes and behold the beauty of the night."
-- from Travels With a Donkey in the Cévennes, "A Night Among the Pines," by Robert Louis Stevenson

Author of such timeless classics as Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and A Child's Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson also created some not-so-famous travel treasures that you can enjoy, absolutely free, as ebooks from Project Gutenberg. Why should you read these lesser-known Stevenson creations? Because they'll take you back in time and all over the planet and hold a magnifying glass to a world of simple things that are also complex and wondrous when seen through Stevenson's eyes. Like travel itself, the experience of reading these can't help but broaden your perspective and deepen your empathy.

Some Teasers


Below are a few of my favorite passages from a couple of these works, along with links to the Project Gutenberg page where you can download the complete work in a suitable format for your particular e-reader. I hope these fragments inspire you to get the rest of the work from Gutenberg and settle in for your own slow, conscious journey back in time and around the world.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Reality Check: Practical Tools for Finding the Truth



Our Own Set of Facts? 


Those of us who live in democracies are facing a couple of crucial questions: Are we going to keep allowing ourselves to be "played" against each other by sophisticated hacker-propagandists who distort our reality with cherry-picked half-truths and outright lies? Or will we take responsibility for finding verifiable truths so we can make good decisions as well-informed voters?

Monday, July 30, 2018

5 Free Resources to Help You Build New Skills, Master New Technologies & Update Your Education

Alison, Academic Earth, GFC LearnFree, Udacity & Coursera
help you build or re-build your career skills for free.

Whether you simply want to update your resume with some practical new job skills, immerse yourself in an exciting technical innovation (flying cars?... machine learning? ... virtual reality?) or tackle some cosmic academic subject (ancient Greek history?... astrophysics?... Shakespeare?) these five online resources will help you. In the summaries below, you'll find direct links to the sites' free course listings, as well as general background information about what is unique about each site.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Video Tour of Podcast Addict: Capture or Stream Podcasts, Live Radio, Music & News

Capture & stream podcasts, audio books, news feeds &
live radio...  Listen online or offline!

"Podcast Addict is the #1 Podcast App on Android with 8+M downloads, 400K reviews, 1 Billion episodes downloaded and an average rating of 4.6/5."  -- Google Play Store

Here's a quick walk-thru of some of my favorite features of this amazing app. It has tons of powerful features that help you customize your experiences with podcasts, live radio streams, etc. Get news, music, entertainment, audio magazines and much more downloaded for offline use or live listening. I use it every day to curate my own news and stay informed!  (P.S. -- Be sure to scroll down to see a couple of related bonus videos.)

Watch my Video Tour of Podcast Addict here... 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

From the Archives: "Why You Should Trust Your Judgment (Your 'Inner Wisdom Filter')"

Your "Inner Wisdom Filter" is real & it's trustworthy!

“Skill in any performance, whether it be in sports, in playing the piano, in conversation, or in selling merchandise, consists not in painfully and consciously thinking out each action as it is performed, but in relaxing, and letting the job do itself through you. Creative performance is spontaneous and ‘natural’ as opposed to self-conscious and studied.”  -- Maxwell Maltz in Psycho-Cybernetics

“By banishing doubt and trusting your intuitive feelings, you clear a space for the power of intention to flow through.” -- Wayne Dyer in The Power of Intention

The message shared by these great teachers… indeed, by many other great philosophers… is that to achieve anything great you must trust that voice which lies deep within you and is trying to be heard...  

Want to learn more? Read the entire chapter (including interactive "Team Challenges") online, for free, here:  Worth Sharing: Essays & Tools to Help Project Managers & Their Teams.  Or listen to/download the podcast that inspired it here:  Trust Your Judgment (the podcast).

Related Posts

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What's congress up to? Countable helps you track & nag your senators & representatives!

Tell me: What are they about to vote on? What are the pros & cons? How can I contact them... right now?

If you're trying to be politically active and push your elected reps to action, timing is everything! At any given moment, there are so many debates and bills and initiatives before Congress that it's completely overwhelming to track them all. The best you can do is find out what's immediately pending so you can call them and make sure your voice is heard. But this is almost impossible without some sort of automated tracking. 

That's where Countable comes in. While it can do all sorts of great stuff, I use this app/website to help me with three main tasks: 
1. Find out what is immediately pending and ready for a vote in the Senate or House.
2. Research the item that is up for a vote by reading a summary of it, as well as pro and con perspectives, so I can make up my own mind. 
3. "Click through" a dialing link and immediately phone my particular Senators & members of the House of Representatives and urge them to vote the way I want them to vote!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

How to Honor Fallen Warriors: Stop Glorifying War & Become an Activist for Peace [with Links to Many Resources]

Cover image from the enlightening website,
"War is a Crime: A Blog About a Criminal Enterprise

As a “baby boomer” growing up in the United States, I’ve lived through many, many Memorial Day commemorations and solemn memorial services. And as the years pass, I’m growing less patient with our tolerance for war. For example, has anyone really noticed that we’ve been both killing and being killed for nearly 17 years in Afghanistan? Probably few US citizens could tell you how long we’ve been in that far-away land, why we are there and if we’re making any “progress,” despite all the death, destruction, and maimings. After all, there’s no military draft that reaches into all American households and pulls out soldiers, no “war taxes,” and generally no real “skin in the game” for most of us. Aside from having our airwaves a bit cluttered with Memorial Day speeches, we are mostly able to put this messy war stuff out of our minds.

Now most of the time I try to keep these articles positive, practical or uplifting. But here I’m going to stretch things a bit and include what we old liberals call “consciousness raising.” In that spirit I’m going to share some stuff here that will help you ponder why it is we can’t seem to quit fighting and then learn how you might take action to stop the senseless killing of our kids.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Re-Introducing My YouTube Channel (A 10-Video Sampler)


I LOVE sharing cool stuff! And one of the best ways to share anything is through a video "walk through" that demonstrates how it works, what's so great about it, etc.

Over the years I've collected quite a lovely pile of videos in my YouTube Channel.  In fact, as of this writing, there are over 90 videos organized into five different playlists. (And there are absolutely no annoying ads! ☺👍)

So since I've recently relaunched this website, I figured it might be a good time to re-introduce my YouTube Channel.

My 10-Video Sampler: A Little Bit of Everything


Sunday, April 1, 2018

How to Be a Gardener or Urban Farmer: Three Excellent (and Free) Resources


"If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing Double Dahlias in his garden." -- David W. Wolfe

Food for the body, enrichment for the soul... even a potential income source! Gardening can give you all of these, depending on how much time and energy you decide to invest.  In this article I share three great resources to help you get started with planning and managing your window box, your home garden, your urban farm or your "all-in" urban agriculture business. Enjoy!


Friday, March 23, 2018

Introducing the PDF Collection: Useful Tools and References To Go!

The PDF Collection: downloadable tools & references

My new PDF Collection is an eclectic bunch of free PDFs that I have published over the years.* There are four broad topic areas:  
  • General Interest (All sorts of useful stuff) 
  • Project Management 
  • Project Management Minimalism (See definition here)
  • Managing Instructional Design & Development Projects

Until a few days ago, these PDFs were scattered all over the place. As part of my recent website consolidation I've decided to pull them together in a single location so they are easier to find. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Introducing My PM Resources Archives



As I noted in my previous post, my PM Resources site has been reorganized as an archived collection. And it's LOADED with good stuff on Project Management (PM), PM Minimalism, working with project teams, and more. You'll find links* to PM tools, videos, audios, position papers, references and pretty much anything and everything I've ever published. 

Here's an interactive Table of Contents:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Website Migration: And Then There Were Three

The One-Minute Version

All my new stuff is right here at ... WORTH SHARING
All my archived stuff is at ... PM Resources or 
INSPIRATIONS... 

I've closed down two websites ("The Best Free Training" & "Project Management FREEBIES") and I have frozen, but kept available in archived form, two websites ("Michael Greer's PM Resources" & "Inspired Project Teams (archived as "INSPIRATIONS"). I will continue to publish all my new articles, PDFs, podcasts, videos, etc. here at this website, Mike Greer's WORTH SHARING.

Click below to check out my other two sites: 

Go to Michael Greer's PM Resources Archives

Go to INSPIRATIONS... archives.

The Extended Version: Of Hackers & My Quest for Quality of Life

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Inspirations: An Archived Collection to Motivate & Bring Peace of Mind

Beyond Project Teams:
A Collection of Inspirations for Everyone

This month I've begun working in earnest toward the goal I set nearly 5 years ago with the birth of this website, WORTH SHARING. I've begun the formal archiving of all my legacy websites.

First to be wrapped up: my Inspired Project Teams collection. The podcasts and matching exercises presented at this site were always a bit too expansive for their nominal use as tools for project teams. While they certainly support project teams, they are also well-suited to encouraging the personal growth and peace of mind of any individual. Drawing on the wisdom of so many great philosophers and psychologists, it's inevitable that this collection would transcend the practical, team-based performance tools that I typically create.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Overwhelmed by Angst? “Spit on Your Hands & Get Busy!” (Including a Quick Start Guide to Banishing Angst)


An increasingly hostile planetary climate, political insanity and gridlock, random acts of violence and terrorism, economic uncertainty, the threat of nuclear conflict… There are plenty of real-life demons loose in our world to generate that immobilizing feeling of deep anxiety or dread that the German’s call angst. And we’re all likely to experience it from time to time.

But here’s the question: Will you be frozen in place and succumb to this angst or will you reach inside yourself and connect with your passion to meet the angst head-on and defeat it?
It’s my purpose here to motivate you, through the wisdom shared by a few great minds, to take action — and, through this action, to pull yourself out of your musty ol’ funk. In the process, you might just make the world a better place!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Quick-Reference PDF: A Dozen Free Google Apps to Keep Your Family or Team Organized

Okay. I admit it. I crammed my previous two articles (A Dozen Free Google Apps…) with a ton of info!  And I suspect that after you read all that stuff, your next step might be to go back and sort through the apps to figure out which would be most useful for your family or team. To help you keep them all straight, I’ve created a quick-reference summary you can use and maybe share and discuss with your group. Click here to get PDF.* Enjoy!
Click here to download the 5-page Summary PDF! *

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Dozen Free Google Apps to Keep Your Family or Team Organized [Part 2 of 2]*

Does your family or team have documents, photos,
plans & maps scattered all over the place?
Google’s free apps help you consolidate, share & get organized!


In Part 1 of this two-part series we described how your family or team might use Google’s Gmail, Calendar, Keep, Photos, Photo Scan, and Maps.  In this Part we’ll take a closer look at Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Contacts, as well as five bonus Google apps or services you might want to check out. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Dozen Free Google Apps to Keep Your Family or Team Organized [Part 1 of 2]

Does your family or team have documents, photos,
plans & maps scattered all over the place?
Google’s free apps help you consolidate, share & get organized!
Whether you’re trying to coordinate a virtual team or a far-flung family, you can easily reach the point where the “wisdom of the group” is scattered all over the place. One person has that photo everyone is looking for, while somebody else has the schedule in her calendar and other people have the invitations to the event and maps with directions to the venue. In short, working together or sharing family records and events can result in digital files and critical documents scattered all over the place!
The best way to bring order to this chaos is to get everyone connected with a common set of apps that allows the entire group to create, store and share their image files and documents using any device. And that’s exactly what the dozen free Google apps below are designed to do.

Friday, February 16, 2018

5 Things You Can Do to Get Positive Political Results in a Soul-Numbing, Negative Media World (w/ links to tools & resources)

Get your mind right, your facts straight… then get active!
It’s exasperating. All day, every day we’re pummeled with negative news story after negative news story. Then talking heads analyze and dissect these stories and project them into bleak, conflicting doom-and-gloom scenarios. Seeking refuge among friends on Facebook we are soon buried in their provocative memes and rants. And if we’re not careful, our phone calls and in-person meetings with friends and family slip into pointless stirring of a pot full of second-hand, media-inspired arguments.  Eventually all this this negativity can cast a shadow over both our waking and sleeping moments, leaving us feeling like helpless, defeated victims of elected representatives and political processes that we can’t begin to control. 
Now even though I’ve written much on techniques for finding peace of mind and taking positive action, I still struggle to practice what I preach. So I’ve decided to force myself, by writing this, to review some specific actions that we can all take to step out of the negative shadows and into the positive light.  May this review help us all move from helpless anxiety and anger to enthusiastic, rabble-rousing activism!

5 Specific Actions You Can Take to Rise Above the Negative and Get Positive Political Results

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Searching for a Picture: How a Camera in Your Hands Can Improve Your Vision*

“If you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.”
 – Wayne Dyer
Years ago I realized that the best thing about carrying a camera is that it helps me see the world as a series of zoomed-in, artfully-framed images. There’s something about that device in my pocket, with all its lens settings and editing tools and pixel-power, that keeps nagging at me. It keeps asking, “Now what do you see? What’s out there that’s amazing? … that’s beautiful?”  So instead of just walking along passively spaced out, I’m studying the landscape, squinting at the high branches of trees and peering into the corners of gardens and shorelines. I’m on a quest to discover soon-to-evaporate tableaus or strange objects or flowers or critters or fellow humans that deserve to be captured, immortalized and shared.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ten Podcasts that Can Challenge You, Irritate You & Deepen Your Understanding of Current Events

The Trouble with The Truth

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” — Gloria Steinem
Yes, the truth can most certainly piss you off. And, according to my experience, it can do so in two very different ways. First, and most painfully, the truth that you finally discover isn’t always what you had hoped to find. Sometimes that hero you admire or that deeply held belief turns out, upon further research, to be fraudulent or incorrect. Then you’re forced to make that most difficult of shifts: You have to admit you have been wrong. Aaarrgh!
The second way the truth can piss you off is that it is often time-consuming and difficult to pursue! Let’s face it: Paying attention to long, drawn-out discussions of complex issues can be challenging or even downright irritating. But here’s what your head knows and your heart despises: Truth sometimes comes wrapped in complexity. It shows up as a messy amalgam of nuanced cause-effect chains, educated guesses, bits of evidence, collections of dimly recalled events and seemingly unrelated threads that have to be fastidiously plucked and traced and squinted at until your patience is strained to the max. But despite what the sound-byte-driven politicians and cable news ranters try to tell us, there is frequently no “simple truth!” There is, instead, only a deeply layered conceptual lasagna that takes time to assemble, bake, consume and digest.

Who’s Got the Time to Search for Truth?

And who has the time to search for ingredients and then assemble and bake those layers of that truth-as-lasagna? Researching the truth, in all its nuanced glory, can be a full-time job. The good news is that there are some big-brained, highly-trained and patient journalists and investigative reporters who are willing and eager to put in the hours for us. They dig up, sift through and distill disparate facts into well-supported sets of conclusions. All we have to do is find these people and connect with their work. And that’s what the podcasts listed below can help you do.

Ten Podcasts for Truth Seekers

Friday, February 9, 2018

5 Enablers of Team Success: A Universal Set of Minimum Project Requirements*


Ever wonder what separates successful project teams from those that struggle or even fail outright? It’s a lot more than simply talent, energy and creativity. Without a solid enabling project infrastructure, even the best people can fail… or, at best, work needlessly hard in a project environment that fights them and saps them of their strength.
If you want to get the most out of your project team with the least amount of effort and frustration, you need five key enablers in place:
  • A specific target
  • A shared vision
  • A mutually acceptable process
  • Real team empowerment
  • Dynamic connections
And while your organization’s PM approach du jour may vary (i.e., Agile, Waterfall, Kanban, Scrum, Prince II, yatta-yatta…) these five enablers of success are universal. If they are in place, you’ll have a much greater likelihood of a happy, productive team that produces solid results. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How to Get Comfortable Doing Nothing: 3 Simple Strategies*

Here I am practicing the fine art of doing nothing. No phone, no tablet, no chores!

Recently I came across this quote from Robert Louis Stevenson:
“… ‘something to do’ is a great enemy to joy; it is a way out of it; you wreak your high spirits on some cut-and-dry employment, and behold them gone!” from Stevenson’s Across the Plains
And then, while processing that bit of 19th century wisdom, my brain served up this mantra repeated by Dory, the little blue fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nemo:
“Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”
From Dory’s perspective, movement — any movement — whether or not it makes sense or is productive, brings the illusion of progress and, in turn, provides a sense of meaning.

Monday, February 5, 2018

24 Must-Have, Everyday Workhorse Apps*


Top 24 apps (logos shown clockwise from 7 o’clock): Timely, Accuweather, Gmail, Podcast Addict, Google Voice, Google Hangouts Dialer, Hiya Caller ID & Block, Google Keep, SimpleMind, MindMeister, Floating Stickies, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, Wunderlist, Google Maps, Feedly, Puffin, Xodo PDF, FBReader, Pocket, Google Photos, Fast for Facebook, Twilight, Atmosphere

If you’re like me, your mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.) is loaded with apps. In fact, I’ve just checked and discovered that I’ve got hundreds installed! And that left me wondering, “How many of these things do I need? Which of these do I depend on every day?”
After some reflection, I came up with a list of my “24 must-have, everyday workhorse apps.” Since I get so much value out of these, I decided they were worth sharing with you. They’re listed in the order that I typically use them throughout the day.

My Must-Have, Everyday Workhorse Apps


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Five Questions Every Team Must Answer and a Tool to Help*


Don't stumble all over each other!
Figure out who's doing what & to what degree they're doing it.


Five Key Questions for Any Project Team

Whenever a group of people get together to get something done, there are five role-related questions that should be asked immediately to focus their efforts and avoid wasting anyone's time:

1. Who's participating (helping) to get the job done?

2. Who's ultimately accountable for this? (i.e., Whose job is it to make certain that the work is completed?)

3. Who's reviewing the work to help make sure it meets technical, market, or other specifications?

4. Who's providing unique input or expertise at critical points in the project?

5. Who will be signing off on the intermediate and finished products to certify that the deliverables have been satisfactorily completed? (i.e., Who can tell us when we're finally, officially finished?)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Truth Finder: 3 Questions & Lots of Links to Help You Distinguish Fact from Fiction

Are you tired of trying to figure out what's true and what's a clever distortion or (worse!) an outright lie? I've put together a PDF to help you find the truth by asking 3 broad questions.  It includes links to some of the most reputable fact-checking websites and suggests ways you can construct your own custom-tailored truth-seeking web searches.  Enjoy!

Download the PDF w/links!

===== Related Articles ===== 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Got Thinkus Interruptus? Here are 5 specific actions to clean up your cluttered consciousness.


The Problem: Fractured Consciousness From Interruptions Can Ruin Your Work & Your Relationships.


In his article in Fast Company, Edward Brown identified these hidden costs and morale-crushing consequences when people are repeatedly interrupted while working:
  • Productive time lost: 40%-60% (3 to 5 hours every day!)
  • Frustration from losing momentum and having to re-start work & "rebuild pathways... reassemble resources, thoughts, and readiness..."
  • Loss of energy, enthusiasm and work enjoyment
  • More errors, quality problems and time spent in re-work 
  • Distress and irritability from time lost and pressure to get back up to speed and on schedule
Worse, if you accept or respond to interruptions during family time or quality time with your significant other, you are essentially sending them this message: "The person interrupting me right now is more important that you are. This time we are spending together is not as valuable as this incoming message."


The Solution: Take Charge of Your Own Consciousness!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Trouble sleeping? Twilight (Android) or Night Shift (iOS) can help!*



It's this simple: If you spend your evening hours looking at that beautiful bright screen on your tablet or smart phone, you're probably not getting the sleep you need. This summary from the Wikipedia article Effects of Blue Lights Technology explains:
"Natural exposure to blue light during the daylight hours boosts people's energy, alertness and mood, and elongated exposure to the waves transmitted through screen devices during the evening disrupts our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns and increases our risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Scientists believe that the underlying cause may be linked to a decrease in the bodies’ production of melatonin."
So does this mean we have to stop using our devices after dark or risk serious health consequences? Not necessarily. We simply need to dim the screen and shift the light emitted to warmer, redder tones. I like to think of it as moving close to a cozy campfire after the sun goes down.
There Are Apps for That!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Recipe for a Do-It-Yourself, Hands-on Project Management Basics Class for 10 Students: Under $500! *


Use this FREE PDF to design & build your own PM Basics Workshop!

Free Recipe for a PM Basics Workshop


The free PDF, pictured above, is a detailed "recipe" you can follow to create and teach your own customized, hands-on PM (project management) workshop. As the graphic shows, the PDF includes a detailed list of recommended class activities, specific pages in specific reference documents that include PM background information; PM job aids, templates, tools and guidelines; etc. The link-loaded tool will take you to specific video segments you can stream, for free, to help introduce each of the lessons to your group.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Top Five Free Apps to Capture Ideas & Leverage Creativity*

Use these 5 free tools on all your devices
to capture ideas, then clarify & refine them!

Ever notice that some project teams seem more productive than others?  ... that some people are a constant source of creative leaps and great ideas?  So what's their secret? It's no secret. As I discussed in my book Worth Sharing...:
"... Everyone is creative... But why do some people seem to produce more creative output than others? The answer is they leverage their creativity.... nurture it... capture the shimmering bubbles that float into their consciousness [&] treat these like the magical gifts that they are... by employing some fairly mundane, everyday practices."  -- from 10 Simple Practices to Keep Your Creative Output Flowing
In this article, I share my favorite free, cross-platform apps and tools to automate the creative-insight-capturing techniques recommended in my book. And you can have all these tools available to you 24/7, on your smart phone, tablet, and computer. So whether you are at work or out hiking or shopping or just hanging around home, you can capture that inspiration on your phone or tablet without losing it. And when you're ready to expand, refine or finalize it, it's right there in the cloud, easily accessible from any device. The result: No more lost flashes of insight -- and a steady flow of creative output!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Media-Induced Ignorance & How to Neutralize It

The Problem: The Truth is Out There, But It Often Takes Time & Effort to Comprehend.


Here's an assertion that some might find irritating: Sometimes there is a right answer -- an accurate, defensibly true description of reality. And despite what bloggers, media talking heads and political candidates would have us believe, not everything is subject to debate!  

Unfortunately, however, that right answer -- that observable, provable truth -- usually isn't as emotionally engaging, as provocative, as fun or as easily packaged into one of those viral memes that get so much attention.  The graphic below illustrates the problem:

Are e-cigarettes safe? The simple, op-ed answer
(pick your favorite!): "Yes" or "No." The scientific,
but boring and hard-on-your-brain,
answer: "It's complicated..."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Exercise Your Right Brain & Improve Your Life with Art Lessons from Artyfactory.com [Video Tour Included]*

(Go to my Video Tour on YouTube)


Connecting with the arts isn't just for art students. It can improve anyone's health and well being.

In Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity (Huffingtonpost.com), James Clear writes: "... the process of making art -- whether that be writing, painting, singing, dancing, or anything in between -- is good for you... There are both physical and mental benefits from creating art, expressing yourself in a tangible way, and sharing something with the world."

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Why I Use Google Photos, not Facebook, to Share Photos

After hearing Mike Elgan, Tech News Today news director, complain several times about Facebook's policy of shrinking -- and vastly reducing the quality of -- uploaded photos, I decided to see for myself what was going on.

So I did an experiment. I uploaded a photo to my Google Photos account and then uploaded the same photo to my Facebook account. Each service uses its own file reduction algorithms to shrink photos before they are finally stored. Next, I downloaded the Facebook-stored photo and the Google Photos-stored photo and opened them in my computer's photo viewer. I then compared the technical quality of the photos, based on the "info" revealed (file size & pixels).

The annotated images below show the results.

Monday, January 15, 2018

5 Specific Steps to Get Your Physical Therapy "Tune-Up" (2 of 2)*



In the previous article (1 of 2), I reviewed "5 Reasons Everyone Should Get a Regular 'Tune-Up' from a Physical Therapist..."

In this article, I'll show you exactly how to manage your medical team to get -- and make the most of -- that PT (physical therapy) tune up.***
____________________


Worksheet: 5 Specific Steps to Get Your PT "Tune Up"


Sunday, January 14, 2018

5 Reasons Everyone Should Get a Regular "Tune-Up" from a Physical Therapist (1 of 2)*


Physical Therapists at Work (via Wikipedia article)
[Caveat: I'm not a medical professional. I'm just an ordinary guy who's received lots of benefit from periodic visits to physical therapists. So I hereby share the goodness! - MG]

In my view, getting physical therapy (PT) should be similar to going to the dentist:
  • You should go at least every couple of years for a "tune-up."
  • The PT visits should be matched by your own daily maintenance routine.
  • This daily maintenance routine should be custom-tailored by the PT experts to address your aging body's unique anomalies -- especially those requiring immediate preventative maintenance actions.
At the end of this article, I'll share a few of my own specific medical conditions that were effectively treated by periodic PT. For now, consider this list of general benefits of regular interactions with a PT professional as we age:

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Five Benefits of Prototyping -- DO try this at home!


"So let's try one & see how it goes."

Building prototypes is a mainstay of formal PM (project management) practice.

The reason? It just makes sense to test something out on a small scale and make sure it works before you commit a large amount of effort or money to the finished product. And while I've seen how well prototyping works in my business life, I hadn't had much opportunity to apply it to my home life -- until recently. That's when we were able to put the power of prototyping to work in two complicated (and potentially expensive!) home improvement projects.