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 [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 (, 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."

Behavorial psychologists have long idenfied these benefits of painting and drawing: Improved creativity, memory, communication skills, problem solving skills, stress relief, more positive emotions, release of hidden emotions, increase of emotional intelligence, better mobility, better observational skills.  In particular, the scholarly American Journal of Public Health summarizes its extensive review of the scientific literature on art & healing with this assertion: "Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts." (See The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature.)

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.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Worth Sharing: On PMBOK, Post-It Notes, Dog Pooh, Project Post Mortems, Meditation, Sign-offs, Pelicans & ADHD

The book no publisher would touch!
Read all 300+ pages online, for FREE!!

[UPDATE, Aug. 27, 2022: While you can still buy a hard-copy or Kindle version of this book on Amazon (links below) I have also made it available absolutely FREE -- 300+ pages & 54 chapters in PDF format -- at Internet Archive.]

What do PMBOK, Post-It® Notes, dog pooh,project post-mortems, meditation, formal project sign-offs, pelicans and self-induced ADHD have in common? Two things:

1. They are just a few of the topics examined in my new book, Worth Sharing: Essays & Tools to Help Project Managers & Their Teams.
2. They are topics so diverse that no commercial publisher would ever allow themto be combined into a single book! So, with the help of some do-it-yourself tools at Pressbooks.comI published it myself. — You can read all 300+ pages online for free or get your own copy from Amazon/KindleBarnes & Noble/NOOKKobo/epub/iOS version or Amazon’s createspace (hard-copy/paperback)*.

An Overview of the Book

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Lesson from the Humble Pelican: Find Your Unique Mission, Then Soar!

 "A funny old bird is a pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belican..."
-- Dixon Lanier Merritt

I guess I've always had a mild obsession with pelicans. Living a few miles from the ocean and wetlands most of my adult life, I've had the chance to see pelicans in all shapes and sizes -- brown and gray and even the occasional white ones.

Once I spot them, I can't take my eyes off them. They soar the updrafts like modern-day pterodactyls, giant wings motionless and outstretched, heads tucked in, long necks disappearing completely. Or they adopt the same glide posture to skim blazingly fast along the water, just inches from the surface, hitch-hiking on an ocean breeze.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Clarisketch: Narrate & Annotate Pictures for Teaching or Team Collaboration

 (Screenshot from the Google Play store)

Everyone needs this free app! While it's true that "a picture is worth a thousand words," it's also true that sometimes you need to add some narration or draw some highlights to really amp up the value of the picture. And that's what this free app is all about! My video demo below explains:

Clarisketch helps you make little video-like presentations based on your own photos. And it's an invaluable tool for:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Free Management eBooks: A Comprehensive Collection of References and Tools for Managers [links]

[This post was originally published in 2014. The site my have moved, so please search for latest URL.]

If you’re a busy new manager, struggling to keep your organization running smoothly, the last thing you need is a time-consuming class filled with esoteric management theories.

In fact, you need just the opposite. Your dream-come-true would be to have your own, private management expert available on “stand-by” so you can get quick answers to the problems you encounter, as you encounter them. And you’d want these answers to be highly-focused, succinct and immediately usable.
Can’t afford to have that expert on stand-by? Then Free Management eBook’s collection of free ebooks and tools is the next best thing!  

Here’s what makes this collection so great: 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Why & How of Vegetarian Eating: A Self-Study Guide*

According to a growing body of research, as well as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicinea vegetarian diet can:
  • Prevent cancer
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Prevent and reverse diabetes
  • Reduce gallstoneskidney stones and osteoporosis
  • Reduce asthma symptoms *
Given this amazing list of health benefits, shouldn’t you at least consider becoming a vegetarian? In this post I’ve pulled together a bunch of links to articles, videos and other resources from respected sources to help you learn more and decide for yourself.