The power of sticky notes


stickiesWhen a  team asks me to join in a brainstorming session, and the first thing I see is someone with a notepad trying to capture all their thoughts, I always find a way to have them change to sticky notes and a large wall space. Why?
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How to say “I am sorry” to a designer


sorry.jpgI found this in my Stumbleupon wanderings:

swiss-miss.com/2010/02/im-sorry.html

Clever. Inside joke? Not if you use Windows shortcuts. Your designer will appreciate it.

Oh, it’s Command+Z to the designer, most likely a Mac user.

The art of the focal point


“Every good design needs a focal point.” Garr Reynolds begins in this meaty blog post.

Explaining “Tokonoma,” Garr moves from the Japanese architectural and cultural explanation, into the realm of practical application in—of all things—presentations. He takes the real-life, explains the concepts, and turns them back into the real life.

Brilliantly depicting before and after examples of presentation images, Garr shows examples that my most-practical and literal-minded followers can swallow.

I encourge you to apply the principles if you do any of the following:

  • create presentations and training visuals
  • design living spaces or workspaces
  • create visual communications (even the most-basic e-mail!)
  • Read his post on presentationzen.com.

100 tips to rise above the noise on Twitter


Friends who aren’t on Twitter often ask me how to get beyond their “get started” phase. Other friends tell me of the frustrations with Twitter that drove them away. Still others remind me that their busy lives don’t allow them to engage with Twitter as often as they’d like.
twitter_logo
To all of these friends, I may have found an answer. Read this helpful list Continue reading

The best camera to buy. Ever.


eye-to-eye with a lens

eye-to-eye with a lens

Because I’m often seen as a photographer, my friends sometimes ask me what can be done to improve their photos. And if their questions are about what equipment to buy, I often steer them first toward the debate regarding “photography = science + art.”

For those who haven’t heard that one, photography is a balance between two parts, science and art. The science : light, equipment, and mechanics. The art: composition, timing, light, balance and contrast, and story. My point? Too often, people concentrate on Continue reading

How to break writer’s block – Part 2


Are you curious how our writer did on her writer’s block problem? Yesterday, I posted a blog entry on a writer (whom I’ll call “Jay”) facing writer’s block and impending deadlines.

Today, I checked in with Jay and learned the first draft went out to a first reviewer, at a whoppin’ 1,300 word count! Yeah, I’d say the block was broken.

jay's mindmap

jay's mindmap


Jay appreciated the following tips from our brainstorming and mindmapping session. Jay shared that before our session:

“I was overwhelmed on what was important and where to start. During our session, I was able to spit out a lot of topics and then organize afterwards…By seeing the topics in front of me instead of floating around in my head…it made it easier to focus and prioritize the information.”

So, stay tuned for a follow-up post on Jay’s final production piece, as the deadline to production approaches.

How to break writer’s block – Part 1


A fellow writer just mentioned getting stuck in writer’s block. It happens to all of us. So, I spent 10 minutes helping the writer (whom I’ll call “Jay”) overcome writer’s block. How?

I had Jay list the obstacles on sticky notes. “What is keeping me from crossing that divide between here and the finished product?”

why Jay's stuck

why Jay's stuck

Once Jay saw them written, he/she either (a) knew that it was real and had a plan to overcome it or (b) realized it wasn’t a real obstacle after all.

With that out of the way, I had Jay mindmap the written project. In ten minutes, we had an outline of four key points and the four solutions, an intro, and an ending.

Jay had been stuck on the headline. So we put “headline” as a mindmap topic and left it blank for now.

I’ll write a follow-up post on Jay’s progress in a few days. Stay tuned.