Tag Archives: lifehack

Photographing Your City at Night

Here are some tips to get the most out of your night photography efforts

To take a photograph of a cityscape once the evening has come, find a spot that shows off all the buildings and office lights that are lit. Place the camera on a tripod, and turn the mode dial to AV (aperture priority) mode; we want f/8 and upwards for a greater depth of field. Use your camera’s self-timer or a cable release to take the photo with absolutely no blurring. The best time for this kind of shot is during the two “golden hours” which are the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset.

How to become a world class note taker

From the Atlantic  Be OCD and draw pictures

4. Be OCD About Your Notes
The more OCD you are about organizing your notes, the better. The Journal of Reading compared different note-taking methods and found that the most rigorously structured-those with hierarchal ordering and numbered subsections-were of the highest quality and accuracy. A two-column method came in a close second; these notes were arranged such that the left column contained the information from the given event (i.e. the meeting, lecture or talk) and the right column was used later to fill out follow-up points and highlight key themes. Although these notes were significantly more precise than freestyle note-taking, there was little difference in the ability of the note-taker to recall the material.

5. Draw Pictures!
The British Journal of Educational Technology found mind-mapping to be significantly more effective than just writing out notes. Mind-mapping brings visual structure to notes, usually involving writing one word in the center and drawing offshoots from it with related ideas and phrases. Researchers studying two groups of note-takers, those using the SmartWisdom method (a popular alternative mind-mapping system) and those writing traditional notes found that although there was no difference in the accuracy of the notes, the mind-mappers were able to present the information back with more clarity and coherence than their counterparts.

A DIY Book Journal

Last year it took Mark forever to get started on his written assignments.  He would just freeze and get all stressed and I would have to calm him down and get him focused on what to do.  I thought we had made some progress but he wanted a book the other day and tried to access his line of credit at the Bank of Dad.  I agreed but made him promise to write me a book report on what he learned.  After a couple of days of Mark stressing all out about it, I wrote out a quick outline and things went much smoother and he gave me a pretty good book report without the stress and suffering that often comes with it.  I typed up what I had put together, added a bit of formatting, stole some ideas from some other book journals and printed out 50 copies for him to keep in a binder.  I also saved it to a PDF and uploaded it here in case any of you want to see what I did or make your own book journal for your kids.  I think I am going to put together a weekend trip journal and a Adventure Around Town Journal as well.

The Problem With Calendars

Mule Design on the Chokehold of Calendars

Meetings may be toxic, but calendars are the superfund sites that allow that toxicity to thrive. All calendars suck. And they all suck in the same way. Calendars are a record of interruptions. And quite often they’re a battlefield over who owns whose time.

Here’s the problem and the solution

Let’s start with the premise that you have a 40 hour week. (If you just started crying you need a new job.) That’s 40 hours of time to do your job. Now look at your calendar. If your job is to spend a very large part of those 40 hours in meetings scheduled for you by other people then you’re fine. If your job is to produce things such as code, comps, analyses, flow documents, etc., then why isn’t the time to do THAT on your calendar?

People rarely schedule working time. And when they do it’s viewed as second-tier time. It’s interruptible. Meetings trump working time. Why? And why so often are the same people who assign deadlines the same ones reassigning all of your time? Crazymaking. They should be securing work time for you and protecting it fiercely.

Why are you letting other people put things on your calendar? The idea of a calendar as a public fire hydrant for colleagues to mark is ludicrous. The time displayed on your calendar belongs to you, not to them. It’s been allocated to you to complete tasks. Why are you taking time away from your coding project to go to a meeting that someone you barely know added you to without asking and without the decency to have submitted an agenda?

Start saying no.

Why do you feel like others have more of a right to your time than you do? The time is yours.