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These are real books on my bookshelf, not a stock photo.

I try to take time every day to read. Here is how I go about reading and taking notes on different mediums.

Physical books

eBooks

Audiobooks


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“Piece of pie.” — Donatello

Creating is awesome. Creating consistently is even better. Here are some strategies for being consistent in your creative endeavors.

I’ve spent the last month blogging every day, but this isn't the first time I’ve regularly put stuff out online. I posted every single day in 2010 and I’ve averaged a post a week since 2011.

Here are some strategies I use to create content consistently. This applies to writing, painting, podcasting, and other creative endeavors.

Harness Inspiration

When you have an idea, stop and get it down. If you have move things around enough to write the full post, that is great. If not, spend 5 minutes making an outline that you can flesh out later.

Amanda and I have made this a regular part of our lives. It is not uncommon for us to pause our conversation in the middle of dinner to get down bullet points that we can return to later. …


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We all understand the importance of setting deadlines at work. Everything revolves around intentionally set deadlines and there are consequences if they aren’t met. Deadlines are a useful tool at work to keep progress moving forward. If there were no deadlines and no consequences for missing them, how many projects would realistically get done?

Apply the same thinking above to your personal life: If you don’t intentionally work at improving yourself, how can you expect that improvement to happen?

PDPs

At Praxis, our favorite self-improvement tool is the PDP: A self-chosen 30-day challenge with tangible benchmarks and outcomes. The best PDPs involve doing something tangible every single day for 30 days. …


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Two weeks ago I had a problem I wanted to solve with Zapier: Only running a particular Zapier action during business hours and delaying everything that happens outside of business hours until the next day.

I tried multiple approaches to make this happen, but each one fell short:


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“Send a thank you note” is one of those pieces of common wisdom we always hear, yet an astonishingly low number of people actually do it.

Let me give a recent example of how a thank you note (even a digital one!) can shape someone’s view of you.

A Tale of Two Groups

Over the past few weeks I emailed the same message to two different groups.

Group A is generally earlier on in their careers. Group B is generally more established in their careers. The email content, open rates, and link clicks were the same, but what stuck out to me was how differently the two groups acted after logging in. Only 2.4% of group A sent me a note afterward, whereas 55.5%


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I field a lot of questions. I’m sure you do, too.

In a single day I might get asked about technology recommendations, programming syntax, software integrations, business processes, locating files, and how to set up WordPress. I don’t mind answering these questions, and I try to do so quickly and politely.

Here’s the kicker: At least 80% of these questions can be answered with a simple web search. There already dozens of tutorials, Stack Overflow threads, Quora answers, blog posts, FAQs, and documentation sections covering these topics that can be reached in a few clicks. Most of the time the person asking has not made any attempt to answer the question themselves. …


Take screenshots, get reading statistics, export your highlights, and remove the ads from your Kindle

1. Screenshots

Did you know that you can take screenshots on most recent Kindles? This is useful for quickly sharing a passage, showing an editor or developer a display issue, and sharing tips in an article like this one.

To take a screenshot, tap on opposing corners at the same time.

To retrieve these screenshots, connect the Kindle to your computer via USB. The screenshots will be saved in the main folder as .png files.

2. Reading Statistics with Kindle FreeTime

I’ve wanted reading statistics on my Kindle for a long time. …


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Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Are you visiting LA for a few days and want to get out to see Joshua Tree? Taking a day trip from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is completely doable as long as you plan ahead. Here is what you need to know.

What you’ll need


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On January 5, I started using Exist.io to rate each day from 1–5 and jot down a few notes about the day. The scale is pretty simple:

At the end of the month I looked back at the data I collected and I was a little bummed to see that there were so many 2 (brownish) and 3 (yellowish android green) days.

About

Chuck Grimmett

Product Manager at Praxis, photographer, and problem solver. In my spare time I read, cook, and make data visualizations.

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