Quick Tip: Document Management


I’m pretty good about tracking where my documents are – I work virtually with most clients, so I have to keep track of different drafts of this and that, all my notes, etc.  And between email attachments stored in my inbox, my drop box account, my google drive, my laptop, my external hard drive (I have a lot of data – a big stationary computer was cheaper than adding tons of memory to my cute little mac air)…if I *do* lose track of something, it can take a while to sort through everything and find the proverbial needle in the haystack.  And really, it’s haystacks, plural.So, I’m pretty excited to try this: Ooberdocs.

It downloads incoming email attachments to your dropbox, and then sends you a text to tell you about it.  It seems like a great idea, very straightforward value proposition.  Consolidate your haystacks…

Gratuitous Olympics Post: The Crucifixion of Hannah Kearney

Hannah Kearney had an amazing practice run in the 2014 Olympics, then just didn’t when it counted. No spectacular injury or crash, she just failed to ski the run of her life, and that was what she needed to do to win a gold medal.  She was devastated.  And said so when they stuck a camera in her face immediately after the run, when it was clear she was getting the bronze.  She tweeted that it felt like heartbreak.

And the internet and some “journalists” went nuts.  What a whiny, entitled, ungrateful girl.  She should be happy she got to even have such an experience.  An embarrassment to America.  Worst interview ever.

But that’s not what I saw. Read more

How to build a network for influence, not show

It’s not how big your network is, it’s how you use it.

No, really.  So for all of you who’ve been emailing me to ask some version of HOW to network, this is going to be your week – all about practical tips for this mystical thing called networking.  But let’s start with theory.

Michael Simmons wrote a lovely piece over at Forbes about his own experiences and how they coincide with current network science.  And it’s good news for the people who tend to beg me for help, who tend to be introverts (or introvert-ish) and worried that everyone else in the world knows how to go to a cocktail party and come home with 10 new cards for the rolodex and that they’re missing out on some key that will open all these doors for them.

I’m not knocking the “come home with as many business cards as possible approach” – there are times where that’s very useful.  If you run your own business, as I do, it’s one of the many ways I try to generate leads… but that’s not the best way to build your social influence. Read more

The Development Shrink Shopping Guide (for gifts that give back)

‘Tis the season for gift giving.  Of all the invented holidays, I think Cyber Monday is one of my least favorite…but aside from all the hoopla from media folks who think that “hey, people shop online…a lot” is a news story, it’s pretty practical.  I’m not anti-shopping, mostly because I’m very pro-gift giving!

If you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few ways that I get more bang for my own gift giving dollar, giving gifts that are neat gifts but also help support organizations and causes.  You’ll feel like the savviest of all savvy shoppers, and it can often add to the experience for the recipient. Read more

Are you locked into binary thinking? (What I learned from moving part 1)

This fall, I sold my house of nine years and moved from New Haven proper into the Greater New Haven suburbs – a mere couple of miles, but oh what a difference it makes.  My new home is semi-rural (any time your landmarks are trees and other houses instead of cross streets and stores, you’re in the wild, as far as I’m concerned.  Also, there’s a horse farm, so if anything, I’d question the “semi” in semi-rural!), and it’s quite the adjustment.  But with all the chaos that’s kept me in radio silence for the past few weeks, I’ve also had plenty of time to think…packing china is particularly meditative…and I’ve got some insights to share with you.

First, selling a house is awful.  I’m sure there are exceptions to this, and perhaps in previous years or different locations it isn’t always quite so terrible, but I felt raked over the coals in nearly infinite directions.  Here’s one of the things I learned that forced me to turn my gaze back in on myself and my own professional perspectives.

Our real estate agent believed, to the core of her being, in a binary system of real estate transactions.  Selling = good, not selling = bad.  It was absolutely impossible to make her understand that we had a BATNA, and that we were not interested in selling, period – we were interested in selling at a price that made sense for our finances.  She didn’t understand we wouldn’t sell for less than our mortgage balance, she didn’t understand we weren’t interested in selling without clearing additional money beyond that (still nowhere near where we’d bought at the market peak 9 years ago).  We frustrated her, and she infuriated us.

Here’s the thing: we were both right.   Read more

Back to School Week – Show Me the Money

School is back in session, and while the kids are starting to settle, PTOs are just starting to get off the ground.   Whatever your local name is for that strange phenomenon where parents and sometimes teachers or administrators get together to enhance and supplement their kids’ experiences during the school year.  Sadly, it seems more common these days to use the PTO/PTA/Boosters moniker to refer to a group of parents who are desperate to raise enough money to put former basics back into the budget, like art, music, a couple of field trips a year…or find enough scholarship money to keep deserving students in the school.

I’ve had a couple of emails to the old mailbag asking for tips on good fundraisers for schools, and I’m deeply sympathetic – both to the parents, conscripted into service with a sense of urgency but without a whole lot of prior experience in some cases, and to the cause.  I’m a public school kid who remembers the incredibly hard work of the Parent Boosters Club, which was the only thing keeping music and arts programs in our high school during year after year of austerity budgets.  This week of blog posts, devoted to fundraising in schools, is dedicated to them.  Go Ganders!

On overconfidence

Pros, cons, and thanks

Thank you, dear readers, for reaching the end of our first week on our new site.  I hope you like it; I think it’s absolutely amazing, and want to give a huge shoutout to Gilday Creative for making us (me!) look like a million bucks.  But I’ve also noticed something about myself the past couple of weeks as we prepared for the launch – I’m much more comfortable in the backend of this site.  When I load up the home page, or a full post for preview, my heart quickens and I get nervous.

Here’s my problem, and it’s one I think many people have, particularly women (at least statistically!) Read more

Housekeeping and apologies

Fridays for You – this week on Monday.  Alas, I am having trouble with the auto-publish feature on this blog.

It’s probably me.  Safe money is that I’m doing something wrong.  But still, for the next week, bear with me as I publish irregularly.  I have a consulting practice that will take most of my time for a few days.

I’ll do my best!!!

And hey – this is a great opportunity to rename my personal development/leadership posts.  Any ideas?