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Seven ways to start

1) Start with an invocation. My cheese monster will never be satisfied. 2) Start immediately. “Inspiration is perishable.” ← One of my favorite micro-essays in the book ReWork. I’ve learned that if I don’t act on an exciting idea right away, I probably never will. 3) Start with a class. I’ve gotten a start on lots…Continue readingSeven ways to start

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A Different Kind of Freedom

One of my favorite quotes of late, on freedom: Like most Americans, I shrink from the thought of subservience of mind or person. I too cherish the word freedom. But I want to be free to be painstaking if I want to, to be responsible, to be involved; to be free to exercise whatever intellect…Continue readingA Different Kind of Freedom

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I’m not more creative than you, I just write things down

Want to feel more creative? Write things down. Use a pen. And a piece of paper. And when you think of a thing, write it down. Continue readingI’m not more creative than you, I just write things down

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Design Jigs

It’s rare that I make a particular design deliverable in the same way on more than one occasion. The folders of my work laptop are filled with diagrams, maps, sketches, and frameworks that were used, at best, two or three times. Often only once. The most common deliverable I produce is a jig. In metalworking…Continue readingDesign Jigs

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Welcome to Meeting Club

Welcome to Meeting Club. The first rule of Meeting Club is: we do not talk about meetings. We just have them.Continue readingWelcome to Meeting Club

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Noticing vs. Caring

A quick thought on feedback and reviewing designs — perhaps of particular use to junior designers whose work goes in front of a more senior designer or manager before stakeholders see it. Busy stakeholders and managers will often try to poke holes in a design or draft just to see if you’re confident in it. The particular…Continue readingNoticing vs. Caring

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People Like Free Things (and that’s okay)

I’m sad that Google Reader is going to be shut down. I really like Google Reader. I liked it even more before they stripped some of the social features out to sandbag it for Wave.  Judging by my Twitter timeline and blog subscriptions, I’m in the minority. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that being…Continue readingPeople Like Free Things (and that’s okay)

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You Need a Clipboard Manager

Do you write things on computers? Okay, good. So you have a clipboard manager, right? My clipboard manager makes me feel like a ninja. I’m sliding and striking and chopping and spinning words and text and URLs without any worry about losing my balance or missing my objective.  A clipboard manager is just what it…Continue readingYou Need a Clipboard Manager

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How to Not Lose Your Voice

If you have to give a presentation, lead a meeting, or just do a lot of talking as part of your job, losing your voice is not option. The best thing you can do for your voice is to speak only as loud as necessary, with plenty of breath support, at a comfortable pitch. Most…Continue readingHow to Not Lose Your Voice

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Smaller Paper

If you’re waiting around for a big idea, you might be waiting a long time. My big ideas are built out of small ideas. A big blank canvas? Scary. A new Powerpoint deck with no slides? Scary. Designer notebooks packed with crisp, white, empty pages? I’ve abandoned dozens. I try to capture my small ideas…Continue readingSmaller Paper