Turn email into less of a chore with templates of responses and save hours every week.
In an age where the workday is seemingly getting longer and longer, every minute counts. So we thought we’d give you some of them back with this week’s productivity hack.
“In a decade, we’ll look back with shock at what we accepted as normal and desirable. Never before, and never again, will things be as bad. Relish it.”
Sadie Stein on the Emmy Awards and our cultural tolerance for true unnaturalness.
Red Hook’s Cutting-Edge Wireless Network
Robert Smith, a 19-year-old in a gray T-shirt and camouflage pants, climbed the stairwell of the Joseph Miccio Community Center in Red Hook, scaled a ladder at the top floor and jumped onto the roof. He soon found what he was looking for: bright, white plastic boxes, each about the size of a brick, some with little antennas sticking out. Mr. Smith pulled a laptop from his backpack and got to work, tending to the nodes of the Red Hook mesh, an ambitious plan to link up a local wireless digital network across the neighborhood.
With the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway just ahead and the Lower Manhattan skyline in the distance, Mr. Smith worked on keeping the digital conversation going. He was examining two devices on the roof while wirelessly conversing with a minicomputer a few hundred feet away on the roof of a school that had a high-speed Internet connection.
Full Story: NYT
You probably know someone who’s always a step ahead of the game. She can tell, somehow innately, when bad news is coming, or when to take the risk that no one else would touch.
These people are dialed into their “gut instincts,” and are never wrong—almost annoyingly so.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam surveyed 3,500 administrative professionals and 1,300 senior managers, and found that 88% make decisions based on gut feelings.
The ability to intuit future problems before they become serious can be an invaluable trait in the workplace. “Any manager will tell you that having an assistant who anticipates his or her needs and offers solutions without being asked is virtually indispensable,” says Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam executive director.
There are five types of intuition:
Cable, Twitter picked up Ferguson story at a similar clip -
The shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, quickly became a national news story on mainstream and social media last week. A new Pew Research Center analysis of media coverage of the event and subsequent protests finds that the story emerged on Twitter before cable, but the trajectory of attention quickly rose in tandem, peaking on both mediums the day after two journalists were arrested and protests turned more violent.
Word on the Street
Four people is the optimum sized team for collaborating on a project.
This is far from scientific and it’s only one example but it’s interesting. In this case it seems to imply that for work that relies on generating activity (e.g. generating ideas, editing existing content) 2 or 3 collaborators on a project are better than 1, and 4 are better than 1, 2, or 3, but 4 are also better than 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9. Not until you get to 10 or more collaborators do you see an increase in activity per person. This makes some sense as collaborating on a project sparks more ideas, if you’re accountable to a group of people then you’re more likely to hit deadlines, but once you get above 4 people the extra communication needed to coordinate works against individual productivity.
Once you hit 10 or more people a different communication protocol emerges. One of two things is probably happening. This is probably closer to crowdsourcing than collaboration. You probably have a few owners of the project with multiple inputing only occasionally.
There’s probably other research out there on optimal team size, I should find some.
I hate people generally, but I like people individually. —
introverts (via janesblueheaven)
Last month, as I geared up to teach my daughter “Bug” to code, we built a better map of our neighborhood than Google had. On one level, it was a moment of empowerment. But on a deeper level it was a lesson about the futility of fighting Mountain View: The Fusion Tables my 6-year-old and I used to build our map are just one of a suite of Google Drive apps, and all the data we manually pulled together went back to the mothership.
Kids generally (and Bug specifically) get this. If you want a peek into how deeply they trust consumer-facing brands, drive them to McDonald’s and order them something new, and note their willingness to try anything Ronald boxes up in a Happy Meal. Now attempt to swap generic oat circles for the big yellow Cheerios box.
Kids today want to trust brands, and that’s why digital companies are trying to break into the Happy Meal demographic. Google is reportedly aiming to build child-friendly versions of its services, and the Instagram-for-kids app Kuddle raised millions in funding. This all suggests a move toward a Nickelodeon-ization of the Internet that allows you to plant your kid and walk away.
This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. — Alan Watts (via larmoyante)