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This time last year I committed to a daily meditation practice that I’ve gratefully been able to maintain thanks to how I’ve stacked my habits and made use of a meditation app called headspace.

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The antithesis of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, Lena Dunham (Girls creator) recently told LinkedIn readers she’ll say no more this year…

Don’t Take it Personally When I Tell You “No.” I’m Using it On Everyone This Year

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Last week the folks at The Energy Project included this in their newsletter…

“Encourage your employees to show their appreciation for each other in a positive way every day. By promoting a workplace culture where all individuals are shown that the work they do is recognized, appreciated, and valued, happiness and productivity levels in your organization will thrive, and you will be able to sustainably engage your workforce.”

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Writing Great Email Subject Lines

Save for the fixed, yet nondescript “Spark Productivity” email subject lines sadly greeting my blog subscribers, I carefully craft my email subject lines for business email using context-rich keywords to empower my recipients (& me!). I am gratefully granted the same courtesy by many a sender.

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When it comes to answering the is it better to call or email question, there are several sides to the call or email efficiency story…

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For three years we at Spark Productivity have been using Workflowy for delegating work. This one-page website and voluminous-blog powerhouse describes itself as a zoomable, powerful digital notebook that accelerates creativity and productivity while providing unprecedented flexibility in organizing your ideas. We agree.

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Would you consider romantically pairing a six-foot one-inch female friend with a male colleague who is five-foot eight inches? Probably not, because thoughtfully bearing in mind social norms and their physical differences, and you can quickly detect the depressed likelihood of success in this circumstance.

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Although this won’t optimize every delegation situation, why not experiment with posting a banner like this to see what happens:

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As we connect with colleagues, the options for outings continue to grow. Some contacts are best served by a coffee meet up or over a gourmet meal. Others prefer viewing a sporting event or trying a hand at golf. And now a growing trend involves taking connections to the gym.

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2 people on couch with PCs

There are many free and easy-to-use tools available to make collaboration more productive. This post touches on a few of the ones we often use. Some we have mentioned in previous blogs, and some are being shared for the first time. We hope these tools help boost your personal productivity.

  1. Google Docs – share ‘in process’ documents. Have multiple people all contributing to one document with ease.   

  2. Google Calendar – share calendars. Overlay multiple calendars to have both shared and private calendars in your single view; and, these calendars can be sent/updated instantaneously to your smart phone as well.   

  3. Wokflowy – share (unlimited!) task lists; add notes and mark items complete.   

  4. SugarSync – share attachments without taking up space in other’s email. Recipients simply follow the link and are able to download a shared attachment.   

  5. – share websites, podcasts and other internet favorites along with your annotations. Create your own stacks (groupings) and tags for items too.   

  6. – share availability with others to determine the best time to meet.

  7. = share mind maps. Have multiple people contributing at once, or on their own timing.

We know there are numerous nifty tools to make it easier to work with others in the electronic world. We hope you enjoy these tools and will share some of your favorites with us!

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