Items Of Interest — #2

I’ve been increasingly interested in the research that shows how valuable taking a break from out overly busy days can be. For instance, according to The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal Ph.D. urges meditation and taking a walk outside as key strategies for increased focus and drive. For this reason, next up on my to-read list is Autopilot: The Art & Science Of Doing Nothing by Andrew Smart. From what I’ve heard, it dives even deeper into the science behind making the time to do nothing.

While we are on the subject of books, the one I’m currently reading is Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei and Scott Belsky. I love simple, practical, actionable advice for creatives like myself and this has hit the mark so far. I love the idea that it leads with — putting your priorities first. Far too often, we start our day in reaction mode — responding to emails, checking voice mails, reacting to task lists. The book argues that this puts other peoples priorities first and give your creativity and back seat. I know I need to be much better at this.

I was recently surprised and delighted to find myself mentioned amongst others I enjoy in this Fast Company post on the benefits of hand writing on pen and paper. I do a fair (and increasing) bit of first drafting on paper. This post started out that way as have many others.

If you are in the market for a good (but not too good) notebook to capture your thoughts, Field Notes are always a good choice. I always have one in my back pocket to capture meeting notes and ideas for the current books I’m working on. The most recent special edition, The Night Sky, is a real stunner.

I know that privacy and security are of increasing concern given recent events here in the cradle of democracy. Therefore, I find this neat little Onion Pi project of interest. Get yourself a Raspberry Pi, a USB wifi adapter, power, and ethernet. And now you have a little secure hotspot that routes all traffic through the anonymizing Tor Network. Of course, one will need more than this to be truly anonymous and secure but, hey, it’s a good place to start (and nerdy fun too).

I generally do not like most of the conferences I have attended. Mainly because I’m an introvert and find they take more energy than the value they often provide. Therefore, I have pondered starting a conference myself before, and still might actually do so in the future. One that provides all of, and only, the parts of the things I like about conferences. That said, if I were to make a list and spell out what those things were, it would look very much like this guide to running a good conference or event. In fact, it pretty much covers it.

Speaking of events, I’ll be hosting a meet-up event for members of App.net on June 20th (This Thursday) at 6:30p at the Chatterbox Cafe in Saint Paul, MN. I would love it if you are around and joined us. Not an App.net member? Have no idea what it is? Well…

App.net is the social networking service that has largely replaced Twitter for me. It is everything Twitter used to be and should have become. App.net is normally a paid service (Which is one of the things I love about it — you are the customer!) but, the kind and generous folks there have given me some free invites to give away. Just click that link and you’ll be in like flint. I have not idea how many there are so first come first serve and they are gone when they are gone.

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