Trello

This wonderful tool is designed to help organize projects that involve more than just one person.  It exists on a web page that looks deceptively simple, but has tons of power for organizing and coordinating every task that needs to be done.  Like most web-based tools,trello your free account is the starting point, but with Trello, the free level gives plenty of power for just about anything you can imagine! I won’t describe in detail how it works – I include a short video that gives an overview below.  My focus here is to describe how and why I use it, despite the fact that there is a bit of overlap with the other organizing tools I use.

There are two features that make Trello close to indispensible for me – the ability to lay everything out in a “dining room table” style so that I can see a visual overview of all the pieces, and the ability to share this “picture” of the project with others who are working on the same project.  You organize the project on a “Board” and on each Board you develop lists in any way that best works for your project.  For example, you might have a list for new ideas, tasks that are in progress, tasks coming up next, and tasks you have completed. Every list has a card for each task, and when you click on the card, you see details that re on the “back” of the card Everyone on the team working on the project can add cards, comment on cards, attach files to cards, even start a new list. On my teams we set due dates and reminders for specific tasks, so that everyone on the team can keep track of who is doing what.

The “dining room table” perspective is particularly important for my journal.  Even though for the ANS board I am the main person who uses it, other people who are involved with the journal have access to the board so that someone besides just me can see instantly a “picture” of what is happening and how it is all laid out.  I have a list to keep general information and resources, and a list for each issue – current and coming up in the future.  The issue lists have cards for each tasks that is required to bring the issue from conception to completion, along with the due dates for each task.  I do use my to-do list in tandem with the Trello lists, which may seem a bit of unneccessary duplication, but each perspective of the tasks required for managing and editing the journal serve a unique purpose, and with Trello other people have a “window” into the journal processes – a very important feature in case there were to be a time when (goddess forbid) I am incapacitated.

So if you want to learn more, here is a webpage the Trello folks provide as introduction.  And a brief YouTube video.  There are many YouTube “Trello” videos, each with a somewhat different “take” on ways you can use this powerful tool!

 

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Evernote: A virtual file cabinet

One of the biggest challenges related to getting things done, for me, is how to collect the pieces that I need to complete a task, or how to save things I come across that you might want to use someday. I have tried dozens of approaches to this, a few of which I still hold onto.   I finally came to the conclusion that there just is not one and only one way to do this!  It was helpful to me, as a digital immigrant, to kind of construct an “equivalent” mental image of the new digital tools with the old paper, wood and metal tools and structures needed to organize the stuff I have to get done!

So Evernote has become the equivalent of my personal metal filing cabinet!  It is available for Windows, Mac and all smart phones and tablets.  Everything synchronizes beautifullyEvernote between your devices, so you have your entire metal file cabinet at your fingertips!  There is a free level, but there are additional features that are available at the 24.99 annual fee level that are valuable if you can spring for this fee — for example, you need to have this level of subscription to email stuff to Evernote.

So you might be wondering .. what does Evernote actually provide that beats just saving my files to my computer!  You can see a review here that explains a lot, but for me, there are two main reasons I am a huge Evernote fan.

First, Evernote “saves” and organizes everything .. not just files you would otherwise save to your computer..  You can drag and drop or manually attach any kind of file to a notebook, save a web page to Evernote, record a voice recording (even record a lecture), take a snapshot. I can scan a document with my phone, and save the scanned document directly to Evernote.  Evernote automatically preforms “OCR” (Optical Character Recognition) on PDF files you save, so that the PDF file is fully searchable.   So, for example, you are planning a big vacation!  Everything you come across that relates to your trip can go into Evernote. You organize the trip items into a notebook for the trip, so when you open the notebook you can see all the things you have saved for the trip.

Second, you can share notebooks with as many other people as you wish.  So you have six other people joining you for the trip?  Share the trip notebook with them, and everyone can add anything they find related to the trip – web pages about restaurants to try, reviews of the tours you are considering, Youtube videos about using public transportation … anything you find!  My 11-year-old granddaughter and I shared a notebook for the trip to Hawaii last year, where we each filed all sorts of things we found to do while we were there.  I saved the emails about our reservations in the notebook so that we both knew about them, plus they were handy to refer to when we actually arrived at the hotel, for example, and needed to show our reservation details at check-in!  On a more serious note, I have a notebook of “Important Information” where I keep notes about insurance policies, car registrations, the current lease on the apartment, account information for bank accounts — all the stuff anyone might need to know if I am incapacitated!  That notebook is shared with everyone who might need to know this information at any time!

There are, like any application, features that I personally do not use.  You can tag all of your notes – to me it is too much of a bother to remember to tag notes, and not too useful since I can search all of my notes for any term and Evernote will find all the notes where that term applies.  I also do not use the “reminders” feature in Evernote!  If a note I am saving needs a reminder, I enter that into Toodledo.  Or, if I am sending an email to Evernote that also involves a task and a due date, I email the message to both Evernote and Toodledo!  But some people find tags and reminders essential features .. once you start using it, you will find what works best for you.

To be useful to the max, you have to do some maintenance and housekeeping!  It is all well and good to dump stuff into Evernote, but if you do not organize what you dump there, then you won’t get the most out of it.  Of course you can search all of your notes to find anything that mentions a term you want, but if you organize your notes into notebooks, then when you need to see all the stuff you have saved about a particular “thing” then you have quick access to it all in one place.

I am loving the discussion that this series is prompting!  So if you have questions or comments, or recommendations based on your experience with Evernote or with something similar, let me know!

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Toodledo!

I should stop promising what will come next in this sequence of posts! Yes, the plan was to blog about Evernote next, but then Toodledo came along!  I discovered this wonderful task-organizing app because of the great discussion on this series so far, so if you are not following comments as well as posts, and this series interests you, go back and check out the comments!  The questions about a to-do list app that is not exclusively for the Mac (which is the case with Omnifocus) led me to discover Toodledo!  It took me less than 30 minutes to decide to switch over – not something that happens often when I think I have the perfect app for the job!  Here are the reasons I switched:

  • It took me about 5 minutes of experimenting, but I was able to import all of my Omnifocus data into Toodledo.  The “Support” forum gave me the clues I needed, and once I figured out the tweaks, everything was transferred within nano-seconds! I am going to gradually re-structure a bit how what I designated as projects in Omnifocus are organized in Toodledo – here they can be set up  either as tasks and sub-tasks,  or folders – a semantic difference between the apps that can throw you for a loop. One feature that did not come through from Omnifocus is the “repeats” on tasks, so I am setting repeats on tasks as they show up, which is not a huge burden!  But this illustrates what kinds of things to look for when you switch from one app to another, in any case.
  • Toodledo is a web-based program, which to me is now the ideal, as opposed to having to download and constantly update “legacy” software on my computer.  This is one reason I also switched from Endnote to Paperpile for reference management (thanks Leslie!). And as a web-based program, it functions equally well on a PC or a Mac, and they have mobile apps for both kinds of mobile devices.  On your computer you go directly to the toodledo.com site using your browser, log in, and all your stuff is right there.
  • Toodledo does everything Omnifocus does – and more.  I still do not use a number of the features, such as the “contexts” feature, but there are a couple of new features in Toodledo that I am drawn to .. one being the “hotlist” that shows not only tasks that are due today, but also tasks that are on the horizon that I have marked as a high priority.
  • The apps for mobile devices work great!  I do miss the very aesthetically pleasing “look and feel” of the Omnifocus apps, but Toodledo is clean, intuitive, and very powerful on any device.  Working on the computer you do have to be connected to the internet, but my iPhone app works just fine on airplane mode (meaning it is not connected to the Internet) and then everything syncs once the phone is back online. And in fact my phone is my go-to device for managing my tasks!

So not only do I recommend it, I am now a total fan for myself!  Yes, I can be a bit fickle when it comes to finding a better mouse trap!!

Toodledo 600

 

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The Essential To-Do List!

Maybe my aversion to being “List-less” accounts for my love of to-do list apps, but honestly, I could not live without such a thing! Here I will explain how I use iOmnifocus. But  I actually also use 2 additional apps that are in this cateogory -apps dedicated to very specific kinds of tasks – a grocery shopping app called “grocery gadget” and a packing list app called “Packing Pro.”  These kinds of task-dedicated apps come pre-configured for the designated task, are customizable for your own needs, and in the case of a task you share with someone else (like grocery shopping) everyone involved can share the same list.  For example, Karen and I share the same grocery list and can add items to the list even while the other one is doing the shopping, or add items any time either of us thinks of something we need.  In the case of the packing list, I set up specific list for each trip based on a template of the typical things I always need to pack, then as I think of things specific to a trip (like a jump drive with my presentation file), I can add it to the list for that particular trip.  Doing this kind of “list” in an all-purpose app is too cumbersome, and it clutters up the stuff you need to manage aside from these kinds of “personal maintenance” tasks.

But a fully customizable “to-do” app is also invaluable.  I have tried most of the to-do list appsOmniFocus out there, and have finally settled on one that is based on the “Getting Things Done” philosophy, and is one of the highest-rated apps of its kind – Omnifocus.  I will admit that a couple of times over the past several years I have abandoned Omnifocus in an attempt to find one that did some of the same things, costs less, and simpler and less “cluttered” with features I never use. But I have come back to Omnifocus twice after trying out some of the others. One thing about this app that I have grown to really appreciate is that it has been quickly and regularly improved over the years.  With another app I tried, the developers kept promising to add a feature that was missing, but after a year the feature was still not there … so I abandoned it altogether.  There are indeed many good apps “out there” – apps that cost less and are much simpler, so you might prefer something different, but the fundamental concepts are the same .. the ability to keep a running list of things you need to do, adjust the due dates as circumstance change, and get reminders when something is due or past due.

The main reason I prefer Omnifocus is because of several features that many of the simpler apps do not accomplish nearly as well .. the ability to set up large projects, with all the of the specific tasks required to complete that project, the ability to see your tasks from more than one point of view, coordination with your calendar, and reliable syncing of information across your devices using a “cloud” backup/storage, and I can email my Omnifocus account with items to add to a list!  Here are some details on these features I find indispensable:

  • I have about 50 “projects” (don’t laugh – you probably have about this many as well but have never seen them laid out all at once!!).  Some of my projects are dormant for now … but when the time comes I have a template to pick it up again (for example, a book that will eventually need to be revised).  I share projects for several “financial” matters … one of which is coming up soon – preparation of tax returns!  I have a “Project,” for example, for each issue of the journal I edit.  Each of these “project” lists starts out with the standard tasks that are required to complete the issue, with the due date assigned for that particular issue.  Once I know what articles will be included in the issue, I add the details for each article along with a date for the article to be featured on the journal blog.  At any one time there are 6 issues in the works, so there is a project for each of the 6, and I can quickly see what is coming due for each issue.
  • Omnifocus provides several “perspectives” that you can use – I constantly use the “forecast” that shows any task related to any project that is due today, and for the next week or month.  At the same time, if I need to see just the tasks for a particular project, I can easily click over to see just that project and review all the tasks involved, along with their due dates.
  • There are easy-to-use versions of the app for all of my devices — computer, smart phone and tablet, and all of my information syncs instantly with the database stored in a “cloud” location that I selected.  With Omnifocus I have never had a problem with this essential (for me) feature – this is one reason I have abandoned a couple of the other apps I tried – inconsistent or failed syncing.
  • All versions of Omnifocus give a bird’s eye view of my calendar, so when I see the forecast of the tasks that I hope to accomplish today, I also see a graph showing how much of my day is consumed with activities where I have to show up — meaning those portions of my day are not available to do my tasks!  When I see that I will not be able to even come close to completing all the tasks for the day, I know it is time to adjust my expectations!  There are days when I decide early on that I am going to tackle what I can, hope to get done as much as possible, and then re-assign the tasks I cannot complete at the end of the day.  On other days, I decide to just chill .. to clear the to-do list for today, be fully engaged with the people and places where I have to show up, and alleviate the angst and frustration looming with a to-do list that is not happening!  This is the part I need to get better at doing .. but when I am successful, I feel great!
  • Omnifocus provides what for me is essential .. then I get an email with information I need for a task, or to add a task, I forward the email to Omnifocus and it shows up in my “inbox!”  Then I can easily refine the task to fit where it needs to fit – due date, project, etc.  The email shows up in the notes for the task, and I am ready to go!

One of the Omnifocus features I do not use is the “context” perspective – but it might be useful to someone who is reading this blog.  Everytime you set up a project or a task, you can link it to a context – where you need to be when this task needs to be done.  So if you have a regular meeting with colleagues where you need to pay attention to several tasks, and you have several projects that are in varying stages of completion, you can view the tasks for this context when you need to see this perspective.

Bottom line – even though I am a great fan of Omnifocus, if you have not used an app for your to-do list before, I would suggest starting with something simple.  You can use Omnifocus as a very basic to-do list and not worry about the features you don’t use.  But consider some of the other apps – read the reviews, consider the price, and get started!

Up next time .. Evernote!!  How do I know this?  I just checked my Omnifocus project for this blog!

 

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Procrastination

Before I talk about Omnifocus (which I promised to be the second in my series of blog posts on productivity), I am inspired to insert a discussion of the universal challenge of procrastination!  I have yet to meet a person who does not succumb to this – some more than others, but always with a sense of frustration and resignation!  So here are my thoughts, and my experience in dealing with this!

First, I think that not all procrastination is bad .. “good” procrastination might be called something else, but it is important to me to realize that some things turn out better if I wait a while to get them done. I am more productive and creative when I do not force something, but wait until I feel inspired and energized for a particular task.  This series of posts, for example, has been on my to-do list for several weeks, and I kept putting it off – until now, I am particularly motivated to get these posts written because of being involved with a group of students who are inspiring and motivated!

But inspiration is a slippery thing .. and lack of inspiration can become a #1 excuse for me to put something off too long!  So I have learned to “inspire inspiration” when I need to!  I see something coming due in the next few days, and I really hate to be pressured to complete the task, so I force myself to just get it started … write something to get the editorial started, or organization the materials I need to work with, or look up some information I know I will need to get the task done.  Anything to get started will usually do the trick .. before I know it, I see my way clear to really dig in and get the task done, and lo and behold before I know it I can’t rest until it is done!

There are other things – usually the mundane things – that I refuse to procrastinate about because doing so just adds to a feeling of being overwhelmed!  But resolving to NOT do something is futile … what I need is a resolve of what to do instead!  For me, the principle that defines what to do instead for many things is the principle of handling an item only once!  Here are some things this applies to:

  • Email – As often as possible, I read an email message only once, and answer it right away.  When I delay answering a message, then I have to read it again, and probably think about it again – a complete waste of time if it could have been handled earlier!  So I only get into my email when I know I will have time to read, answer and dismiss at least a good bulk of the items in my inbox.  If I see I have 89 new messages, and I know I have limited time today to deal with all of them, first I delete as many as I can without even opening them – often eliminating close to a third or half of them!  Then I scan the rest to see if there are messages from folks I know I really need to get back to, and open, read and answer those.  If there is still time, I handle the rest and leave just as few as possible in the inbox .. most of them still unread because to read them and not respond takes too much time! There may be a handful of 6 or 7, out of 87 messages, that I read intending to answer, then realize I need more time to reflect on my answer, or get information before I can answer — this is not procrastination, it is taking time to prepare!  For some of them, a task goes on my to-do list.  For many messages like this I do respond to let the person know I saw their message, and to let them know when I will respond with the information they need.
  • Snail mail – this is harder for me than email because I really dislike dealing with paper mail!  And my resolve on this comes and goes in waves!  But when I am dealing in my preferred mode, I open all paper mail that does not immediately go in the recycle bin, and handle it immediately!  If it is something I need to file (like tax forms) I scan it as soon as I open it with my phone scanning app, then file the paper away in the old-fashioned paper file drawer where I can find it when I need it.  If it requires a response I cannot take care of immediately, it goes on my to-do list, and the paper goes in a paper “inbox” that I aim to keep as empty as possible!
  • Dishes, clothes and general household clutter – the “handle it once” is a fabulous principle here, and for me this is a fairly easy one!  If I pick up an object, it goes immediately where it belongs!  What does this have to do with time management?  A lot — because the time involved with dealing with objects, or looking for an item that should be in a certain drawer, is time I could be using to just chill out, or work on my quilt, or answer email, or revise the draft of that manuscript, or write a blog post!

Of course there are times when things don’t get done as efficiently as I would like simply because something takes longer than I anticipated, or because of circumstances.  Example – my granddaughter needs to get to the doctor and I am the only one who can take her, so the morning I had intended to clear out my email Inbox gets consumed at the pediatrician’s office!  Of course my granddaughter’s well being is a number one priority on my to-do list, even if this unexpected doctor’s appointment was not exactly on the list! The matter of my email list is no longer at the top of the list. This is not procrastination!  But it does mean that my resolve to have a near-empty inbox is sidetracked!  Nonetheless, the email inbox does not go away, and it is easy to begin to feel overwhelmed.  There is only one solution … carve out time as soon as possible to catch up!  This is possible for me to do with the circumstances of my life right now, but when I had small children in my household, carving out the time to catch up also involved carving out a space away from the children.  I know I was a better parent when I did this, because my frustration and preoccupation with the to-do list could be set aside for quality time with the children.

Indeed, getting things done is always a very fine balancing act!  And for me there is a very fine line between making good choices among competing demands and procrastination!  Knowing the difference requires a finely tuned level of internal honesty!

 

 

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Do I ever sleep? Here’s the answer!

Oh yes indeed I sleep, and very well indeed!  But I get asked this question so often – in the context of “how do you do all you do?” –  that I finally decided to address this here on my blog!  First, though, I have to admit that I offer my responses to this not because I think other folks need to “get more done,” and certainly not with the intent that you would follow what I do.  But I do think some of the ideas I work with might be useful to at least know about .. so this post launches a series of posts that will explain some of the most useful “productivity” tools and habits that I use – and you can take it or leave it as you see fit!

So to begin, my “productivity” story began when I was about 10 years old.  I read the book “Cheaper by the Dozen.”  This book was published in 1948 (the year I turned 7).  It was CheaperByTheDozenwritten by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, two of the 12 children in the Gilbreth family.  Their parents were pioneers in studying “time and motion” to produce the greatest degree of efficiency in organizational behavior.  Of course for me as a young girl, the book caught my attention because of the very interesting and often hilarious anecdotes of growing up in a family of 12 children.  But what ended up having a lasting influence on me was the idea of efficiency!  From the moment I read the book, I launched a personal “mission” to find the most efficient way of accomplishing any task!  I determined that even if I did not become an engineer, I would always be an “efficiency expert!”  This is kind of ironic since I have ended up with quite a tense relationship with “management” – but that is another story!

Watching now the evolution of my grandchildren, I am more aware than ever of the lasting influence of the ideas, skills and interests that they are drawn to in these school-age years!  So if you are interested in following my next few posts that get into more details on this, remember that the “seed” of efficiency for me dates way back .. I have now have had about 65 years to refine this “skill”!

So here is my first explanation about organizing my life – that “day-timer” idea!  As soon the Franklin Covey planners were published in 1997, I grabbed it up immediately — it provided a way for me to do what I had already been doing – managing my day-today schedule and the tasks I needed to do – but more efficiently!  Then the application Omnifocus came along, based on the idea of “getting things done” – and I have never looked back!

I will write more about Omnifocus and other tools I use later, but the main point I want to start this series with is the importance of the calendar, and how I use it.  Of course like everyone I wish there were hours in the day, but for me, one way to stretch my available time (for petting my dog, sleeping, being withe friends, traveling with Karen, being with my grandchildren, cooking fabulous meals and eating them, etc etc) is using my calendar only for the things that are actually happening in a defined time frame, and having on my calendar what I will need for that occasion so that I do not have to hunt for it.  So here are the guidelines I use:

  • What goes on the calendar are only those things where I have to “show up!”  Tasks I need to do are in Omnifocus (with reminders, of course!). You can use any approach you prefer… even paper .. but the idea is to keep your “to-do” list OFF your calendar.  For me, my calendar shows an uncluttered view of the things I have to show up for!  Once I know how much “open” space there is, I can then look at the “to-do” list and figure out what is reasonable to accomplish today.  If other people are looking at and helping to manage your calendar, and they might think “open” space means they can schedule things for you, DO make a calendar entry as often as you need it, indicating you will be getting your tasks done.  You can call is “Writing” or “Tasks” – just let other people know they actually cannot use this time!
  • Linked to my calendar events is all the information I will need for that occasion .. the address and phone number of where it is happening, the URL of any online resources I will need, a note about where I can find the minutes of the last meeting or any documents I need.  If there are tickets I will need for the event, my calendar has a note reminding me of where the tickets are!  If I have to take something along with me to the event, the calendar note includes what that is!  This is crucial even for social events … if I need to take a main dish to the potluck, my calendar has a note about what dish I am taking.
  • When I schedule a calendar event that requires advance action on my part, that task goes on the to-do list, NOT the calendar!  So if I am going to need to shop for the ingredients for a putluck dish, and prepare it ahead of time, those tasks go on the to-do list with the advance due date to get them done.  Example — the potluck is on Saturday.  I need to shop on Friday for the particular ingredients for the dish I am preparing, and I  prepare the dish on Saturday morning.  But those tasks do NOT go on the calendar.  Only the potluck goes on the calendar.  My to-do list shows that shopping and cooking have to be done on Friday and Saturday.  Since these are “tasks” that can happen at any time that works best as the time approaches, I can wiggle around to manage how and when these preparation tasks get done! And, my calendar for Friday and Saturday have “open” times when I can get them done – I know the protect this time if at all possible because I can see the potluck coming up on the calendar, and the to-do list is warning me about it.  If its, turns out that the open time evaporates, then I know that I will need some help with the task (someone else will have to shop for me), or, I will need to reconsider what i am taking to the potluck!

OK .. enough for now … stay tuned .. Omnifocus will be next!

 

 

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Three January AJN “events”

The January issue of the American Journal of Nursing contains three items that I am thrilled to share with everyone!  First and second, the book titled  Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice Cover Emancipatory Nursingas Praxis edited by Paula N. Kagan, Marlaine C. Smith, and Peggy L. Chinn won “Book of the Year” in two categories – History and Public Policy, and in Professional Issues.  You can see the press release about all of the awards here.  The link to. the article online is here.  The detailed comments of the reviewers are posted on the web as supplementary digital content; you can access this information online as a subscriber, or through your library.  The book is available in both paper and electronic formats – here is the Amazon link!

The third item is in the “Art of Nursing” section of the journal, where myQuilt1-300quilt, shown above as the banner for this web site, is featured!  Here is an excerpt from the narrative I wrote about the quilt:  “Just as the idea of health is a holistic construct, a quilt has a wholeness greater than the sum of its many parts. Its messy, unattractive underside is essential for the complex pattern to emerge, much as countless physical and psychological human processes are essential to what we recognize as health and well-being” (AJN January 2016 Vol. 116, No. 1, p. 48)

If you are a nurse, I strongly encourage subscribing to this important journal, which has been a steady voice for nursing since 1900!  At least explore the many resources that the journal provides, and follow the blog: “Off the Charts”

AJNBlog500

Posted in Art, Books, Health Care, Nursing | Tagged | 3 Comments

Writing in the Digital Age: Savvy Publishing for Healthcare Professionals! Available now!

I am thrilled to announce that this new book that Leslie Nicoll and I wrote is now available for Kindle – Writing in the Digital Age: Savvy Publishing for Healthcare Professionals! It is also available from NursingCenter.com in a format for iBook, Google Play, etc.  Nook will Cover Nicoll Chinnhave it soon!    Here is how the publisher describes the book:

If you are an author, or aspire to be one, writing for publication in today’s digital age means you are likely a “digital immigrant,” confronted at every turn with new and unexpected technology and electronic innovations. Writing in the Digital Age: Savvy Publishing for Healthcare Professionals is a valuable resource to orient you to the rapid evolution of digital writing. Practical, readable, and very accessible, the book includes guidelines, resources, and tips and tricks that you can put to use immediately to be a successful author in today’s quickly changing digital environment. Added features include “think about it” exercises, historical tidbits, and questions for discussion. Dr. Nicoll and Dr. Chinn share their combined love of technology with their writing, publishing, and editing expertise to help demystify the processes of digital writing and publishing. They explain what is changing and what is staying the same, and how you can use this knowledge to successfully write within today’s modern digital environment!

But we are eager to hear your feedback about the book!  So check it out and let us know!

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LavenderHealth joins in celebration of the US Supreme Court ruling on Marriage Equality

Celebrating Marriage Equality – from LavenderHealth.org!

Lavender Health - LGBTQ Resource Center

Today, the landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the rule of the nation!  While there are many challenges ahead, the fact that there are so many symbols, everywhere we turn, of support and utter joy, makes this occasion one for unrestrained celebration!  Watch this video of the comments made by the chief plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, whose story is a moving example of the importance of this decision and its effect on health and well-being:

White house rainbow2

Supreme court Love

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Obama’s Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney

President Obama has had the sad task, too many times, of delivering eulogies during his remarkable Presidency.  Each one has been thoughtful, sensitive, and from-the-heart honest.  Each one, to me, has been well worth watching – but to me, the eulogy he delivered yesterday, June 26th, at the funeral for Clementa Pinckney, was more than excellent – it was a speech of historic proportions that may be his best ever.  It was the highlight of a week that brought a series of “good news” announcements for the President, each of which alone has great implications for his legacy, and as he approaches the last 18 months of his Presidency, he is admittedly emboldened to perhaps be more candid and honest than ever before.  But it was also the end of a week of great tragedy, with the country now riveted on yet another horrible crime of hate that took the lives of nine good people, and that has finally moved many to acknowledge one of the most troubling facts of our time – institutionalized racism. Throughout his presidency, Obama has maintained his very early message of “there is not a blue America and a red America, a Black American and a White America – there is the United States of America.”  In this eulogy Obama spoke the truth about the challenges of overcoming our deep divisions – the truth about so many challenges that we face in this country – with forcefulness and stunning heart-felt honesty.   If you missed this speech – watch it here now.

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