Memorial Day: Thank You to All Those Who Serve

By Ron Sterling [CC BY 4.0 (], from Wikimedia CommonsOn this Memorial Day, I am departing from my usual monthly post in order to recognize and thank all those who serve us in America and around the world. Service men and women, firefighters, police, medics, volunteers, lawyers and public servants who fight for our constitutional rights … the list could go on and on. And especially the families of all those individuals who sacrifice and suffer loss.

God blessed us with this magnificent land and countless brave and dedicated individuals make sacrifices every day to help keep this country as we know it safe and free.  I am humbled by all you do for us and am so very grateful.   Thank you.

Links Roundup #40: Journaling, Podcast Apps, Digital Humanities and Evernote

saddle and ropeGuidance on Beginning to Journal

Michael Hyatt’s magazine this month is on the benefits of journaling.  He and his guest writers share tips and insights on the practice of journaling here.

Also, check out The Productive Benefits of Journaling from the folks at

Best Podcast Apps

Looking for a new podcast app for your Android device?  Try the 10 Best Podcasts for Android by Joe Hindy, or Tom’s Guide to Best Podcast Apps.


While you are considering a new Podcast app, you might want to also take another look at an app that’s been around for some time.  Feedly will not only support your podcasts, it also handles RSS feeds, Youtube channels and more, all in one convenient app.  It made the list of best 15 free Android apps of 2018 on Android Authority this year.  CloudeeReviews just did an indepth review of Feedly that you might also be interested in.

A little Late to the Game

I’m a little late to the game with this one, but to my defense, I am not a humanities librarian.  I just came across the dh+lib website, where digital humanities and librarianship meet.  It’s been around since 2012 and was developed from discussions on the  ACRL Digital Humanities Discussion Group (DH DG) listserv.  They describe their purpose as providing “a weekly roundup of recommended readings, resources, posts, calls for papers/participation, jobs, and other items of potential interest to dh+lib readers.”  November 2017 marked their fifth year of operation, and as one who recognizes the effort in keeping a website such as this vibrant, I congratulate them on their continued success!

Big Evernote Update! reports that Evernote’s Windows 10 Gets a Big Update!  Welcome news to all Evernote users on the MS Windows platform for sure! Included in the update is a full-fledged editing experience, drag and drop functionality, and a zoom feature to the Image Gallery as well as a number of irritating bugs which have now been fixed.  Yay, Evernote!

Book Review: Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt

Picture of Your Best Year Ever book coverFollowers of this blog will recognize the name Michael Hyatt.  In 2016, I reviewed his book Living Forward in which he shared his method for creating a life plan for one’s life.  In his new book, Your Best Year Ever, Hyatt drills down on the goal setting slice of your Life Plan’s pie, providing methods for setting and achieving goals.

I must place a caveat up front.  This book did not have the same punch for me as Living Forward did.  With the former, I actually had some life plan illuminations that motivated me to make a few positive changes in my life.  I do not really see the same personal benefit from Your Best Year Ever.  Perhaps that is because I have been required to create and meet or exceed goals every year of my working life for each of the various positions I have held.  Perhaps this is just an area that I feel I have sufficiently mastered.  But I am certainly not everyone.

This book might be particularly appealing to managers who would like an easy to digest book on effective goal setting to recommend to their employees.  The writing is straight forward and engaging, full of vignettes from past clients as well as hypothetical stories illustrating various goal setting points.  With sections focusing on why written goals are important, and how to stay motivated, Hyatt goes a step beyond the familiar SMART goals, by  proposing the importance for SMARTER goals: goals which are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-keyed, Exciting and  Relevant.

Hyatt certainly reaches beyond simply focusing on professional goals, covering goal setting for each of the ten principle life domains of one’s life: Spiritual, Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Marital, Parental, Social, Vocational, Avocational, and Financial.  In this respect, the book dove-tails nicely with Living Forward.  I also like his point regarding taking the time to consider why your goals exist. Ask yourself, what is the importance of a given goal? This can prove very motivating to remember when achieving a particular goal gets tough.

Hyatt ends his book with a section of sample goal templates filled out for the different life domains that he had defined earlier.  The sample pages illustrate how the various aspects of Hyatt’s goal achievement process fit together to form a plan of action that motivates getting started… and sometimes getting started with a goal can be the hardest part!

I think that one of the difficulties that I had with this book is that I really felt that Hyatt had the techniques of social media marketers on full blast with this book and the surrounding hype leading up to and through the publication of Your Best Year Ever. I follow Hyatt’s blog as well, and between the book itself and the blog emails, I started to feel like I was caught in an infomercial.  I don’t react well to that, which is probably why I am an academic and not in business marketing, lol. But that is another blog for another day.

Links Roundup #39: Feb. is for New: New Book, New Blog Series, New Podcast…

saddle and ropeNew Productivity Book Alert!

I’m thrilled to tell you that one of Professors whose posts I frequently mention is coming out with a new book in September (preorders are available now!).  Bonnie Stachowiak of Teaching In Higher Ed is publishing her book:  The Productive Online Professor.  I can’t wait to read this book; I know from my own limited exposure to online teaching (mostly creating online modules and providing one time library instruction via video) that this delivery method of instruction is a whole distinct animal that can eat up enormous amounts of time.  Bonnie is sharing techniques with us all about how to handle our personal productivity in this challenging environment. Congratulations Bonnie!

New Mindfulness Podcast

If you have read my blog for a while, you will recognize my fondness for the work of the academics from the Greater Good Science Center of UC Berkeley. I loved their online MOOC, The Science of Happiness, and now they are launching their Science of Happiness Podcast! It is an interesting premise where the Science of Happiness researchers will run experiments with “happiness guinea pigs” and interview them for the 15-20 minute podcast episodes while also sharing the underlying science behind their reactions.  The podcast is hosted by GGSC Director, Dacher Keltner.

Puzzle Creator Tool

The folks at Literacy Central (Reading is Fundamental) created a nice quick tool called the Puzzle Creator to design three different kinds of puzzles that can either be completed online (they provide the URL to the puzzle), or printed out.  They have word search, crossword and memory match. They limit you to single words of no more than 15 characters, and they give the word answers to the student for the crossword puzzle in a “word bank”, but it is a kind of fun tool for quick puzzle creation.

New Voice in Productivity Blogs

Kent Holsinger, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School at UConn started a new series of posts in 2018 on productivity and Getting Organized that are quite nice.  I love blogs where an academic documents what works for him or her.  Dr. Holsinger is a MAC/i-everything user, which I am not, so his voice adds a nice counter-balance to the posts I have offered over the past several years from the android point of view.

How I …..

While we are on the topic of academics who document in blog posts how their productivity systems, I can also recommend the “How I Plan series” by Dr. Ellie Mackin Roberts.  If I may quote directly from Dr. Roberts’ site, ” How I Plan is a collection of interviews looking at how people approach their research planning….It was inspired by Eva Lantsoght’s ‘How I Work’ series on PhD Talk.”  I haven’t yet read Eva’s series, but that will be my next stop.

Links Roundup #38: Privacy, Wi-fi, Digital Research & Timeline Tools and Mindfulness

saddle and rope

Privacy Tips for Online

John Mason of the recently posted a nice list of 19 actions that we can easily incorporate in our online activity to better protect our privacy in his Online Privacy Guide.

Boost Your Home Wi-Fi

As some of us begin to think about doing some work from home over the holidays… or begin to do some major online shopping in expectation of said holidays, here’s a handy list from the folks at Lifehacker: Top 10 ways to boost your home wi-fi.

23 Researcher Things

The minds at the University of Melbourne posted this collection of blogs on the  23 Research Things (2017): Digital Tools to Support Your Research.  It is a nice collection to share with your faculty about Open Access, Scholarly Communications, etc topics.

Online Timeline Maker

Nick Peachey posted on his Scoop.It topic Tools for Teachers and Learners about an online Timeline Maker from the people at TimeGraphics.  This free tool integrates with Google apps.

A Mindful Thanksgiving

And finally, from the wonderful folks at Mindful Magazine, 5 Ways to Thrive at Thanksgiving.  To their thoughtful message I will add my prayers that all my faithful readers have a blessed Thanksgiving.  For those readers not in the USA, a blessed holiday season as it approaches.

picture of the first thanksgiving  Jean Leon Gerome Ferris [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons