So how do we manage all that incoming email? Here are a few tips: 1. Make Your Email Inbox an 'In' Box. Make your email Inbox a processing station, not a holding station. Imagine if you left all your paper letters in your physical letter box at the front of your house for weeks on end. What a mess it would be! See you email inbox the same way. How many email are there right now? 50, 100, 500, 1000, more? Learn to process items as soon as possible and get that inbox to empty. 2. Set Up a Simple Folder Filing System. Within your email inbox you can create additional folders (just like drawers within a physical filing cabinet).... Read more →

Let's face it, we all send emails to other people and add to their inbox. So let's talk today about how to write effective emails. 1. Don't Over-Communicate by Email. As we have already noted, a big source of stress for people, especially at work, is the sheer volume of emails they receive. So, before you begin writing an email, ask yourself: "Is this really necessary?” Sometimes, it is better to speak directly to the person by phone or in person. Email is not as secure as you might want it to be, particularly as people may forward emails without thinking to delete the conversation history. So avoid sharing sensitive or personal information in an email, and don't write about... Read more →

Yesterday, we briefly referred to the exponential changes that have taken place over the last 500 years in the way we communicate with one another. Today let's talk about some of the challenges of email. 1. We often feel expected to reply immediately. Have you ever had someone ask you if you got their email - yesterday? Long gone is the era where it took 10 days for a letter to a arrive from overseas and you had a few weeks to respond and send a reply! 2. Online messages interrupt our day. Most workers dread the Monday morning over-flowing email inbox. Many people now receive over 50 emails every day and it is estimated that the average office worker... Read more →

Let's do a quick tour of how communication has changed over the last 500 years. In Britain in 1500, only 5-10% of the population could read or write. Wow! What did they do. They probably talked to each other - sharing stories in person. Postcards took off in 1871, resulting in what TIME magazine called an ‘epidemic’. In 1840, the average American sent 3 letters a year; in 1900, that number rose to 69. The telegraph changed everything. A message could be sent across the Atlantic in a matter of hours rather than the 5 weeks it took for 'snail mail' to arrive. This peaked in 1945 with 240 million telegrams a year. In 2007, just over 60 years later,... Read more →

All of us have tasks we want to get done or projects we are working on. Keeping a record of them all in one place is really important. The most popular method is a task or project list, which can be looked at regularly then items are ticked off when completed. But what if you are more of a visual person? The Kanban (meaning 'signboard' or 'billboard') project management method was invented by Japanese engineers to create a logical workflow system. Over time the concept has been adapted for use by organisations, workteams or individuals. The method involves (1) visualising your workflow by using a board to diagram all your tasks/projects, (2) limiting your work-in-progress to a minimum, and (3)... Read more →

Habits are what we do habitually, automatically or without thinking. They are very powerful! An old poem puts it like this: Sow a thought, reap an act Sow an act, reap a habit Sow a habit, reap a character Sow a character, reap a destiny. A lot of new research has emerged of late about not only the power of habits but about the difficulty we experience in breaking bad habits and establishing new healthy habits. One of the keys to developing new habits is to have some accountability for the goals or rituals you are seeking to embed in your life. This could be a friend that checks up on you or even better an App that can be... Read more →

iPads or portable computing devices seem to be all the rage nowadays. If you like technology, they can sure be a fun and beneficial device, enhancing our lives and work in amazing ways. I love this brief video clip (in German but easily understandable in any language) about a daughter asking her father how the new iPad she bought him for his birthday is going ... enjoy :) Play Video Read more →

I have been journaling for many years now. I find it a great tool to help me unpack what I am think and how I am thinking. It's a place for me to process the events and circumstances of my life. It's a way for me to open my heart to God and listen for his voice of guidance. I used to use a paper journal, then a few years ago I switched to a computer word processing document. That enabled me to have my journal wherever I am, shared across devices, as well as search functionality. Earlier this year, my son Ashley made me aware of a really cool app designed especially for journaling. It's called Day One. Visit... Read more →

Facebook, Instrgram, Twitter and Snapchat. Welcome to the exploding world of Social Media. Where will it all go and what trends are trending into 2014? Ryan Holmes, the CEO of HootSuite, a social relationship platform, recently wrote for Fortune magazine outlining five trends that could be poised to shake up the industry and the way we use social media in 2014: 1. The rise of ephemeral social networks. 2. Learn to tweet. Your boss expects it. 3. Social customer service kills the dreaded phone tree. 4. Social media finds you as you browse. 5. Get ready to see ads from the neighborhood pub on Twitter. Read the full article for the details. For more, see .. Top 10 Social Media... Read more →

Social-media is slowly creeping into all areas of the web. Even websites and services that have no social features usually place a Facebook or Google+ like button somewhere to help spread the word of their existence. Even so, it’s quite difficult to explain to someone new to the Internet, or social aspects of the web, exactly what this social media revolution is. And just as importantly, what the difference between social media services are. That problem has now been solved by using a donut analogy. Douglas Wray posted a whiteboard breakdown of all the major social media services and explained how they differ from each other using the example of a donut. Quite fittingly he posted the image on Instagram... Read more →

Life is busy (or 'full', as I prefer to say nowadays). There are lots of people to see, places to go, and things to do - more than we seem to have time for. In many ways, there is enough to do to fill multiple life times. But we only have one ... so we must make choices between one thing and another. We have to determine priorities, discerning at times between what is urgent and what is really important. I have always enjoyed thinking about life management and how best we can live fruitful yet enjoyable lives that please God. Check out the posts on this BLOG about Personal Development and you'll be able to access some of the... Read more →

In this week’s special wireless issue titled, “THE WIRELESS ISSUE. 10 Ways Your Phone is Changing the World,” TIME explores how mobile phones have become a super-extension of ourselves, altering in fundamental ways how we approach everything from education to politics, from medicine to romance. The issue includes an exclusive TIME Mobility Poll, conducted in cooperation with Qualcomm, that highlights the increasing significance of mobile technology in our lives. TIME‘s Nancy Gibbs writes, “It is hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones.” Read more here. When it comes to people and their devices, 61% worldwide plan to replace... Read more →

Every day or so I receive one of those "pass it on" emails explaining some horrible thing that has happened or some latest conspiracy theory. It's hard to know what to believe. How do you separate fact from fiction? There is a web site dedicated to helping us in this area, called Snopes. Their mission is "to be the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation." You can use the search box on the web site to locate an item of interest or browse the site by category. A recent example (actually, it's been around since 2004) is an email announcing the supposed crushing of a small boy is an Islamic country for stealing a... Read more →

Technology, love it or hate it, it's part of our lives. For me, it can either be a great servant or a cruel task-master. The key is whether you are serving it or it is serving you. It's a matter of control and setting boundaries (something I'm stilling working on!). I love certain types of technology that makes life easier and enables me to organise the many spinning plates in my world so they don't all crash. On my BLOG, I have written a number of posts about technology that I find helpful, with topics such as: computer software, phone apps, social media, BLOGs, eBooks and my favourite web sites. Click here to begin reading. Enjoy! Read more →

Pretty much everyone I know has used a notebook of some sort at sometime in their life. A notebook is a great place to take notes, to write down ideas, to make yourself a task list, to write down things you want to remember or just to doodle. Paper notebooks are good but they have their limitations. A number of computer-based and/or on-line notebooks have recently been created. The best I have seen and which I now use extensively is Evernote. Here are some of the best features of Evernote: 1. It is FREE! Yes, there is a Premium version, but the free version has extensive features. 2. It works on multiple platforms (Windows and MAC) and devices (laptops, mobile... Read more →

For anyone who writes or speaks, the task of preparation is part science and part art ... with lots of prayer and perspiration mixed in. Some people think more intuitively. I know one speaker who prepares all of their messages in their head - never writing anything down. Others write out their ideas, sometimes word for word - on paper or by typing into a word processor. I have always used a note pad to scribble down ideas for messages, often creating a bit of a pathway or 'story board' to outline my flow of thoughts and the direction of a message. Then I will type in all the details of my thoughts and research into a WORD document -... Read more →

I recently changed my mobile phone from a Nokia E71 to an iPhone 3GS. I really liked the Nokia, especially the keyboard, which was so easy to use. The iPhone is pretty cool but I am taking a while to get used to the touch screen ... and the automatic word correction. I can't tell you how many times I have finished a text message with 'Nark' instead of 'Mark!' Anyway, change takes time. The iPhone application store has over 200,000 programs and sometimes its hard to know what is any good (all accessed via iTunes). I purchased a book recently that rates and reviews almost 1,000 Apps and found it very helpful. Here are some of my favourite apps.... Read more →

You probably noticed that Facebook and Twitter are all the rage nowadays. Social media seems to be changing how we relate to one another and could possibly affect the future of society. Many are saying it is a revolution. Or it is all a bit over-rated? Malcolm Gladwell, popular speaker, blogger and author of the best-selling book The Tipping Point, seems to think so. He recently wrote an insightful article in The New Yorker called "Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted." Click here to read it. Read more →

The world wide web provides a wealth of information for learning and growing in any area of life. One place I have recently discovered is iTunes U. It contains over 350,000 free lectures, videos, films and other resources from some of the leading universities and educational institutions in the world. Read all about it here. Once you have downloaded iTunes (a free program that works in either a MAC or Windows software environment, as well as on most mobile phones) you are ready to go. Most people who have used iTunes are aware of the availability of music, podcasts, movies, TV programs and even audiobooks via the iTunes Store, but many have not noticed the iTunes U section (on the... Read more →

Are iPad Users Selfish?

Speaking of technology ... the uptake on the newly released iPad has been quite phenomenal. Apple is struggling to keep up with orders for its latest cool toy, now taking the marketplace by storm. What do those without iPads think of those who have one? What iPad users really like? One consumer research group believes that iPad users are 'selfish elites' (read the full article here). Others question the basis of the research. I think it's most important that we keep our priorities in place. After all, live is about 'loving people and using things' not the other way around. Read more →

I have been a PC computer user most of my adult life. I started with a desktop and eventually moving to a laptop then a netbook. I have managed to find my way around a host of Microsoft Windows based software programs. They have been tremendously helpful to all sorts of tasks and aspects of work and personal life. [Click here to read about my current technology] Of course, our young adult children and heaps of our other friends (mostly the creative types) are into MACs. What is it about PC and MAC users - they don't really like each other and you have to be in one camp OR the other, for some reason. It's a bit like FORD... Read more →

Okay, confession time ... I have an iPad ... and it is really cool. It hasn't replaced my phone or my laptop ... yet ... but it does a lot of things really well. It is brilliant for browsing the internet, doing email and checking your calendar. The eBook reader on it is much better than the Kindle. It is colour and turning pages is much more intuitive and you can load all your Kindle books on to it, plus 1000s of other eBooks (one application alone gives you access to over 23,000 free public domain classic books). The touch screen is like a big iPod and is a pleasure to work with. There are over 100,000 applications that can... Read more →

LifeChurch.tv has launched a free online Bible called YouVersion. YouVersion has been growing by hundreds of thousands of users each month. Almost 7 million people are reading the Bible through one of their mobile apps, including the iPhone and the newly released iPad. Check out their BLOG here. In addition to multiple translations being available, you can put together your own personal reading plan, create journal notes, and interact with other people about their learnings. Worth checking out! Read more →

This month, the number of people using Facebook will pass the 500 million mark. This is astounding when you consider that it was only six ago that years after Harvard graduate Mark Zuckerberg helped found Facebook in his dorm room as a way for students to keep tabs on one another. If Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world (even bigger than the USA). It could be nothing short of a social media revolution. Facebook enables you to connect with your friends wherever they live anywhere in the world. You can let them know what you are doing and find out what they are up to. Upload photos or videos and link to... Read more →

Click here to watch an educational video on the growing impact of social media. Here are just a few statistics: By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers 96% of them have joined a social network 1 out of 8 couples married in the US last year have met via social media Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months If Facebook would be a country, it would be the world's 4th largest 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime. Imagine what that means for bad customer experiences? In 2009, Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen YouTube is the... Read more →

Today we continue with our web wonders recommendations. Check out October and November's lists if you missed them. Here are some more: CHRISTMAS. Tired of the commericalism of Christmas? Check out Advent Conspiracy for some creative alternative ideas about spending less and giving more. PARCEL DELIVERY. Want to send something across town, interstate or overseas? Check out Interparcel for excellent rates via their online web site. They'll pick up from your house and even send you the labels ready to print out and attach. REAL ESTATE. Interesting in buying, selling, renting or investing in property? Realestate.com.au is the place to go. CHRISTIANITY. Interested in what's happening within the broader Christian community? Check out Christianity Today's excellent web site. BIBLE READING.... Read more →

Now that I am a Kindle user (yes, I received one from some good friends for my recent birthday!), I'm starting to learn a bit more about eBooks - or 'electronic books.' True, there is nothing quite like holding a book in your hands and flipping through its pages, but eBooks can open up an entire new world. Amazon has a corner on the market for books dedicated to the Kindle, their own eBook reader. However, you can download other documents to the Kindle, as well as a variety of eBooks. You can also read eBooks on your computer via the aid of an eReader. A popular eReader is Mobipocket (they were bought out by Amazon a few years back,... Read more →

The World Wide Web is an amazing source of information and communication. However, it's becoming so huge and complex that you can easily get lost in it or miss out on some of spots well worth visiting. Last month I shared a variety of sites that may be if interest to you. Here are some more: GADGETS. Visit www.productwiki.com for a thorough listing and review of all sorts of gadgets. For local price comparison here in Australia, check out www.staticice.com.au GARDENING. Visit Gardening Australia at www.abc.net.au/gardening if you need help or inspiration for your garden. Also, check out www.thevegetablepatch.com, www.burkesbackyard.com.au and www.weekendgardener.net. EATING OUT. Looking for somewhere to eat out? Visit www.webmenu.com.au for a list of restaurants in all Australian... Read more →

The World Wide Web is an amazing source of information and communication. However, it's becoming so huge and complex that you can easily get lost in it or miss out on some of spots well worth visiting. Here are a variety of sites that may be if interest to you. BIBLE. Visit www.biblegateway.com for an excellent site with multiple Bible translations, all for free. ENCYCLOPEDIA. Visit www.wikipedia.com – the world's largest online encyclopedia with a wealth of information on just about anything. FREE IMAGES. Visit http://commons.wikimedia.org – a massive collection of more than 5 million free-to-use images. Also check out: http://freerangestock.com/index.php and http://images.google.com.au ONLINE AUCTION. Visit www.graysonline.com.au – this is an online auction group based in Melbourne. They sell all... Read more →

When I began my blog just under two years ago (August 17th, 2007), I had a number of experienced bloggers advise me to not allow any comments. They had chosen to close off their blogs from any comments or to only allow approved comments to be published. Why? Because in each case, their blog had been somewhat hijacked by a few individuals who tended to dominate the conversations and/or who bullied other people. I heard their advice but decided to go with open comments on my blog. So far, it's gone pretty well with just under 2,864 comments on the 514 posts I have made. To this point I have only had to delete a few comments due to their... Read more →