Changes to Mark Conner's BLOG

Hi everyone (including subscribers), Today I have transferred all of my BLOG posts (including links, comments, and categories) from Typepad to my WordPress website. This will enable me to manage one site rather than two. You can visit my Wordpress BLOG section now. There you will notice two new posts released today - "Navigating the Storms of Life" and a related poem called "Stormy Winds". For subscribers, from now on I will release an occasional e-newsletter with information about recent BLOG posts and other activities that I am up to, including where I am speaking and about projects I am... Read more →

Mark Conner's Web Site Update

Just for your awareness, my web site is undergoing an update at the moment. Soon there will be new graphics, new pictures, and my BLOG and web site will be integrated into one location. As the renovation continues, here are a few things that are new – all accessible via the Main MENU on the front page: My speaking schedule, outlining the places and events that I am speaking at. Various services that I am now making available – including coaching, consulting and speaking. A link to my resources including this BLOG, the books I have written, and links to... Read more →

The Smart Phone?

I love my mobile phone. I have had one ever since they first came out back in the 1990s. I've moved from the Motorola brick size ones ... to the flip lid ... to a few versions of the Nokia ... and now I have my faithful iPhone 6 Plus (no, I never had a Blackberry or a Samsung). I am an 'early adopter' when it comes to technology. I love to have the (almost) latest and greatest. But I probably won't jump right away to the new iPhone 8 or iPhone X (with face recognition!), as amazing as they... Read more →

Taming the Email Monster (Part 4)

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... Read more →

Taming the Email Monster (Part 3)

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... Read more →

Taming the Email Monster (Part 2)

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... Read more →

Taming the Email Monster (Part 1)

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... Read more →

An Alternative to Task Lists - Kanban Project Management

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... Read more →

Developing New Habits

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... Read more →

Is it worth buying an iPad?

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 →

Day One - A Great Journal App

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,... Read more →

The Future of Social Media

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... Read more →

Social Media Explained

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... Read more →

Some Helpful Productivity Tools

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... Read more →

10 Ways Your Phone is Changing the World

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... Read more →

Separating Fact from Fiction - on the Internet

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... Read more →

Techonology Tools for Effectiveness

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... Read more →

Highly Recommended - Evernote Software

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,... Read more →