Featured Blog

Awake at the Wheel

By Jonathan Fields

Old bathroom, small restoration

Materials: Voxnan Description: I liked the idea of renovating my old bathroom inexpensively, so after whitewashed walls and made some minor technical editing, I thought I should have reused my old series VOXNAN. With a jar of decoupage fund, a gel for crackling effect, one of flatting, glittering leaves and a brush, I repainted the mirror and the cabinet.

Apple’s Patent on Destroying Productivity

Apple has a patent for displaying ads in an operating system. Basically, ads would pop up and prevent you from doing work every once in awhile.  The patent shows a mechanism where the ads could be delayed for 10 minutes or you could view one immediately so it won’t interrupt you for a bit longer. What do you think?

How The Brain Benefits From Musical Training

How musical training helps you judge emotions based on shifts in vocal pitch.

Know Your Icons Part 1 – A Brief History of Computer Icons

Illustration of 20 years of Mac and Windows computer icons.

Uncluttering and trade-offs

I tend to view the world through the eyes of an economist. When I make a decision — small or large — I typically do a cost-benefit analysis first. I know that the world isn’t dichotomous, and that there are unlimited shades of gray, but I still tend to weigh all my decisions as trade-offs.

Reader Mailbag: Lemon Sour

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Handling house sale proceeds 2. Helping a declining parent 3. Chasing a dream 4. Moving forward with bad policy 5. Spending choices on children 6. Cashing out stock options 7. Who is Trent politically? 8. Soda 9.

Books for Freelance Translators

There are plenty of books written with freelance writers and freelance designers in mind, but there are certainly other types of freelancers working on building a career.

Assorted links for July 22, 2010

Interesting products and articles related to uncluttering and organizing: Not the fastest reader of online content? Want to improve your speed and efficiency?

Is It Time To Quit Your Day Job?

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. (It’s also her birthday today.) Who doesn’t dream of quitting their day job?

10 Life Lessons Learned in Grade School

Grade school was an impressionable time for everyone. It’s when we became immersed into a mini-society, learning valuable life lessons that have remained through adulthood. If you think about it, many comparisons can be made between life in grade school and life in the real world. For example, back then, we had to learn to coexist with our peers – for better or for worse.

Overwhelmed? 8 Ways to Overcome It

Photo by Andrea D’Aquino By Tina Su “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola Do you have so much on your plate that you’re left feeling overwhelmed and stressed out?

In Defense of Solitude (Part II)

— “We are each … miraculously our unique selves and mysteriously enclosed in that selfhood.” -William Deresiewicz — In my last post, I wrote: The vocation of selfhood, the cultivation of personal, psychic, and spiritual independence, remains — and will remain, as ever — inescapably tied to solitude and its concomitants: privacy, slowness, inner quietude, and anonymit

Three Stories About Banking

As part of my downshifting project, I’ve spent the past couple of days replying to several hundred stale messages in my inbox. There were plenty of great reader stories, guest posts, and “ask the readers” questions in my stack of stuff, but there were also some good article ideas, too. For example, I had three different e-mails about bank-related stories.

Ten Big Mistakes #3: Lifestyle Funded by Credit Cards

Along my financial journey in life, I made a great number of mistakes. In this ten part series which runs from July 19 to July 30, I’m going to focus on ten of my worst mistakes and the difficulties and successes I’ve had in overcoming those mistakes. I spent more than I earned and made up for the difference with credit cards. It started in college.

How to be Insanely Productive and Still Keep Smiling

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Mary Jaksch of Goodlife ZEN. Do you want to be more productive? Maybe you do, but I’m sure you don’t want to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or unhappy – which happens to many super-productive people.