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Zen Habits

By Leo Babauta

Shade Trees as a Smart Financial Investment

You read that right. Shade trees. One of our plans for the spring is to plant a shade tree or two on the southwest side of our home. These trees won’t be very large now, but in several years, they will grow to a reasonable size, providing some nice shade on summer days when our children are about ten years old or so. Originally, we decided to do this purely for aesthetic reasons.

The Best of Get Rich Slowly: January 2010

Now that I’m done with the bulk of the work on Your Money: The Missing Manual, I can start doing many of the things I used to do. Like provide monthly summaries for Get Rich Slowly. In some ways, January was a strange month around here. For one thing, I think this was the month with the fewest posts since I started the site; there were only three days with more than one post.

Best of Personal Finance Roundup: What the iPad Is and Is Not

By Linsey Knerl Welcome to Wise Bread's Best of Personal Finance roundup. Today, we go over what you can expect with a new Apple iPad, how to use up the leftover juice from your canned fruit, and twelve ways to get more reading done! Top 5 Articles What the iPad Is and Is Not — Is it a bird? How ‘bout a plane? Turns out, it’s neither.

The Most for Your Minute

(In this series of posts, we are examining ways to better manage our time.) The Order of Tasks There is a survival simulation where you are trapped in a cave.  There is a single ladder going to the surface that can only hold one person at a time.  There are two other individuals with you.  One is younger than you and can climb faster.  The other is older than you and can climb slower.  Your

How to Avoid Getting Your Credit Card Canceled

By Nora Dunn Some people like to have their credit card available for emergencies — either at home or while traveling abroad. Be careful: that card might not be available to you, just when you need it the most.

Zipco closet organizer: Pies! Pies! Pies!

I had a good laugh at this sketch from this past weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, and I wanted to share the fun. Erin lost it at “Dirt!” and now I can’t stop chanting, “Pies! Pies! Pies!” And, we should definitely warn you, it’s probably not safe to watch at work because of the “testimonial” in the middle of the sketch.

What Was Your New Year's Resolution? Are You Keeping It?

It's February 1, so the first month of the new year is over. What was your New Year’s resolution? I’m curious about what resolutions people are making. One reader wrote me that her resolution was to “Write shorter emails.” I love that! I’m adopting that for myself. What resolution did you make? Have you made it in other years?

How To Blast Away A Blue Mood

Have you ever woken up in one of those moods? Feeling as flat as a pancake that’s been left in the pan for too long? Recently, I’ve had a few mornings like that. Feeling - bleurgh. To put it nicely.

How is disorganization and clutter affecting your job performance?

If you showed up late to a meeting or missed a deadline, it would be obvious to you that disorganization and clutter were affecting your job performance. There are less obvious ways, however, that being disorganized can impact the quality and efficiency of your work.

Reader Mailbag: Boycotts, Baseball, and New Beginnings

This is Reader Mailbag #100. With this mailbag, I’ve decided to start naming the mailbags based on an interesting question or two answered within the mailbags, making it easier to find such mailbags (in theory). I refuse to buy gas from BP [due to various political reasons].

Show, Don’t Tell

There’s a fundamental rule in storytelling… If you want to make a point, don’t just tell it, show it! Sometimes that’s done with demonstrations, action scenes or dialogue. Other times, it’s done in pictures.

Freelance Freedom #141

Is the Economy Improving? Views from Everyday Folks

On Friday night, we had some good frugal fun. Kris and I got together with a group of my old high school friends to go bowling and eat pizza. It was just like the good ol’ days — but with a bunch of grade-school children added to the mix. Over pepperoni pizza and root beer, the conversation turned to the economy. I asked my brother Jeff how the family box factory is doing.

Lab bench from kitchen cabinets

Ikea has been trying to beef up use of their products in offices for some time now. So, am glad to see it happening. Chris and his team hacked a freestanding lab bench that looks custom built. "I have been doing stuff like this for years at home and work and am glad that it is being showcased.

Fret not, use an Ikea pencil

FloMac, Caroline and Maria tip me on this hack seen on There, I Fixed It. FloMac says, "I've just seen this hack, it's like a Lapicientos hack!"