This is the fifth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. This chapter is where the meat of the book begins, in my opinion, this chapter and the ten that follow it make up the heart of the book. So let’s dig right in. The Key Idea of the Whole …

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Degrees of Want

October 19 2010

I received an iPod Touch as a Christmas gift in 2008. Since then, I have used and absued the thing at a level perhaps beyond what Apple ever intended. I’ve used it as a constant pocket notebook. I’ve used it as a podcast and music player every time I go on a walk (usually several times a week). I also use it as a pedometer to help record my exercise. I’ve used it to check email and reply to it. …

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Reader Mailbag: Cold

October 18 2010

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. Building website skills 2. Which credit counseling service? 3. Serious mortgage trouble 4. Thermostats, nighttime temperatures, and kids 5. Shady credit union practices 6. Direct stock purchasing 7. Frozen interest rates? 8. Which debt to pay first? 9. Huge student loan debts 10. Company cuts 401(k) match Somewhere during the last …

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Review: Conquer the Chaos

October 18 2010

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Here’s the flat-out truth about running a small business: you, the business owner, are where the buck stops. Period. Small businesses are a great way to start earning more money, but they’re not easy. When something goes wrong, it’s up to you to clean it up. Yes, you may have employees who will take care of it, but those employees are far from perfectly reliable …

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Subconscious Connections

October 17 2010

Open up one of your favorite magazines. Turn to a full page ad for a product – any product. Look at it carefully for a minute. What do you see? Fire up your television. Fast forward through the commercials (I know many of you can). Think about the flickering images that still made it through. Now, watch the program for one minute and see how many products you can identify in the minute of the show you’re watching. When was …

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This is one question that, in some form or another, keeps popping up time and time again in all sorts of contexts. Should I buy a computer now, or should I wait for prices to come down? Should I buy a new television now, or should I wait for the bigger screens to become available? From cars to cell phones to woodworking equipment, these questions are asked about major purchases that many of us make. Whenever I’m asked the question, …

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Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine. One Year Ago (October 10 – October 16, 2009) Hidden Treasures from Thrift Shops I love shopping at thrift stores for staples …

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How to Make Your Own Homemade Wine Jelly “Not everyone will like the caramel apple jam,” Sarah commented to me after we made it. As much as I liked it, I knew she was right: it was very sweet and lacked the tartness that I often crave in my jellies and jams. So we decided to make another jelly/jam, this time doing something decidedly different: wine jelly. What’s “wine jelly”? It’s much like grape jelly, but instead of using grape …

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This is the fourth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Time management. Money management. Health management. Management of your stuff. Relationship management. All of those things (and a lot more) boil down to is self-management. What is your capacity for determining what needs to be done in your life …

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I thoroughly enjoyed this recent WIRED article entitled 7 Essential Skills You Didn’t Learn in College. Among them: Statistical literacy-the ability to critically interpret presented statistics and sniff out the actual useful information to separate it from the nonsense. Applied cognition-the ability to evaluate your methods of thinking and processing information and seek out and apply improved methods. Writing for new forms-the ability to communicate nuanced thought in fewer words (think Twitter’s 140 character limit, for example). Domestic tech-the ability …

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