It’s not a lifehack, it’s a tech policy for one

Ah, the seductive pull of the lifehack! Simple little things that make things better – if only.

A recent post by journalist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow traces the history of the concept from 2004, when Danny O’Brien presented “Life Hacks: Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks” at the 0’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.

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The small business year ahead: Adventure – and fear

It’s a beautiful still morning in Cape Town. The house is quiet, and I am back at my desk. A working year begins.

It’s a different start to the year though: some shifts in my client base mean that my time is arranged differently. Instead of an adrenalin-filled online news shift, my day starts with 90 minutes of intense work on my own business, before beginning work for clients.

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How to write good emails (remember the reader)

I recently did some research into the best way to sign off a business email, for an article for a client.

It appears that “Regards” is a strong contender – because it is bland and inoffensive. That works well in a formal context because you might often not know the person you are writing to.

On the other hand, a 2019 Business Insider article claims that the word “Best” is a good way to end an email (followed by your name). The article says it is “almost universally appropriate.” I am not so sure. 

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Productivity tip for working from home: wear shoes

Freelancer tools: Dog, shoes, gas heater

A freelancer’s essentials: a dog, a heater and pair of sturdy boots.

Most people did it in the Covid. And then there are those who do it all the time. Here’s my best productivity tip for working from home…

Years ago, when I both a freelancer and immersed in the chaotic life induced by having a small child in the house, I complained to a friend about how I couldn’t find something in my kitchen (or, in fact, anything in my home, most of the time).

Flylady, she said. You need Flylady.

So I looked up Flylady, signed up for her emails and slowly, slowly, regained my organised life.

Most South Africans have never heard of Flylady. She is Marla Cilley, who lives in the United States, and runs an email service aimed at helping people deal with clutter and getting their homes more organised. Her business model is based on selling cleaning tools and organising aids, like a fabulous calendar, so that her website and emails remain free. She offers gently bossy advice, systems thinking and a sense of humour. (FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself). Continue reading

A 21st century business value – honesty 

An interview with Jack Seddon, bottler of honey and breaker of business models. What if we all went for total honesty in business?

When you buy something in a supermarket, how much do you know about it really? Say it’s a bottle of honey – where did the honey come from, where was it bottled, how did it get to that shelf?

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What I learned at a masterclass on email newsletters

I have a low-key email newsletter that gets sent out on Friday mornings, aimed (for now) at promoting the weekly blog post that I write. 

My subscriber list is small, and I often wonder if I am doing the right thing, if the newsletter meets the needs of its recipients, if I’m using the right platform: you name it, I second-guess myself.

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A beginner’s guide to charging for editing services

It’s the bane of every self-employed person’s life – how to charge for the services you give customers. A beginner’s guide for editors starting out on their journey….

I belong to two local associations, one for freelancers in general and one for editors. Both have email groups, which ebb and flow with the seasons.

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