Review: The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s about focus. Focus on the most important thing that will take you to the next most important thing. If we’re capable of directing our attention to the important questions and important actions that we need to do, then we can accomplish a lot. It is also about unlocking your purpose and how that purpose is the foundation of success.

There’s nothing revolutionary in this book, but it is put together in such a way that it makes you think about your own focus. “What is the one thing that you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” This is a good question and a valid one to ask repeatedly. Too much time is wasted doing things that are unnecessary and will not make things easier or more efficient.

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Digital Systems Manager

Digital Systems Manager | June 2015 – Present |  New York Academy of Medicine – Library

  • Develop and manage the digital program for the Library at New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), including current and future digitization projects.
  • Lead the working group on digitization.
  • Provide strategies, processes and systems to support digitization growth.
  • Manage and develop the Library’s ILS and CMS to better support cataloging and development of the Grey Literature database.
  • Collaborate with internal and external library, museums and archival communities.

Adding Kanban for Outlook Tasks

Outlook tasks are good on their own, but sometimes you want a bit more.  Since I’ve been using Kanban, a project management method, I wanted my Outlook tasks to reflect that style.

First, I checked Outlook itself to see if there were add-ons that would accomplish this goal.  There was one for Outlook 2013 that provided Kanban for tasks.  It was a great idea and I tried it. However, there were a few limitations:

  • It was based on mail rather than tasks, so it required being in a mail item to view Kanban.
  • In Outlook tasks, it was not available.  This was the major limitation.

I continued my search and encountered a good implementation on LinkedIn described by DMA/Donna Michelle Anderson that uses the source files found on Frederik’s GitHub.  I appreciated the detailed step-by-step implementation guide.

 

First, follow implementation guide:

It was a good guide. I followed the implementation as closely as possible.

Time: I took about 15 minutes to get it all working and it was as expected. I was impressed and knew I needed to try it out a bit.

Second, review the results:

I liked the setup and it worked overall, but there were a few things that needed to change so that it would work better for me.

  • Dragging tasks: It’s great to drag a task from one folder to the next, but I wanted my tasks to always appear on the Outlook Today screen.  Only tasks that appear in the “Tasks” folder show up on the Today screen.  Dragging tasks to other folders meant that those tasks wouldn’t appear on the Today screen.
  • Task Status: Although Kanban view folders are status based, Outlook tasks also have a status. Moving tasks in Kanban view does not update the Outlook task status. Thus, only in Kanban view would the status of a task be known.
  • Multiple Projects: Using Outlook categories is a great way to organize projects.  The Kanban view took advantage of this, but if you work on multiple projects at once, it would require updating the code with each category.  Every new project would always require this update.

Time: I took the rest of the day to use it while working on my daily projects.

Third, personalize it:

There was no need for multiple folders.  Only one folder was important (“Kanban View”) and even that folder was not necessary (It can be implemented directly on the tasks folder). However it was better to have Kanban View as a separate folder so that I can continue to have my original tasks folder with an alternative view.  I disabled dragging by remove multiple folders.  I used task status to move tasks from one place to the next. I removed category from the code and used Outlook views to display multiple projects.

Here’s what I did:

  • Modified the index page as follows:
    • <param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks”>  – Every folder in will now look at the same tasks folder.
    •  <param name=”Restrictions” value=”[Status]=’Not started'”> –  Changed the category parameter so that the view can display all projects regardless of category.   For each folder, set the value to the status that appears in Outlook.
      • Backlog = “Not Started”
      • In Progress = “In Progress”
      • Waiting on Someone Else = “Waiting on Someone Else”
  • Modify the CSS to change the background colors.
  • In Outlook, modify the tasks view to display categories when I’m in the Kanban View.

Time: I took a few days to think through the implementation and a couple hours to implement and test.

Now, there is no drag and drop in Kanban View but when I update the status of a task, it automatically goes to the correct board in Kanban view while still showing up on my Today screen. When a task is checked as complete, it disappears from my Kanban view.

I very much appreciate finding and using this Kanban View.  I hope my tweaks help someone else to create their version as well.

 

Posted on LinkedIn

Review: Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian
Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It started well and I was very interested in it, but ultimately I decided to stop reading Running the Books. It takes a lot for me to stop reading a book and decide that I will not go back to it. I read just about everything. Anyhow, a few reasons why I stopped:
1. Although the adventures were interesting, they were repetitive. I felt as if I was reading the same things over and over again.
2. Chapter 1 lasted 120 pages, which means that I barely scratched the surface of chapter 2 by the time I reached page 138.
3. I put the book down months ago with plans to return to it. I returned to it, but could only read it for a few more days. It was a sign that I really needed to stop reading the book. So, I stopped yesterday.

The characterizations were good.

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Peer Reviewed Papers

  • Naughton, R.  (2015). Teen Library Website Models: Identifying Design Models of Public Library Websites for Teens. Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults, 6. Web. [Paper]
  • Naughton, R., & Agosto, D. (2012). Favorite Websites: Understanding Prior Knowledge of Teens’ Mental Models of Public Library Websites for Teens. American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) conference, October 26-30, 2012, Baltimore, MD. [Abstract]
  • Agosto, D. E., Abbas, J., & Naughton, R.  (2012).  Relationships and social rules: Teen’s social network and other ICT selection practices.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(6), 1108-1124. [Abstract]
  • Hall, C., & Naughton, R. (2010). Aggregating Digital Collections: Towards a Social Community for Identification, Organizations, and Evaluation. Library Research Seminar V: Integrating Practice and Research. October 6 – 9, 2010, College Park, Maryland.
  • Naughton, R., & Lin, X. (2010). Recommender Systems: Investigating the Impact of Recommendations on User Choices and Behavior. Proceedings of the ACM Recommender Systems Conference 2010 Workshop on User-Centric Evaluation of Recommender Systems and Their Interfaces (UCERSTI), September 30, 2010, Barcelona, Spain. [Paper]

Review: Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life
Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Art teaches us to respect imagination as something far beyond human creation and intention. To live our ordinary life artfully is to have this sensibility about the things of daily life, to live more intuitively and to be willing to surrender a measure of our rationality and control in return for the gifts of soul” (p.300).

“The brain is depressed to find itself described as a computer and the heart surely doesn’t enjoy being treated as a pump. There isn’t much opportunity to exercise the spleen these days, and the liver is no longer the seat of passion. All these noble, richly poetic organs, teeming with meaning and power, have been made into functions” (p.165).

In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore draws from mythology, religion, spirituality, psychology and art to provide a guide to living a daily life that is concerned about the soul and allowing that soul to be. In today’s fast-paced world, people tend to forget about how to care for their souls. As Moore puts it, “The soul has no room in which to present itself if we continually fill all the gaps with bogus activities” (p.122). People also tend to forget the beauty and art of daily life. Living today and caring today is very important to understanding life and spirit. “Soul doesn’t pour into life automatically. It requires our skill and attention” (p.xvii). We should provide that attention daily.

An understanding of Greek and Roman mythology will come in handy as Moore uses myth to explain ideas and concepts. He does a good job of describing the myth so that you understand the connection, but if you’ve read the classics , it will be a plus. There are amazing ideas throughout the book that if cultivated would certainly care for your soul.

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Research & Strategy Consulting

User Research

  • Usability: we conduct heuristic evaluation and user tests with your end users to determine the usability of your product
  • Surveys: we can develop, run and analyze surveys specific to your product needs and users
  • Interviews: we can design, conduct and analyze interviews with your users
  • And more..

Competitive Market Research

  • Company Profiles: we research your competition and provide company profiles based on business intelligence and analysis
  • Product Analysis: we research current and future products in the market to determine how your product compares to the competition

Strategy

We will provide  strategic recommendations grounded in research that will enhance your product.

Digital Product/Project Management & Technical Documentation

Product/Project Management

  • Full Project Lifecycle: we manage all aspects of projects from concept to launch, including vendors, freelancers, development, quality assurance, etc.
  • Product Documentation: we provide documentation of project goals, requirements, user stories, test cases and timelines

Technical Documentation

  • Requirements & Specifications: we document your high-level project requirements and we can also write detailed technical specifications as needed
  • Information Architecture: we analyze your website and provide documentation on structure and organization of your content.
  • User Guides: we analyze your product and write a user guide
  • Wireframe & Mockups: we can develop wireframes and mockups for your product

Digital Asset Production & Quality Assurance Testing

Digital Asset Production

  • Asset Production: we develop naming conventions and tracking, prepare, structure,  organize, and package all media assets for a project so that development runs efficiently.
  • Asset Creation: we can create answer keys, image and presentation assets
  • Asset Modification: we can make edits to media assets

Quality Assurance Testing

  • Baseline Testing: we test websites and mobile applications for overall functionality, content and design elements
  • Browser & Device Testing: we can test multiple browsers and devices as needed
  • Testing Plans: we review your site and provide testing plans