What I’m Reading and Thinking About this Month September 2016

What I have been thinking about:

This month I have been thinking a lot about email. Email in theory is a great form of communication. It’s quick, it can include digital media, and you can wrap multiple people into the conversation. People can quickly respond to emails and conversation loops can quickly be closed. Sounds great right? Unfortunately this is not how I am seeing email being used by most people. To learn more about why this is happening I read a few great articles that share some tips on writing better emails. I’ve also started to read a lot about how email can affect your daily productivity and happiness at work.I also just ordered Jocelyn K. Glei’s new book Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done to learn more. In a future blog post  I’ll share in more detail what I am trying to do to write better emails and help increase my daily productivity. 


Blog Posts to Checkout:

Don’t Let Email Zombies Eat Up Your Day by Jocelyn K. Glei
This is the article that really got me thinking about how much email controls my daily life. In this post Glei offers easy four easy to implement tips that can help you gain control of your inbox. The tip of closing your inbox while you work on other projects has already had a big impact on my ability to focus.

Email Etiquette: How to Ask People for Things and Actually Get a Response by Jocelyn K. Glei
If you enjoyed the first Glei blog post I suggest checking out this longer post. In this post Glei offers tips on how to structure your emails to get responses. I recently have been trying to implement some of these tips and have seen my response rate already increase.

High Tech, High Touch, High 5 by Jonathan Tiongco
This past summer I was able to see my former administrator Jonathan Tiongco share about Alliance Charter School’s BLAST blended learning program. During the presentation Jonathan shared the BLAST High 5 signature practices which I think are a great start for getting started with blended learning.

How To Use SCAMPER To Greatly Improve Your Product by Phil McKinney
In this post Phil McKinnery shares a great tool for brainstorming. SCAMPER is an acronym for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put To Other Uses and Reverse. McKinney offers a great list of questions that you can ask when you are trying to innovate or need to break through a creative block.

My Book for the Month:

When my coworker Rommel Ruiz messages me with go buy this book now I listen. I have had this book on my to read list for a while. I’m glad that Rommel “forced” me to pick this book up. It’s a super easy and quick read but it contains several very important lessons. While I don’t think I will be able to 100% implement all of the suggestions in the book it does lay a framework for making sure that you take care of the essentials. If you enjoyed Cal Newport’s Deep Work or are looking for a book that will help you make sense of your day to day chaos I would suggest checking this book out.

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