Personal Efficiency discussion today:  Every so often, a reader here or there will ask “How do you get so much done?”

The answer, I’m afraid is not terribly impressive.

I don’t have some huge “secret sauce” off in the corner, but there is a simple approach that will let people double – or maybe triple – the amount of “actual stuff” they can get done.

(Continues below)


One thing to do is spent at least 10 minutes first thing everyone morning planning out your day.  If you don’t do this, everything else will not matter.  The key questions for this session are simple:

  1. What are my tasks and how do they fit into/support my long-term goals?

I think it was Bill Onken – a time management guru my buddy Gaye Levy (who now runs turned me on to in the 1970’s who put it best:

There will always be projects screaming “I’m an urgent project!  Do me now!!!”  The reason for that 10-minutes of quiet planning time is so you can assess the difference between the urgent demands for your time against the important demands.

The important demands are what get your Big Goals done.

Example:  Had a conversation with my son this week.  He wanted ‘deal ol’ dad’s advise and help implementing on an electronics project.  “Got your important meeting with your lawyer done?

A pause followed by a sheepish “…well…er….”   But G2 is getting much (with some coaching) at realizing that people naturally want to do the fun and urgent instead of the distasteful and strategically important.

2.  Second secret is to use all the technology you can.  Figure out which ways you can “buy time-making technology” and implement it in your life.

A simple example is I just bought the main computers in our home the Microsoft Office 365 Home 1-year subscription, 5 users, PC/Mac Key Card.  At $79, I can’t keep even two computers we work on up-to-date with all the updates and upgrades.  It’s a bargain.

No, I have never mentioned this before, since Microsoft is a company that some people just “:love to hate.”

But clearly, there is enough competition from non MSFT product (and Open Office is good, don’t get me wrong), that I’m not too worried about higher costs of 365 renewal in the future.  (For now.)

Gaye was wondering if it was the full Excel and Word programs or if an internet connection was required.

So I pulled the wireless, rebooted, and still all plays fine…so yeah…

We both like the Outlook ToDo/Task list – easy to use and always right there.  Between  that and Sticky Notes in Win 10 it’s a smooth operating space and fast.

Upcoming project:  Whose speech recognition is best?  Nuance/Dragoon or Cortana?

UrbanSurvival Podcasts Are Coming

Plans are working along nicely, now.  We have the source of ads nailed down, the hosting, the plug-in to work with our core publishing framework.

I’m  anticipating something that would be 10-minutes per section (20 minutes total) four-days a week.

Where the Urban pod will be a little different is that my broadcasting background demands pretty good production values.

What that means is that in addition to an opening and closing theme, we’re in the process of collecting the right sound effects and so forth.  After all, there are some stories where the sound effects will be better than a straight news copy read.

Since this evolution to podcasting has been in the works for several years (remember when we built the home studio?  All part of the plan…) we have acquired a large number of “licensed libraries” covering not only sound effects but music themes and so forth.

One of these mornings when you come by, expect to see a “podcast player” show up both here and on the site.

I’m anticipating lots of bumps and jangles to the launch but that’s all good fun.

Sounds and Such

Eldest daughter Denise (People Allergy Survival Blog) comes in tomorrow.

Mostly it will be for recording some of her music but along the way I will also try to urge her back into more regular posting about her medical adventures on her site.

The studio will be ready.  In the past week I got around to reinstalling Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 VST’s (Aria Player etc) along with Propellerhead Software’s Propellerhead Reason Essentials 9.

I did that more than anything to get a nice interface for some of the offline session material as well as get ReWire rolling the lazy way. If you’re not clear on what ReWire does, this Wikipedia snip lays it out:

‘ReWire enables the simultaneous transfer of up to 256 audio tracks of arbitrary resolution and 4080 channels of MIDI data. This allows, for example, the output from synthesizer software to be fed directly into a linear editor without the use of intermediate files or analog transfers. There are also provisions to remotely trigger actions, such as starting and stopping recording. The protocol is licensed free of charge to companies only,[1] but comes with a “non-disclosure of source code” license that is incompatible with most free-software licenses.”

What this means is that we can do the (real) recording in the studio with Samplitude (the lite version of MAGIX Samplitude Music Studio 2016 is $96 at Amazon) using ReWire to let us use VST’s from our other installed DAWS (Presonus Studio One, Reason, and Audacity).

What’s a VST?

“Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is a software interface that integrates software audio synthesizer and effect plugins with audio editors and recording systems. VST and similar technologies use digital signal processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware in software. Thousands of plugins exist, both commercial and freeware, and a large number of audio applications support VST under license from its creator, Steinberg.”

There…now you know oodles about recording you maybe didn’t know previously.  Kinda spendy at $20, Home Recording Studio Basics: What You Need to Know to Build a Home Studio for the Kindle (or $4.50 in paperback, lol) may be worth it if you want to give your ears some training.

Here’s one to run your audiophile friends through:  I nailed it.  Listen to the freebies and learn.

A Side of Woo-Woo

Been a while, so here’s a site that you need to go look at:

This is a site that seems to be chronicling the discovery of alien like creatures from the Plain of Nazca in southern Peru.

Since the carbon dating of the little critters is coming in around 300 years AFTER the death of Christ, it seems that maybe the “visitors from another planet” or “unknown species of hominids” is just coming into view.

Hat tip to the reader who sent it to our News Tip Line.

I can hardly wait for officialdom to get hold of this…or has it already?

Go check it out and let me know what you think.

OK, quick look at markets and data and then time to saddle up the riding mower.  Gee, how fun.

Write when you get rich,

Reporter B's & C's
Market Records Due, Next Grand Distration Launched