Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Working smarter (but just as hard?)

This is a post for the Carnival of Journalism, a group of journalism bloggers who write each month about a topic (I’ve skipped a few, obviously). This month’s topic:

What are your life hacks, workflows, tips, tools, apps, websites, skills and techniques that allow you to work smarter and more effectively?

Love this topic, and looking forward to learning from everyone else this month. Here are my contributions:


Google Reader (down to less than 400 subscriptions!)

Twitter + filters: Smartr, Summify, Twitter Times, News About News

Diigo (instead of Delicious, similar features to Evernote, SpringPad, etc.)

activeCollab for project management

MegaMail for stupid simple file sharing

Instant Messenger

WebFaction awesome web hosting

Coda my favorite IDE

SecondBar second menu bar for my dual monitor setup

Firefox plus plugins (Web Developer, FireBug, Page Speed, Screengrab, BrowserLab are must-haves)

“Life Hacks”

Exercise: I find it very difficult to motivate myself to exercise. It’s almost impossible to get home from work, change, and go do something active. As soon as my ass hits the couch, I’m done moving for the night. So I started walking home from work. Well, not all the way, because I work in Manhattan and live near Yankee Stadium and walking across the bridge is scary. But I walk from 69th St. to 125th St. every day that there isn’t a Yankees game.

Lunch: Getting up 30 mins early to make lunch sucks. So does spending $50 a week on lunch. New tactic (haven’t been doing this steadily, so not sure it’s a successful hack yet) Make huge dinners, take leftovers for lunch.

I don’t know, but I’ll find out: For some reason, people tend to be uncomfortable admitting that they don’t know things, particularly when it’s related to a job. Bullshitting an answer never does me any good, so I have a strict policy of saying “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” when I don’t know something. Then I go learn stuff. It’s fun!


GOOGLE: I think one of the most important skills one can have is knowing how to find stuff. You can’t know everything, but if you know enough to be able to find the answers, you are way ahead. This doesn’t just apply to searching the Web, of course.

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