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Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Find the Facebook Stories That You've Been Missing

Facebook is an easy site to navigate, but there are tricks to actually seeing everything that you want to see. 

One simple way to see more of your friends' posts is to click on the left side of the screen, on the little arrow to the right of "News Feed."

facebook missed stories surface pro 3

But everyone probably already knew that, especially since Facebook also provided an option to flip back and forth right there in the middle of the page.

Facebook tips and tricks missed stories surface pro 3

What you might not know is that you are missing a ton of other stuff over the course of a day.

There's only a shortcut in Beta now to see missed stories, but everyone can take advantage of the opportunity to see "Missed Stories" by typing the following into your browser:

Or just click here.

Facebook missed stories surface pro 3 tricks

By the way, I created all the screenshots used in this post on my Surface Pro 3. I'm no artist, but it was really easy. Best gift I've ever received, other than my engagement ring!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Better Way to Bullet Journal

Bullet journals are the latest craze in the planner community.

Honestly, I kind of HATE the idea of bullet journaling as planning. 

The hate doesn't rise to the level of my hatred for mayo, bare feet on carpet, lies on Facebook, or the violin, but it's still a pretty intense level of negative emotion.

As much as I love the orderly look of a bulleted list of items in a notebook or planner, I rely heavily on the visual impact of the planner pages, created by grouping items and using day and time slots. 

I need symbols that I develop (so that the symbols make sense to my brain and so that I remember them). 

And, no matter how much I try to brainstorm a reason to have a typical bullet journal, it just makes sense to separate tasks and events from notes. Bullet journals that mix in tasks only make sense to me as an initial brain dumb/capture device.

So I created a better bullet journal.

bullet journal notebook planner paper ink
A Better Way to Bullet Journal

To be fair, I should explain how bullet journaling is done in the typical way. In a typical bullet journal, there is a running list of tasks, events, and notes. Using the codes seen below (on the green page to the right), a running list is created like the one below (same picture, on the orange page to the left).

Typical Bullet Journal

The typical bullet journal strikes me as difficult to read. The list on the left (typical) appears cluttered and it is difficult to distinguish between separate items. Also, though it allows for some subgrouping, if one entry has a ton of information, it doesn't work very well.

Also, the little eye icon is messy and creepy.

Compare it to my bullet journal, on the right below. On mine, you can quickly see where each entry starts - wherever there is a box.

TIP: When creating bullet journal codes, put a box around them to make them stand out. Indent anything under the main entry (like additional notes or details).

bullet journal notebook planner day planner filofax
Typical Bullet Journal Compared to Giftie Bullet Journal

My bullet journal is completely shown in the picture below.

It consists of three parts:

1. Notes (green)

2. Codes (yellow)

3. Events/Tasks (weekly planner page)

Please consider pinning to Pinterest! Thanks!

A closer look at my codes (yellow) would reveal:

Tasks = Circle

If the task is to set up a PROJECT, I circle a P.

If the task is to FILE an item (in files at home or in notes in the planner), I circle a F.

To mark a task DONE, I check the circle.

To DELETE, I X the circle.

To DEFER, I draw an arrow pointing forward through the circle.

To DELEGATE, I draw an @ symbol (which, in my mind, means that I will do something @fter someone else does).

TIP: Tasks go on the weekly pages instead of hidden among a bunch of random notes. Even if just a notebook is used, put the tasks on a certain pages and notes on another.

Events = #a/#p

#a simply means an a.m. time slot (e.g., 9a).

#p simply means a p.m. time slot (e.g., 2:45p).

An * indicates additional details (like an address or contact number).

Notes = Square

To indicate TELECOM, I write TC in the box.

To indicate EMAIL, I write e'm in the box.

To indicate MEETING, I write mt in the box.

To indicate Facebook, I write fb in the box.

Are you seeing a pattern?

A star means a note that does not belong to any of those subgroups.

An arrow indicates additional information under the note.

TIP: Always indent the arrow.

But please don't limit yourself to my codes! The best bullet journal codes are not the typical ones OR mine. 

TIP: Don't skip the step of making a sheet like the yellow sheet as a reference for the bullet journal codes. It's important for memory creation and for reference.

The best bullet journal codes and methods are the ones that you develop, for you. Those will make the most sense to your brain and allow you remember them easily.

It's a lot like making a sandwich. World famous chefs will sometimes dress their very best sandwiches with mayo, but that sandwich is never the best one for me. 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Don't Trust the Lies Told on Facebook

Almost all of my Loyal Readers are on Facebook these days. Some follow my Page (where they can see what I am currently reading) and others are in my Group (where we talk about planning, organizing, and productivity).

My truly Loyal Readers, though, know that my blog sometimes strays away from productivity and back to its roots every now and then. This is one of those times. (To be fair, I post about technology and Facebook quite a lot, but not usually in this way.)

I was offended by a breastfeeding photo on Facebook.

I'll pause here and let you calm down.

Better? Okay, keep reading then.

The picture itself did not actually offend me. After all, I had two babies - one took bottles (due to a serious infection that had me hospitalized separate from baby on a heart ward of a different hospital) and one was breastfed.

breatsfeeding, baby, facebook, offensive
A Happy, Healthy Breastfed Baby

I have lots of friends who post breastfeeding photographs on their Facebook walls. I understand that they want to normalize feeding a baby at the breast, and I support them. I was more of a cover-up sort of mom (hence the picture of my kid above not eating dinner), but that is a personal choice that every breastfeeding mom should be free to make.

But this particular breastfeeding photo had me raging.

I was not offended because the woman had both breasts exposed (even though the baby was only feeding on one). The critical areas were covered up or cropped out. I was not offended because of nudity or anything remotely offensive in the picture itself.

No, this picture offended me because of the claim in the caption: "Facebook removed this photo for being offensive and pornographic. Share and show Facebook that this picture is beautiful."

I could not imagine Facebook, with its current policies, banning this photo. I use Facebook daily. A quick glance at my friends' list would reveal that some of them post some edgy stuff. None of that gets banned. I smelled a lie.

Sometimes, activists who mean well tell little lies (or don't really bother investigating the truth), and other activists or sympathetic parties repeat those lies, in order to help the cause. 

Here, the cause was sharing breastfeeding pictures on Facebook. And there is nothing like a nice controversy to help a cause.

I tested the lie theory. 

For the first time since I've had Facebook, I reported a post as offensive and pornographic. Yes, I told Facebook a lie, too, since I judge the photograph as well within the bounds of posting guidelines. (I am duly ashamed of my behavior. I couldn't think of any other way to test it. It's not like Facebook will take my calls.)

Within a short period of time, Facebook responded that this picture was within the guidelines set forth by the company, and therefore they would not remove the picture. They gave me reasonable options (the very ones that I generally use when I don't like something, like hiding or blocking the post), but they refused to delete the picture.

I'll say that one more time, in case you missed it.

They refused to delete the picture.

The banned photo was not banned at all. That lie was written to get people to share the photo.

Most people tend to ignore crazy stories on Facebook, but this lie told by the person who first posted the banned breastfeeding picture probably seems reasonable to a lot of people who are getting the link from friends and have personal experience with breastfeeding, such that they know that bad behavior towards nursing moms does happen. In other words, this lie touches vulnerable mothers.

That is not okay.

Share your breastfeeding pictures. Or don't.

Allow breastfeeding pictures in your Facebook feed. Or don't.

TIP: Click on the little arrow in the upper right hand corner of a particular post to hide posts.

But don't help these people spread lies about what is going on in society. Where there are victories for communities, like Facebook's current policy of posting most breastfeeding pictures, reward those policies with truth instead of dishonesty. Respect the women and the babies in the pictures by never assuming, unless you have a personal relationship with the person in the photo, that the caption attached is the truth or that it was written by the person in the picture or the person sharing the picture.

Most of all, don't trust everything you read, but be truthful in your own posts.

Now back to regularly scheduled blogging.


P.S. I recommend this book for pregnant women and new moms. It served me well.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding