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Tell a friend index card philosophy


I spotted Indexed, another blog-turned-book success story, in the Chronicle Books store the other day. Indexed represents two great ideas: first, it’s a novel use for index cards (other than, say, Getting Things Done with a Hipster PDA or other office applications), and it’s also an inspired concept for a blog. is one of those brilliant ideas, like the Million Dollar Homepage — simple, clever, and enviably unique (which translates into lucrative).

Every weekday, author Jessica Hagy — copywriter, doodler, and philosophical statistician — publishes a diagram or an equation that succinctly captures an insight into modern life. The index card doodles range from the trivial to the thought-provoking, most often amusing and challenging in terms of how fast you can "get it." Hagy covers topics as diverse as shelter-versus-purebred canines, drifter cuisine, the boggling math of emotion, and undergoing water torture (both voluntary and involuntary). Hagy includes larger, more complex figures in the 5×7 section.

Kindred spirit Hugh MacLeod, author of gapingvoid, also admires Indexed. Chronicle Books published a couple of companion products, the Indexed book of postcards — (because, go figure, index cards are the perfect size for postcards!) — as well as the Indexed notebook.

Posted August 13, 2009 by Mariva in arts, blog-turned-book, books, business, entertainment, fun, gifts, humor, innovations, media

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Tell a friend Dear Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki book signing poster in Microsoft Booth at Macworld 2009

To: Mr. Guy Kawasaki
c/o Garage Technology Ventures

Dear Mr. Kawasaki,

The manager of the Microsoft booth at Macworld was going to throw this away after you were finished with your book signing for Reality Check, and I couldn’t bear to see it go into the garbage, so I rescued it.

Then, at the GTD Summit, David Allen inspired me to go through my Inbox (a big pile of random papers) and do a Mind Wipe or a Mind Sweep or whatever he calls it, and I realized that as much as I enjoy looking at a photo of you — (who doesn’t?) — I simply have no use for this.

Again, though, I hate to see it thrown into the trash, so I’m sending it to you care of Garage. Perhaps you can add it to your souvenir collection of professional engagements.

Posted March 23, 2009 by Mariva in audio, books, business, celebrities, media, social, technology

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Tell a friend time management haiku

work, home, health, friends, sleep
not enough hours in the day
just treading water
  time management: watching the clock

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen

The Time Trap: The Classic Book on Time Management
by Alec MacKenzie

Time Tactics of Very Successful People
by B. Eugene Griessman

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
(and other books by Stephen R. Covey & family)

Posted March 24, 2006 by Mariva in books, business, career, innovations, resources

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Tell a friend baby safety

Safe Baby Handling Tips, by David and Kelly Sopp

It’s hard to imagine a better — or funnier — gift for the parents-to-be who already have everything than Safe Baby Handling Tips by David and Kelly Sopp.

This novelty picture book is basically a series of contrasting dos and don’ts with regard to taking care of an infant. For example, the correct way to "bond with baby" is to hold and coo at the baby, not attempt to engage him or her in a timed game of chess! And when you’re putting the baby down to play, put him or her in, say, a playpen, not a cage. When taking baby for a walk, put him or her in a baby backpack, not in an old potato sack.

I mean, sheesh, people — take care of the baby! Get this book.

Posted March 23, 2006 by Mariva in books, education, entertaining, entertainment, fun, gifts, home

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Tell a friend book clubs and reading resources

book clubs and reading resources

A couple of years ago, I co-founded a major book club in my city. Because I was the facilitator, I felt it was my duty to read not only the chosen books but the study guides as well. It was like taking a literature class, without the term papers and oppressive overhead lighting.

Ah, those were the days. Now I’m in the middle of seven different books and can’t seem to finish any of them. Seriously. (I hope at least to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — yes, that’s Book 5, not even Book 6! — before the movie is released.)

Posted March 17, 2006 by Mariva in books, community, education, innovations, resources, social

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Tell a friend quote gifts

Lunch Mail

Sometimes the perfect thing to say has already been said by someone else. Lunch Mail has encapsulated this concept in an attractive product designed to uplift and inspire. Each Lunch Mail pack contains a set of thirty colorful business-card-size "surprise" messages. (Think fortune cookies or Cracker Jack prizes without the calories.) Created by the National Education Association, Lunch Mail was conceived as a special treat to include with children’s lunches, but I’ve seen them used for various grownup purposes, such as ice-breakers for cocktail parties, classes and business networking mixers.

Posted March 15, 2006 by Mariva in arts, books, crafts, education, fun, gifts, innovations, social

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Tell a friend Peyton Place: 50th anniversary

Peyton Place

If you’ve ever read the scandalous classic Peyton Place — now in its fiftieth anniversary — or seen the movie, you’ll no doubt be fascinated by the backstory. The death of author Grace Metalious seemed similar to that of Jack Kerouac. As long as they shared that tragic ending, it’s too bad she didn’t meet up with the Beats while she was alive; perhaps their own penchant for producing salacious works may have made her feel a bit less like an outcast, or at least a total outcast.

One thing that struck me about the movie (other than the horrifying stuff, of course, which is still shocking fifty years later) was the abundance of stock footage of nature scenes inserted abruptly — yet not displeasingly, and often accompanied by voiceover narration — throughout the movie. Did the filmmakers not have a budget back then to pay a guy with a camera to romp around the woods, capturing bucolic scenes of ducks on lakes and snow-blanketed towns? Or was it more a matter of color correction?

Posted March 13, 2006 by Mariva in arts, books, entertainment, movies

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Tell a friend Cavallini & Co. stationery products

Cavallini & Co.

In the spacious but homey split-level basement of Cody’s Books, I always find myself drawn to the tables displaying the Cavallini & Co. stationery products. I can’t seem to keep my eyes off the passel of varicolored notebooks, notecards, carte postale (postcards), flashcards and magnets and accessories, among other products.

Many of the designs embody a neo-Victorian aesthetic, reminiscent of decoupage and Beatrix Potter books, whereas the frames have a distinctly Italianate flavor. Whole maps feature prominently in Cavallini’s collection of gift wrap, making the paper itself a gift. (With Cavallini map gift wrap, I don’t use tape and I advise the recipient to open the package carefully without tearing the paper.) The file folders are works of art, almost too beautiful to kept in a drawer.

Posted March 9, 2006 by Mariva in arts, books, decor, gifts, home

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Tell a friend Geisha fashion

Fresh "Memoirs of a Geisha" beauty collection

Oh, man. With all due respect to Crash, Reese Witherspoon and, um, Three 6 MafiaBrokeback Mountain, Felicity Huffman and Dolly Parton were robbed. Oh, Oscar, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Also overlooked — by critics and the Academy alike — was Memoirs of a Geisha. While visually stunning in its cinematic narrative, Geisha may have made the critics happier if the screenplay had been bookended by (warning: spoilers — you may highlight the following white text if you’ve already seen the movie) scenes of New York City as the novel had been. I believe this would have made the story more cohesive and satisfying — especially to those who hadn’t read the book. But heck, what do I know.

The movie may not have inspired critics, but it did inspire Geisha fashion, renewed popularity of the Maiko Barbie Doll, and — from Fresh, makers of my new favorite scent — the "Memoirs of a Geisha" beauty collection.

Posted March 6, 2006 by Mariva in arts, beauty, books, fashion, gifts, movies, music

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Tell a friend How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works

We use technology all the time — telephones, computers, the Internet, television, cars and so on — but do you ever wonder how these things work? What happens after you press the "on" button or turn the key? In plain English, Marshall Brain (yes, that’s his name, and no, it’s not a pseudonym) demystifies everyday things from tattoos to airplanes to cell phones in How Stuff Works, a fun reference book featured on today’s Oprah.

If you’re not sure whether to invest in the book, start with the web site, which features explanations of Google Earth (how it works), dieting (how it works) and chocolate (how it works), as well as experiential things you may not have even realized had explanations, like laughter and dreams.

Posted January 19, 2006 by Mariva in books, education, fun, innovations, resources

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