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Getting Things Done, by David Allen

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’m in the cult of productivity. Give me a prioritized to-do list (colour-coded, please!) and I’m a happy camper. I like to write in fountain ink, and do my crossing-out with a Sharpie. Nothing beats the satisfaction of striking a big, thick line through a list of niggling tasks. With a full-time job, a part-time job and both school and volunteer commitments, I have to find easy ways of staying on top of multiple projects and deadlines. But with more and more productivity tools, the job hasn’t necessarily gotten any easier.

If you’ve ever attempted to get your life in order and streamline your systems, you may have already encountered the work of David Allen, author of Getting Things Done and Making it all Work. I recently borrowed Getting Things Done on book CD, so that I could multi-task by listening to the book as I organized my desk, and filed my papers. What I really love about Allen’s approach is that it works for any sized project – whether it’s day-to-day workflow or planning large events. Those who follow his method (check the blogosphere – there are legions!) often swear by it, because it makes them feel so much more in control. Allen wants us to get every single thing down on paper. From dentist appointments, to light repair work, to thank-you notes that need to be sent, and so on. It sounds onerous, but really isn’t; once our have-to-do items are down on paper, they're no longer monopolizing our mental real estate or causing us stress.

If you think you could benefit from more elegant organization, give the GTD method a try! Get things done, and stop worrying about them!

(Now, don’t just make a mental note of the title – write it down!)

Best Wishes on February 29th!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

February 29th has me thinking about time.

In this world of increasing disparity, there is one thing that everyone is granted in equal measure: time. Everyone on this planet has 24 hours per day – no more, no less. So, how do you best use the time that you’ve got? Check out these books on time management and learn some strategies for making the most of your waking hours.

Successful Time Management for Dummies, by Dirk Zeller

Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft Office to Organize your Work and Personal Life, by Holger Woeltje

The 25 Best Time Management Tools and Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy, by Pamela Dodd and Doug Sundheim

In Good Companies

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I lead Career Tours at the Central Library for a variety of groups. Most of the participants are newcomers and immigrants who are highly educated, multilingual and eager to secure meaningful employment in their new land. I show them how to access the newspaper, job ads, print resources and programs. And I also show them how to find information about companies for which they may wish to work.

Here are some of the tools that I always ensure I mention:

Reference USA. This database will allow you to generate lists of companies, using SIC or NAICS codes, or keywords. Find who you’re looking for, even when you’re not sure who you’re looking for. Download financial and contact information into a spreadsheet that you can keep for your reference.

Business Source Complete. Find articles about companies’ histories, SWOT analyses and stock market reports - current and comprehensive information is not typically provided on companies’ own websites. You’ll be amazed at what a single keyword can generate. This is not your grandmother’s Google!

Canadian Newsstand. This archive allows you to search for news and magazine articles about your company. Has it ever been sued? Has it won awards? Has it been listed in any Top-10 type rankings? What are some of its most recently announced projects (or disasters)?

If you need help accessing information about a particular company, then drop by the information desk, give us a call, or strike up a chat through our homepage. We’re happy to help guide you through the electronic jungle, and hopefully, towards bigger and better employment opportunities. Good luck!

The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting, by Rachel Shteir

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Stealing is as old as human culture, and it even exists in the animal world. So it’s no surprise that with the rise of capitalism and department stores in particular, we witness a specific type of stealing: shoplifting. I’m partway through a fascinating new book on shoplifting. It covers the history of shoplifting, as well as the various theories that have sprung up to explain it. Shoplifting can’t only be about poverty – think of that infamous Winona Ryder! - but it’s not just about greed or temptation, either. Is shoplifting an uncontrollable impulse? Can it be said that it’s a political act or statement? What are its real costs to business owners and consumers?

Most fascinating to me is the way that shoplifters describe their own behavior. Some are remorseless; others are ashamed. Some shoplifters do it to get a cheap (make that free) high, while others enjoy the feeling of superiority that results when they’ve conned a “stupid salesman”. Shoplifting is committed by both men and women, old and young, and by people of every ethnicity and class – and it affects everyone in the marketplace.

Find out more by reading this interesting, fast-paced read. The Steal is part history, part anthropology, and totally fascinating!

Exploring the e-library

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

Whenever I participate in community outreach on behalf of the Calgary Public Library, the one comment I am bound to hear more often than any other is: “I didn’t know you guys had that!”

I wish that more Calgarians knew about the tremendous resources at their fingertips. So, I’m encouraging you to take a tour of our newly designed website. Check out some of these resources:

  • daily newspapers from Calgary and around the world
  • hundreds of digitized magazines and magazine articles
  • business directories
  • encyclopedias
  • language learning software
  • free e-books
  • academic and peer reviewed articles
  • reliable information about health and wellness

What I’ve listed here is just a small sample of all that’s available to you! If you’re not sure how to get started, then strike up a conversation with us, using our online chat feature. Happy browsing!

Market Share Reporter

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

There’s a wealth of really fabulous resources available to Calgary Public Library cardholders, through our e-library. One of my favourites is a digital edition of Market Share Reporter. This comprehensive book has statistics about all sorts of markets, and who (or which product) enjoys the largest share of the market. Check out some of these diverse statistics:

  • Avocado Sales by Type
  • Best-Selling Albums
  • Demand for Pesticides, by Application

Market Share Reporter is an essential tool for entrepreneurs who need current statistics about their market and closest competitors. It’s also fun to simply dig up obscure facts. For instance, did you know that in 2012, China will spend over $260 billion on apparel?

From our homepage, click e-library and then Business, Directories, Investment & Careers. From the list of databases, choose Gale Directory Library Online. Choose “publication” and search using the term “market”. You will find Market Share Reporter and will be able to search for a particular term, or browse all of the topics.

For assistance with this or any of our other online tools, call us at 260-2782, or visit our homepage and use the online chat feature.

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