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Email Is A Necessary Evil

I honestly don’t know what I would do without email. It’s definitely a love hate relationship.

Every time I try to use a project management system, it seems so much easier to send an email for what needs to be done. Though if the email isn’t done right, it’s worse than using a confusing project management system. Done right it can be a beautiful thing.

Here are a few tips to getting your message across in email for projects:

  1. One email per project. If you’re working on multiple projects, don’t combine them in one email. It will just confuse things.
  2. Use lists, numbered or bulleted to break down tasks. This way it’s easy for the recipient to parse what you want them to do. Nothing’s worse than trying to figure out tasks in a long paragraph.
  3. If you do use a project management system, make sure everyone knows how it’s used. If something seems like it might be confusing in the system, send a email.
  4. Per project or client label (GMail terminology) the project for easy look up.

What do you guys think? Does email suck? Is it a necessary evil? Do you know of any project management programs that integrate with email? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Image Credit: Pexels

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Mental Health and Entrepreneurship

I’m a very positive person. I don’t often feel depressed. I’m a “the glass is half full” kind of guy. But more and more I’m hearing about how depression and mental health is becoming a big topic not only in my entrepreneur circles, but in business as a whole.

This is a good thing. Having mental health be less of a stigma both at work and home allows people to get the help they need and become stronger and better people for both their jobs and families.

Having mental health be less of a stigma both at work and home allows people to get the help they need and become stronger and better people for both their jobs and families.

I recently met a woman, Lynette Davis, who is running a nonprofit called Love Yourself Love Your Business. It aims to be a group for entrepreneurs who need community and a support structure. It’s a great concept and I, for one, can’t wait to see what it’s all about when in launches.

What resources do you utilize for your own mental health? Is dealing with your mental health a priority for you? Let me know in the comments.

Picture Credit: Pixabay

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Jordan Paris and School

So there is a guy on LinkedIn who announced he is giving a TEDx talk on why he thinks formal education and college is a waste of time and a scam. A pretty provocative stance if you ask me.

Jordan Paris likes to position himself as a visionary of how to go about doing business with or without schooling. I just find his whole premise disingenuous because as he’s bashing higher education he’s still enrolled in it. #JustSaying

Now don’t get me wrong, there is lots wrong with higher education. Tuition is way too high, it sends people into years of debt. Often times the education you get in college doesn’t apply to real life. I can go on and on.

But there is lots to be said for the experiences you have a college and university that you miss out if you don’t go.

Look, I went to school at the University of Delaware, I majored in History and Journalism. I got minors in Political Science and Anthropology. Most of that degree I’m not using. Heck most of it I’m not even passively using. But I wouldn’t go back to my senior year of high school and decide not to go.

College is much more than academics and I’m not saying the other half is partying and getting drunk. It is adult-lite. You really find yourself at college. At least I did.

Now I’m not saying that skipping college and going another route is a bad idea, I just don’t think Jordan’s approach to the topic is the best. But he’s entitled to his opinion.

And I respect that.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Teaching Your Clients “How To Fish”

Teaching your clients how to fish after you build them a website is very important. They might still turn to you to do most updates, but they should have a sense of what goes into updating and keeping their site functional.

With WordPress there is no reason why the client can’t have some type of access to their site to make minor edits and do blog posts.

I’ve noticed a split almost 50/50 with my clients with having access to do some changes to the site.

As with everything, you can’t just hand them the keys and say, “have at it.” It is important to set aside some time and walk them through where they should “play” on the site.

What do you think? Do you think clients should have access to their sites to make minor edits or do you keep things locked down tight?

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Bucks County’s Startup Scene – It Exists

Having grown up in the Bucks County and Philadelphia metro area my whole life, I’ve noticed something. Philly likes to tout how startup friendly it is. But ignores the counties surrounding it.

Bucks County has a really blossoming startup and technology scene that has been growing silently for years. Finally a bunch of us have started up a non-profit to bring it out into the open to help it flourish.

Startup Bucks is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County.

Right now we’ve been having happy hours and weekly 1 Million Cups get togethers, along with some bigger events.

I’m really loving being a part of something that is taking off and making a difference.

Stay tuned for updates.

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WordCamp US 2019 – State Of The Word – My Thoughts

So WordCamp US 2019 was this weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. I watched from afar on the live stream. I’m so glad they had that feature. Thanks #WCUS organizers!

One of the biggest parts of WordCamp US is when WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg gives the State Of The Word speech at the end of the second day.

Here are my takeaways:

  • WordPress isn’t going anywhere. It powers even more of the Web than it did last year. Still about 1/3 of the Web.
  • The Block Editor is coming along with more and more features coming.
  • You’ll be able to add Blocks and activate them right from the editor without having to leave editor. This is huge.
  • The Twenty-Twenty theme looks slick.

This is what stuck with me. Over at the PostStatus site there is an even better run down.

If you get a chance to go to a WordCamp — GO! It’s well worth it.

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WordCamp Lehigh Valley PA 2019

I’ve been coming to WordCamp Lehigh Valley since it started (I think about 4 years ago). It’s a great WordCamp that isn’t in a major metro area.

The topics are great and range from User Experience to getting used to the Gutenberg editor to how to manage multiple WordPress sites.

The great thing about WordCamps is that for a minimal charge, the information you get is worth so much more. This is the same for WordCamp Lehigh Valley.

Find more out about WordCamps by going to WordCamp Central.

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WordCamp US 2018

WordCamp US 2018 Nashville Logo

Going to WordCamps (conferences that are focused on the WordPress CMS) is always a lot of fun.

When the national WordCamp (WordCamp US) comes around every December it’s gives one a sense of how fantastic this community is.

Last year and this year #WCUS (as it’s affectionately known) is in Nashville Tennessee. I wasn’t able to make it this year or last, but this year I’m still going via the live stream. Though I’m missing the most important track, the Hallway Track, I’m really enjoying my experience.

The live stream coupled with the #WCUS hashtag on Twitter, it almost feels like I’m there. In a way I’m getting a little bit of the Hallway Chat via Twitter.

All in all, I’ve been very happy with my virtual experience thus far. I’ll report my final thoughts after #WCUS ends.

WordCamp US 2018 picture of my computer watching the live stream.
My view of #WCUS 2018 from work on Friday
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Thoughts On The Massacre In Pittsburgh

What happened to Pittsburgh this terrible, horrendous and unconscionable.

It happened in a synagogue, but could happen anywhere and has happened in other places of worship and places of education.

Two days after what happened in Pittsburgh, I’m still trying to deal with the fact that something like this could happen in this day in age. I’m sad and I try and not think about what’s going on in this country. The thought of our President visiting Pittsburgh should be a good thing but it isn’t. He is a figure who has helped encourage this hate. Those in politics and places of power need to know that their words mean something and can affect people much more than just their minds.

My son goes to a Jewish Day School in the afternoon. I’d be lying if I wasn’t really nervous today. I know they have security measures in place but I also know that they are only so good.

I brought up what happened in Pittsburgh on Saturday up at work today and was shocked to find out the lack of empathy my co-workers feel towards things that don’t affect them.

This could happen anywhere and to anyone but it didn’t this time it affects a community that I’m part of and it hurts me to my core.

I don’t expect people to fully understand why I’m still reeling from what happened, but I’m still shocked when people just don’t give a crap about anyone else other than themselves.

Yes, it didn’t happen in Philadelphia or Doylestown, for that matter, but it happened to fellow Americans. It’s time to give a shit. It’s time to take a stand and do something about this rhetoric that is causing this toxic mess that where in today.

I’ve been rambling, I know, but I had to get this out. I want to know your thoughts to please post your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

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WordCamp Philly 2018 Recap

I love me a good WordCamp. 

WordCamp Philly 2018 is in the bag. This year I didn’t volunteer to take photos. Instead I was just an attendee. I felt  I needed a year to take in everything WordCamp had to offer. One of which was actually sitting through sessions and learning as much as possible.

The turnout was great. More than 300+ attendees turned out to learn how to get the most out of the WordPress CMS.

I learned quite a bit. From how to correctly use Google Analytics to using fonts properly to how to make sure you have diversity not just in the workplace, but represented in your designs and everything you do.

Tracy Levesque (also known as @LilJimmi) gave an amazing keynote about Diversity, Love, and Independence.

She did an excellent job highlighting the many firsts that happened in Philly with diversity and inclusion that has effected the whole country.

After the keynote, I honestly felt lost without my camera. I’ve been a photographer for WordCamp Philly since it started. I quickly got over it and went to some amazing sessions taught by amazing people.

The sessions I went to were fantastic. Here are the ones I went to:

That was all on Saturday. On Sunday was Contributor Day. That’s where people can learn how to contribute to the WordPress open source project. It had a great turn out. More than 40 people came out.

I’m now getting involved with the Marketing group and I’m excited to learn more about how I can put my skills to good use for the project.

If you want to learn more about how you can contribute go to Make.WordPress.org and get involved.

The weekend was a huge success. To find the slides and see the conversation you can go to the hashtag archive I setup in a Google Sheet.