Sunday, May 30, 2010

May Edition of the Carnival of Productivity And GTD

Welcome to the May 2010 edition of The Carnival of Productivity And GTD. We're really impressed with the submissions that we've seen for this edition. We would, however, like to see more GTD related submissions.

Blog Carnivals continue to evolve here at Systems-Overload. We've decided to put the Better Life Blog Carnival on hold for a while to see what changes we might make or how we can bring it back into the line up. We've scheduled the next edition of the Family Life Blog Carnival towards the end of June. The next edition of the Carnival of Productivity and GTD is currently planned for September. The Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival for 2010 will be kicking off towards the end of November. We're thinking about adding a couple of more themes to the blog carnivals that we host, possibly one on Social Media topics and charity. As always, we'll need to see about our bandwidth! We're pleased with the number of entries that we're receiving for all of the carnivals, we do wish to challenge you all to look at things from different angles and perspectives. We love to see useful articles that can really help people. If you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to see covered in future editions, feel free to leave a comment. If you have a post that you'd like to submit, please do so via the submission from link. Thank you to everyone that submitted posts! Remember that by subscribing via your RSS reader or via email, that you won't miss the next blog carnival hosted here and you'll know when new material has been posted. Without further adieu, here is the May 2010 Edition of the Carnival of Productivity And GTD....


DaveOzment presents David Allen Is A Genius posted at Do You Dave Ramsey?, saying, "I wrote this article after spending a day implementating many of David Allen's principles. David Allen himself tweeted this article and replied in the comments."

DIY presents 7 Benefits to Doing-It-Yourself (DIY) Series posted at Reaching Euphoria.


Simona Rich presents How To Be Productive posted at Personal Development Blog, saying, "Do you find yourself struggling to accomplish your projects? Does your work consume your whole day? There are certain steps you can take to learn how to be productive."

Miche presents Healthier Productivity: An Easy Strategy to Prevent Burnout posted at Serenity Hacker.

Adam presents 7 Tips On How To Motivate Yourself To Achieve Your Own Long-Term Linear Goal So You Don't Burn Out posted at ZenTactics News Page.

SpiKe presents Does Work/Life Balance Really Exist? posted at Part-Time Wage Slave.


Sheryl Owen presents 10 Tips to Minimize Junk Mail posted at Change of Address.


Greg Burkett presents 3 Brain Hacks to Easily Memorize New Info and Save Time While Studying posted at, saying, "Memorizing information for presentations and professional tests can be a real time drain -- if done inefficiently. Take advantage of your brain's natural tendencies to save time memorizing."

WP Ho presents Smart Learning Techniques that Turbocharge Your Memory posted at The Conscious Life, saying, "Say hello to accelerated learning with these proven strategies."

Rugbygirl Crosby presents Top 50 Computer Science Blogs posted at Masters in Computer Science, saying, "The following blogs exhibit life in the computer science field, from blogs for beginners to complex theoretical blogs that can challenge the best minds in this field."

Virginia Hensley presents Top 25 Free & Freemium Web Apps for College Students posted at Online Nursing, saying, "In the spirit of creating smart people, we offer 25 top free and freemium Web apps — some designed specifically to help college students. All apps listed below are designed to help you stay organized, be creative and to study and write smart."

Shannon Wills presents 20 TED Talks That Will Make You A Better Person posted at Online Christian Colleges, saying, "These lectures can inspire audience members to look inwards and explore what they stand for and how they hope to uphold these values. By knowing themselves, they can better understand the best routes towards expressing love to others and making both the individual and the world just that much better."


nissim ziv presents Online: Career Assessment Test : Top Career Assessment Tool in the Market posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, "The purpose of a professional career assessment is to have a clear written career vision – a career aspiration and a better understanding of how you operate."

nissim ziv presents Career Planning and Career Development posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, "Why it is so important to plan a career? People tend to lose sight of their career path as the years go by. And many never had that career plan to begin with."

That concludes the May 2010 edition of The Carnival of Productivity And GTD. You can submit your blog article to the next edition of The Carnival of Productivity And GTD using our "Submit an entry to “The Carnival of Productivity And GTD” submission form". Links to past editions, as well as the current scheduling of future editions can be found on our The Carnival of Productivity And GTD index page. Thank you to everyone that submitted articles for this edition! If you have any topics that you'd like to see covered in a future edition, or any feedback in general, feel free to leave a comment. Be sure to stay tuned for the Family Life Blog Carnival, as well as the normal articles that are posted here. Thank you.

Photo credit: Humming bird 1 courtesy of DebbieMous

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Nannette Heron Foundation- Your Help Needed!

Ever since my mother passed away on September 11th, I've been wanting to set up a foundation and/or charity in her name. Not really knowing a lot about the appropriate laws and financial regulations, this is something that has been on the back burner, but never too far from my thoughts. I thought that I'd write up some of my thoughts on my idea and see what good advice I get on how I can move forward with this. I would like to at least get this kicked off with some phase running before September 11, 2011 (the 10th Anniversary of her death). What follows is very high level and I would certainly welcome help in filling the details.


My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent chemotheraphy and radiation treatment and even had a Mastectomy, but the cancer returned and spread. She died in her home in the Las Vegas area sometime between when the first and second planes struck the World Trade Center, so my mother's death will always be tied to September Eleventh. She was only 55 when she passed away.

What the Nannette Heron Foundation/Charity Will Strive to Do

Given the nature of her death, you can understand that I would like to raise money for cancer research and to be able to wipe out Breast cancer. But my mother was so much more that the cancer and that is why I wanted to also make the foundation/charity multi-faceted to reflect more of the person that she was and remains in my memory and in the memories of those that knew and loved her.


Because my mother died of Cancer (and her mother as well), I'd like to see money raised for research, hospice care, and treatment. Giving donations to the Race for the Cure, American Cancer Society, and other possible Cancer organization. We had a very good experience with a hospice organization in the Las Vegas area and I believe that dealing with Cancer is hard enough for family and loved ones and would like to see more done to alleviate the pain and suffering that they go through as a result of dealing with terminal situations. Even when it isn't terminal, it still is a lot of stress and not easy to deal with.


My mother was always fogetting where she put things and we found out that she had early Alzheimer's Disease. If the Cancer hadn't gotten her, is is likely that her memory would have further detteriorated. I'd like to see donations made for research, care, treatment of Alzeheimers


My mother was a nurse and she loved working in the NICU (Neo-natial Intensive Care Unit), taking care of the babies that were born prematurely. She worked in several doctors offices and practices before she finally got her first nursing degree. She started studying to be a nurse at time in her life when most people already had established careers and most peple wouldn't dare to start another profession. Looking back this was really an extension fo what she had done much of her working life and was a lifelong goal. I'd like to see donations made for NICU research and care as well as a scholarship program for people studying nursing at the University of Michigan and Hurley Medical School (she received degrees from both institutions). I'd further like to see money applied for the betterment of nursing as a profession and for those working in nursing.

Orphanages & Foster Care

My mother loved kids and babies. You'd see her face just brighten up when she held a baby or when she was talking to little kids. She had a special talent or quality in this area. I'd like to see some money raised for orphanages and foster care, so that more kids can get a better start in life and have a family that loves them.


Anyone that knew my mother, knew what an animal lover she was. I just have to chuckle when I think of all the pets she talked my dad into having, when I know that he felt tied down with all the responsiblitly that goes along with taking care of a lot of pets. He always gave in because he loved her that much and she was so determined. I'd like to see some money raised to go to animal shelters and promoting the adoption of animals. I'd also like to see that money goes to ensuing the ethical treatment of animals.

How It Could Work

I can imagine having a website where people can make donations, primarily through Paypal and possibly credit cards. I'd like to see a Nobel Prise style endowment, so that the Foundation can continue long after I'm gone. Because I'm living in Germany, while much of my family lives in America, I see the need for some sort of international set-up. I'd like to make is possible for people to be able to give no matter where they are.

I want to keep administrative cost as low as possible. At the moment I'm not a rich man, nor do most of my family have a lot of money buring a hole in any of our pockets, so I'd like to set up something that gives as much bang for the buck as possible. I'm also raising my family and need to be able to have time for them and to earn a living substancial enough to be able to support them, so I want to keep the financial administration and time required as low as possible.

In talking to a fanancial advisor a few months ago, he suggested linking to other charities and foundations as a way of leveraging what they've already put into place and so that I didn't need to build everything from scratch. There are some charites that I respect and would like to work with them to help realize my dream of setting this up and making it successful. At the end of the day I want to raise money for causes that were close to my mom's heart and help to perserve her memory along the way.

Do you have any ideas on how I can pull this off or do you know of someone that I can get in contact with about this? Feel free to put your comments after the article or you can write me at

Photo Credit: A glowing Nannette Heron with grandchildren, Caitlin, Jakob, and Dallas taken in 1999.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Social Media: The Big Lump of Clay

Every day you hear more and more about "Social Media". You hear more about what people and companies are doing with Social Media. A lof of the artilces and stories that you see and hear tend to focus on Twitter and Facebook, or how the use of this medium if growing. A recent search for "Social Media" at the American, British, and German versions of job search giant Monster revealed 50, 15, and 7 pages of jobs for those key words, this only goes to show that Social Media is starting to emerge, become more known and in demand. Almost without exception when I mention Social Media, I get a lot of blank faces or people will mention one or two famous Social Media sites, but to those of us that know anything about it how do you explain it to people with limited or no knowledge of it?

I originally wanted to call this article, "Social Media: The Clean Sheet of Paper And a Big Lump of Clay" but soon realized that the title was too long and ackward. Because I see how Social Media can be many things to many people, much like you create all kinds of things based on what you write or draw on a blank sheet of paper or you can mold a lump of clay into an endless possibility of things (artistic and otherwise), I liked the idea of referencing both of those objects. Another thing that I like about the clean sheet of paper and the lump of clay is that there is a certain amount of effort to make something out of either one, they don't just change into something. Upon further consideration I liked the term "amorphous" because Social Media is currently morphing into something yet to be fully comprehended or determined. According to Merrriam, Amorphous is having no definate form (shapeless), being without definite character or nature (unclassifiable), lacking organization or unity, and having no real or apparent crystaline form. All of these things fit Social Media pretty well I believe.

Definition of Social Media?

So, do you have a good definition of "Social Media"? I would argue that you can come up with thousands, if not millions of definitions of what is it. What I think that we can agree on is that it is "social", meaning that it is meant to be shared between people and that "media" is a form of communication. In the last century we've tended to think of media as being broadcast (television and radio) and print (newspapers and magazines) and that is basis for what is sometimes called the old media. There are a limited number of "distributors" based on some barriers of entry (the largest being cost). As the web has developed and become more accepted, we find the explosion of more and more possibilities for user generated content with very little barriers of entry. There are tons of articles about how more and more people are getting their information from the internet from sources that didn't exist 20 years ago and the landscape of the "old media" is drastically changing. Social Media is allowing companies, organizations, and people to get their "message" out and it is allowing them to make all kinds of relationships and to communicate in ways that weren't possible even 10 years ago.

Social Media: More Than Facebook And Twitter

Occasionally I've heard people referring to Social Media by saying "Oh, we'll just do some Twittering" as if that is really how they think that Social Media should be used. If peoples' rush to join the party, they more often than not don't really think about what they want to accomplish or what Social Media can do. While Facebook and Twitter are very big in the whole Social Media landscape and some amazing things are happening with both, Social Media is so much more than either of them. A prerequisite to "doing" Social Media should be to think about what you want to do and where you want to go. If you know those things you can then start to think about how you can use Social Media to take you there. Social Media can drive what you're doing, if you give enough thought to how you want to use it.

The Sky Is Not The Limit

There is something exciting about a clean sheet of paper or a lump of clay that you can mold into what you want or where the possibilities are limitless and only limited by your imagination. I hate to use the cliche about "the sky is the limit" but even that is not truly a limit as man has built planes and rockets has gone into space! How do you define Social Media and what does it mean to you?

Articles That You Might Want to Read...

What is Social Media?

Follow Me on Twitter

Do you Want People To Follow You on Twitter?

Are You Doing Social Media?

Wikipedia entry on Social Media

Photo Credit: Dirty Hands courtesy of jzlomek