Best Blog Posts of 2014

Best PostsThe end of the year always brings out the ‘best of’ lists and I thought I would play along as well by listing my top 10 posts of 2014.  This was the first year for my new blog and I have been really pleased with the interaction and engagement.  I have a lot of great posts planned for 2015 and I hope you will join me in the journey.  So, without further ado, here were the top posts for allysontwiggs.com.

1. My Big News (no surprise here, this was my best post of the year in more ways than one!)

2. How to Leave the Perfect Voicemail 

3. 48 Hour in San Francisco

4. My Christmas Wish List

5. What Makes My Life Easier

6. What About Gen X

7. My Life Runs on Evernote

8. Friday Fab Four 11.14.14

9. What to Give Employees for Christmas

10. Working from Coffee Shops

Friday Fab Four

image001Happy Friday! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, I certainly did.  I think we created a new family tradition playing Cards Against Humanity! So much fun.  Speaking of fun, here are 4 fun articles for you to read.

1. Should Social Media be Taught in High School–Jay Baer (Absolutely, yes!)

2. How did Roasting Vegetables become a Thing?–J. Bryan Lowder (If you are not roasting…I highly recommend it!)

3. How to Promote Yourself without Looking Like a Jerk–Dorie Clark (Always tough to do but necessary)

4. 11 Incredible Coworking Statistics That Will Make You Leave Your Cubicle–Jacob Shriar (Yes!)

Friday Fab Four

image001This time next week, Christmas will be over.  I love this time of year but the let down when it’s all over is immense sometimes! Luckily, I have great articles to read, like these four, to keep me occupied! Have a great day.

1. 6 Things the Most Productive People Do Every Day— {Email…is the problem!}

2. The Unexpected Consequences of Success–Srini Pillay {May we all need this advice in 2015}

3. The 5 Whys: A Simple Process to Understand any Problem–Courtney Seiter {Really like this process…coincidentally I used this to start my own business}

4. Which Airplane Seat You Choose Says a lot About You–Leah Ginsberg {I’m mostly aisle but a little bit window}

What to Give Employees for Christmas

clarkIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…or so they say.  Not everyone thinks so and you may have employees who really struggle this time of year.  It’s a good time to show your employees how much you appreciate them and remember that just because it’s Christmas, not everyone is feeling jolly.  There are many reasons your people might be stressing this holiday season; end of year projects and deadlines, 4th quarter projections, budget crunches at home, family visits, finding enough time to holiday shop and guilt for taking vacation time.  Yep, it can be a really stressful time.  Here are few ways to help your employees enjoy the holiday season:

1. Give Cash: If you plan to give anything at all, yes a nice pen set is practical but people want cash…every.single.year.

2. Plan the holiday party during work hours: Your folks are busy, they don’t have time to attend a holiday party after hours at your house…be respectful of their time and plan a lunch during the week.

3. Be flexible with time off: Some people have to travel near and far and others just need extra time to cook the Christmas dinner, reward your employees with surprise afternoons off to help with the stress.

4. Keep it simple: Don’t make your employees decorate the office to the nth degree and your employees are busy checking their lists twice, don’t add more gift giving around the office.

5. Be sensitive: Not everyone on your staff may celebrate Christmas. Also for many, Christmas can be a sad time for those who have lost loved ones.  Don’t expect everyone in the office to sing Christmas carols with you.

I hope these tips will help make this year a low-key and stress-free holiday season in the work place.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fab Four

image001How’s your Christmas shopping coming along?  Only two more weekends to get it done! Don’t stress, here are four great articles I chose just for you.

1. 4 Ways to Retain Gen Xers–Sylvia Ann Hewlitt {finally a great article about my generation!}

2. My Life in the Locker Room: A Female Sportswriter Remembers the Dicks–Jennifer Briggs {really entertaining}

3. Meet the Queen of King Size Bows–Hilary Burns {find a need, fill the need}

4. The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media–Ted Coine & Mark Babbitt {The CEOs who really embrace SM, will win}

**Bonus: 10 Companies Hiring Like Crazy in December–Kat Moon {Great to see companies growing and innovating}

My Christmas Wish List

My ChristmasIt’s that time of year when everyone is in good cheer and Santa is checking his list…twice! So, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would make my own special Christmas list.  So without further ado, these are the things that would make me smile like the Grinch this Christmas.

1. The ability to easily switch from one account to another in Instagram….please, please make this happen.

2. To find an iPhone 6, 64g in Silver…apparently it is easier to find Waldo than this particular phone.

3. For Facebook to just leave everything alone already…no more algorithms, no more policy changes, just leave it be.

4. For Twitter to once and for all demolish bots…I just love when @Suz789$M follows me and has 2 followers and follows 10k.  Good times.

5. Sharpies, lots and lots of sharpies in every style and color.  (The Hubs got me a stainless steel sharpie this year and I LOVE it.)

6. An Evernote scanner…my friend Beth has one and I am seriously coveting that thing.

7. For people/companies to stop with the automatic direct message on Twitter…be original!

8. To put an end to voice mail.

9. For my airdrop feature to work 100% of the time.

10. World Peace.

What’s on your Christmas List this year?grinch_smile_by_zhirafik21-d36m6g0

Friday Fab Four

image001It is Friday again friends and I hope you are having a great day.  Here are four articles I read this week that I thought you might enjoy as well!

1. 11 Things You Should Stop Doing on Social Media–Melissa Culbertson {agree 100% with each one}

2. 5 Things Really Charismatic People Do–Kevin Daum {Exude Joy!}

3. 5 Steps to Working a Holiday Party Like Santa–Stacey Alcorn {What Would Santa Do?}

4. The 2014 Gift Guide for Getting Things Done–Sasha VanHoven {Really good gift ideas}

What Makes My Life Easier

todolistLife is busy and hectic and we need things in our life that make it easier and less hectic.  Things like personal drivers and chefs! I wish.  No, I mean applications that keep us organized and on top of our tasks.  Isn’t that where the stress really starts to get out of control..when we lose track of an important document or we fail to meet a deadline because we weren’t all that organized?

I am always on the lookout for really great software and apps to help me.  Now that I am running a business, it’s more important than ever that I am on top of my stuff! Here are a few apps that make my life easier and if you haven’t tried them, I think you will really like them as well.

Evernote: You already know that I love Evernote…I wrote about it here.  I can’t stop singing its praises.  I take notes, create proposals, write content copy, brainstorm blog ideas and keep many lists in Evernote.  It’s wonderful.

Freshbooks: I could not run my business without Freshbooks…it’s amazing.  I am not accounting savvy…(I’m creative, I drive accountants crazy) but this makes me savvy! It tracks my expenses and revenue, creates the most beautiful invoices and even tracks my time on projects.  If you are running a biz or helping a non-profit, take a look at Freshbooks, it is super easy to use and affordable too.

Buffer: I’ve told you about Buffer before but let me say it again…it rocks! Not only is it the best social media management tool (in my opinion) out there but the Buffer team is amazing.  If you are not following their blog, start today.  Amazing, helpful information daily.

To-Do Lists: I know there are very fancy to-do list apps out there and I’ve tried teauxdeaux and trello but I wanted something simpler…a to-do list that was more like a paper list and that’s exactly what I got.  The lists pop down on my screen like post-it notes and I can check the box and it gets crossed off my list…so rewarding! (See the pic above)

Skitch: The sister to Evernote, I use Skitch every single day to take screen shots and annotate them for clients.  It’s a great tool if you need a crosshair shot or screen shot.  Skitch is an Evernote product so everything you create in Skitch goes directly to your Evernote account.  Easy, breezy!

These are just a few apps that are keeping me sane.  What apps do you use to stay organized?