The evolution of time management tools (infographic)

The third infographic I wanted to share this week is a journey through time management tools.

There are a lot of tools and techniques to help us manage our time better and I’ve blogged before about how to prioritise tasks.  How refreshing to note that not having enough hours in the day is nothing new.

time management tools infographic

Source:  Thanks to Generation Demandforce for the share.

My infographic blog post series kicked off on Monday with The Social Sickness (social media personas) and Tuesday’s was Opinion Burnout (customer surveys).

If you don’t want to miss the other infographics this week just pop your email address into the box on the top right to receive these blog updates straight to your inbox.


Opinion burnout (infographic)

In the second of my week of infographics here’s one I like about customer surveys.

In the olden days marketers used use postal surveys, people in the street with clipboards and inserts in newspapers and magazines as tactics to garner opinon from customers and prospects.

From creation and execution through to collation and consideration, quick and cheap it wasn’t.  Thought through, considered and pondered over?  Most times.  Maybe.

Nowadays, thankfully, we have ready made audiences primed and willing to converse.  We have templates for surveys and advice on question structure.  We have the internet to make it fast and free.  Which makes it (a bit too) easy.

But, as the infographic shows, American adults were invited to complete 7 billion surveys in a year, so it’s small wonder many get ignored.  The simple pointers in this visual are a reminder of how we can make ours stand out from the crowd and thefore increase the chance of completion.

opinion burnout

Image originally posted on Zengage, The Zendesk Blog

Source:  Thanks to Zendesk.

Yesterday’s infographic was about social media sickness.  If you don’t want to miss the other infographics this week just pop your email address into the box on the top right to receive these blog updates straight to your inbox.

The Social Sickness (infographic)

I’ve been collecting some great infographics for a while and want to share one here each day this week, since it’s nearly Christmas.

Today’s blog is about everyone’s favourite topic – social media.

Social media is part of most marketing job roles nowadays.  If you’re always online via your smart phone or tablet the temptation to throw out a little tweet, post, pin or share for your job when you’re online with your friends and family anyway is huge.

Here’s a list of ten social media personas and the unhealthy relationships they have with social media.  How many of these bad habits have you fallen in to?*


*hands up, I ‘fess up to one of these.  Ok, two.

Thanks to Marketo for the infographic and Rohit Bhargava for the original idea.

Tomorrow’s infographic is about customer surveys and how they can backfire.  If you don’t want to miss it pop your email address into the box on the top right to receive these blog updates straight to your inbox.

Rocks in his ears and other brilliant descriptions

wet cat with reduced social skills
Wet cats aren’t friendly

“My head is not relaxed and there are bees stinging in my throat,”  said The Eight Year old this morning.  A swift aargh confirmed a red raw throat and a ticket to a day off school.

One other time he complained of having rocks in his ears which turned out to be a particularly nasty ear infection.

Quite clearly he is a child genius and destined for literary greatness.  In the meantime we enjoy how he articulates his different view of things.

Inspired by my poorly son I looked for descriptions from other people that paint a picture so true they make you smile.  Here are some of my favourites.

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” ― Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

“The bowler approached the wicket at a lope, a trot, and then a run. He suddenly exploded in a flurry of arms and legs, out of which flew a ball.” ― Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything

“He wasn’t that good looking, he had the social skills of a wet cat and the patience of a caffeinated hummingbird” ― Karen Chance

“She had a dour Presbyterian mind and a code of morals that pinned down and beat the brains out of nearly everything that was pleasant to do.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

“Hot weather opens the skull of a city, exposing its white brain, and its heart of nerves, which sizzle like the wires inside a lightbulb. And there exudes a sour extra-human smell that makes the very stone seem flesh-alive, webbed and pulsing.” ― Truman Capote, Summer Crossing

“You could sometimes see her twelfth year in her cheeks, or her ninth sparkling from her eyes; and even her fifth would flit over the curves of her mouth now and then.” ― Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

“The duchess turned on Eugène with one of those insolent stares that envelop a man from head to foot, flatten him out, and leave him at zero.” ― Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot

“The lawn was white with doctors” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

With thanks to Good Reads for the quotes.

15 WordPress user errors that make you look silly (infographic)

I have long been a fan of the very wonderful Copyblogger and love to keep tabs on their latest inbound marketing advice.

One of my favourite recent posts is this infographic with some useful reminders about keeping your WordPress blog in order.  If you’re a none techy WordPress blog owner like me you too might welcome this simply laid out check list.

Right, now if you’ll excuse me I’m just off to pop the hood on this thing …

15 WordPress User Errors That Make You Look Silly [Infographic]

Like this infographic? Get more WordPress publishing content from Copyblogger.

Destination Donegal – creating The Wild Atlantic Way

Failte Ireland, the national tourism development agency for Ireland, is creating a new driving route along the west coast called The Wild Atlantic Way, to be launched in 2013.

Ambitions for the route are high with the intention that it will rival Australia’s Great Ocean Road, South Africa’s Garden Route, California’s LA to San Francisco coastal route and various coastal routes in Norway.

The purpose of the marketing exercise (it’s not expected that any new roads will be built) is to develop a long-distance driving route that will achieve greater visibility for the west coast of Ireland in overseas tourist markets.  Opening up and linking the destinations in such a way will, it is hoped, develop the tourism sector in areas where there are precious few other economic drivers.

The project is currently in the midst of a consultation phase.  This 2 minute video gives an overview:

The Wild Atlantic Way has been broadly well received so far, although publicity to date has been scant.

The trial project of The Wild Atlantic Way in Connemara announced earlier this summer was funded to the tune of €1.8 million of government money but, with Irish citizens bracing themselves for another budget in early December, it’s not sure where the funding will come from for the remaining investments proposed.

Other downers to the project include fierce local debates about the precise route and whether a speedier and possibly newer road is preferred to a more scennic one.  There discussion of the route has also opened up an already heated debate in Donegal about wind turbines and where they can be situated.

The current public consultation exercise includes a social media campaign as well a face to face roadshow culminating in an event in Letterkenny on Wednesday 5 December.

The public consultation exercise closes on Friday 14 December and responses should be made in writing to Wild Atlantic Way Project, Fáilte Ireland, 88-95 Amiens Street, Dublin 1 or can be emailed to

My day in 10 pictures

Lamp light

My day invariably starts with the flick of a switch and the glow of this lamp.  No need for an alarm clock on a normal day as the two human versions tend to be very reliable.

Stair gate and stool

Mornings are busy in any house and ours is no exception.  Even though we don’t have stairs we use stair gates on the bathrooms to reduce the remote-down-the-toilet risk.  However, today The Two Year Old has found an ingenious solution and was caught cocking his little leg up to get in.  Plan B now required.

Moshi Monster with pink hair
I’m sure Michael Acton Smith is a lovely man as well as an impressive entrepreneur but I rue the day when he brought Moshi Monsters to us.  The Eight Year Old ‘found’ this dude outside Granny’s house yesterday so finders-keepers, right Mum?  Er, no, give it back to your cousin, she’s missing it.  As a marketer I can admire how the tapping in to an eight year old’s obsessive streak has been so clevery done by Moshi Monsters.  As a parent, not so much.  Tears at breakfast.

Broken digger

The Two Year Old broke the jib on his digger.  Too much love.  His face is looking at me, knowing with 100% confidence that I can fix it, can’t I?  More tears at breakfast.

My desk

And so to work.  Blessed relief.  I love the soothing, deep cobalt blue of the wall behind my screen, it’s a perfect backdrop for the places I’m taken to via that computer.  It’s my version of the opening credits for In The Night Garden.   From the window I can see countryside.  I am lucky.

coffee cup
I won an iPad in a Stena Line competition asking for suggestions to improve the ferry crossing experiences.  When I’m working I use it to keep track of a client’s Twitter stream while using the laptop for the other stuff.  I love the flexibility of freelancing and have worked on some very interesting projects since I started in June.  I can’t imagine not doing it now.

reading books

Once I’m in the zone with work, lost and totally focused, it can be hard to leave.  Luckily the boys love their books and I can sometimes get a few precious extra minutes.

Muckish at sun set

If I get up out of my chair to look out of the window I can see Muckish Mountain.  Its iconic table top shape is one of Donegal’s most recognised features and is easy to climb.  The view from the top is stunning, with miles of unspoilt Atlantic coastline, Tory Island and the Bluestack Mountains to the south all visible.  This sunset is quite typical; many artists have settled here, lured by the light created by our proximity to the sea.

Amelia's plane

The Husband has been away on a course this week learning exciting new skills for our next venture.  We picked him up from Derry Airport and this model of Amelia Earhart’s aeroplane is in the arrivals area.  It’s there because Amelia made an emergency landing in the area en route to Paris from Newfoundland in 1932, the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic.  An inspirational lady.

Lasagne and apple crumble

We’re having left over lasagne for tea again.  With the Husband away I’ve relied a lot on the Grandparents this week so I repaid the favour in a small way by cooking Sunday lunch.  Lasagne is a favourite of everyone’s, served with garlic bread, salad and chips for the kids (and Grandad).  There were no apple crumble left overs, unsurprisingly.

Some of my thoughts, written down. Ramble on.