Catching Up on Email

If there is one thing that can ratchet up your stress levels after returning from vacation, it’s opening your email to see what you missed. Several methods exist to help you sort through the pile. I’ll share them in their order of effectiveness, from most to least. Continue reading

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Getting Back to Work After Vacation

Ten years ago, I decided to take an extended trip to Europe to celebrate my 40th birthday (go ahead, do the math, I won’t be offended). After a truly amazing vacation, I came back to the office to find my perspective changed, along with my attitude toward work. Well, after a bit of time abroad to celebrate the latest round number, I’ll be coming home tomorrow. What will my mind be like after this downtime? Continue reading

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Document Trimming: Cramming Ten Pounds of Stuff into a Five-Pound Bag

Tech writers and editors are often asked to trim content from a document so that it meets a specific page count requirement. Depending on the amount of content you’re facing and the compression requirements, I’ve heard this task called, “Cramming ten pounds of [excrement] into a five-pound bag.” The trick is to do so without sacrificing anything important. Continue reading

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Technical Writer?

This question has come up a couple times recently, in person and online, so I thought I’d take the time to address it. I’ve talked on this page about technical skills needed for the job, as well as soft skills and business skills, but what about the skill required for the actual writing? That will be the subject of today’s post. Continue reading

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Was That Covered by the User Agreement?

Have you ever read that very long user agreement that appears whenever you download a piece of software? I haven’t, but I’m tempted to do so in the future. I’m appealing to the lawyers and technical writers who put those agreements together because I had an annoying experience with the music on my recently acquired iPhone. Continue reading

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