Useful Tools

business tool recommendations

9 business tool recommendations for writers

Reading time: About 5 minutes Are you looking for business tool recommendations? Here are nine tried-and-true options that make a big difference to my working life every day of the week…. Each of my grandparents was born in the late 1800s — not just before computers, but before domestic refrigerators,

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If not PowerPoint, then what?

Reading time: less than 3 minutes Many people use PowerPoint as the default tool for writing their speeches and presentations. That’s not always a wise decision…. Whenever I’ve written about the software PowerPoint, I’ve usually received a flood of email. A few readers may disagree with my basic premise that

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Why you need your own pomodoro

Reading time: Just over 2 minutes The pomodoro technique is a time-management tool used by millions of people around the world. It’s particularly useful for writers and students…. I’m a big believer in the magic of three. You know — the three little pigs, the three Musketeers, the three Stooges. There’s something

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Christmas gifts for writers

17 Christmas gifts for writers

Reading time: Less than 5 minutes Are you still struggling with what gifts to buy some writer friends for Christmas? Or, maybe, like me, you don’t even know what gifts to request for yourself. Here are 17 ideas for Christmas gifts for writers… I once overheard someone say, “Christmas is for

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no cost tools for writers

26 fantastic no-cost tools for writers

Reading time: About 4 minutes The price of groceries is rising these days. But that’s not true of everything. The Internet allows us to do so much at absolutely no charge. Here’s a digest of great no-cost tools for writers… Do you ever feel that there’s just not enough time in

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style guide

Who wants a new style guide for Christmas?

Word count: 750 words Reading time: About 3 minutes Today I answer a question from a reader who is looking for a new style guide …. A reader named Michelle submitted the following question to the Publication Coach: I work in a request for proposal (RFP) department for a financial

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reference books

A plethora of references to improve your writing

Reading time: About 3 minutes Do you ever need help finding information? There’s nothing better than exactly the right reference. Here’s a list…. One of my dirty little secrets is that I have a Facebook account but check it only about once every three months. Juxtapose this with the habits

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best blogs

Welcome to the 12 best blogs of Christmas

Reading time: About 3 minutes In this, my last column of 2009, I bring you 12 blogs — one for each of the days of Christmas. This is what I like to call a “high concept” column. I’m taking the song the 12 days of Christmas and, um, re-purposing the

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dr. wicked

In praise and honour of Dr. Wicked

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Dr. Wicked provides a great no-cost tool for anyone who wants to write faster. Back when I worked in daily newspapers, most of my buddies were journalists. One was named Peter and I liked his style. He was a great reporter — he could produce

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Dr. Wicked

Welcome to Dr. Wicked

Reading time: About 2 minutes Do you ever delay and procrastinate with your writing? Today’s column provides an excellent (and no-cost) online tool for preventing writer’s block.  It’s been snowing where I live. Okay, I know it’s January and all, and that might not seem like a strange complaint (unless you

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vacuum your brain

How to vacuum your brain

Reading time: Just over 2 minutes I’m a big fan of a technique called “vacuuming your lungs.” Designed to eliminate breathlessness in people who need to deliver speeches, do radio interviews or even teach classes, it involves expelling all the air from your lungs, bending over and temporarily denying yourself of

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tyra banks

The Tyra Banks approach to writing

Reading time: about 2.5 minutes Do you have a supermodel you can consult with? Headline notwithstanding, I don’t mean Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell or even that inimitable diva, Tyra Banks. (I call this column the Tyra Banks approach because I’m Canadian and irony is in my nature.) What I’m talking about

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