Friday, July 31, 2009

No Post Friday

Hi All. I'm heading out of town and leaving work early, so sadly :( no post today. Perhaps, I can post over the weekend. If not, regular posting will resume Monday.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

These Items Might Help You To File More Often

I'm a bit of an organizational freak, but even I don't really love to file. When I find products I like though, it does help me to get more in the mood. I recently discovered these Pendaflex polyjackets at work and I love them. If you really want to up the ante on your filing, get some of these sophisticated and elegant looking file folders from See Jane Work. It won't make it an exciting event to file, but it might inspire you a tiny bit more and that's a step in the right direction towards getting organized.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

PC Mag Top 100 Sites List

I don't have time for a long post today, so I thought I would quickly share a good resource to check out for all sorts of things on the web, PC Mag's Top 100 Sites list. You will actually know many of the sites, but you might not know all and it's a great resource to bookmark and keep on file for the future.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I did this posting on good gifts for your favorite geek before, but today I thought I would do a spy geek edition that I'm calling 00Geek. Impressing geeks can be hard to do and they often have all the cool stuff they want, so here are a few ideas that might surprise a geek in your life or a client that your boss needs to buy a gift for:

These sunglasses with a camera in them from Think Geek are pretty cool and they're under a $100 bucks.

This Russian book spy camera from Uncommon Goods is also pretty fun and it's under $50

This Bluetooth handset that looks like a retro phone handset (also from Think Geek) isn't really on the down low, but it's so funny and will make people think you are so crazy that one could really go into spy mode and get away with anything.

If you want to take the 00Geek gift theme further, add some martini ingredients, glasses and a shaker to one of the items above.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ideas Besides Cologne & Ties

Cologne & Ties sounds to me like a British rock band from the 1980's, but really it's the two gifts I think most people buy for men because they can't think of what else to get. I consider myself an expert gift giver, but even I have had a hard time finding just the right thing for certain men on occasion. The basic gift tips I always mention apply with guys, of course, to listen to what a person talks about often and enjoys, but another way to find great gifts is to cultivate resources that will help to inspire you. A few months ago, I heard actor Neil Patrick Harris mention in an interview how he really likes a site called Uncrate that has all kinds of ideas for gifts and things that interest guys. I'm really enjoying checking it out and I will for sure keep my eye on it for gift ideas. It's a great resources for a gift for your dad, a male boss or clients who are guys. Take a few minutes and check it out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Be Looking for New Info & Ideas to Inspire You Everywhere

I do many different things to stay up on all that is going on around me. I listen to NPR, read a million magazines, read Time and the NY Times, I'm on Twitter, etc. If you really want the full list, read the post I did about it months ago. As an assistant, you never know where you will find out about great new ideas that might inspire you or where you might hear about a cool new gift, so you always have to be open. Just the other day, my Twitter friend (sounds weird, but it's true) Karyn Murphy tweeted about a cool new daily e-mail called Very Short List. I just signed up for it and so far it seems really cool. Very Short List sends you an email about new music, books, etc. Karyn who is always in the know is a producer who was once a personal assistant. She writes a hilarious blog, so check it out here. She's also on Twitter, if you want to follow her.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Okay, I only have a minute or two today, so here's a quick tip. If you are sick of getting people cupcakes or cookies and you want to do a sweet treat that's a bit different, if you are in LA try these new gourmet churros from Xooro that I just heard about. They sound amazing. I haven't tried them, but I have heard good things. Once I try them, I will do an update.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Can't Get All Yahoo Over The Changes To the Yahoo Page

I know I share many opinions on this site, but I often also try to share information regardless of whether it is something I will use personally. Often I do talk about the stuff I like and get excited about, but tonight I'm sharing info about something I'm not yet convinced I will use. The thing is, I'm a Google girl. I have Gmail, a Google Calendar and I have an iGoogle main page, so no matter how much Yahoo tweaks their home page and adds options, I don't think I'm switching. Check out this piece from Lifehacker if you want to know more about it and make a decision for yourself. For now, I'm still going to keep my iGoogle page with my insane amount of Rss feeds within it as my homepage.

Can You Hear Me Now??

In order to do your job as an assistant, you must be able to communicate well and have technology that facilitates that. As I have stated before, I LOVE my iPhone -- even with it's flaws (oh battery life how you make me cry), but I will tell you that the headset that comes with it STINKS! The headset is basically a set of iPod earbuds with a tiny speaker on one side. I had avoided getting a Bluetooth headset for as long as I could because I thought it made people look crazy and it seemed sort of obnoxious to me, but I recently decided that I had to relent and go get one. I was dying to have the Jawbone because it's beautifully designed, but it's very over priced, so I decided to be practical. After much viewing of reviews, I ended up getting the Plantronics Voyager 510. It's reasonable (under $40 bucks) and it works great. If you have been resisting getting one for cost reasons, hesitate no more. If you do end up needing to get your boss one and cost is no object, the Jawbone is a great choice.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chocolates On Riverside Drive

If you work at Disney or Warner Bros. and you have a sweet tooth or your boss needs a quick chocolate gift for an actor coming by at the last minute - you're now in luck. I just found out last week that there's an artisanal chocolate place right on Riverside called Amber Chocolatiers. People in my office had them last week and seemed to think they were quite good.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gifts For Your Favorite Cinephile  

True movie lovers can at times be a hard group to please. They often have seen every cool Criterion Collection DVD, purchased the vintage poster for their favorite movie and gotten movie tickets as a gift from others a million times. Here's a few fun gift ideas for the cinephile in your life that they might not have yet received:

The United Artists Prestige Collection of 90 films
isn't new, but I think it's a great gift. It also is a bit on the pricey side, but if budget is no object it's a unique and exciting gift.

Zagat Movie Guide - This handy item that comes out each year is helpful when people are adding to their queue on Netflix or even if they leave the house and go into an actual video store.

Netflix Subscription - Even though physical dvds will eventually cease to exist in the not that distant future, they are here right now and a Netflix subscription is always a good idea.

Gourmet Popcorn is great if the movie lover is also a foodie. 479 Organic Popcorn has a flavor with Black Truffle and White Cheddar and Popcornopolis makes a flavor they call Zebra that is caramel popcorn with white and dark chocolate on it. They both also make a bunch of other unique flavors.

One last idea that's simple, but has a sweet charm to it, is this movie reel tin filled with cookies from Snookies Cookies (scroll down to see it).

Hopefully one of these ideas will work for you or inspire you to come up with a unique idea of your own.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Creativity Trumps Perfection Most Of The Time

I seriously laugh out loud every time I read about the new Food Network show called What Would Brian Boitano Make. I would have to assume that the people at the Food Network are making a bit of an inside joke with the title, but they might not have a clue. Most people my age would remember that in the original South Park video Christmas card that went around town (and eventually launched the creators into the stratosphere) -- the kids are struggling with something and they ask what Brian Boitano would do. Moments later, he skates by to talk to them and it's random and hilarious.

As I reflected on that original South Park video from way back it made me realize something that is helpful to assistants who eventually want to do something creative like writing and that's that generally creativity trumps perfection. If you look at the old video it certainly is not the best animation you have ever seen (far from it - it's actually fairly crudely done), but you can see the spirit of the eventual show within it. Even that short video is controversial, irreverent and pee in your pants funny. This concept is hard for me, as I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I know if I will ever thrive I have to let go of that and get out of my own way. Try to embrace this and it might just free you to create your masterpiece.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google Voice App Coming To You Soon Perhaps, But Not Me Yet

Google Voice (the original product was called Grandcentral) which is really useful and allows you to route all your numbers through one number and get your voice mails transcribed to read via e-mail has an app coming soon to the Android and Blackberry. Yay for you if you have one of those devices, but *sigh* for me and my iPhone. You can still utilize the service via any phone, but it's fairly clunky in some ways without the app. If you want to read more about it, the New York Times has a good article about it that clarifies the differences. I shouldn't complain because my iPhone still does some pretty amazing stuff. I think most assistants and truly almost anyone would find this free service useful and a great time saver.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Simple Reigns Supreme

It has to be short and sweet today because I'm writing birthday cards, checking e-mail, brainstorming notes for my tv spec and trying to eat a tiny bit all during lunch.

I usually don't have a theme for my posts, but the theme for today is Simplicity. I'm not always the best at keeping things simple, but I know how important it is and how it goes hand in hand with making things more efficient, so I'm actively working on getting better at it. I recently saw these Laws of Simplicity online that I think would be helpful to any assistant in their work and personal life. It will take a few minutes to read, but it's worth it. I'm printing it out for future reference.

I spotted a simple gift idea today as well, so I thought it would be nice to do it all in one post since there was that thread that tied it together. Check out this elegant bottle for water that is made of glass, but designed in the shape of a throw away plastic bottle. It has a subtle environmental message and is a refined and unusual gift to give someone who might want it for water by their bed. etc.

MIA Friday With A Good Excuse & A Sunday Fun Tech Tip

I did not post on Friday and I think that's the first time I've missed a weekday. It's not like I'm Gawker or the New York Times, but I'm sure the few of you who read this blog regularly might have noticed. Anyway, I'm very diligent and OCD as we all know, so obviously I had a good excuse. I got TERRIBLE food poisoning on Thursday night. Wait, that makes it seem there they could be good or nice food poisoning and trust me there is no such thing. Let me just tell you I would not wish it on my worst enemy or even all the successful writers that get deals that end up in the trades who I'm jealous of and well, the rest of that can stay in my head. You never want to have to ask your sister (who happens to be a medical professional) - when you throw up and it's green or yellow is that Bile or does that mean I'm going to die? Bottom line is, I'm sorry. I could not go to work (which never happens to me) and I could not have turned on the computer much less come up with an idea to blog about without passing out on Friday. Hopefully it will never happen again.

Since I'll be back at work catching up tomorrow, here's my Monday post/tip early:

Over the weekend, I read about an app for the iPhone that sounds like a joke, but it isn't. It's actually something most busy assistants could really find useful. It's an app for the iPhone that lets you type your email and see where you are going via your camera at the same time by overlaying the text over the image. Since most assistants I know are constantly multitasking and personal assistants especially are often out and about trying to do 5 things at once, I think it sounds awesome. Lifehacker wrote a little piece about it, so read it if you don't trust me and then decide if you want it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Netbooks, Netbooks.. Read All About It

I might eat my words, but I'm not dying for a netbook. I am by the way MASSIVELY hankering for a Kindle DX (Amazon in case you are listening), but I digress, I was talking about netbooks. I have a laptop and an iPhone, so maybe I'm not the exact audience for it. I can see what's desirable about them -- they are light and small and sort of cute, but that's more what I need in a purse. I'm sure that I will someday eat my words and the price point is insanely great, so you might want to check out a few popular ones that I listed below to see if one might be right for you:

Sony Vaio W Series - Here's a bit more info not from Sony.

HP Mini - Here's a review .

Asus EEE Seashell - Here's a review of it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

VinoGoogle Sort Of

Works a bit busy and I'm cramming in lunch and blogging at the same time (count yourself lucky this isn't a vlog and you don't have to see me stuffing my face quickly). It's a short tip today, but a useful one. I just recently read about the wine search engine called Vinquire and it seems pretty cool. You can find wine prices, retailers and reviews on the site. They even have blog with more scoop. If you need to buy a wine related gift for your boss or want to get some wine for yourself to get through the day at work, check it out.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Useful Research Site

If what the WSJ writes is true, the new research tool that Yahoo might be launching tomorrow, sounds like it could be useful for work and play. I'm pretty much a GOOGLE girl all the way, but every now and again I will try Kosmix. This new tool sounds cool enough that I'll probably at least try it. I'm sure that Yahoo! is hoping lots of people will feel that same way.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I will try to post at lunch tomorrow as well, but here's one quick tip right now in case I can't. By the way, I'm still trying to blog at least once every day, but these early weeks at the new gig are tiring me out. I only have a few minutes at lunch to do it because I'm trying to write my original tv spec at night.

I work and live in the valley. I'm not sorry because I love my place and I'm near lots of cool stuff and can get to the city easily, but one thing I can't take pleasure in because I live there is the fact that MOZZA delivers their pizza now! You can call them or order online. I kid you not, their pizza is some of the best I've ever tasted. I wish I lived nearby and could get it to come to my door. Heaven in a box - DELIVERED. If your office is near there and your boss is in a bad mood or has low blood sugar, be sure to order some. It would be great to order for a little office party as well. I'll be jealous, but I'll live vicariously through you.

If you know someone that loves Mario Batali's food and you've already given them all of his cookbooks, buy them the dvd and/or book from his recent PBS show On The Road Again that also features Gwenyth Paltrow. I can't even cook, but I loved it.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I seriously have no idea how my obsessed with organization self had no idea about the site Unclutterer. I heard about it yesterday on Twitter (by the way if you are not on already just get on, it's a great source of information). It has tons of tips that will be useful to get the clutter out of your home life and at work. It will surely help you to be more productive on the work front and that can only lead to good things.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick Tip On The Fly

It's a busy day at work and I'm not getting much of a lunch, so only one small tip today. Sometimes you need to grab a screenshot of a web page for a presentation or to print out and show your boss and so many of the programs that do that are a pain or you have to install them. Aviary has an easier solution, so check this out when you can.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


When I'm feeling uninspired and need to get excited about writing again, I often find that if I see a great movie, read a good book or see an interview with someone I admire talking about how and why they do what they do, it helps me to get focused again. Yesterday I was reading this great Newsweek Author Roundtable that included Susan Orlean, Kurt Andersen and others and it got me excited about working on my new tv spec. Hearing about why all of the writers in the piece write and how was fascinating and made me realize that many different paths and processes can lead to creative success.