The Technology Sweet Spot

We recently picked up one of the ~$50 Kindle Fire 7″ tablets for use within our warehouse (more on the specific use in future posts). It’s perfect for what it is, a super cheap tablet, but it’s noticeably worse than the Fire HD 8 tablet that I purchased on Black Friday for my personal use for ~$30 more. The screen isn’t very good, the build quality feels quite a bit cheaper, and it’s a step slower. This got me thinking about the sweet spot when… Continue reading

2/14/17

Leveling Up My Standing Desk

Last year when I upgraded my standing desk to a VariDesk and purchased new monitors I thought that I had more or less created the perfect standing desk for myself. To me, a great standing workstation allows you to stand and move around comfortably most of the time while still having the ability to easily transition into leaning or sitting positions without any compromises. The more that I worked in last year’s setup, there were a few compromises that I wanted to attempt to fix:… Continue reading

2/7/17

Vacations vs. Trips

This is sort of an addendum to my Hacking Vacation Time post from the fall. I like to categorize my travel as either a vacation or a trip. Let me explain. The goal of a vacation is to relax. I don’t over-schedule my time. I like to be doing things each day, but at a relaxed pace. A perfectly acceptable day might be getting up late, eating breakfast, lying on the beach, and then grabbing a nice dinner. On my travel days I don’t want… Continue reading

1/31/17

The New York Times Weekend Briefing Is The Only “News” I Read

James Altucher has a really good quote in Tools of Titans: Short and Sweet On the Value of Selective Ignorance, After Working at a Newspaper “You’re basically told, ‘Find the thing that’s going to scare people the most and write about it.’…It’s like every day is Halloween at the newspaper. I avoid newspapers.” Tim Ferriss has mentioned this before, and I think it’s one of the better takeaways from The 4-Hour Workweek: I never watch the news and have bought one single newspaper in the… Continue reading

1/24/17

My #1 Productivity & Life Balance Improvement From 2016

It’s rare that I make a productivity change that I would call life changing, but there’s one quick and simple change that I made last year that I think meets that criteria. When I stop to think about it, I marvel at its effectiveness. About a year ago I wrote about how I set up Gmail label notifications on Android as a means to disconnect. Essentially, anytime there’s an urgent work issue that needs my attention I receive a notification on my phone. Most of… Continue reading

1/17/17

How We Structure Paid Time Off For Full-Time Employees

One of the many decisions that requires some effort when hiring full-time employees is how to structure paid time off. We put a lot of thought into these decisions in 2010 when we brought on our first full-time employee. Since that time we’ve found that these policies have worked out really well for a small company like ours. PTO vs Sick Time + Personal Time + Vacation Time This, I think, is the first choice we made. Should we divide up sick, personal, and vacation… Continue reading

1/9/17

Diversity In Tech, Sports On The Brink Of Collapse, & Beautiful Efficiency – Link Roundup

Since I no longer post often on Twitter, I’ve decided to do a regular roundup of all of the interesting and thought provoking content that I’ve come across recently. I really enjoyed doing these link roundup’s in 2016 and plan on continuing them in 2017. In addition to being an outlet to share interesting stuff that I’ve come across, it also acts as reinforcement for me. I find that revisiting a story and summarizing my thoughts about it really helps my recall and retention, and… Continue reading

1/4/17

2017 Writing Goals

I’m on an eternal quest to improve my writing skills, particularly the skills that influence my work, such as writing copy for our websites, writing emails, and writing web content like this post. In 2016 I had two goals: write more regularly on my blog and write shorter emails. This will be my 59th post of 2016, the most since 2011, so I think I definitively accomplished the former. I’m doing a pretty good job on the latter as I alluded to in that post,… Continue reading

12/28/16

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet Review

Amazon got me with one of their Black Friday deals. The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet without special offers was marked down to a remarkably low $74.99 (it’s $104.99 as of this writing). Despite enjoying reading books on my phone recently, I’d been casually looking for a dedicated tablet reader. I like the form factor, and I like having a dedicated device that I can use without the possibility of getting interrupted by a notification. Now that blue light blocking apps have become ubiquitous, I… Continue reading

12/20/16

Post #1,008

The other day I thought to myself “I wonder if I’m close to 1,000 blog posts?” I checked and realized that I had blew past 1,000 without even realizing it! This post is officially number 1,008. My first post was 11 years ago on November 20, 2005. The first 296 posts were on the old Blogger theme and hosted on SportsLizard, before moving over to Adam-McFarland.net and then AdamMcFarland.com. It is literally impossible to read through the posts, which is why I created the Best-Of… Continue reading

12/13/16