Tanya Kennedy Luminati

Director of MatrixMaxx

I’ve got MY black & white composition book with me … do YOU?

Last week, project manager Kevin Tomko talked about how he loves taking notes directly into his laptop. I, on the other hand, think that paper is not yet out of the picture.

I stumbled on this great article about low-tech strategies to keep yourself organized Composition notebookand I loved that it put a paper notebook at the top of the list. That is something that everyone at Matrix has been asked to do as long as I’ve worked here:

  • Always have a notebook and pen with you.
  • Be ready to participate in an impromptu meeting or discuss an issue or take down a ‘to do’ item at any point in the work day at any place in the office.
Everyone has their own favorite notebooks: Some like them small. Others large. Some like spirals.
Some, like me, just love the sturdiness of the Composition Notebook (now available in fashion colors in addition to the more traditional black & white).  I actually have 5 years worth of notebooks on my shelves, and occasionally I find myself leafing back through them, looking for scribbles from a particular meeting or particular discussion that seemed like it wasn’t going to amount to anything but then years later came back.
I think that when it comes down to simple time management, it is important to not get too hung up on the whiz-bang of technology. Yes, a shared online calendar has its advantages. But sometimes it is also nice to just flip open a paper organizer and be able to scribble little notes all up and down the margin, add unrelated thoughts, or just jot down a quick thought or phone number.
What are the ‘oldies but goodies’ habits in your daily routine?
Sarah Jedrey

Marketing Coordinator / Video Editor

Things we love: Animal Planet’s Live Kitten Cam

kitten

Kitten, via http://www.sxc.hu/

Sometimes, when you need a brain break, you need a dose of cute.  Science backs us up on this.

We love the Washington Animal Rescue League, and we love small, fuzzy things, so the Too Cute Live Kitten Cam from Animal Planet just makes us happy!

http://animal.discovery.com/tv/too-cute-kittens/kitten-cam/

What website is your go-to when you need a healthy dose of cute?

Blue Beanie Day Promotes Web Standards!

Matrix FEDs - Blue Beanie DayYou may have noticed an abnormally high number of people wearing blue hats today in your office, on Twitter, Facebook, or around town. Or maybe you just noticed your web designer/developer wearing one around the office and thought it was a bit odd.

If you were wondering why people are wearing blue hats, it’s because today is Blue Beanie Day! What is Blue Beanie Day?

The beanie itself comes from Jeffrey Zeldman’s iconic blue beanie, but the day is an opportunity for people around the world to show their support for web standards. For more info, check out the Blue Beanie Day page on Zeldman’s site »

Matrix’s Front End Developers all joined in the fun today and wore their blue beanies. As you can see in the photo, they are all different shades of blue and a couple are home-made (results may vary), but we are all equally passionate about web standards.

Did you participate in Blue Beanie Day? Do you have a story to share?

Roger Vandawalker

Front End Developer

Get yourself a standing desk for free

It seems like standing desks are all the rage here at Matrix Group. I never quite understood the appeal of being forced to stand all day, but I do appreciate a good standing break every once in a while. In a completely ideal world, I would have an adjustable desk that could fit whatever mood I’m in at the flip of a switch. It should also be affordable, which unfortunately isn’t the norm in this real world that I’m constrained to. I need a solution that lets me sit the majority of the time but also lets me comfortably work if I want to stand. So here’s what I came up with and it literally cost me zero dollars.

Yes, that is a run of the mill shipping box. That is also a laptop sitting on top of it. Take that combination and place it atop your desk and voila, instant standing desk.

To be completely fair, I admit I’m cheating a little. I’m volunteering to use my personal laptop when I want to stand so it’s not a completely seamless transition. Fortunately at the office we have WiFi and VPN access so I can get to all of the local networks and development servers without too much of a problem. When my legs ultimately get tired, I close my laptop, move the box out of sight and get back on my desktop right where I left off. It’s not the most elegant solution but hey, for $0, I could do a lot worse. The important thing is this setup accomplishes everything that I want it to.

How have you been clever/crafty with your work area?