Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Ways to Write Concisely

Nobody writes a perfect first draft. Whether you love the red pen or hate it with a passion, your first draft will require some polishing. The trick is to write prose that’s brilliant yet brief, colorful yet concise. Here are five tips for writing concisely.

Cut Weasel Words

Even the best writers fall prey to weasel words. These pesky critters sneak into your writing, take up space, and contribute nothing.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

13 Common Distractions at Work and How to Fight Them

Whether you work in a busy office or a busy home, there’s plenty to distract you. Besides preventing you from getting things done, distractions can negatively impact your work relationships. For example, careless errors and forgotten appointments can damage your reputation in the eyes of your clients and colleagues. Don’t let it happen to you! Let’s identify strategies to fight thirteen common work distractions.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday Motivation Hack: Tame Your To-Do List

Whether it’s a to-do list that never seems to get done, a less-than-inspired morning routine, or a tendency to get distracted (damn you, social media!), we’ve all got a hole in our productivity armor somewhere. Every Monday, we’re going to be analyzing common bad habits that could be holding you back, and we’ll offer a hack or two to help you get more quality output from your time.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Top International Productivity Books

As a company striving to make people more productive and successful, we know a thing or two about the importance of having the right tools when there’s a job to be done. But even though Grammarly will help speed up your proofreading, you also need to know how to manage your time if you want to be more productive. That means prioritizing and fighting the urge to procrastinate. Our product can’t teach you those skills, but we can recommend some books that might help.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Where Do Ninjas, Zombies, and Robots Come From?

English is a language made up almost entirely of other languages. Between the fifth and seventh centuries, tribes from lands that would become Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands showed up in Britain. The languages they spoke developed into Middle English, butted heads with Old Norman (pre-French), and, in Shakespeare’s time, got a dose of Latin and Ancient Greek. Along the way, individual words from a host of other languages were added to the mix.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Right Way to Procrastinate, According to Productivity Experts

Just about everyone I know is a procrastinator on some level. Going by Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule”, basically every college student is an expert procrastinator. But procrastination doesn’t mean putting off work forever and never doing it. For most people (even college students!), work that gets put off must eventually get done. From this perspective, the real masters of putting off work are those who still manage to get everything done and done well.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Motivation Hack: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

About three years ago, I decided to take a huge leap of faith. I sold almost everything I owned, packed my Toyota Sienna from floor to headliner with the stuff too precious to part with, and headed 2,000 miles west across rivers and mountains to an apartment I’d rented sight-unseen in a city I’d only ever driven past on vacation once. It’s the single scariest and best thing I’ve ever done.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

GRAMMARLY RESEARCH: Good Grammar Will Get You The Job

The informality of email, texting, and tweeting has crept into company communication–embarrassing management and leaving bad impressions with clients. Kyle Wiens, of iFixit and Dozuki, said in a July 2012 post on the Harvard Business Review blog, “I have a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.” He requires job applicants to pass a grammar test before hiring them because writing is his business.

Business Advice from CEOs You Should Consider

Do you like avocado enough to trade your house for it?

Some people face this choice every day, according to one prosperous CEO, Tim Gurner. In an interview with an Australian news show, the thirty-something millionaire blamed avocado toast and fancy coffee for this generation’s lack of funds.

“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” Gurner said.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Political Correction: How “PC” and “Reclaimed” Words Got Their Start

Any Google News search for “political correctness” will yield three general groups of results: pieces slamming one public figure or another for their lack of politically correct discourse, thinkpieces describing why the “PC police” are ruining free speech, and articles debating whether certain actions or speech patterns are “politically correct.”

While online pundits and thinkpiece authors spend a lot of energy debating whether terms or usages are PC, or condemning certain figures for their use or avoidance of PC language, there aren’t as many discussions about the history of politically correct language.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Speak Like a Scientist: 4 Words to Try Using Differently

Scientific writing is known for its precision and accuracy. Other forms of written and spoken communication, however, are often filled with confusing and ambiguous vocabulary. Here are four words we’ve poached from the scientific world that should be adopted in non-scientific communication.

Abstract In scientific writing, an abstract summarizes the key points of a presentation or paper.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Despite vs. In Spite Of

What’s the difference between despite and in spite of?

The easy answer: none. Despite and in spite of, despite what you may have heard, work identically in a sentence.

In other words, these two prepositions, in spite of what you may have heard, are basically identical.

In most cases, both mean “notwithstanding,” “even though,” or “regardless of.”

Despite their similarities, keep these things in mind to make sure your usage gives no cause for complaint.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

7 Novels to Read for a Better Vocabulary

People read for a variety of reasons: entertainment, knowledge, understanding. There’s no better way to gain a larger vocabulary than by reading novels of all types and genres. Your high school teachers might have considered the classics the only true literature with educational value, but there are plenty of modern tales that can help you pick up new words to fling around at cocktail parties.