Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Resources for Professional Reading and Development

A friend of mine recently asked me how I know so much about what goes on all over the web. It was an interesting question, and the answer is automation. I subscribe to a number of email newsletters that bring tons of targeted information to my inbox. I check in randomly throughout the day, such as that last five minutes before a meeting, when there’s not enough time to get much productive work done.

Here are a sampling of my favorites, some I’ve mentioned before, and some new ones:

MindTools

James Manktelow sends a variety of management related articles to my inbox on a monthly basis. The articles from MindTools cover everything from how to make good decisions and prioritizing your workload to optimized purchasing and self-evaluation. You can subscribe to this newsletter here, or visit the website and check out the archives. Some items are only available with a paid subscription, but a fair portion are free to anyone.

Little Pink Book

While I still can’t stand the title of Pink Magazine, it’s still a nice journal for businesswomen that far outclasses other forays into this arena (namely Forbes Woman—which dwells on charity, shopping, and clothing tips for the board room). LPB is a daily snippet with links on topics that are relevant to business women. There are reviews of management books, ideas for entrepreneurs, financial tips, etiquette lessons, and more. Yes, there are some days that do throwback to great suits or perfect high heels, but the bulk of these daily notes deal with real business issues and development.

MyRagan

This is a site for communicators and PR professionals, and it’s sometimes a little slow in the forums, but I really love the daily soundbites on new marketing strategies, particularly how to use social media for personal or company branding. There are plenty of general office items in here, like discussing office safety policies or great “overheard in the office” material. Some of my cross posted blog items have made it into the weekly wrap up, which I appreciate, so it’s also a great place for developing writers to test out material.

Digital Tips Newsletter

Universal Graphics is a design group, but they send out a great newsletter full of tips and tricks for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that has taught even me, a power user, a few new things. If you work in an office with colleagues who ask a lot of questions like “how do I add a page break in this spreadsheet for printing?” this is a great resource to refer those questioners to. The only downside is that the email files are huge and can wreak havoc on your reading pane in Outlook.

Mannersmith Monthly

I was trying to find an honest to goodness Charm School when I stumbled upon Mannersmith. Jodi Smith and Marianne Cohen provide advice on how to handle plenty of social situations, from clueless newbies at the gym to appropriate tipping guides. They also have a Facebook page and blog.

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