Best Free Resources for Life Long Learning

For the first 18 years of our life we are focused solely on learning. We study, make flash cards and brainstorm new ideas. For some of us this learning goes on well into our twenties with college. But once we leave university, most of us move on from learning into the workplace and never really go back.

I loved learning when I was a kid and I always make it a point to learn something new whenever I can.  As a journalist I’m naturally curious and one of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to become an expert in many different subjects even if just for a day.   

Just because you’ve left school doesn’t mean you have to give up on life-long learning. In fact, many of the long-term bucket lists that I see include learning a language or new skill. But these long term goals tend to get overlooked because they can be quite costly or because people don’t think they have the time to achieve them. Read more

A Trick to Make Traveling So Much Simpler

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Jay and I at the Colosseum.

I’m feeling refreshed and reinvigorated after returning from Italy and Switzerland last week with Jay and a few of our friends. Jay and I went to Rome on our own — taking a tour inside the Colosseum and the Roman Forum plus having our favorite pizza in the world at Baffetto.

We also ate our way through through the Testaccio neighborhood.If you go to Rome definitely take a food tour with Eating Italy Tours — it was a highlight. And I’ve recently had to follow a gluten free diet as a complication of my appendix rupture and they were so sweet and accommodating about it!

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Eating my favorite pizza at Baffetto.

Then we were off for Geneva to meet up with our traveling friends Peter & Nicole and Nancy. We hopped in an SUV and drove an hour to Montreaux for the 50th annual Jazz Festival there.

The jazz festival was lots of fun with wonderful gourmet food, wine and lots of cool music. The town of Montreaux itself is really adorable with lots of shops and restaurants. Plus it’s right on a lake so the views are amazing. A note if you’re ever in Switzerland – it’s super expensive. Think 35 dollar cheeseburgers and 15 glasses of wine (and the pours are miniscule.)

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In the adorable town of Montreaux, Switzerland.

Off to Lake Como from there with a 4 hour drive through the Swiss Alps. Such a cool experience to drive through nearly untouched mountainsides. We saw snow capped mountains and lots of animals on our twisty travel. Those roads are all over the place and obviously very high up. It was a bit unnerving at times but we made it through with good music and snacks!

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The beautiful Lake Como!

We stayed in a small town called Varenna and absolutely loved it. It was so charming and picturesque. We were in love. We stayed at a villa called Casa Stacy and I highly recommend it. Not only did Stacy make sure we had everything we needed but she also hooked us up with some fun excursions. We went on a boat tour of the entire lake and had a private wine tasting that was amazing.

On a boat with our friends Peter and Nicole

On a boat with our friends Peter and Nicole.

Then it was off to finish the trip in Milan where we got a full tour of the city and got to see The Last Supper thanks to Milan Day Tours. It’s so interesting to see ancient art up close. When I saw the Mona Lisa I was a bit underwhelmed because it’s so tiny.  Not like you’d expect.  But this piece by Leonardo di vinci is huge. It takes up an entire wall and I thought it was in very good shape. We learned all about the restoration and history. I’m glad we did that tour.

My vacation was full of amazing food.

My vacation was full of amazing food.

Trick to Make Air Travel More Bearable

Our travels throughout Italy and Switzerland went off without a hitch. Air travel is usually the biggest headache for me when I’m on vacation.  But here’s the trick I promised — get Global Entry. It’s amazing how much time you save.

Global Entry gives you several benefits for 5 years and a $100 price tag. First you are eligible for TSA Precheck within the United States.  That means you get to basically skip the line at security, keep your laptop in it’s bad and forego taking off your shoes and sweaters.

Then when you travel internationally there’s another perk – you get VIP treatment when you return home and go through customs.

We just had to scan our passports and fingerprints. We got a printed pass and brought it to the customs officer.  It took us about 7 minutes to do this.  So from the time we landed to the time we were in a taxi at JFK heading home — just 37 minutes went by. That is a far cry from the usual experience we have when coming home internationally.

Other than the cost — the other catch is that you have to go for an in person interview to get access to Global Entry. It’s a pain to carve out the time in your calendar – I totally get that. But I have to tell you – not having to wait in line and prolong an already long trip was key for me. I’ve been trying to mitigate stress in my life and this is definitely one way to do it while traveling.
If you go for Global Entry let me know how your experience is. I’m giving mine two thumbs up!

These Excuses Are Keeping You From Getting More Done

Let’s be honest.  We all hold ourselves back in some way or another.

When we start to fall into a bad habit, it’s so much easier to blame something or someone else than to get to the root of the problem. When it comes to poor productivity habits, I’ve heard all the excuses.

I’ve been over a few of them before, but there are so many I thought I’d go over a few that you might be telling yourself these days and help you get past them:

“I’d be more organized if I had more money”

This excuse differs from the others in the sense that it is – technically – true. If we all had the money to afford personal assistants of course we would be more organized!

But just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up on organization altogether. There are plenty of free apps to help you plan your day. If all else fails pen and paper is pretty cheap!

Fix: Stop focusing on what you don’t have and start thinking about what you do. Read more

Listful Thinking AUDIOBOOK is OUT TODAY!

Just over a year ago my book Listful Thinking was released and now I’m excited to announce that it has been released as an audiobook!

I rarely have time to sit down and read a book, so I much prefer to listen to podcasts and books on the go. So it seems only fitting that my book about time management and productivity would be available in such an efficient format.

If you remember I posted a couple weeks back about how much fun I had recording the audiobook. Although it was a little stressful to be on the other side of the coin and find myself at the mercy of another producer. It was a long process and I was physically exhausted by the end of it. That’s a lot of talking!

However, reading my book out loud made me realize some of the difficulties that come with listening to a book instead of reading it. For example, when I talk about an app or website that I love it’s very easy to read about it in my book and then look it up online. Things start to get a little more tricky when you only hear it, how are you supposed to know how it’s spelled or remember to write it down?

To make things easier for all my audiobook fans I am giving away a FREE resources guide to everyone who purchases a copy of the audiobook. It lists all the apps, websites, books and articles that I mention in Listful Thinking.

To claim your resources guide forward a copy of your receipt to my assistant nicole@listproducer.com and she will send you the guide.

I hope you enjoy the audiobook as much as I enjoyed recording it!