Boost Your Productivity with TextExpander

We spend a lot of our day typing the same stuff over and over again, sometimes getting it wrong in the process. Although it might only be 10 minutes of repetitive keystrokes, this really adds up. That’s an hour a week or more than 50 hours each year. You could do a lot more exciting stuff with those 50 hours. In this video, I’ll give you a quick demo of TextExpander,1 a great app for saving time and improving accuracy.

Quick and Easy Video Captions with Sonix

If you’re making videos, you need to start creating captions, too. They’re vital for accessibility and also some of your audience will watch videos with the sound off. In this short tutorial, I’ll show you how you can create captions quickly and easily using a tool called Sonix.1 If you sign up through this link, we both get 100 minutes for free. That’s what I call a win-win!. ↩︎

Easy Noise Reduction with Audacity

Once you get into audio and video recording, background noise will drive you absolutely mad. Although there are lots of solutions out there, most of them are very complicated and often expensive, too. My name is Catherine. In this short video, I’ll show you a simple method for removing background noise in a free tool called Audacity.

How to Edit Audio with Descript

With Descript, editing audio is as easy as editing a Word document. You import your file, allow the app to transcribe it, then you can start tweaking the transcript. If you delete a sentence in your transcript, it’s also deleted from the audio file itself. In this video, I show you how you can record and clean up an audio file.

Insights from 2020

I started the year feeling tired. I was running an awful lot of workshops around the south east, many of them weekend events. Thanks to the vagaries of our rail system, I spent countless hours stuck on uncomfortable trains. I dreamed of running virtual events from the comfort of my pope cave. Indeed, I’d tried to convince clients that webinars and online courses were a good idea, but everyone wanted in-person events.

The Art of Deliberate Practice

One of my favourite cartoons shows a despondent chicken telling his violin teacher, “I don’t want to practice! I want to skip to the part where I’m awesome.” I feel like this every time I try to learn something new. Although I’m certainly not becoming more patient with age, I do now have a reasonably realistic idea of what it takes to actually get good at something. This is mainly due to the work of Professor Anders Ericsson, who sadly died last week.

How to Turn Your Phone into a Webcam

One of the many challenges we’ve faced during lockdown is the difficulty of obtaining technical gubbins. At a time when many of us are reliant on video conferencing, it’s almost impossible to buy a webcam. Well, apart from the really shoddy models that are suddenly three times the price. I looked at buying a digital camera but discovered you then need a fancy dongle to turn it into a webcam. At around £500 for the camera and £200 for the dongle (yes, really), this was becoming a major investment and much more than I wanted to spend.

My Favourite Books of 2019

One of my many resolutions for 2019 was to read more books. Although some of the other resolutions were quietly abandoned, I’m pleased to report that I read 120 books. Yes, that’s a lot. This is partly because did a great deal of train travel last year, and also because my idea of a holiday is to solidly read books and eat crisps for a week. Some of those books really changed my thinking, or at least clarified it significantly.

Open Up: The Power of Talking About Money by Alex Holder

Who knows how much you earn? One person? Two? Maybe nobody apart from Human Resources. Research shows that nearly 50% of couples have no idea of each other’s salary. As Alex Holder explains in Open Up,1 we often believe our salary and assets define us. These are the true indicators of our success, status, and power. Revealing that magic figure gives someone an easy way to judge our worth. And this secrecy extends beyond our salaries.

The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi

When we want to quit a destructive habit, it’s common to be hard on ourselves. We don’t just start with a gentle 20-minute canter around the block, it has to be a 5k run before breakfast. Every day. There’s nobility in suffering and, of course, we crave fast results. This punishing schedule proves unsustainable and we’re confronted with yet more evidence of our flakiness. Nevertheless, many self-help books urge us to pursue dramatic change.