Monday, January 31, 2011

On the Job: Organized

I was supposed to train a new employee today. This was our third attempt to schedule this training session. The first two were rescheduled because of horrid winter weather. Today's session fell off the rails because it appears my e-mail was eaten by the hungry computer servers downstairs. The constant reshuffling has reinforced an idea to which I am greatly attached - organization.

If you're going to be flexible and ask a lot of questions, you have to be organized. Meetings change, duties come and go, and paperwork multiples on its own if you leave it unchaperoned - to handle it all, organization is your best friend.

I love my paper To Do list and Google Calendar. These two devices keep me on track and on time. Sure, they might get a wee bit buried under new paperwork, but I always know where these vital parts of my work life are. Each Friday, I sit down and write out the next week's To Do list. Each day receives it's own entry listing meetings, projects, and other "shtuff" that needs to be handle on or by that date. And I always (always!) make sure to leave a few lines of space in case something arises - and something always does. The best part of this To Do list... the immense sense of satisfaction I get from crossing off completed items.

As for the calendar, every time I schedule a meeting, event, project deadline, or even just some "I need to get this done" time it is immediately cleared through and added to my Google Calendar. I like the gCal because it's always available (at work, home, or elsewhere) to be reviewed and edited. Bonus points because I can set reminders and use multiple colors.

In addition to the To Do list and gCal, I use other systems (filing, project binders, etc.) to suit my needs. Every little bit of effort to stay organized has paid off ten-fold in efficiency and productivity. I can complete my work faster and more accurately because I know where everything is. Having a system in place also helps to corral any issues that may arise from spur of the moment projects and events.

These are two organization systmes that work for me - but they are far (so very far) from being the only systems. When it comes to staying on top of what your job requires, find a system of organization that works for you and stick to it. Start small with your systems, scale them up if they work, amend and review as you go along.

Librarians are always have new stuff thrown there way, if you're going to handle (and remember) it all, a system of organization is your best friend.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Variations on a Theme: Fresh Starts

It may be a bit late into the new year, but this is still the month for New Years' Resolutions. I didn't make any resolutions this year (because I'm a slacker), but the freshly fallen snow DC received yesterday reminded me that January is the time for fresh starts. I love how snow can make the world feel quite and new again. We can remake ourselves at any time of our choosing, but the first month of a new year seems like a perfect time to start.

365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life John Kralik

When you're down in the dumps, a time honored tradition is to count your blessings. For about a year, Kralik counted his blessings and thanked those who provided them with personal note cards. This is a short, but powerful book on being thankful. My review of this book is forthcoming.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunThe Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Gretchen Rubin

When people decide they need a fresh start, most decide to start small - one habit at a time. Rubin did exactly that. For one year, she changed one thing at a time in order to reach a higher level of personal and professional happiness.

Under the Tuscan SunUnder the Tuscan Sun
Frances Mayes

Nothing says "fresh start" like uprooting your life and moving to Italy. In this bestseller, Mayes chronicles her struggles to establish a new life and home in Italy. She discovers a new language, new food, new friends, and the power of starting over.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and IndonesiaEat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert

Love this book or hate it, Gilbert has written a great memoir of starting over. She drops her husband, her friends, her home, and ventures out into the unknown world to discover herself. My review may be found here.

Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for GoodUnstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good
Andrew J. Mellen

When I am in need of a fresh start, the first thing I do is weed my stuff and clean my apartment. For me, it's easier to relax at home when it's set up just the way I like it. "Spring Cleaning" is a popular term because it signals a new, organized, and color coded fresh start to life. I love me some labels and bins.

Starting Over: Why the Last Decade Was so Damn Rotten and Why the Next One Will Surely Be BetterStarting Over: Why the Last Decade Was so Damn Rotten and Why the Next One Will Surely Be Better
Andy Serwer

Sometimes it's not just individuals who need a fresh start, it's whole societies. Serwer argues that the past decade was crummy - but we can and will do better. The book focuses on where the economy went wrong, and makes suggestions on how we can learn from past mistakes.

Other Fresh Start Books:
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right - Atul Gawande
Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land - Kurt Timmermeister
The Hundred Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul - Dave Bruno
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life - Francine Jay
My Life from Scratch: A Sweet Journey of Starting Over, One Cake at a Time - Gesine Bullock-Prado
Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life- Jennifer Berry
Real Simple: The Organized Home - Editors of Real Simple Magazine
Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea - Catherine Goldhammer
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard - Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Unclutter Your Life in One Week - Erin R. Doland

Links and Stuff: January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

On the Job: Ask

Today, I trained a new stacks employee. My training sessions run anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how fast I talk and how many questions the trainee asks. I routinely pause my training to ask "Do you have any questions?" I love longer training sessions because it means the trainee asked a lot of questions.

I like to answer questions, but I love to ask questions. Questions are one of the reasons I became a librarian. My advice this week: Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Most library professionals are awesome at answering questions (see: reference desk). However, I am sometimes surprised how rarely I see librarians asking questions. I ask questions all the time... probably to the point of annoyance. The most active word in my arsenal besides "Cupcake!" is likely "Why?"

It's very easy to follow the same routine day in and day out. While I love myself a good rut, on occasion it is vital to snap out of the routine and start to question your position's methods and duties. New projects and ideas always burst out of days I ask "Why do I do things the way I do them?" The current method is working, but is there a better why? Survey says: Probably. Let's ask some questions, ponder the results, and see what we can do to make things better.

Questions serve first to illicit information but they also cause us to focus on and rethink what we do. When we ask why is a project is being done, we receive a better understanding of how to handle said project. When we ask what our mission is, we can formulate ideas and goals to reach that mission. When we ask why we follow certain procedures, we have the chance to rejigger, redo, or reject outdated methods.

I have often wondered if people don't ask questions because they're afraid of the outcome. That is indeed a legitimate concern but the worst thing I've been told is "No," and the worst reaction I've encountered is bewilderment at my query. These are all survivable outcomes.

Questions are awesome. Questions keep us in business, keep us focused, and open our minds to the bigger picture. What is the best question you've ever asked at work?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Links and Stuff: January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Useful Things: Film Buff

If you've ever made a bet about movies, then you probable already know about today's Useful Thing.

The Internet Movie Database, or IMDB for most people, is the best reference site for movie and TV related information in the history of everything.

Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I can't think of any other web tool that librarians and fans turn to when they are in need of movie related information. Where else can you find the most up-to-date information about movies and  television?

Need to know who the current box office leaders are? BAM!

Want a complete list of this years Golden Globe winners? TA DA!

Do you love Cary Grant and want to see all his movies? BOOYAH!

You can't go anywhere else on the web (that I know of) and find all this information in single, quick, and easy to search tool.

IMDB tells you everything you could possibly want to know about a film - including the plot summaries, cast and production staff, box office details, technical specs, trivia, memorable quotes, filming goofs, nominations and awards, and much much more.

Like Wikipedia, it is quite easy to get sucked into a vortex of information. You start of looking for information on James Cameron and you end up reading about an independent French film.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On the Job: Flexibility

The long weekend threw my mental schedule off. I thought today was Monday. Whoops. My error in posting this week's On the Job on time, actually gave me this week's subject: Flexibility.

Anyone who has ever worked at all knows that work days do not always run as planned. A great asset for those working in libraries is having the ability to adapt and be flexible. Schedules tend to be thrown out the window on a regular basis when you work with the public, varying vendors, and in a diverse organization whose needs and expectations are always changing. You can't survive in libraries if you refuse to be flexible - things are too fluid in this profession whether it be a building maintenance issues, changing patron needs, or computer issues.

I would argue that the constant changing natures of librarianship is what makes this career so much fun. You never quite know what is going to happen on any given day. Most library positions have this fun line in their job description - "and other duties as necessary." Librarians are in a service oriented profession. That means we work at the whim and will of our patron's needs. There have been days when nothing on my To Do list is completed because other, more pressing issues, arise.

Addtionally, there are some days you just don't want to do what's on your To Do list... and that's okay too! Many library positions can cause mental or physical fatigue. You have to be flexible to meet your own needs as well. I have put off shifting projects for a few days because the thought of moving those heavy journal volumes made my shoulders cry. As long as you're not neglecting deadline oriented projects, it's okay to move your schedule around to fit the needs of your mind and body. If you force yourself to work on a project you don't want to do, you'll more likely end up making mistakes and/or cause your burnout.

One has to be limber in this profession, so remember to stretch beforehand lest you pull a hamstring.

YouTube Tuesday: Computer Illiteracy

I don't mean to use this video to mock those who are new to computers. Rather, I think this video highlights why we need to computer literacy skills from a young age.

Instead of standing by and watch someone flounder, I suggest we step in with helpful tricks when we can.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Links and Stuff: January 13, 2010

Monday, January 10, 2011

On the Job: An Introduction

A large part of being a librarian is learned on the job. Sure, I went to library school but there's no better lessons than those you learn in the office. Starting today and for each Monday hence, I will post a regular feature about being "On the Job."

* * *

I thought I would start this feature by sharing some of my professional background.

Currently, I am the Stacks Supervisor for an academic library in Washington, D.C. but my book-related career began in High School. I worked at a used bookstore after school and during the summer. A lot of my paycheck went to buying books. I should have known then I was destined to follow my father into the library profession.

In college, I started a part-time job at my current library as a Stacks Assistant. There is a lot to learn working with a print collection every day, but my biggest career decision came during the summer following my sophomore year. That summer, I interned in the U.S. Senate while also working at the library. To my surprise, I enjoyed the library much more than the Hill. I took that as a sign that my life was not in politics and made the decision to work in libraries and obtain my MLS.

Following graduation, I spent a year as a Technical Services Assistant in the Collection Management department. In that position, I saw the back end of library work. My position handled book repair and commercial binding, retrospective conversion of catalog records, and prepping items for patron use. When my old boss in Stacks Management moved on to school libraries, I applied and was hired for her position.

I have been the Stacks Supervisor since mid-2007. Stacks Management is a part of Access Services and my office's main role is to facilitate patron use of the collection. Our daily activities include shelving, shifting, item searches, and helping patrons use the collection. I oversee a staff of about a dozen part-time student employees whom I hire, train, and supervise. The unique feature of my office is that it has fingers in almost every library department. This allows me to see both the big picture as well as the details of working in a library.

* * *

The goal of "On the Job" is to share what I have learned while working in libraries. While I found my classroom education to be important, what I've learned in the office has proven incredibly valuable. My coworkers, employees, and patrons are amazing sources of information.

I'd like to open this feature up to anybody who'd like to share what they've learned. If you have a great lesson, tip, or anything else for people who work in libraries, please leave a comment. We can all mentor each other and share our knowledge for best practices.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

2011 Reading / Bookish Resolutions

It should come as no shock to regular readers of this blog that I am, once again, attempting to reduce Mt. TBR. I need this books out of my apartment... so that I can make room for new ones.

I will not buy books.
-- Shocker. I've had this one on my list for several years. It's going to stay there until I read 90% of the books I own. I'm getting there, but I still have a long way to go.

I will update this blog on a more regular (and expansive) basis.
-- While I have been good about updating, I really want to turn this blog into something more. I will continue to do my usual updates, but I want to add a few more features. There is always a ton of stuff on my mind. This blog is a great outlet; I just have to be better about putting my fingers on the keyboard.

Read more.
-- Simple. I had a dismal  reading year (in terms of amount) in 2010. I just want to read more. I don't give a fig what or from whence the books came into my possession - I just want to read more. I would set myself a goal (like get off the Interwebs at 10pm and crack open a book) but I know that would fail. So, I will just put it into writing that I want to read more. More. More. More. Meghan is greedy for books.

And that's it. I'm not going bonkers this year; I'm being realistic with myself. I like my life and I like how I devout time to my passion of books. There's no need to willy-nilly change it all, but one can always set goals to achieve and guidelines to follow.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Year in Review

I'm only a week late this year. Woot!

How I would Categorize 2010
This year, I read far less than I ever have before. 50 books! That's it. Normally I'm pushing above 60 - heck, closer to 70 most years.

I blame the decline on two things a) Google Reader and b) my home life. Google Reader is addictive. I probably devoured at least 10 hefty books in blog entries this year. Stop writing so much awesome content people!

Offline, my home life has been slightly altered this year. The Boyfriend moved in. We rediscovered cuddles and Doctor Who episodes as being the greatest stay at home dates ever. Throw in some Chinese take out and you've got yourself a good night.

I may have read less this year, but I did not feel reading deprived. There were three door stop books (anything over 450 pages) on my completed reading list this year. They clocked in at 656, 822, and 901 honking pages. I'm convinced the 900 pager could serve as a step ladder.

For the curious, I read 15,296 pages this year. Again, the least I've ever read but that's no small number.

Reading Goals v. Reading Reality
Based upon my set goals for 2009, which can be found here, I did a pretty good job. I think I excelled this year because I cheated in that I did not set any real reading goals  (i.e. a number of books to reach).

1. When I go the library, I will not walk out with a gazillion books.
-- Check. I was quite good about this. The only trip to the library where I walked away with a stack of books was when I stocked up for the readathon. That was a purposeful overload.

2. I will not buy any books.

-- Sorta check. Diana Gabaldon came out with a new graphic novel and I caved - but she's on my "Doesn't Count" list.

3. I will purge.

-- Holy cow did I follow through on this resolution. The Boyfriend moved in this year and, in preparation for his incoming books, I cleared out a bunch of my own. I donated 4 very full shopping bags to my local library. The items that went out the door included anything I didn't think I would get around to in 5ish years.

4. I will read more non-fiction.

-- If you count all the professional reading I completed this year, I aced this goal. If you don't count all the professional reading I was a not so great non-fiction reader.

5. I will update this blog once a week.
-- Huzzah! I win at this one. Granted, my weekly posts include link lists and YouTube videos, but I'm totally counting it.

The Year in Genres
I would consider 2010 to have been quite a diverse year. The massive number of library science books is my self imposed need to have one book of professional reading in my commute bag at all times. I like to think of it as continuing education. Other than that, I look like a Fiction bandit.

Books About Books = 2
Juvenile = 2
Memoir = 4
Mystery = 4
Non-Fiction = 4
Graphic Novels = 7
Library Science = 8
Romance  = 8
Fiction = 12

The Year in Ratings
This was a decidedly decent year. I've never lacked a 2 or 1 rating on my list, but this year I did. There was only one 10 and 9, but I am pleased by the amount of 6, 7, and 8s. Were I teacher, I would rate this year a B+.

10 = 1
9 = 1
8 = 5
7 = 10
6 = 22
5 = 7
4 = 1
3 = 3
2 = 0
1 = 0

The 10 Best Books of 2010 
For reasons unknown, even to myself, I am not counting professional reading on this list. Professional reading and recreational reading are separate lists in my head. I will say this, Bite-Sized Marketing is a great book for librarians... as is Doing Social Media So It Matters.

Now the countdown!

10. Death of a Maid by M.C. Beaton
9. The Exile by Diana Gabaldon
7. First Family by Joseph D. Ellis
6. This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson
5. The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert
3. In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore
2. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
1. World War Z by Max Brooks

Thank you for following along this year. Here's to everyone having an enjoyable new reading year!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Book 50: Three Little Secrets

Three Little SecretsTITLE: Three Little Secrets
AUTHOR: Liz Carlyle
STARTED: December 27, 2010
FINISHED: December 31, 2010
PAGES: 374
GENRE: Romance

FIRST SENTENCE: They found him alone in the stable yard.

SUMMARY: [From] In this third installment of the Regency saga, Carlyle spins a story of long-separated lovers who reunite, but only after much argument, miscommunication and the revelation of a baby's less-than-surprising true parentage. The plot will ring familiar to Carlyle's fans, primarily because it's a carbon copy of Two Little Lies. As in Lies, the hero and heroine—in this case hardened businessman Merrick MacLachlan and his former beau, Lady Madeleine Bessett—meet by chance in London and then spend the bulk of the book casting each other longing looks, declaring they want nothing to do with one another and indulging in angst-ridden personal flashbacks; it all grows tedious fast. It's a testament to Carlyle's skill that her characters engage despite the familiar setup, but in the end, they aren't dynamic enough to satisfy the story line or the reader. This book may contain Carlyle's signature sensuality, but it lacks the complexity of plot and character that made her earlier romances shine.

THOUGHTS: Three Little Sins is the last book in the Carlyle trilogy and also my last read for 2010. Of all the books, Merrick was my favorite hero but he alone was not enough to bring this book above a "Meh" level for me.

Merrick is kind of awesome. I don't think I've ever read a romance hero quite like him. He's both aloof and passionate with a streak of meanness and sarcasm. Carlyle nailed his character and I loved every moment he was on the page. I think complex male leads are hard to come by in Regency romances. Usually, the traits of these heroes are defined by the times. Carlyle turned Merrick into an architect with a bitter sense of business and revenge. I like it. I like it lots.

Since Merrick was so darn awesome, everyone else felt flat. Madeleine is sweet but kind of a ninny. I wish she had more of a back bone. It would have been interesting to see Carlyle pit two kind of bitter people against one another - but Madeleine is more of the push over, timid type. Her son was interesting but I wish Carlyle had made his "specialness" a more modern thing than she did.  

Spoiler alert! - The son has "the sight" or the Scottish gift. I was rooting for him to have autism. I think the dynamic created with that would have been far more interesting. Two people working together to overcome something that would be misunderstood in that era is far better than having Granny sweep in and save the day. End spoiler.

All in all, Merrick made the book interesting, but the rest of the story could not hold a candle to his complexity.

RATING:5/10 [Meh]

Book 49: Two Little Lies

Two Little LiesTITLE: Two Little Lies
AUTHOR: Liz Carlyle
STARTED: December 25, 2010
FINISHED: December 26, 2010
PAGES: 363
GENRE: Romance

FIRST SENTENCE: Signorina Alessandri was ill.

SUMMARY: [From] In bestseller Carlyle's historical romance, the strong second entry in a trilogy (after One Little Sin), an impetuous youthful affair between Quin, the future Earl of Wynwood, and Viviana Alessandri, an Italian opera singer, ends painfully for them both after he rejects her suggestion of marriage, unaware that she's carrying his child. Nine years later, in 1830, the pair meet again as Quin prepares to marry a suitable young miss, while Viviana, now a widow with three children, returns to England to assist her father in completing an opera. Their hot tempers and passionate natures set them on a collision course that shocks the earl's reserved family and turns both their lives upside down. Old secrets emerge during a Christmastime country retreat that is warmed by subplots involving the children and Quin's sister. Though returning readers should enjoy the fresh insights into the events of One Little Sin, those new to the series will find that this volume works fine on its own. With effective, emotional writing and a complex heroine, Carlyle's story stands out in the crowded field of Regency-era romances.

THOUGHTS: The second installment in my Christmas trilogy read was not as exciting. I LOVE how the characters are old flames reunited, but the dynamic between the two was just so-so. I really wish I could speak more about the book, but it as just an okay read. The writing as fine and the story worked, but there was nothing particularly special about the characters.

RATING: 5/10 [Meh.]

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Book 48: One Little Sin

One Little SinTITLE: One Little Sin
AUTHOR: Liz Carlyle
STARTED: December 24, 2010
FINISHED: December 25, 2010
PAGES: 355
GENRE: Romance

FIRST SENTENCE: It was a sweltering afternoon in September when Sir Alasdair MacLachlan very nearly got what his Granny MacGregor had been promising him for at least the last three decades: his comeuppance.

SUMMARY: [From] With this intriguing sentence;"It was a sweltering afternoon in September when Sir Alasdair MacLachlan very nearly got what his Granny MacGregor had been promising him for at least the last three decades: his comeuppance"; veteran Carlyle (The Devil to Pay) opens a trilogy of Regency historicals about three men;Alasdair, his brother and a friend;who flee an escapade gone wrong only to encounter a gypsy with dire predictions about their fates. It doesn't take long for Alasdair to discover that a particular sin of his has indeed come home to roost. The unsuspected toddler offspring of a forgotten dalliance arrives at his doorstep accompanied by her penniless but strong-willed sister, Esmée Hamilton. Before he knows it, Alasdair's world is turned upside down as the confirmed rake discovers that he does have a heart after all, even though he can't figure out what to do with it.  

THOUGHTS: This series has been sitting on my bookcase for ages. I decided that Christmas was the perfect time to start a romance trilogy. Carlyle, as usual, writes enjoyable romance novels that are unique enough to be interesting but are still your typical Regency romances.

In this book, I enjoyed the dynamic between Alasdair and Esmee - there was a believable give and take even when they were not speaking to each other. I'm not the greatest fan of "Surprise, you have a baby!" plotlines, but One Little Sin managed to not be annoying. Yes, the kid was a plot contrivance to get the two together, but Carlyle handled it well. Because the kid is does not belong to the heroine (that's not a spoiler), the storyline worked a whole lot better.

Carlyle included a ton of characters in the story but they felt whole realized. There was about a half-dozen secondary characters that add side stories to increase the emotional intensity of the book. I wish I could have read more about them as the impact these characters had on plot was greater than normal. A nagging part of my wonders if Carlyle wanted to write more about these characters but her editor said no.

My main issue with this book was that it felt long - usually the scenes where our hero and heroine were not talking and prancing about doing other things. There were several stretches that felt pointless, almost as if they were written to fulfill a page count. Draggy sections make me antsy. I would have much rather enjoyed a shorter, more intense book.

Finally, I almost have to dock this book for reminding me of my neighbor's toddler. Esmee's sister is a brat who screams... much like the kid I can hear through my walls. I did not appreciate the reminder as I was visiting my parent's place for the holidays.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Book 47: Simply Unforgettable

TITLE: Simply Unforgettable
AUTHOR: Mary Balogh
STARTED: December 5, 2010
FINISHED: December 23, 2010
PAGES: 422
GENRE: Romance

FIRST SENTENCE: It never snowed for Christmas.

SUMMARY: [From] When an author has created a series as beloved to readers as Balogh's Bedwyn saga, it is hard to believe that she can surpass the delights with the first installment in a new quartet. But Balogh has done just that with the erotic yet not lascivious tale of a prim schoolteacher and a rake. Thanks to an accident while returning to Miss Martin's School for Girls in Bath after a quiet Christmas with her elderly great-aunts, Frances Allard meets Lucius Marshall, the Viscount Sinclair, who is in a black mood over his promise to his beloved and ailing grandfather that he would marry soon. Spending two days together at an almost deserted inn, an interlude Balogh delectably details, they revel in each other's company. But once the road opens up, Frances continues her journey, although the reader knows that events will conspire to throw the schoolteacher and the viscount together again.

THOUGHTS: This story was cute. I do enjoy romance novels that throw the main characters together at the beginning of the story only to break them apart again. Like usual, Balogh's writing was descriptive and kept the plot moving. To me, Balgoh is like a cup of cocoa - warm, comforting, and snuggly. There is nothing daring or surprising about this book, but it hit the spot and I enjoyed the story enough to not be bored.

Also, bonus points for a somewhat feminist heroine. 

RATING: 5/10 [Meh.]

Links and Stuff: January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Useful Things: Design with Ease

If you love books, you've got to have somewhere to keep them. Bookcases are pretty, pretty things to add to any home, office, or location you deem in need of a literature boost. Floorplanner can help you plan a room's layout before you start moving all that furniture.

Floorplanner allows you to input the dimensions of your room and fill it in with furniture. The website provides standard sized furniture options which may be adjusted to suit your needs. The website even lets you put in doors, windows, and other architectural features of your room to help you see how your future room will look. Nothing stinks more than moving a couch and then realizing the door swings out further than you expected.

For the more advanced user, Floorplanner lets you design a whole house complete with landscape features.

The basic website is free but you will need to create a user account. A website demo can be found here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Segue

The holidays are over. To help ease the transition back to work, here's a cute video about easing into books.