The Magnolia Planner

It was 15 years ago that I received my first Franklin Covey planner at my first job fresh out of college.  I fell in love, but there was always something not quite right about what was offered. The standard pages never worked for my job and for my life, so I always vowed that I would one day design my own.

It took years for me to sit and figure out how to do it, but here it is.  I am proud to announce the Magnolia Planner from Upstate Mississippi.

This initial collection is a digital evergreen (undated) solution designed for personal size planners. In addition to my custom daily and monthly pages, the collection includes project tracking pages designed for professionals who work multiple projects over the course of a week and need to track the hours.

The best part? It's on sale, NOW! Yes, NOW! In the shop. Yes, go and load up your planner for the new year. Welcome in 2016 with a new look.

#31DayBlogChallenge day #6 is done!

2015 In Books

I'm calling an end to reading for the year. I have capped out at 40 books and I'm quite sure I will not be reading more. I originally started my annual reading challenge after realizing how many books I had purchased and had not read yet.  I'm over due for an update on my read/unread totals, but I'll tackle that in another post. For now, let's talk about my favorites for the year.


In no particular order...

Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming

Forty Acres by Dewayne Alexander Smith

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen my brief thoughts for most of the 2015 books so I won't rehash here. I do feel well rounded considering the three books are quite different. One is a memoir, one is fiction, and one is what I call speculative fiction. Because I was reading to meet challenges and win the Books On The Nightstand Book Bingo, my selections this year were quite diverse which I love, but in 2016, I think I will be a little more targeted in scope.  More on that later. For now, these are my recommendations from a year well read. Enjoy!

#31DayBlogChallenge day #5 is done!

When The Millionaire at Work Tells You to Work For Free

Yes, it happens.  Unfortunately, it is happening more as companies are taking advantage of employees who fear they will lose their jobs if they don't comply.

I typically don't write about workplace issues on my blog. However, in the past couple of years, younger engineers have asked me to be mentors for them.  I would be an awful mentor, if I didn't warn of this ridiculous practice that some employers utilize.

If you are asked to work for free, you should immediately do the following:

1. Say no. If you are not comfortable saying no, it's time to start working on a walk-out plan.

2. Update your resume. Whether you say no or not, your company is on a downward spiral of abusing and disrespecting you and you need to be ready to move.

3. Update (or create) your LInkedIn profile. The job I have now is the result of a recruiter finding me on LinkedIn. I make a habit of keeping my profile up to date and engaging with recruiters on a regular basis, even if I'm not actively job searching at the moment.  They always appreciate honest feedback when a posting does not work for me and they always keep me in mind when they are looking to fill other positions.

4. Start keeping records. Chances are there are other actions happening that you may not agree with or that make you feel disenfranchised. I hope you will be comfortable contacting your HR department for help. If not, this information will come in handy when completing your exit interview with the company. If you leave, let them know why―honestly and respectfully.

Are there times when your employer is justified in asking you to work for free? Perhaps. If you were properly trained and made mistakes that lead to re-working and impacted schedule and budget, you should be a professional and do what you can to fix the situation. Make your work product the best possible. But notice I said, "if you were properly trained". This includes having appropriate oversight for the task you are performing.

If in doubt, talk to HR. Don't let millionaires force you to sacrifice so they can have a higher profit.

#31DayBlogChallenge day #4 is done!