If you have a window that could use a shade but you don't want to put up hardware for it, or you don't want to obscure the window, this DIY window shade is easy to make, takes a few minutes and looks pretty good, especially in a spare room, bathroom or laundry room.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
For certain projects, even the gargantuan list of pre-installed fonts on your system just won't do. When you want to create your own font but don't want to learn the archaic process for doing so, you want free font designer webapp FontStruct. FontStruct provides simple tools to colour in integrated blocks. You can fill out just one key letter or a whole font, distribute your creation freely or with rights reserved, and offer it up as an easy-to-install TrueType font. Using FontStruct's tools requires a free sign-up—or you could just browse FontStruct's library of original fonts for download.FontStruct
Windows/Mac/Linux (Adobe Air): Klok, a free time and project-tracking app for the Adobe Air platform, is a great time-tracking solution for multi-platform users, as well as anyone who likes to keep it simple. Simple projects allow you to simply create and describe time entries on a drag-and-adjust grid, or use a template like "Web project" to automatically create sub-categories of HTML, design, text, and the like. You can also use Klok as a work timer using the "Work On" button, and export reports and invoices for clients. Klok is a free download for any system running the Adobe Air platform.
Free (during beta) project management web app LiquidPlanner is, at a glance, yet another competitor for Microsoft Project, but the time- and task-tracking tool takes a slightly different approach to goals and deadlines. Using what its creators dub "probabilistic" scheduling, LiquidPlanner asks its users to enter a range of dates for task completion, based on best-case and worst-case situations, and it then judges the likelihood of that and other tasks being completed by a given date. Most of the standard Project-like tools are there as well, along with some collaboration tools like a group discussion wiki and easy document sharing. I haven't found a tool to import Project files, however, so open source solutions like OpenProj and GanttProject might be better solutions for those already set up MS-style. LiquidPlanner is free to use during its public beta and requires a sign-up for all users.LiquidPlanner
Kimberly Wiefling, author of Scrappy Project Management, offers some advice over at Web Worker Daily for keeping team projects together and moving forward. Her best advice, however, applies equally to personal projects:
Make the goals as clear as possible. Say the goal is launching a new website. "Often, find out they don't all have the same idea of what success is six months from now," said Wiefling. "Is it just launching the prototype? Is it the home page works, but everything else is clunky? What about bug free. Is it full of bugs or working smoothly? How long does a page take to load? A lot of details get lost in some of the high level, 'Hey, get the site up in six months.'" Make sure the goal looks the same to everybody.
In both full-time jobs and working freelance, I've found that most disastrous big-package projects fell apart precisely because the two sides of the table never agreed on goals in the first place. How do you ensure everyone you're working with (and for) knows what the true goals are? Share your thoughts in the comments.3 Scrappy Project Management Techniques to Master (Plus 2 Tips)