Key Concept Archive

Using Checklists to Increase Consistency and Productivity in Communications Tasks

Anyone writing, editing, or managing any type of communications for a living is feeling the crunch. There is less time to create and edit; more types and formats of content; more apps, software, and systems to learn. And we expect quality, accuracy, and consistency from ourselves because we take pride…

Is Your DITA Output Ugly?

Traditionally, stylized DITA output has been clunky and code-editor driven. But it doesn’t have to be that way. See how one tool is taking features from other user experiences and bringing them in to a world that has been neglected. You can create styling libraries like you create content libraries….

Expanding Horizons: Open Source, Social Coding, and Your Career

Technical Writing is a profession with a bright outlook, and the sun is burning hottest in the open source arena. Remote source control sites like GitHub and BitBucket are new landscapes for technical writers. These sites provide places where you can learn and exercise new skills. They also present a…

Productivity Hacks for Technical Communicators

Feeling overwhelmed? Stuck? Less productive than you want to be? Join us in discovering five productivity hacks that you can implement today that will help you be more productive! Today’s technology allows us to get more done faster, but this increased efficiency often comes at the price of time to…

Add Super Power to Your Communication with Super Structures

Super structures can increase performance and boost your productivity. They take advantage of economies of scale in your routine communication without causing you to succumb to numbing uniformity. Say what?! Super structures are logic flows that help you evaluate and create communications better and faster. Carry these structures with you…

Top 3 Things a Presenter (and Booth Staffer) Needs on the Road

Updated: 2018-07 – I found an even better booth bag. It’s conference season and that means many of us who present frequently are on the road at some point in the next few months. For me, the season starts with a 9-day trip that begins at STC Spectrum and ends…

3 Things You Need In Your Family Travel Kit

b Post Summary I travel frequently for business and have perfected my pre-packed kits to make travel simple. Family travel is different. These items keep people happy, make travel easy, and, when packed into a single kit, it’s something that you can just pick it up and zip out the door. Last…

The Best USB Headsets for Audio and Web Conferencing

Update: October 2018 My Plantronics headset died last week and the Logitech stopped charging. I went to get another, but I can’t even find the Plantronics anymore.  Looks like I will have to find replacements. In a pinch, while I was headsetless, I tried using the Blue Yeti for calls,…

Technology that solves the top technical problems for presenters (My Presenter’s Tech Kit)

b Post Summary Updated: 2018-07 This post details what is in my Presenter’s Tech Travel Kit. As a frequent presenter, I want to be prepared for any situation and I want it to always work. Ultimately, I’m responsible for solving any technical problems for presenters that arise because of the device I choose to…

Metadata and Taxonomy Workshop for DITA Authoring Teams

Working in DITA will lead to having a large library of content units that has a high potential for reuse across product information as well as business documentation that supports operational effectivity. As the Technical publications departments plan the move to structured authoring, several concerns arise about how to address…