This feature comes from the band of CIEP members who volunteer as forum moderators. You will only be able to access links to posts if you’re a forum user and logged in. Find out how to register.
Any mention of spring cleaning immediately brings to mind the opening to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows:
The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home … till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms … It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said … “Hang spring-cleaning!” and bolted out of the house …, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
You know you have to think about CPD, updating websites and social media, and tightening up your business information, but it can make you feel a bit Mole-like, all dusty and achy. Thankfully, the great, green meadow of the CIEP forums is there to roll in and refresh yourself!
In ‘Structuring the Dayʼ members share helpful approaches to brushing up yourself and your business that look at time management, preventing the making of lists taking over from the doing of what’s on them, making sure you take account of you, helpful ways to prioritise – along with the usual smattering of technical tips.
Many an inner Mole is revealed across the forums, including in the supportive local groups, as members urge each other to go outside. One of the most enjoyable threads is in the Off topic forum. ‘Wildlife distraction of the dayʼ shares sightings and photos of birds, insects, reptiles and even of ‘cereal-eating, wifi-connected, human-like creatures’. Springwatch, eat your heart out.
Refreshing your business
Once you’ve decided to burrow away, then a quick search of the forums (using five-plus letters!) yields some helpful dustpans, brushes and dusters.
In ‘Free article limit for online newspapersʼ several editors shared workarounds to keep searching for online articles from the same publication when checking an author’s citations.
‘Has LinkedIn messaging gone premium?ʼ revealed how many members had received a ‘problem’ message on trying to message a new contact, but had then re-enabled messaging those connections on LinkedIn – without going Premium.
For the independently minded, ‘Callout boxesʼ talked about recolouring your proofreading comments in Adobe Acrobat – at the same time reminding members of forum protocol that discourages discussion of course exercises outside official areas.
For those who work on client websites, there are a few thoughts on accessing a client’s WordPress website admin pages as a warning to the uninitiated. Nice that the client sorted it out pretty quickly. Also on the website theme, there are some motivational pointers to help you polish up your SEO.
Of course, spring cleaning is about putting the sparkle back on what you already have, not necessarily about replacing with the new, which is where the forum archives can be a great resource. So keep seeing the shine using tips from ‘Eye strain – new setup needed?ʼ It might be an old thread (2015) but the suggestions are still good:
- from Janet MacMillan’s emphatic advice to get your eyes checked – ‘an editor pal of mine was experiencing eye strain and eyesight issues and by going to the ophthalmologist forthwith, she saved her sight, and probably her life’
- through Lisa Cordaro’s thoughts on lens coatings, ambient lighting, frequent screen breaks, ‘And finally, don’t do long days at your VDU. Bad for the eyes and general health!’
- and very much in the spring-cleaning vein, Ceri Warner’s ‘have you tried adjusting the lighting in the room where you are working? I’ve got my monitor with its back to a window, which I found was very tiring for my eyes, so at the moment I’ve got thin curtains across the window but I do need to rearrange the room when I get a chance.’
The topic was revisited in 2020 in ‘How do you protect your eyes?ʼ and ‘Question about visual migrainesʼ.
CIEP members are great at highlighting helpful links that take you outside the forums – for instance, to John Espirian’s contribution on Louise Harnby’s blog following some chat about using two screens.
If you need to refresh your work interface because of RSI, then ‘Hands-free editing?ʼ offers some thoughts on speech recognition software as a new approach.
The forum moderators hope that, like Mole, you’ll be ‘bewitched, entranced, fascinated’ by the flow of forum threads and that they will help to keep you happy and motivated at spring-cleaning time.
Photo credits: mole by Tabble on Pixabay; crocuses by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.
The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the CIEP.