Evernote Tips: 3 Things I Learned Recently

1. Saved Searches Are Awesome

I’ve known that saved searches existed for a while but never found them useful in the past. Well, they are. If you use Evernote, you should use them.

Saved Search - Agendas Frequent (in Windows)

Here’s an example.

Agendas Frequent is a saved search that I have setup for agendas* that I want to be able to access quickly.

*For me, an agenda is just a meeting with an individual or a group that I keep notes for that can be accessed during (or in preparation for) a meeting. Saved Search - Agendas Frequent (in Android)

This saved search is defined in two parts: tag:Agendas updated:month-2 (image 1).

  1. tag:Agendas – This retrieves any note I’ve tagged with “Agendas”.
  2. updated:month-2 – This retrieves any note that has been updated in the current month or either of the two preceding months. This is how I’ve defined “frequent”. If I haven’t updated it within the last 3 months, I don’t want to see it here.

Once the search is created on my PC, it is available on the go on any other Evernote device. See Android (image 2).

There are tons of options for Continue reading “Evernote Tips: 3 Things I Learned Recently”

Mohu, Daily Burn & Updater.com: 3 New Things From My Apartment Move

Last month brought about a nice change in scenery: a new apartment. This change led me to try out a few other new things that I wanted to share.

Got feedback on one or more? Share your experience in the comment section below.

1. Mohu Leaf Antenna

Mohu Antenna

I dropped the cable bill and picked up a Leaf HD antenna from Mohu.

Since the DTV transition back in 2009, television stations are broadcasting a digital over-the-air HD signal that anyone can pick up provided they have an HD antenna and live close enough to a broadcast tower.

There are tons of antennas out there that will work, but the Leaf’s minimalist design allows it to blend easily into your existing environment. You can be up and running in just a few minutes and there is no assembly required. And the box even comes with Velcro strips that allows it to easily hang on a window or wall.

To be clear, every television channel isn’t broadcast over-the-air (most aren’t) so this is not a complete replacement for cable. But if you’re ok with that, give it a shot. Many people use it in conjunction with streaming services like NetFlix, Amazon or a Roku device.

For only $40, I say it’s worth a shot.

2. Daily Burn

Daily Burn

Workouts get stale overtime so variety is key. But sometimes variety is hard to plan. Services like the Daily Burn make the variety part easy – just press ‘play’.

For $10/month (after the 30-day trial), you get access to a wide variety of video workouts that require minimal equipment.

I’m still exploring the content, but there does seem to be good selection of strength & conditioning, mobility, yoga and cardio workouts to choose from.

3. Updater.comUpdater.com

Moving into a new space can be challenging. Updater.com tries to make it less so.

I used their free service to do 3 things:

  1. Notify the post office to forward my old physical address to my new physical address.
  2. Notify a few accounts (like my bank) of my new address.
  3. Unsubscribe my new address from some of the common junk mail lists.

This was so easy that I felt compelled to email their support department to confirm that I was actually done, and they confirmed (multiple times) that I was in fact done… and to please stop emailing them or they would turn the junk mail services back on.

They were right. I was done. And I received confirmation at my new address from the post office and my bank a few days later. It really was that easy.

A Quick, One-Click 6 Minute Traveling Workout

On the road with no gym or just need a quick morning workout?

Looks like we have no more excuses. David LeMieux and Ben Lew over at e.ggtimer.com have us covered.

EggTimer

Check out the morning link on their home page or select it here (Warning! Loud beep!).

And the sequence begins…

EggTimerMorningWorkout

Here are the intervals:

  • Jog in Place
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Situps
  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • And last but not least… Have a Great Day!

It’s like a motivational personal trainer with a single click.

-mark

My Cholesterol Test & Some Old School Information

It all started with a routine cholesterol check.

The nurse called and said my results were in, and “everything looked fine”. But they weren’t fine. She didn’t have the heart to break it to me.

My cholesterol had increased!

Naturally that can only mean one thing. Yep, it’s time to activate the cholesterol research project, time to do what I was born to do, time to go learn something, time to go be awesome and shock the world with an insightful knowledge bomb.

Well, that was the plan anyway. Sadly 96 hours, 7 trips to Starbucks and approximately 351 head scratches later, I can confidently say that I somehow still know shockingly very little about cholesterol. I believe I actually lost knowledge during this time.

But all is not lost. I found some really good old school information (not that old school, this old school) and thought I would summarize some of it here, just in case someone else cares about this subject, because that person is officially not me.

Nope, cholesterol is dead to me and the word should never be spoken in my presence again. And by never, I mean Tuesday. Don’t test me on this one.

Basics – What is a Cholesterol Test?

  • Fat and cholesterol are both members of a naturally occurring group of molecules called lipids.
  • They are both oil-based and can’t dissolve in our water-based blood so the body packages them into protein-covered particles called lipoproteins (part lipid, part protein).
  • The purpose of a cholesterol test is to generate a lipid panel measuring the total amount of cholesterol and levels of certain lipoproteins in your blood (typically in mg/dL units).
  • Most lipid panels report levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol.
    1. LDL – known as “bad cholesterol”. It carries cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, these particles can form deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries which can limit blood flow to the heart.
    2. HDL – known as “good cholesterol”. It collects excess cholesterol from the blood, from LDL particles, and from artery walls to carry it back to the liver for disposal.
    3. Triglycerides (TG) – a type of fat that consists of 3 fatty acids attached to an alcohol (glycerol). They are the main vehicle for transporting fats to cells for energy, and necessary for health, but too many can be a bad thing. VLDL (very-low-density lipoproteins), a measurement seen on most tests, is commonly estimated to be 20% of current TG levels.
    4. Total Cholesterol – a measurement of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. LDL + HDL + VLDL.

Recommendations

  • General recommendations are to lower LDL and raise HDL to mitigate risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. [1] General guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program can be seen here.

Open Questions & Interesting Points

  • Is elevated LDL always a bad thing? If not, what are we missing?
    • While it’s well established that saturated fat substituted for unsaturated fat (or carbohydrate) increases LDL cholesterol, a link from saturated fat to cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still being debated. [2]
  • Total amount (%) of fat in one’s diet hasn’t been linked to any important health outcome which includes cancer, heart disease, weight gain, etc. But the type of fat is important. [4]
  • The amount of cholesterol a person consumes has a very minor impact on blood cholesterol levels. [3]

Conclusion

That’s it for now. Hope to add to this at some point with more detail, recommendations and/or new research.

Right when I was about to call it quits, I stumbled upon a guy named Peter Attia that seems to be doing some really cool work. Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal about his project and funding for more information.

References
[1] Harvard School of Public Health » The Nutrition Source » Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good. A good overview which discusses the evolution from low-fat, low-cholesterol diets to where we are now.

[2] Saturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Modulation by Replacement Nutrients

[3] Dietary cholesterol, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease

[4] Types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a critical review

Tony Hsieh, The Science of Happiness & Employee Engagement

Whenever you want something in life, whatever it may be, that desire can usually be traced back to how you think having that something, might make you feel.

We often refer to this feeling as happiness.

One way to think about happiness is in 4 areas:

  • Perceived Control
  • Perceived Progress
  • Connectedness (number and depth of relationships)
  • Higher Purpose (vision/meaning bigger than yourself) 

In Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh talks about how these areas can apply to business. Employee engagement is a good example.

Employee Engagement

Happier employees are more engaged employees. So, what makes an employee happy and thus more engaged?

Perceived Control. Happy employees believe they ultimately control their career. They understand the company reward system and like the fact that performing well (which they can control) will eventually lead them where they want to go.

Perceived Progress. Every employee likes the feeling of progress. It’s nice to look back Continue reading “Tony Hsieh, The Science of Happiness & Employee Engagement”