kanban tips for organizing work
Tackle Your To-Do List the Japanese Way

Does your to-do list seem never-ending? Does the sheer length of it make you want to wail, gnash your teeth and weep uncontrollably?

Try this.

Fix the number of tasks on your work-in-progress list to a set number. We like three to five. All your other tasks get put on a "waiting list" and as you finish one of the tasks on your work-in-progress list, you move a task from your waiting list to your work-in-progress list.

This method originated in the Japanese system of industrial scheduling known as "kanban." It limits feeling overwhelmed by a to-do list that is monstrously long and helps keep our multi-tasking minds more focused. It also forces us to break big projects down into smaller chunks. For example, we wouldn't put "write novel" on the list--that'd jam up the works for years. Instead we'd put "outline plot" or "edit chapter 3."

If one of your new year's resolutions is to increase your productivity, give this method a try and let us know how it works for you.

flash briefings for medical marketing
Alexa's Flash Briefings A New Healthcare Marketing Tool?

Home assistants like Amazon's Echo and Google's Nest are multiplying faster than bunnies. They're the doodads you talk to change TV channels (is the remote dead?), get news and information, and control IoT devices like televisions and security systems. A recent survey from NPR and Edison Research in 2017 found that about 39 million people in the U.S. use some type of smart speaker. And you can reach them through Alexa's Flash Briefings. Think of them as micro podcasts of two- to three minutes in length.

Users can access Flash Briefings through Amazon's skill detail page. Healthcare marketers are already using them to target patients and doctors alike. Content shaped by the shorter time frame tends to focus on news, tips, and education. Try the AMA Morning Rounds Flash Briefing skill for an example.

The space is wide-open, audio production is relatively inexpensive, so why not get there first? What are your thoughts on using this new medium?

For more information, see Digital Array's Flash Briefings for business .

pro-tips for hiring remote emplooyees
Tips for hiring a great remote workforce

Are you hiring staff to work remotely? You're not alone. A study by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics shows that 4.7 million Americans work remotely at least half the time. But people who flourish in the "normal" office environment don't fit with a long-distance relationship. So, how do you find the good ones? Jennifer Farris, chief people officer at Terminal and a former Google recruiter has a few tips.

  1. Previous experience. If possible, look for people who already understand the demands of working remotely.
  2. Good communication skills and the ability to solve problems without relying on co-workers is paramount.
  3. Identify potential concerns. Newbies will have trepidations, so be prepared to address them.
  4. Work process. Find out how the candidate likes to be managed, what type of feedback they need, and their ability to flex with multiple time zones.
  5. Job satisfaction. It's different for everybody. Find out what bakes the pie for your potential employee.

"The biggest factor of being able to work remotely is if you can get work done without someone looking over your shoulder," she says.

BERT, SEO and your website
Prepare for BERT Search

During late October, Google rolled out its BERT update (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), you may have noticed a bump or a dip in your website's search rankings.

Why it matters

When Google publicly announces an update, which it rarely does, it's time to listen up. The message is "get serious about voice search." Last year voice searches surpassed those typed into a browser, fueled by home assistants and the use of mobile as our preferred device.

Exploring BERT's brain, you'll find natural language processing and artificial intelligence that can understand context and connections. Consider these two sentences:

Bob buys bread at the store. 2. He likes dark rye and whole wheat. Old Google would not make the connection between buying bread, and selection of bread Bob intends to buy. BERT does. So stuffing the term "dark rye."

Techies can get a BERT rundown on the SEO implications here , and our post on Voice Search for Healthcare Marketing">

try a alcohol lime mocktail
Toast Dry January with this Delicious Mocktail

Are you doing a Dry January? Many of us are taking a break from alcoholic drinks this month after overdoing it a bit on food and drink during the holidays. Yeah, it's a thing.

Here's a quick and easy mocktail recipe that makes a fine alcohol-free substitute to sip on while on the wagon this month (or even if you're not!)

Mock Mule

1 oz simple syrup
2 ounces fresh lime juice
4 ounces ginger ale or ginger beer
Lime wedge for garnish

Serve it up in a copper mug and enjoy. Cheers!

considerations for budgeting a website
How Much for that Website in the Window?

Most clients shopping for a website take a hot second to pop the big question, "how much does a website cost?" It's a fair question, but silently we're setting our hair on fire. But annoying developers and account managers want to know what you've allocated in your budget for the project. The tug-o-war begins. Frequently a new website is viewed as a do-over of its ancestor. Update the look, rattle the copy around, and make it faster... Read the full article