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5 Scary Mistakes Technical Writers Make and How to Vanquish Them

As the eerie winds of October blow and the veil between the realms of the living and the supernatural grows thin, it’s not just ghosts and ghouls that send shivers down our spines. For technical writers, a different kind of terror lurks in the shadows—the bone-chilling mistakes that can haunt both their work and their readers’ nightmares.

Join me on a journey through the dimly lit corridors of technical documentation, where I reveal the five scariest mistakes technical writers make. From ominou

AI Tools Save Time — But Have Shortcomings

In the last year or so, artificial intelligence (AI) content generation tools have been all over the news, from articles about the dangers of AI content farms to Hollywood screenwriters who worry AI will take their jobs. Who can forget the infamous AI-generated legal brief that included non-existent legal cases? However, that doesn’t change the fact that content creators are under pressure to create high-quality content at a fast rate, and ranking high on Google is a huge challenge that is even

Why Outsource Instructional Design?

It’s 2023, and most of your workforce now works remotely, though some employees work hybrid schedules. Before 2020, your training was 100 percent in-person. After COVID-19 restrictions hit everyone that year, you temporarily halted training. At that time, you were sure the lockdowns weren’t going to last long, and you could then continue in-person training. However, reality later sunk in, and you realized your workforce is in several different locations and you had to find a new way to train the

Is Your eLearning Accessible to Everyone?

Did you know?
• An estimated 1.3 billion people in the world experience significant disabilities. That’s 16 percent of the world’s population, or about one in six people. (This nearly equals the entire population of India.)
• One in four Americans has some sort of disability (or 25 percent, nearly 83 million people, or more than twice the population of California).
• Deafness or serious hearing difficulties are present in 5.7 percent of Americans (about 19 million, or 1 in 17 people – or close t

Why Outsource Technical Writing?

It’s nearly time to roll out your newest product, but you still need to create user guides. You don’t have technical writers on staff, but that one marketing writer is great. Surely they can easily switch gears to technical writing. All writing is the same, right? You need the documentation ASAP, so you give them an incredibly tight deadline. You still need at least bare bones marketing to maintain a presence, so they need to do both jobs. Your writer is known for rising to the challenge while m

Meet the Versatile Neem Tree: 6 Ways to Use Neem for Better Health

Neem (Neemba in Sanskrit) has been used for millennia for its healing properties. It’s a natural herb from the neem tree, also known as Indian lilac. Ayurvedic practitioners use its fruits, seeds, oil, leaves, roots, and bark for a variety of ailments. The tree has recently been introduced to other parts of the world, particularly Africa and tropical America, where it continues to grow in popularity.

Neem is best known as a general antiseptic used to soothe various skin diseases, infections, an

Treat Mom to a Relaxing Mini Spa Day - at Home: 3 Ways to Create the Perfect Herbal Bath

Mother’s Day (May 14) will be here before you know it! Instead of gifting Mom a candle, perfume, or a basket of body washes, lotions, and bath bombs that will collect dust, treat her to a mini spa day at home. All it takes are some herbs and a few items you probably already have around the house.

Three different methods to create the perfect herbal bath:
• Combine herbs in a pot and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain them through a cheesecloth, then pour the water directly into your bath. This

Using UDLAB's Achiever II Planner for Wellness: 9 Ways to Map Your Way

Today is World Health Day! It's a good time to think about your wellness goals. "Wellness” covers a lot of ground, but here I’m referring to physical and mental health. Chances are you have a vague idea of these goals and fit in a little exercise here and there when you have time, or have played around with meditation and journaling but never stuck to it for more than a few days. This is where planning comes in. You should plan steps to reach your achievable goals like you would at work, for you

Decreasing Negativity in Your Life

Does it seem like more people than ever in the United States are dealing with anxiety and depression? You're not imagining it. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in 2020:1
• 1 in 5 U.S. adults experienced mental illness each year
• 1 in 20 U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness each year
• 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder each year
• 50 percent of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24

Now that we

College Stressing You Out? Recent Study Shows Ashwagandha Can Help!

If you are or know a college student who is just starting their next semester and already stressed, ashwagandha may be one way to naturally improve overall well-being. The Journal of Medicinal Food recently published research showing ashwagandha may improve the mental and emotional health of students.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) wrote, “The Perceived Impact of Ashwagandha on Stress, Sleep Quality, Energy, and Mental Clarity for College Students: Qualitat

More Alternatives to SMART Goals

We recently talked about obstacles found while using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound) method for all goal setting, and some non-traditional alternatives. Today, we’d like to share additional approaches that may work better for you than SMART. Choose what works best for your individual goals – you don’t have to stick to just one method for all your goals. As with SMART goals, none of these methods work perfectly for everyone and every situation. Determine what w

Non-Traditional Alternatives to SMART Goals

Since the early 1980s, SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) have been the standard method for setting goals. The SMART method works well for goals that have a specific outcome. But if you are working on personal goals or creating and maintaining habits, it may not be as helpful. It’s cliché, but SMART goals focus on the result, not the journey. Don’t give up on goals, though! After we share some insights about why SMART goals aren’t perfect for every goal, we’ll

A Short Primer on the Origin, Birth, or Genesis of the Modern Thesaurus

It’s time to get out our party hats, lids, toppers, chapeaux, and headpieces to recognize the birth of Peter Mark Roget, who gave us the first modern thesaurus. Born on January 18, 1779, Roget was an English physician and philologist who co-founded Manchester’s medical school. He started compiling his word listing in 1805, though he didn’t publish it until 1852 after he retired from medicine and his work as Secretary to the Royal Society in 1840. Published as Thesaurus of English Words and Phras

January 11 is National Clean Off Your Desk Day

We’re not sure how official this holiday is, but if you haven’t already decluttered and cleaned your desk for the new year, this is a great time to do it. Whether your desk is in a corporate office, cubicle, home office, or corner of the dining room table, an uncluttered, organized, and clean workspace will help you work more efficiently. Working in an organized space can often help us destress and better focus on our projects.

Quick tips to do it right:
• Take everything off your desk – mugs,

How To Stay Sane As An SME

Your primary job responsibilities are already stressful, and on top of that, you often find yourself answering questions and clarifying information about specific topics that no one else seems to understand as well as you. Guess what? You are a subject matter expert (SME)!

What is an SME?

“Subject matter experts, also called SMEs, are professionals who have advanced knowledge in a specific field. As an authority in a particular area or topic, they are uniquely qualified to provide guidance and

Setting Goals: What's Your "Why"?

We’ve all been there: it’s 11:59pm and you’re counting down to midnight on New Year’s Eve. You clink your glass with friends and family, then suddenly declare, “This year, I’m going to save more money!” or “This year, I’m going to finally reach my goal weight!” You count carbs and pennies for the first two weeks in January, then you decide it’s too much effort and give up. Perhaps you’ve already given up for 2023.

What went wrong, and why do so many of us repeat this insanity every year? We did

Recovering from Burnout and Finding Joy

Are you physically, emotionally, or mentally exhausted for no apparent reason? You may be experiencing burnout: exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation, usually from prolonged stress or frustration*. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 43 percent of workers in the U.S. said they were dealing with burnout. After the pandemic began, that number rose to 52 percent. This kind of stress can affect anyone, anywhere (work, school, and home), and at any stage of life*.

Signs of burnout i

Coping with Goal-Setting Anxiety

Does the thought of setting goals fill you with dread because you are afraid you won't meet them? Do you have so many ideas that you are figuratively (perhaps literally) going in circles, unable to focus on anything for long? If so, it's time for a reality check so you can more efficiently and effectively create a goal plan that will challenge but not overwhelm you.

Identify your goals. Choose short term (takes a month or two), medium-term (takes 6 months), and long-term (takes a year, five yea

It's Time to Upgrade Your Corporate Training: eLearning is Flexible, Cost-Effective, and Convenient

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic forced so many into remote working situations, eLearning was becoming increasingly popular for corporate training. Employees can use eLearning to train from anywhere, negating expenses for travel, training venues, learning material, and trainers. Known for flexibility and convenience, it also reduces training time while increasing productivity and knowledge retention. Read below for more reasons you should upgrade your corporate training to eLearning.

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Seven Myths About eLearning Debunked

eLearning is any type of training delivered via electronic means – computers, tablets, smartphones. It includes, but is not limited to:

Modern technology has made eLearning better than ever, though we hear several misconceptions about what eLearning is and how it is used. Read more to learn the truth about the role of eLearning in modern training programs.

1. eLearning is not practical because of its expense

Yes, it takes time, talent, and a budget to create and manage good eLearning content
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