Should You “Dumb It Down”?

esterday while coaching a scientist on her writing, I suggested that she consider simplifying this wording: “The results of this trial may elucidate the most efficacious intervention strategies . . .” Can you guess which words I thought were overly…

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7 Strategies to Keep Your Phone from Taking Over Your Life

"When your mind is even slightly resisting a task, it will look for novel things to focus on. And it doesn’t need to look far — only as far as your phone," writes Chris Bailey (photo, left) in a piece at

"Our smartphones provide an endless stream of bite-sized, delicious information for our brains to consume. It’s easy to get hooked, even to feel addicted. And most of us would prefer not to feel this way. So last year, I started to hack my relationship with my phone, looking for small behavior changes I could make so that I would begin using my phone with intention, not automatically.

"Here are 7 strategies I found useful to prevent phones from taking over our time and attention: . . ."

Author bio – Chris Bailey is a productivity expert and the author of The Productivity Project.

Read the full article . . .

One Author Team Is Remarkably Reversing a Trend in Lagging Technology Coverage

Business communication textbooks have all lagged in covering communication technology, but one author team is remarkably reversing the trend

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Bovee and Thill: Leading Textbook Authors in Business Communication

Bovee and Thill have been the leading business communication textbook authors for more than 30 years. Their innovative, high-quality textbooks have consistently been on the cutting edge. They were the first to

Textbook Support                                        

  • cover digital media
  • cover social media
  • cover mobile business communication
  • cover intelligent technologies and artificial intelligence
  • cover essential communication technologies as they went mainstream in the business world, such as email, blogs, microblogs (Twitter), data visualization, e-portfolios, infographics, text messaging, and virtual meetings
  • cover business etiquette
  • cover communication in a diverse world and recognize the importance of diversity in photographs and exhibits
  • cover developing presentations in a social media environment
  • cover enhancing presentations with slides
  • discuss and show pictures of real companies and to include a Company Index
  • write chapter-opening vignettes to help students see how real professionals use chapter concepts and skills
  • write about real companies in exercises and cases
  • include cases that involve the full range of contemporary business media, from blog posts to text messaging
  • cover digital video as a major business communication medium
  • create the name and concept for "Letters for Analysis"
  • create the name and concept for "Document Makeovers"
  • create the name and concept for “On the Job” business communication simulations
  • receive an Award for Excellence from the Textbook Authors Association for a business communication textbook

Instructor Support and Interaction

  • become active and widely known users of emerging digital media, developing hands-on experience that is reflected in their textbook content
  • have a business communication blog
  • offer a business communication news service, Business Communication Headline News, for adopters and their students
  • provide Real-Time Updates, a web-based service featuring the latest articles, videos, PowerPoints, infographics, websites, and podcasts to adopters and their students, categorized by the chapters in Bovee & Thill's textbooks
  • offer online magazines, 10 in all, each one dedicated to an important business communication topic along with a weekly newsletter of the most popular articles
  • offer a Business Communication Pictorial Gallery on Pinterest
  • have a business communication channel on YouTube
  • have a Teaching Business Communication group on LinkedIn and on Facebook (with a combined membership of over 4,300 instructors)
  • be on Twitter as business communication authors
  • offer dozens of business communication slide programs that they've created (available on SlideShare)
  • to email a video newsletter several times each semester
  • have a website that focuses on instruction, “Teaching Business Communication”
  • have been recognized for their contributions to the field by the Governor of Massachusetts and the Boston Red Sox.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Bovee and Thill should be proud, because they’re the most imitated authors in the field. Their texts set the standard by which other textbooks in the field are judged.

Take advantage of these leading authors extensive collection of free resources for instructors and students, the most voluminous in the history of business communication publishing. You can see the full list at

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Science: You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

"The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain."

Sourced through from:

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True – False Test on Formatting Business Letters and Emails

"The standards of writing change. What was once correct in business messages now comes across as old-fashioned–or does it? Take this true-false test to check your knowledge of basic formatting standards for business letters and emails."

Take the test by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston (photo, left) . . .

I Should Have Known Better

As a business writing expert, I should have known that I’d get the wrong response. I had written the email in a way that was easy for me but misleading for my reader, a woman named Lea. Requesting a tour…

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I Should Have Known Better

As a business writing expert, I should have known that I’d get the wrong response. I had written the email in a way that was easy for me but misleading for my reader, a woman named Lea. Requesting a tour…

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Write It Right in Your New Job

"A man recently contacted me about wanting to be successful in his new job. He realized his writing was not what it needed to be," writes Lynn Gaertner-Johnston (photo, left).

"If you have a new job, congratulations! Being successful in a new position requires learning and doing new things and accomplishing old things new ways. To write successfully in your new position, take the practical steps below."

Read the full article . . .

An Awkward Request Phrased Beautifully

Scenario: Imagine that you run a classy beachside hotel. Many of the hotel rooms have balconies that face the beach. Everyone walking from the beach toward the hotel can see the balconies. When guests hang wet bathing suits, towels, and…

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