Recent Finds, Recommendations & Needful Things

by ToriDeaux on February 15, 2009

Every so often, I remember why I have all these strange bookmarks taking up space on my Firefox Toolbar… I was saving them to share with you!  Sunday seems like a good time for that, so let’s get on with it.

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Ok, I admit it. When I first saw the title, Happier.com, I cringed.

Oh joy, I thought. Another fluffy-duffy-sunshine-rainbows-and-unicorn site that’s going to chirp affirmations at me.  But when I checked it out, I was *very* pleasantly surprised…  that alone made me happier, so the site has already fulfilled the promise of its name !

Seriously, this is one of the most positive membership sites I’ve seen, which makes sense, because it’s all about positive psychology.  Full of in depth self-assessment tests, cognitive exercises, tracking tools and information, this is  promising stuff that goes beyond the usual self-help fluff.   Just taking the assessments can help shift your thinking in a happier, more positive direction.

I like it.  A lot. And it’s free, at least while it’s in Beta.

Happier.com.   More genuine happiness. No chirping.
http://www.happier.com/

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image I love Bubbletimer.  I love it enough that I feel this urge to buy it an engagement ring… or at least  cough up the very reasonable $20 a year subscription.

Based loosely on David Seah’s Printable CEO Series (which is cool, free, and.. well.. printable!) Bubbletimer is an online goal tracking & time management tool that has an offline feel, due to the clever way that the planning bubbles are filled in so they look hand colored.    There’s also an iPhone version, for those of you with iPhones.

Plus, I love the name of the small parent company. Snooty Monkey.  Does it get any better?  (but no, before you ask, I am NOT going to marry the Monkey, snooty or otherwise.  Just how weird do you think I am?)

Anyway, Snooty Monkeys aside… Bubbletimer is worth taking for a 14-day free spin to see if it suits you.

At least I think so.
http://bubbletimer.com/

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imageY ou may have seen Dr. Mike Logan commenting on a few posts here and there on MindTweaks.  He’s a genuinely nice guy -  and that really comes through in the YouTube videos he’s been putting together lately.  In them, he thoughtfully covers topics that range from his own counseling practice, to general counseling information, a few mental health tips and tricks, and even a few on the topic of Brain Fitness.

So be sure and check out this up and coming YouTube star, before he goes viral, decides he’s too good for us, and hooks up with those Snooty Monkeys.

I’m kidding of course.  He’s way too nice for those monkeys.  Though maybe they could seek counseling from him and get past their snootiness.

You can find Mike’s videos here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/mannamik

And his website and blog here:
http://www.askmikethecounselor2.com/

(I had to steal  his photo from his  Twitter account. Mike, we need to get you a logo, pronto! Hey, did I mention I do graphic work? )

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imageGoodlife Zen is a cool blog in its own right,run by Mary Jaksch, one of the nifty people I’ve  “met” through the TeachingSells program.  But I’m not writing this to tell you about the blog, or how cool Mary is.

I’m writing to tell you about the Virtual Zen Retreat that Goodlife Zen is  going to be running starting February 20th.    It’s a nifty idea.  Instead of the traditional Zen retreat, where you leave your normal life behind, you’ll be taking time and making space in your ordinary, daily life to learn and practice mindfulness and other zen goodness…  which makes sense. I mean, its easy to be mindful and centered  while we’re off in the mountains for a weekend.  But in our day to day hectic worlds, it’s a bit tougher.   Learning to apply the techniques of a “retreat” while living in your day-to-day world seems pretty promising.

And in keeping with the concept, the program is supported by its participant’s donations.

So check it out.  I’ve signed up.
http://goodlifezen.com/virtual-retreats/

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So there you have it.  A handful of coolness for your Sunday browsing.   No affiliate programs, snooty monkeys or counselors were harmed in the making of this post.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew 02.15.09 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for the candid write-up of happier.com! We’re still in beta mode and really looking to learn from our users. We’re seeing great usage of the happiness assessments and the iPhone app is well-reviewed; one of our next big projects is revamping the user-experience.

-Andrew

2 robert bruce 02.16.09 at 11:25 am

Andrew,
I am sold! Even the colour scheme sold me. I am a sucker for orange & blue!

Good luck!

RB

3 Mike Logan 02.16.09 at 7:40 pm

Hi Tori,

Thanks for the kind words, and also the link to happier.com. I am very interested in positive psychology. And what did you mean a logo? For my website? I did not know you did those graphic things, so let us talk. Mike Logan

4 Tori Deaux 02.16.09 at 10:17 pm

@Andrew You’re quite welcome, it was well deserved. I’m eager to see how the site develops — and hope you keep the blue and orange so Robert stays engaged! ;)

@Mike You’re welcome too – and it didnt even occur to me that happier.com would be of special interest to you! Silly me.

And yes, I meant a website logo – though I was mostly kidding. I’ll drop you a line tomorrow though, because yes, I occasionally do graphic work : )

5 Sean Johnson 03.03.09 at 11:29 am

Tori,

You are much too kind. BubbleTimer accepts your engagement proposal and awaits your dowry.

I can’t claim credit for the name Snooty Monkey though. A friend of mine thought it up when we were brainstorming names for radio shows. I’m glad you like it. I like it too.

Thanks,
Sean
Head Banana
Snooty Monkey, LLC

6 Tori Deaux 03.03.09 at 6:20 pm

Sean,
The dowry shall be arriving soon. On camelback, I imagine. (Things work very slowly around here lately, especially when they involve money)

And whoever thought up the Snooty Monkey, they deserve an extra banana. It makes for such fun branding, too!

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