Post-it-notice: I have neither been paid by, nor approached by any of the following companies, publishers, or people, about the services, reading material, resources, or products listed here. I’m sharing things that I have recently discovered and found helpful and cool for me and mine. That’s all. No sponsorship, no free stuff, no pats on the back. Though I sure wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to provide me a cup of coffee and a jacuzzi tub.


Call it link love, or go all a-la Julie Andrews and belt out a resounding chorus of “My Favorite Things.” Here is a Saturday Session: things that have been helpful to my life and work and family.

1. This book: 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman.

I am a sucker for organization and productivity advice, but I’m picky on what I read because all that reading time just sucks from my um, productivity. This book, available at our fabulous local library, is a quick and easy read. I’ve never been much of a goal-setter, but this might turn me around. Just maybe.

rhonda franz, friday favorites, productivity

Also, the things Bregman says about how we manage ourselves during our day just make some good sense. He uses some GTD principles, which work for me, and other tips, like taking breaks, and setting a timer to go off once an hour during the day – to check ourselves on how well we’re staying focused.

Of course there are lots of little distractions kids around here, so around-the-house productivity has to be managed in the context of parenthood. It’s not like the kids are on board with this. Whenever you’re feeling like you haven’t accomplished much, try this.

2. Poem-mobiles by J. Patrick Lewis, Douglas Florian, and Jeremy Holmes

It’s an especially brilliant creation when a children’s book is as fun for parents to read as it is for children to hear. This picture book, also found at the library, has the kind of illustrations you can look at again and again to find new details, and from back to bumper it’s a real treat to read aloud.

rhonda franz, friday favorites, parenting

Go Jurassic Park(ing) with a car that runs on fossil fuel.

Read all about the fierce, fiery Dragonwagon. Over and over and over again.

I mean, it’s like the authors and illustrator knew precisely how to sell a book to a book-loving mom in a house full of book-loving, car-crashing boys: fun poems, fabulous artwork, and all about vehicles. Really, we could ask for nothing more.

3. My Simpler Life site

This blog by Beth Dargis is all about creating a saner, simpler life. Sometimes, advice to make things simpler ends up being quite complicated. Not so with advice and resources from Ms. Dargis. I most appreciate:

* Her weekly newsletter that contains short, sweet, and helpful ideas to make home (and life in general) a bit easier.

* Her Declutter Calendar, available for downloading. It is the perfect tool to view on a computer desktop, or print out each month for a place on the fridge. Each day contains one task to work through that help me clean out stray bits from all the parts of my home. There are days when I don’t get to it, but I just jump right back in when I do. Simple, just as it should be.

Do you have some Friday Favorites? What things have you found recently, that you just love?