Doug Levy's Observations

News, comment, and advice by Doug Levy

Five great productivity tools for writers and office workers

By Doug Levy | Mar 13, 2018

Everyone needs help focusing now and then, so I thought it might help if I share a few productivity tools that help me get a lot of stuff done. Those of us who work independently probably get pulled in even more directions than those who have bosses telling them what to do right now, but…

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Word choice matters – especially when communicating

By Doug Levy | Feb 5, 2018

Everyone who communicates for a living knows how important word choice is, but we often overlook how easy it is for words to be misunderstood. In crisis situations, seemingly straightforward words like “investigate” or “factual” or “secure” can convey different meanings to the public from what the speaker intends. What words have you used that…

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Survey: Misunderstood words in emergency messages

By Doug Levy | Jan 26, 2018
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Hawaii false alarm shows importance of focused emergency planning

By Doug Levy | Jan 15, 2018

The errant missile warning that alarmed people in Hawaii on January 13 showed the importance of emergency planning that includes anticipating possible errors. Apart from other issues with the response, there can be no defending that it took more than 10 minutes after the mistaken wide-area alert for corrective messages to start going out. In…

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Individual writing coaching now available

By Doug Levy | Jan 10, 2018

 In response to requests, Doug is now available for 1-on-1 video or in-person writing coaching sessions. As a multiple award-winning journalist, Doug loves working with writers – professionals, students, anyone who loves words – and helping them refine their work. Whether you are working on a personal essay, a magazine article, or your life…

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Great time to check your personal safety plan

By Doug Levy | Jan 4, 2018

The dangerous weather in much of the United States and a light earthquake near San Francisco are good reminders to check your personal safety plans. Every individual should have emergency supplies ready. You also should think ahead about where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate. In winter,…

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Do you have a good plan for your personal safety in an emergency?

By Doug Levy | Dec 6, 2017

The firestorm in Southern California highlights the importance of being prepared in case of a sudden emergency. Here are a few things to do now, while you have time. This post focuses on evacuation plans. Know at least two ways out from every room in your home or office. Pre-plan where your family or colleagues…

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Legal and regulatory issues for bloggers

By Doug Levy | Nov 27, 2017

Recently, I was part of a panel on the legal aspects of blogging, at the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, Calif. A report on the discussion and some helpful tips is on at this post: View story at  

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Bloggers must disclose freebies or discounts

By Doug Levy | Aug 12, 2017

 (This is a 2017 update of an article that I published in 2016 on Medium.) Many bloggers and other writers rely on product samples or invitations to events to get what they need for their writing. This is particularly true among travel writers, especially when an article requires transportation, lodging, or meals in order for…

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