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Contest: My Moleskine 2.0

Contest: My Moleskine 2.0

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    Stepcase Lifehack is partnering up with Moleskine and Hong Kong retailer city’super/LOG-ON to give you a chance to show us – and the world – what you can do with a Moleskine notebook. Moleskines are the notebook of choice for creative professionals around the world, and have become a symbol of latter-day nomadism – nobody carrying a Moleskine is ever without a place to capture their most brilliant thoughts!

    To celebrate the intimate relationship between lifehacking digital nomads and the Moleskine notebook, Moleskine, Stepcase Lifehack, and city’super/LOG-ON invite you to enter the My Moleskine 2.0 competition. My Moleskine 2.0 is devoted to giving tips and tricks to improve your quality of life by automating, increasing productivity and organising.

    Share your ideas, be selected for an innovative exhibition, and win a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks!

    We want to see your best ideas for hacking your Moleskine – whether to make the ultimate productivity-enhancing tool or the perfect outlet for all your most creative urges. Show us what you can do and you might win free Moleskines for life.

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    The folks at Moleskine will select the most creative entries, which will be displayed in the My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition that will take place in all city’super and LOG-ON stores in Hong Kong in July 2009. Your hack will also be presented on moleskine.com, moleskineasia.com, and on Lifehack.

    In-store and web viewers will be able to vote on their favorites, and the winners will receive one of these great prizes:

    • 1st prize: a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks!
    • 2nd prize: collection of 25 Moleskine notebooks and diaries
    • 3rd prize: collection of 15 Moleskine notebooks and diaries
    • All other exhibited entries: set of 3 Moleskine notebooks

    Send us your idea on how to make and do things better, faster, more creative and innovative, for both work and leisure with your Moleskine notebook!

    How to participate

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    This competition is open to all regardless of age, nationality, sex and location. There is no application fee. Selected entrants will have to purchase the Moleskine and prepare the hack for the exhibition, but will receive 3 Moleskine notebooks as a prize once their finished work is received.

    Application Procedure

    Submit your best idea using the application form at the bottom of this post. You may be contacted for further information after the first round of judging. Entries must be received before May 31st, 2009. Make sure you present your idea clearly. Your idea should fall within one of the following category:

    • Creativity and imagination
    • Organization and productivity
    • Archive and memory
    • Fun and innovative hacks

    The competition is in different stages:

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    1. Applications are due  May 31st, 2009.
    2. By early June, 2009, selected entries will be announced.
    3. Selected participants will have to purchase a Moleskine and prepare the hack following the submitted idea. (Entries will be selected by Moleskine; all decisions are final.)
    4. By June 30th, 2009: the hacked Moleskine must be sent to Moleskine Asia at the address provided.
    5. Submitted Moleskines will be displayed at the My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition in July and a winner selected at the end of the Exhibition.

    Selection Criteria

    The best entries will be selected according to their originality, creativity, usefulness, feasibility and design.

    My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition

    If you’re in Hong Kong in July, be sure to stop by city’super or LOG-ON to see the exhibition!

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    Date: July 15th – 30th, 2009

    Venue: city’super, LOG-ON, Hong Kong

    The selected Moleskine will be displayed in transparent boxes, so that audience can peruse them at their own pace. Ideas and “how to” will be displayed as well on panels. city’super and LOG-ON customers will be invited to vote and select their favorite Moleskine hacks.


    “Lifetime supply” is limited to 5 notebooks per year over a period of 50 years.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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