For all you Evernote fans, I just made a quick update to the Evernote Import Folder Action which will (hopefully) fix some tagging issues that have cropped up recently.

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Looks like this is the “Fantastic People from D.C.” day on Veritrope…

The International New York Times published a story on the continuing crisis of unexploded Vietnam War-era bombs in Laos – and which featured my friend, CHANNAPHA KHAMVONGSA.

Channapha founded an organization called Legacies of War over a decade ago to encourage the U.S. Government to clean up the dangerous weaponry it left behind in Southeast Asia. The scope of the ongoing risk – primarily to Lao children and farmers – remains enormous: One bomb disposal expert quoted in the piece says ‘In terms of the amount [of ordinance] still in the ground, Laos is worse than any other country I’ve seen’.

It’s taken incredible perseverance but, it seems, things are finally moving in the right direction. According to Thomas Fuller’s article, the annual United States spending on the removal of unexploded bombs in Laos has increased to $12 million this year (compared to $2.5 million a decade ago) – due in large measure to Channapha and her team’s efforts.

Legacies of War is exactly the kind of NGO that most people should want to support – A leader dedicated to achieving meaningful results… and a track record that demonstrates she can deliver. The article reminded me that I’m overdue to make another donation – and I hope you join me in kicking a little cash towards this very worthy cause.

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Gabe Weatherhead’s Macdrifter just published a short piece called The Annual Internet Service Value Test. In it, Gabe lists his yearly costs of using various internet services like Dropbox and Evernote and then goes through each, line by line, to decide whether or not that service is still of value to him.

Clearly, having a regular accountability process like this is helpful to rein in expenses (especially now that an increasing number of companies are essentially renting us their products instead of selling them 1 ). Subscriptions are a business model which seem to be growing in popularity and one which encourages us to put more of our spending on autopilot, potentially creating a large outlay of unnecessary recurring purchases which we’ve accrued in small, almost imperceptible increments. I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon so, as a sort of financial self-defense practice, I think Gabe’s advice is an especially good idea.

Here’s another: Do the same thing for how you spend your time.

Both time and money are important and finding the right balance between the two can be challenging. For me, at least, it’s always been much easier to change the ways I spend my money than my time and, by extension, easier to commit to projects or “social obligations” than to withdraw from them.

So for each, you might try asking yourself “What is the value in this?” or “Is this duplicating something I’m already getting somewhere else?”. If the answer isn’t clear to you–or if it leaves you feeling a bit phony when you hear yourself justify the expense–perhaps it’s time to hit the “CANCEL” button and get that time back for something more beneficial.

  1. J’accuse, Microsoft and Adobe… []
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