Best of “Today I Learned” in 2021 — Postlight — Digital Strategy, Design and Engineering

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Slack is a river, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the deluge of information. We here at Postlight use emojis, Slack channels, bots, Dash, threads, Textmoji, and other tools to help one another navigate those fast-flowing waters. In that sense, we all take responsibility together for being both knowledge explorers and guides.

One of those tools is our custom :TIL: emoji. In case you missed our June roundup, #TIL is a Slack emoji (a reacji, to be precise) that we use at Postlight to tag Slack a post that you learned from. I think of it as a fun way to live out this xkcd comic:

Some of the knowledge is technical, like ways to get the most out of tools like Slack or Google Calendar. More often, it’s some esoteric, bite-size morsel of knowledge that expands what you know about the world — just a tiny bit. In any case, we aggregate all of these tagged posts into the veritable smorgasbord of life hacks and curiosities that is our #TIL Slack channel. We love sharing this feast of facts, so here’s our favorite 15 from the past half year.

"TIL" in red lettering with two blue lines above and below

Slack, calendars, and other software tips

1. Get the password of the wifi network you’re on (source).

2. Safari is better for the environment (source). 

3. You can set screenshots to save to your Downloads folder, so at least they’re easier to get quickly if you miss the floating thumbnail (source). 

4. Apple Finder can batch-rename. Saved me 17 seconds that I’ve now spent crafting this note to share the joy (source)! 

5. For future reference: /remind list to view reminders. Top of list are those in-channel. There’s a delete link.

Professional development

6. Harvard has a ton of resources and offers for training on becoming a better digital a11y (source). 

7. Have a stronger impact and truly empower others with this framework for radical delegation (source).

8. Crow’s foot notation can be used to show a one-to-many or many-to-many relationship in a diagram (source).

Pub trivia and life hacks

9. You can put a shower cap over a smoke detector to keep it from going off (source).

10. The speed of an acoustic signal traveling through seawater can be used as a proxy for ocean heat content (source). 

11. At the beginning of the 20th century, cats that traveled on boats to get rid of mice and rats had passports signed with their paws (source).

Herman the Cat

12. A hobbyhorse is “a preoccupation or favorite topic” (source). 

13. In sports, the yips (in gymnastics, the twisties) are a sudden and unexplained loss of skills in experienced athletes (source).

14. Jamaica, Queens, is named for the Lenape word for “beaver” — yameco — and evolved from Dutch to English. Jamaica, the country, is named for the Arawak word for the “island” — Xaymaca — and evolved from Spanish to English (source).

Snark

15. It’s true — design is a job (source).

Corey Roth is a Lead Product Designer at Postlight. Say hello at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @coreyaroth.





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