I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

For more, check out the archives.

Entries from July 2006

Jul 31, 2006

Freelance tax tip: Use one debit card to easily track deductible expenses

If you’re a freelancer, keeping track of receipts for business-related expenses can be quite a headache. To help relieve this pain, use one debit card exclusively for all deductible business expenses. At the end of the month, you’ve got a convenient record of itemized expenses with the total amount already calculated. No more sitting in […]

Jul 28, 2006

Better typography in Microsoft Word

Aaron Shepard’s guide, Perfect Pages, shows you how to achieve the impossible: good typography in Microsoft Word. An excerpt of the book with basic tips is available free on his website. For a much more in-depth guide, the complete book’s available on Amazon. Designers might find it hard to imagine a world without fancy layout […]

Jul 26, 2006

The Elements of Style = The Elements of Design

I love simple tips that help me become a better designer. Today, I love Christina Wodtke from Boxes and Arrows. Christina has translated a “List of Reminders” from Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style into tips for designers to keep in mind. It seems that good style is universal. Christina says: “…what is good […]

Jul 25, 2006

Design like a pro: 20 web design tips

.net magazine offers 20 pro tips to help neophyte web designers do it like the pro’s. The tips emphasize writing clean, organized code yourself, rather than using a WYSIWYG editor like DreamWeaver or GoLive. .net magazine’s 20 pro tips: Planning Do it by hand Stylesheets: importing vs linking Smarter gradient backgrounds Commenting Use simple PHP […]

Jul 24, 2006

How to organize your cluttered desktop and regain your sanity

I’ve always been known as the messy kid, so it’s no surprise that zillions of random files and folders often litter my desktop. Every time I clear my desktop, it gets congested again a few days later, each icon reminding me how much I suck at organizing. What I lack is a system. After reading […]

Jul 23, 2006

Project management made painless: OmniGroup announces OmniPlan

For creative professionals and project managers who work on Macs, the lack of decent project management software is quite frustrating. Most are complicated, ugly, and painful. OmniGroup, the makers of fine applications such as OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle, has just announced OmniPlan, a new application they describe as “project management made painless.” The details are still […]

Jul 20, 2006

FlexTime: an even better way to stop procrastination now

After reading Merlin Mann’s recent post on timer apps for the Mac, I’ve been trying out the (10+2)*5 procrastination hack with a new shareware application called FlexTime. FlexTime allows you to set “routines” of different “activities” that can repeat indefinitely. After using it for a day, I’ve decided to switch from Meridian, which I recommended […]

Jul 20, 2006

Doodim + MenuShade: Eliminate distractions on your Mac

Doodim is a nice little freeware Mac application that dims everything behind the current application you’re working in. Combine it with MenuShade to dim your menubar and your Mac is now virtually distraction-free. In Doodim, a tiny delay occurs sometimes when switching applications. Dragging and dropping items onto the desktop also isn’t easy. Despite these […]

Jul 19, 2006

How to accurately layout your website

Khoi Vinh details how to get accurate alignment on web pages. The technique uses a background image of columns that sits behind all the page elements. The visible columns make it easier to see when elements aren’t lining up, allowing you to precisely make adjustments. Once everything is aligned, you can turn off the background. […]

Jul 18, 2006

How to save the world (or at least get some exercise)

Step aside Al Gore, Thursday is World Jump Day. The folks at World Jump Day show us how to save the world in 3 easy steps. Simply visit worldjumpday.org and: Find out your jump time by entering your geographic location Find a hard surface surface to jump on JUMP! They claim that the force of […]

Jul 18, 2006

How to fold a fitted sheet perfectly

I love fitted sheets because they save time. But unlike flat sheets, they’re a pain to fold neatly. Fortunately, Target Australia takes the pain away by showing you how to fold the impossible-to-fold fitted sheet. The end result is tidy and space-saving. How to fold a fitted sheet perfectly [Target Australia] Update: Martha Stewart has […]

Jul 18, 2006

Find and watch your favorite 80s music videos in one place

Milinkito.com has compiled a gigantic list of 80s music videos, complete with links for watching them on YouTube. Come on, I know you’re aching to see Paula Abdul’s Straight Up and Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now videos. This archive has truly brought joy into my life. If you find yourself being too productive, you […]

Jul 17, 2006

A Nike (or Saucony or New Balance or Adidas) + iPod Sport Kit Hack

The Nike + iPod Sport Kit–love child of Apple and Nike–began shipping this week. I’m excited to try out the new toy at the gym, but I prefer not to be a Nike style victim. Podophile has posted a nice little hack to get a Nike + iPod Sport Kit working with the shoe of […]

Jul 15, 2006

Structured procrastination with the (10+2)*5 hack and Meridian

Ok, I like to be lazy and put things off. In an effort to break this habit, I’ve implemented the (10+2)5 procrastination hack with a shareware application called Meridian. So what is this (10+2)5 math mumbo jumbo, you ask? The idea is simple: dedicate a fixed amount of 10 minutes for work and 2 minutes […]

Jul 13, 2006

How to design grid systems in 5 simple steps

The brief, vague introduction to grid systems I received in school left me puzzled. These invisible “underlying structures” seemed more like arcane runes than rational design tools. Thirsty for understanding, I googled and found Mark Boulton’s fantastic series of articles on the basics of grid systems. I had always thought that things looked nicer and […]

Jul 12, 2006

Talent isn’t everything: 7 habits of highly effective junior designers

Here’s a common myth: to be a successful creative person, all you need is talent. It’s a nice myth to believe in, because “talent” suggests a divine or evolutionary genetic gift. So if you have talented DNA, you’re special and can be a cool creative person. If not, you’re destined to be an accountant. After […]