The Soundtracks of Our (Working) Lives

headphones on yellow background

Working from home may be music to one’s ears, but Dragonflies know that what’s playing in the background can be crucial to productivity. An informal survey of our staff revealed that we use a variety of sound strategies—from total quiet to eclectic music, baseball games, and podcasts—to maintain focus. Here’s what keeps the Dragonflies humming. THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE Some …

Online Meeting Etiquette

Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex, BlueJeans. In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, these names have become as commonplace in corporate America as IBM and Xerox. Those who are able to work from home have been using these videoconferencing platforms for several weeks now, and with no end in sight and a “new normal” waiting in the wings …

5 Tips for Newly Remote Workers

A person sits at a computer in a home office

So your company is recommending you work from home—or straight-up mandating it. If you aren’t used to telecommuting, setting up a home office can seem overwhelming. In this post, I’ve compiled my top tips for successful telecommuting, based on a near-decade of experience working remotely, to help you navigate this new situation. 1. Equip yourself Figure out what tools you …

When is a semicolon not a comma?

I learned long ago that somebody who fixes others’ mistakes also makes plenty of mistakes of her own, so I wasn’t the least bit defensive when I heard that a client had a complaint about my work. I initially felt contrite that I had somehow made a mess of a document and disappointed both the client and Dragonfly. I found …

Keep carpal tunnel at bay

As many of us return from vacation and buckle down to work, we think it’s a good time to review six stretches that can help to avoid carpal tunnel issues. Give them a try and let us know what you think. Any repetitive activity can put you at risk for injury. Computer users–and that includes editors and writers–are at risk for repetitive stress …

Chiseling the statue: Meet editor Jenny Stout

Jenny Stout, smiling and wearing glasses

We’re big fans of Dragonfly’s newest editor, Jenny Stout. Jenny joined Dragonfly about six months ago at the suggestion of a former colleague (Molly Gamborg). She’d been editing and managing projects for about 15 years, and fit perfectly with Dragonfly’s collection of technical clients. Her editing to-do lists covers everything from software books to articles on quantum computational physics. She …

A man of many talents: Meet writer & editor Dave Nelsen

Dave Nelsen, smiling and wearing a button down, stands in front of a concrete wall

From improv comedy to mommy  blogging, Dragonfly’s Dave Nelsen maintains a truly impressive repertoire. Fortunately for us — and our clients — his talents also include top-notch editing and writing. Dave began his wordsmith career with a degree in journalism. After graduation, he honed his editing skills at a not-for-profit, where he edited departments and features and coordinated submissions for …

Obliterating typos, one step at a time

two-people-typing-at-computer

When you work with documents that will end up in a design file—or that go through multiple rounds of revisions—it can be all too easy for typos to slip into your text. Adopt these four tips to minimize errors’ chances of getting by you. Do a substantive edit first—then a copyedit. Any time content undergoes substantial revisions, be sure to follow …

(Grammar) rules: Meant to be broken?

question mark

In light of the kerfuffle over the AP’s hyphenate about-face, it’s clear that as editors and writers, we do become attached to our rules. But language is fluid—as is grammar, to an extent. Sometimes rules truly are meant to broken. When is a rule worth fighting for? In this previously published post, Dragonfly editor Molly Gamborg considers the differences between …

3 tips for writing instructional content

A person with long hair and glasses bites a pencil in frustration while looking at a laptop screen

When my children were in the second grade, one of their assignments was to prepare a “how-to” presentation. They were to pick a simple task: making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, say, or folding a paper airplane. They then needed to assemble all the required ingredients or components, write out the process steps on note cards, and demonstrate the procedure to the …