The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

Hello, service provider? It’s me, desperate seeker

Years ago, writing for a company that shall be nameless prompted me to start each day by updating my voice mail message. Company Xers were the worst at having a generic voice mail message, and I would find out days later that someone I needed to speak with was actually on vacation for two weeks. […]

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Nine things I’ve learned in nine years of blogging

January is a big month here at Get It Write headquarters. In this month of new beginnings, I celebrate the leap of faith that launched my business in 1991, and I also mark another year of sharing my thoughts on the Red Jacket Diaries blog. Yes, I recently marked my ninth “blogversary.” Nine years have […]

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Ditch the jargon to make your point

Inc.com’s contributing editor, Geoffrey James, doesn’t sugarcoat it. In a piece called How Corporate-Speak Rots Your Brain and How To Stop It, he says jargon “makes you and everyone around you progressively less intelligent.” What’s more, rather than making you sound more intelligent, using words like “utilize” makes readers think less of you. The January […]

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Boost your business with the power of thought

My competitors are better than me. I’m not as smart as my colleagues. People won’t want to pay for the services I offer. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking thoughts like this, you’ve been the victim of perceptions you have about yourself that may or may not be true. “What you’ve been taught to believe […]

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Use focus + five steps to be more productive

You don’t have to hire someone to slap you every time you turn to Facebook. That was the extreme step blogger Maneesh Sethi took to be more productive, detailed in Why I Hired a Girl on Craigslist — and How I Quadrupled My Productivity. But to be productive, you DO need to focus on what’s […]

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Answer my email, it might be urgent

If you wanted to reach someone urgently, would you rely on email? Increasingly, it seems, you would. Well, you might not. I certainly wouldn’t in a business situation*– I would pick up the telephone and call. Yet at a professional development event earlier this week, a young millennial (27, she announced to the group she […]

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The best of the Red Jacket Diaries in 2015

Thank you to the people who took the time to read (and sometimes comment) on the Red Jacket Diaries blog this year. Here are the 10 most-viewed posts in 2015: 1.  My recap of Mitch Joel’s speech to IABC/Toronto in February, where he talks about people wanting “access, not ownership” (think Snapchat, Spotify, Zipcar, Airbnb). […]

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How to make resolutions you’ll keep

As the old year winds to a close and you get ready to pop the champagne on a new one, you’ll find lots of advice for making and sticking to resolutions. I’m not a big fan of once-a-year resolutions, but according to the impressively named Statistic Brain Research Institute, “People who explicitly make resolutions are […]

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12 gifts for readers and writers

Are you still Christmas shopping? As the big day hurtles closer, those ads warning of “last minute” are starting to hit home. If you have avid readers/writers/word-and-punctuation nerds on your list, you might be interested in these dozen ideas, inspired by a UK site I found with 25 book-related gift ideas: 1.  “Reading is Sexy” […]

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7 steps to effective infographics

Researchers say that people’s attention span is a pitiful eight seconds — supposedly less than that of a goldfish. (Do you wonder, as I do, how researchers measure a goldfish’s attention span?) So it’s not surprising that marketers are looking for fast ways to grab eyeballs. Increasingly, infographics are the answer. As IABC members pointed […]

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