Mostly Everything

5 Steps to Make a Group Project Report Your Oyster

Once you stumble upon the necessity to write a group project report, don’t allow it go with a flow. Take the organizational part under control and keep in mind the following steps to succeed and get the highest grade for your assignment.

Step 1. Think with the end in mind

This idea is not ours, it was presented by Steven Kovi, and it doesn’t lose its actuality through decades. Before you start dividing responsibilities and working on each part think what you want to achieve at each stage. Of course, it is obvious, that you want to achieve the highest grade while applying the least amount of efforts. However, you should write down that your goal is to have a final draft till the particular date, it should have the particular amount of pages and additional materials, such as, for example, a presentation. Give short description to a presentation as well. Finally, you will come up with a 1-page document which will be a skeleton of your future work. Once you are done with this one, move to a strategy.

Step 2. Choose the roles and write them down

Use the skeleton you’ve received at the first stage and expand it adding new information. It will take no more than 15 minutes but will save an enormous amount of time later. Divide the responsibilities, but don’t forget that a group project report is not only about writing, it is about organization. Note down who is responsible for technical issues, for instance, who checks the formatting, who answers for plagiarism check, who is accountable for the graph information, for text for slides, for pictures for slides. Many groups make the same mistake — they decide to deal with all that later, as the time comes, but it comes too fast and they often get lost. Finally, 3 people are making a presentation, while no one is checking the formatting the way it should be done.  

Step 3. Set up the detailed internal deadlines

It is a no-brainer that you have the external deadline for your group project report. Most probably you have two deadlines — one for the raw draft another for the final draft. However, students are famous for violating them and here is the way to escape this well-known pattern. Use the skeleton again and add dates for each step. If you are really interested in doing things right, set up 2 deadlines for each stage: the first one marks it should be done or written, the second — presented to the rest of the group. Of course, with all those groups in messengers and shared documents online you just have to say “look, I am done with this, maybe someone wants to make some comments?” and call it a day.

Step 4. Apply the old-school approach

Print everything you wrote and read it aloud for several times. Each of you. It might sound not just boring, but simply arcane. However, it is the way speechwriters around the world deal with the texts for presidents, kings and celebrities. You should both do it with the report itself and the presentation. It helps you find weak parts and make your writing sound more humane and engaging. More of it, research shows that when reading a printed material we can spot almost twice more mistakes and technical omissions. Underline them while reading and edit later — this way you will not lose the flow.

Diverse Architect People Group Working Concept

Step 5. Cross check critical points

No matter how much you trust each other, your final grade depends on this report, and you should be very attentive to others’ work when it comes to the crucial points, such as plagiarism, formatting and compliance of text with the graphic information. If possible, split into pairs and make a cross check. Make it a peer review experience, and don’t forget about the key principles: emphasize bright sides before criticizing, and if criticizing don’t forget to offer something better.

There is a chance you think all this is boring and time-consuming, and the key idea is to get rid of this custom assignment faster. However, if you spend several hours following the described steps you will both stay on the safe side with the quality of your final draft and impress your professor with a creative, diligent approach.



Mostly Everything

How to Keep Jewelry Safe at Home: 5 Tips to Keep in Mind

Burglary and theft rates are on the rise all across the United States; it looks like no state and no city or town is safe from these predators. Consequently, it is very important to know how to protect your investments and your precious items from theft. Most people think that it won’t happen to them, so they don’t take many safety precautions. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry. This is why you need to protect your valuable items – and diamond rings immediately come to mind. It is not enough to correctly choose the real diamond; you also need to make sure you don’t lose it. Keep in mind that a diamond ring costs several thousand dollars or more. So, let’s take a look at some tips that will help you better protect it.

Five Tips to Protect Your Diamond Ring at Home

Buy a safe for your home; this is the first thing to do if you want to protect your valuable jewelry. This may be an obvious idea, but you would be surprised how many people disregard the importance of having a safe. Of course, make sure the safe is sturdy and capable of withstanding burglary attempts. Many safes are also able to withstand fire for prolonged periods of time. Choose a safe that can be hidden in a wall or behind a painting; anywhere it is not easily noticed.

Do not brag about your jewelry. Yes, you may get away with doing it with close friends and family. However, bragging about your 1.0-carat diamond engagement ring is dangerous. It is even unsecure to talk around about the engagement or post pictures of the ring. If this information gets to the wrong ears, you could be the next burglary victim in your neighborhood.

Do not leave your diamond ring where everyone can see it. Strangers – like pizza delivery people, construction contractors, and even the mail carrier – could see the ring easily and immediately notice that it is quite expensive. They may talk about it with other strangers until this piece of information gets to a burglar or thief. You don’t want to become a target.

Insure your diamond ring. You will pay a small premium every year, but it may be well worth it. In case somebody breaks into your home and steals your real diamond ring, the insurance company will reimburse you so you can buy another one. You may be able to decrease your monthly premium if you install various security systems like alarm systems and CCTV cameras in and around your home.

Install an alarm system, even if you don’t need it to decrease the insurance cost. An alarm system – which may have a CCTV system as well – is one of the most reliable methods of deterring would-be burglars. It is very difficult to bypass a properly installed alarm system, and most burglars and thieves will not even attempt it. To make sure your alarm system is installed and working perfectly, use the services of a licensed and bonded locksmith.

Things to Know About Burglars and Thieves

Burglars and thieves are just like other professionals. They make it their job to steal from other people, and some of them can get quite good at it. Remember that an experienced thief or burglar knows exactly where to look in a home to find your jewelry. Think outside the box and you could outsmart them. Also, keep in mind that thieves and burglars are usually cowards; they will flee if confronted.

For your peace of mind, if you keep valuable items in your home, get a license to carry and use firearms. Owning a gun for self-defense is nothing out of the common in the United States, and many other countries permit it if you prove you are likely to be targeted by criminals or that you need the weapon to protect your valuables.

Mostly Everything

How to Choose the Best Software for Your Business

While it may seem that some of the biggest challenges facing a company is finding customers, making a healthy profit, and expanding their business, in reality choosing the best software for the company is right up there in terms of challenges. While you may not give much initial thought to the software you pick, the fact is that it can have a massive impact on the success of your business.

Royalty Free Photo

If you’re at the point where you are selecting the right software for your business but you’re unsure of what you need and how to go about picking the right product, then these tips are meant to help you.

Start by Setting Your Goals

It’s hard to pick the best software without first giving thought to what your goals are. What do you need the software to be able to do? Will it be focusing on one task or goal, or does it need to be multi-functional? How many different software options do you want? Are you looking for a one-size fits all solution or are you willing to use a couple of different products?

Understand That the Right Software Will Change How You Do Business

It’s also important that you understand and embrace the fact that the right software will change how you do business. You can’t expect to install the software and just go about everything as you had in the past. It will require approaches and workflows to change, but the goal is that this software is creating changes that benefit the company.

Research Your Options

When picking software, it’s never a good idea to rush in and just pick the first thing that you find. You want to be sure you do your research; look at how other companies are using that particular software, if the software is being used in your industry specifically, and start to build a better view of what it has to offer. Looking at a feature list or specs isn’t enough information to make a decision. From here you’ll be able to start to create a list of software vendors and whittle it down as you do more research.

Do You Need It to Work Across Various Platforms?

Because so much of today’s business operations depend on things working across various platforms, you will also want to take this into consideration. Will the software work on a desktop just as well as a tablet or smartphone? Will it work on both the Apple and PC platform? What about Android and Apple? Most companies require software to be diverse in that it is optimized for all platforms, making it easier for staff to do what they need to do.

How Many People Need to Use the Software?

The final question you’ll want to ask is how many people will need to use the software? Is it your entire staff, and if so how many people is that? Are we talking about hundreds or just a dozen? These answers will also help determine what software will work best.

Picking the right software is a process that you don’t want to rush through, as the software you pick will have a huge impact on your company.

Mostly Everything

RV Parks near Austin That Are Perfect for a Quick Weekend Getaway

Doing the same old thing every single weekend can get boring after a while. Getting away is a great solution to the weekend doldrums!

Of course you can visit a neighboring town or stay in a hotel in Austin, but why not be a little adventurous and rent an RV instead!

Outdoorsy makes it easy to browse available RVs in the Austin area and choose one that fits your family and your budget. It’s just up to you to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Here are a few RV parks that are worth visiting, but aren’t located too far away from home.

Austin Lone Star RV Resort

There’s tons to do in Austin. Whether you’ve lived here all your life or you’ve just moved to the area recently, it’s impossible to have done everything Austin has to offer.

Although you may think of RV parks as existing on the outskirts of nature areas, there are plenty of RV parks that are located in town too. Austin Lone Star RV Resort is one of the best in the Austin area.

It features amenities that might make you think twice about leaving the RV park, like a heated swimming pool and a playground, but the best part about this resort is the fact that it is located just five miles from downtown Austin. It’s the perfect choice if you would rather catch some live music or do a little shopping instead of spending your time in nature.

La Hacienda RV Resort & Cottages

Most of the time, the area is the destination, not the RV park. That’s not the case with La Hacienda RV Resort & Cottages.

Rather than simply being a place to hook up your RV, it truly is a destination RV park. That’s because it features amazing amenities like:

  • A pool and hot tub
  • Four-hole chip and putt course
  • Dog park
  • Picnic area
  • Playground
  • Business center

If you do feel like venturing away from the RV park, there’s plenty to check out. Spend some time shopping at an outlet mall, visit the Westcave Preserve, or rent a boat and do a little fishing.

Sunset Point on Lake LBJ

If you’re looking for a chance to unwind during your weekend getaway, there’s nothing better than choosing a watery location. Sunset Point on Lake LBJ has you covered because it’s located right on Lake LBJ.

Not only can you park your RV right near the water, you can soak up the sun on the beach at the swimming area, do a little fishing on the shore, or hit the lake for a few water sports. If you decide you want to venture away from the lake, you can check out Fall Creek Vineyards, Longhorn Cavern State Park, or Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Camping doesn’t have to be a week-long excursion. With these RV parks located in the Austin area, you can plan a weekend getaway that you’ll never forget.


Mostly Everything

Must-Know Tips for New Rideshare Drivers

The holiday season is the perfect time to start participating in the gig economy by becoming a rideshare driver.

The holidays are a bustling time when people are out and about shopping, going to parties and just participating in a variety of holiday events, and they might need the services of a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft more than ever before.

Maybe your decision to start working as a rideshare driver isn’t just about the timing of the holidays, but you might have made it a goal in 2018 to earn extra income. There are also good opportunities to earn sign-on bonuses and use promo codes with rideshare companies right now, which is, of course, an incentive for a lot of new drivers.

Regardless of your reasons, what should you know as a new rideshare driver as we head into 2018?

Learn About the Passenger Experience

While you might both end up in the car together, the driver experience and passenger experience can be very different.

As a driver, it’s important to learn about the passenger experience, including how the app works on their end. You might want to take some rides as a passenger, so you can put yourself in their shoes and determine how to get the best rating by giving them the best experience.

For example, different passengers are going to have different levels of interest in conversation. Learn how to gauge this and how to meet their expectations.

Start Out During Slow Times

When you’re just starting as a rideshare driver, you don’t necessarily want to dive in during the busiest times.

Instead, it can be better to start when things are slow, for example, mid-morning on a weekday. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel for things, without getting too overwhelmed.

Contrary to what you might believe, it can be a fast-paced environment, and it’s important to ease yourself into it.

Once you get used to what it’s like, you can start driving during busiest times. If you’re going to be driving part-time, going after the busiest prime times is best.

Don’t Chase Surges

Surge pricing can be lucrative for drivers, but if you see one come up on your map and you’re not already there, don’t try to chase it.

These surge times last for a few minutes, so it’s likely to be over by the time you get there, and you’ve wasted your time.

Get a Phone Mount

Before you do your first ride, make sure you have a high-quality phone mount and put your phone near your eye level. You don’t want to be constantly looking down at your phone because it can be dangerous and you’re also likely to get lower ratings from your passengers.

While you’re at it, you should also get a 2 amp charger, because while you’re using your app, you’re going to be draining a lot of your battery.

Finally, make sure you have logistical things in place before driving, including rideshare insurance, and have a way to track your mileage and expenses.