The Do You Know How to Design a Survey, Survey?

Do you have to design a survey? If so, you might want to answer a few questions.

Do you know what you want from your survey?




Have you told people why you’re conducting the survey?



I don’t want them to know

I don’t know either

Do you know about sheep, and if so, have you removed all irrelevant questions?


☐ They’re woolly

There are no leading questions, are there?


You done, proofreeding?



Your questions can’t be not understood; easily?



Have done a test drive with your pilot group?

☐ Charles A. Lindbergh

☐ Charles E. Yeager

☐ The Wright Brothers

☐ Amelia Earhart

Is it better to ask open or closed questions?


I think:  __________________________________________

Are you asking enough people to get a representative sample? Do they both agree?


I hope so

Do you know how you’re going to analyze the responses?





Are scales consistent? (Circle 1 = Not very, 9 = Extremely)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

To ensure accuracy, are you asking people to answer anonymously? If so, what are their names?


☐ Bob

Are you asking a representative cross-section of the population?

Mainly your mum

Welsh people

Only people you’ve invented

Are you going to do something based on the results of the survey?

☐ Sure

No, really

Really, really

You’re not, are you?

Are your scales still consistent? (Tick -2 for Not very, 2 for Extremely, etc.):



☐ 0



Do any of your questions introduce bias?


Not really


Not likely

Do you give the respondent the opportunity to skip questions that don’t apply to them? If not, please go on to the next question.

Don’t know

Don’t care

Are you sending me a reward for completing this survey?



I want to have your babies

You should be rewarding me

Do you want feedback on your questionnaire? If so, please leave comments in the box, below!

Are your questions in a logical order?



See above

Are you Elizabeth Loftus?



Questions to Ask Your Heroes

If you had a chance to meet one of your heroes, what would you ask them?
Here are my suggestions:

Starting Out

  • How did you get started?
  • Why did you choose this role?
  • Who were your heroes?

Keeping Going

  • What motivates you?
  • How do you manage your time?
  • How do you maintain your energy levels?
  • How do you your manage work / life balance?
  • How do you deal with failure?
  • How do you choose your priorities?
  • What does a good day look like for you?

Personal Growth

  • Who inspires you, now?
  • Have you ever read anything that has had a profound impact on your life?
  • Do you read a newspaper? Other news sources? What do you look for?
  • What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Working with Others

  • How do you build good relationships with colleges / customers?
  • How do you motivate other people?

The Future

  • What are your biggest challenges right now?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

What have I missed? What would you ask your heroes?

Questions to Answer for Positive Change

Answer these questions if you want to make a positive change.

Questions about Your Goals

  • What does the ideal look like?
  • Why do you want to make the change?
  • How will we know when we get there?
  • What would happen if you didn’t make the change?

Questions about Barriers to Change

  • What is stopping us from achieving it?

Questions about the Process

  • How will we get there?
  • What is the alternative?
  • What are the steps we need to take to get there?

Questions about Resources

  • Who has done this before?
  • What did they learn?
  • Who can help us?

Questions about the Means

  • Who is responsible for taking the steps to make the change?


Personal Information Ideas

Ideas for the type of information people like to store in their Bullet Journal, Filofax, or Personal Information Management system.

Schedule / Calendar

  • Year
  • Month
  • Week
  • Day
  • School calendar / term dates
  • Bank holidays
  • Family activities


  • Birthdays
  • Weddings
  • Gift ideas
  • Party ideas
  • Wish list
  • Christmas card list
  • Christmas checklist
  • Christmas gift list

Habits and Routines

  • Morning
  • Evening
  • Daily
  • Habit tracker
  • Planning
  • Journalling


  • 5-Year
  • Year
  • Quarter
  • Month
  • Week
  • Day

Goals and Challenges

  • Things to do
  • Things to learn
  • Bucket list
  • Mission statement
  • Future projects
  • Acts of kindness
  • 10 minute tasks

Reviews and Memories

  • Yearly review
  • Monthly review
  • Weekly review


  • Daily Journal
  • Countries Visited
  • Sleep Log
  • Dream Journal


  • Gratitude log
  • Achievements
  • Journal prompts
  • Places visited
  • Quotes
  • Affirmations
  • Things I love
  • Things that make me Happy


  • Family contacts
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Important addresses
  • Babysitter


  • Home maintenance tasks
  • Vehicle maintenance tasks
  • Weekly housework
  • Kids’ chores
  • Seasonal maintenance
  • First aid kit list


  • Printer ink
  • Batteries


  • Passport
  • Drivers licence
  • Social security number


  • Key codes


  • Weight tracker
  • Exercise schedule
  • Exercise tracker
  • Methods for relaxation
  • Self-care activities
  • Skincare / beauty routine
  • Daily water intake
  • Statistics
  • Measurements


  • Healthy snack options
  • Foods to avoid
  • Calorie tracker
  • Diet plan
  • What I ate today
  • Restaurant details
  • Menu planning ideas
  • Weely meal plan
  • Shopping list
  • Recipies
  • Shopping list
  • Freezer inventory
  • Pantry inventory

Travel / Holiday

  • Packing list
  • Itinerary
  • Vacation ideas
  • Countries visited
  • Passport details
  • Places to visit
  • Things to do
  • Summer bucket list


  • Budget
  • Bills
  • Income
  • Outgoings
  • Insurance
  • Account info
  • Savings goals
  • Purchase tracker
  • Future purchases


  • Playlists
  • Songs to listen to
  • Favourite songs
  • Favourite lyrics
  • Films to see
  • Films seen
  • TV Series tracker
  • TV Series to watch
  • TV show schedule
  • Books Read
  • Books to read
  • Recommendations

Life Online

  • Interesting websites
  • Passwords

Disc-Binding Systems

Information on disc binding systems and manufacturers.

Disc Binding is a loose-leaf notebook binding that uses discs to hold the sheets of paper together.


  • Invented by Andre Tomas and Andre Martin (from whom the Atoma brand name was derived)
  • Patented in 1948

Manufacturers and their Systems

Company System Name Availability
Aurora Productions  ADOC  Belgium
Atoma  Atoma  Belgium
Boxclever Press (formerly called “Organised Mum”) Busy Days Planner UK
Clairefontaine Clairing France
Ftdc (defunct)
Levenger Circa US
Rollabind US
Me and My Big Ideas Happy Planner
Myndology US
Office Depot TUL
Staples ARC US
Wiltdam Hannah UK

Disc Sizes

According to Levenger:

Disc Size Number of Pages
3″ 450
2½″ 400
2″ 350
1½″ 200
1″ 150
¾″ 120
½″ 80
¼″ 50

Exact numbers will depend on page thickness.

Page Sizes

European Systems

A4 A5 A6
210 ✕ 297 mm 148 ✕ 210 mm 105 ✕ 148 mm
8.3″ ✕ 11.7″ 5.8″ ✕ 8.3″ 4.1″ ✕ 5.8″
ADOC 12-discs 8-discs 6-discs
Atoma 11-discs 8-discs 6-discs
Clairfontaine* 11-discs
Staples 11-discs  8-discs
William Hannah 8-discs 6-discs

*Clairfontaine also make notebooks containing 165 ✕ 210mm (a kind of wide-A5) paper, bound with 8-discs.

US Systems

Common Name EU US Number of Discs
Letter  216 ✕ 279 mm 8.5″ ✕ 11″ 11 or 10
Junior* (Half Letter /  Memo)  140 ✕ 216 mm 5.5″ ✕ 8.5″ 8
Compact 3.75″ ✕ 6.75″ 7
PDA (index cards) 3″ ✕ 5″
Micro PDA (business-card size) 2″ ✕ 3.5″

*Not to be confused with “Legal Junior”.

  • Rollabind – Letter, possibly others
  • Levenger (US) – Letter, Junior, Compact
  • Myndology – Letter (10-discs), Journal (6.5″ ✕ 8.5″ 8-discs), Index (5-discs), Note (2-discs)
  • Office Depot (US) – Letter, Junior

Other Systems

  • Busy Days – Size Unknown (9-discs)
  • Happy Planner (7″ ✕ 9.25″)


  • Image Public Domain, by Ryan Rassmussen, via Wikipedia

25 Little Ways to Celebrate Success

It is great to celebrate, no matter how small your successes. Here are 25 small ways to celebrate.
  1. Do a little dance
  2. Tell someone
  3. Write it in your journal
  4. Treat yourself
  5. Punch the air
  6. Take a break
  7. Tick an item off your to-do list
  8. Give yourself a sticker
  9. Shout: “Yes!”
  10. Put a mark on your calendar
  11. Plant something
  12. Take a photograph
  13. Give someone a present
  14. Give yourself a thumbs-up (use a mirror)
  15. Play some triumphant music
  16. Thank someone for their support
  17. Throw away something you won’t need anymore
  18. Let off a party popper
  19. Sing a victory song
  20. Pat yourself on the back
  21. Smile
  22. High-five someone
  23. Congratulate yourself
  24. Share it on social media
  25. Buy everyone cakes

Bonus Ideas

  1. Enjoy the results of your achievement
  2. Start planning your next success!


How to Spring Out of Bed in the Morning

Reboot your morning routine!

Some people hate getting up out of bed in the morning, whilst others leap out of bed, full of excitement about the day. Here are some of the things that have helped me become less addicted to my duvet.

My Story

I used to be very bad at getting up in the morning (which is partly why I used to be late for everything). These days, I generally like getting up. Why? Because I love my mornings (well, mostly!).

Your Five Steps To Success

Step 1: Get Enough Sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep then you won’t want to get up.

To be honest, this is still the area I struggle with most in this process. Nevertheless, I’ve come to recognise that it really is essential that I get enough shut-eye if I want to get up full of enthusiasm for the day.

Less sleepy, more leapy!Kramii

Step 2: Plan a Wonderful Start to Your Day

Plan to do something you really enjoy first thing in the morning. As you go to sleep, imagine how much you’re looking forward to doing it. Don’t over complicate you plans. Just pick one thing you’re really looking forward to.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of the things that work for me towards the end of this post.

Step 3: Eliminate the Negatives

If there are things that make getting up miserable, eliminate them. For example, you’re unlikely to want to get up if the rest of the house is cold.
In my case, I overcame this problem by putting my heater on a timer, rather than having to get up and switch it on manually.

Step 4: Practice Your Morning “Leap”

Literally, practice hopping quickly eagerly out of bed in the morning. This will help train your body to get moving in the morning.

Step 5: Don’t Give Up

It isn’t easy to transition from being a duvet lover to being a morning person. So:

  • Take it a step at a time
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage it every day
  • Reward your successes

One Final Tip

Some people find that dawn simulation alarm clocks help them get up in the morning. The idea it gradually lights up your room before you need to get up, and therefore stimulates your body to feel more awake. Based on a friend’s recommendation, my wife bought a one for our 11-year-old son. Whilst he still struggles to get up in the morning, the clock does seem to make things a lot easier for him. YMMV, of course.

 How I Like to Start My Day

For me, the perfect day starts like this:

  • I have had enough sleep, and basically feel refreshed.
  • I get up slightly earlier than everyone else in the house, ready to enjoy a little “me time”.
  • I take a leisurely but refreshing shower.
  • I spend some time just staring into space, letting myself wake up slowly.
  • I do a little reading, ideally something motivating and enjoyable.
  • I enjoy a hearty breakfast. Ideally a Full English, but almost anything is good.
  • Then I get everyone else up, and spend a little time with my little family.

Of course, real life rarely works out that way, but even if I enjoy just a couple of these things in the morning, my day has got off to a pretty good start.

So,  what does your ideal morning look like? And what can you do to achieve it?


Maximum Impact

In this post I reveal the secret of maximising your impact on others.

The Three Levels of Impact

There are 3 levels of impact. You cannot progress to the next level until you have mastered the lower level.

Level 1: Self-Leadership

Your ability to lead others is limited by your own growth. If you want to increase your influence over others, you must start by growing yourself.

Private victories precede public victories. You can’t invert that process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it.Stephen Covey

 Level 2: Leadership of Others

If you want to multiply your ability to influence others, you need to help them develop their potential. If you only grow yourself, you will be limited by your own growth. If you grow others, your influence is limited by their growth.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.John Quincy Adams


Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.Jesus of Nazareth

Level 3: Leadership of Other Leaders

Maximum impact is reserved for those who grow other growers.

Leaders who attract followers impact only people they touch. Leaders who develop leaders … impact people beyond their reach.John C. Maxwell

In any industry, the highest accolades are reserved for those who lead the leaders, and help them achieve their best.

Examples of People who Have Achieved Maximum Impact

Examples of people who achieve maximum impact:

  • The Pastor of pastors  (Rick Warren)
  • The Leader of Leaders (John C. Maxwell)
  • The Teacher of Teachers (Anyone who teaches at an education college)
  • The Writer who writes for writers (Holly Lisle)
  • Marketers who sell products to other marketers (Seth Godin)
  • Software developers who build software for software developers (The founders of Microsoft, Google and Apple)


A Stitch in Time – Part 2

Learn to spot small problems before they become big problems.

Last time I wrote about the importance of spotting small issues before they become big issues. In this episode I’m going to ask… how?

Be Vigilant for the Signs of Problems

Most of us tend to tackle problems only when we happen to notice them. The difficulty with this approach is that it is easily to miss something in its early stages, and only discover it when it becomes a major issue. Rather than leaving things to chance, it makes sense to actively look for warning signs and address any issues before they get bigger.

Pick Your Battles

Of course, you don’t want to waste time and effort obsessively checking and re-checking every area of your life, but if you prioritise the most important areas of your life, you can save yourself a whole lot of trouble down the line.
Areas on which you might want to focus include:

  • Your spiritual health
  • Your physical health
  • Your relationships
  • The tools of your trade
  • Your finances
  • Your home
  • Your car

Establish Norms

Unless you know what “normal” looks like, it may be difficult to spot a problem developing. Make it easy to spot potential issues by making a note of the way things should be.

Some suggestions on how to do this:

  • Establish rules. e.g. nothing on the sofa except cushions (or your backside).
  • Set standards. e.g. minimum funds in your bank account.
  • Take photos.
  • Take measurements. e.g. your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, waist line.
  • Make notes.

Develop Monitoring Routines

The most effective way to detect and deal with small problems is to develop routines that will help you spot them and deal with them.

Monitor Your Physical Health

  • Go for regular check-ups with your:
    • Optician
    • Dentist
    • Doctor
  • Listen to your body

Monitor Your Spiritual Health

  • Think about whether your lifestyle aligns with your values
  • Listen to your conscience

Monitor Your Car’s Condition

  • Have your car MOT’d and serviced annually

Monitor Your Home’s Condition

  • Go outside and look at the condition of your roof, gutters etc.

Monitor Your Financial Health

  • Check your bank balance

Undertake Preventative Maintenance

A little preventative maintenance goes a long way to preventing small problems becoming big ones.

Maintain Your Spiritual Health

  • Take time to pray and meditate daily

Maintain Your Car’s Condition

  • Have your car serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendation

Maintain Your Home’s Condition

  • Have your central heating boiler serviced annually

Tackle Problems Quickly

Clearly, it is best to deal with problems when you first notice them, and sometimes you can deal with them as soon as you see them.But let’s be honest: it isn’t always possible. In that case, you need to:
  • make a note of the issues
  • prioritise them
  • decide how you will deal with them
  • decide when you will deal with them

If issues have grown to any size, you may not be able to take them on all at once, but rather to take steps to reduce the problem until it is eliminated.

You might decide to:

Tackle Relationship Debt

Keep “short accounts” with people:

  • Seek forgiveness from those you have wronged
  • Forgive those who have wronged you

Tackle Organizational Debt

  • Repair broken things
  • Clean dirty things
  • Tidy up messy things

Tackle Financial Debt

  • Pay off debts as quickly as possible


You don’t have to let big problems creep up on you. Small actions can prevent big problems. By keeping your eyes open, spotting problems early and doing something about them quickly you can often avert crisis and prevent disaster.


  • Original image U.S. National Archives and Records Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commins; modified for use on this site.