Category Archives: FI Toolkit

4 Tips and Tools to Avoid Procrastinating

As summer winds down and the new school year draws nearer, Fireside Insights wants to share some tools to avoid the inevitable procrastination that happens to everyone. From planning better to banning yourself from checking social media, these tools can help eliminate the distractions and barriers that cause us to put off important tasks.  Continue reading 4 Tips and Tools to Avoid Procrastinating

3 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

With just over a month of summer left and school on the horizon, it’s a good time to dive deep into a few great books to keep you engaged. I visited my local Boston bookstore and selected three books–two relevant to my career in healthcare and one that’s reminiscent of my family’s immigration experience–and I highly recommend them if you’re searching for the next addition to your library. Continue reading 3 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

According to the Kauffman Index, in 2015, there were 550,000 adults who went from being employees to being entrepreneurs with their own budding businesses. Trends show that 25% of start-ups will fail during their first year, however, this does not have to be the case. Before venturing out into the world of entrepreneurship, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration. While our list is not exhaustive, knowing the answer to these five questions is essential to making any business viable: Continue reading 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

4 Graphic Design and Data Visualization Creators for Beginners

We love graphic design and data visualization at Fireside Insights, but oftentimes, we get some help to quickly and easily create the visuals we need. The following tools simplify the process of designing a professional image and displaying data in a coherent way, and you can use them in your personal and professional lives.  Continue reading 4 Graphic Design and Data Visualization Creators for Beginners

11 Tips to Becoming a Process Map Pro

At Fireside Insights, we like to share tools that we constantly use in our work lives. As someone whose job revolves around conducting gemba walks and sketching process flows, I have gotten to become more proficient at building process maps which are diagrams that display the workflow of a process or series of processes. Just as you would present quantitative data in a visual format that is easier for your audience to ingest and interpret, the same should go for qualitative data. Instead of a numbered list detailing each step, a process map can more clearly show the relationship between processes and any concurrent or dependent steps.  Continue reading 11 Tips to Becoming a Process Map Pro

Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier (for Mac and PC)

When you’re hitting the pedal to the metal on a project, the key is to work smarter and not harder. Over the years, I have come across tons of keyboard shortcuts by accident. In case you haven’t discovered the full power of your keyboard, check out these commonly used shortcuts that are bound to make your life a lot easier. Continue reading Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier (for Mac and PC)

Going Lean: Setting SMART Goals

Two weeks ago, I recommended a few books about business and entrepreneurship, and Eric Ries’ Lean Startup made it to that list. Ries’ approach to entrepreneurship heavily relies on Lean manufacturing, a management philosophy derived from the Toyota Production System in the 1990s when Toyota identified seven wastes (“muda”) to eliminate to improve overall customer value.

You can apply Lean tools to most aspects of your life; you don’t have to be in manufacturing or management to streamline processes. This week, we’ll discuss setting achievable and clear goals using the SMART goals method.  Continue reading Going Lean: Setting SMART Goals