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In Minimalism How Many Steps Are Really Too Many?



The rule in minimalist writing that requires you to keep your tasks to no more than seven steps can seem restrictive. In my experience, those procedures that may require more than seven steps are few. In fact, they are usually ‘one-of’ type procedures, such as maintenance procedures, setup procedures, and installation procedures. I am sure others exist as well but let’s just look at these.

Grouping Tasks in Maintenance Procedures

It is important to remember why we are even concerned about minimalism. Yes, it is easier to read and use but minimalism also evolved to serve the topic-based authoring we use to successfully create reusable chunks. So looked at from that perspective, go ahead and write your 17 step procedure. Now step back and look at that lengthy procedure:

  • Are any of the steps describing a task that you perform in many maintenance procedures, such as opening a compartment where maintenance is performed? In that case, write that action as a single topic, Opening the Compartment, and refer to that topic as necessary in all procedures.
  • Are any of the steps in this long procedure used in any other maintenance procedure, such as a troubleshooting procedure?

For example, let’s say you are writing a topic about changing the water bottle in an instrument. You have to remove and replace the water bottle to perform this procedure and the water bottle is in the aforementioned compartment. You have instructions for removing the water bottle and also instructions for replacing the water bottle. Even if this procedure were the only procedure for which you remove and replace a water bottle, I would still break those steps out into their own little topics. However, chances are, these tasks are performed for a myriad of other procedures.

You may also have to remove and replace the water bottle for troubleshooting an air leak or some cleaning procedure involving the water bottle. So, that gives you two more reusable topics: Removing the Water Bottle and Replacing the Water Bottle. Don’t forget, you may be able to reuse this information not just in another place in your document but on another instrument, as well. Having these topics as individual chunks is what makes reuse possible.

Okay, so now we have whittled out the task that we will definitely reuse, Opening the Compartment, and the steps that might be reused, Removing the Water Bottle and Replacing the Water Bottle. What are left are the steps necessary to do whatever you have to do to this water bottle. So you could have a procedure for Cleaning the Water Bottle, Checking the Water Bottle for Leaks, Refilling the Water Bottle. Actually, whatever you do to that poor water bottle is between you and your maker. In addition, all of these other tasks would refer to each separate topic as necessary. For example:

Cleaning the Water Bottle

  1. Open the compartment door. This is a link to Opening the Compartment. (4 steps)
  2. Remove the water bottle. This is a link to Removing the Water Bottle. (5 steps)
  3. Blah-blah clean. (1 step)
  4. Blah-blah dry. (1 step)
  5. Replace the water bottle. This is a link to Replacing the Water Bottle. (5 steps)
  6. Close the Compartment. This is a link to Closing the Compartment. (3 steps)

The intention of all this is to make the 17 step procedure into 3 or more reusable procedures and maybe a few ‘one-of’ procedures. That makes the 7-Step goal a little more feasible.

Grouping Tasks in Setup and Installation Procedures

Setup procedures are usually ‘one-of’ procedures. After the customer/operator/user has configured their system, they rarely revisit the area. Installation procedures are definitely ‘one-of’ procedures because once performed, they never-keeping our fingers crossed here-have to be performed again.

This does not mean you cannot or should not pity the poor person performing these procedures and continue to burden them with your mighty 17 step sections. No! But what is a writer to do?

Grouping Setup Procedures

Setup procedures are a bit easier to group in this respect. It is a matter of creating somewhat arbitrary groupings that you can write about. For example, with software configuration screens, you can write separate help for each screen. However, some of those screens could be so full of settings that you may need to mentally chunk the information on the screen and then write to those chunks.

I had one screen that I divided into 5 different groups for documentation purposes. This had the added benefit of making the parts of the screen more searchable in both online help and the hard-copy document index. I still had some tasks that pushed the 10 step boundaries but, hey, it was a one-time deal.

Grouping Installation Procedures

Installation procedures can be more problematic to group. Some installation instructions only involve putting the DVD in the drive and selecting Install. But, what if the instrument/device/operation you are writing about requires a service person to install it and to manage custom configurations along the way. I guess we could just tell the Installer that that is why they get the big bucks. They might give you an argument.

Obviously, you would break the procedures into the different sections of the installation but that still leaves you some sections seeming to require our possible 17 steps. This is where you can use chunking just as chunking, not necessarily with reuse in mind.

You do not have to worry about making each division in an installation into an individual topic. This is a ‘one-of’ and does not need real topic divisions. That is unless this installation procedure is similar to many other installations procedures used by all or most of the instruments or applications you are writing for. In that case, go crazy and create individual topics. It will serve you well.

Imagine the poor Field Service (FS) person, staring down lines of instructions, dividing her attention to watch instrument responses, and needing to go to lunch or the restroom or scratch her nose. This poor person needs to have logical breaks in the procedure where this can happen without losing her place. Inserting a new heading, still within the section, at a place where the tasks change even a little, can offer some hope of the 7 to 10 steps that are optimal.

Another ploy to consider is the procedure within a procedure. The simplest example of this is to look at tasks where the FS has to reboot-again. Start the each of those sections with its title and then do something like this:

  1. Sign in to the system:
    1. Enter your user name.
    2. Enter your password.
    3. Select Sign In.
  2. Open the compartment:

    1. Locate the door at the back of the instrument.
    2. Lift up the latch.
    3. Pull down on the handle.
  3. Enter the correct configuration bits for this installation:

    1. And so forth

Notice that you can cram a lot of steps into such a format. You do need to ensure you are not creating an artificial hierarchy. FS personnel are very logical and they will be thrown by an artificial hierarchy and make fun of you behind your back.

Also, notice that you could write the first step for reuse, EXCEPT in this situation. FS personnel are not paying any attention to your writing so they won’t care if it is repeated. They also don’t want to leave their current place on the page to find that oft repeated set of instructions. This FS may not even be the same FS person that started the installation if it is a multi person job. This is where knowing your audience, empathizing with your audience, is very, very important.

I like the step > substep structure illustrated in the example steps but it does have a pitfall: some users just don’t get it. This is not usually a problem with FS personnel but, in customer procedures, some customers cannot see past the Step to read on to the Substep. I have witnessed this in usability-testing sessions. The user reads the line “Open the compartment.” And then says, “I don’t know how to open the compartment.” In a total contravention of the rules of usability testing, you want to say something directly to the user-actually you want to scream at them-but the usability coordinator has taped your mouth shut.

Use some ingenuity and find out if you can keep your procedures down to 7 steps or at least 10 or less. It will not always be possible but we live in an imperfect world.

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EML to PST Converter to Know How to Open Windows Live Mail Files into Outlook



eml convert 2 pst

Windows Live Mail is a default email client of Windows Vista operating system. However, Microsoft discontinued it and does not provide support. Due to this, various users forced to switch their data from Windows Live Mail to any other platform. What else is better than MS Outlook? It emerged as one of the most popular email client from the few decades. We will later dices about MS Outlook min details.

Most of the users find difficulty in exporting Windows Live Mail data in Outlook because both the email client support different file formats i.e. EML and PST respectively. Therefore, it is not possible to directly open Windows Live Mail file in Outlook unless you don’t know the right way. In this blog, we will tell you all possible ways to solve your query how to open Windows Live Mail files into Outlook and the efficient way to EML to PST conversion

Professional Solution to Open Windows Live Mail Files into Outlook

The professional solution is the best solution available to migrate all EML files to Outlook PST. It provides you direct solution with guaranteed success. You can move multiple EML files from Windows Live Mail to Outlook in just one go. It provides you solution of how to open Windows Live Mail files into Outlook with 100% accuracy and integrity. You can move EML files to Outlook all versions such as 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2003. Follow below mentioned steps to understand how the software works:

Step 1: Download CubexSoft EML to PST Converter in your system.

Step 2: Now load your file in the software by either clicking Select File or Select Folder option.

Step 3: Click Export button and choose Outlook PST in select saving option.

Step 4: Select location to save the PST file and then tap on the convert button.

Step 5: Finally a pop-up Windows open with a message “Saving Completed Successfully”. Click Ok to end the process.

Manual Method to Open Windows Live Mail EML File in PST

Warning: It is recommended to take backup of Windows Live Mail data before performing the steps. A single mistake may result in data loss.

Follow below mentioned steps to open EML files in Outlook PST:

Step 1: Open Windows Live Mail and MS Outlook in the machine.

Step 2: In Windows Live Mail, go to File tab and choose Export option.

Step 3: Now select messages from Open list.

Step 4: Next choose Microsoft Exchange and click Next to proceed further.

Step 5: A pop-up Windows opens with a message “All Email Will Be Exported to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange”. Hit Ok button.

Step 6: Choose the folder which you want to export and then hit Ok button.

Step 7: Finally click on Finish button to end the process.

The manual method to move EML files from Windows Live Mail to Outlook does not provide guaranteed solution. The solution differ with each Outlook version. It is also mandatory to install both MS Outlook and Windows Live Mail in same machine.

Final Words

In this blog, we have discussed about two different ways to solve your query how to open Windows Live Mail files into Outlook. You can use both the method to open Windows Live Mail data in Outlook PST. However we recommend you to use professional solution instead of manual method for risk-free conversion. Download demo edition of EML Converter to know how the software works.

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What Does It Mean When A Husband Says He Had An Affair Because He Felt Empty?




If I’m being honest, I’m not sure that any of my husband’s excuses for an affair were going to ring true for me, especially at first. When you are dealing with the shock of an affair, you are defensive. You are angry. So when your husband starts will the defenses which indicate that something was missing in his life, it’s very easy to reject these outright.

Some of us will debate that anything was wrong. And some of us will accept that something was wrong, but will stop short of believing that the flaw was any sort of excuse. Sometimes, it is very hard to understand what he means when he gives you vague terms as excuses. One such excuse is the description of feeling “empty.”

Someone might say: “I honestly could not believe it when I caught my husband having an affair. I never thought that he was the type and I thought that our marriage was good. My husband has always been disappointed in friends who have cheated on their wives. So I never could have anticipated this. At first, he refused to talk about any aspect of the affair. He would get angry and quiet. His face would turn red. I honestly think he’s a little bit embarrassed. In the past week, I’ve been very clear about telling him that I expect answers. And that if I don’t get them, our marriage might be over. So finally be blurted out that he just felt ’empty’ and this his eyes got all teary. I guess he thought I would feel pity for him, but honestly, all this confession did was to make me feel anger and a loss of respect. What a cry baby. What a whiner. My life isn’t always great but you don’t see me going out and ruining my life and cheating on people. What the heck does this even mean anyway – ’empty?’ How does one feel empty? It’s just ridiculous to me.”

We all know the literal definition of empty. The dictionary definition is “containing nothing. Not filled or occupied.” But the emotional definition of empty is a little more difficult to grasp. When someone says they feel empty, it means that they feel flat. They don’t feel fulfilled. They feel as though their life lacks purpose.

Frankly, I’ve heard a lot of depressed people say that they feel empty. Because when you are down emotionally, it is easy to focus on a feeling of lack.

Even if your husband is being completely honest with you (and I don’t know why he would lie about this, since it’s not exactly flattering,) it doesn’t excuse his cheating. But it does indicate that he’s willing to open up. And it does give you a starting point.

Unfortunately feeling empty isn’t a very specific complaint and addressing it isn’t going to be a quick fix. You can’t just suddenly fill your husband’s emotional cup. His lack is his own. And no one else can fill him except for himself. It must come from within him.

Common Reasons For Feeling ‘Empty:’ There are many reasons people feel empty. Some are disappointed with how their life has turned out so far. Others feel that they are lacking purpose so they don’t feel that they make a difference in this world. Others feel like they are just treading water in their life without any real meaningful direction. Identifying the feelings is something that your husband is going to need to do for himself because you can’t possibly know how he feels and what he is thinking.

Good counseling can help your husband identify what is lacking and help him formulate a plan to feel better. Many people do not have the self knowledge or the ability to objectively look at themselves to see what is really happening.

The good news is that often, once the person finds their way again, they no longer have the need to seek out risky or dangerous behaviors in order to feel whole (or to feel anything for that matter.)

Feeling empty isn’t an excuse for cheating, but it is a route that many people will take. Nothing in their life makes them feel alive or brings a flush to their face. They get desperate to feel anything at all. So the affair is an attempt to get them to feel, to get them engaged again.

Of course, the better option would have been for him to have sought that feeling at home. Once more, I am not excusing his cheating. I am just speculating as to what he might be trying to express. And I want to stress that although it may be tempting to try and fix this for him, this isn’t something that anyone but him can and should address.

Certainly, you can support him. You can encourage him to seek counseling or self help. This is true even if you aren’t sure about your marriage. Whether you are angry with him or not, he is an important person in your life, and I’m sure you want him to get help for this. But you can not fill him or take away his emptiness. Only he can do that. And it’s important that he does. Because you can not give someone something that you do not have.

You can not give another person love and stability when you yourself are not feeling that internally. I hope that this article may have give you some insight on what your husband may have meant by feeling empty. By no means is an excuse, but it may be an attempt to express why he acted.

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Six Figure Mentors Review – What Does It Take To Succeed?




I joined the SFM back in 2014. At the time it had only been running for four years. I didn’t know what to expect but I had been burned a few times online with a number of business type courses promising to help me earn money. My lack of experience back then and my desperation was partly responsible for some of my failures. But also, many courses taught tactics which were already becoming out of date.

Some of the courses I bought taught how to get your website up in the Google rankings. If you’ve ever tried this, you’ll know it isn’t easy. It was far easier 20 years ago admittedly. But now, getting ranked for your website is becoming much more difficult.

So back to The SFM. When I joined I decided I needed to start afresh and although I had learned a number of skills, I still hadn’t really made any money on the internet. With the exception of buying and selling on eBay, the other strategies I had tried just didn’t get any traction.

After joining, I was immediately impressed with the information I was getting. The “over-deliver” strategy clearly worked on me! I also benefitted by joining under someone who helped me make my first couple of high ticket sales. This happened within a few months. However, I didn’t fully understand the business system or what was involved. Although I’d made a couple of quick sales, for not much work, I hadn’t entirely been responsible for those sales. The affiliate who referred me had set up a Facebook advertising “co-op” and helped a number of people get some traction.

After my first sales, I stopped advertising and simply took the money! This seemed like a lot of money to me back then. It was a couple of thousand pounds. I now realise that I should have re-invested it back into the advertising, which is what I am doing now, now I understand the business better.

Having made an ‘early win’ gave me confidence in the business system which is one of the main selling points of what The SFM offers. It also offers top-notch training too – more so now than back in 2014 when I joined. Now, I am a member of a number of Facebook private groups which I can sit in on, and watch ‘over the shoulder’ of those who are succeeding in this business.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an easy business to learn. Some of my main problems have been my ‘grab it and run’ mindset and scarcity mindset which has stopped me from taking some important action steps. The SFM training program caters very well for this. In fact, one of their main strengths is undoubtably their ability to install an ideology of personal growth. Without this, you really will be fighting some internal battles as I have definitely done. This will hold you back if you don’t overcome your mental barriers to success.

It’s not for everyone either, admittedly. The business system itself is expensive and for some prohibitively so. But for anyone wanting to make full time living from the internet, I’d say The SFM is a good place to go. You’ll need to work hard and invest though, and it’s no easy ride. But it does offer something which many want – a digital business system which can be run from anywhere. The possibility of financial freedom, however far away you believe it to be.

If you only want the training, I’d say that was worth the money at the lower levels too. I had a failing kung fu school running when I joined and now it’s doing really well. I attribute that to much of the learning and understanding I have picked up from the SFM training and education platform.

You can’t really expect to earn a living though if you only join at basic level. Only by at least getting to Elite level will you be able to access the higher ticket product commissions. But if you want to learn some digital marketing and mindset skills, it’s worth the training and community even if you don’t want to make a full time career out of it. The community on its own is a hugely powerful resource and has benefitted me both personally and professionally.

After my first couple of high ticket sales, I decided to focus on blogging and the cheaper strategies of generating traffic. I simply didn’t have a budget to risk on advertising. I decided that if I got free traffic, the sales would be worth more in profit, which is true. The problem is, the strategy I used (blogging) isn’t the best one, particularly in a very competitive niche like affiliate marketing and “money-making online”. I know there are people doing well with social media marketing and other free strategies, but I didn’t go down this route.

The people who are making the real money with The SFM are those who go all in. They position themselves at the very top tier of the business system and promote the SFM themselves as partner level affiliates. This means they can earn the highest possible commissions from the business. Some products are sold at $35,000. Those at the top level can earn 40% of this in commissions, but they need to purchase the product themselves in order to have it in their ‘online store’.

There’s a lot of learning to be done too. I thought I’d make it work very quickly and be sitting on a beach counting my money. But as I persevered through the difficulties, I have changed and understood that it’s a business like anything else. It’s no magic bullet to instant riches. Just a business model with products within it that anyone can sell.

In order to put the most expensive items in your own personal online ‘shop’, you need to purchase them yourself. Reading the reviews today that I’ve found about the SFM I see a lot of scepticism. Many say it’s a scam. Well, it’s not a scam, it’s real. But it’s easier to say it’s a scam and not have to do all the work involved in making it happen. There’s plenty of people who are making it work for them, and creating amazing lifestyle businesses of their choosing.

The SFM started in 2010 and have recently partnered with Microsoft Lynda (Under the LInkedIn umbrella of companies). Microsoft Lynda now offer their own 6,500 training courses as part of the SFM curriculum.

DigitalMarketer (The world’s longest standing and most highly respected B2B and B2C marketing training company) also partnered with SFM and now offer their own training as part of the SFM curriculum.

I don’t think these companies would partner with any organisation that wasn’t providing huge value, was well established, and wasn’t 100% above board.

Since joining The SFM in 2014, I’ve seen some huge changes in myself. I’ve had to face myself and see my own limitations as stopping me move forwards within the business. Your thinking and mindset have a huge amount to do with whether you can make a success out of entrepreneurship. It’s much, much easier to discount something as a scam, than it is to look within and grow yourself alongside a business.

If I had quit on my journey, I would have missed out on a greater opportunity than I could fathom at the time. I struggled and struggled, but much of my struggle was with my lack of understanding of the business model and of my own limitations. I was programmed with a poverty mindset which viciously fought against spending money. To get into the space of knowing that I need to spend in order to earn was a huge shift in my mindset.

I’m far from the best performer in The SFM, at this time, but what I’ve learned about myself and about my inner limitations is invaluable for the rest of my life. I will continue to learn and never quit, so watch this space, you doubting sceptics out there!

For those who are thinking about joining The SFM and to do so would mean severe poverty, I’d suggest to get in a better financial position first. I scraped by and took some chances, but it’s not easy. If you are determined in this business though, there’s no reason you can’t make it happen. But if you can’t afford it, I’d suggest another program if it’s going to put you in debt.

The SFM program is more than just a sales funnel with digital products in it. It’s an “all-in-one digital business system and training platform. The goal is to make long term digital entrepreneurs who can sustain an income and thrive from the sale of products over the internet. That means there’s a whole lot of work to be done, if you’re going to make this a full time living.

It’s definitely not for the timid. Expect to be pushed, and expect some discomfort if you’re going to do what you need to make it work. Remember too that affiliate marketing is performance related. No one owes you a living! You need to take charge of yourself and your business in order to make it work! Good luck!

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