Meet outside the usual places

April 20, 2015 in Events, new ways to work

IMG_4379On Saturday our local web group that usually meets once a month for an evening in a central restaurant-bar took a ‘field trip’ to visit a couple of our members who happen to live in Dartmoor National Park.

It didn’t take too much organisation to get nine people to meet for lunch at a pub, take an afternoon walk, and finally enjoy a cream tea and (return) pub visit. Through the regular online meetup group site and the usual twitter communication channels, we managed to set a date and time, find transportation and change those options twice, and finally all meet in the same place at the same time, 45 minutes away from Plymouth.

And we had a spectacular time: bright clear day, not too windy, and enjoyable company. We all commented on how nice it was to get out of the city for the day, enjoy the gorgeous scenery we have on our doorstep, and have the more leisurely time to chat with each other about all kinds of things. It is nice to let your mind wander a bit whilst walking in a place with fabulous views across the moors and out to sea. And it is another relaxing way to learn about your colleagues.

So I challenge you to change up the meeting place with your regular groups now and again, and see how it reinvigorates the group and the interactions you have. For not too much extra effort, you will get a great opportunity to get to know your people in a new way, and the chance to experience a new place. Let me know how it works for you!

(And if you need a new place to work now and again in Plymouth, don’t forget to try THINQTANQ!)

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    Back to Basics

    April 13, 2015 in Planning

    Sometimes when you’ve got all those plates spinning, or balls flying in the air (or insert you’re favourite multi-tasking image here), it helps to pause, and reconsider the basics.

    We get fired up at the beginning of the year, start new projects, and tackle them with enthusiasm and energy. Then the reality of the necessary boring work shows up, a few hiccups derail the early progress, or a shiny new idea lures us off to pursue it instead of sticking with the first (three) ideas. Yep, I know. We’ve all been down that path. And then it is Easter Break, and you wonder, how on earth did the first three months of the year pass so quickly and what did I actually get done?

    For me, this year I’ve been doing a serious amount of self-learning along with trying to launch way-too-many efforts. By the end of March I was frazzled by all the tasks I was trying to accomplish alongside the excitement of incorporating all the new learning into my day-to-day operations. I almost froze with indecision about where to focus my time. And so April has become my “back-to-basics” month. I’m reconsidering the tools I use every day to make my life more efficient, as well as rejiggying the language I use to talk to myself so I stay on track, focus on the positive ways forward, and minimize self-sabatoge.

    I know from my past work that accountability is important as well as having someone with whom I can talk plans through. To that end I’ve hired a couple of people to help me finish tasks I was stalling on, and also to help me work through the right steps forward for one of my initiatives. I’m also making my planning and acountability tools more lovely and easy to use, so that I seduce myself into using them (I am pretty shallow like that: I love pretty colours and graceful fonts, and can be lured to do the work if the fonts are pretty!). The help is not cheap, but the cost of not doing anything, or spinning those plates or balls is a lot higher.

    Another part of the back-to-basics equation is taking care of myself by getting my eating patterns sorted, and making sure to get the kind of exercise I love as often as I can. And finally I’ve been focusing on gratitude and joy rather than other negative ways of thinking. Funny thing is, once you start working on one part of your life, the rest seems to fall into place more easily and your choices become a lot easier.

    In summary, these are some of the things I have been trying to do to get back to basics this month:

    • Setting yearly, monthly and daily goals, which I review weekly and monthly.
    • Timetabling tasks (not just what to do, but when and how long it will take-this is hard!)
    • Reevaluating everything I am doing to insure it serves my goals.
    • Scheduling in consistent tasks/behaviour so I can’t ‘forget’ to do it (then I get to cross it off the list!)
    • Removing internal mind chatter that is causing obstructions and other blocks to moving forward.
    • Being grateful – every single day.
    • Finding ways to move my body that I love and scheduling that in too.
    • Finding healthy ways to eat that allow me love eating, and to stay with it.

    If you want to talk more about ways of working that can help you get more productive, pop a comment below, get in touch with me at Plymouth Cowork (contact is on the “Plans” page), on my facebook page, or at THINQTANQ. We’ve got some exciting activities coming up at THINQTANQ this spring, as well as our always productive workspace if you need a change of ‘place’ to do your work. Current information about activities at THINQTANQ can be found on our facebook page, and in our Meetup Group.

    Look forward to seeing you soon!

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      And we’re back!

      March 27, 2015 in Coworking, Events, new ways to work

      work FOR yourself, not by yourselfWe had a little hiccup with the website over the last week, but now we seem to be working again. I’ll be back posting weekly about all things having to do with new ways to work in Plymouth.

      We’ve had lots going on at THINQTANQ recently with M.E.S.H. events, new members and starting today, a small organisation joining us full-time in the main space.

      THINQTANQ is delighted to welcome Buglife – Saving the small things that run the planet. Check out their website and all the cool things they are doing, including a new “B-line” initiative to help maintain and grow our bee populations right here in Devon. We look forward to sharing more news about them soon.

      If you haven’t heard about M.E.S.H. ( events, check out our website, Facebook page, or join the Meetup group – links below. There are classes to learn new skills, weekend M.E.S.H. days to play around, and monthly afterwork networking events. And if you have any ideas for things you’d like to do with the group, share your ideas in our network and we’ll probably be the first to join in!

      THINQTANQ also sponsors the monthly Fresh networking group the last Wednesday morning of the month from 10am-12 noon, and we host other organisation’s activities as well. We’ve got Plymouth Social Enterprise Network event this afternoon on Collaboration tools, for example.

      Besides being a great place to work, we’re a hive of activity outside work hours, and are linked up with loads of interesting freelancers, businesses, agencies and organisations to help you find what you need to succeed, or at a minimum, have a better work life experience. What are you waiting for?? See you soon!!



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        10 things you might not know about working at THINQTANQ #2

        February 23, 2015 in Coworking, new ways to work, workspace









        I’ve been writing various top 10 lists, and it is fun to look back and see what I posted before and what strikes me as important now. So, new for 2015, our revised top 10 list of things you might NOT know about working at THINQTANQ:

        1. We move our desks around every couple of months to keep things fresh.

        2. We host two different monthly networking events: MESH and Plymouth Business Networking Group, which will be renamed at this week’s meeting.

        3. We have creatives and ‘regular’ people working here, not just digital web-based geeks.

        4. We include unlimited quantities of our tasty brewed coffee and tea in your membership.

        5. We have lego boards that you can creatively ‘decorate’ when you need a quick break for inspiration.

        6. We have white board competitions now and again, also for quick productivity breaks and brainstorming.

        7. We hosted the first Freelancers Christmas Luncheon this past year, the first ever lunch for freelancers/independents in Plymouth.

        8. You can suggest most any activity you would like to do here, and we are more than likely to say YES! (it does have to be safe and legal).

        9. Our members work hard on their businesses here, but we can get also get really silly too, when necessary!

        10. Finally, we LOWERED our monthly rates in 2015. For reals.

        Treat yourself to a day working alongside others: see what else you can learn that you didn’t know! We are open 9 – 5:30 Monday through Friday.

        For more information about rates, activities, and anything else, check out these links:


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          Starting fresh this year?

          February 12, 2015 in Coworking, new ways to work, workspace

          starting fresh-Even though it is mid-February (I have no idea where the time went either!), I am still getting a few of my plans in place for the rest of the year. Maybe you are too? Or maybe you have tried getting that new project going in addition to everything else, but it is hard to find blocks of concentrated time. You’ve got the school runs and meals to cook, or the same clients with the same time-consuming problems and no down time for creative thinking. Or maybe you need more space to spread out all your paperwork and look at the big picture without getting interrupted by phone calls, or from children/spouses/cats walking across your carefully constructed piles of attempted organisation.

          Whatever your reason, it is really cramping your sincere desire to grow your business, your dreams, and even preserve your sanity! You know the problem but don’t know how to solve it. Or the solutions you know are inconvenient, expensive, or maybe don’t even actually fix the problem.

          What if told you there is another option that would allow you to focus for 1/2 day, or a full day every week, or every few weeks, or once a month, or everyday – YOUR CHOICE! And that there are other people like you who are finding relief from distractions and are able to focus during these times. They find that it is nice to work around others who are also working hard on their own business, and who have different skills but are on similar journeys. These other people are friendly and interesting and know about things you don’t, and you find that, conversely, you know some tricks you can share with them. So besides getting your work done, you learn a few new interesting things each time you make this choice.

          Ok, well of course I’ll tell you what this amazing choice is! Work at THINQTANQ in the centre of Plymouth!

          Besides all those lovely people to help you focus and learn whilst spending your time working productively, you can help yourself to our wifi, colour printer, and free coffee, tea, & biscuits. The brilliant part is that you pay only for the time you are here, and not take on all the expense and commitment of a permanent, private office. There are no costs to set up your office with furniture, computers, wifi, phone, printers, etc etc etc. You just bring your own laptop (or stacks of paperwork) and get to work. You pay for 1/2 day, a day, or multiple days a month. Come and go as you please. (If you really love it you can work here full-time, you still can use all our stuff, and have some storage as well!).

          See how easy that is?

          We know you love the flexibility of working from home, but sometimes you need other options. We are the other option! Come see for yourself any weekday from 9 – 5:30 and we’ll show you around, have a cuppa, and figure out a plan to help you achieve those goals that are just out of reach. Oh, did I mention we just lowered our monthly membership rates? What are you waiting for!!! Can’t wait to see you here at THINQTANQ!

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            New Year New Prices!

            January 30, 2015 in Coworking, new ways to work, workspace

            THINQTANQ (1)

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              New Year New Prices!

              January 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

              THINQTANQ (1)
              We’ve been listening to our members, and decided we needed to simplify our rates and pricing, so here it is: new rates for 2015!

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                Word of the day: MESH

                January 27, 2015 in Events, new ways to work

                IMG_2424Different kinds of people can mesh together, a screen can be made of mesh, or in this case M.E.S.H. means We are reinvigorating our M.E.S.H. events this year at THINQTANQ with a series of events and activities.

                First off, this Wednesday evening 28 January from 6-8 pm, we are holding an evening meet up at THINQTANQ to start off the new year and find out a bit more about what our MESH members would like to do this year.

                To get things started, we have already scheduled our first Saturday hack day (whoop whoop!) as well as our first class:

                7th February
                ‘The Original’ MESH DAY
                Join us at THINQTANQ from 9am for a day full of tinkering, tea, biscuits and time to work on your project with no distractions!

                21st February
                Advanced Arduino course
                With the success of our beginners Arduino course last year, Marcus is coming back with a more advanced course for those of you willing to try.

                For further details, other events, and to sign up for all activities, please visit the MESH website, and the MESH Facebook page.

                Don’t forget, makers and non-makers are always welcome to join us during the day at THINQTANQ for productive coworking days.

                AND, later this week look out for more information about our updated and LOWER monthly membership rates. True story.


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                  Warm, Dry and Productive!

                  January 20, 2015 in Coworking, new ways to work, workspace

                  IMG_0024There is nothing quite as satisfying as having a really nice conversation with another business person you have met before, or maybe are just meeting for the first time, and you click about something you are both interested in. Or to have a topic come  up in conversation that resonates with something someone else just said, or that you read. And because you are having a conversation, this insight is part of the story of that person, so you remember it, and it becomes part of you and your web of knowledge about the world.

                  I spent a few hours recently with some new and longer-time colleagues and remembered again the benefits of meeting people in person: seeing old colleagues again to catch up with running stories; and meeting new interesting people and learning about their stories.

                  That personal connection is what I also love about working in our coworking space at THINQTANQ – the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of other people working around me who love what they are doing too. We bring different perspectives, but we are all working away on our own businesses, with clients, and deadlines, and hurdles to jump. We all understand the self-employed journey, and offer suggestions if requested, commiserate over tough choices, and shout whoo-hooo when one of us wins new work.

                  It is the social part, the community, and the connections that keep us and our businesses sustained over time, and that make the hard work enjoyable, allowing us to thrive.

                  Did I mention you should come check out THINQTANQ? That is where all this magic happens every weekday here in Plymouth. We’d love to have you come for a visit and see if we can help you thrive too. Drop by anytime, we’ll offer you a cuppa and show you around. If you want a specific invitation, come to our Plymouth Business Networking group meeting here tomorrow, Wednesday morning 21 January, 10 am-12 noon. Free, friendly and low-stress. No presentations, just conversations. If that sounds good to you, just show up, and bring a friend if you’d like.

                  Otherwise, stop by soon: it’s always warm and dry in here. And we are busy getting our 2015 goals off to a flyer! You don’t want to miss out…

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                    Happy New Year!

                    December 19, 2014 in Events


                    Happy Holidays to everyone!

                    Hope you have a lovely holiday season, and

                    a productive and very successful 2015!

                    (and don’t forget success can be measured in MANY ways!)


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