Weekend Diversions: The Getting Offline Edition

I’m writing this week’s Weekend Diversions on a Tuesday, taking total advantage of the post scheduling feature. Why write so far in advance? Thursday and Friday I’m going to be traveling with my husband to an out of state in person interview with a company we’re calling Dream Company. With any luck by the time we get back Friday night we’ll be celebrating a new job and delusionally busy with the planning details. I doubt I’ll be glancing at the computer much this weekend, thus the scheduled post. To celebrate this occasion, I thought I’d devote this week’s Weekend Diversions to minimalizing our time here online, or getting away from it completely. I’m going to start with small steps for the first diversion and by the third diversion, hopefully you’ll be hopping off the computer, too, into a fun new adventure with your family.

So let’s start with Readability, a website that lets you choose the fonts, font sizes and margins that you prefer to read online, install a little bookmarklet into your toolbar, and then click the bookmark when you want to view a certain page in that format. Cut the clutter and get to the heart of what you are trying to read. I’m betting this could increase your productivity and at the very least it was kind of fun playing with the settings and seeing how it did it’s thing. Give it a whirl.

Alright, this next one is for my fellow Mac users. To all the PC or Linux users reading this, I’m sorry, you’ll just have to move on to the next diversion, which promises to be a lot of fun anyway. Alright, for my Mac pals still with me, check out Freedom – this little application will disable your network connection for up to eight hours at a time, allowing you to step away, into the real world and find some 3D diversions in the form of ‘the rest of your life.’ Don’t worry if you change your mind and want to log back into your network before the time is up – just reboot your computer and you’ll be back up and running. I think this is a neat way to encourage yourself to take a break if you find yourself spending too much time online – or if you are trying to limit your kid’s online usage. But before you go, make sure you check out this last diversion!!

Since you’ve used Readability to increase your productivity and get your work done, and you’re maybe thinking about installing Freedom to give yourself a little internet R&R, here’s a link that will help you find something new and fun to do. KaBOOM lets you find local places to go out and play in your area. Search by your town or the town you’d like to visit and it will give you a list of parks and play areas near you.Want more incentive to give KaBOOM a try? If you know of a play area not on KaBoom you can enter it into their databse yourself. For each valid entry, Julianne Hough will donate $1 to your cause — and enter you in a drawing to win prizes. This week, you could win an Amazon Kindle 2! To read more about KaBoom and their mission to find as many places for kids to play as possible, click here.