Top 10 Things We Learned This Year – Holiday Video 2021

We hope you pick up a sweet tidbit or two from the Top 10 Things We Learned This Year.

  1. You know we are avid readers. We know you are too, because our most read blog each year is “Summer Reading.” There are many good recommended reading lists, but our favorite is Adam Grant’s.
  2. Childcare is a very hot topic. Check out this childcare deserts map
  3. Being able to batch-scan multiple pages with a free smartphone app can change your life! Penny recommends “Tiny Scanner” for iPhone or Android.
  4. People walking on treadmill desks while on Zoom gives Crystal motion sickness. Just add this to the list that includes Mario Kart and amusement park rides. 
  5. We love the intersection of the natural landscape and development. Use this cool website to create a data visualization of the pathway of a single raindrop to the ocean – click anywhere on the U.S. map and watch where it goes!
  6. We all get TOO many e-newsletters – but “Morning Brew” is one we enjoy reading most days of the week. This newsletter covers the economy, politics, tech and trade. It is worth a look!  Subscribe here 
  7. The steering wheel of a Toyota makes a nice prop for your phone when taking Zooms in a parking lot. The Subaru steering wheel does not.
  8. The most impactful thing we read this year was EMSI/Burning Glass’ Demographic Drought. If you prefer video format-try this from Tom Barkin at the Richmond Fed What is Sidelining Workers?”  
  9. It is amazing how many high-quality online courses are available for FREE! Crystal enjoyed The Science of Well-Being. Check out Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos’ related podcast The Happiness Lab here. Which of these free classes will you try–or recommend to others? The 10 best places to take online courses, from free Harvard classes to Google certificate programs.
  10. Placemaking and public spaces have been key themes in 2021. Check out this database of all public monuments in the U.S. Use it for inspiration or evaluation. How does your community show up?  

Send us your sweet tidbits of 2021. We love hearing about hacks, cool data, good reads, and neat tricks of the trade.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! May 2022 be filled with peace, prosperity, and a little more certainty (please)!

Crystal, Penny, Billye, and Heather

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