OG Tuesday Issue #154

The Assist Newsletter
September 4, 2023
Start your morning with this affirmation:
OG Tuesday Affirmation #154
Today’s checklist: Connect to others through poetry, start having more fun with Evernote, brush up your abductive reasoning skills, and understand what numbers indicate your baseline financial health.


Got a minute? Read a poem.


Poet, professor, and anthropologist Jason Vasser-Elong believes poetry can serve as a bridge to connect disparate communities, ages, and cultures. A glowing endorsement, right?

He and a colleague at SAPIENS anthropology magazine have a few other compelling reasons to read a poem or two today:

  • Poems kindle empathy. They make you feel like you’re having experiences and feelings you’ve never been exposed to.
  • Poems remind you what it means to be human.
  • Poems celebrate differences in a way anyone can understand.
  • Poems help you feel connected to people you’ll never meet.

Bonus: Most poems take less than a minute to read.

Find your perfect poem by way of the Poetry Foundation >


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3 fun ways to use Evernote


Most of you probably already know and love Evernote, or at least know what it is. This note-taking app helps people organize the beautiful chaos in their beautiful brains. But! There are always more ways to use it, and they’re not all about work, work, work.

Here are 3 swipe-able ideas from MUO’s The 15 Best Ways to Use Evernote:

Meal planning. Save recipes to Evernote and assign each one tags that make sense to you and your family. Here’s how one user organizes her cooking aspirations > 

Decorating. Use the app to take a photo of your space and then annotate it with measurements and doodles to organize all your gorgeous visions.

Navigation and traveling. Instead of letting your Google Maps fill up with saved places you forgot saving, use Evernote to regain clarity. When using Maps, share locations to Evernote along with helpful notes.


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Boost your abductive reasoning skills


If you’re reading this, you’re probably guessing you’re about to learn how to boost your abductive reasoning skills. (No brainer. This segment’s title said so.)

This is true, but nevertheless, you used reasoning skills to draw that conclusion. You evaluated available information (a title), filtered it through your past experiences (reading), and concluded that the text below the title would deliver on its promises.

That’s reasoning! Delightful, right? Let’s talk about one particular type of reasoning: Abductive reasoning.

Abductive reasoning in a nutshell: You use readily available, often incomplete, information to determine a practical course of action.

The incomplete part is key. This type of reasoning is not about exhausting all possibilities; it’s about accepting the constraints of real life, where available information is very often incomplete and/or imperfect.

You can think of abductive reasoning as the antidote to overthinking. You can always gather more information or brainstorm additional options, but abductive reasoning revolves around the premise that the best option in hand is also the best option for most real-life applications.

Abductive reasoning is used constantly in the U.S. criminal justice system:

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced the defendant is guilty. It is not required that the government prove guilt beyond all possible doubt

In most cases, juries will not actually get all the information they’d like to. They could, theoretically, never stop gathering information. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt allows them to stop when they have enough—not everything.

How to practice abductive reasoning: 

Identify a problem you’d like to solve or a decision you’d like to make.

  • Ex: Selecting a venue for a community concert you’re planning.
Determine what questions you need to answer to make a conclusion you feel good about.
  • Ex: Is the venue’s pricing within my budget? Can it accommodate the amount of people I’m expecting? Does it have the acoustic features we want?

Use the information you have to answer each question.

Do your answers point to a simple conclusion?

  • If so…well, you get the picture. (Ex: You answered “yes” to all the questions for one of the venues you’re evaluating. You may be tempted to keep looking—for a venue with a slightly better price or fancier features—but in the interest of keeping things simple, you go with the best option on the table.)
  • If not, gather more information and repeat the process. (Ex: If none of the concert venues have all the features you’re looking for, then request quotes from a few more.)


Your wallet: vital stats


When we want to gauge our overall health, we look at key indicators taken during a routine physical—things like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, pulse rate, and temperature.

What do we look at when we want to gauge our overall financial health? What quantifiable factors might a hypothetical “financial physical” include?

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents offers this list of vital financial stats:

Your net worth (assets – liabilities)
Why Michelle says it’s important:  If there’s one number that encapsulates your big-picture financial situation, then your net worth is it.

Your total debt
Why Michelle says it’s important:  Quantifying your debt is the only way to make a realistic plan for paying it off.

What percentage of your income you’re saving each month
Why Michelle says it’s important: Confronting this number, and understanding how it measures against your goals, helps you realize that you need to make a change.

What percentage of your income you’re spending each month
Why Michelle says it’s important:  Confronting this number helps you pinpoint exactly what habits you need to change.

Your net income
Why Michelle says it’s important: This is the money you actually have available after taxes and other deductions.

Your credit score
Why Michelle says it’s important: This number impacts your chances of getting loans for homes, cars, and other major purchases. It’s not a fixed number; it tells you where you stand right now, and also indicates how far you need to go before considering major purchases.

Quantified goals and benchmarks
Why Michelle says it’s important: You know you want to buy and board your own horse, but putting a realistic price tag on the goal is the only way to figure out how to realistically save for it.

Your family’s account numbers
Why Michelle says it’s important: Knowing these can save you unneeded stress in case of emergency.

Years until you want to retire
Why Michelle says it’s important: It’s all too easy to say that you’ll retire…later, when it’s time, when you’re ready, and so on and so forth. But if you don’t know how many years you have to save, then you don’t know how much to save, and chances are, you won’t just get lucky and save exactly what you need.


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Ask your team how they’re feeling with this emotions wheel template.


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⏳ If you’re new to the time blocking method, you may find this guide useful.

💬 What separates good presentations from bad ones is effective storytelling.

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Hooray, You Made It to the End of Our Newsletter!


Riddle me this: Rachel goes to the supermarket and buys 10 tomatoes. Unfortunately, on the way back home, all but 9 get ruined. How many tomatoes are left in a good condition?

⭐ Answer here.

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