Posted in: Blogs

The Best 3 Books to Learn More About Amish People

One of the most interesting things about American culture is that we have such different communities all living in the same place. Perhaps the most perplexing communities is that of the Amish, who are dedicated to living a simple, technology-free life, even in the 21st century when faced with such rapid change. You might wonder how they can continue to live the way they do, or how the outside world affects their tight-knit communities, and if their practices are healthy. To someone who knows very little about the Amish, it can be confusing to try to understand their way of life.

Luckily, there have been many books written on the Amish and have insider knowledge and research that gives us a clear view of who they are. Here are three of the must-read books on the Amish so that you can learn more about who they are and what their future looks like.

The Amish by Donald Kraybill, Karen Johnson-Weiner, Steven Nolt

If you’re looking for a general overview and insight into the Amish people, a good book to read for general knowledge on them is The Amish. It’s a good book for those who do not know anything about the Amish and even those who do. The book covers a broad scope of the North American Amish people in the 21st century and how they live. The authors give you a glimpse at the many diverse settlements of Amish people and how they differ, from progressive communities to those who are highly conservative. You can learn why the Amish restrict their use of technology, how they choose ministers, why they wear plain clothing, and what roles women play in the Amish community.

The book incorporates many data and charts, giving you a deeper understanding of the Amish and covers critical aspects of the Amish community, including their beliefs, approach to technology, diversity, the power of custom and tradition, changes in occupations, gender, Rumspringa and youth issues, recent controversies, and much more. If you know a good deal about the Amish, you can still read it to find out more in-depth, insider knowledge on the more conservative Swartzentruber Amish, a closer look at Amish affiliations, and fascinating data showing that not all Amish are the same.

Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits by Donald Kraybill and Steven Nolt

Curious about how the Amish run their businesses and how they handle issues surrounding their way of life and the legalities of the federal and state government? Then this book should interest you. It details how Amish people have shifted to running furniture workshops, construction crews, food stands, and other small businesses in recent years, and how they handle things like the internet, legal liability, marketing, and other things they must learn to navigate.

It also shares how moving from the farm for entrepreneurial success affects Amish society, and explores the Amish business story from the Lancaster County Amish perspective, one of the most highly entrepreneurial Amish communities.

The Amish and the State edited by Donald B. Kraybill

The thing about Amish people that you’re probably most curious about is how their communities and the way they live interacts with the American government. The Amish have a history of their laws butting against those of state laws, and this book is a collection of essays describing how the Amish have encountered and resolved conflicts related to military service, schooling, Social Security, health care, and other vital issues.

More often than not, the Amish have had to negotiate and sometimes use the assistance of a sympathetic public or powerful political allies. In this book, you’ll also get to learn about the Amish Steering Committee, the Amish’s resemblance of unified political leadership, and how they’ve been instrumental in numerous legal issues affecting the Amish up to the present day.

Posted in: Blogs, Ladies Clothing

3 Differences Between Amish and Mennonite Clothing

People often get confused when it comes to the Amish, especially when they’re so strikingly similar to Mennonites. But how true is that?

The Amish people are known best for their simplistic way of living and godly attitude – virtues that are all too uncommon in today’s modern society. When it comes to the Mennonites, the same can be said, however, some of the greatest differences (however obscure) can be found in their clothing. So let’s take a look at some important distinctions between the clothing worn by each people to give you all a better idea.

Head Coverings and Patterns

At first glance, the women on both sides of this heavenly fence seem to be nearly identical in every way – but this is not true. For example, the headwear worn by Amish women is a flat head covering (usually white) with strings attached. Whereas Mennonite women rarely wear strings with their head coverings. Mennonite women are most commonly seen wearing either a traditional head covering or a small veil.

The clothes that are worn by Amish women rarely stray from their “single color” theme, as I’m sure you’ve seen in photographs. The women of the Mennonite culture are permitted to wear some flower patterns, which makes sense because of the Mennonite men’s tastes in patterned shirts. Amish men traditionally wear single-colored shirts with suspenders, which is a little underwhelming.

Mainstream Mennonites in today’s modern time don’t always dress the part like their Amish counterparts, so it can be difficult to spot them in the general public. Interestingly enough, the older members of the Mennonite way of life aren’t permitted to wear beards, and they shave regularly. The young men are free to do as they please with their beards as long as it conforms to the guidelines previously set by generations before them.

Buttons and Zippers

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a hook and eye fasteners, but that’s what Amish men use in place of buttons and zippers that would normally be on their clothing items. The women don’t actually use any kinds of buttons or zipper either. Instead, they use straight pins to close their dresses.

Could you image using only straight pins to keep your clothes on? I don’t know how well that would work for most of us, but I have a feeling that a lifetime of practice would help quite a bit.

No matter what time of year it is, Mennonite women must wear a dress that is at least three inches below the knee at all times. And that doesn’t sound very fun when the hot sun is beating down on you and your family. On that note, how do the Amish people go on without air conditioning? I feel like passing out from heat stroke would be a more common occurrence than anything else, or maybe they just drink a lot of lemonade.

Seasonal Clothes

When you think of Amish people, you imagine a man with a pair of cut-off pants held up by a pair of suspenders – it’s just natural. Another one of those signature styles the men practice in Amish culture is the classic straw hat. During the winter time, the men often wear a dark-colored hat, but as soon as the summer kicks in, they only wear the straw hats.

Another interesting tradition the Amish men have is when they break out their homemade winter coats to help them in the colder seasons. You’d think they would have more than one coat per person, but you’d only need one because of all those layers they wear under them.

Mennonite men and women are forbidden to wear shorts at any time, and the same can be said for the Amish. In the church, the men aren’t allowed to wear short sleeves at all, which sounds pretty miserable considering their churches are packed full of worshipers at every service.

Posted in: Blogs

How to not get feelings for your bang buddy

You’ve been seeing them for a while now, a little more than a month. You usually meet up a couple times a week, for just sex, and frankly, it’s the best you’ve had in a while.

One night they text you, asking if you want to come over. Before you know it you’re at their door and go inside.

The sex you had is amazing once again, and you’re laying in bed together. That’s when they drop the hint that they want you to leave­ the thing is, you really don’t want to.

Well, you’ve caught the feels and it’s hitting you harder than a bong rip after taking a two month break from that flower.

If you’ve reached this point, you’ve gone too far. It’s best to abort the mission and save yourself from the heartbreak.

Catching the feels for your fwb isn’t always in your game plan, but it happens all the time. We can’t help it when the heart wants what the brain says it can’t have.

To prevent this from happening (or happening again), there are some things you need to know, which will be discussed below.

One thing you can do to keep your feels to yourself and fully intact is to distance yourself from your bang buddy. Limit your contact with them by texting them only once a week or just wait for them to text you first.

By doing this you’ll keep them out of your thoughts for the most part, and the less you think about them, the less likely you are to start to get hit right in the feels.

This will also help sustain the nature of the casual relationship, since you’ll both know it’s just about sex and that you don’t rely on each other for anything else.

Another thing you can do is to actually set some ground rules with them. An example would be to only text each other at night, or only on the weekends.

You can also let them know that you’ll just meet each other and the places you live, rather than meeting up for drinks or something beforehand. This will keep it a bit more informal, as you don’t really treat each other as friends and definitely not as people who are dating.

Since you only meet up at each other’s places right before you have sex, this will help both of you remember the nature of the relationship.

If you ever find yourself infatuated with your bang buddy, you’re not alone. Many have been there, and many will find themselves in the same situation.

A few ways to prevent this are too distance yourselves by limiting contact, setting basic rules, or end the friend with benefits setup quickly, before things get out of hand.

If you keep these in mind, you’ll find that your feels are intact and once you stop sleeping with each other you don’t feel depressed or used. Don’t let these tips get in your way of having a good time, and most importantly, wrap that shit up!

Posted in: Blogs

5 Things every task management software needs

The benefits of implementing task management software in a small business cannot be overstated. However, scrolling through the app store and staring into the sea of software available can be daunting. How are you supposed to make a decision when there’s so many options out there?

Don’t get overwhelmed. Here’s some staple features to look for in task management software to help cut out the noise.

1. An effective planning and scheduling system

A robust planning and scheduling system is the most important function of any task management software. Make sure that the app makes it clear who is assigned what task, and can set deadlines to keep your business’s operations smooth and accountable. The app should also be able to prioritize tasks so your team can tell what it needs to focus on first.

Another useful feature to look out for is a shared team calendar, which makes it easy to keep your team on the same page by sending everyone notifications and updates automatically. It’s even better if it can sync with several other calendar apps like Google Calendar and iCal to avoid compatibility issues among your team.

2. Easy collaboration functions

A task management software that doesn’t allow your team members to collaborate and communicate easily isn’t worth a second glance. Even something as simple as file sharing will be sorely missed if your task management app of choice doesn’t offer it. Anyone should be able to upload and access whatever files they need without hassle.

While an in-app messenger system isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker if it’s missing, discussion boards and comment sections can be hugely useful, as they make taking notes of issues or concerns easy.

3. A straightforward permissions system

The more people you employ, the more important this becomes. Being able to set access permissions effectively is vital as your team grows.

There are a minimum of three levels of access your task management software should provide. You should have the option to provide access to only one relevant task for low-level employees and clients who don’t need access to sensitive information like budgetary concerns and long-term plans. You also should be able to assign an entire project to a project manager without providing access to every project. For the most crucial members of your team, an option to provide access to everything is also key.

Most importantly, this shouldn’t be a complicated process. Make sure your app makes it easy to alter people’s permissions to avoid hassle.

4. An agreeable user interface

It’s astonishing how often this one gets overlooked. Seeing how few apps are designed with user interface, or UI, as a priority is almost tragic. No matter what features an app has, if it’s unpleasant to use, you might as well skip it. You and your employees will find yourselves frustrated more often than not, and you’ll likely end up moving on to another app.

Ease of use and intuitive design are hugely important for a productivity app – otherwise, it probably won’t be too productive.

5. Useful expense tracking

“Time is money,” so they say, and a good task management app should be able to handle both. While most task management services will feature things like deadlines and time trackers, the best will also address your budgetary concerns. You’ll be especially grateful for this as your business and projects grow in size.

Producing budget reports automatically will save you a lot of time and will also notify you when you’re spending more than you planned. You’ll also probably want an app that can set up automatic invoicing for your client.

KissIQ is a task management software that also has expense tracking. Give it a try if you’re looking for an example of an app that takes all these features into account.

Posted in: Blogs

How your life will change by using task tracking

As any project manager or director can tell you, task management is no easy task. Whether you’re a small business owner trying to expand operations a professional service worker that is struggling to keep up with your clients, tracking everything you need to do can be time-consuming and exhausting.

Thankfully, a development in the app market is putting task management concerns to rest. Task management apps are joining the ranks of staple technologies in the business world, and it’s easy to see why. With a unique blend of checklist tracking, expense reports, and collaboration features, task management apps are changing the lives of everyone that implements them into their business practices.

We could go on and on about the various features that task management apps (should) feature. However, there’s plenty of reading material on that. Rather, let’s look over all the things that will happen to you once you implement task management services into your work.

You will actually have time to think about your business’s direction

If you’re an administrator and all of your time and energy is being sunk into keeping track of to-do lists and expenses, you’re probably familiar with the rut that burnout can be. As much as we can try to consider ourselves workaholics, the truth is, we’re just not spending our time the way we should. We’re so exhausted by the time we get through all the nitty-gritty details that we lose sight of why we work in the first place.

Consider, instead, the work you could be doing if these features were automated. Suddenly, rather than being bogged down with the technicality of your job, you’re able to focus more on the big picture. You can devote that time to developing new strategies or re-evaluating old ones. When technology like task management apps exist, there’s no reason why you should be wasting your time on anything but brainstorming new ways to expand, rather than ways to maintain.

Your accountability concerns will become a thing of the past

Something went wrong? Who forgot to do their part? Where did this financial discrepancy come from?

Cue Carson opening the envelope: Questions you’ll never ask if you use task management software.

By making it easy for everyone to assign and view tasks, managing a project become far easier as it becomes clear what everyone’s role is. Rather than rifling through paper records or scattered meeting minutes, you can find out exactly who dropped the ball, when and where they dropped it, and how to fix it. For that matter, with it becoming so easy to check what you’re assigned to do, these little mistakes will probably become far less frequent in the first place. If it has expense tracking (hint hint: it should) then monetary concerns will go away too – especially on the client’s end, in case they’re skeptical of where their money is going.

Your relationship with your team will improve

At their core, all task management apps really do is take inconveniences out of the equation. And when it comes to aggravating, irritating, snap-at-your-teammates kind of issues go, the root tends to be little more than inconveniences.

Eliminating these inconveniences will make everyone you work with way happier. Half of the squabbles we get into are issues of miscommunication or minor errors. By automating the process and getting everyone on the same platform, you ensure that your staff will be free of these concerns.

If these issues are commonplace in your startup or professional services business, try implementing a task management app into your daily operations. Your team will thank you – and you’ll thank us.