Wednesday, March 2, 2011

reading pains

A long time ago, I mentioned the presentations that set off my migraines - all white background, spindly (think times new roman) black text.

I've been collaborating with other writers on reports that require lots of input and editing, and I'm finding a couple of document issues that also set off the migraines.

1. A coworker highlights various passages in garish colors to distinguish things that he'll take care of but hasn't yet, things he wants me to take care of, and things that we need from the client. When I highlight things, I pick a nice, neutral color: gray. If I need to make things more complicated but for some reason don't want to track changes or add comments, I'll make the text different colors. I open documents from my coworker, and they're a combination of bright green, yellow, and blue. It's insta-migraine.

2. I've got a big technical report that needs to be completely re-done because we've gotten a bunch more data to fit in, and we're also trying to address comments on a previous version that are kind of random. We have a round-robin of four people trying to work on the thing, and we're keeping it in tracked-changes mode and nobody wants to accept any changes because they don't want to step on toes. Nobody can follow the text.

Of course, there are ways to fix these issues. For #1, I can un-highlight all the stuff that's not meant for me and then use gray for what I need. For #2, I can accept all the formatting and the stuff that's not controversial to keep down the mess. The problem is that I don't think about fixing anything until I'm already well into the migraine.


EcoGeoFemme said...

Sucks that you're so sensitive to that stuff.

For #2, you can also change your view to "final" and the markup won't show even though the changes are all still tracked.

Short Geologist said...

I actually do that and then print it out when it's closer to polishing. But when we're still arguing about the text, I usually keep the view so I can see what we're arguing over.

Silver Fox said...

So the migraine happens rather quickly? I'm not always able to pinpoint reliable triggers for mine. I've not even thought about bright colors as a possible trigger, although bright light sure can be!

For the markup, maybe 3 or 4 more subdued to neutral colors could be agreed upon, including gray, maybe some pastels or browns?

hereitcomesagain said...

Best thing for my chronic migraines has been the ketogenic diet. Lots of online info if you search it.

Great blog. Why is project management of environmental science field work always so full of unnecessary drama and short on progress? Too crazy, innit?