Mr. Procedure’s Mad Cap Adventure–I Have Too Many Logs to Saw!

First of all, I am delighted to see such an uptick in visitors to! I am so sorry the increase in interest coincided with a decrease in activity, but I will do my best to remedy that. And I am pleased with the response through the blog to my Writing Operating Procedures course. It has encouraged me to move forward to document the rest of my instructional communication/performance management strategy. Finally, a big shout out to Angel Candelario, who seems to hold the tech writer world together managing several LinkedIn groups, for reblogging and posting my stuff far and wide. It’s a challenge to keep up, but now I am a proud member of the Lean Six Sigma Canada group. 🙂

Now, why the title? I’m sure you have heard the story of the woodcutter, furiously sawing large logs into smaller logs. A pile of logs the size of a house lays behind him. A helpful neighbor walks up and says, “If you oiled the saw blade you could work faster.” And the woodcutter responded, “See the pile of logs behind me? I can’t stop to oil my blade!”

That’s how I feel lately. I have a number of operations manual projects coming together, including manuals for three builds of the same model of equipment (my company makes laser and UV processing equipment used in electronic manufacturing). I am being pulled in a number of directions, and the obvious solution is get up to speed with Flare and make life easier. But I have not had time, either at work or at home. I will make every effort to spend more time on it.

A big part of the learning curve is overcoming my huge mental blocks. I expect everything to be a big white screen that allows me to put stuff wherever on the screen I want. Obviously, that is not the case (to the best of my limited knowledge). And when I put out my Christmas List in a recent post, some very nice people wrote back with suggestions. The only problem, I don’t even know how to make a “snippet” yet.

I did take in a “Jump Start” class from Mad Cap in November. It did not help; in fact it was seemingly an extended version of a sales webinar I viewed in summer. Thankfully, they gave me free admission to the Jump Start class when I purchased Flare, so the value I received from the course exactly coincided with what I paid for it.

In the meantime, one very nice person turned me toward a website maintained by Laura Johnson, a certified Flare Trainer. It is accessed at I looked at it briefly…looks to have some promising helps. And a nice picture of a dog (I presume it’s Laura’s).

So this weekend, I will revisit my Christmas List post, sit down with Flare, try to work through the tutorials, and by Monday report some breakthrough besides succeeding in opening the software. So if you want to laugh with me (or, maybe more pertinently, laugh at me), keep reading. For real help, check out Laura’s website.

Thank you for checking in. Please feel free to look me up on LinkedIn (Tim James). I will accept any connect request, so don’t be shy. Have a great day!

About Tim James "Mr. Procedure"

A communicator; all-purpose capability in writing, designing and presenting training for all facets of organizational function. While my focus has been manufacturing, my training/development experience includes supervisory and lead person development, audit processes, continuous improvement and Lean, and Quality Management System implementation.
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3 Responses to Mr. Procedure’s Mad Cap Adventure–I Have Too Many Logs to Saw!

  1. Ms. Ann Nonomous says:

    Mostly I saw my logs in my sleep, along with other things I saw while sleeping. I will try the WD-40 approach to my daily tasks, however, and let you know if the pile diminishes. Love reading your observations and look forward to Monday. Faithful Reader.

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