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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

How designers can be better managers right out of the gate.

Being a designer and being a manager are more similar than different, so when new design managers (or designers considering management) ask me for advice, I believe they already have most of the skills they need to be a great manager.

These are all things good designers…


Simple Book cover for The Simple Path to Wealth, showing a drawing of a single path leading into the mountains.
Simple Book cover for The Simple Path to Wealth, showing a drawing of a single path leading into the mountains.

A pretty straightforward book for building financial health (and wealth) over time

In 2021 I aim to read more books than I did last year, maybe even a book a week. I wrote about that goal here. This is the first book I’ve read this year and so it is my first review as well — but if financial books are not your thing, don’t worry, I’ve got a mix of other kinds of books lined up for the rest of January.

Week 1: The Simple Path to Wealth

I began my first book of the year on vacation which gave me a healthy head start before the work week began. That first book was The Simple Path to…


Set of rectangles with abstract shapes in navy, peach and pink. Individually, they look like book covers. As a set, like 2021
Set of rectangles with abstract shapes in navy, peach and pink. Individually, they look like book covers. As a set, like 2021

Setting an ambitious, attainable reading goal for 2021

My 2021 resolutions are a small and ambitious, but attainable. That last part is key; after a year like 2020 I have no desire whatsoever to punish myself (which is also why this post is coming mid-January and not the cool, crisp, exacting 1st of the year).

At the top of my list is what a lot of nerds like me aim for which is to read more. And in the spirit of good goals I had to ask myself: How much more? And by when? Here it is: I’d like to read a book a week, or 52 books…


Little girl in a Wonder Woman costume blowing out candles on cupcakes. Mom in a shiny red wig crouched beside her, looking on
Little girl in a Wonder Woman costume blowing out candles on cupcakes. Mom in a shiny red wig crouched beside her, looking on

A tale of turning four and the parents who managed a party.

The day is done. Our just-turned-four-year-old is asleep upstairs clutching an overstuffed, poorly-sewn orange woolen cat, a gift chosen by her sister from Etsy’s “handmade” and “under $20” filters. I stuff my Poison Ivy wig and my green velvet leotard, along with my husband’s plated abs (he was the Dark Knight for the day), into the costume chest. Big Sister wears her Cheetah costume (Wonder Woman’s nemesis) to bed. I shake the beach sand from the towels outside and add them to the wash. I pick up scraps of wrapping paper from the rugs. It was a happy day, despite…


Misty golf course with dotted trees, mostly dark blue sky with orange coming up from the horizon
Misty golf course with dotted trees, mostly dark blue sky with orange coming up from the horizon
Running by a misty golf course at sunrise

A little something for me, a little something for everyone else

On September 30th (my birthday) I ran my 100th mile in 19 days. Didn’t think I could do it. I had said to myself with a bit of a jaunty scowl, “You probably can’t do this.” But here I am. I committed.

First I ran a mile. The next day I added another mile, and then another mile the next day and so on, until on the tenth day I ran ten miles. (Running these distances is not a thing that I do. Prior to this my absolute max on a great day was six miles, so this, for me…


Illustration of two circles, one above water with an upturned smile, the other a reflection in waves with a down-turned smile
Illustration of two circles, one above water with an upturned smile, the other a reflection in waves with a down-turned smile

How managers can help in truly difficult times

At an early morning call for a Slack group I help admin, my friend Avery suggested we prompt the community for ways to help parents through their stress and isolation during this never-ending pandemic. I bat my eyes exactly two beats before they welled with tears and a lump lodged in my throat. I told myself it was fatigue, but this was in fact the first time after months of balancing everyone’s needs but my own that someone had said to my face: How can we help you endure? It didn’t matter what the ideas were and it didn’t matter…


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Photo by ROOM on Unsplash

A few straightforward ways to improve hiring practices for a better applicant experience

I’ve recently re-entered the jobseeker’s market after six years on the lam and though I’m older and wiser and slightly less hire-able, I’ve managed to secure an amazing new position (more on that soon!). Before I forget the pain of the hiring process I wanted to capture a few obvious things that employers really should be doing as they look to hire the best of the best. As it turns out, a lot of businesses are terrible at hiring in 2019 and the obvious bears repeating! Here’s how to be better.


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Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

A final family day trip before our daughter starts school

we sit the four of us
on a bench in Port Colborne
facing the Welland Canal
eight feet off a four-legged bench
watching a ship come near

the bridge has already
lifted the road on its pulleys
a cyclist waits behind red and white
striped gates, his concrete path
well above his head now

the ship, a barge, looks miles away
a stalled moment of looking
reveals it moving closer, like clouds might
out of the haze
its colours brightening
its magnitude seizing

we recognize a Q we place the ship in Québec just passing through on her way by…


On remembering the people you loved while letting go of what they left behind

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Photos courtesy of the author

First, begin by remembering the house in its heyday. Skip-Bo games prompting shouts of victory or loss, the front door clapping with entries and exits, onions and green peppers sizzling in cast-iron frying pans, and the comforting smells of buttermilk pie drifting from the still-warm oven.

Cassie McDaniel

Words, design, community. Leading w/ kindness. Product Design manager @ Webflow. Prev. Glitch, Mozilla, Adobe, Women&&Tech, Jane & Jury. cassiemcdaniel.com

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