New Year, New Look!

in Editor's Note

Justin Lang, PLSN EditorThe holiday season is over and it is time to look ahead to the New Year. I trust that everyone had a wonderful holiday catching up with friends and family and spreading merriment and good cheer. As we reflect on the memories of 2012, both good and bad, it is also time to start with a clean slate and begin to make the most of 2013.

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Our New Look
I mentioned in my last Editor’s Note video of 2012 that we had a special surprise for the readers of PLSN, and here it is, a new design! When I took over as editor of PLSN almost two years ago, one of the things I wanted to do was rework the layout and design of the magazine. But if something has been working for over 10 years, why fix it if it isn’t broken? PLSN wasn’t broken, but the way we presented information all these years needed to change and its design needed a facelift. After talking with readers (you all gave such useful feedback, thank you!), and many, MANY meetings back at the office and numerous revisions from our amazing art department, we are proud to launch the updated PLSN.
We put a ton of thought into how we present the news and information that our readers ask of us. At first glance, you may notice that items are shorter in length. We are not cutting out the important information, just condensing it into more manageable chunks of information. We’ll provide the most important information in print with expanded coverage available 24/7 on
A Quicker Read
Keeping with this strategy to deliver quick bits of information, you’ll also begin to see more and more infographs, sidebars, and details added to stories and features to provide you with easy access to important details of the story. Images are another big consideration we’re addressing. Our industry in general, and particularly our corner of it, is highly visual. We can (and do) employ some of the greatest writers out there to describe how a production came together and looked. I, like many of our readers, prefer visuals and photos. Even before the launch of our new design, we had begun to offer exclusive images online and additional videos that didn’t make it into the magazine. We’ll continue to bring you this bonus content, and enhance it, going forward.
Why the emphasis on tidbits and details and shorter stories? Because we want to give you more of the information you love in every issue, and get it to you quicker than ever before. “Time is money” may be an old expression, but it now seems to be as true as it ever was. We know you’re busy. We want to make the most of your time while still providing what matters most to you. When time is available and your curiosity is piqued, we make our expanded coverage available on and our social networking site,
Getting Organized
Speaking of time, the New Year is a perfect opportunity to re-think how to get organized. It’s certainly on the top of my list of New Year’s resolutions. I spent some of my down time during the holidays re-thinking how I keep all of my projects, writing, and personal to-dos organized and manageable. For years, I have written my list of to-dos down on pieces of paper. I kept the list in front of my at the desk, always going back to it to see what is next. Like many of us, however, I am not always at my desk, and that pad of paper always seems to get left behind. So I would typically start a new list on a piece of scrap paper, Post-it or random note pad while on the road. Not the most effective means of time management and keeping track of my to-dos.
The Next Big Things?
I’ve tried many different organizational tools, like Apple’s NotePad. Since I use a Mac laptop, I got to the point where I had my iPhone and an iPad all synched to my iCloud. It made sense. The list would follow me wherever I went. It worked to a degree, but the execution was not ideal. My list of things to-do ran together with my notes about each list item. Trying to keep them all organized was exhausting.
My colleague, Jacob Coakley, editor of Stage Directions magazine ( mentioned an app called “Things” ( Things specifically keeps track of multiple to-do lists to keep you organized. The “thing” that most impressed me about it was its cloud synching capabilities. Since the program is available on the Mac, iPad and iPhone, my lists follow me wherever I go, and it synchs automatically and seamlessly whenever something is added. The other feature I’ve grown to appreciate is its integration with Siri on the iPhone.
Rather then bragging all about my new prowess with Things and getting into specifics here, visit my blog over on ( It’s a New Years Resolution that is still a work in progress. Find out how I stay organized and, while you’re there, share your thoughts and experience.
Cheers to the New Year to all PLSN readers, and to all your new endeavors. Keep Calm and Light On!