Fare thee well 2010. Long live (or at least, for 365 days?) 2011, and the second decade of this century and millennium.

How shall we consecrate this new year? Shall we turn over a new leaf?

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I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions, but I plan on doing exactly that. Actually, I’ve already started ahead of time.

…and actually, I began with an old leaf. I guess the lies are quickly unraveling. The old leaf was, if you can believe it, an assignment for a tax research class: a tax memo. I wrote it in the standard academic publishing format. 12 point, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins on all sides, double spaced.

And then I stumbled upon a website that suggested that I could do better than that.

So I actually started with the old leaf I had, wondering how I could take the same content — which I had spent effort into making as flawless as I could, given my time and ability — and present it better.

Tax Protester Memo
This image is not meant to offer legal or tax advice. Blah blah blah.

11 point, a different font than Times New Roman (I used Sabon because my school really coddles us), 2 inch margins on the left and right, and then spacing at 1.2.

My mind hasn’t yet recovered from the impact that such simple changes can make.

…I’m not an expert at any of this typographical stuff, and a lot of it still goes way over my head. But I am intrigued. For my birthday, I ordered a bunch of books for design and desktop publishing — both for print and for the web (so who knows, maybe I’ll continue using Wheat & Tares as my guinea pig and actually learn what the heck I’m doing). In addition to my subscriptions to Mormon blogs, I have a separate list of subscriptions to blogs on presentation and page design.

What intrigues me is how I’ve been using programs like PowerPoint or Word for years, and I’ve had the potential to do so much more than what I have been doing…but no one has expected more. It’s always been.

12 point, Times New Roman, 1″ margins all around, double spaced.

I think the New Year is a good time to move beyond all of that. And it’s not just about the written word. There are so many areas where we are capable, where we have the tools, but we’ve never realized the impact of a few simple changes. So many areas where we can turn over a new leaf by working with the old leaf we already have, by recognizing that the old leaf, in some aspect, may already be good, but with some very simple changes, it can become great.

Instead, we want something



We want to believe there’s something more extraordinary we ought to do than bathe in the river Jordan to improve ourselves.

So, what say you?

What are you doing differently this new year? Or what have you been working on this past year that you plan on continuing?