Sometimes it is difficult for one to live in the modern world with the myriad distractions and the constant barrage of information from every electronic device and online service. While some of this information is clearly superfluous to our occupations and the well-greased machine of our life, other nuggets of thought-provoking brain candy can enrich even the most mundane knowledge worker’s daily routine.
I do not mean to sound like a technological apologist, but the fact remains that in order to get through my daily work, I need to rely not only on my own bag of tricks, but also the Pandora’s box of the World Wide Web.
So, how am I dealing with this constant flood of nigh-impossible-to-organize knowledge distractions? Not very well up to this point, but the tide has been changing for the better in the recent weeks.
Evernote is a service that promises to help you “Remember Everything”, promising to:
allow you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.
Evernote is basically a self-described “external brain” that allows you to store any idea, reminder, memory that you need to remember in a trusted system.
I have been using Evernote for a few months now, and I wanted to weigh in on the system, and share my setup and how it helps me remember things.
As I’ve mentioned multiple times here in the past, I am working on writing a novel. Truthfully, there is enough material in the universe of this novel for three or four full length novels.
I started with the ideas in late 2002, and have progressively and consistently dropped the ball day after day since then. I have found that there are no less than four things that have played into my failure in finishing the novel(s) that I have been working on over the past few years.
I’ve decided that I’ve really got to stop wasting so much time with the internet. I look at how other people function in the world without having hundreds of RSS feed stories to sift through every day, and see that they are getting along much better than I am.
I’ve decided to stop following the webcomics that I’ve been tuned into, as well as several other sites:
As you can see from this screenshot, I’ve reduced myself down to a respectable 11 feeds:
I may very well suffer shock from not getting a constant feed of news into my brain, but I see it as an opportunity to spend less time worrying about the new whizbang thing, and more time doing creative things.
I’ve kept the few feeds left for specific reasons, most of which directly relate to the way I do work today. Hopefully this will work out for the best, and I won’t regress to visiting Digg 1500 times a day.
Also, I plan on spending less time visiting forums. I belong to a pretty long list, and they’re just going to have to live without me for a little while, while I get things straight. (Not that anybody would be much worse off without me.)
I can hear the crickets chirping already…
Over the past few months, I have been using Google Reader to cut down on unnecessary time sinks in visiting all of the sites that I want to get my news for the day.
Quickly, I began using the tags to separate stories that I didn’t want to read at the moment, but save for later. Now that I am working through GTD’ing my life, I remembered that I had a backlog of stories in Reader that I haven’t even considered to put on my “To Read / Watch” list. Continue reading