Reading a book is step one

writing is step two.

If you want to get something out of every book you read, you need to write about them. No you don’t have to publish what you write, but you do need to write.

How I make my book reading work for me

I quite agree with Curtis on this.
Despite it may be time consuming reviewing a book a writing about it makes the ideas from that book stick much much better.

And after all that is the goal of reading.

Essential = important

When something is essential, it is absolutely necessary. Essential is the very definition of what’s truly important.

Urgent is relative, but essential is absolute. While urgency is usually defined by external factors, essentialness is fundamentally important to a project or goal, regardless of external factors.

Two quotes I picked up from How to Stay Focused in an Age of Distraction

There are myriad of ways to slide and dice tasks, organise projects and align goals. But if the answer to a question “is this task/project/goal essential?”, is yes then this is an important thing. This is where your focus should be. This is the thing you should dedicate your time to.

What’s the value of social media

There’s an infinite selection of activities in the world that might bring some value. If you insist on labeling every activity avoided as value lost, then no matter how frantically you fill your time, it’s unavoidable that the final tally of your daily experience will be infinitely negative.

On Digital Minimalism – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

A very compeling argument, why one should limit/drop use of social media.

More time to think

Thirty-eight percent of jobs are now designated as “managers, officials, and professionals.” These are decision-making jobs. Another 41% are service jobs that often rely on your thoughts as much as your actions.
Here’s a problem we don’t think about enough: Even as more professions look like Rockefeller’s – thought jobs that require quiet time to think a problem through – we’re stuck in the old world where a good employee is expected to labor, visibly and without interruption.

The result is that most people have thought jobs without being given much time to think, which is the equivalent of making a ditch-digger work without a shovel. Maybe this is why productivity growth is half of what it used to be.

Lazy Work, Good Work

Strange paradox – our knowledge and understanding of complexities in the world expands dramatically yet the time to think and analyse is getting smaller and smaller.

How do you make time to think?

Start with your calendar and make an appointment for 15-25 minutes to think and jot some notes on one current issue. Repeat the next day and the following day and so on. Gradually increase the time to 60 or more minutes. Remember to apply the outcomes of your thinking in your work and personal life.

Happy thinking…

Perfect Saturday

  1. Share time with family
  2. Meditate and reflect
  3. Excercise
  4. Cook a dinner from scratch
  5. Write
  6. Read

Today was a perfect Saturday.

How will you respond

Great food for thought given the current political climate and events.

Do we intentionally choose the optimistic path? Are we eagerly more open to change and possibility?

Every day we make the hard decisions that build a culture, an organization, a life.

Since yesterday, since last week, since you were twelve, have you been making deposits or withdrawals from the circles of supporters around you?

People don’t become selfish, hateful and afraid all at once. They do it gradually.

When we see the dystopian worlds depicted in movies and books, are we closer to those outcomes than a generation ago? Do we find ourselves taking actions that make our conversations more considered, our arguments more informed, our engagements more civil? Or precisely the opposite, because it’s easier?

Seth Godin

Perfect journal?

No matter how many different journals we’ve tried, nothing seems to be the perfect fit. It’s like Goldilocks with 83 different beds to try, and none of them feel right.

The Perfect Journal

It a funny quote and in the past I could relate to it but I have found a perfect journal/notebook.

Simply it’s one that I currently use.

 

Plain text life 2016

There is a section in the Antifragile book by Nassim Taleb which talks about technology and the longer given technology exists the more likely it is it will continue to exist in the future. Each passing day makes it twice as likely for it double its future existence.

It’s easy to see how this applies to wheel or paper which we know for thousands of years. The same principle can apply to putting trust into plain text files – .txt – as primary method of storing notes and other useful information.

As I’ve been relying on plain text for last number of years I thought it would be good to share some elements of my setup.

The Core

When I decided to move to plain text I initially looked to Dropbox as primary solution to store text files. This seemed to be most popular solution however most the tools available to me at the time were not reliable enough.

My next option was to use Simplenote. This application turned out to be the corner stone of my past and current setup. I’ve been using it ever since and haven’t had any issues. Synchronisation of changes is quick and I haven’t lost a single line of text. Finding information is breeze. Since Automattic made available native applications for all platforms I use (Android & Linux & Windows) I like the application even more.

Simplenote is a key place for storing notes, grabbing ideas, quotes, checklists and everything in between. Essentially if I want to take a note of something it will capture it in Simplenote.

Writing

After significant drop in the level of my posting on this site I’m slowly, very slowly working towards increasing it.

From the begging I decided that writing should be separated from my notes and hence I decided to use Dropbox. Two factors made the decision easy

  • cross platform support – whether it’s JotterPad on my smartphone or GhostWriter or WriteMonkey on my laptop I can access files on all platforms I use. I tend to grab small pockets of time to do bit of writing here and there and chip away on it.

  • support of folder structure and file formats I use – I set up a folder structure to manage stages of writing and hence all my files must be stored individually. As I use mainly use .txt or .md type file either can be stored in my Dropbox account.

I decided to setup following folders to support my writing process:

  • workbench = items in progress and active
  • ideas = my pool of inspiration and items I’ve capture as possible blog posts

  • finished = ready for publication

  • posted = items published on the site.

This setup is very much in the spirit of what I’m trying to achieve it’s flexible, based on plain text, fully under my control and accessible anywhere.

If it’s not a text

For other types of data I tend lean toward open and popular formats like pdf, jpeg, html etc.

So if I capture some interesting graphics or pieces of audio then it all is kept in its own file on my hard drive. While I could use application like Evernote or Onenote my reservation is that at some point either will shut down and my data will end up in locked silo. Also different types of content in a single database tend to make it very large and difficult to manage over long periods of time.

In stead I prefer a holistic approach:

  • name fiels accurately
  • store them in a relatively flat folder structure

  • use search to locate it.

That’s my approach.

If you’re looking for other recent examples of plain text workflows you can dive into these links

Awesome life

The Lazy Way To An Awesome Life: 3 Secrets Backed By Research

Sum Up Here’s what we can learn from Nicholas: Hang out with the people you want to be: Behaviors spread like a virus. Make sure it’s one you want to be infected with. Make more friends. Time spent making friends has a higher happiness ROI than time spent making money. Introduce friends to friends. Friends becoming happy increases your chance of happiness by 45%. Keeping the network happy protects you against unhappiness. Other research Nicholas did turned up something truly heartwarming: friends are family. Quite literally.

Doing everything on your own can take you only so far. To go further you need supportive people.