Enough information

As countless studies have shown, you only need a very small amount of information to make an intelligent risk/reward investment decision. So the real paradox is that more information leads to overconfidence, which ironically means more information leads to worse decision-making.

It’s really quite fascinating because what reading lots of news does is makes you more comfortable in your decision-making, but it doesn’t lead to better decision-making. It’s an emotional salve.

Ritholtz: Why I Write – The Big Picture

The trick is to know when you found that sweet spot of enough information.

 

Golden age of information but

this is a golden age. Thanks to technology, our ability to find quality information and fresh perspectives is spectacular and growing rapidly. But at the same time, and thanks to the same technologies, we also have the power to quickly and easily find junk that confirms whatever ridiculous thing we think, share that misinformation, and spend all our time connected exclusively to people as deluded as we are. There is no technological fix.

Six Questions for Dan Gardner

Our brains are primarily information filters

If you’re suffering from information overload you’re possibly mixing up symptoms. 

Scott Berkun has an excellent post on this very topic and some ideas may surprise you.  

Your information attitude matters more than the amount of information around you.

Our true disorder is information insecurity: we are insecure about what we have and compulsively consume to fill a hole that doesn’t exist.

Thoughts on Death to Bullshit & Information Overload 

Productivity and Security

balance scale

With advent of Internet based productivity tools we gain access to useful tools, convenience and flexibility of working anywhere but this does not happen with out any costs and risks. The main one is that you store your data o someone’s computer. That is not wrong but it requires certain degree of precautions and consideration of costs and benfits.

The whole market of internet productivity tools is booming. I’m not talking about just online calendars or task manager there are many more tools, full office suites comprising of word processors, presentation creators, spread sheet tools, mind mapping, chart plotting. You name it probably exists. On top of that there are services that allow us backup, store and share information on internet. There are even computers being sold that only have  a browser.

This boom of internet services is great, it benefits us all in many different ways but it does not come for free. We are trading part of the security and privacy  in order to gain a convenience , ease of use and access. We are passing our information to a third party and as result we no longer have 100% control over it.

Mark Hurst in the book makes a good point re owning the data:

Bits are truly owned by the user only when they’re…

stored on the user’s own hardware, not on someone else’s website

accessible via the file system,not locked up in an application saved in a non-proprietary,

DRM-free format like ASCII, not a proprietary format like Word.

(Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload (Mark Hurst)Page 164)

In the last few months there was a number of hacks and security breaches at different companies. Sony was hacked numerous times while company running Dropbox allowed user to login with out a password and changed their terms of service that aggravated many. As result some decided to abandon Dropbox completely, you can read about this here and here.

Before jumping on board with any online service check few things:

  • define what is private and should remain such?
  • use encryption and password protection before sending stuff online
  • decide on level of privacy and security you’re comfortable with
  • make sure your read and understand terms of service.

Weekly links 25 April

A collection of posts and articles about productivity, time management, tools and technology.

  1. Masters in Project Management|100+ Degree Programs Online
  2. How To Be Creative And Productive In Every Stage Of A Project
  3. 20 Must-See Business TED Talks
  4. What Were You Born To Do?
  5. Must Read Success Lessons from Stephen Covey
  6. Information (and knowledge) exists only in your head

If you have any interesting articles please share them in the comments section.

Organise synthesise and share information with Diigo.com

image

If you’re a blogger, researcher, writer or simply enjoy browsing a web and finding useful information you might find Diigo.com one of the most useful online tools for data gathering.

What is it?

Diigo is a cross between social bookmarking, research and collaboration tool. It provides wide array if features to help you organise, synthetize  and share information on the internet.

Here is list of key features.

  • bookmarking – pages are booked marked and organized using tags, list and quick description synopsis.
  • annotating – comments and notes can be added to selected elements of the page and shared with other users.
  • highlighting – interesting sections, quotes can be highlighted using  different colours.
  • read it later – save pages to read later, with iPhone client you can read offline on the go.
  • collaboration – find friends and people with similar interests, add them you your network and share links, comments, ideas.
  • sharing – links, notes and highlights can be easily shared via email, twitter or reports summarising captured content.
  • public or private – links can be shared with Diigo community or made private for your view only.

How I use it?

I was never a user of any social bookmarking services. I dabbled with Delicious for a while but it didn’t go anywhere. However with Diigo.com it’s a very different story. Although at first glace it looks like just another variation of Delicious, it really more than. Here is how I use it:

Research & data gathering
When I’m researching a topic on the web I use highlighter to mark interesting quotes and sentences.Then I book mark the page in my library adding tags and list name. Let say I’m doing a research about Diigo, best practices and use scenarios etc. In order to keep everything in one place I create an ad hoc list and save everything there. Once I’m happy with collected material I go back to my library select relevant list and allpages and highlighted sections are clearly displayed there. For more permanent backup and storage I send the full content of the list to my Evernote account. This way I have a record of my research, interesting sections including links to pages titles etc.

Blog post writing
Having couple dozen of RSS feeds in my Google reader means that I have plenty of sources of interesting productivity articles about different tools, methods, tips & tricks. Diigo allows me to connect with my blog and quickly use annotations highlight  and help me to write. This is particularly useful for my weekly links post. All I have to do is simply tick articles that I want to include in the post and click send to blog.

Information sharing bookmarking service
Sharing information using Diigo is super easy. First of all I can decide if the bookmark is public or private. Secondly as I’m adding tags and saving it I can sent a link to people I have connected with on Diigo, tweet it or simply type the email address and they will get a link to that site. If some piece of information is important I can bookmark and annotate with Diigo and then send to Evernote for permanent storage.

Why it’s great

First of all it’s very easy to use. After initial setup I was able to brows through the features, configure my profile and settings. What’s more important is the breath of features provided and ability to use them straight away. As the developers provide toolbars for every major browser I was able to start bookmarking, highlighting and annotating in no time.

Diigo being a simply bookmarking service would be good but where it truly shines is the whole area of annotating the web. Adding notes, highlights, building lists, summarizing the important are great features that put this service way ahead of others.

As this is online service it’s accessible anywhere you have access to internet. Also each mobile platform (Androind, iOS) has it’s own client and I must say using Diigo on a device like an iPad must be fantastic.

Lastly I’m always wary of being locked in a proprietary format with no way if exporting information. This was one of the main reasons why I didn’t use any online bookmarking service. Having all links in my browser was the safest option. Fortunately Diiggo is not locking me in. There are multiple options of exporting data your have created. Everything starting from bookmarks to annotations and highlights can be exported in text friendly format.

[Note: All opinions are my own, I’m not affiliated with Diigo in anyway nor received any compensation for this post. I’m very happy user of the service and wanted to share my experiences.]