Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scaling Yourself Up: No more Bookmarks


A couple of days ago I was having a look at the SXSW Panel Picker, to see what sessions are being proposed and voted for the upcoming conference. There are several colleagues from R/GA proposing, among some of them Brad Frost, Will Turnage and Phil Hawksworth.

I also had a look at Scott Hanselman proposal, which has a video of a previous presentation he did. On the session, he discusses ways to improve your productivity and how to scale yourself. Hanselman’s talks are often really good. He is a great speaker and a great developer, and he gets straight to the point.

At some point he talks about how bookmarks are not that effective. This touch a nerve for me, since I have been having this problem for many years. I tend to bookmark a lot of articles and references hoping that I’ll be able to read them later. With time I have gathered so many sets of bookmarks across my devices, from work, home, travel, etc. The reality is that I rarely read the bookmarks I have created. I have found repeated bookmarks, broken links and so many of them are not relevant any more after months or even weeks. I have tried to use readers, feeds, and many other approaches but I find myself getting lost between the sea of bookmarks when I’m out of context.

Well, I decided to follow Hanselman’s advise and completely stop using bookmarks. Instead, I have created an account on Instapaper, and installed Chrome’s extension to send the articles directly to my Kindle. Then I went through all my book marks and did a hardcore clean up, deleting anything that was not relevant or easy to find just by searching the Internet. I added only the relevant articles that I felt were important enough to my Instapaper list, and then I compiled the list of cool sites, companies, technologies and Online content sources that I feel are a daily basis reference. Those will go to the blog for sure and to my favourites bar, which now will always be visible, easy to find and condensed.

I truly believe that we need to try hard to become more productive and to help ourselves to scale up and down, with relevant sources of information and learn to ignore the information that is not important.

I hope to keep posting more about productivity tools, experiences, success cases and failed attempts, and hopefully you will benefit from it.

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