Yes, I still love evernote!Read More
I enjoy trying to figure out how to be as efficient as possible in my work and personal obligations. While I was completing my masters degree and while working on my dissertation data collection process, one of the things I always took notice of - was how my advisors got the work done. And boy, did they do it well!
But the one thing that always blew my mind was the amount of work they could handle at any given point in time. Not only that, but they were great with people. Were they prefect? No. Was I? Absoloutely not (just ask them)! But they were certainly personable people, and both are very well respected in the field of exercise science and by our governning body - The American College of Sports Medicine.
(Now, back to the topic at hand.) During my quest to obtain my masters, my doctorate, and even now as a professor, I aim to integrate technology in the most effective and efficient way possible. But all of this only matters because I aim to enact change in the lives of people.
I often read about productivity, and the one things that I cringe at are the commments about productivity enthusiasts aiming to 'stay far away from people as possible' or 'avoiding interaction with humans for the sake of prodcutivity'. This, by far, is the most backwards mindset ever!
I understand the need to 'shut the door' or focus without distractions on occasions, but to downplay to importance of human interaction is ridiculous.
Nevertheless, I found a great tool called Cloze. Cloze is known as a Personal Relationship Management System (PRM). PRMs are most commonly utilized in the marketing and business world, but not in academia. Microsoft outlook is often considered to be a PRM (regardless of how static it might be...). But since the Cloze software incorporates your contacts, emails, calendar, social media, projects, evernotes (yay!), phone call history, and projects, it can serve as an aggregate for those things and give you great insight into your relationships with people. It also helps you to maintain your relationshp by providing data on total contact time with different people, interactions on socail media, and much more.
As a professor, the Cloze algorithms have helped me to see if too much time has passed since I've reached out to a particular student who shows great potential but is no longer in my class, for example. It allows me to quickly access the zillions of files sent by individuals across multiple offices across campus (sometimes, this is horrifying). And, the best feature is that is shows me all the notes I have stored on particular people and projects - right when I need it!
But the most significant component of cloze is that it keeps my relationship right in front of me. And as more people develop their internet profiles and career profiles online, it is helpful to me to be provided with this information as relationships develop into the future.
You should give it a try!
Fluidity in Academic, Collaborative Productivity: To G-drive or not to G-drive - seriously, is that really a question?
Some say, “Just get the work done. Stop complaining about the tool.” Well, I sure would have loved to see how many apple tress Washington would have chopped down with a chainsaw. And who knows how many people he would have fed with those apples?
As a relatively new, green, academic, I've consistently searched for one thing in particular: How other academics sustain success, efficiencey, and productivity. In the 21st century, it is critical for one to #keeplearning. But for the purposes of passing on content to the next generation, it is also important to understand new trends and developments in knowledge, technology, and information in my generation (thanks Ralph Waldo Emerson). That being said, I try to incorportate these things in my workflows at home, work, and elsewhere. Regarding academia, I try to figure out how other academics have successfully managed to 'manage information, disseminate information (teach), and maintain consistencey in their personal lives. This guy is a great example!
I've consistently researched this for 2 primary reasons:
1. They don't teach you how to teach in academia - though they require you to do it well at smaller universities. (sigh..)
2. They don't tell you how to be successful. They just tell you what you need to do in order to get tenure and equate that to lifelong success (which by my definition, isn't success).
My journey isn't complete, but I've found something that seems to be consistent across the blogs and production from several professors/researcher/physicians
Each of them DO - and recommed - the follwing:
1. Understanding how the brain processes information, and aligning those cognative processes with external decisions and actions: The book GTD by David Allen really covers this process from a decision-making standpoint.
2. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS. If one wants to create and drive the world forward, one has to be able to focus. Dr. Cal Newport makes this clear on his blog and in his recently published book. Taking his approach to deep work is how I was finally able to finish my first e-book!
3. Assess, evaluate, and track of your personal and professional responsibilities! As one grows, one gets more responsibilities Dr. Jeffry Takeman, MD, alongside two of my favorite podcasters, David Sparks and Katie Floyd, have tried and tested project management software that allows us to do things with our devices that are just...beautiful. Evernote, combined with Workflows with Omnifocus is perhaps one the most critical additions to my academic workflow. At one point in time, a PC was person (just watch this movie and see for yourself). Fortunately, we've just about elminiated the need for individuals to be 'computers' of information. Hello Google.
Oh, and one more supremely important concept:
Pastor and Teacher John Piper at DesiringGod and Michael Hyatt, over at michaelhyatt.com, infuse a biblical-based approach in their spiritual foundations. Ditto. I found that when I added Sunday School Teaching to my responsibilities, productivity really started to take on a new meaning. Then, I found myself adding another process management task to to my overall workflow, popularized by Dr. Atul Gawande.
In the near future, I plan to write more about these things, as I find myself spend much time thinking about how to organize informaiton. I wanted to jumstart the process for other your professionals who may need guidance on this conecept.
I only imagine that the amount of information is going to exponentially increase over the next 10 years of my young career. Oh boy.