Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Use a Mobile Phone/GPS Cradle as a Camera Mount

You can use a mobile phone/GPS cradle as a camera mount for recording video while you are driving.

Please remember to be responsible by starting and stopping your recording from a parked vehicle. It is only necessary to give the illusion that you are fiddling with your camera while driving. You can trim off the ends of the video to hide the uninteresting parts.

The mount that I use is a general purpose mount sold by T-Mobile for use with the My Touch.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, January 22, 2010

Google Docs Vs. Evernote Premium for Archiving

Google Presently: Tem novidade a caminho!
Image by Daniel F. Pigatto via Flickr
Google recently announced that you will be able to use their Google Docs service to store files of any type. They are adamant that this is not the fabled GDrive. Based on my preliminary experience, I would have to agree. While Google's new file storage service is very affordable, it has some serious limitations.

First, let's spell out what Google offers, for the uninitiated. Google used to allow you to keep documents on their servers in the Google Docs formats. If you uploaded a Word or Wordperfect file, it would be converted to their format. Same for Excel and PowerPoint. Google recently announced that you will be able to upload any file up to 250 MB for storage in Google Docs.

It is true that you can upload any kind of file to Google servers. I tried a few. However, there is one big problem. While uploading your files to Google Docs is extremely affordable, there is a huge maintenance overhead. Your files can't be tagged worth a damn. The best you can do is create folders where you can put your files. Otherwise, there is no way to keep track of what is where.

On the plus side, you have the cheap storage price. In addition, Google Docs gives you the ability to share any of your files. This is great if you have a large file, less than 250 MB that you would like people to download. No bandwidth charges.

Evernote Premium, on the other hand, allows you to upload up to 500 MB of files into your account per month. But, they offer unlimited storage. In addition, Evernote allows you to tag and organize your files for easy recall. The downside to Evernote is that the maximum file size allowed is 25MB, considerably less than Google Docs.

It is a tough call as to which service is better. While, Evernote offers unlimited storage, there are monthly limits and file size limits. Evernote excels in the ability to tag your files for easy retrieval.

Google Docs has a tiered storage price structure, which is extremely affordable. In addition, they offer a larger file size.

On the one hand, you have better archiving; on the other hand, you have better storage options. Each offers an advantage the other does not give. This makes choosing a better service difficult.

But then, both services are very affordable. Nothing stops you from subscribing to both. Each one has its strength; which may be prove to complement the other with a little imagination.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, January 18, 2010

Being Deliberate to Be Effective

Memory upgrade
Image by shainelee via Flickr
Hellow Mind Racers! There may be a time when you are in a rush to get something done. It is tempting to make haste; but, doing so results in poor performance and unnecessary mistakes. If you have done the one thing often enough, you may move quickly; but every move is calculated and deliberate. Your mind is calm and focused on the task at hand.

This kind of experience, or muscle memory, often sets apart the veterans from the rookies. When you are new at something, your mind races, you forget details, you make hasty decisions, and generally do a poor job. Veterans, on the other hand, seem self-assured and collected, even during major challenges; because, they have been there before and know exactly what to do.

Wouldn't it be nice to have that same level of mental clarity that a veteran has in your everyday life? The problem is that Mind Racers like us often find ourselves in new situations and without a plan on how to proceed. Like Indiana Jones, we make it up as we go. We can muddle through most of the time; but, sometimes we find ourselves in a big mess because of the approach.

In my case, my mind is always racing; but, not because I'm in a hurry to do something. It takes a conscious effort to clear my mind of the chatter, and focus on deliberately doing the one thing that needs doing. I mention this because it may help you in some way. Down-shifting into deliberate thought is great for making you effective in your work.

If you feel that your day is like watching a movie where you have to catch all the details so you know what is going on in the next scene, then you are definitely a Mind Racer. Here is how I break out of it so that I can accomplish something.

  • Find a quiet place - This is important. Nothing breaks your concentration faster than having distractions around you kicking your brain into high gear.

  • Focus on an item - In this case, it is alright to stare. Stare at an item, look at it, not through it. When your mind is racing, you often look through things while focusing your attention internally on all the thoughts passing through your brain. By looking directly at something and focusing on it, it forces your mind to disregard the noise.

  • Start your deliberate thinking - Now that you have cleared your mind and primed it with a visual focus, substitute that focus with what you need to do. Think of the first step that will get you to your goal.

  • Make a list - If you have the racing mind problem, you may find that you will still wander off in thought on occasion. Having a list of what you need to accomplish helps you stay on task. Your first focus is the list; afterwards, shift your focus to the individual items.

  • Think on paper - You may also write your thoughts down on a computer; but, the problem is that it probably has Internet. That's not good for focus.

  • Take breaks - Focus is not natural for you, Mind Racer. If you do it for an extended period without rest, you will wear yourself out. Work for 15 to 20 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. I'm talking knowledge work here, physical work is never a problem for you, Mind Racer; quite the opposite, it allows you to zone out into thoughts while your body does all the work.

  • Try to always write a plan - Have a plan for everything. Force yourself to make the time to think ahead. Plan speeches, meetings, talks with your kids, your work day, your dates, and any situation where you feel you are a spectator rather than a participant. If you plan ahead, you will be more deliberate and keep the noggin in low gear.

That is it, Mind Racer. This is how I keep myself on task. It doesn't always work. If I'm exhausted, it becomes especially difficult to stay focused or achieve focus in the first place. But, it seems to work often enough to get some things done.

So, how do you achieve deliberate actions?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

BlockChalk offers anonymous location-based messaging

Feldmans Market Center
Image by shainelee via Flickr
The other day, I stumbled across BlockChalk.com, a website that interacts with your mobile phone's GPS. Unlike Twitter, Foursquare, BrightKite, and others, BlockChalk allows you to message with others; but you do so anonymously. At first, I was not sure what to think of it. After all, what's the point of it? Of course, I had the same reaction to Twitter.

The gist of BlockChalk is that it allows you to see messages from other people based on location. So, you may see messages from the guy next to you, from somebody a block away, or maybe a few blocks away. You don't know. The messages change according to your location. Most interestingly, the "chalk marks" are anonymous; which allows people to share what they really think rather than be guarded.

I think that all basic messages get posted to your neighborhood. You can add an exact GPS location by putting [here] in your post. This way, if somebody is near the location, they will see that message. It could be your opinion of a restaurant, your notes about a landmark, or announcing a special offer or event at your shop. Just because the message posts anonymously doesn't mean you cannot identify yourself in some way.

The service is described as being like a lamp post papered with flyers where you can see somebody is searching for a lost dog, having a yard sale, announcing a concert, and all manner of information. In addition, you have the ability to reply anonymously to somebody's chalk.

What really sets BlockChalk apart is the anonymity. There is no need to let people know who you are. You never have to log in.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Choosing Between the Doing Good and Doing the Right Thing

Methodist Church in Mission, Tx
Image by shainelee via Flickr
While this post revolves around a spiritual theme, it has business application. I was reading an article about following your vocation. While the article touched on serving God through the practice of your talents or occupation, my mind went off on a tangent, per usual. Before going into that tangent, let's just talk about a few examples of vocations. In the traditional sense, a vocation is a call to serve God as clergy of some form. However, it has evolved to also refer to other callings such as raising your family, being a carpenter, or any other skill you may possess.

Often, however, we lose sight of what our vocation is and get caught up on doing other things that seem right. One example that stood out in my mind is for those of us who are married. If you spend all your time going to prayer groups and church, while neglecting your family, then you are not fulfilling your vocation as a husband or wife, or that of a parent. While technically, you are doing good, you aren't necessarily doing the right things. Your family is paying the price for your absence.

In the business world, you may find yourself in the situation where you are busy doing many things for the benefit of your business; but you may not be doing the right thing. This comes back to figuring out your business core competencies and executing them exclusively. You may have added a line of products or services that do generate some revenue; but often at a huge cost.

Or, you may find that what you started doing as a business is not exactly what you do well. While building homes, you may find that though you are a good contractor, you are actually a good project manager in general. What is important is to look at your operations and identify what practices are merely good, and which ones actually move you forward. Once identified, you do not necessarily have to eliminate doing anything other than your core competencies. Rather, you should shift your focus and most of your energy to what truly matters.

When it comes to the spiritual realm, God has a plan for you; it is up to you to find that vocation and fulfill it. In the business realm, you can almost do the same thing by making sure that your business plan reflects your organization's true strengths; and, ensure that your business focuses on executing those things that truly fulfill the company's true calling. Otherwise, you end up spinning your wheels and going nowhere at great cost.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just showing up

Image by ~jjjohn~ via Flickr

Woody Allen is quoted as saying that 80 percent of success is just showing up. In my experience, this has proven true in real life. This also proves true on the web. Too often, business owners neglect showing up on the web at all. Many who do make an effort to get on the web, only make a half-hearted effort, the equivalent of being a wallflower at a dance.

In life, you will find that there are conferences, mixers, luncheons, prayer groups, clubs, and all manner of social gatherings. Some are just for fun; others are jobs. Human beings are extremely social creatures. We notice things, like when you show up at events or do not. We notice the kind of person you are when you do show up. We notice what doesn't happen when you do not show up.

If you have anything of value to offer in this world by your presence, it will become apparent when you show up. If you are a great motivator, others will notice when you are there to cheer the group on in their effort. If you are a great organizer, others will notice when everything runs smoothly thanks to your hard work. If, however, you don't show up to things, then others can't vouch for you.

If anything, one of the more valuable possessions we have in life are our reputations. We can only create a reputation for good things by being present. If we are absent, that is our only reputation. So, by showing up and being a part of what is going on, you help build your reputation.

This applies equally to your online presence. If you actively engage the online community, you will find that you can develop great friendships. However, if you are completely absent online, you'll get the online equivalent of "I'm sorry, who are you?"

Make it a practice to go out and be around others for whom you can make a difference. Otherwise, they will never know you existed; and how can you be a success without their support? Go out and be seen.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Your Web Presence is Another Branch of Your Business

Book Cover
Image via Wikipedia
Tonight I got to talk about web presence with some social media friends over dinner. We have all had experiences with clients who want a website or a social media presence; but they do not want to spend any time building it. By this, I don't mean the technical parts; those can be outsourced. I mean, they do not want to spend any time building content for their web presence. They want to hire out the blogging, photography, social media interaction, and other aspects that require some inside knowledge of their business.

The first thing that is wrong with this scenario is that only somebody who is aware of the ins and outs of your business should be at the helm of your social media presence. Having a website is time consuming. One generally recommends that you spend time updating the site often with new content. Having a brochure website that simply lists basic information only will not cut it. It's like opening another branch office in another town with a brochure rack inside.

The alternative is to at least put somebody on the task of fielding messages from the website. Open up that branch and at the minimum put a receptionist at that office. If you want a little bit better return on your branch investment, then put somebody at that branch that can handle communications and maybe even make a few sales.

The situation reminds me of a part in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, where the author relates that landscapers often get requests from people to create gardens that don't require maintenance. Of course, the answer is "if there is no gardener, there is no garden." Same with a website; if there is no content creator, there is no benefit to your website.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Following Your Natural Inclinations

McAllen Creative Incubator
Image by shainelee via Flickr
Lately, I have been grappling with the question of whether one should follow their natural inclinations. In one sense, this can be seen as following your instincts. This serves well for many people. However, the advice is not a good general statement. For example, an alcoholic's natural inclination is to have another drink. Is that instinct?

On the one hand, there are some of you who accomplish great things doing something passionately when everybody thought you were crazy. You did it because you had a vision. Your vision may be an art, a business, a community project, or even effectively managing your family. You did it because it seemed like the right thing to do. Something in your gut told you it has to be done. You did it because it was in your nature to do it.

Or, you may be one of those folks whose natural inclinations may be destructive. No doubt, we all know of somebody who got involved with the wrong crowd, started using drugs, or is a pervert who will unsurprisingly get arrested for doing something awful. But, even they are not always completely bad. They may have some wonderful genius they share with the world along with that destructive inclination.

How can we justify encouraging folks to do what comes naturally to them without giving them license to do bad things?

This is a philosophical question that came to mind recently as I think ahead to advice to give my children.

Am I looking at this wrong? What do you think?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, January 11, 2010

Imagined Obstacles Can Hold You Back

My first landing
Image by shainelee via Flickr
One problem with having a vivid imagination and being able to grasp the totalities of ideas easily is the immediate realization of all the details involved, real or imagined. Sometimes, you may be 100% correct that a problem will crop up and give you all kinds of headaches on a project.

More often, however, the possible problems are mostly imagined and never come to happen. In fact, you may find that you avoided doing something for so long, and then, when you can't avoid it any longer, what you feared would happen doesn't happen.

This sort of thing happens to all smart people at some point. There is some freedom in not knowing any better because you can go right on ahead and make things work when all the experts told you it wouldn't.

There are several books which illustrate the point. One of my favorites is The Millionaire Next Door. The author cites examples of some of the habits of many of the people who retire as millionaires. They are quite often down to earth people with small businesses. They plug away at their job every day, don't spend too much on lavish things, and mostly have mediocre educations. Compared to other, better-educated people, you would not think they would have become millionaires. Somebody forgot to tell them that.

Compared to other people who make every effort to follow every rule and business practice, crossing every t and dotting every i. They often start a business, and fail. Because, they were so caught up in protecting themselves from imagined threats that they never did what they set out to do, make money.

There are even examples in sports. For example, when you are mountain biking, you need to look ahead at your goal rather than every rock and hole right ahead of you. You learn quickly that wherever your gaze goes, your front tire goes. This includes going straight into things you want to avoid.

Sometimes you have to let go of your fears and go for it. In new media terms, we often say, "just do it".

Don't let your imagined fear stop you from accomplishing great things. While your fear may be imagined, your lack of accomplishment is real. Yes, you may achieve great things and fail; but, at least you'll have a road map to do it again, or at the very least have been somewhere that those with fear never will. So, what's stopping you?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Echo Media: Life Enhancement Through Personal Content

Hipster PDA
Image by shainelee via Flickr
I know that the whole world is talking about how social media is revolutionizing life as we know it. Being a social media geek myself, I would have to agree with that. However, there is a growing market for what I am calling Echo Media, which consists of content aimed not at the public or a close circle of friends. Rather, aimed at enhancing your own life and ability to keep up with the increasingly fast pace of life. This is media that echoes back to you your own information. You put that information in with the intent of being your own audience.

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Evernote, a cloud-based service that allows you to store information as it comes at you from day to day. In the free version, Evernote allows you to store text notes, photographs, and PDF files up to 40 MB per month. This in itself is rather powerful. However, if you go to their premium subscription for $5/month, you can upload any file up to 25MB in size for a total of half a gigabyte per month. As far as little notes to yourself, this is a lot of information.

We have always created media of some sort or another to help us remember things. We made home movies so we could watch later when the kids grew up. We wrote tons of notes on paper and filed them away for later. We have made voice recordings in the form of dictations and voice memos. So long as we could afford the technology, we have always used whatever media is available to help us remember important things, even if it's just pencil and paper.

The first way in which we create our own Echo Media is on our computers. We keep photos, files, movies, and all sorts of content on them to preserve our work and experiences. The downside is that you have to be at your computer to access this information. This is not good enough if you are out of the office or away from your home computer for long stretches. In addition, should anything happen to your computer, you've lost your archives.

Evernote is simply one example of the new information repositories that echo back our own personal information. Never before have we had this level of access to our information. Anybody with a smart phone can access their information store within Evernote to bring up important or trivial information that is relevant on the spot. Typically, when you put information into Evernote, you do not intend to share that information with anybody. It mostly is intended for your own use.

Back when I was younger, I often dreamed of having a personal database that I could use to gather, sort, and search for information, like they do in the movies. The problem with your standard database is that the fields are fixed and can only hold certain types of information. Each field can only hold that type of information and nothing else. The databases of old are very inflexible.

Databases like Evernote allow you to dump any kind of information in, tag it, and then sort and search as needed. The database recognizes handwriting and printed text in photographs, text in notes, text in PDFs, and soon, I understand, even speech. There is no tedious need to sit at the computer to enter this information. It can be entered on the fly from your mobile phone, email, your computer, and even through Twitter. This ease of use makes it more likely that you'll store data. It also makes it more likely you will seek and find the data later.

For now, Evernote is the only Echo Media service of which I am aware. Perhaps there will be others in the future. If anything were to come close to that, I would say it is the Wiki. The main problem with Wikis is that they are not typically mobile phone friendly. Wikis give you that same powerful multimedia storage, indexing, and search capability. But, typically Wikis are only web based; whereas Evernote, and whatever challengers may come up in the future, offer mobile clients to facilitate access and content creation.

I think that in the future you will see other companies start to provide services that allow you to gather information, sort it, and access it anywhere. Evernote is simply the first. Look around your existing services and take stock over which ones you use to store your files and information out of sight from the world. As technology becomes more ubiquitous, expect to create content for your own personal consumption more and more. Expect to store everything and anything that touches your life; expect it to be easy to access when you need it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

We Spent the Night Without Electricity

It is rare that we have freezing weather here in South Texas. We probably get more hurricane threats than freezes. It's so strange to see people go insane every time it gets cold around here. Given that most of us are accustomed to hot weather, we do not adapt well to the cold. Unfortunately, this puts a strain on our electic grid. We don't invest in oil or gas heaters for our homes. We also don't really need fireplaces. We're all electric, baby.

So, my apartment complex went dark just as our first freeze was starting. The funny thing is that all around us, everything else was lit. Our power company is a Co-Op that has its own grid. We were dark for about 16 hours.

Fortunately, our place is well insulated to deal with the summer heat. It worked well against the freezing temperatures as well. Our inside temperature went down to 69 degrees. The biggest problem was boredom. Electricity is a big part of our daily lives, especially if, like me, you live on the Internet.

Power finally came on this afternoon after we went shopping for battery operated lanterns, just in case. Fortunately, we don't need them, yet. Tonight is the second hard freeze for a while. After tonight, we should be fine for a while.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Standing Apart From the Rest




Buy at AllPosters.com

Standing out from all the other blogs can sometimes be a daunting task. On the one hand, you want to provide content that others want to read, so you start looking at what people are reading about and writing about on other blogs. On the other hand, you don't want to sound like the other blogs and parrot the same ideas. What's a blog writer to do?

You may find that it is probably better to just do your own thing. Don't worry about what others are writing, what's hot, what's trending in the search terms. If you start off blogging with these lofty goals in mind, you may find that you never find "your voice", which is the much fabled unique style of writing that makes your blog represent who you are.

The best way to find your blogging voice is to simply write about those things that matter to you, that you are passionate about. You'll find that when you are passionate about something, your best arguments and forms of expression tend to come out. Parroting other writers and trends does not evoke that style of writing that makes your blog uniquely you.

Once you have found your blogging voice, you'll find that it's easy to pound out a blog post on short notice because you do not have to think about how to phrase things. You don't stop to think about how to phrase things during everyday conversation. Blogging is, for the most part, an everyday conversation; and it should reflect that. Once you've figured out your writing style, you can parrot all day long; but it will stand apart from others because it will be in your own voice. Or, you can go against the grain and write only about stuff you like. I find the latter much easier.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Here a blog, there a blog, everywhere a blog

Highs and Lows
Image by shainelee via Flickr
I completely forgot to write a blog post yesterday for the 100 posts in 100 days challenge. Technically, I didn't miss it. When you add it all up, I'll probably have closer to 500 blog posts by the time the 100 days after January 1, 2010 are over. Currently, I am blogging here on this site. There are also some other blogging sites I have set up where I post material, listed below:

RGV Life

Some, I update more frequently than others. However, in the spirit of the challenge, I will consider this the blog that is facing the challenge. So, consider this a makeup post for yesterday. There will be another later today.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, January 04, 2010

Need Ideas For Blogging? Do Something!

I believe that writers mostly write from experience. Of course, that doesn't mean that mystery writers have murdered, buried the body in the woods, and eventually caught. That model doesn't scale. However, the more compelling things, like what characters think, how they feel, and how they think may come from having experienced similar thoughts and feelings.

When it comes to blogging, a similar approach can help. If you are writer blocked, you should probably go out and do something. Either your activity will form the basis of your writing, or it will jog a memory of a similar experience or idea that you had in the past, which you can write.

What you do is up to you. It can be something new; or it can be something you have done 1000 times. Even if something is not new, you may notice some nuance that you can use as the basis for your blog post. Again, do something. You'll be surprised how ideas pop out of the strangest places.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Your Productivity System Should Let Information Flow

Every project is implemented under three const...
Image via Wikipedia
Experience has taught me that it is best when your productivity tools work together. Whatever efficiency you gain from a tool or service that does not work with others gets lost when you have to re-input information. The key is that your system should work for you, not give you another job to do.

Yesterday, we discussed how Evernote is my universal inbox. Even so, it is not the only tool you should use; while Evernote excels at capturing and organizing information, it is not so good for doing anything with that information. Evernote is that legal notepad where you write notes while you are on the phone or at meetings.

If you are looking for other tools to supplement Evernote, Onenote, or whatever capture tool you use, you should look for those that allow you to transfer information easily. Nothing is more frustrating than having to reenter information you have already entered at least a couple times into other software or websites. Look for those that connect.

You will find that if you have to perform data entry every time you need to update a tool, you end up not wanting to use it.

On that same note, just as information should flow into and amongst your productivity products easily, information should flow out easily. This is where I have trouble.

CRMs, Customer Relationship Managers, are wonderful tools. They let you keep track of all aspects of your relationship with your client. From prospects, to deals in the pipeline, to sales, to follow-ups, and even account histories. Simply marvelous what a good CRM can do. My biggest hitch with CRMs is that they are generally only useful at your computer. When you're out in the field, all that information is doing you no good. On top of that, any new information requires you to sit at the computer to enter the information into the system.

CRMs are often too robust for smartphones to use efficiently. And, while they're great at customer relationships, they are not so good at project management. So, if you are a small business and are straddling the fence between sales and production, there is no system that lets you do both; there will be information redundancy and compartmentalization.

Perhaps I am sensitive to these things because as a part-time freelancer, I have to wear many hats. My bookkeeping, accounting, documents management, contacts, tasks, project management, and communications all have to work as seamlessly as possible, or else it becomes lost time and money.

What services and affordable software do you find that allow you to integrate all your business information?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Evernote As The Ubiquitous Capture Tool

Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
I first read Getting Things Done by David Allen back around 2006. Ever since then, I have been trying to find the right way to make GTD work for me. While GTD has been a great methodology, I never found the right combination of tools for me. I think Evernote has finally evolved into the product that will finally be my trusted capture tool for all the information that comes at me from day to day.

Mobile Technology Makes the Difference

Within the last year, mobile technology has started to produce products that have enabled the use of Evernote as the one destination for all your life's information. Smartphones have started including auto-focus on their cameras; I have plenty of photos from my old phone that are fuzzy and not indexed because of the lack of auto-focus. Internet speeds have been much improved with 3G; if it takes longer to upload a note than to have just written something down on paper, what's the benefit? Phones capable of running robust applications are out on the market; the phones of yesteryear simply did not have the right stuff.

Prior to today's products, using Evernote while away from the computer was inconvenient. You would do it if you really had to do it; but it wasn't your first choice. Today, I do not hesitate to use Evernote to capture information on the go. So, Evernote has not so much evolved; rather, the technology that helps us add to Evernote has evolved.

I run a T-Mobile G1, which runs Android. Even with this first draft of a Google phone, I am able to experience Evernote as I'm sure the creators meant it to be experienced. It's probably more fun with the newer souped-up models.

Why Evernote is Ready to Capture All Your Information

Aside from the technology improvements that make Evernote a viable mobile information tool, there are some features that make it worthwhile as a place to put your information.


As you may know, Evernote indexes all written text so that you can easily find all your information just by running a search. This includes handwritten text in photos, PDFs for paid subscribers, and soon audio. Auto-indexing means that you do not have to spend as much time organizing and sorting your notes; Evernote does it for you. This is why you can trust the service; because you can find what you put into it.


It was not too long ago that Evernote added shared Notebooks as a feature. On the free version, you can share a Notebook in Evernote with somebody; but they can only view the item. Under the Premium version, you can share the Notebook and give others access to edit your documents or add new ones. This is the holy grail that sold me. This is like having a shared network drive with anybody. The ability to not only keep track of my own personal information; but to allow others to access and contribute to some of that is crucial. It is the essence of having an Intranet.

Evernote Is Your Own Personal Intranet

I've worked at large corporations with very well organized intranets. Any offer, discount, problem, legal requirement, contact, policy, procedure, form, or data was indexed and searchable. Often, making decisions for the company was easy because the information was readily available and even guided you to doing the right thing. By capturing all the minutiae of your day, you are building up a history that can eventually help you make decisions faster and more effectively simply by running a search on your notes. Evernote gives you that power. Having the ability to share Notebooks also allows you to delegate some of that power and experience.

Clearly, for me, Evernote will be my organizational tool of choice for 2010.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year, A New Life?

Better Results
Image by shainelee via Flickr
One thing that is de rigueur with every new year is for people to make resolutions. I suppose it makes sense. The end of the year gives you a good demarcation to mark you progress towards those things that you want. What often happens, however, is that we don't follow through on our resolutions. I think we have in mind that we can change some things about ourselves without changing our lives.

Health and Fitness

There are only two ways you can be more fit and less heavy. Eat less; or exercise more. Or, if you are feeling very motivated, you can try a combination of the two. But what if you do those and still eat high-calorie foods? So long as you consume more than your daily requirement, neither is likely to work. So, clearly, a life change is in order. You have to eat healthier and exercise. If you don't do either already, then this is a change in lifestyle.


We all have something we could do better, like get some more education, increase how far or fast we can run, become more spiritual, or learn an art. Whatever. For more education, you need to make some things happen, like pay for the classes and then make the time to attend. For the running thing, obviously, the more you practice the more likely you are to reach your goal, which requires you to make the time. To learn an art, whether it be painting, guitar playing, or basket weaving (everybody's favorite), you must make the time to practice. In the end, you have to alter your life to make these things happen.

Too often we make these resolutions with the intent of getting something for nothing. As if we can still go on eating fast food every day while trying to lose weight. You can't have a sedentary job and sedentary home life if you want to get ripped. And so on.

In order to succeed at your resolution, you have to accept and be willing to change your way of life. Everything in your life is interconnected to some degree. Trying to change something and then going back to your old life isn't going to cut it. You have to accept that whatever you change, life will not be the same again. Don't say, "this year will be different." Instead, say, "from now on, life will be different." This is why you choose to do it in the first place, right?

So, I suggest, go ahead and make those resolutions; but only if you intend to change your life. Without the understanding and commitment to never being the same again, you are destined to fail. So why bother? Good luck in your new life.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]