When do ideas reach Critical Mass?

Jeffrey Phillips at Thinking Faster thinks that "Innovation" as an business idea is about to reach critical mass, i.e. stop being hot. An indication of this would be mainstream books like "Innovation for Dummies". When it is published, you now this time has come.

My indicator that an idea is exhausted and discarded is when politicans take it to their heart. One example is Internet and IT. When the government put it on the top of their agenda in the year 2000, the IT-bubble burst. Another example here in Sweden is "Design". Politicians think that you can increase business and market products with design. They have even declared 2005 to be a "design year" in Sweden, Needless to say, design is totally cold now, and everyone is starting to get really tired of hearing about it.

"Innovation" is about to get hot here in Sweden, and I think it will culminate next year and thus be "The Next Big Thing" after "Design".

So when politicians engage in an idea, start looking for the next Big Thing...

Thinking Faster: Innovation reaches Critical Mass


Using Evernote

Over at "What's the next action" a showdown between EverNote and OnFolio is going down. Both are note taking/organizing software, and the question is which is best for a GtD user.
I tested EverNote briefly a while back and it didn't "click" for me. When the new version was out I decided to give EverNote a new chance but I still didn't, well, like it. My main problem is the user interface. It's too friendly and I get the nagging feeling that it is a toy more than a tool.
I have OnFolio installed as well, but I feel that my needs are fulfilled with Firefox plug-ins Slogger or ScrapBook. Anyway, it will be interesting to read what the OnFolio verdict will be.

Showdown 1: Using Evernote - What's the next action


Juggling may increase size of your brain

Waddaya know, all my juggling practice may pay off in increased brain size. However, if this equals increased intelligence is another question. I'm pretty fluent juggling with two and three balls, and can perform several tricks. If this German study is correct, I should start practicing again...

The scans found that learning to juggle increased by about 3 per cent the volume of "grey matter" in the mid-temporal area and left posterior intra-parietal sulcus, which are parts of the left hemisphere of the brain that process data from visual motion.

The New Zealand Herald


Making "stuff" into "things"

Speaking of "stuff" and "things"; I stumbled across this lifehack today, how to organize a room. Basically you make a pile of all the stuff in the room, and then analyze each object and decide if its a "thing" or just "stuff". Things stay in an organized way, stuff gets thrown or given away.

Recognize the process? It's the same process as when you clean out all your stuff thats at your mind when you start the "Getting Things Done" process.

rinku: the best way to organize your room

Well, whats in YOUR bag?

I mentioned earlier that my bag is kind of a Inbox for me. I put a lot of stuff in there that I need to transport between home and work. Stuff that unfortunately have a tendency to stay there, so my bag is getting heavier over time. I really need to bring it into my review process...
That is why I haven't contributed to the "whatsinyourbag" tag at Flickr. I'm afraid I have way to much stuff in it. But it's fascinating to peek into other peoples bags, and in some cases I got some ideas on things that could be useful to have in my own bag.

Hm, I just realized that "Stuff" is objects that is not in its proper place or should not exist at all. "Things" are the exact opposite. I want more "things" and less "stuff" in my bag, and ultimately in my life as well...hmm...

Flickr: whatsinyourbag


43Folders Wiki

Merlin Manns 43Folders wiki is finally online. It's not the first (Lifehacks.org) but it will be the greatest. It's a bit Maccentric but don't let that discourage you, we will all be Mac users sooner or later anyway.

Good luck Merlin, the world needs a wiki about "cool tools and productivity pr0n"!



A tangible thing in our virtual lifes

I have blogged about the growing interest in adding analog to your digital life. Why the interest for using notebooks and pen is growing. I compared it to the rules for usability, and called the notebook efficient. Douglas Johnston pointed at the intimacy of using a notebook.

My friend the pen collector had another definition. A notebook and a pen are tangible things in a world thats has gone more and more virtual. We don't get to open envelopes, we read e-mail from a screen, and we do our banking on a screen, we read our news from a screen, we have calendar on a screen, our phonebook on a screen, look at art on a screen.

So the growing interest in paper and pen is simply a way for us to hold and use things with our hands again. But a pen can not be just a pen, it has to look good and feel good. A notebook is functional, but since we want to hold and touch it it has too feel good and be inviting.

Ok, but a PDA is something you hold and use with your hands. It is very tangible.
Yes, but isn't personal. The other trend is personalization. Mass consumption is slowly disappering and we want personal things. What can be more personal than a Moleskine and a Montegrappa1912?


Lifehack #1, use a fly fishing vest

Posted by Hello
A recent thread on 43Folders Google group discusses how to carry around all your stuff like Hipster, PDA, cellphone, pens, Moleskine, MP3 player, wallet and so on. Usually I carry a bag (which is a sort of Inbox for me as well, more on that later) but while traveling, and generally in the summer, I use a fly fishing vest.
A fly fishing vest has a lot of pockets of all sizes, and you can carry around all your stuff in a comfortable way. You have your hands free and do not have to juggle with a shoulderstrap bag or purse. There is also photographers vest which is well stocked with pockets.
Well, that was my Lifehack #1. Stay tuned for Lifehack #2...


Next up, the Zipster guide

I have received a few requests for more information regarding my Zipster (the Hipster clone), the cards I created for it and how I use it. Stay tuned for a usage report and a better do-it-yourself guide within a week. I will share what I learned during the last month, and also my current set-up to handle my daily tasks. Stay tuned.

PDA vs Paper

There is a thread on 43 Folders Google group discussing why people prefer using digital (PDA) vs. paper. My take on this is; use both.
Nothing beats paper and pen when you need to write things down quickly. You can just as easily sketch a diagram or draw a map. The PDA on the other hand is perfect for carrying large amounts of data. You can swiftly sort, search and display databases like an addressbook or a calender, read e-books or listen to podcasts.
Currently I use paper and pen (i.e. my Zipster) for handling my @action lists, and the PDA (Palm T3) for calendar, addressbook, reading webpages offline (using RepliGo) and so on.
See also my earlier blog regarding notebook vs PDA usability.


What tools do I have to work on my Next Action?

Mark Taw talks about the @context lists that is the basis of Dave Allens GTD system, and the risk of having to many lists.
I, as many other, more or less copied the contexts that Dave Allen suggested. It took me about two weeks to realize that I had to many lists. For instance it didn't make sense to have three different lists (phone, computer, office) at work.
What I did was sit down and make a list of the different situations I find myself during a day. Places and situations were I could actually work on Next Actions.
The result were revealing, and I have now three lists, Home, Work and Shopping.

However, I did one other thing that was very helpful. For every situation (home, office, bus etc) I made a lists of the tools I had at hand (computer, laptop, phone etc). This made me realize that I shouldn't make my Palm PDA the hub of my GTD system as I had planned, but my laptop (this was before I invented the Zipster). I encourage anyone that intends to start Getting Things Done and is wondering if they should use a hipster, wiki, notepad, PDA, laptop, Outlook, Gmail and what not to handle their context lists, to make an inventory of what tools they actually have at hand.

What context do I put my Next Actions in? :: MarkTAW.com


Back @ home, I find MAKE magazine

Things have been silent here since I have visited Belgium for a couple of days. Not much to say about that, it was work and we got it done. However, we had a rental car that we would drive from the airport to the office in Braine L'Allude. Strangely enough, the car rental couldn't provide us with a map, and no map was found in the car! So when you rent a Keddy, make sure you bring your own map. This had us going one and a half lap around Brussels before we found our destination...

Anyway, back at home I found that I received the premier issue of MAKE magazine from O'Reilly. It is a DIY magazine for nerds, geeks and tweekers. Everything from how to make aerial photography from a kite to blogging. I love it and recommend it warmly to everyone. Heck, it even has a Life Hacks column by Merlin Mann (43Folders) and Danny O'Brien(Lifehacks.com).