Monday, 31 May 2010

Book afterthought: “Getting Organized In the Google Era” by Douglas C. Merrill

Score: 4/5

This book was written by the former CIO of Google, teaching people how to use various tools (like Gmail and the iPhone) and best practices (like when to use paper and when to use digital tool) to thrive in today’s information overloaded lifestyle.  I found the recommendations helpful, though probably even more so for a non-techie.  The lesson I liked the most was about filtering information (i.e. skimming):

Reading every single word in a book, article, or anything else is much more time-consuming and more difficult, at least for me, than filtering that information.  And yet, it comes with the same risk of forgetting.  So you may as well filter.  It’s easier to do, and it’s easier on your brain – and you may need that extra brainpower later.

There will still be material that I read every single word for (like personal letters), but this lesson from the book reminded me that the risk of losing important info is generally no greater than the risk of forgetfulness, and that I should have confidence I will catch most of the goodness in the material by my skimming.  It’ll also help me remember better that which is worth remembering.

1 comment:

Keng said...

Makes sense to me. I usually like to read every word but very quickly, almost but not quite skimming. And then every so often my brain tells me that I missed something important so I should go back. The really good stuff I jot down on my blackberry.

I think a good point to take home which may not be emphasized is to do your own filtering. I've come to understand that for many things, you just have to do the research yourself. But maybe that's just because of the work I do.

Good post Justin! Keep'em coming.