Tag Archives: Web

It’s Okay to Leave

One of the great things about Google+ is the ability to join various communities and share with others that are of a similar mindset. Of course, over time, your interests change and you may want to prune your list of communities so that it only includes those you are interested in.

So how do you leave a community?

1. From your computer click on the Home button in the upper left hand corner of your browser and select Communities.

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2. Select the community you wish to leave.

3. Click on the gear icon and select ‘Leave community’

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4. Confirm you want to leave the community. Remember you’re only leaving the community the posts you’ve made in the system will still be visible – unless you delete them yourself

leave-community-confirm

Now it is possible to leave a community from a mobile device but I’ve found it’s just much easier and quicker to handle it from the computer.

How often do you prune your communities list?

Thanks Google, but I’ll Keep my Evernote

Yesterday Google officially announced what has been swirling around as a rumor for days, their note taking application – Keep (read the announcement).

The service is very similar to Springpad and my personal choice, Evernote. It allows you to input your notes, take pictures, and create lists. Currently you can use it from your Android phone (running 4.0 and above) or from the web – Google Drive integration is coming.

If you had asked me about this service a few months ago you might have gotten me to take more than just a look at – I might have even jumped to it, but not now for a variety of reasons.

The shutdown of Google Notebook

There are still a few of us out there that remember Google Notebook, Google’s original note taking app. We also still remember when they decided to shut it down and everyone went scrambling for a way to save off their notes (this was before takeout). The folks at Evernote, among others, stepped up and offered a solution and in some cases tools to import your notes.

The shutdown of Google Reader

This was just announced (read about it here) and like Google Notebook it hits home for many of us. I’ve been a fairly regular user of either Reader or a service that depends on it for some time and have been now forced to find an alternative (I’ll post about it when I decide). I won’t sit here and “rage against the machine” that Google is for taking away this service as it is their right and they have given us plenty of time to migrate to something else. It does go to show though, that once again we were beholden to the almighty Google.

My decision to diversify

I mentioned a few months back, I’m diversifying my tool set. As many who know me would tell you, if it was a Google product, Scot would be “all in,” but that has changed. While the prospect of having my notes available right there in Google next to other items of mine I cannot bring myself to contradict my earlier decision. Will Google Keep be better than Evernote? There’s no way of knowing at this point but given that Evernote is working to be a 100 year startup, have clients for all the major platforms (Linux the notable exception) and have a profitable business model (yes, I pay for it) it’s hard to argue against them.

So, I know where I stand, how about you? Will you take to the walled Google Keep or use a different tool for your note taking and web gathering? Take a minute and share your thoughts.

Building your own knowledge base

How many times have you been in a position and said to yourself, “where did I see that article?” Given the great expanse of the Internet more than once I’d wager. Of course that’s only the online world, what about all those books and magazines (you do remember paper right?) you have piled up? How about the all the interesting sites and sounds you’ve come across when you’re out and about?

We’re exposed to thousands of data points everyday and the question becomes how to take that information again when we need it. To do that you need a personal knowledge base.

I’m not talking about just a collection of information, nearly everyone has the ability to do that. With the advent of the modern browser we can bookmark articles, save emails forever (or just about), review articles from hundred of websites if we choose. With the phone you have you can take snapshots of anything you wish, short videos, record your voice and even send a text message or make of phone call.

Then you have all the social media you’re reading and creating.

So you have all that information but that’s not a knowledge base.

A knowledge base is that collection of data overlaid with your own comments, observations and what you learned from the experience. When you read a book or an article you take something away from it – make a note of it. You took a snapshot of your kids playing in the snow, you’ll get the time, date, and place recorded automatically if you took it with a smartphone but not the why – add it to your notes.

Of course the other part of the challenge is finding a way to make it all available to you when you what it – no matter where you are. A place that you can continue to add items as well as pull from that stock of knowledge.

For me that tool is Evernote. Every device I own and use as it loaded on it. It’s become an integral part of what I do and who I am. It’s not just receipes and receipt photos – it’s also where I’ve stored photos of my kids, articles I wanted to read and any observations I had about them. I keep meeting minutes, newsletters, even voice mails – it’s a treasure trove of data.

As I’ve used Evernote I’ve come to learn more about how these pieces of data are connected – I even connect them using note links so I can move easily between them. I tag things, use keywords in titles and date code them (date codes is an upcoming post) all so I can find things easier and draw conclusions from that information.

I’ll be coming back to this topic often but my question for now is, do you have a personal knowledge base?

Also, be sure to check out the Wikipedia article bout Personal Knowledge Management.

bit.ly Sidebar makes it easy to share links

bit.ly.sidebarI mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve moved to Opera as my primary browser and to date I’ve kept the browser fairly close the base install. I did this primarily so I could get use the the browser itself before I started to “tweak it.”

My latest addition to the browser is the bit.ly extension.

When you click on the extension’s button the sidebar appears on the left hand side of the browser tab you have open. In addition to giving you the shortened link (which you can single click copy to your clipboard), it also gives you areas to share directly with your social media sites.

Be sure to grab it at: http://bit.ly/YFzVIt (Opera only)

Daily action leads to daily habits

About a month ago I posted what some of my 2011 targets were, and among those was a goal to tweet every day.

So here I am, a goal in site and not really sure I could keep it going. What I needed was a way to not only track my progress but visually remind myself that I needed to keep going, something that I feel was missing in my failed 365 day project. So I went on a hunt to find such a tool and came across the site, Don’t break the Chain.

The site is simple to use, and follows the productivity secret of Jerry Seinfeld – create a chain of daily actions and you will improve, or in my case develop a new habit. Each day I send out a tweet I log it on the calendar at the site (okay I use the Chrome extension) and I can see the growing chain – it will be 33 days long as this post goes live. I have to admit, there is now this need to keep the chain alive, to not miss a day – it’s like a competition against myself and I’m looking forward to finding other ways to use this site to develop habits and improve myself.

Don’t break the chain is free to use – go ahead, how long can you keep a chain going?