by

Jer em yC

ap

Digital Efficiency
36 Tips, Tools & Techniques for Streamlining Your Digital Life
NYPL 6/24/11

lan
TWITTER.COM/JEREMYCAPLAN QUESTIONS? E-MAIL JEREMY AT JEREMYCAPLAN.COM PHOTO BY .robbie

We are getting

FLOODED
With Info

110 E-Mail Messages
Per Day Per Person

Sites/Blogs Subscribed to in Google Reader

100+

Bits of Info Jotted Down
(Notes, Phone Numbers, To-Do List Items, etc)

20

In a Month...
> 3,000 E-Mails > 5,000 Blog Posts > 500 InfoScraps + Documents + Pictures + Links...

% of Time When Info is Flowing Into My Life % of Time When No New Info Is Coming In

8.3%

.7% 91

My Average # of Daily Incoming Email Messages
110
110

75

82

88
82.5 # of Email Messages

55

27.5 2008

2009 Year

2010 2011

0

# of Important Things to Read Online Amount of Spare Time for Casual Reading

2008

2009

2010

2011

“...Of Making Books there is no end...” Ecclesiastes 12:12

“The Abundance of Books is Distraction” - Seneca

“...Such is the flood that event things that might have done some good lose all their goodness...” - Erasmus

We Haven’t Even Mentioned...

Solutions
2 Approaches

Establishing systems

Implementing tools

Einstein’s desk on the day he died

Phone leashes

Taming Info

Overload
Strategies for staying sane and calm

Don’t rely on

willpower

“...We each have one reservoir of will and discipline, and it gets progressively depleted by any act of conscious selfregulation...” - Tony Schwartz, Harvard Business Review http://bit.ly/rituals101

Digital Efficiency requires:

a system rituals Tools

3 keys for Digital efficiency

set up and stick to a system
establish and refine rituals

pick and learn your tools

lay the groundwork

I. Check your reality II. set up your help III. prepare your systems

I. Reality check

track your time
Gain Awareness with Time Maps and Timers

II. set up your help

automate
spend your time, energy and brainpower where it’s needed or enjoyed

bill payment deposits budget tracking email filtering calendaring

III. prepare your system
free up your mind for thought

6 Levels of focus

The Big Picture:
Life Overall
(Mission, Purpose)

Longterm Goals
(Five Years)

Short-Term Goals
(This Year)

Reality on the Ground:
areas of responsibility
(Family, Job, Charity)

Projects
(Requiring multiple steps)

Tasks
(Individual To-Do Items)

break projects into pieces plan backwards from the deadline Specify the very next actions

Establish Rituals

“It is a profoundly erroneous truism that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing” “The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.” - A.N. Whitehead, Philosopher, 1911

Rituals
first things first weekly review digital sabbath

1st things 1st
start the day with the most important project

“Launching my work day by focusing first on whatever I've decided the night before is the most important activity I can do that day. Then taking a break after 90 minutes to refuel...” - Tony Schwartz, Harvard Business Review

Establish a weekly review
A Weekly Brain Refresh Review: Calendar, Projects & Tasks

Weekly Review

Review Once a Week:
Calendar
(Upcoming Week & Previous Week)

Projects
(Review Progress, Change tasks)

Tasks
(Individual To-Do Items)

tech sabbath
no-tech Sunday or No Tech before bed OR tech-free early morning

Next step: Pick your tools

The 9 Buckets
The infoStuff that we manage

The 9 Buckets
Email Calendar Tasks

Docs

InfoScraps

Feeds

Links

Paper

Reading

Pick & Stick to capture tools
For random bits of info and thoughts

Keep it simple
Choose basic tools that are good enough

Paper works
index cards and the hipster PDA

Hunt for system gaps
find the leaks Identify your weaknesses specify your adjustments

Calendars Reading Paper Docs Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Google Calendar

Google Calendar

Reading Paper Docs Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Tasks

Toodledo

toodledo

Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Docs Reading Paper Docs

Google Docs

InfoScraps Reading Paper Docs Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

evernote

evernote

Evernote

Feeds Reading Paper Docs

Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Google reader

Instapaper

Links Reading Paper Docs

Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Trunk.ly

Contacts Reading Paper Docs
Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Google Contacts

Voicemail Reading Paper Docs Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks

Google Voice

Google Voice

Google Voice

The 9 Buckets
Email Calendar Tasks

Docs

InfoScraps

Feeds

Links

Contacts

VoiceMail

One final bucket?
$$ Reading Paper Docs Links InfoScraps Calendar Feeds Tasks Financial Info $$

Mint

Betterment

Backing Up & Sharing

bit.ly

Sharpening Your toolkit

Questions? jeremy@ jeremycaplan.com Twitter: @jeremycaplan

Making the Most of E-Mail

Our Most crucial information source
Email

9 TIPS FOR E-MAIL NINJAS

DO, DELETE, DEFER JUICE UP YOUR

GMAIL

MINIMIZE INTERRUPTIONS

FILTER

AUTOMATE

BATCH

STRENGTHEN SIGNATURES

BOOKMARK EMAIL

ADD CONTEXT

Mastering email
Settings Labs Filters & labels apps & Add-ons

Key email techniques
Filtering Automating batching one-touch

Filtering
Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, I need a filter

Filtering
Clarify the characteristics of the email that needs to be filtered Examples: - Sender’s Name/Address - Subject Line - Recipients - Keywords

Automating
type it once, fine. Type it twice, fine. Type the same thing 50 times? You’re wasting time..

Textexpander

Textexpander

My Textexpander Stats:

Textexpander

My Textexpander Stats:

batching
Check and act on email periodically, not constantly. your attention and focus are valuable. don’t squander them.

batching
some people find that checking every hour is a reasonable compromise. find a frequency that works for you.

One-Touch
When you act on email, don’t just read. act. Either archive, reply or defer

One-Touch
3 basic options for acting on an email:

Archive = delete or label do = reply or take some action defer = Schedule for later or delegate

Settings & Shortcuts

8 Gmail Shortcuts
c  =  compose r  =  reply a  =  reply  all f  =  forward e  =  archive l  =  label   v  =  move  with  label s  =  add  a  star

Juicing Up GMail

Gmail Settings

Reply from other Email Addresses

Send & receive Email from work accounts

Customize your email

Gmail Labs

6 best Gmail Labs
Undo  Send Canned  Responses Quick  Links Auto  Advance Send  and  Archive Create  a  Doc

More Gmail Labs

Filters & Labels

Add Gadgets

Create a Filter Step 1

Create a Filter Step 2

Create a Filter Step 3

Apps & Add-ons

Boomerang

Boomerang

Nudgemail

Nudgemail

WiseStamp email signatures

WiseStamp email signature

Bookmark email

Bookmark email

Rapportive

Rapportive

Rapportive

170

171

173

Questions? jeremy@ jeremycaplan.com Twitter: @jeremycaplan