Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"Bit Literacy" is essential reading for anyone who has experienced "digital overload": the daily flood of e-mail, multiple todo lists, a cluttered desktop, documents in various file formats, and the constant distraction of cell phones and other devices. More than a quick fix or another "how-to" guide, the book offers an entirely new way of attaining productivity that users at any level of expertise can put into action right away. This is "bit literacy," a method for working more productively in the digital age, with less stress. Mark Hurst - who has reached hundreds of thousands of readers through his Good Experience e-mail newsletter, Uncle Mark technology guides, thisisbroken.com, and other websites - has revealed the way to survive, and thrive, in the digital age: "Let the bits go."
an especially busy day results in an unusually high message count, it’s tempting to delete most of the messages, like spam and FYIs, but allow the todos to sit in the inbox. The next day brings in a new batch of e-mail, sitting on yesterday’s action items. Now it’s easier to go through the new mail than dive back into yesterday’s stale batch, and the user may then let some of the new todos sit in the inbox with yesterday’s. After a few days of this, you can guess what the inbox looks like:
valuable sources, and you must know exactly why you engage each of them. There are three types of sources in the lineup: stars, scans, and targets. Stars: These are the rare sources that consistently give useful, relevant information pertaining to one or more of your professional or personal interests. Stars are the sources most worth engaging (reading, viewing, or listening to), from beginning to end or close to it, on a regular basis. As such, they demand a good bit of time, so your media diet
part of their own blog-writing process, will naturally consume many sources. But they make up a tiny minority of users.) The bit-literate user is forever on a media diet and has to be in the habit of saying “no.” There’s too much to consume, and not enough time or attention to spend on even a fraction of it. Every possible source is a “no,” unless it’s proven otherwise in a disciplined tryout. Know what you consume, and why, and be strict about evaluating what else to consume, especially online.
die, the software can become out of date—anything can happen, but as long as the user’s files are named right, organized well, and backed up, there’s nothing to worry about. The file naming scheme “bakes in” good data to each file name, guaranteeing that the files will be usable and effective no matter where the user takes them. Bit literacy liberates users from being locked into any particular software or hardware. Combined with the storage scheme described in the next chapter, good file names
every week to see what “sticks.” Which do you naturally remember? Which do you use a lot? It takes some time to get really effective with a bit lever, but like any good investment, the returns compound over time. In over ten years of using a bit lever, I’ve built up well over a thousand abbreviation-expansion pairs. I use many of them on a daily basis—to correct a misspelling, retrieve a password, or type some text. Perhaps the most important aspect of a bit lever is that it invites continual