How I Think, Mostly

evernoteEvernote posted this huge blog post about how to use Evernote to capture, store and use the information and ideas one reads, finds, thinks about, receives, discovered, stumbles upon, has recommended to them, and otherwise crosses paths with in the day-to-day.

I’ve written before about how I keep everything in Evernote. I’ve gotten into the habit of just storing everything there. A while back a friend asked for notes I had on a particular topic and in about 15 minutes I gave her about 10-12 resources that I had collected over time on that topic. I can’t tell how times I’ve wanted to go deeper on a subject and I’ve just search in Evernote and found where I’ve already saved a bunch of articles on the subject.

This blog post entitled, “Evernote and the Brain: Designing Creativity Workflows” completely nails it for me. This is how I think and work. I don’t use the tags feature as much as this article suggests but instead use search. I’ve written about my thinking on search a while back. I use folders in Evernote, but even that is perhaps no longer as useful as what I thought when I began. I’m mostly convinced I could combine all the folders into one (or a small number) and just use search to find what I wanted. I do use a tag called, ‘favs’ for some articles that really connected with me. Rarely, I’ll create a tag or folder for a specific, short-term project but that is not the norm.

A lot of things cross my desk and if something catch my eye then I will likely post a tweet about. If it is particularly good or in an area that I want to keep thinking about, I’ll also send it to Evernote. Related, I save my Kindle highlights into Evernote so I can find some quote or nugget that caught my eye one day, perhaps years earlier.

Over time, this collection of articles and notes, now over 2400 in size becomes a priceless resource to me on things that I find interesting or useful. This is what computers are really all about, helping us connect the dots and helping us see insights that wouldn’t otherwise be as easily reached.

 

 

 

Look for the Broken

A case in point. I bought a new car this weekend. Talk about a process this is broken, awful, sad, wasteful, slow, inefficient, irritating, and ripe for a re-imagining (can anyone say Tesla?).

They have millions of dollars of inventory sitting out in the sun, snow, sleet, hail, rain just sitting.

You have to play a game with them to agree on a price. You know that whatever price they quote you is not the real price. They might tell you that you are getting a discount for some reason, but they can likely make that back up somewhere else with another variable (trade-in).

They low ball you on trade-in and act like they will have a hard time with that model, feature, color, type, etc. When you already know the trade-in value from looking it up online.

You agree on a price, but then there is another $199 in documentation fees.

If you decide you are going to leave, the manager needs to meet you and wants to know what he can do.

If you accept a deal, then you spend another hour doing paperwork. In our case, they had information from a prior car we had bought at the dealer that was wrong (address, email and phone) and no matter how many times we corrected it, the wrong data continued to show up on forms. They loaded a new email address into a system but they loaded it incorrectly and there is no way to edit it. The business manager lacks the mileage on our trade-in so she runs out to get it and it takes her 20 minutes while we sit waiting.

Throughout the whole process they keep telling us to rate them a 10 on the survey.

If Tesla, Uber, Airbnb and others can overcome entry barriers, they will crush these business models.

Look for the broken. And here is an article about doing it inside your own operations.

pablo

Getting Better?

I usually don’t pay much attention to IT futurists who like to tell us how IT will look in a few years. I mostly think those articles are written by people who are looking to increase their following or subscribers and are not likely based on real insights. One group I followed years ago wrote about Future IT and while some of the points where great, I thought others were absurd.

But, as I think about IT and where it is going, I think corporate IT is getting smarter and has more options than it has had in the past.

  • We can host applications internally or in public clouds or in a blend.
  • We can use open source solutions for some parts of the stack.
  • We can virtualize services and avoid more and more hardware.
  • We can use SaS solutions in some cases.
  • We can outsource parts of our service in areas where we don’t want to operate.

And we have new IT visibility tools that can give us deeper insights into our own operations than ever before. ServiceNow, Apptio, and xMatters give us more options than ever before.

I’m not sure we are getting smarter and I’m not sure if we are getting more respect from our business partners, but I do think we have more options than ever before.

What do you think?

Celebrate Those Who Get Things Done

Read something a few days ago that I can no longer find to reference. It got me thinking that we should celebrate those who get things done, not the ones who cast a vision or who are the appointed leaders. The ones who get things done are the ones we go to when we need help, when we have problems, when there are hard problems to solve. We don’t need a vision in those situations, we just need to get something done.

We need to be better at identifying these people in our organizations and honoring them in whatever fashion is appropriate. And we need to develop a sense of think about them, looking out for them and helping them get things done faster.

Maybe leaders should focus on getting obstacles out of the way of those who are getting things done?

Been gone for a while. Been busy, but aren’t we all? Wrote a bit about it over here.

Deep Integration

I watched the Apple WWDC today online. I think that today’s announcement was far more significant than it seemed. Releasing the iOS 8 developers kit with something like 4000 new APIs is stunning. Letting apps talk to one another and leverage services from one another is huge. The possibilities that are going to come from this can not be foreseen. Today didn’t seem like much, but I think it was. We’ll see later this year.

Seamless integration is a huge deal. Apple does that better than anyone.