I hope you had good holidays. Happy New Year to you!
Information overload is as big a problem as it ever was. We are constantly consuming new information every day. This is one of the main reasons for the surge of weekly newsletters that curate the good stuff (like this one).
How can we do better in 2021?
Subscribe to the right resources
Consume actively rather than passively
Identifying the right resources takes time, so I want to concentrate on consuming actively.
We want to not just read the information but process it, write notes using our own words (instead of copy pasting) and have a system to manage all the information we have consumed.
One of the first steps to do this is to change the way we use our smartphone.
Use it to filter rather than to consume.
Smartphones are great for filtering – not so much for processing stuff. Reading a whole article on the iPhone is a welcome pastime, but it’s not an efficient way to expand my knowledge. Thus I ask myself: do I want to read something just to “edu-tain” myself, or do I need to work with it later?
Once you filter information, start taking notes when you consume this information.
For me, the practice of writing and revising notes is, at its core, about trying to move up the following rough ladder:
Ephemeral scratchings in Daily working log
Prompts and incomplete notes in writing inbox
Evergreen notes, in increasingly complex stages of development
I have also been reading about Zettlekasten which is a great way to take notes and link it. There are many apps that help you follow Zettlekasten including Roam Research. I’ve been using Obsidian, which is free and open source.
Once we start actively consuming information, we can better manage information overload.
I wrote my 2020 yearly review. I’m currently in the process of writing my goals for 2021, taking the “build in public” approach. I will be publishing it sometime this week. I really love the whole idea of building in public and cannot wait to get started.
Once you start taking notes, you will be creating lot of written work. One of the best ways to share these notes is on Twitter. But Twitter can be distracting when you are in “Create” mode. Typefully is a free app that offers a distraction free setup for writing tweets. You can easily create threads using this app.
Whenever I build a new app, I open up one of those color palette generators and use a palette without really understanding much about how it works. This short guide helps you understand how to build your own color palettes.
Twitter is a great place to learn things but we tend to follow people from a very specific category and most often it is men. Recently, Shaan Puri tweeted his list of 27 people follow and it had no woman. Proporti.onl analyzes your follows and finds the gender distribution. To get you started, here’s a list of 27 amazing women to follow.
Dialup is an app that connects you to random people for a voice chat. You can signup and choose topics and times when you would like to receive a call. Dialup then connects you with a stranger. You have the option of not picking up a call. Once you pick up, it finds another person who has also picked up and connects you with them. I tried it and had my first call on Thursday. It was an amazing experience. I got connected to someone from Australia and we discussed books, pandemic, movies, and passion without exchanging our names or social handles. The call ends abruptly after a few minutes (in my case, 35 minutes).
A quote from Seth Godin I recently read that I have been thinking about:
We need to plant our trees before we want the shade, and fix our systems before they break.
That’s it! Please feel free to reply to this email to reach out to me. If you haven’t subscribed to this newsletter, I will be happy if you do. If you like this, please share it with your friends. And finally, you can follow me on Twitter here: @Ramkarthik
Have a great week!