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Baby Technology

It’s interesting to me to discover the technology surrounding babies. For instance, the bottle. it has 5 parts: the body of the bottle, the cover, the nipple–obvious enough. The bottom is not solid, and there is an inner (latex?) diaphragm that is domed up a bit–this doesn’t let anything leak out the bottom, and I imagine with the negative pressure of sucking, allows enough air in so that the milk can come out, yet without coming out too quickly. Nice. Elegant.

Then comes the technology for cleaning the bottle. I intuited the bottle brush immediately–don’t remember eve seeing one and knowing what it is, yet when the glass scrubber didn’t fit inside it was obvious pretty quickly. Does it really need the swivel handle? Perhaps with having to clean bottles for every-three-hour feedings this would save the wrist over time. Hmmm. What’s with the little nubby spongie thingie at the end? Oh–would that be the right shape and size to clean the bottle nipple? Sho’ ’nuff.

Then the making of the formula. Two level, unpacked scoops. Hm. Can’t find the scoop–found it with a fork. Hm. What an odd shape–so long and thin–why is it shaped that way? I’m sure there’s a good reason; I just can’t imagine why. [Making the formula] oh. That’s why–if it weren’t this narrow, most of the formula wouldn’t make it into the bottle. Boy, these folks have had a number of years to figure this stuff out, eh?

Information Overload to Overlord

Part 4 of a 10-part series on spending LESS time administrating your life and more time LIVING it!

The Challenge

There is more information generated in the U.S. in one day than any of us could digest in our lifetimes. And sometimes that’s what our inbox feels like. I’ve experienced that myself. I felt inundated by good or even great tips, hints, techniques, learnings, that I couldn’t keep up. I also got information from other sources: the web, pictures on my cell phone, etc. Note to mention my own ideas!

How do you organize all those different kinds of information? I tried Word documents, wiki pages, etc., and none of it was satisfactory. And then I tripped on the answer.

The Solution—Evernote

Evernote is amazing. It’s a program you install on your computer (Windows, Mac, iPhone, etc.) where you can put just about anything, and then organize it.

Get an email with a great marketing idea? Highlight the pertinent paragraph and click the “Add to Evernote” button. It will become an entry in your Evernote notebook (of which you can have several) that contains the header information of the email and the paragraph you just highlighted. You can then add tags of your own design (marketing, great idea, etc.). You can even click a link that will open the original email!

Same thing on the web: I’ve been doing home renovations and was having a challenge with the trim in one of the bedrooms. I found a GREAT online tutorial for installing trim. I highlighted the whole thing—pictures and all—and copied it into Evernote. It was saved perfectly, as well as a link to the web page where I found it.

Now comes the really valuable (ok, and fun) part: click into the search box and start typing. As you type, Evernote highlights words in every entry that match what you’re typing as you type it, and filters out any entries that don’t have that word! Thus, if you have 3,000 entries and only one with the word “didgeridoo,” probably by the time you type “didg” you’ll be looking at that one lone note. Evernote has indexed all of the information in your entries. Excellent!

Oh, but wait, cuz there’s something even cooler: I was shopping for doors for the closet in said bedroom. I took pictures with my cell phone of the signs with the prices. I came home and pasted them into Evernote. That picture has words in it, right? Evernote reads the text in pictures and indexes them, too! So, if I took six pictures of signs, I can just type the word “door” and it will filter down to include those entries. Or “pine,” etc.

If that weren’t enough, you can sync your notebook to your mobile device and have access to it there as well! As well as adding entries on your phone (pictures, words), and sync it back to your computer. You can also make notebooks public and sync them to the web. Then you can share them with friends or colleagues. You can do the same type of search on the web of entering words and filtering those entries that have them.

How else could you use Evernote? How about ideas for blog entries, marketing ideas, capturing whiteboards of meetings on your phone, having all of your ‘ideas’ available to you, both at home and at work, going paperless by taking pictures of all of those scraps and notes on your desk, organizing recipes, research, tracking books you want, gifts to by, and on and on.

And organizing them all with tags. Takes my breath away!

Evernote is officially in Beta, so you’ll need to “register” to try it. Don’t worry—it’s free.

Your Next Steps

  • Learn more about Evernote.
  • Go to Register to test Evernote Beta and get a response in a day or so.
  • Have questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them in a future blog entry
  • Have other technology that makes your life easier? Please leave me a comment—I’d love to learn more tips and tricks, and may share it here in the future!

Next issue: schedule meetings with multiple people looking at multiple possible meeting dates and times…

Flipped

Given: I have a great memory for some things: language, syntax, numbers.

Given: I have a horrible memory for some things: anything related to history such as dates, times, places; what I had for lunch yesterday; where I put my keys; etc.

Therefore: I like systems. A lot.

When I was a kid I’d misplace things and get really frustrated a lot. I discovered that if I did things in consistent ways, I wouldn’t lose my stuff. Further, if I took steps so that I couldn’t help but use the system, I’d be much better off.

Here’s an example: if I need to remember to take something to work, leave it on the counter, under my keys (of course, I always leave my keys on the counter).

Another: Since I have a flexible work schedule, I set all work reminders to the previous workday (24 hours during the week, the previous Friday if on Monday), so that I will remember to be in to work for a morning meeting.

Well, here’s another system I have: when I’m done with, say, a jar of vitamins in the bathroom, I turn it upside down and put it on the shelf in front of me. This is my signal to get more.

Well, imagine my surprise the other night when, in low light, I find that my toothpaste (Mentadent–it has its own little stand) is upside-down! How odd… And later I see the kleenex on the toilet is upside-down. How odd… [Warning: I’m kinda slow.] Sunday morning I hear an odd noise in the bathroom, and see my little piggy bank is upside down; Josh says he’s playing with it. That morning while getting ready, I realize that EVERYTHING on my bathroom counter that doesn’t have an impossibly high center of gravity when turned upside-down is flipped! Yes, Josh has been surreptitiously flipping everything in my bathroom. I laughed and laughed–first at his thinking to do that, second at how long it took me to clue in. And I’m thinking about the time I’ll be at his house alone, and will flip everything in his fridge, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, etc…

Josh doesn’t “waste time” on the internet, so he’ll never read this. So please don’t tell him.

Team Building Fun(d)raiser!

I’m taking part in a weekend at the Center for Creative Learning called Power of Team. As the title suggests, the focus of the weekend is to learn how to work more powerfully on teams. Our team has a monetary goal that you can help us meet in a fun way – yet only from Noon until 5:30 pm, Sunday, March 30! We will call the person of your choice and sing a song for them (at least one verse and chorus) or tell them a couple of jokes, and end the call with a personal message from you or an affirmation.

The cost for this service is $5 per call, minimum order of $10. Because payment must be received during the afternoon, we are accepting credit cards, and the minimum payment we can submit is $10. So, send your love (or whatever ;o}) to a couple friends, or get serenaded yourself!

So, let me know if you’d like a song or two sung on your behalf! You can email me at my gmail address (turn jay edgar at gmail dot com into an email address – no spaces) or you can call my cell at 608-212-2851. I’ll need to know:

  • The name of the person to receive the song
  • Their phone number (US only)
  • The song you would like sung (we have a few selections, and you can request any song as long as I know the tune!)
  • The message or affirmation you’d like at the end of the call
  • Whether you want your name announced, or to keep it anonymous!
  • I’ll also need your payment information – do NOT email this to me – phone or voicemail are both secure! Include:
    • Credit card number (major cards)
    • Expiration date
    • Name on the card
    • 3-digit number on the back.

Feel free to email me all but the credit card information – you can call me separately with that. Orders must be received by 5:30 pm, and will be fulfilled ASAP. Any orders that cannot be filled in time will not be charged.

This is going to be a lot of fun! We hope you can join us.

Fun Today at 12:30 pm!

Something special is happening today at 12:30. I can’t tell you what it is, and I can tell you it will be a lot of fun! Sorry to be mysterious – I’m following the rules of the game.

Please come back here at 12:30 (1 pm latest) to learn more. I hope you can join me!