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Becoming "DROdio-ized"

My friends & colleagues sometimes joke that if people spend too much time around me, over time they become "DROdio-ized."  So let me tell you what that means.

In my previous post I referenced a saying which says, "The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed."  Let me tell you how I live my life so you can see if any of my "present" is interesting to you.  I'd love to hear your tips too.

Becoming "DROdio-ized" means...

You work from anywhere. As I write this, I'm sitting in a seminar with 200 other people, typing on my laptop.  The content the speaker is giving is mildly interesting, and I've picked up a good ability to perk up when I hear something I don't know, while working the rest of the time.  It works well for me.  I look around and see that everyone else has no choice but to listen to what the speaker has to say, but I can tune in & tune out as I wish.   I usually gain several hours per week by doing this.  I have my Mac MacBook Pro laptop with a Verizon EVDO card (it's fast).  The card costs $60/month for "all you can eat" usage. I take my laptop with me everywhere I go.

You force yourself to learn to type, learn MS Office and learn shortcut keys.  This sounds so basic that I'm reluctant to write it.  But I'm just utterly amazed at how many people can't type.  I even have a friend who types using just one hand (yes, believe it).  Not being able to type automatically disbars you from even being considered for the "Get DROdio-ized" club.  Living online without being able to type is like living in the physical world and not knowing how to eat.  And knowing how to type doesn't mean that you're good with the "hunt & peck" method.  Really knowing how to type means that when you type, the keys sound like a machine gun being fired.   While you're in your typing class, learn the keyboard shortcut keys (you can see my related post below).  And while you're in class, go learn MS Office.  Learn what SHIFT+F5 does in Excel.  Learn how to send an email in Outlook without dragging your mouse over to the "send" button.  In fact, try to spend a day not using your mouse at all (yes it is possible).  Then do it for a week.  Learn how to print documents without opening them.  Learn how to email a document without opening your mail program.  Make yourself do these things for a month, and you'll break your bad habits.  You really have to want to do this, because your bad habits are ingrained so deeply in your behavior that doing these things will be a much greater challenge than you think.  But approach it this way:  Your bad habits are robbing you of your life - of time you could be spending with your spouse or your kids.  Living online and not knowing how to use keyboard shortcuts is like living in the physical world and not knowing how to use a knife & fork at the dinner table!

My friends & colleagues sometimes joke that if people spend too much time around me, over time they become "DROdio-ized."  So let me tell you what that means. In my previous post I referenced a saying which says, "The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed."  Let me tell you how I live my life so you can see if any of my "present" is interesting to you.  I'd love to hear your tips too. Becoming "DROdio-ized" means... You work from anywhere. As I write this, I'm sitting in a seminar with 200 other people, typing on my laptop.  The content the speaker is giving is mildly interesting, and I've picked up a good ability to perk up when I hear something I don't know, while working the rest of the time.  It works well for me.  I look around and see that everyone else has no choice but to listen to what the speaker has to say, but I can tune in & tune out as I wish.   I usually gain several hours per week by doing this.  I have my Mac MacBook Pro laptop with a Verizon EVDO card (it's fast).  The card costs $60/month for "all you can eat" usage. I take my laptop with me everywhere I go. You force yourself to learn to type, learn MS Office and learn shortcut keys.  This sounds so basic that I'm reluctant to write it.  But I'm just utterly amazed at how many people can't type.  I even have a friend who types using just one hand (yes, believe it).  Not being able to type automatically disbars you from even being considered for the "Get DROdio-ized" club.  Living online without being able to type is like living in the physical world and not knowing how to eat.  And knowing how to type doesn't mean that you're good with the "hunt & peck" method.  Really knowing how to type means that when you type, the keys sound like a machine gun being fired.   While you're in your typing class, learn the keyboard shortcut keys (you can see my related post below).  And while you're in class, go learn MS Office.  Learn what SHIFT+F5 does in Excel.  Learn how to send an email in Outlook without dragging your mouse over to the "send" button.  In fact, try to spend a day not using your mouse at all (yes it is possible).  Then do it for a week.  Learn how to print documents without opening them.  Learn how to email a document without opening your mail program.  Make yourself do these things for a month, and you'll break your bad habits.  You really have to want to do this, because your bad habits are ingrained so deeply in your behavior that doing these things will be a much greater challenge than you think.  But approach it this way:  Your bad habits are robbing you of your life - of time you could be spending with your spouse or your kids.  Living online and not knowing how to use keyboard shortcuts is like living in the physical world and not knowing how to use a knife & fork at the dinner table! Stop taking notes on paper.  Taking notes on paper is another habit that's really hard to break.  (See how much of being DROdio-ized requires breaking bad habits?)  When I am in a social situation and need to take notes, I take out my Treo phone, and I send myself an email with the note using Chattermail. Then, when I get back to my email later, it's easy for me to manage the note/task by forwarding it to someone else or acting on it. Learn to use search indexing programs to manage your email.  You can read my #1 productivity tipthat deals with this issue.  Stop making folders and then not maintaining them.  Stop looking through your inbox to find an email, and start being efficient in your email usage. Switch to Firefox and learn to use CTRL+F.  I like Firefox better than Internet Explorer for many reasons, but a main reason is that it searches content of web pages better than IE does.  Stop looking through content on a web page and just CTRL+F instead. Learn not to take "No" for an answer.  I've noticed that there's tremendous value in just learning not to accept "no" for an answer.  When I'm on the phone with a customer service representative, and the rep says they can't do something for me, I tell them, "sorry, that's not good enough.  Help me find a way to get this done."  The rep is usually very surprised to hear me say this, but often, I am able to achieve my goal (whether it's through the rep or their supervisor).  This attitude applies to life.  People will often say "no" because it's easier.  You have to make it harder for them to say "no" than to say "yes." I hope these tips help you "live the future" along with me - I look forward to hearing yours as well.

Using Evernote for Research

On Mike Dariano

After using WorkFlowy in November for managing the things I have to do and starting my Year of Living Better and using Evernote for the things I want to know - I'm starting to get a clearer picture about how these services fit together. I stopped being active on Goodreads and TripIt because they weren't more valuable than other options and I thought the same might be true of WorkFlowy and Evernote. Instead I'm going to try this approach:

Lately the bulk of my Evernote usage has been a holding tank for research about living better and I wanted to use this post to highlight how I'm using it.

The first step I did was to create a notebook titled 1 Year of Change. I included the '1' in the name so that it was before all the other notebooks in my list. Within this I created a notebook for each topic - in my case the twelve areas of my life I'm addressing during the upcoming year. These I also prefixed, but with letters to order them. "A November - Writing, B December - Happiness" and so on. This structure has been really helpful, not just for this project, but for both the larger use of Evernote and life in general. When I know where things go, it's easy to put them there and then it's easy to find them later. Evernote has allowed this in my digital life, now if they'd only expand to a system for children's shoes.

After creating the structure then - it's time to get into the research and for this there have been three essential keyboard shortcuts for me.

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