tl;dr: I look for processes/apps that may improve my digital life dramatically. The key is to minimize cognitive cost, while maximize searchability.

Started working a few months ago, the amount of information I have to handle goes up, while my free time goes down. Besides, I just got my 1st smart phone. In this post I’ll go through my digital life, and make certain decision to fix it up in the process.

Digital life is all about information. It lets you handle information more effectively: you can search, automate, and re-search stuffs. It operate on 4 platforms: PC, remote server (S3/EC2/VPS..), mobile, and websites that you participate. The last platform is the one that you have no control upon.

Below are the activities within the information flow:

1. Find
+ Pull: newspaper, personal blogs, reddit/stack overflow/hackernews/TechCrunch/IEEE Spectrum
+ Push: friends, google search subscription, quora
Traditional newspaper is too manipulated by agendas. Personal blogs are good. HackerNews is a bit too overwhelming. Fb feed is not very customizable. Quora is surprisingly good. Technically-wise, I think I’m well covered. But for local news in Vietnam and Singapore, or in general Southeast Asia region, I can’t find a reliable neutral news source with good discussion contributed by readers. Yahoo! is rubbish. Science-wise maybe Science & Nature would do.

2. Access
I rely on RSS heavily. However recently I tend to consume on Kindle. If there’s an automatic way to send news article to Kindle that’d be nice. But for now RSS still serve, as sometimes links are not suitable for Kindle.

SeenBefore is a good Chrome app that let you archive and search through what you read. As it only works on chrome, I now consider move my feeds to chrome for reading, or wait till SeenBefore is ported to Firefox.

3. Note taking
There’s a note.txt at the desktop and a Note document in google docs. There should be a way to combine both of them. Also, there should be a quick way to note on the go with my phone. Evernote seems to be a very good choice.

4. Writing
Vim is a good editor. Google API lets you programatically talk to its service, so there are command line options that let you use vim to write to google docs. Besides, Sublime Text is receiving some buzz recently.

I code mostly in Python. IPython is a tool that let you save the whole interactive session. Besides, I need a git repo, both for private and public access. There are non-trivial options: github, bitbucket, dropbox, S3. Sometimes I want to view the code, sometimes I want to run it remotely. Sometimes the code runs with data/library that would be costly to be maintained online. Since it’s personal, I think a reasonable approach would be dropbox. I’d be the only one editing any piece of code at any given time.

5. Share
Note sharing can be done with googlde docs. For blog posts I made it share automatically on twitter and fb. For code I don’t often share, but if I do, github would be ok.

6. Backup
I’m contemplating Amazon Glacier. With Ubuntu’s Deja Dup, that’s a potent combination. However, the pricing model of Amazon Glacier still needs to be ironed out.

All the activities in 1-6 needs to be logged so that I can archive and search later on. I’m exploring GNOME activity journal.

Besides, there are new options for mobile platform, too. Calls, SMS-es, GPS should also be logged.

As you see, there are much to be done. It makes me feel like a weirdo now :P. Guess many people never care about all this..

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