What makes an academic’s life great?

March 13, 2010

This depiction of the best jobs in America, with professor featuring number 3, made me think about the job of being an academic…

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Powerpoint and parenting…

March 2, 2010

Well, you may ask, what has parenting and powerpoint in common?  My initial answer would be that, except that they both start with the letter “p”, not much.

However, in a conversation today I was reminded of a presentation referred to by Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design in her excellent book slide:ology. The presentation refers to Dan Posts’s “punishment” for his kids – making a presentation!!! Hear Dan talk about Bungee Chord Parenting a.k.a. Dad 3.0.  (OK he did not use Powerpoint, but Apple Keynote…)

Makes the parent in me think… (and worry a bit)

Personal Capacity Management? Reading it later…

January 6, 2010

Do you always have time/energy/… (capacity) to read everything you need to? No? Well neither do I.

So what typically happened? I become aware of something (digital) to read.  Its just too long, but it looks interesting.  Good add a bookmark.  Later when you remember wade through the bookmarks and read it.  Was it interesting? Not always, but I tend not to remove the bookmarks and sooner than later I have gazillions of bookmarks i can do nothing with as it turns out it was never really interesting anyway.

However, some time ago (maybe a bit more than a month ago, cannot remember exactly) I learnt about the Read-It-Later add-on for Firefox.  This allows me to manage some of my personal capacity management problems, while my request for a 48-hour day is being approved.

What does this wonderful tool allow me to do?  In some way or another I still become aware of the page (twitter, facebook, email, google, ….). I go to the page and see that it will take more time to read than what I have available… No problem I click on the  in my address bar, it turns to .

Later, when I have some reading time available I can catch up by clicking on the Read-It-Later button  in Firefox and see my whole reading list

When I am done, I can bookmark it (I use delicious.com) directly from the reading list. Of course if was not so useful, or don’t have a need to be gone back to I can just delete it from the reading list.

But wait, there is more…

I can also synchronize my reading list between different computers – so tonight at home I can read something I saw at work computer at leisure. Not at your computer, no problem view your reading list through an RSS feed… Google Reader also allows me to natively integrate ReadItLater, very convenient to add reading items from RSS feeds. Apparently I can make pages available for off-line reading, but I did not need this yet – waiting for the next roadtrip alone in non-cyberspace…

Of course, there are other ways to add items: right-click on a link and save to reading list.  There is also a click-to-save mode – it can be handy when you just want to filter through a lot of possible link quickly to come back to some.  This gives you something sensible to do in those odd 3-5 minute periods which tends to be too long to do nothing, yet too short for most things.

(I don’t own an iPhone, but I see there is also an app to take your Read-It-Later to your iPhone… I also note that it can be used with Explorer, but that’s not something I am likely to test…)

After starting to use Read-It-Later my personal capacity for reading from the Internet are definitely better managed!

Now which other personal capacity management tools are out there that I don’t know about? Please let me know.