Organizing My Digital Self in 2024
In 2023 I found myself completely overwhelmed with information. Not necessarily bad information, just a lot of information. Like so many of you, I wear many different hats, and sometimes I wear them at the same time. Being a System Administrator requires that so much; as people expect us to be experts in literally everything. I try and at least have a basic understanding of processes so I can help direct someone in the right direction. That system mostly works, except when the demands of the job change based on different priorities of management or time-sensitive projects. I can be working on Project X when Y becomes the top priority, and I never saw Y coming. So, X gets put away and I may get back to it in two weeks, two months, or two quarters. The problem is I might have a ton of different tabs/windows/research done on X that I try and leave breadcrumbs to get back to. This leads to chaos. I have over 140 tabs open at work, among 3 windows, each with its own set of things. With Microsoft Edge I use collections, tab groups, and workspaces; it’s chaos. I have had several “Oh Shit” moments when Edge won’t remember where I was, and even CTRL-SHIFT-T won’t save me.
This was just at work; at home, I faced maybe not as bad a problem but still a scattered digital self. Tabs for replacing my car stereo, baseball drills for coaching, basketball drills for coaching, Windows articles to read and explore for my Windows Insider MVP program, and digital photography organization. All this across iPad, Android, and Windows.
There must be a better way. So, in late 2023 I began to investigate how technology can help and organize me. I began researching digital organization. I have tried OneNote, dabbled in Notion, and have been experimenting with Microsoft Loop. This research led me to learn the phrase “Personal Knowledge Management” and “Second Brain”. There’s this whole culture of productivity systems I have never heard of. YouTube videos by the thousands, Substack and Medium articles, books: it’s incredible. It’s also terribly overwhelming in its own right. I recently purchased Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte to explore the process and gain some ideas.
I’m starting small by organizing my research into different projects at work so when one gets shelved, no matter how temporary, I can pick up better where I left off. I have begun using a read-it-later app called Omnivore to help organize and tag any articles I find on the web so I can keep them out of my browser. No browser on Earth can handle that many tabs elegantly.
I’m excited to get started on this process and willing to put in the work to make it happen. I have several goals for 2024 but I can’t obtain those until I get my proverbial house in order.