THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

The Perfect Imperfectionist – Step 1 of 11

So here is the first of 11 tips to improve your self-confidence in 2011.Things I’m going to spend 80% of my time doing Things I’m going to spend 20% of my time doing Surrounding myself with technology that will make my life easierMaking my life difficult by not using technology

The more I think about this, the more I invest countless hours of my time in listening to people who are lacking in self-confidence. The more I realise that the 80/20 rule that I mentioned yesterday is the best you can aim for. I genuinely believe that most people get it right 40% of the time and are a shambles 60% – that creates stress, exhaustion, lack of self-esteem and, ultimately, illness whether psychological or physical. Get it right 80% of the time and you will be TWICE as effective as most people. Get it right 80% of the time – and it’s OK to be a shambles the other 20% and:

  1. not allow other people to beat you up about not being perfect (like them? yeah right)

  2. rejoice in your imperfections, enjoy the naughtiness of them

So the theme of this series will be about what to get right 80% of the time. Today, I begin – “in no particular order” with technology. Windows or Snow Leopard. PC or Mac. IE, Safari or Firefox. iPhone or Android. I’m not fighting that battle here. I use technology to make my life simpler, stress free – because stress free will have me living longer. Here is a list of the technology that currently surrounds me: Macbook Pro 13 inch fully spec’ed LED Cinema display 27 inch Fujitsu Scansnap S300M portable scanner HP Photosmart C4580 Wireless Printer Wireless keyboard Wireless trackpad iPad 60Gb with Orange 3G card – portable office when you travel and great for media – magazines, newspapers, blog posts, movies, TV iPad keypad dock iPhone 4 with dock for charging and syncing Mail as my email account Office 2011 for Mac (Home & Student – you don’t need Outlook) – and yes, I still use Office and haven’t migrated to iWorks. Mobileme to use with iCal so that Phillippa can run my calendar in real time. Dropbox for shared file storage Evernote as a virtual filing cabinet (see below). Milestoneplanner for on-line project management. Wordpress for my own blog. Cleanmymac to clean that Macbook hard drive on a regular basis. Snagit for screen capture. Camtasia for video capture of on-screen – great for web site reviews and tutorials. Macjournal for easy blog post creation. 1Password for Mac, iPad and iPhone to store all my passwords confidentially. Skype to video chat with Phillippa. Buzan’s iMindmap for great mindmaps. iBank for personal finances. ToDo for Mac, iPad and iPhone (if you like electronic to do lists). Runkeeper Pro to keep a running log. Time Machine for wireless back ups (essential as Phillippa has recently demonstrated). Apple TV – great for streaming TV and movies. My favourite iPad/iPhone apps include: – Newsrack for reading other people’s blog posts – Facebook, Foursquare, Linkedin and Teweetdeck for social networking On-line Reading:

  1. Wired magazine

  2. The Times newspaper

  3. Flipboard

  4. The Sunday Times newspaper

  5. The Economist

  6. Evo

On-Line Watching:

  1. BBC iPlayer

  2. BBC News

  3. TV Catchup

  4. Mobile TV

On-line Travel

  1. Train Times

  2. RAC Traffic

  3. Hilton

  4. Urbanspoon

  5. thetrainline

  6. Tube Map

  7. Priority Pass (business lounges at airports)

That’s not a complete list – but it does feature the technology and applications that I use on the most regular basis. I want to make a special note here of Evernote – perhaps one of the fastest growing on-line applications in the developed world. You can visit their web site to get demos and the sales pitch – but I truly believe that Evernote is helping me to become more effective. I use the audio capture facility to dictate and email to Phillippa on my iPhone – who can then transcribe (i’ve never been “sold” on the idea of voice recognition – it doesn’t seem like delegation to me). Most importantly, combining my desktop scanner (which is set up to automatically scan into Evernote) and a capture option as I browse the web – Evernote is making a huge contribution to my becoming 80% PAPER FREE in 2011. For over 20 years I have fastidiously (Virgo – remember?) kept W H Smith ring binders for all of my domestic paperwork. Good as gold, in January every year, off I trot to the shops and return with binders, dividers and labels – and then take the time to create another historical record of my living costs. A museum of 20th Century life could be opened based on the archives that exist in various lofts and garages. Now, Evernote has made all of that extinct. I have made an ecological commitment that in 2011, my binders will become “notebooks” in Evernote and that all correspondence (apart from legal documents) will be scanned and filed on-line. The Evernote data storage is generous, recall of the information is easy (Windows or Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android) and the company is constantly announcing new features and alliances. So, to repeat, my first tip is:Things I’m going to spend 80% of my time doing Things I’m going to spend 20% of my time doing Surrounding myself with technology that will make my life easierMaking my life difficult by not using technology

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