Friday, November 28, 2014

Learning new habits and skills - Pinboard, Simplenote, Toodledo and the skr tag

Being new-old means learning to be deliberative about things that were once opportunistic.

I used to get my exercise whenever I could — now I do regular group classes. Similarly, I used to pick up new habits and skills whenever the need arose or training required — but as of today i’m doing something more … deliberative. Something that should work better than my ad hoc approach of the past 30 years, not just because old brains suck but also because my old approach didn’t really work all that well. Even with a (relatively) young brain.

My new approach builds on 3 of my favorite tools: Pinboard, Simplenote and Toodledo — and a tag [1] of ‘skr’. The tag stands for “skills review”; it’s short because I wanted something fast to type.

I created a “habit/skills review” task in Toodledo and scheduled it a couple of weeks out. The task reminds me to review things tagged ‘skr’ in Pinboard and Simplenote. Meanwhile, as I come across things that I want to learn and make a part of my cognitive toolkit, I tag them ‘skr’. In Pinboard I save a Pin with that tag, in Simplenote I create a note with that tag.

Ever two weeks I get to the task and do my review. It only takes a few minutes. If I learn something I can remove the tag, if I’m failing to learn it I can take other measures or decide it’s not worth the investment.

I think this will work…

[1] Rant diversion — why are so many tagging implementations so awful? Why do so many devs exclude tag strings from full text search? Why does Simplenote display tags by data created rather than alpha sort? Why can’t one “merge” tags? Why … why …

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