Year for Productivity: Session 26: Wrapping Up: Where do we go from here?


It hardly seems possible how far we have come since we began this journey with you back in January, and now we have already reached the final installment of A Year to Improved Productivity. We began by exploring ways to improve our productivity, and then turned our attention to our academic workflow.   After spending a good part of the year looking at ways that we could improve our own processes, we turned our attention outward to consider learning communities and how networking can enrich our continual learning and self-improvement.  Hopefully over the past year we have introduced you to new concepts and tools and opened up the possibilities for your own productivity improvement goals.

Mary began our discussion of resources that are favorites of ours as we strive to keep current with the broad topics of productivity, technology advances and personal knowledge management. I thought I would take a few minutes today to mention a few blogs, websites and feeds that I keep tabs of on a regular basis. Two PKM specialists that I have been regularly reading for several years are Harold Jarche and Jane Hart.   Both of these individuals were more focused on academia when I started following them and their focus has changed somewhat to social learning in the corporate workplace, but they still have a number of valuable concepts discussed.  Jane, in particular, has her annual list of Top Learning Tools and a monthly recap of articles, blog posts, etc. that she has encountered over the past month and found notable.

I also regularly read Michael Hyatt’s Intentional Leadership blog/podcast.   He now has products and speaking engagements to market, but I still enjoy his thoughtful commentaries on various topics and have actually read a few of his books as well. I have recently been following two publications from  Steve Dale’s Personal Knowledge Management  and Tim Wade’s Productivity Times.

Like Mary, I have several Google Alerts set on tools (like OneNote or Docear) as well as topics (like academic workflow, and personal knowledge management).  These allow me to remain informed about all the latest news and discussions.  I really like this quick scan email format that lets me decide whether I am interested in reading the whole item or not.

All of these sources, as well as others that I frequently encounter throughout my day, can add knowledge to my wheelhouse.  It also has the potential to overwhelm and distract me from the tasks at hand. Howard Rheingold in his handout “What Will you Click Next”  reminds us of the importance of mindful attention to our daily practices.  He “suggests that every learner should write down the three things  that they want to get done BEFORE heading on-line.  Then, they should make conscious choices  about what to click on while surfing, only selecting sites that are likely to help them move forward towards their final goal.”  This idea of Infotention, which Rheingold describes as ” a mind-machine combination of brain-powered attention skills with computer-powered information filters” ( describes a challenge that I believe each of us face daily.

So as the holidays are upon us and the New Year looms, what now? That is a question that only you can answer, and our questions for further exploration guide you through some self evaluation on this topic.  We hope that part of your plan for next year will include following our blog and that we will hear from you as we continue to explore concepts and tools of Personal Knowledge Management.  If you will be attending the Computers in Libraries Conference in April 2014, we hope that you will stop by and say hello to Mary and I. We will be presenting on Wednesday.  We would love to meet some of our readers!

For Further Exploration:

1. Go to the Year for Productivity Archive  and take a second look at the topics we explored.  What were your favorite topics?  What would you like to learn more about?  Drop us a line ( or leave a comment below and let us know what you’d like to see next year.

2. Consider your personal and professional goals for 2015.  Are there productivity goals you have identified?  If so, what tools would help you achieve those goals? If not, spend a few minutes to consider adding such a goal.

3. How is your “Infotention”? Observe for one day your online practices.  How do they align with Rheingold’s ideas of focused surfing?


Selected Resources:

50 Excellent Library Science Blogs Worth Reading (2010): :  This is a little dated and some links might be invalid, but still a good list to consider.

Beshore, Brent. “An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Reading And Learning“, FORBES, 10/13/2013.

Chowdhry, Amit. “20 Tips On Increasing Your Facebook Privacy And Security“, Forbes, 11/19/2013.

David Allen Company (GTD)Podcast Blog

How to Find the Best Tool for the Job  Blog entry discussing Bamboo DiRT  :  Collection of Information Overload Resources : I always find it interesting to see how others implement their productivity tools.

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