Categories
personal

How NOT to kill an idea

Sometime ago, I came across this image on a blog, 8 ways to kill an idea.

These are all clever and very real ways to kill an idea on the work environment. But it made me think of way’s I’ve killed an idea, on a personal level, and I realized its missing a nine-nth one: Not writing it down.

Your brain is constantly storming with ideas and shifting thoughts every second (or even faster). Think of how you’re thinking of something, then that leads you to something else and then to even something else almost totally randomly.

Sometimes you might get a flash of inspiration or come up with a great business idea or problem solution while doing something else like riding the bus, eating sushi or watching TV. Your brain works so fast that is hard to keep up with it or keep track of every thought at every moment. This is why its very important to write down your ideas as soon as you get them. Have a small notebook or note-taking app in your phone ready for whenever the situation presents.

It is very important to write down all your ideas, even the bad ones. Remember that practice makes perfection. You can’t expect to come up with a good idea on the first attempt. Also, how would you differentiate between a good or bad idea if you can’t compare them side by side written down on a media? It will also help you track down ideas that you’ve already have, so you don’t end up repeating your bad ideas later on.

Some applications worth looking at for brainstorming and note taking are:

Emacs Org-mode
Freemind

Categories
personal

Arriving late to the mobile computing era

mobile computing

As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, I recently got an android phone. And I don’t say “smartphone” because I had a Nokia N95, which was considered a “smartphone” back around 2007 or so. But this phone is different. Ever since the BlackBerry and the iPhone got out and then the Android OS devices, the small device in your pocket was no longer “just a phone”.

I know, I’m VERY late to write about this topic as if it was today’s novelty. The fact is that at the time of this writing, not everyone yet has joined the mobile computing world. I would like to share some of the things I’ve been using my phone, for others who, like me, are joining late the smartphone world.

So, for those who are still thinking on getting a smartphone, and wondering what’s the big deal or the big buzz around the topic, here are three basic ideas that I’ve found out after I got my android device:

Your device is not a phone, its a pocket computer.

That’s the first paradigm I noticed to be a big shift. What’s the big deal about it? Well, you can install and create lots of applications that you can use as entertainment, but specially to assist you on the go. You would never have on your desktop/laptop an application to split the restaurant tab, or remind you your grocery list, or aided with GPS and accelerometers to track your exercises. Its a different kind of computing you’ll be experiencing.

Your device is an extension of your desktop/laptop.

With applications like Chrome2Phone, you can easily extend what you’re doing on your computer to your mobile device. I sometimes search for an address on my computer browser, since the normal keyboard is more comfortable, and use this app to send the map to my phone, so I can use it on the road to get to my destination. Once I traveled to Mexico city for 7 days and did not used my laptop at all! Games, browsing, socializing, were all done from my phone (I did no programming those days, I was on vacations).

Your device is an extension of your memory and yourself.

Having a computer in you pocket handy for whenever you need it and packed with applications for many uses, you can have a better control of your time and tasks. Your to-do list, your calendar, your contacts, your social network notifications, your camera, all this in real-time sync with the online world and your computer can help you not miss anything, from attending a meeting, tracking your health or saving a moment through a video or photo and immediately sharing it to get real-time feedback.

For those who have already been in the mobile computing era for a while, what has been your experience? How has your life changed since you got your smartphone?

Photo is Creative Commons Licensed by Johan Larsson on Flickr