Life Hacks Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks

43-Folders: Getting Started:

  • nerds are often disorganized or have a twisted skein of attention-deficit issues
  • nerds love assessing, classifying, and defining the objects in their world
  • nerds crave actionable items and roll their eyes at "mission statements" and lofty management patois
  • nerds like things that work with technology-agnostic and lofi tools
  • nerds like frameworks but tend to ignore rules
  • nerds are unusually open to change (if it can be demonstrated to work better than what they're currently using)
  • nerds like fixing things on their own terms
  • nerds have too many projects and lots and lots of stuff

All geeks have a todo.txt file. They use texteditors (Word, BBEd, Emacs, Notepad) not Outlook or whathaveyou…”

What we keep in our todo is the stuff we want to forget Geeks say they remember details well, but they forget their spouses' birthdays and the dry-cleaning. Because it's not interesting. It's the 10-second rule: if you can't file something in 10 seconds, you won't do it. Todo.txt involves cut-and-paste, the simplest interface we can imagine. ...Power-users don't trust complicated apps. Every time power-geekshas had a crash, s/he moves away from it. You can't trust software unless you've written it -- and then you're just more forgiiving. The private blog -- a secret blog, using a tool: Brad Fitzpatrick of LiveJournal: 8 entries every 10 min are private. Closed off from everyone. Announce stuff is moving into RSS -- email announcements to something that syndicates over RSS -- Geeks write scripts to take apart dull, repetitive tasks. They'll spend 10h writing a script that will save 11h -- because writing scripts is interesting and doing dull stuff isn't. Scripts are embarassingly coded, often forgotten." People do lots of webscraping. Scrape stuff and turn it into RSS -- make your own feeds. JWZ uses this to help him run his bar. Lots of people do this with banking services -- to keep an eye on their accounts. -- People make utilities to make their stuff public. Not just blogs -- but stuff like Eric Raymond's "shipper" -- package a code into an RPM, upload to SourceForge, announce, etc. Edd Dumbill: Ideas rot if you don't do something with them. Don't hoard them. I blog them or otherwise tell people. This is a way to look organized, "That guy has lots of ideas, what a genius." You only have to be right once -- people google for some idea and find your ramble about it and are impressed. Making stuff public is like having your parents come to stay -- you clean everything up.

Those were some excerpts from Doctorow’s notes from Life Hacks: Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks:

Technologists consume Big-Gulp-loads of information, and write, code, and edit reams of output. Author Charlie Stross notes that he reads and digests more in his morning bookmarks than most literate 18th-century readers would process in a year.

I’m not sure, but it may have inspired the new Gawker Media blog Lifehacker, edited by Gina Trapani. You could also always get me Mind Hacks or the book that started this thread Getting Things Done.