Information is coming at you from every direction... Your task is to learn how to filter it. It&apos;s not an problem of too much information, it&apos;s a filtering issue.
The first step is to use the right tools for the right job.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geishaboy500/100043823/ I have dozens of screwdrivers in my toolbox and I use them all. The key is to collect the right tools, know how and most importantly - when - to use them. The more tools in your toolbox, the more apt you are going to be able to pick the right tool for the right job. If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.
Invest time into learning how to save time and become more efficient. If you perform the same task 10 times a day and it takes you 2 minutes each time, investing 2 hours to learn how to do it in 1 minute - will repay itself in just 12 days. You will save more than 33 hours in the next year. Invest time in helping others become more efficient and able to share/collaborate with you.
Start with your browser&apos;s start page. Is it static? With the NCCE Intranet you can add this page to your watchlist (click on the &quot;Watch&quot; tab) and get notified via email whenever it is changed. Why give up the most valuable real estate to something that doesn&apos;t give you any new info? Put a link to it on your personal toolbar or link bar in your browser if you visit frequently. Have your browser start with multiple pages (tabs)!
Use an RSS Reader for your start page
Google Reader iGoogle FriendFeed NetVibes PageFlakes Many Others
Start filtering messages that you don&apos;t need to read immediately (like newsletters and the like) into folders to get to when you schedule time to do deal with them. Messages from special people Messages with certain keywords in the subject
Instant messaging is great for quick q&a sending URLS voice! sharing screens (soon) sending files multiple discussions chat rooms
Use applications like Pidgin or Adium for consolidating many IM clients into one window.
Web conferencing is great for committee meetings bringing speakers from a far for a meeting conference calls showing what&apos;s happening on your computer
Presenting from a web conference is different than speaking in front of a group. It takes practice - practice with two computers set up so you can see what the audience is seeing. Practice with people you are comfortable making mistakes. Photo credit: Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plutor/
Stop using email for sending documents back and forth. Use wikis and collaborative documents to share. For NC Extension - you can use the intranet for internal documents and the collaborate.extension.org wiki for publicly visible documents that only Extension people can edit and PBworks for collaborating with anyone. Google Docs and Zoho are GREAT tools for collaborating! How many documents do you not share with someone else - either as a collaborator or as a viewer?
If you must share a file and don&apos;t want to collaborate on it, use one of these tools.
Slideshare.net Drop.io getDropbox.com Box.net Skype YouSendIt MANY OTHERS!!! Photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfcamerawork/2072491976
Hundreds of places to share photos and videos.
If you want to share periodical information with large groups of people BLOG! Determine which (blog or microblog) to use based on frequency, audience, and length of post. Use your Facebook status or posts to share information Use your instant messaging status to share what you are working on right now or where you are or just what you are thinking about. Team blogging - reduces the work load for each person and can make a better blog. Another advantage is maintaining continuity when agents leave or are away for an extended period of time. Team blogging also makes it easier to market Extension. Photocredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/conformpdx/271593020/sizes/m/
Listen while you work out or travel - or even give blood. Oh yeah, you can listen at your computer too. Put your &apos;radio programs&apos; on a podcast so your audience can listen when they have time. A program that&apos;s good for recording your podcast is Audacity You can also use Skype for recording audio.
Texting is great for short messages. Any time - any where! http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/939/sms_email_cingular_nextel_sprint_tmobile_verizon_virgin/
If you have the cell number and the provider (verizon, att, etc.) you can just use a mass email too... [email_address], [email_address], etc.
Network with your friends and colleagues. We can communicate, share information and engage with more people today than ever before. Take advantage of services like Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/) and build relationships with individuals who share your interests. My personal favorite is Twitter for its portability and casual conversation. Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Your network can become the single most important filter for relevant information.
Social Networking sites are good ways to share and collect information - use them to find what you are interested in! Use the sites where your network exists.
Get Google Alerts on topics that you want to keep up to date with. Create a &quot;vanity&quot; alert to be notified whenever someone uses your name in vain :) or links to your website.
Keep returning to your filters to make them work to suit your needs.
Keep exploring new tools and how you are using the existing tools.
Strategies for managing information and technology growth Adapted from Floyd Davenport’s Keeping up with Technology Stay curious. Embrace your inner child and don’t be afraid to play. People over the age of 25 didn’t grow up in the digital age so we can be out of our comfort zone when experimenting with new technologies. We like to understand what will happen before we press a button. Don’t be too quick to judge the value of a new service or technology until you have had a chance to experience it. Look for potential and be creative.
Prioritize what is important.
First and foremost, relax. Don’t let technology overwhelm and stress you. There are over 100 million blogs covering thousands of different subjects, you can’t read them all. Studies have shown that up to 90% of software features go unused, don’t feel you have to learn them all. Recognize your own limitations and priorities and understand that you are not alone.
If you aren&apos;t enjoying it, you&apos;re doing it wrong. Step back. Take a deep breath and re-evaluate what is important and why you are doing what you are doing.
2010 NCAEFCS State Meeting Technology Session
Using Technology in
Information Management Agent
Use the right tools