Darren has been writing how different apps are emulating our digital “body parts”. But in all of those assistive devices we forget to leverage our natural brain; the next step in your digital renaissance evolution is actually making that critical link between technology and your own brain power.
How muscle memory makes technology even more useful
Lately we are stormed with a huge number of apps competing for our attention. If we don’t stick with some apps for a longer periods of time, we are missing out on their usability, as we are not letting our minds develop the neural pathways that allow us efficient usage of the applications.
The shiny new app always comes with a price, beside the monetary one. It comes with a price of time required for people to actually acquire muscle memory that will create efficient usage of the application. This is why App jumping is an extremely time-expensive activity.
Centralized databases and simple access points
Beside muscle memory, we can always rely on neatly organized databases. Some of my databases include: Evernote, Omnifocus, Pocket…whatever kind of databases you build, always make sure that you have a clarity of what goes where. If it’s a contact, use your contacts application.
The big thing behind databases, is their interoperability with other systems. If you can’t easily export the data, try not to use that application and look for an alternative.
But the main reason why I am suggesting clarified databases doesn’t have anything to do with the system itself, but more with your mind. Once you get used to a single database, the more time you spend building it, the more useful it becomes.
You know you’ve figured it out once you know where to look for the stuff you’ve saved. It will require some time fiddling around, but do it long enough and you’ll get to the point where you just know where to look for the stuff you’ve stored previously.
How to blend your mind and database with proper tagging
For a long while I’ve used “#” for “in-note” tagging. It didn’t work out the way I expected because my database was filled out with Twitter content that already contained some # tags. The way I modified it is that I use x at the end of the word that I want tagged. You can use any modification of the aforementioned in content tagging structures, or develop your own. But the most important thing to remember, is once you figure out the structure you want to use, you need to stick to it.
Blending it altogether
Even when you are in data collection phase, you can tag right on the spot, and through the help of your muscle memory, you can efficiently tag content right at the time of its creation and then access it from the specific database.
This way you are achieving synergy between:
- the brain power
- muscle memory
Make your technology work with you. Make sure to make a blend that suits you and not the tech. Work around the limitations and empower your system. The deal is: don’t treat it as a system; treat it as an external part of yourself.