How do you handle information overload? I have been thinking about how I handle and process information. As an autodidact (self-directed learner), one of my goals is to become a better critical thinker and not just a walking encyclopedia. I have broken down my goals into three areas:
- Become a better diarist
- Develop a better commonplace system
- Become more consistent with my weekly review and analysis
Victorians were avid diarists. Diary keeping was something that was encouraged in childhood. Victorian diaries were varied. The first form of diary to become popular among the middle class was similar to what modern Americans would refer to as a daily planner. Diaries were used by businessmen to note appointments and to reconcile accounts, and they were used by women to note household expenses. Drawing on the popularity of Samuel Pepys's diary after its initial publication in 1825, diarists also recorded the weather, visitors, and some of their daily life.
I admit that blogs are in many ways the modern successor of the diary. While I do use my blog for reflection on personal development, I don't include many facets of my life (mainly because I don't think you are THAT interested in what I had for breakfast). Where I think that a diary may be helpful is combining various bits and pieces of my life such as:
- Weight loss and nutrition- currently handled by My Fitness Pal
- Recipes and fitness articles
- Daily occurrences- formerly handled by OhLife
- Reading- currently handled by Goodreads
- Personal development
Where I am struggling is keeping track of daily occurrences and personal development. I was sad to see that OhLife closed because sending a quick email on my day was easy to do. The best feature of OhLife was that it would pull random entries from the past in its daily reminder email and it was a great reminder on what was going on when the old entry was written. There a few new alternatives to OhLife popping up so I need to to an investigation and see if I can find a new alternative.
Personal development is another area where I would like to add more focus. I am intrigued by Benjamin Franklin's virtues template and I would like to find something that I could adapt to my life.
Do you keep a diary? What are your tips for keeping track of your progress?