Archive for Productivity Platforms

when there is no such thing as too much information

by cindy

more info = greater productivity

or so at least according to one study:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/business/24unboxed.html?src=recg

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Team E-Waste Inquiry #3: Digital Sorting

The digital information stream is growing by zettabytes annually.  From the formal to the informal, from the productive to the wasting, data surrounds us at all times and requires that we engage in a constant process of sorting the valuable from the waste.  Digital sorting involves mechanical processes such as saving, deleting, searching, filing, archiving and tagging as well as mental processes of consciously attending to and ignoring.  In some instances the process of sorting is the primary engagement mechanic behind consumption (what email to read, what channel to watch, etc.)

 How do you sort and discard digital information?  How much time to you spend sorting relative to consumption?

Team E-Waste Inquiry #2: Immaterial E-Waste

Team E-waste is not only looking at the material waste streams of our electronic culture, but the immaterial waste streams as well.  Our question/s to you all on the topic if immaterial waste processing is/are below.

Wasting immaterial resources can seem more abstract, but perhaps you can share stories or reflections on how digital culture can be a waste of time and attention?  Does money seem material or immaterial when shopping online?  Do you use the web to discard (trash) or store (junk) less or unproductive excesses of information, such as old bills, emails, songs that you will never delete nor listen to, old pictures? Is electronic junk or even garbage in some sense an improvement over carrying LP records or CDs, encyclopedias, and photo albums around?

On the flip side of “getting rid of” there is “hoarding”.  With so much immaterial e-waste around us, we are by no means getting rid of it all.  From long ago received emails, digital photos, documents, text messages from your ex on your phone – much of this waste stays with us for reasons logistical, emotional, metaphysical.  Tell us what you are e-hoarding and why.

no time to waste

by cindy.

today’s time saving guru for the digital age tim ferriss – author of “the four hour work week” –  has branched out beyond time saving tips for career and now offers advice for how to get anything you want – money, sex, the perfect body, knowledge, skills – in as little time as possible:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/fashion/27Ferris.html?_r=1&ref=fashion

Apps save time?

By Lara

I typed “productivity” into google just for the heck of it to see what came up. I had never even thought of “apps” as being a new sort of productivity platform and yet here it is- a list of apps that have successfully been approved into the category of things to make better use of your time (barcode scanners, battery doctor, file scanners, pocket informers….) or simply to make sure preemptively that it’s not wasted (remember the milk, Calengoo).

http://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios-productivity/id6007?mt=8

I wonder how these apps made this list, and also how much time they actually end up saving…

Paper

by Ran

Although we live in the age of digital, we still use paper as a productivity platform.

journal
moleskin
franklin planner
postit

Voice-automated customer service

<elizabeth>

In my opinion, one of the hands-down most annoying “productivity platforms” of recent years is voice-automated customer service. Launched to streamline customer traffic and optimize company minutes and dollars, I find this approach to be not only irritating and impersonal, but consistently less effective than the traditional customer-service route (known as “speaking to another human being”). In my experience the automated machine’s ability to decipher and interpret the customers statements or “vocal commands” is frequently so flawed as to cause the call to take at least twice as long as it would if simply speaking to a human.

A productivity platform aimed at saving the companies time and money (through labor-costs) seems to me to have the opposite effect on the customer side, where this development has the adverse effect of offsetting (company) time onto our (the customers’) watch. Not to mention giving us a headache (I found it hilariously ironic and yet perfectly appropriate that this should be among the first 10 images to pop up when google searching “voice-automated customer service”):

Click here and check out “Verascape,” a voice-automated  call processing service that promises to

• Increase revenue
• Capture valuable marketing information
• Dramatically lower costs – by 35-70%

Their homepage closes in stating that with Verascape’s voice automated solutions, you’ll find your business in “a little less conversation and a little more action.”