Here are my notes from Danny O'Brien and Merlin Mann's Life Hacks Live, at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego. Danny's been doing variations on his Life Hacks talk since the last Emerging Tech conference — it's basically an effort to research the productivity patterns of very prolific geeks and convert them to wisdom that anyone can follow. Merlin has been adapting the fantastic productivity cookbook Getting Things Done into a series of tools for geeks, on an equally fantastic blog called 43 Folders. They're now working on a book version of their stuff for O'Reilly called
Life Productivity Hacks, and today's session was a preview of it — it was uproariously funny and incredibly inspiring.
Here's a recap of last year, in bumper stickers:
HACKERS HEART PLAIN TEXT
Geeks store what they do in text and spurn big apps, using plain text editors. Simplicity and speed, ease of search and extraction, cut and paste. All you need in a filing system.
MY OTHER APP IS IN ~/BIN
If it wasn't plaintext, there's one app that they loved, like mail, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. The rest was little glue scripts in ~/bin, secret scripts they are embarrassed about and don't share with others, though it turns out that they're all really similar.
SUPER PROLIFIC GEEKS DO IT IN PUBLIC WITH COMPLETE STRANGERS AND LIKE IT. OH YES.
(don't put this on your car)
Geeks get their credibility and prolificness out of sharing everything — put it in public and the public organizes it for you. Put it on a Wiki and others will fix it.