So, you’ve probably heard about mnemonics at some point in your life.
If you haven’t, they’re basically mental devices
that allow you to access hard to remember information
in a sort of roundabout way.
Take the acronym ROYGBIV for example.
This silly sounding name allows us to easily remember
the order of the colors in the visible light spectrum.
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
红色 橙色 黄色 绿色 蓝色 靛蓝和紫色
Our brains aren’t really wired in a way that
makes remembering the order or arbitrary words easy,
but they easily latch onto silly sounding names.
So, essentially this acronym provides a pathway to a specific piece of information.
Information that does exist in your brain,
even if it’s hard to access directly.
But building these sort of mental pathways isn’t just useful for
accessing information that’s already up in your head.
You can also build them to easily access information that you don’t know,
and in doing so, you can greatly expand your brain’s capabilities.
Someone who understood this concept exceptionally well was Henry Ford.
“I have a row of electric push buttons on my desk,” he once said,
“and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men
who can answer any question I desire concerning the business,
to which I am devoting most of my efforts.”
In other words, Ford didn’t know all of the information
that he needed to run his business himself,
but he did know how to quickly get any answer
to any question that he needed.
Now today, there are entire businesses that provide the access to experts
like the ones that Ford relied upon back in his day.
They’re called Expert Networks.
I actually learned all about them back in my MIS program in college.
Other businesses, like hedge funds especially,
often pay huge sums of money for yearly subscriptions
to these types of networks.
But of course, we have another tool at our fingertips,
which is called Google.
And what’s more, it’s free.
So with such a useful tool at our fingertips,
why even make a video about this?
Well, here’s the thing.
Google is incredibly useful, yes,
but it does have some limitations.
The main one being that it’s a search engine,
which means that it can only return results
based on the terms that you feed it.
And sometimes, you don’t really know what you’re looking for well enough
to give it the accurate terms.
But there’s another problem as well,
and it’s the one that I wan na focus on in this video.
It’s the problem of re-access.
How many times have you stumble across a really useful article or video
only to be unable to find it again later?
It’s just like putting new information up in your brain,
if you can’t access it again when you need it,
then what good is it?
Fortunately, Google is not the only tool out there.
So today, what I wanna do is share some of the other tools and methods
that I use to easily re-access information.
Think of them as modern day breadcrumbs to follow,
except that these breadcrumbs don’t get eaten by birds
so you don’t get eaten alive by a witch.
And really, at the end of the day,
isn’t that what my entire channel is all about?
So since we are on YouTube,
the first one that I’m gonna mention is YouTube playlists.
If you go over to my channel, and you go the Playlist tab,
you’re gonna see many publicly available playlists
that I’ve made of my own videos,
but hidden underneath the surface,
there are also dozens of unlisted playlists that
I make for basically any topic that I’m interested in.
And with these playlists I’m easily able to save anything
that I wan na access later on.
So whatever I’m interested in, be it rock climbing,
or guitar pedals and signal chains,
or making better videos,
I will make a playlist for that topic
and then I’ll save stuff to it as I come across it.
Now, that feature’s useful for anything on YouTube,
but what about the rest of the internet?
Well, for that there is Pocket.
And Pocket is basically a browser extension
and also a set of mobile apps
that allows you to save any webpage you want for later reading.
And one of the nice things about pocket is that
it’s very similar to the reader mode on the iPhone.
It actually strips out a lot of the extraneous elements of the website that you’re on
and just gives you a nice article view which is very distraction free.
Additionally on their mobile apps,
Pocket gives you the option of saving articles for offline access.
So anytime I have a flight, I often go and
download one of the articles that I’ve saved for later reading
so I can access them while I’m on the plane.
Now, I know several people who actually delete articles
out of their Pocket once they’re done reading them,
but that isn’t the way that I use it.
Essentially, for me, Pocket is a way of saving anything
实际上 对我而言 使用Pocket只是一种
I come across on the internet
whether I’ve read it already
or whether I want to access it in the future.
It’s basically my main way of laying out these breadcrumbs,
and I don’t worry about keeping things organized,
I don’t use the tagging feature very often, I don’t delete things,
I just make very liberal use of that
“save to pocket” button in my Chrome browser,
and that way I know if I find something useful,
这样 我就能知道 如果我找到了什么有用的内容
I’m gonna be able to find it again
even if I forget the search terms that might
bring it to me in a Google search.
Now, there is one place in particular on the internet besides YouTube
where I don’t tend to use Pocket to save things, and that is Reddit.
I’ll often save Reddit comments directly to my Reddit account.
Over the past couple years, I have found that
Reddit is often a better source of information
for certain purposes than blogs or videos.
And this is true for a couple of different reasons.
First and foremost, Reddit, like many other social media sites,
has a very low barrier of entry to post.
People don’t need to buy a camera like they do on YouTube,
people don’t need to learn how to set up a blog,
they just need to make an account and
they can write to their heart’s content.
And because of this, you often meet a larger
and much more diverse group of people sharing their knowledge.
Plus, you usually also get multiple answers in each thread.
These are coming from multiple different voices.
And because it has a conversation style setup,
Reddit encourages discussion, it encourages debate,
and I often find the best answers several levels deep
nested beneath the original comment.
So sometimes this debate is really, really useful.
Now, I konw that I could easily save Reddit pages to Pocket
just like any other article,
but usually I’m interested in saving a specific comment
rather than the entire thread that it’s from.
And yes, I could click the permalink button and save that in Pocket,
but usually saving things to my Reddit account makes things easier
because if I’m looking for something in the future,
I usually at least know whether it was from Reddit comment or from a blog post,
and if it was from a Reddit comment, I know that
I can start from my profile instead of digging through Pocket.
All right, so we talked about YouTube playlists, Pocket and Reddit.
The next one I wanna talk about is screenshots.
I take a lot of screenshots,
especially when I’m watching YouTube videos.
Saving an entire video to one of my playlists can be very useful,
but sometimes I just want one frame for later reference.
For example, I was recently watching a video
about how to set up a specific order of guitar pedals,
and they had this diagram of the signal chain in the video,
so I screenshot that in case I need to reference it later on.
Now, basically every computer operating system out there
has a built in screenshot program.
And I am here to tell you that it is not good enough
and that you can do better.
So the program that I personally use is called Greenshot.
It’s open sourced and free on Windows, and incredibly full featured.
它是开源的 而且对Windows免费 功能也十分丰富
And then, it also exists on the Mac,
but it costs about two bucks and doesn’t have quite as many features,
though that being said, I still use it just because
但尽管如此 我仍然会用它 只是因为
I like to use the same programs on each operating system if I can.
The main thing that I like about Greenshot is that
it allows me to setup multiple destinations for my screenshots.
For example, I have mine setup to
not only save each screenshot
to a specific folder that’s in my Google Drive
so I can access it from anywhere,
but also save screenshots to my clipboard
so I can easily paste them into Photoshop
if I need them for a video,
or I can paste them into Notion or Evernote
for note taking purposes.
And in addition to that feature, I also like that
it allows me to set up different shortcuts
for taking a screenshot of the entire screen
as well as also drawing a box around a specific region that I want to capture.
Now, Greenshot is by no means the only screenshot program out there,
so if you’re looking for an lternative,
there is ShareX on Windows, Skitch for Mac,
and then Monosnap for both platforms.
And that just leaves us with one more method that I wanna talk about
which is trusty old notebooks and note taking.
So in addition to taking notes on individual books,
I’ll often create specific notes in Evernote
on things I’m trying to learn as well.
And if it’s a current interest,
I usually bookmark those notes
and add them to my shortcuts bar.
A few examples include my Japanese notes, my After Effects notes,
which have different scripts that I use occasionally
and different shortcuts that I like to reference
and can’t always remember off the top of my head,
and my notes for my live set up which I’m trying to build right now
which has a lot of very different complicated gear
that has to go in a specific order.
And aside from just typing notes,
I also make extensive use of the camera feature in Evernote as well.
If I’ve got like a specific configuration of thing
or anything where just a visual reference would make much more sense
than typing things out for a long period of time,
I’ll take a picture of it, I’ll shove it in Evernote,
and that way I can easily access it just as I can with text.
Now, the one odd thing about my Evernote setup is
that I don’t tend to use the Web Clipper function,
which is essentially this browser extension that you can use to save articles
and basically anything you want to your Evernote
just like you can with Pocket.
And I know my friend Martin uses that all the time,
especially for things like recipes,
but I tend to keep articles and things like that in Pocket,
and things that I kind of create myself in Evernote,
but you kinda have to use what works for you.
Now, one last way that I make sure that I can easily re-access information
is by building a library, or rather, several libraries.
是构建一座图书馆 或更准确地说 是多座图书馆
I have a physical one sitting on the bookshelf behind me,
a digital one in my Kindle app,
and another one made up of audiobooks.
Now, you might think that it’d be hard to re-access
specific information in an audiobook that’s hours long,
but that’s not a problem if you’re listening through Audible
since their app actually lets you set specific bookmarks at time stamps
and even add notes to them.
Audible is also simply thebest place to get audiobooks
ranging from the best-sellers
to more obscure titles on botany and music theory.
I use audible almost every single day,
specially now that it’s warm and I can bike more often.
And if you’d like to give it a try as well,
you can go over to Audbile.com/Thomas
or text Thomas to 500-500 on your phone to get a 30-day free trial.
That trial also comes with a free audiobook download of your choice.
And this month I’m gonna recommend Bill Bryson’s
excellent A Short History of Nearly Everything.
This is one of my favorite non-fiction books of all time,
and even though it’s not on my list of essential books on my website,
since it doesn’t deal with productivity or academics,
I do think that everyone should read it.
It is a fantastic introduction to basically all fields of science.
Now of course, you could go and get any other audiobook that you want
and once you’re a member, you’re gonna get one new credit
every single month for another audiobook,
plus access to two Audible originals every single month
that you cannot get anywhere else,
and a library of audio workout and meditation programs to boot.
So once again, to get a free 30 day trial of Audible service
along with free audiobook download of your choice
and two free Audible originals,
go over to Audible.com/Thomas
or text Thomas to 500-500 on your phone.
Big thanks as always to Audible for sponsoring this video
and being a supporter of my channel,
and thank you as always for watching, as well.
If you enjoyed this video, hit that Like button
and also get subscribed right there so you don’t miss new videos when they come out,
and also click right there to get a free copy of my book
on how to earn better grades if you haven’t done so already.
Last, but not least, you can check out one more video on this channel by clicking right over here,
最后还有重要的一点 你可以点击这里 查看本频道的更多视频
or check out our latest podcast episode right over here
and if you haven’t subscribed to that podcast channel,
you should probably do that as well.
Thanks again for watching, and I will see you in the next video.
So, you’ve probably heard about mnemonics at some point in your life.