Getting Organized in the Google Era

I thought I had enough “organizational skill” book, but when I found this book in bookstore, I had to give it a try. This is written by ex-Google CIO. I am basically pro-Google, and wondered what ex-Google executive has to say. But that’s not only it. What is more interesting is the fact that the author is dyslexia. Organizational skill is not just to be efficient and productive, but it was also for his very “survival” in business.

Practical information (tools, etc) in this book was not completely new, you can find them in similar books, but what I really enjoyed was his personal story and philosophy. Many organizational skill books are usually for success in business, but I believe Mr. Merrill meant it more for personal success. It’s about eliminating unnecessary tasks and worries, and get most out of your life.

One concept that was refreshing was about context in your brain. To be productive, you have to minimize the shift in context. Whenever you get those interruptions, your mind has to change the context, then switch back. That can really wear your mind and brain out. You may even forget some idea/thinking during the transition. Changing context sometimes does good thing, like when you feel like you are stuck, it’s usually better to leave it, empty your brain for a while, and come back. But usually it does the opposite. Multitasking is like prerequisite to any jobs these days, but I guess that is not very productive after all.

Another interesting concept was work-life integration, but I will write another post about it. Takes some time to digest…

I do regret that I didn’t read original English text. Translation was great, but as translator pointed out in his epilogue, he had to omit some text due to copyright. Author added some song lyric to illustrate the concepts, which were entirely left out in Japanese translation. Copyright should protect creator, but not other people who profit from them… Those rules can really spoil things.


Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right