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Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload Hardcover – June 15, 2007
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From the Back Cover
Praise for Bit Literacy
This is The Elements of Style for the digital age.
- Seth Godin, author, The Dip
Mark Hurst has written the indispensable guide to the digital era. Instead of a mere "how-to" guide, Hurst shows what's really going on when we struggle with e-mail and todo lists. For anyone who has ever used a computer, this will not just wildly increase their productivity (as it has for me!) - it'll also let their ideas fly.
- David Bodanis, author, E=mc2 and Passionate Minds
An informative and clear step-by-step guide on how to turn the ever-increasing avalanche of bits into a force that will propel your life and career.
- Tom Hughes, Chief Design Officer, Idealab
Mark Hurst is the smartest person thinking about ways technology can make our lives easier rather than harder. If you're willing to give up some of your useless bytes for true knowledge and crowded RAM for zen clarity, then get bit-literate today.
- Douglas Rushkoff, author, Get Back in the Box
A lot of people feel left out of the whole Internet and computer thing, but realize it could be really valuable for them. Bit Literacy provides the basic skills required for anyone to engage the wave of informational change.
- Craig Newmark, founder, craigslist.org
Most of us learned how to deal with digital technology in piecemeal fashion. We developed habits that served us well for a time. But for the modern digital age, almost all of our habits are bad. In Bit Literacy, Mark Hurst provides brief, no-nonsense, clear, and unbelievably helpful advice on how to replace those bad habits with good ones. Take his advice and instead of being tyrannized by the overload that comes at you daily, you'll be liberated.
- Barry Schwartz, author, The Paradox of Choice
The word 'empowerment' should be included in the subtitle of this book, as I believe reading it reduces the hypertension involved in our daily journey through the flotsam and jetsam of life. Bit Literacy helps make the complex clear.
- Richard Saul Wurman, author, Understanding USA
About the Author
Widely credited for popularizing "customer experience" online, Mark Hurst has worked since the birth of the Web to make Internet technology easier to use. Named one of the 1,000 most creative individuals in the U.S. by Richard Saul Wurman, and Netrepreneur of the Year by InfoWorld magazine, Hurst is a leading authority on making people more productive with technology.
As the founder of Creative Good and Good Experience, and host of the renowned Gel conference (Good Experience Live), Hurst and his companies help organizations work more productively and create better customer experiences. Hurst holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from MIT. He lives in New York City with his wife.
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Top Customer Reviews
* People who are afraid of technology and people who are obsessed with technology really have the same relationship with technology-fear.
* Technology is here to stay. The impact it has on our lives is increasing and we must more and more vigilant about where and how we allow technology into our lives
* Technology can answer the how, but humans must answer the "Why" and "What for?"
Going to the Solutions part of the book, I was little disappointed. I was still confused about what bit literacy means and how it differed from computer literacy. I was given clues about it, but never really got a clear grasp of it. I also came across some phrases like:
"Emptiness is at the heart of bit literacy..." (pg. 211)
What does that mean? It sounds deep, but I missed the boat on that.
Moving beyond that, the book does have some really good guidelines about how to better select your information sources (especially overload). I say guidelines because they are more general in nature. When specific tips are given, they are highly detailed (leading to overload in reading them). Other details, while good, really didn't add anything to my repertoire though because most of the tips I already implement or I wasn't interested in. It's a good book, but it's gets lost in the process of trying to simplify the process.
It has just enough theory to help the reader get the big picture, but nothing more. Unlike a lot of books that are twice as long as they should be, this short book respects the reader by delivering the information in an efficient and easy to digest manner.
I especially appreciate the clear instructions on how to implement the author's suggestions. I gave the book out to all my co-workers and several friends. Recently, our entire team talked about how each of us has implemented the book's ideas. Some of us are using all of them, and some are using a few of them, but no one decided not to use any of them. Given how challenging it is to change human behavior, I think this is amazing.
I give this my highest possible recommendation without any reservations at all.
The author Mark Hurst speaks in this book in a very conversational manner, like he is sitting next to you. He is very helpful and encouraging in WHY it is so important to organize emails and HOW to do this effectively!
This is a must read book if you want to handle your email account more effectively and find your emails easier.
What I can say is after I read this book and cleaned up up email account, I have less stress and can now find important emails!
Highly recommend this book!
Do you feel like you can't catch up? Are you stressed out by technology? Do you need a laugh? Mark Hurst's reinterpretation of verses in Ecclesiastes made me laugh. I agree that there is a time for email and a time not to check email. This book teaches you how to get rid of emails for good or how to sort and file them so they become less of a problem.
Now probably the most helpful part of this book is the explanation on how to organize your to do list. Mark Hurst recommends a site that works with email to organize you on a daily basis. You can send an email to the site and it automatically puts something on your to do list. Then all you do is figure out what you need to do each day without worrying about what you have to do a week from now.
This book also gives some good tips on how to manage photos.
Mark Hurst is a creative writer and his words are a pleasure to read. His advice for living in an age of bits is invaluable. For the overwhelmed computer literate person, this is a must read. By applying the methods this author discusses you should be a lot less stressed.
~The Rebecca Review