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Experience Curating: How to Gain Focus, Increase Influence, and Simplify Your Life Paperback – February 8, 2015
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About the Author
Joel Zaslofsky is the Chief Simplifier and Curator at Value of Simple. In March 2012, two years after a personal renaissance shook him awake, he quit his cushy corporate job to help people simplify, organize, and be money wise. His methods and style are unconventional, but his goals are straightforward: to help you rock the unsexy and undervalued side of life. He hosts the popular Smart and Simple Matters show, gives out groovy free resources in his Refuge of Simplicity, and offers a diversity of products and services. When he's not enjoying nature, making his wife smile, or playing with his two young sons, Joel's busy minimizing, being Paleo, doing public speaking gigs, connecting, living simply, reigniting his personal renaissance, and Experience Curating.
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I hate spreadsheets. I'd rather live my life in the moment than spend time recording it for later consideration. And I couldn't believe his claim that the process of curating his experience was unobtrusive.
As it turns out, I was completely wrong about all of my assumptions, and the author not only turned me around in very short order, but actually actively engaged me with his easy conversational style, personal anecdotes, and demonstrations of his system in action.
It didn't take long for me to realize that for many years, I'd actually been clumsily trying to organize my life into just such a system as this book describes. But where I've struggled for years to get a handle on it, the Experience Curating system is a well thought through, road tested system that has allowed me to eliminate all the clumsy folders on my computer, spread across the cloud, on my phone, and even on handwritten notes in boxes strewn across three states.
But more than just a system for organizing my mind, this book has noticeably enhanced my experience. It has allowed me to see connections between areas of interest that I wouldn't otherwise have discovered, has enriched my interaction with the world around me, and has encouraged me to create more than consume.
By the end of the book, the author will have thoroughly made his case and convinced you, in his own words, that "you have a moral imperative to curate."
Best of all? Spreadsheets not required. ;) (the author outlines several methods of implementing the system)
From the book: "Curating is a means to an end. Don't live to curate. Live to enjoy life." Experience Curating will help you enjoy life.
As Joel explains it, curating is about recognizing, capturing, organizing, and sharing our most valuable moments. And thanks to digital technology, curating our life experiences is much easier, and efficient now. His book also made me realize how I rely onTwitter or Google+ contacts and RSS feed apps for curated information on certain topics.
Joel describes using spreadsheets to document his life collections, but after reading his book, I would say that tagging entries in my Day One digital journal is another way I curate my experiences. With my tagged journal entries (e.g., about books, individual family members, jazz artists and albums, work, and other topics), I can filter and export them to PDFs or printed books. I've even started tagging journal entries about the meals I eat, for the purposes of developing better eating habits.
I wish I had been aware of curating experiences when my children were younger. There's so many details in life that slip our mind as the years pass along. And as Joel points out, curating helps us see what we truly value. "It helps us get more of the good stuff, and protects us from the distractions."
I think Joel does a great job explaining what curating is, and how it can be useful. His writing style is congenial, and his conviction about the subject is evident on every page. The book can be read in less than a day, and I think it will help you to see how you're probably already curating stuff in your life, and how your curations can be more useful and meaningful. The only part I felt missing in this book is maybe including a list of ideas for curating life experiences. Joel provides a few ideas based on his and a few others' experiences, but I'm sure there are at least a hundred ideas that readers may not realize. Perhaps a follow-up book could provide numerous examples of how different people curate their life experiences and what tools they use to do so.
"Experience Curating" may seem a little right brain or geeky for some people, but it's definitely an practice that more people should engage in, especially with the various digital apps and online services that can automate some curating tasks.
A great read.
you won't be sorry reading this - it just might open up a life of new possibilities for you too
Most recent customer reviews
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