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Frugal Fire 002: Justin McCurry (RootOfGood)

Update 2014-03-24: Transcript now available!

In this episode, we interviewed Justin McCurry (RootOfGood) about retiring at 33. He’s been learning how to relax and enjoy life as a stay-at-home dad, and has mostly gotten the hang of it six months in. =) You can download the MP3 from archive.org

2014-03-13 Frugal Fire 002 - Justin - Root of Good

2014-03-13 Frugal Fire 002 – Justin – Root of Good

Other resources we mentioned:

Join the community on Google+: http://gplus.to/mustachians. For more information about the Frugal Fire show (including how to subscribe to the podcast), check out the Frugal FIRE page. [Read more →]

Frugal Fire 001: Introductions

In this episode, Jordan Read and I talk about our plans for a new Google Hangout on Air / podcast show around financial independence and retiring early. Check out the Mustachians community on Google+ for upcoming events. The next show is tonight (March 13, Thursday) at 8 PM EDT. We’ll be talking to Justin from Root of Good, who’s six months into early retirement. =) To subscribe to this podcast, add this feed to your reader: http://sachachua.com/blog/category/frugal-fire/podcast Download the MP3

Describing my personal knowledge management routines with Harold Jarche’s Seek-Sense-Share framework

I spend much of my time learning, making sense of things, and sharing what I’ve learned. I like connecting with other people who think about how they do this. I chatted with Harold Jarche about how he manages his 10-year blog archive. We thought it might be good to describe our knowledge management processes in more detail. Here are more details on mine!

2014-03-03 How I work with knowledge - seek, sense, share #pkm

2014-03-03 How I work with knowledge – seek, sense, share #pkm

Seek

One of the things I’m working on as part of this 5-year experiment is to be more proactive about learning. It’s easy to fall into relying on client requests or a serendipitous stream of updates to teach me interesting things. It takes more work to observe what’s going on and come up with my own questions, ideas, and experiments. I think learning how to do that will be more interesting.

I used to get most of my information through reading. I love being able to slurp a book and take advantage of someone else’s experience. I turn to the Web for more current or on-the-ground information. I read social network updates and blog posts to find out about things I didn’t even think of searching for.

I’m learning more about asking people. There’s a lot written down, but there’s also a lot of knowledge still stuck in people’s heads. Asking helps me pull that out into a form other people can learn from.

Trying things myself helps me test knowledge to see if it makes sense to my life. I learn how to adapt things, too, and I might even come up with my own ideas along the way.

Sometimes I get interesting questions through e-mail, comments, or other requests. Those are worth exploring too, since explaining helps me understand something better. I fill in gaps in my understanding, too.

(Make) Sense

Many of my blog posts are reflective. I think out loud because that helps me test whether I make sense. Sometimes other people help me learn or think my way through complex topics. A public archive is helpful, too. I can search my thoughts, and I’m relatively confident that things will continue to be around.

Chunking

The main challenge I’m working on is getting better at “chunking” ideas so that I can think bigger thoughts. I’m comfortable writing my way through small questions: one question, one blog post. As I accumulate these posts, I can build more complex thoughts by linking to previous ones.

Sketches help me chunk ideas. Like blog posts, each sketch addresses one idea. I can combine many sketches into one blog post, and then use a sketch to map out the relationships between ideas.

I’m learning how to organize my posts into series. A better writer would plan ahead. Me, I usually work backwards instead, organizing existing posts and tweaking them to flow better. When I get the hang of series, I’ll be able to start thinking in chunks of short books.

Reviews

I have a regular review process. I do weekly reviews of my blog posts, sketches, reading, and time. I do monthly reviews and yearly reviews, rolling the summaries upward.

I’ve written some scripts to simplify this process. For example, I read blog posts with the Feedly reader. If This Then That imports my Feedly saved items into Evernote. I have an Emacs Lisp function that reads Evernote exports and formats them for my blog, and then I annotate that list with my thoughts.

Archive hacks

Even with this review process, I can’t remember everything I have in my archive. Fortunately, I’m a geek. I like building and tweaking tools. I’ve written about the different things I do to make it easier to go through my archive. I can find things faster thanks to little things like having a browser search keyword for my blog. Recommendations for similar posts help me find connections that I might not have thought about myself.

Delegation

One of the unusual things I’ve been experimenting with is delegation to a team of virtual assistants. I ask people to research information, summarize what they find, and draft posts. I can find things faster myself, and I can write pretty quickly. Still, it’s a useful way to learn about things from other people’s perspectives, and I hope it pays off.

Share

My website is the base for all my sharing. Having seen so many services come and go, I don’t trust anything I can’t back up and control. I keep most things in a self-hosted WordPress blog. I also use Google Drive for easy, granular sharing (such as my delegation process folder), and Dropbox for other features.

I keep a copy of my sketchnotes in Evernote for convenience, and I share those notebooks as well. See my sketchnotes, sketchbook, and visual vocabulary.

Google Hangout on Air is great for recording podcasts and video conversations. The broadcast is available as a live stream, and it’s automatically recorded too. I’ve been moving more of my conversations to Hangouts on Air so that other people can learn from them.

I don’t want to clutter my main Twitter account with automated posts. I use @sachac_blog for blog post announcements. On occasion, I’ll post links or sneak previews with my main Twitter account, @sachac.

For free/pay-what-you-want resources, I use Gumroad. I like the way that it lets me offer digital resources while giving people a way to show their appreciation.

I’m also experimenting with paper books using CreateSpace. I’m looking forward to releasing some sketchnote collections through that.

How about you? How do you work with what you know?

Check out Harold Jarche’s post, too: What is your PKM routine?. Want to watch our conversation about large blog archives? See Youtube video below.

HHO010: Education with Laurie Flood

Helpers Help Out Show #10 – Education

Guest: Laurie Flood

This is a weekly live podcast with tips for Google Helpouts providers. Join us at http://helpershelpout.com/live at the time of the show for streaming and Q&A!

For the presentation, please click this link.

For the event page, you may click here.

HHO009: Charging 101 with Rachida Dukes

Helpers Help Out Show #9 – Charging 101

Guest: Chef Rachida

This is a weekly live podcast with tips for Google Helpouts providers. Join us at http://helpershelpout.com/live at the time of the show for streaming and Q&A!

Topics: Per-session and per-minute rates, refunds, and other charging-related topics

2014-02-21 Helpers Help Out 009 - Charging 101 with Rachida Dukes

For the event page, you may click here.

HHO008: The Art of Copywriting (for Google Helpouts)

Helpers Help Out Show #8: The Art of Copywriting with Ramon Williamson

This is a weekly live podcast with tips for Google Helpouts providers. Join us at http://helpershelpout.com/live at the time of the show for streaming and Q&A!

Sketchnote page 1:

2014-02-08 Helpers Help Out 008 - Copywriting with Ramon Williamson page 1

Sketchnote page 2:

2014-02-08 Helpers Help Out 008 - Copywriting with Ramon Williamson page 2

Sketchnote page 3:

2014-02-08 Helpers Help Out 008 - Copywriting with Ramon Williamson - page 3