Thoughts & Tips On Digital Reading

Kindle-camping-mount-guard-your-heartPhoto by Frank Holleman on Unsplash

In a recent episode of Cal Newport's The Deep Life Podcast -- Episode 238: The Joys Of The Reading Life -- Cal provided his well-thought-out ideas on how to have a deep reading life and how that intersects with our digital technologies.

I agree with Cal that reading deeply needs concentration and is free from distraction. Physical books are excellent for those that want that experience.

I also agree that reading on the Kindle (or other dedicated eBook readers) can be a deep reading platform. My Kindle Paperwhite is my primary device for all my reading with my eyes. [NOTE: Listening to audiobooks is reading. Don't get me started.]

He is also correct that reading on most people's standard mobile phones or digital tablets like an iPad is not a deep reading platform.

If you do end up reading on a phone or tablet, here are my recommendations.

My phone already has very minimal alerts, but with a quick swipe, I turn on "Do Not Disturb."  And in my Kindle application on the phone, I have changed the background color (Layout > Page Color) from white (default) to green. The other options are: tan, white, or black. I'd choose tan if you don't like the green color.

I find having that green background - uncommon like the tan - tells my mind that I am now in reading mode and not scanning mode (like with a white or black background). This lets me read more deeply when I don't have my Kindle and only my phone. Once I finish reading, I turn off "Do Not Disturb."

Reading on my iPad is more straightforward, as I have 'Do Not Disturb' always on. And I am only reading content on my iPad with colors: comic books, WWII books with maps, Star Wars guides, recipe books, etc. I don't change the background color on my iPad.

Thoughts? Comments? Feedback is always welcome!


White Coat Ceremony Oath - Long Beach State University

IMG_3211-COLLAGEMy daughter Crason recently participated in a White Coat Ceremony at Long Beach State University at the start of her nursing program.

This ceremony is done at"enlightened" medical schools for doctors and nurses that expose their students at the beginning of their program with their "oath" of service vice at the end.

I believe this follows the best practices from Franklin Covey's thinking of "The End In Mind" and David Allen's thoughts on "Outcoming Thinking."

This is the oath the student took at the end of the ceremony:

In dedicating myself to the profession of nursing, I solemnly pledge that I will:

  • Uphold the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering as my primary concerns;
  • Act in a compassionate and trustworthy maner in all aspects of my care;
  • Treate my patients, peers, and faculty with kindness, respect, and dignity;
  • Apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes of my patients;
  • Exercise sound profressional judgetment while abiding by legal and ethical requirements;
  • Accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and comptenence;
  • Contribute to a healthy and safe learning environment;
  • Promote, advocate for and strive to protect the health, safterty, and rights of the patient, regardless of their social or economic status, personal attributes, or nature of their health problems.

With this pledge, I accept the duties and responsiblities that embody the nursing profession.

I take this oath voluntarily and with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public, my patients, and thier families.


My 2023 Daily Morning Personal Devotion Plan

Thought-catalog-505eectW54k-unsplashPhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Back in 2019, I embarked on a daily morning personal devotion and growth plan by reading these two books on my Kindle Paperwhite (no ads):

Since then, I've rotated the faith devotional book yearly, but I have kept re-reading the The Daily Stoic (it is really that good).  The previous faith devotionals were:

In addition to reading these, I have been practicing journaling whatever comes to mind before my readings. Looking back over my journaling, I see some themes: what happened the day before, or what is going to happen soon; prayers; concerns/worries; and insight into how I am feeling or how I am doing professionally and personally.  I also capture some thoughts or ideas that stand out from my readings. I have tried to journal both on paper and digitally. I have currently settled on paper.  I am currently using a Moleskin that was given to me by Manager-Tools.com.

Another practice I have been doing is high-lighting those verses mentioned in the faith devotionals in my Bible (NIV Faithlife Study Bible: Intriguing Insights To Inform Your Faith).  It is becoming very interesting to see what verses get used across different authors, and those that only get one or two mentions.  An additional insight is how much of the Bible hasn't been referenced. It is also especially interesting to me when my "Faith Daily Devotional" is very aligned with the "Stoic Daily Read."

This year I am going to read in the morning:

I am looking forward to Rolf's book as I've been listening to his podcast for years, and he inspired me to take this Europe Trip in 2019.

NOTE: Links to things you can buy go to Amazon Prime.

#human_generated_content


2023 Continuous Year Calendar PDFs For Free Download

Just like last year, I have created some downloadable files of "continuous" calendars for 2023:

I hopefully did the conversion from 2022 to 2023 correctly.  If you find an error then please let me know.

These were inspired by Kairos Cognition very elegant calendar:

Karos


Recommended: Adam Smith Podcasts From Freakonomics.com

Kirkcaldy_High_Street_Adam_Smith_Plaque

I learned a lot about Adam Smith that I didn't know about in this three part podcast from Freakonomics.com: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Here are a few examples:


Two Weeks Into Moving To Obsidian As My GTD System

Obsidian-basic-backgroundIntroduction

About two weeks ago I decided to move my personal David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system (aka "External Brain/Trusted System") to Obsidian.md (a "free" personal knowledge management application -- note I previously thought that Obsidian was open-source but it is not).

I don't have a huge set of reasons for the switch, it just seemed like something I was very interested in doing after testing Obsidian over the last 6 months for writing, note-taking, organizing, etc.

My previous personal system was Nirvana (for everything GTD-related, but Reference), and Google Keep (for Reference). This system was up and running from January 2019 until now.  Before that, I had a customized GTD-system in Google Keep. The full Google Keep system was ~5 years old.  Before that, it was all Microsoft Outlook-based

My work GTD system is Microsoft Outlook based with all my References in Microsoft OneNote or in the Windows filesystem.

Setting Things Up

My first step was to relieve my concern about being able to work across all devices.  So, my first three next-actions were:

  1. Get Obsidian working in Linux on my Chromebook.
  2. Get Obsidian working on my Windows 11 Desktop.
  3. Sync those two systems using Google Drive.

This was pretty straightforward and was probably working seamlessly in less than 10 minutes.

Then I had to figure out how to get things to work on my Android Phone and Apple iPad:

  1. First I tried an Android sync tool called Folder Sync, but the changes were not very dynamic.  I had to force a sync from the application before I'd see any updates in Obsidian.
  2. Then I realized for the Apple iPad, the options for syncing seemed to be limited to two: Apple iCloud or Obsidian Sync (paid service).  With my primary data files on Google Drive, it seemed like Obsidian Sync was the better option.
  3. So I paid for Obsidian Sync (to get both Android & iPad sync going).  I can report that this has worked very well, I've had no issues, and it is very responsive on both my Android phone and my Apple iPad.  Definitely worth the money.

Learning

Now that I could trust that data would be synchronized, and available no matter which device I was using, I just started learning more about what other people have done:

The current setup is pretty minimal after migrating my current Tasks and Projects from Nirvana, and my current active Notes (Project Support, References) in Google Keep.

My-obsidian-structure

Future Projects To Work On

I have used this tool -- keep-it-markdown 0.4.3 -- to migrate all my notes out of Google Keep into .md files to Google Drive. However, I still need to import those into Obsidian.

I also need to migrate a couple of lists in Nirvana -- Later & Someday/Maybe -- to Obsidian.

There is also an effort to figure out if there are other Obsidian plugins, themes, or templates I should be using.

Questions, comments, suggestions, etc. welcome!


Spinach + Gnocchi Stir Fry (For One) #recipe

DinnerThe play-by-play instructions (started via this recipe post):

  • Using a skillet, heat to high for about 5 minutes and then down to medium
  • Grilled some onions and green peppers in olive oil
  • Added a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Added a cup or so of leftover tri-tip steak (use any meat or no meat if you want)
  • Sprinkled on some bacon bits
  • Added a handful of Gnocchi (straight from the bag, not boiled)
  • Then two big handfuls of baby spinach
  • Cooked for 10 minutes after adding all the stuff. Added a little water after 5 minutes.
  • Added some pepper and parmesan cheese after serving on a plate

Questions?