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
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
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Whether it's a faulty memory, a tendency to multitask, or difficulty managing our time, every one of us has limitations conspiring to keep us from being organized. But, as organizational guru and former Google CIO Douglas C. Merrill points out, it isn't our fault. Our brains simply aren't designed to deal with the pressures and competing demands on our attention in today's fast-paced, information-saturated, digital world. What's more, he says, many of the ways in which our society is structured are outdated, imposing additional chaos that makes us feel stressed, scattered, and disorganized.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Luckily, we have a myriad of amazing new digital tools and technologies at our fingertips to help us manage the strains on our brains and on our lives; the trick is knowing when and how to use them. This is why Merrill, who helped spearhead Google's effort to "organize the world's information," offers a wealth of tips and strategies for how to use these new tools to become more organized, efficient, and successful than ever.
But if you're looking for traditional, rigid, one-size-fits-all strategies for organization, this isn't the book for you. Instead, Merrill draws on his intimate knowledge of how the brain works to help us develop fresh, innovative, and flexible systems of organization tailored to our individual goals, constraints, and lifestyles.
From how to harness the amazing power of search, to how to get the most out of cloud computing, to techniques for filtering through the enormous avalanche of information that assaults us at every turn, to tips for minimizing distractions and better integrating work and life, Getting Organized in the Google Era is chock-full of practical, invaluable, and often counterintuitive advice for anyone who wants to be more organized and productive–and less stressed--in our 21st-century world.
DOUGLAS C. MERRILL, most recently the President of Digital and the COO of New Music for EMI Recorded Music, was the chief information officer at Google until April 2008. Previously, he was a senior vice president at Charles Schwab and Co. and an information scientist at the RAND Corporation. He has a Ph.D in Cognitive Science from Princeton University.
JAMES A MARTIN is a PC World technology blogger, whose articles have appeared in many publications and on web sites including Washingtonpost.com.
In this era of information overload, the experience of being stressed, forgetful and overwhelmed means your mind is perfectly normal. Douglas Merrill, author of the new book Getting Organized in the Google Era, writes about his own struggle with dyslexia, and how that forced him to develop techniques for remembering information. More at NPR.org
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Getting Organized in the Google Era breaks new ground…guiding you to solutions that honor your unique personality. Smart, non-judgmental and filled with practical advice.
-Julie Morgenstern, NY Times bestselling author of Organizing from the Inside Out and Never Check Email in the Morning.
“Douglas Merrill has worked a near-miracle: In short, simple steps, he shows how to become powerful and confident in a world of too much info and too little time. This isn’t just the book I wished I’d written, it’s the book I need to give to people I care about.”
-Quentin Hardy, Forbes Magazine.
This book has been a terrific resource for a messy-desked, attention-challenged thinker of random thoughts like me! Thanks to Douglas Merrill, I now use digital tools to find almost everything and my transition from paper to digital is no longer awkward. This is a marvelous book, with tremendous ideas on every page.
-Susan Scott, NY Times bestselling author of Fierce Conversations, Achieving Success at Work & in Life – One Conversation at a Time, and Fierce Leadership, A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today.
“Perhaps only Douglas Merrill could take us from Frederick Winslow Taylor to cloud computing to getting organized in one helpful read. This is the book to help you stay ahead of your own avalanche of information so that it's always accessible and useful to you.”
- Dave Girouard, President of Enterprise Group, Google, Inc.