HabiTimer Now Available!

HabiTimer for iPhone and iPod TouchI’m pleased to announce that my fourth iPhone app— HabiTimer for iPhone and iPod Touch is now available for download from the app store! HabiTimer won the “Best User Interface” award at iOSDevCamp 2010, and I’m looking forward to seeing how people use it. It’s free for now, so if you’ve got an iDevice, give it a whirl, and let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to rate and/or review HabiTimer in the App Store, and tell your friends!

Update: HabiTimer 1.1 is out, including musical per-alarm sounds! Now only $0.99.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Catalog Choice: Stop the Flood of Catalogs

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I’m not as badly off as some. I only throw away about 8-10 catalogs a week that arrive at my office. Over a year, that’s around 500 catalogs. Now scale that to the entire U.S.: Americans are printing, distributing, and throwing away (mostly unused) about 19 billion catalogs each year.

53 million trees per year.

3.6 million tons of paper per year.

Enough energy to power 1.2 million homes per year.

Annual emissions equal to 2 million cars on the road per year.

81,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of waste water per year.

For catalogs.

How many catalogs do you receive that you never look at, don’t really want, and aren’t even sure about how to go about no longer receiving them?

Catalog Choice is a new, free service that allows you to decide what gets in your mailbox. Use it to reduce your mailbox clutter, while helping save natural resources.

Catalog Choice is a sponsored project of the Ecology Center. It is endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Take back your mailbox! Catalog Choice.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Richard St. John on Success

This 3-minute talk is from the 2005 TED conference. A Flash summary of the principles he discusses can be found here.

Click image to play video.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Choose Your Ignorance

As I wrote in a previous post:

We live in an age where no-one has an excuse for not knowing something of interest to them.

After thinking on this idea further, I’ve come to realize an important corollary:

In the 21st century, a particular hallmark of mental health is the ability to deliberately choose one’s ignorance.

Conversely, the inability to draw boundaries around what knowledge one finds important enough to pursue leads to wasting time on absorbing information that ultimately has little payoff with respect to one’s values. I can’t say how many times it’s occurred to me that I can now easily discover the answer to something I’ve always wanted to know. And then, intending to spend only a couple minutes looking up the answer, I spend an hour or more reading not only the answer to my question, but a plethora of tenuously-related background information and trivia.

There is an overwhelming amount of “junk information” on the Internet– much of it interesting, entertaining or even potentially useful. But just as junk food must be limited in the name of physical health, I look over my extensive collection of interesting bookmarks with the growing realization that I should never consume many of these sites if I want to have the time to actually produce things that I think are important.

So, when a friend tells you about a new web comic, or research paper, or technology, or news item, or blog, I think it should become a point of pride to be able to say, “Thanks, but I’m going to remain ignorant of that.”

Oh, and happy 40th birthday to me. :)

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

But I don’t know how!

We live in an age where no-one has an excuse for not knowing something of interest to them. Despite this, it still amazes me how many family members, friends, or co-workers attempt to use the excuse “I don’t know how to do X,” as an excuse for not doing X. Perhaps at one time knowledge of how to do X was hard to come by, but now more than ever we are inundated with knowledge, and the choice comes down more to deciding what to do with our limited time and energy.

So please, don’t say “I wish I could X but I just don’t know how.” I will most likely laugh in your face, or at least smirk inwardly. Rather, be truthful to yourself (and me) and just say, “I don’t care enough to bother.”

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!