Saturday, October 26, 2013

3 tools to help remember and find information

We are inundated with information.  While some would call it information overload, the word "overload" has a negative connotation.  Is it not better to have so much information rather than not have any?  A better term is information abundance.

The challenge is to use tools that will help make the most of this information abundance.  Here are 3 simple tools to help get started:

1.  Diigo

This is one of many excellent social bookmarking tools.  Get the Diigo extension for the Chrome browser and start bookmarking and adding notes and highlights to web pages that you want to find again.  When you search for information using Google Search, it will automatically display results from Diigo that you might have bookmarked earlier.  Make sure you check the box under settings to "Search your Diigo library when searching Google.


Thus when I search for the famous study by Drs. Sparrow and Wegner on how using Google changes our memory, it brings up results both from my Diigo library and from the Web.
Searching Diigo when doing a Google Web search

2.  Google Search for Drive and Gmail

Another tool to use is the ability to search through your email and Google Drive from the Google search.  While this is still in trial, anyone can sign up to be part of this.

Seach Google Drive and Gmail from Google search

3.  Memobutton 

This is another extension for Chrome and is based on the Spaced Learning theory.  It allows you to create flashcards for yourself as you surf the web and come across critical bits of information that you want to remember.  Just click the memobutton in the extension toolbar, and paste the text into the pop-up.  Double click the key word you want to remember and it makes a flashcard.  It then reminds you to review these flash cards periodically.  

Creating flashcards while surfing the web - get periodic reminders till you master the content

There are many other tools but if you use Chrome as your default browser these will meet most of your needs for storing and searching and remembering information that you find.