I’ve done it! I’m proud to announce the publication and availability of Solutions to Information Overload: The Definitive Guide, my first e-Book.
Check it out at http://www.nathanzeldes.com/guide, or read on to find out more about it.
How the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions came to be
Twenty years ago, when I discovered Email Overload as an incipient problem at Intel, there were almost no solutions available to me, so I had to develop my own. In the next decade the problem’s global impact grew, and solutions started appearing, some as commercial products and some as homegrown programs and strategies within organizations. More recent years saw the development of a lively ecosystem of diverse solutions spanning a very wide range, from software tools for individual use to training programs for entire organizations, from personal coping strategies to company culture modifications, from mobile apps to server-side enterprise products. Unfortunately, many excellent solutions remain locked up in the groups that invented them, outside the reach of the rest of the world. Only a fraction of the existent solutions become common knowledge.
This is where my Definitive Guide comes in.
I started work on this book with the objective of listing in one place all the Information Overload solutions I’m aware of: ones I developed, ones I used, ones I read about or heard about from other IO crusaders, even some that I invented but never implemented. Twenty years of passionate work on this problem certainly gave me much to write about. I decided early on to make it more than just a list – I wanted this to be like an encyclopedia, with the solutions arranged in a functional taxonomy and described in systematic detail. In fact, I envisioned a Catalogue Raisonné of the art of solving information overload.
An amazing potpourri of ingenious solutions
The Guide turned out to be definitive indeed: it’s a 120-page e-Book describing (and commenting on) 164 different solutions to email overload and interruptions, arranged in a taxonomy of six functional categories and nineteen sub-categories, each with notes as to their benefits, risks, how to best apply them, and – where available – lessons learned by companies or individuals that had done so.
Pulling all this knowledge together was an exciting if arduous process; I got to communicate with many innovative software developers and industry practitioners, and was delighted to see the ingenuity built into many of their solutions. Beside its obvious usefulness as a source of solution ideas, the Guide is a showcase for the ingenuity that we humans can come up with when faced with a difficult problem!
Who can benefit from all this
I see this book bringing value to a number of populations:
- Anyone struggling with email overload will find in it tools and strategies that will enable them to do better work, do it more effectively, and have some time and peace of mind left over to enjoy their personal life.
- Managers who want to lead their groups to recover the time, the effectiveness, and the creativity that information overload is robbing them of will find in it many organizational solutions to choose from.
- Productivity Consultants and Business Communicators will find a treasure trove of solutions and insights they can use to benefit their customers.
- Academic Researchers of Computer Mediated Communication will enjoy the ultimate reference to past, present and future IO solutions.
- Solution Developers who develop email and productivity applications can use this guide to get a grasp of the competitive landscape, and inspiration for potential new products (as I mentioned, I included some novel ideas that are waiting for someone to implement them).
What are you waiting for?!
Whether or not it is, please get the word out to people who you think may benefit from this book. Share it, tweet it, email your overloaded friends… I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t certain that in the right hands – and they are many – the product of my toil can be of considerable use!