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How to Stop from Drowning in Technology

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 2:37 PM | Kevin Smith

by Kevin Smith

ATD-MAC is focusing on Authenticity throughout December. If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to register for ATD-MAC’s December program “Authenticity in Teams” featuring Roger Wolkoff. Roger will be teaching leaders how to achieve greater team results with Authenticity.  Throughout the month, we also have a fantastic line-up of featured writers for the ATD-MAC Blog that will be focusing on their journey with authenticity as Learning & Development professionals.

How to Stop from Drowning in Technology

I remember as a kid (before Memes, before FaceBook, before the internet!) there was a familiar kind of cartoon image: a ragged castaway on a raft, dying of thirst with the caption, “Water, water, everywhere water. And not a drop to drink.”

I’m thinking of that now as I feel myself “drowning” in a sea of technology, apps, gadgets, and information that I barely know how to use. It’s difficult to figure out what to immerse myself in and learn how to use, knowing that some of the choices I make will prove to be irrelevant way too soon. Do you ever feel that way?

There are days when I feel like a Luddite wanting to chuck everything I’m not familiar with. You take the apps, the Snapchats, the memes, and whatever else launched and went viral since I began writing this. I’ll keep my website, email, LinkedIn, webinar platform, and PowerPoint. I can get by with those, right?

Deep down, I know I’m losing out on things that could help me and our business to have a greater reach and effectiveness. But there is so much and so many different options!

What makes it all the more upsetting is I actually really enjoy learning about the latest and greatest tech stuff. Nothing gets me more in “the zone” than needing to learn a new piece of software for a new kind of project I’ve embarked upon. But I get frustrated in only having the opportunity to learn as much as I need to get the project out the door. I rarely feel like I’ve mastered all of the features, whistles, and bells of any given program.

So, how are we going to do it? How are we going to find the time, resources, energy, and understanding to know where to lean in, figure it out, and discover something new? How are we going to know what tech is worth pursuing and what we should pass by?

I think the answer lies in concerting our efforts and being comfortable to share. When we start to lean on our professional community, like ATD-MAC, and synthesize our efforts, we start to find efficiencies and give tech a run for its money.

So, no more holding back with reviews of stuff! We, as a community, need to hear the good, the bad and the ugly when we’re sharing our opinions. Remember, this is the lifesaver that keeps us from drowning in tech, saves our time, and limits our frustration.

That said . . .  I found this cool app and I have it on my phone. I just can’t figure out what to do with it, but it looks darned cool. It’s called Adobe Capture. (Maybe I’m years behind, but it seems like this could be very useful to an ambitious ID.) It uses your phone’s camera to capture shapes, color pallets, materials typeface/fonts, patterns and brushes and saves them or converts them to other useable formats. The image on the right is a sample of what I took from my phone at my desk (in poor light).

For example, if you walk into say, a living room with a particularly striking color scheme, or even an outdoor landscape, you can use this app to capture the colors and save them to use later. Or you can capture images of shapes and convert them into vector graphics. Seems like cool stuff! I just haven’t had time to figure out what to do with it. *sigh*

What cool new gadgets, apps, features, or tech have you found recently? What about it was worth your time? How could you see it being used? Feel free to use the comments feature below or reply to our Social Media. Let’s keep this conversation going!

Comment to this blog post, tag us on twitter @atdmadison, or post on ATD-MAC’s LinkedIn and let us know what you’ve been using and whether it’s worth our time.

By Kevin Smith

Kevin is publisher/consultant for TEAM Resources, a small consulting firm that provides strategic planning and training services primarily for the credit union industry. 

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