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Bookshelf #016: AI Improves Video Calls, 205 Top Tweets from a CEO, & Thinking Like a Rocket Scientist

Bookshelf #016: AI Improves Video Calls, 205 Top Tweets from a CEO, & Thinking Like a Rocket Scientist
By Dalton Mabery • Issue #16 • View online

🙂 Refresh
Hey everyone,
I am writing to you all from my home in beautiful Sacramento, California. It’s been an interesting week here with some of California’s worst fires, heat waves, and power outages – 2020 just keeps going on, right?
I recently hit 1,000 subscribers on Youtube, and I couldn’t be more excited. It was my first big milestone on Youtube, and it shows that consistency when creating will pay off. I want to thank you for subscribing and being a part of what I’m creating – a home on the internet to help people boost productivity and build better habits.
I announced my first online course this week! I wanted to learn what goes into creating an online course and the best way to learn is by doing. It launches on September 4th and is a guide on how to use Things 3, an incredible task manager, to boost productivity, streamline content consumption, and increase creative output. I teach not only the basic functionalities of the app but, also, methodologies and tricks I use to make it the best. You can preorder now, and use the code newsletter10 for $10/off.
The 🌏 of Tech
Cisco, the popular software and tech company, bought a new business this week – BabbleLabs.
BabbleLabs has been trying to use technology to make video conferencing a much more pleasant experience by reducing background noise. Through AI technology, BabbleLabs can detect human speech and reduce all other sounds like the fan rumbling, the lawn care company outside, and the dog that’s been barking next door for the last hour.
This is a fascinating acquisition because I think if COVID weren’t an issue right now, Cisco would not have tried to acquire this company. It makes me wonder what other small to medium sized startups are having success because their product fits so well in today’s landscape. Most companies that improve WFH have seen tremendous success. Slack’s stock price has risen from $20/share in January to now $30/share with an all-time high of $39/share. Depending on how long this goes on, some interesting and niche companies might emerge.
The 🌏 of Productivity
As we further our series on PARA, let’s take a look at Resources.
A Resource is a topic or area of research that you’re interested in. Examples include: productivity, note taking, coffee, SPACs, marketing, and so on.
Include any notes on articles, pictures, videos, or any other research you’ve accumulated into each of their corresponding topics. If I come across a new PDF on Personal Knowledge Management, instead of leaving that in my downloads folder all willy-nilly, which will most likely get lost. I can move that to my PKM folder that is under my resources. Doing so ensures any notes you take, papers you find, or anything else that might help you create something around a topic will never get lost.
🆕 Books
It’s not often a personal leadership book written by a former NASA rocket scientist is created. This book covers how to think in first principles, the power of moonshot thinking, and why you should test as you launch and launch as you test.
Here are some highlights:
  • “To think like a rocket scientist is to look at the world through a different lens. Rocket scientists imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. They transform failures into triumphs and constraints into advantages. They view mishaps as solvable puzzles rather than insurmountable roadblocks. They’re moved not by blind conviction but by self-doubt; their goal is not short-term results but long-term breakthroughs. They know that the rules aren’t set in stone, the default can be altered, and a new path can be forged.”
  • “To create the company of tomorrow, you must break down the bad habits, silos, and inhibitors that exist today.”
🆕 Articles
How to choose the right note-taking app” by Ness Labs founder, Anne-Laure Le Cunff.
The birth of Evernote in 2004 started a long time debate around the question, “What is the best note taking app for me?”
While everyone would argue that there is no “best” and it depends on your situation/strengths, Anne-Laure took that argument to the next level by making a brilliant parallel between a quote by G.R.R. Martin talking about the two types of writers: Architects and Gardeners.
Architects plan ahead of time and know exactly where everything will be before they start building. Gardeners, on the other hand, plant a seed and wait for something to happen. As the seed grows, it can have many branches – or very few. The gardener finds out as it grows. 
Anne-Laure makes the same statement but for note-taking apps. Architects prefer Notion because of the ability to plan and map out where they’re headed. Gardeners prefer Roam Research and Obsidian because of the ability to think as you write. Finally, librarians prefer Evernote because of the rigid, filing-cabinet like structure.
Anne-Laure explains what apps are available for each personality and some things to consider when choosing the right app.
🆕 Podcasts
The Definitive Guide to Digital Productivity” with Tiago Forte on Modern Wisdom.
Tiago takes a deep, deep, deep, dive into the world of digital productivity and breaks down the Productivity Pyramid.
Similar to a food pyramid, the Productivity Pyramid starts at the base level, working and using a computer properly, and then advances with each level of the pyramid. Tiago suggests some things to consider when doing a Weekly Review, how to use email properly, and the best task managers.
In Case You Missed It
Having a task manager that is simple, yet effective is very important. I have optimized Things in a way to help me stay focused longer, get stuff done, and capture more ideas. Check out the video linked above for a quick explanation.
Domm Holland is one of the most transparent CEOs on Twitter. He’s constantly sharing advice on how to build a startup, culture for a great company, and much more. I worked on condensing his top 200 Tweets into simple, actionable advice on life and business.
End Note
If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, mind sending it to a friend? You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it the most informative and witty email you receive each week.
If you want to support The Bookshelf and some of my other content, you can do that here.
As always, if you stumble across any interesting books, articles, or podcasts this week, send them my way. I love discovering new resources I wouldn’t have typically come across.
P.S. Interested in sponsoring The Bookshelf? Reply to this email and let me know.
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Dalton Mabery

I'm Dalton, a 21-year-old on a journey to find the intersection between Church and technology. I'm an avid reader and every week I send out a newsletter about what I learned in the world of technology, productivity, books, articles, or podcasts.

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