What you NEED to know

Do you really need to know when the Mighty Eagle is ready again in Angry Birds? Do you really need to know every time your favorite team scores? Do you need a reminder on every calendar appointment? Do you?

What do you need?

Start there.

[From The Very Difficult Problem of Notifications — The Brooks Review]

This is a great article that starts with the problem we have with notifications but ends on a related note with a bit of a minimalist slant.

Do we really need all the info we think we do? Do we really need to set ourselves up for a flood? It’s like we’re standing at the bottom of a snow covered mountain yelling at it hoping we get just enough snow to fall to make a snowman. The result is likely to be much different.

On the drive home from PodCamp Toronto Will and I had a discussion about the battery percentage in the menu bar of the iPad. Will had mentioned that he turned it off because he found himself always worried about exactly how much battery was left. It never really mattered that much. I replied that I was the same way. Even on my MacBook and iPhone. We concluded that wether it’s 99% or 100%, or 89% or 95%, didn’t really matter when it came down to it. Even on a phone it’s not like a couple percent is hours different of run time. I’ve now turned off the percentage notifier, it’s been over a week now, and I don’t find myself running out of juice and I worry less about how much I have!

In the end that extra info was just one more thing to worry about. Another piece of information that takes up brain power that will not change the world. Turn it off and go do something cool!!