<a href="http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/linux/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=192300292">Douglas Merrill</a> dropped by <i>InformationWeek</i>'s San Francisco office on Thursday to talk about his new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Organized-Google-Era-Stuff/dp/0385528175/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268946706&sr=8-1">"Getting Organized in the Google Era."</a>

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

March 18, 2010

1 Min Read

Douglas Merrill dropped by InformationWeek's San Francisco office on Thursday to talk about his new book, "Getting Organized in the Google Era."Merrill, formerly Google's de facto CIO, is one of the most interesting people I've had the opportunity to talk with during my years as a journalist.

His background is in psychology and he uses his academic training to explain why our minds conspire to keep us from being organized.

Merrill is still a big believer in search. "Search is still the oxygen of the Internet era and I think it always will be," he said.

And he sees value in social interaction. He recounted a study that showed that high-performing military units had high levels of collaboration and diversity of perspective.

Forced diversity of perspective, he said, equals higher quality outcomes. That's something autocrats, dictators, and other fans of strict hierarchy may wish to consider.

He's also a believer in using less paper, which not only has organizational implications but also helps the environment.

(Sorry, but I'm keeping my Post-its.)

Merrill isn't entirely anti-paper, however. Paper, he concedes, can be better for planning things.

In his book, he suggests various strategies and tools to use to keep organized amid the flood of information in which we're drowning.

If only I could clear out my inbox, I might even find time to read it.

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About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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