Kobe, Doodling and Language Gamification

Next-Gen Notes

We all love how quick and easy it is to communicate and compose with our digital devices–can you imagine being a writer in the days of the big honking scribble feather?–but if we’re honest with ourselves, there’s just something missing from the experience. 

For instance, do you actually retain the information from a googling session or do you forget all you have seen the moment the screen goes dark, like checking the time on your phone?

The science is out there, just ask the ever-reliable PBS…writing things manually, the way your kindergarten teacher taught you along dotted lines all those years ago, helps you remember them more effectively and so along with all of my 2020 gadgetry there’s something of a nod to the scribes of the ancient world…my handy dandy Rocketbook.

Rocketbook kinda sounds like I’m making it up at a pitch meeting, bringing the conventional feel of a paper-like surface and analog writing utensil with the nigh-unlimited power of the Internet. Using a free app that can be downloaded to your smartphone, Rocketbook allows you to take notes just like you did (or did not) in high school, scan it through the app to your preferred online destination, then wipe the pages clean with a few drops of water and a cloth and reuse them. 

Combined with the ability to manage these notes through utilities like Google Docs, physically writing things down has done wonders for my everyday memory. That’s right, no more mindlessly jotting something down in a Notes app or email draft and forgetting about it for 6 months for me, because correcting for our human frailties is what the future is all about.

Destinations on Demand

Most people I know who travel regularly use Airbnb fairly often…ever try to get a hotel room in a city where there also happens to be a major event? It can be a real lifesaver. 

If you’re also into the unique experiences and irreplaceable immersion that comes with a stay in a local luxury home during your travels, a subscription service that allows you to book them whenever you want for a flat monthly fee might sound pretty appealing…and fortunately for you, that’s totally A Thing!

Meet Inspirato, the service that essentially ensures you’ll never be without accommodations again. Inspirato offers two membership levels, but even the basic Pass allows you to book any destination 7 to 365 days in advance for a base subscription rate…you can even add more than one simultaneous reservation to your account so you can hold bookings on both coasts to facilitate back-to-back business trips or even just to say you did.  

Productive Play

My long struggle to aprender español continues into 2020, but there’s lately been a new hope in the form of a new app called Drops. They say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and where learning a language can be difficult mental labor, Drops makes it much more like playing video games…ah, excuse me, videojuegos.

The Last Word 

All right, that’s about all I have from the world of tech, but before I go I have to take a few moments to acknowledge someone who was not only an important figure in Los Angeles, but an inspiration to individuals around the world.

The LA Times’ Bill Plaschke wrote a heartfelt article on the impact Kobe Bryant made on our fair city and the world around him during his 41 short years, and it seems everyone who has so much as watched a full NBA game in the last 20 years has a Kobe memory…mine was being in the building for Game 7 of the Lakers-Celtics championship series back in 2010. 

That night, it wasn’t so much his stat line that stood out as his will to win. In a game between the two best teams on the planet, one player often makes the difference in tipping the scales and in Game 7 it was Kobe Bryant. It wasn’t Kobe’s best game by a long shot, but he still managed to put up 23 points and lead all scorers on the way to bringing home the big trophy for all us Angelenos.

It was a shining example of the unstoppable drive to succeed for which he was famous, and that we can all gain some inspiration from in our daily lives…this is a guy who would stay and shoot for hours after a long practice…if the best player on the team is doing it, who shouldn’t be? 

By all accounts he was a great father to his children as well, which makes the fact that his 13-year-old daughter lost her young life in the helicopter accident that claimed 9 human beings even more tragic. It’s just a sad story all around, but what has been uplifting is the great respect shown to his legacy on and off the court, with even heated rivals like the Dallas Mavericks have permanently retiring his number 24 immediately in the wake of the news.

For me personally, the biggest takeaway is the importance of enjoying each day…tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us.

That is a well-worn sentiment, no doubt, but events like these underscore why we say these things to ourselves and others over and over…because they are true. With that in mind, thanks for making time for me this week, I truly appreciate it…and remember to reach out to someone you care about today.

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