Summary of the Book:
This book is designed to make an abstract concept of curating your existence real and actionable. Loosely defined, Experience Curating is the mindset to leverage any experience for future gain and the tools to benefit from curating’s best practices.
Practically speaking, Experience Curating has six steps I call FAOCAS:
1. Filter: assess any experience you have with intention to identify the most useful ones.
2. Archive: store your filtered experiences with a tool like Evernote, a journal, or Excel spreadsheets.
3. Organize: categorize and label your experiences for easy sorting, searching, and trend spotting.
4. Context: preserve the context of an experience and hopefully add personal layers of context to it to make it more powerful or meaningful.
5. Access: maintain the ability to access your experiences wherever you go (e.g., in a pocket notebook or a smartphone app like Evernote).
6. Share: relevantly share your curated experiences to help other people and establish yourself as a go-to resource on whatever topics you curate.
To help you conceptualize Experience Curating, think about traditional forms of curating like libraries and museums. The Brothers Grimm were curators of all the Germanic folktales they preserved and shared. Time magazine was originally an attempt to curate the most important world news in one place back when that simply wasn’t done (the 1920s). And Maria Popova of BrainPickings.org is one of the premier curators of the 21st century.
Some of the benefits of curating include more simplicity, better self-expression, establishing yourself as an expert on a topic, and being able to find people you resonate with. And some of the main arguments of the book include:
• Curating is a mindset and toolkit that will help you with everything else that you do.
• The benefits of curating are so large – and the downsides of not curating are so big – that you might as well practice it with purpose because it takes little time, energy, and money.
• It takes a while for your curated experiences to build up enough to be really useful. Patience is required.
• Curating helps you validate that what you do is important and that why you exist is meaningful.
Let me know if you need more context about the book, and I’ll provide it.
You don’t have to use these image ideas. But I thought they might help you conceptualize the direction I’m looking to go:
• A small sprouting seedling to suggest potential and room to grow.
• A person kneeling quietly, tending to their back yard garden.
• A box with two holes. On the left, an unrefined, unpolished object is entering. On the right, a similar object – or the same one – is exiting, looking quite enhanced compared to the “before” state.
• A card catalog (like a Dewey Decimal System one you’d find in a library) sitting on a simple beach landscape.
• A person walking in-between a verdant landscape of large trees, appearing content to simply wander.
Here are some book covers I like for reference: