Monday, October 16, 2017

Forget Remembering | Setting up a Quick Access Skills Library

A few nights ago we were out at a Chinese restaurant and hit me that I used to know a slick way to make a chopstick rest from the stick's wrapper. This clever bit of origami isn't hard to do, but without practice, it's easy to forget. As I mulled this incident over, I realized that there were a bunch of skills that fall into this category, from learning new knots to remembering the wiring sequence for jumping a car.

What I wanted was a skills library: a resource I could turn to get a refresher on a concrete technique that I used to know. Most importantly, I wanted the library to be local to my phone. That is, even without cell phone service or WiFi, I wanted to be able to relearn a skill. Fortunately, the LG G6 supports an external SD card, which is the perfect place to stash extra content like this.

To put together the library, I headed over to YouTube and ran some searches for some simple skills (like tying the Uni knot and folding a recording breaking paper airplane). I then added each video to a Skills Playlist.

I had the start of my Skills library, but it wasn't accessible offline.

For that, I turned to There's no way around it, this step is sketchy. Keepvid allows you to paste a YouTube URL, and in response, allows you to download the underlying video file. This is typically a no-no. But for these few videos, which I'll be using rarely and not distributing to the public, I think it's an acceptable compromise.

Once I had the various .mp4 files for the videos, I pushed them to a Google Drive folder. And from there, I setup a FolderSync rule that pulls them down into my phone's SD card:

The result is a folder filled with helpful videos.

The next time we're out eating Sushi, the only thing stopping me from making a nifty chopstick rest is my poor folding skills and not my poor memory!

And here's a snapshot of all the skills in the library:

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