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Last post Author Topic: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking  (Read 26929 times)

urlwolf

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Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« on: January 20, 2009, 09:16:58 AM »
http://chandlerproje...icationPaperOutline2

This must be some classic. I wonder how I have missed it.
If you use a notetaker, have read the long notetaking thread, etc you owe it to yourself to read this one.

40hz

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 06:09:12 PM »
Fantastic article! Thanks for the link. :Thmbsup:

PPLandry

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 08:34:50 PM »
Great finding for an information management fanatic like me. Thanks!
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

fenixproductions

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 08:48:39 PM »
Nice article. I can't understand how could they make Chandler the way it is ;)

dangerman 666

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 10:31:40 PM »
Wow this is a goldmine! A great article, a great website with fascinating topics.

To top it all this Chandler software looks (at first glance at least) to be absolutely fantastic.Good looking, cross platform and free!

I haven't been this excited about a web discovery for a long time.

How excited? Well it got me to de-lurk and make my first post.

Thank you urlwolf for pointing it out.

And thank you Mouser and and DC forums. I love this place. Where else can I find people with nerdy obsessions like my own.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 07:31:33 PM by dangerman 666 »

dangerman 666

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 11:32:38 PM »
The paper is thought provoking, but I'm starting to think the software is not really right for me.

J-Mac

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 12:57:10 AM »
Looks cool. Similar to the old Grokker. I used Grokker for searching back when it was released as a beta but I had to drop it when they decided to go commercial with only a business version - at great cost. Pretty neat concept though.

Thanks!

Jim

tomos

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 02:42:03 AM »
Looks cool.

Do you mean Chandler Jim?
- I'm still wading through the article and related articles, havent gotten to the software yet!
Some interesting stuff, some I just dont understand where it's going but will wade onwards when I have time later
Tom

Crush

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009, 03:33:34 AM »
I have some new cool ideas when looking at this article (I´m not quite sure how to get it in effective, fast working code)... One of the biggest problem is to gather relevant and important informations you´re not looking for directly what´s in fact in most cases the reason of searching... very interesting.

Paul Keith

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009, 12:12:24 PM »
Thanks for the OP who referred to this link. That said, I'm just wondering what's so special about the stuff written there?

I just skimmed the topics and while they have some ideas people might not have read before, I think overall the ideas were flawed in that they skim over the benefits of a well organized feature and use a poor example of it as a straw man to look down upon the features they criticize.

I'm not sure anyone wants to read a long detailed critic of the article and I'm far from a productive organized notetaker so I just want to know what impressed you guys about the article.

PPLandry

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2009, 12:56:52 PM »
I haven't read it all, but it seems to discuss the relative merits of information organization techniques:
1- Hierarchy
2- Search (no organization)
3- Tags
4- Faceted

My own IQ does the first 3 and "could" be modified do the 4th also.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

J-Mac

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009, 01:19:04 PM »
Looks cool.

Do you mean Chandler Jim?
- I'm still wading through the article and related articles, havent gotten to the software yet!
Some interesting stuff, some I just dont understand where it's going but will wade onwards when I have time later

Yes - I waded through the articles there and they are referring to a search method commonly called "grokking" which was the basis for a search engine that was introduced as a beta a few years ago - actually it might have been about five years ago. When you enter a search term the reults come back as a map with a series of circles containing - what else? More circles! All the circles contain groupings of search results grouped by different layers/definitions/categories of the search term(s).

Take a look at Grokker and perform a sample search from the home page. When you look at the results click on the "Map" tab and you'll see what I mean. Unfortunately now Grokker is a business application and I believe it is priced way out of my universe.

Jim

J-Mac

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2009, 01:21:53 PM »
Thanks for the OP who referred to this link. That said, I'm just wondering what's so special about the stuff written there?

I just skimmed the topics and while they have some ideas people might not have read before, I think overall the ideas were flawed in that they skim over the benefits of a well organized feature and use a poor example of it as a straw man to look down upon the features they criticize.

I'm not sure anyone wants to read a long detailed critic of the article and I'm far from a productive organized notetaker so I just want to know what impressed you guys about the article.

I liked the article, Paul.  Are you trying to denigrate anyone who happened to like the article just because you happen to dislike it? Really? Do I really have to justify to you what I liked??  Hmm... I do think there is a term for that....  :tellme:

OK, OK. Settle down - I was just messing with you a little!  ;)

Jim

Paul Keith

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 04:17:08 PM »
I liked the article, Paul.  Are you trying to denigrate anyone who happened to like the article just because you happen to dislike it? Really? Do I really have to justify to you what I liked??  Hmm... I do think there is a term for that....  :tellme:

OK, OK. Settle down - I was just messing with you a little!  ;)

Jim

Haha, yeah you got me.

Quote from: PPLandry
I haven't read it all, but it seems to discuss the relative merits of information organization techniques:
1- Hierarchy
2- Search (no organization)
3- Tags
4- Faceted

My own IQ does the first 3 and "could" be modified do the 4th also.

Yeah, PPLandry, it does but I was referring more to the reasons given.

For example in that hierarchy section, the author was talking entirely about tree-lists. If that weren't bad enough, he used a poor example of a tree list to argue about the problems of a tree list.

But yeah, what Jim said. I'm not trying to denigrate anyone. Just curious to what you guys see so I can understand what needs improving in this guide or whether I can suggest or write a better one for those people who really need this sort of thing but whose needs don't match up with what the article provides.

J-Mac

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 04:55:08 PM »
It was interesting IMO because the author described how we normally think as opposed to how we often try to organize our collected information. Though he didn't claim to know the psychology nor neurology behind how we usually tend to organize and recall different types of data, he did indeed raise those very concepts. How we want to view our collected information in two ways simultaneously: to see it all at once overall, and to also see the detail well enough to pick out that which we are immediately seeking.

Any discussion on how we visualize and its relation to how we think is interesting to me.  :)

Jim

dangerman 666

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2009, 05:17:19 PM »
The article got me thinking they had some sort of special insight into how to manage information. That and the initial impression of "slickness" impressed me. I mean things like the pretty icons and graphics.

I thought this might be a great leap forward in this genre of software, but I'm seeing this is not the case. I've done some more reading re chandler now, and I tend to agree with the general tone others impressions.

Still it was interesting to learn about. The search for the perfect application continues. ;)

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 05:19:10 PM by dangerman 666 »

kfitting

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2009, 06:54:44 PM »
For those of you looking for some more thoughts on data presentation (not note-taking specific) you can look at Edward Tufte's forums: http://www.edwardtuf...d/q-and-a?topic_id=1

While I am sometimes inclined to think that he does not follow his own ideas when laying out his website, he has some really good stuff on presenting information.  In fact, the Chandler article reminded me of some of the stuff Tufte says.  If you get a chance to take his one day course, do it.  He bashes powerpoint so much in print it makes you wonder how he gives a presnetation... he does it pretty well!

Kevin

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2009, 07:01:22 PM »
Well it got me to de-lurk and make my first post.

Thank you urlwolf for poining it out.

And thank you Mouser and and DC forums. I love this place. Where else can I find people with nerdy obsessions like my own.

<offtopic>
! :D
</offtopic>

dangerman 666

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2009, 07:33:57 PM »
Thanks for the welcome

40hz

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2009, 07:40:56 PM »
What I found the most interesting was the section entitled ComplexityIsInTheEyeOfTheBeholder

I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I understood what they were saying. And if I did understand it correctly, this section spells out very clearly why Chandler doesn't work on so many levels.

Quote
Another way to put it is:

While it's true that this Chandler world of mutable, evolving items and collections is NOT the experience people are used in the physical world. (Desks don't turn into Oatmeal.) This IS exactly what happens with ideas and concepts in our brains. (Ice cube, Ice Cube, Ice queen.) And computers are supposed to be brains, not file cabinets.

And on this point, I really have to disagree. Computers are not brains. And I'm not all that convinced that they were supposed to be either.

A fun read all around. These people are crazy. But they're fun to read.

Pausing until I "grok in fullness..." ;D


Paul Keith

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2009, 08:09:13 PM »
Thanks J-Mac and 40hz. I guess because I've been using Compendium and listening to stuff like David Allen's GTD, I just thought alot of what was written there were conventional advises for notetaking if not flawed in that they really didn't give you any idea how to test it.

For example, Compendium uses the IBIS methodology which lives and dies by putting any kind of notetaking problem into a structure of pros, cons, decisions, questions and answers. It didn't really matter what's bad about a certain system. It just fitted itself into a system that tells what's bad about those other systems by explaining why it doesn't fit into the IBIS paradigm as opposed to creating a bad example of a system they want to look bad to explain the flaws of said system.

http://www.touchstone.com/wp/IBIS.html

40hz, I think David Allen did a better job of explaining the core differences of file cabinets and computers but this is just me assuming they both had the same idea in mind.

I think what the author of that link was saying was that computers are not file cabinets in the sense of you put stuff into it. They are brains in the sense that they're supposed to process what you put in there. Sounds similar but that's why I think Allen explains it better by not demonizing the file cabinet but explaining how to improve the file cabinet which is basically set it up like a physical real world e-mail of your notes rather than something you put stuff in and put stuff in and put stuff in.

Basically he suggests such slight modifications as:

1) Put a cabinet within short distances of where you often take your notes so that you don't need to stand to get something out or put something in.

2) Keep a hierarchy in your file cabinet. One drawer always has blank folders where you go to when wanting to start composing something. One area for every stuff that needs to go in. One area to segment. One area to get out.

Note that this isn't a word by word explanation of what he did and I hardly know what he's talking about (especially when he's referring to no hanging folders) but it does a much better job at explaining the differences between a computer and a file cabinet.

In that same sense, a computer's advantage is that it is possible to collect something and organize it rather than a file cabinet where you are forced to organize it to collect lots of things and find them easily. Ideally this is how it's supposed to work at least that's from what I gathered with that quote.

In essence the goal is to have 1 software that is easy to put stuff into and then easy to view these stuff and then start organizing them and then easy to put all these stuff in different sections of that one program so that it's easy to find them once you structured them.

...hence computer = brain, is actually computer = better at processing lots of information than relying on our own brain's memory and capacity. Psychic Ram as Allen puts it.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 08:24:37 PM by Paul Keith »

J-Mac

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2009, 10:39:06 PM »
True - computers were basically designed to... compute! Which could be looked at as "a brain".

My single biggest issue with all information collection systems that I have any experience in using: the ability to quickly locate specific and general information that I have stored away. The information I have is not all wrapped up in one application, since I have not found one app that does it all for me. Oh sure - I have several different tree-based apps, I use categories where available, tags where available. But using several systems/software packages makes it virtually impossible to index it all adequately AND assign some sort of importance factor to the information. I spent some time (actually a lot of time) looking for a systemwide tagging system but there simply is not one that can do what I need.

So I continue to stumble along managing what I have as well as I can.

Jim

Target

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2009, 10:53:15 PM »
I spent some time (actually a lot of time) looking for a systemwide tagging system but there simply is not one that can do what I need.

this one might be of interest to you

It's popped up in a few places that I watch over the last week or so - <a href="http://lunarfrog.com/taggedfrog/">Tagged Frog</a>

somewhat like a wiki, it uses Tags to 'organise' your files.  tags are visible within the app as a cloud, and can be searched,filtered, etc

you can apply multiple tags to a file, so there's plenty of scope to cover all manner of classifications and/or organisational methodologies

Paul Keith

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2009, 10:54:53 PM »
J-Mac, agreed. Although I believe one day people would be arguing more about how all notetaking apps can't do one thing good but does all things well.

One software also has a problem with needing to keep that software protected. Just one mistake be it messing the entire thing up or finding a more suitable external app for managing your things could set you back ages.

Edit:

Target, nice find! Unfortunately the program appears to be an indexer no more different than drag and dropping a file in Compendium and tagging it.

The problem with these kinds of programs is that you are almost afraid to be reliant on them for fear of messing up your cloud and then you're screwed. (especially since these will just say file missing if you move the files)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 10:59:59 PM by Paul Keith »

Target

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Re: Awesome article re: organization and notetaking
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2009, 12:32:18 AM »
Target, nice find! Unfortunately the program appears to be an indexer no more different than drag and dropping a file in Compendium and tagging it.

The problem with these kinds of programs is that you are almost afraid to be reliant on them for fear of messing up your cloud and then you're screwed. (especially since these will just say file missing if you move the files)

thanks, I'm a bit surprised no one else has mentioned it.  I'm notoriously bad at organising, but I really like the concept and it's almost enough to make me want to find a reason to use it  8)

Of course this is probably also true of any tagging or indexing tool (or system, for that matter).

On the upside, even if you do move a file, you still have the file name as a search field, though if you routinely rename files then nothing's going to help you.

Maybe I've misunderstood the operation of this thing, but I'm not really sure how you could mess up the cloud.  As I understand it, if you just keep adding tags (key words) the cloud will just keep getting bigger.  It shouldn't matter if you're tagging 'style' changes over time (as it invariably does) as your just adding to the cloud

(apologies to all for veering off topic...)