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DonationCoder.com Software > The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007

My System - Index Card Centric

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40hz:
Something I'd like to suggest is to maybe restrict the total amount of characters a card can hold (to keep it within the 3X5 paradigm) but allow 'links.'

I use index card files, and found the restricted space forces me to focus and summarize more than if I had unlimited space to blather around in. (For that I've got a variety of tree-outliner/notes software choices.)

But on a lot of cards, I also put reference notes (mostly on the back), which point me to resources (e.g. URLs, books in my library, file folders, various paper or electronic data collections, photos and clippings I have on file. etc) that I can pull if I need the whole resource the card's text summarizes. Many cards have little more than a phrase or short sentence (to act as a memory jogger) plus a pointer to some other resource. I do most of my formal tech writing using that method.

So allowing some sort of equivalent linking mechanism to files on the system (or in an extended note space) would be great to have. Maybe if you clicked on a hot corner and the card "flipped over" to display a text editor? Ideally one that supported shortcuts?

That's my 2ยข  :)

mahesh2k:
I'm using Xmind(mindmapping software) to make such index cards (or lists), alternatively even scriveners cork board is also effective. Why software ? because it's hard for me to keep track of paper cards and if nephew is around this machine then it's hard to maintain it. But i guess such limitation exists for people like me, so software is better way to manage index card system.

Paul Keith:
Links can be done by cutting the cards to look like Ticklers or slicing a hole in the middle in order to group the cards into one group.

Like this but for Index Cards:

My System - Index Card Centric
My System - Index Card Centric
I'm using Xmind(mindmapping software) to make such index cards (or lists), alternatively even scriveners cork board is also effective. Why software ? because it's hard for me to keep track of paper cards and if nephew is around this machine then it's hard to maintain it. But i guess such limitation exists for people like me, so software is better way to manage index card system.
--- End quote ---

The easiest cut and dry way of combining both worlds is to scan the cards and then let a photo tagger (like Picasa) deal with it.

I don't have an OCR scanner though so I make do with regular reviews of adding my notes into software and then ripping the paper notes apart and throwing them into the trash can - sort of like a reverse in-basket.

If i did a software version, here is what i would do is this:

A very opinionated piece of software that tried to present a specific method of operation.

There would basically be two views:
Working View
Maintenance View

In the "Working View" you would see a very clean desktop which tried to reproduce the visual card metaphor.  This might be so minimialistic as to restrict view to a stack of cards and then 1-5 chosen cards laid out and displayed very large on screen -- like real size 3x5 inches.

In the Maintenance View, you wouldn't see cards at all, it would be more like a hierarchical note tree or grid, optimized for very quick sorting and searching by various fields, show stats, etc.

That is, the Maintenance View would be designed to do what the physical system can't -- let you find anything quickly, let you look at your past completed cards, show you stats, let you add new cards, edit cards, easily, etc.  Not too much worry about visual prettiness here -- in this view its all about power.

And then on the Working View you would want a very minimalistic aesthetically appealing space with very little on it -- just the one or two cards you are currently working on.

And maybe a feature for printing out batches of cards on pre-punched index card stock, and a very quick way to add new cards to be filed later.
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Not to undermine the idea but this is exactly Anuran minus a card interface and a print option. Not saying it's easy to code but the system is already out.

For batch printing - Wunderlist is basically App's TodoList with selection drag and drop categories so if you only want to batch print check lists - that's the application.

this is very cool.  very similar to the way I use todo lists.  I'd be interested in the software version, very much so.  I like mylife organized, which I use now, but I'm pretty sure if you did a software version of this card system, it would be much better.  MLO is good, but most of the features are not going to be used by most users.  It's better to have something that focuses on the simplicity of the method, and builds features that enhance that simplicity.  Not the other way around, which is to just add as many features as possible.
--- End quote ---

For the bang for the bill (Gates) - I can't help but think:

Fujitsu ScanSnap + Evernote

or

Instagram + Instaprint

...are what you are looking for although I personally haven't tried both.

bob99:
If i did a software version, here is what i would do is this:

A very opinionated piece of software that tried to present a specific method of operation.

There would basically be two views:

* Working View
* Maintenance View
In the "Working View" you would see a very clean desktop which tried to reproduce the visual card metaphor.  This might be so minimialistic as to restrict view to a stack of cards and then 1-5 chosen cards laid out and displayed very large on screen -- like real size 3x5 inches.
-mouser (March 11, 2011, 11:52 AM)
--- End quote ---

Similar to the old Microsoft Cardfile or Azz Cardfile discussed here? https://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=16548.0

mouser:
All good.. i would be inclined to make something much more narrowly focused on being a replacement for ToDo lists.
The ramifications of that focus would be:

* No support for images or richtext formatting -- it's not that this would be hard to add, it's that this tool is NOT meant to be a system for managing elaborate information, it's meant to be a super-charged todo list.  I know people dont *have* to use the formatting abilities of the other tools, but i think the program i have in mind would really try to enforce a minimalism and mode of working.
* I tend not to think about writing software in that way usually -- my view is usually to add features and let users use it in different ways; but i think this would be an interesting experiment in trying to design the software to have a specific point of view in terms of nudging the user to use it in a specific way.
* Much more focused on letting you really quick put in a bunch of new short items, each on their own card, and then quickly find and select a couple of cards at a time to be featured on a large "current" workspace.
* In other words, as close as possible to the physical index card system i currently use.
* Once we assume all items are todo items we can make other assumptions like that people should review their items every so often, and that it's helpful to see when a card was added, last modified, last viewed, last reviewed, etc.

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