May 8, 2005

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How I use my Hipster PDA

After all my experiments with wearable computing using a one-handed chording keyboard and a speech synthesizer, I've found that the most portable device for me is still a 3x5 pack of index cards bound with a fold-back clip. Jokingly dubbed the "Hipster PDA" elsewhere on the Net, this low-tech device is surprisingly flexible and easy to use. I use mine to keep track of tasks and random notes for later entry into my online planner.

My Hipster PDA is composed of:

  • a colored index card with my contact information
  • my inbox: cards with notes on them that haven't been entered into the computer
  • two pages of month templates from a 3x5 day planner
  • a year calendar for 2005 and 2006
  • my archive: index cards that have already been entered but might still be useful
  • a colored index card with yellow sticky notes
  • a stack of blank index cards
  • a fold-back clip holding all of these things together
  • a black signpen or a mechanical pencil tucked into the fold-back clip

One of the things I've found much easier to do with my 3x5 pack of cards than with a PDA or a Franklin-Covey planner is to keep track of get-togethers. When my friends and I schedule our next get-together, I lay the month templates out so that I can see the next 30 days at a glance. This is difficult to do with a PDA because PDA screens are small. A Franklin-Covey planner would probably be more organized, but I like being able to lay things out side-by-side instead of flipping through pages.

When I need to jot something down, I flip the deck and write on the last card. After I finish one side of the card, I turn it over, clip it, and write on the other side. When the whole card is full, I move it into my inbox.

Index cards are handy because it's easy to give information away to other people. Paper gets crumpled and business cards can disappear into the chaos of a purse or a bag. An index card is big and bright. I'm thinking of replacing half of my white cards with brightly-colored cards so that people can easily find information I give them.

I'm planning to do other things with my pack of 3x5 index cards. For example, I can write my projects on the cards. Reviewing these cards will reinforce these goals in my mind and remind me to keep making progress.

Index cards totally rock.

新しいコンピューターは旧型よりも10倍速い。 The new computer is ten times as fast as the old one.

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