May 10, 2005

Bulk view

Colored index cards

I love posting my productivity ideas because every time I do so, I get
comments suggesting even better ways to do things. Today’s tip comes
from Christopher Allan Webber, whose
colored index cards are leaps and bounds ahead of my deck of
plain white index cards. He has some cool ideas here!

He uses colored notecards to separate his notes into categories.

Yellow schedule & project cards
Red todo cards (or just stuff I should copy to planner-mode)
Blue idea cards
Green expenses (writing down stuff to copy to my ledger file later)

He also uses cards that are lined on just one side. On the lined side of schedule & project cards, he
writes down:

Photography

Mon 5/9 Lab
Wed 5/11 Critique of Assignment II & I (pics don’t have to be dry – must by Wednesday)
Mon 5/16 Field trip
. . Assignment #2 dry-mounted

On the back, he keeps a TODO list. When a task needs to be done
multiple times—for example, preparing a print of a picture—he adds
extra checkboxes before the task.

I think he writes down non-project-related TODOs and random notes on
red cards, which are easy to pick out in the pack. Right now, I jumble
them all together on white index cards. I’ll try keeping the front
half of the deck for tasks and the back half for notes.

Green cards help him keep track of his expenses. I keep receipts in
front of my index cards using the handy fold-back clip, although an
organized table view would be pretty cool.

I don’t know where he managed to find lined-on-one-side 3×5 colored
index cards. I guess bookstores in other countries are better stocked.
On the other hand, I found 3×5 organizer refills, so I’m not
absolutely deprived.

He was bemused by my mention of “two pages of month templates from a
3×5 day planner”. If you crack open a pack of 3×5 organizer refills,
you’ll get year, month, and day views. Normally a single month would
span two pages, but if you’re using a planner where month views
haven’t been labeled “January”, “February”—in short, blank ones—then
you can use one page to represent one month. If you don’t have
organizer refills handy, simply print the numbers 1 to 15 down one
side of an index card and 16 to 31 on the other. Leave space at the
top for the month name, and space beside the numbers for appointments.

He also had this interesting anecdote to relate about a friend’s way
of planning.

“Oh, I gave up keeping track of to do lists,” she sighed. “These days
I just write everything on my mirror with a dry-erase marker, so when
I groggily stumble into my bathroom in the morning I go, ‘OH SHIT! I
HAVE *THAT* TO DO TODAY!'”

I should do that with a random Japanese quote of the day. I’ll write
it down the day before, then groggily try to read it in the morning.
Or I can scribble my Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (superb teaching and
quality assurance for computer science education, and strategy
coaching for life planning (must find better way to summarize these
things!)) on my ceiling at home. Ooooh. My ceiling is low enough for
me to do that…

Check out Christopher Allan Webber’s website at http://dustycloud.org/ . =)

I love swapping ideas with people, so feel free to send in more suggestions!

コンピューターは単なる計算機だと考えられている。 Computers are thought of as mere calculating machines.

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