Category Archives: organizer

On this page:
  • Colored index cards
  • Hipster PDA: GTD Tiddly Wiki
  • Office supplies shopaholic
  • Introducing the Hipster PDA
  • Forms, forms, forms…
  • Five lessons learned from last week

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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Hipster PDA: GTD Tiddly Wiki

Miguel Javier said:

GTD Tiddly Wiki is a GettingThingsDone adaptation of JeremyRuston’s
Open Source TiddlyWiki. The purpose of GTD Tiddly Wiki is to give
users a single repository for their GTD lists and support materials so
they can create/edit lists, and then print directly to 3×5 cards for
use with the HipsterPDA.

http://shared.snapgrid.com/gtd_tiddlywiki.html

No kidding. I wonder what we should do to get Planner to support 3×5
index cards sanely…

E-Mail from Miguel Javier

彼女は娘にパソコンを買ってやった。 She got her daughter a personal computer.

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Office supplies shopaholic

My name is Sacha Chua and I’m an office supplies shopaholic. I find it
nearly impossible to pass a bookstore without checking out the index
cards and notebooks in stock.

Today I bought two small plastic cases.

[Plastic cases]

A good size for scrapbook material: photos, receipts, tickets… No
more digging around in my bag for things to scrapbook!

(Hmm. Thinking about it now, I could have also survived with a
Ziplock(tm) packet.)

Okay. Maybe I can store art materials in it. Or cards. Yeah, it’s a
good size for stationery. That’s it.

(You know you have it bad when you think of reasons _after_ you buy
the thing…)

On my way out of the school supplies stand, I found my fingers
inexplicably rifling through the notebooks on display. I picked up a
Stradmore notebook composed of eight thin notebooks held together with
pins. Here’s the side view:

Side view of notebook

A light bulb went off in my head. This is perfect for journal-writing!
I can keep a journal along with my work notes (eliminating the need
for a separate album) and then simply re-file them. If I use a
mini-notebook for letters to Dominique, I can mail the whole
mini-notebook to him when I’m done.

I had a hard time deciding between a small notebook that could fit in
my purse and a medium-size notebook that gave me more room to write,
but I eventually decided on the medium-size notebook.

Why?

Because it had “girl” written all over it.

Really.

Notebook

Of course, _after_ I bought it, I reasoned that larger mini-notebooks
would be more efficient to store and mail. (Right.)

家にはパソコンが5台あるが、内2台は役立っていない。 It is not useful though there are five personal computers in the house.

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Introducing the Hipster PDA

by Sacha Chua

(Sneak preview of m-ph entry for tomorrow)


“I’ve found the perfect PDA,” I gushed. My friends perked up. Knowing
how much of a geek I am, anything I was that crazy about was bound to
be interesting. They leaned over and watched as I reached into my bag
and brought out…

Hipster PDA
… my Hipster PDA.

“SACHA?!”


Introducing the Hipster PDA

One of the hottest topics in the productivity blogosphere right now is
the Hipster PDA, a surprisingly effective low-tech way to
organize your life. Grab a pack of 3″x5″ index cards and a fold-back
clip and you’re set to go!

What’s so cool about the Hipster PDA?

  • Gets rid of worries. You don’t have to worry about running out of
    battery during a critical meeting. You can drop it and it will still
    work. Even if you dunk it in water, you’ll still be able to recover
    your data.

  • Grows along with you.
    Don’t be constrained by software or hardware limitations! You can
    easily experiment with different ways of planning, and you can expand
    your Hipster PDA’s memory simply by buying another pack of index cards
    at your nearest bookstore.

  • Helps you stay focused. The Hipster PDA helps you stay focused
    and on-track by not supporting addictive games like Tradewinds. To
    help you pass the time, the Hipster PDA comes with a few built-in
    two-player games like Tic-tac-toe and Hangman.

  • Organizes real-life data. Receipts? Business cards? Movie
    tickets? No problem! Just tuck them into the fold-back clip and
    process them when you get home.

  • Beams anything to anyone. You can easily “beam” information
    to other people—just scribble a note and give it to them. 3×5 index cards don’t crumple easily
    and can easily be shared with other people no matter what mobile device they use.

Here’s what you can do with your own Hipster PDA:

  • Get a good pen or mechanical pencil. Keep it with your Hipster PDA at all times.
  • Write down one task per index card. You can write down subtasks and notes there as well. Rip up the task card up after completing the task for a satisfying finish.
  • Alternatively, divide your tasks into projects and write down your tasks. Check the tasks off as you finish them.
  • Scribble notes and ideas down on index cards.
  • Write down a month calendar so that you can easily see when you have appointments.
  • Print important contact information on an index card. You can probably fit 50 names and phone numbers. Good backup if your phone is out of battery or gets lost.
  • Print birthdays on an index card, sorted by month and day.
  • Label your Hipster PDA with your contact information just in case it gets lost. (name, phone number, e-mail address)
  • Clip a cheap pen to your Hipster PDA for people who borrow pens. Never lend your good pen.
  • Keep newly-written cards in an “inbox” section (front or back) so that you can process them when you get home.

For more information, check out the following links:

43 Folders: Introducing the Hipster PDA

Technorati: Hipster PDA

Check back on Wednesday for tips on making the most of your Hipster PDA!

そのデザイン・ハウスにとって、コンピュータ製造にさらに急進的な色彩を導入することは適切な戦略であった。 For this design house it was an appropriate strategy to introduce even more radical colors into computer production.

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Forms, forms, forms…

I have to confess: I’m crazy about forms. When a post like a million monkeys typing: The Crossroads Form turns up in my RSS aggregator, I can’t help but print out a copy and give it a whirl.
I drool over the subtle shades of Douglas Johnston‘s templates and the clean curves of John Norris‘ work. I am Sacha Chua, and I am a forms addict.

I’m fascinated by the way people organize information. Forms and
diagrams are scaffolds for our ideas, giving structure and support.
They make information easy to understand months or even years
afterwards. Forms make it _fun_ to explore thoughts and share them
with others.

Even doodles on a napkin are enriched by a judiciously chosen diagram.
Clusters. Fishbones. Mindmaps. Names roll off my tongue like old
friends who’ve seen me through problems time and again. I even diagram
my way out of stuckness, pausing in the middle of a fit to sketch the
causes of my difficulties and finding ways to deal with them.

I want to learn how to design good forms. I want to learn about the
different designs people use and when each one is appropriate. I want
to listen to people’s information needs and pull just the right
template out of a vast library of forms, checklists and diagrams. I
want to design information.

コンピュータがこの会社に導入されつつあります。 Computers are being introduced into this company.

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Five lessons learned from last week

  • Research groups are good. The lively exchange of ideas will inspire
    and support me, and besides, group meetings often have food. It’s
    worth postponing my individual interest in personal information
    management if I can’t find other people who are working on the same
    area.
  • I’m good at networking and relating to people quickly. I’m still a
    little shy, but I’m starting to be good at remembering names and
    faces, and people here don’t mind helping someone get settled in.
  • A personal organizer makes me feel more on top of things. If I can
    find a ring-bound paper organizer with the same structure as my
    current planner, I’ll switch to it. I really appreciate having
    weekly and daily goals, and might prepare my own templates if I
    can’t find an organizer that normally does that.
  • I can write 800 words easily once I get going. I prefer writing in
    one go instead of filling out an outline because the former feels
    more like writing e-mail to someone, and I can get pretty
    long-winded in e-mail.
  • My writing style seems to be matter-of-fact and conversational.
    Dominique thinks I’ve found my voice.

近年では、電子コンピュータがますます重要になってきた。 In recent years electronic computers have become increasingly important.

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