Staying organized with index cards

Monday 18 April 2005This is 18 years old. Be careful.

Lately I’ve been trying to keep track of everything on index cards. I like the low-tech approach, and I’ve always been an office supplies geek at heart anyway. It turns out I’m not alone: 43folders has a whole category for index cards. They even go so far as to call a stack of cards held together with a clip a “Hipster PDA”. Jazzmasterson (if that is his real name) has a detailed photo essay demonstrating his index card system. My system is far less elaborate, but works well nonetheless. Low-tech to the rescue!


I've never felt that a real PDA was worth its cost or was that convenient, but I've needed some easy way to organize things and jot things down at any given moment. A notepad worked for jotting things down, but I couldn't re-arrange the pages and ran into problems when I had things I wanted to keep on the notepad but was out of blank paper.

Two weeks ago, I started trying out the Hipster PDA. It's definitely a keeper; the cards are cheap, easily reorganizable (even transferrable to another "PDA"), come in interesting varieties, and doesn't have any of the problems the notepad had. I keep some sticky notes on one the cards and clip a Pilot G-2 to the stack and it seems nearly the perfect system for me.

Thanks for the link to Jazzmasterson's photo essay… it gives me a few more ideas.
But how do I sync it with the sticky notes on my monitor?
I type pretty quickly, so anything that *needs* to make it onto my computer, I just retype. That's also a good chance to review the item and figure out if it's meaningful.

Hey Ned, you should check out Getting Things Done if you haven't already. There's nothing Earth-shattering in the book but, for me at least, it did provide a good set of practices to keep things flowing.

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