Back at the beginning of the year I wrote a little blurb about taking notes, where I mentioned a pen and pad was my medium of choice.
Since that post, I’ve been doing some thinking about how there are huge scalability issues unless I adopt the The Dewey Decimal Classification here at the house. It’s difficult to lug dozens of notebooks around, or remember which notebook contained which thought. While writing on paper feels more personal than the digital alternative, it does indeed seem to have a downside.
In addition to notebooks, I also use quite a few digital substitutions for keeping track of things. So many, in fact, that I’m really no better off than with paper. No more organized. Way more spread out. Found out just how bad it was a few weeks back while searching for a bit of code that still hasn’t surfaced which is pretty much disorganization at its finest.
It’s alarming how many places I have notes hiding. Embarrassing as well, I’m a digital hoarder- no doubt about it. So without further ado, here they are (at least those that I can remember!):
- Google Docs (multiple accounts, and apps account)
- WordPress P2 Blogs (multiple, self-hosted and on WP.com)
- Google Calendar
- Multiple private MediaWiki (aka Wikipedia) sites
- iOS Reminders
- Emails to myself
- Text files on my laptop
- Text files on a dedicated server
- Dropbox (yes, text files on Dropbox too..)
Wow, that’s a bunch
After seeing this list written out, it seems a bit excessive. Time for a little consolidation. Since the revelation that I’m trusting too much data with too many providers, a consolidation project has been in the works. There’s a problem though, not one of these services can replace all of them. At least not in the manner that I’m accustomed to take notes, track tasks or projects. This just means an adjustment on my end is needed.
As an experiment, I’ll be moving all my notes into one central location and trying a better method of organization. I’ve chosen Evernote for the first stab, I’ve used it longer than any other platform (save emails and text files, which isn’t very efficient). This is going to be quite the process, I’m not really sure how much data I have stored elsewhere. In Evernote I have over a hundred notebooks and somewhere in the neighborhood of five thousand notes, so lots of work to be done.
Will post the results in a few months, I have a feeling the whole process will be quite liberating.