Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Question of the Day: Allocating Space

Stephanie

Question from Bruce: “I find myself with a great deal of minutia that I’d like to track or remember. Quotes. Ideas. Thoughts. Details that don’t lend themselves to a folder in the filing cabinet. I haven’t put them in a notebook because I haven’t figured out how many pages to allot to Quotes vs. Things I’d like to do vs. Remembering something. How do other people handle this? Just start on page one and forget about organization? Two notebooks? One for quotes and future dreams and a different notebook for mundane day to day stuff?”

In my own world, I often face the same issue and what I do (at least for now) is this. I enter it into my current journal at the time I discovered the quote or other tidbit of information. I see it in my mind as something relevant to that moment and if it’s important enough, I’ll copy it to a piece of index card and move it forward from one journal to the next. One such quote that is important to me is “Thought Creates Form.”

I do keep a list of things I want to do – not so much a bucket list but what I envision for myself in any current space of time. I did one at the end of last year and there are things on it not as important so they get crossed off, and new ones added. The list is on a single large Exacompta index card.

For remembering details from my past, I also have a “list book” but I don’t use it often. I pull it out when I get to thinking about things like what my Mom used to cook for me when I was a child and I will make a list…. One list usually spawns another and another, then the book will sit for months.

We’d love to hear how you keep your thoughts organized… Will you share?


22 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Allocating Space

  1. Gosh – all you organised people.
    I’m afraid I have no system and if I had I’d either forget what was or alter it every five minutes.
    I just hope for the best.

  2. Gosh – all you organised people.
    I’m afraid I have no system and if I had I’d either forget what was or alter it every five minutes.
    I just hope for the best.

  3. Have you encountered the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) concept?

    Ignoring much of the over analysed stuff that I find not very workable (probably due to my failures but you have to work with what you’ve got).

    It divides the tasks you are discussing into “collection” and “processing”.

    In my opinion use whatever works for you as a collection step. If that means you carry around a pile of books or a single one or .

    The critical part is that you need to process what you have collected. At some stage you need to sit down and go through what you have collected and decide what to do with it.

    Maybe transcribe it into a formal journal.
    Maybe do the task.
    Maybe .

    If you allow yourself to see this as a two phase process you may find yourself freer to do something that is hard to see how to do if you try to combine the two phases.

    Anyway, hope that’s some kind of help.

    What do I do?
    Whatever I have to hand (Webbie in my weekend bag, Rhodia #16 pads at my desks, FieldNotes always in my pocket is where I collect whatever occurs to me.
    Then once a week I sit down with all this collected stuff and try to process it into where it best belongs. I always start a formal journal entry at the beginning so I can record what I am doing, what has happened that I haven;t yet journaled and what I am thinking about and what I am now thinking about what I wrote down some days before etc etc.
    The hard data and the ‘to do’ stuff that doesn’t get done straight away goes into the computer for formal processing.
    At the end of this all the collected stuff has gone to where it needs to go and i can put a line through it or shred the page or paste into my journal or .

    Hope that is some kind of help and frees people up to grab that notebook and write into it because this is just a draft and needn’t be taken too seriously. Hope it also gives people a time and process that lets them crack that gorgeous Habana journal (we all have something like that) and write down what the week’s notes make them think of about the week that has happened and what thoughts come to mind about the plans you were making when you made those notes.

    Sorry too long but I hope somewhat worth wading through.

  4. Have you encountered the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) concept?

    Ignoring much of the over analysed stuff that I find not very workable (probably due to my failures but you have to work with what you’ve got).

    It divides the tasks you are discussing into “collection” and “processing”.

    In my opinion use whatever works for you as a collection step. If that means you carry around a pile of books or a single one or .

    The critical part is that you need to process what you have collected. At some stage you need to sit down and go through what you have collected and decide what to do with it.

    Maybe transcribe it into a formal journal.
    Maybe do the task.
    Maybe .

    If you allow yourself to see this as a two phase process you may find yourself freer to do something that is hard to see how to do if you try to combine the two phases.

    Anyway, hope that’s some kind of help.

    What do I do?
    Whatever I have to hand (Webbie in my weekend bag, Rhodia #16 pads at my desks, FieldNotes always in my pocket is where I collect whatever occurs to me.
    Then once a week I sit down with all this collected stuff and try to process it into where it best belongs. I always start a formal journal entry at the beginning so I can record what I am doing, what has happened that I haven;t yet journaled and what I am thinking about and what I am now thinking about what I wrote down some days before etc etc.
    The hard data and the ‘to do’ stuff that doesn’t get done straight away goes into the computer for formal processing.
    At the end of this all the collected stuff has gone to where it needs to go and i can put a line through it or shred the page or paste into my journal or .

    Hope that is some kind of help and frees people up to grab that notebook and write into it because this is just a draft and needn’t be taken too seriously. Hope it also gives people a time and process that lets them crack that gorgeous Habana journal (we all have something like that) and write down what the week’s notes make them think of about the week that has happened and what thoughts come to mind about the plans you were making when you made those notes.

    Sorry too long but I hope somewhat worth wading through.

  5. I struggle with this one. I have been working with a number of items, including circa, the exafolio, and a refillable noteboook from jet pens. I am currently trying sidebound rhodia notebooks in the folio and notebook. I could use many with different subjects and switch them in and out. When a book is full, I will label and file it.

  6. I struggle with this one. I have been working with a number of items, including circa, the exafolio, and a refillable noteboook from jet pens. I am currently trying sidebound rhodia notebooks in the folio and notebook. I could use many with different subjects and switch them in and out. When a book is full, I will label and file it.

  7. I always have a Rhodia notebook (7.5 x 12 cm) in the back pocket of my denims. It has a curve that reflects its location!
    It is used to jot down single keywords that are just enough to remind me of the thought, notion, insight or whatever. Later – and NOT every day – I simply transfer and expand those that still seem relevant to my dot-webbie and strike a line through the rest. It works for me!
    Colin in Margate UK

  8. I always have a Rhodia notebook (7.5 x 12 cm) in the back pocket of my denims. It has a curve that reflects its location!
    It is used to jot down single keywords that are just enough to remind me of the thought, notion, insight or whatever. Later – and NOT every day – I simply transfer and expand those that still seem relevant to my dot-webbie and strike a line through the rest. It works for me!
    Colin in Margate UK

  9. Funny, I just had this conversation with co-workers. I start with a distinction between journal and notebook. My journal is my journal…daily entries of no specific format or content, usually in the morning and evening. My notebook(s) are for everything else…There’s a Work LeCarre, all pages in place, where it all simply goes in, dated. From records of kids checking out books (database died) to ideas for the Word of the Day to meeting notes, etc. And there is The Other One…lists of Spanish vocab, lines to use in poems, phone numbers, directions… More than this, for the way this brain works, would be too separated. This is just enough with still allowing things to mingle on the page and influence one another.

  10. Funny, I just had this conversation with co-workers. I start with a distinction between journal and notebook. My journal is my journal…daily entries of no specific format or content, usually in the morning and evening. My notebook(s) are for everything else…There’s a Work LeCarre, all pages in place, where it all simply goes in, dated. From records of kids checking out books (database died) to ideas for the Word of the Day to meeting notes, etc. And there is The Other One…lists of Spanish vocab, lines to use in poems, phone numbers, directions… More than this, for the way this brain works, would be too separated. This is just enough with still allowing things to mingle on the page and influence one another.

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