- Sep 2022
This post is a classic example of phenomenon that occurs universally. One person devises something that works perfectly for them, be it a mouse trap design, a method of teaching reading or … an organisation system. Other people see it in action and ask for the instructions. They try to copy it and … fail. We are all individuals, and what works for one does not work for all. Some people reading this post go “wow, cool!” Others go “What…???” One size does not fit all. Celebrate the difference! The trick is to keep looking for the method that works for you, not give up because someone else’s system makes your eyeballs spin!
all this, AND...
some comes down to the explanations given and the reasons. In this case, they're scant and the original is in middling English and large chunks of Japanese without any of the "why".
I’m with Iris (and Jane) about the PoIC system — I don’t understand how the system works once it is set up. It’s a shame as it might be very useful. Ideally, I’d like to set it up with notebooks in Evernote instead of actual index cards and boxes (the last thing I need in my life is more paper clutter). That way it would be easily searchable, too).
As is apparently often in describing new organizing systems (commonplace books, zettelkasten, PoIC, etc.), not everyone is going to understand it the first time, or even understand what is going on or why one would want to use it.
This post by Susan is such an example.
Susan does almost immediately grasp that this might be something one could transfer into a digital system however, particularly for the search functionality.
- Aug 2022
It’s recommended that you summarize the information you want to store in your own words, instead of directly copying the information like you would in a commonplace book.
recommended by whom? for what purpose?
Too many of these posts skip the important "why?" question
A commonplace book is a way to keep our learning priorities in order. It motivates us to look for and keep only the things we can use.
And if you still need a why–I’ll let this quote from Seneca answer it (which I got from my own reading and notes): “We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”
- Jul 2022
Thewhole point of this note-making process is not only toprovide ourselves with ideas we want to pursue, but toactually show us which ideas we are most interested in.
Beyond the cards mentioned above, you should also capture any hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry on separate cards. Regularly go through these to make sure that you are covering everything and that you don’t forget something.I consider these insurance cards because they won’t get lost in some notebook or scrap of paper, or email to oneself.
Julius Reizen in reviewing over Umberto Eco's index card system in How to Write a Thesis, defines his own "insurance card" as one which contains "hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry". These he would keep together so that they don't otherwise get lost in the variety of other locations one might keep them
These might be akin to Ahrens' "fleeting notes" but are ones which may not easily or even immediately be converted in to "permanent notes" for one's zettelkasten. However, given their mission critical importance, they may be some of the most important cards in one's repository.
link this to - idea of centralizing one's note taking practice to a single location
Is this idea in Eco's book and Reizen is the one that gives it a name since some of the other categories have names? (examples: bibliographic index cards, reading index cards (aka literature notes), cards for themes, author index cards, quote index cards, idea index cards, connection cards). Were these "officially" named and categorized by Eco?
May be worthwhile to create a grid of these naming systems and uses amongst some of the broader note taking methods. Where are they similar, where do they differ?
Multi-search tools that have full access to multiple trusted data stores (ostensibly personal ones across notebooks, hard drives, social media services, etc.) could potentially solve the problem of needing to remember where you noted something.
Currently, in the social media space especially, this is not a realized service.
- types of notes
- card index for writing
- IndieWeb search
- tools for thought affordances
- note taking methods
- permanent notes
- insurance cards
- note taking why
- card index
- Umberto Eco
- fleeting notes
- note taking process
- fleeting ideas
- Jun 2022
Local file Local file
The myth of the writer sitting down before a completely blankpage, or the artist at a completely blank canvas, is just that—a myth.
Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent andoriginal in your work.—Gustave Flaubert
In addition to this as a standalone quote...
If nothing else, one should keep a commonplace book so that they have a treasure house of nifty quotes to use as chapter openers for the books they might write.