A rather belated intro post...

Hi all,

I've been lurking hereabouts for well over a year and thrown out the occasional comment, but am just now getting around to an actual introduction. Like most of the "regulars" here, I wander between "hobby," "addiction," and "fetish" in the areas of productivity, planning, notemaking/keeping, paper, pens, … the list goes on… ;-)

I've worked in engineering for many, many years. One particular challenge I face is organizing notes and other materials, both paper and electronic, on the same technical topics, systems/subsystems/components, what-have-you. This information stretches over multiple years (a couple decades, in some cases), and much of it is as relevant today as it was when first written. Some of it is in MS Outlook, going back about 10 years. Some of it is on Mac-formatted floppies (most of those I've been able to copy onto external hard drives, but not sure about all), from when my company's standard work platform was Mac. The rest are either various MS Office files or hard copy. My current solution is to organize the email by topic in (numerous) Outlook personal folder files, calving off when they get too big; and then mirror the Outlook folder structure in my hard drive(s) file folder structure and in the filing cabinet. As long as I'm disciplined about keeping those folder structures synced and keep my topic rationale consistent, it works pretty well and I can find things.

For notetaking, I almost always take notes with pen and paper these days and then transcribe the relevant stuff into electronic format as necessary. Most of my younger colleagues type their notes straight into their computers. I suppose in some ways that might be more efficient, but I find this very limiting - it is difficult to sketch a diagram quickly in MS Word… or at least it is for me. I like the freedom of expression afforded by pen and paper, as well the tactile delights of using them. I love pens, paper and notebooks generally. I have some version of pretty much every Circa product ever made, I think, and now use disc-based note taking, note storage, and planning. I continue to flop around among the various (U.S.) paper sizes, looking for the Holy Grail of Perfect Utility, I guess.

Another challenge I'm trying to come to grips with is the big electronic world out there, and how to integrate certain tools into my system. For example, I have a smart cell phone for personal things, a blackberry and a laptop for work, a laptop and a desktop at home for family, etc. It can really be overwhelming, if I let myself stop to think about it for long. Unfortunately, I do need to think about it, so I don't eventually get wrapped up in having to sync up a half-dozen different systems…

Anyhow, I love this place and I truly appreciate the time Doug, Ygor, and so many others have devoted to it. The dynamic templates are just incredible, and there are many other templates, especially the DIY Planner notes and such, I've either used as-is or derived inspiration from for my own tweaks.

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Welcome !

Glad to have you here.

Holler if you need help, or just holler if you want to make some noise. :)
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)