sorting cards : Multi categorizing your index cards

Multi categorizing your index cards

While surfing around on internet looking for methods of dealing with index cards for capturing and organizing idead I found this little gem :

I don't know if it's a known method or not but It really interested me since I am always overflowed with too much index cards and am afraid of not being able to keep track of what I want.

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Thank you so much for this link. One of the things that has been keeping me from the hipster is the lack of the ability to use tagging. I've found tagging to be incredibly helpful for my life, and I'm just not willing to use things that I can't tag. This gives me the ability to tag my index cards even better than post it note/flags.

Thank you!

What a wonderful idea!

Thanks so much for the link -- I'm going to pass it along to my writing group right now. :)

how I came to the hipster

I'm happy it is useful.

As for me I don't think I'll use it right now since I still have difficulties choosing the right tags...
I may try at first something like the noguchi filing system ( since it's easy to implement (in fact I'm already using it right inside my hipster PDA for my projects section).

By the way I must say it's thanks to your article Susan that I decided to try the Hipster pda. Befor that I was always trying softwares only, I was thinking numeric and was looking at the diyplanner website rather doubtfully....
But I was looking for a simple system and when I read your article it seemed perfect because I felt I could implement it just right now, and I did. Then I got addicted and made it a lot more complex (I added sections inpired by the article of david allen on a paper organizer - free pdf download : link) and realized that most of my projects were in fact reference lists, so I moved them to the checklists section and got a very clear view of my projects (nice move). I have also a weekly tickler file inside the hpda... each separator is in fact a calendar card that I effectively use as my day keeper(and the other side as my daily todo list)...
I still use your highlighter technique (tracing a line on the edges of the card) for marking the different context cards.. With this technique I can make my calendar card blue and the other side (todo list) orange. Can't buy that sort of cards easily I think.

Well when I got a rather stable and efficient system (I'll take pictures and share ^^ ). I began also finding useful using a notebook as a scratchpad/inbox, it could look strange and counter-productive but it's in BETA for the moment...

That said, I'd like to discover other (simple and efficient) filing techniques for index cards, novel writing or notebook indexing techniques etc... and found the hipster gallery of this site really helpful. I'd like to see more.

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Thank you for telling me

that my article inspired you. :) It made my day. And I'm looking forward to seeing/reading more about your own system. I think it's wonderful how we all end up with such individualized systems even though we start from something generic.

I'm afraid I don't have a method for filing the index cards -- my pattern is to use them, transfer anything worth keeping to computer files, and toss the cards. Keynote is a very nice (free) program for keeping track of bits and pieces not worthy of their own file.

OTOH, here is a lovely article about a quick and dirty way to plot a book using index cards for when you don't have the time to let a story grow organically:

I've used a slightly tweaked version of this many times.

Another writing technique is The Snowflake Method, which seems to appeal to those who want/try to be organized. Personally I don't have the patience to do all the steps, but I start a project using them and then, when the story gels in my mind, I head off and do the rest of the writing my own way. This is the first part of the article, follow the link for the rest:

thank you

for the links.
I was just reading the snowflake method yesterday and it's rather complex indeed... but very interesting.

Thank you also fot the quick and dirty guide, I like this kind of "hacks"... I found a few of the same kind and was inspired.

To jump back to filing systems and multi categorizing, there is the hybrid technique of numbering everything and using a database on computer (or even EVERNOTE) to multi-label your files and search them easily (of course, if you lose sync you're in big trouble)...
Here is a little explanation :

Edge-Notched Cards

Using holes and slots in cards has been around for awhile. I've seen a few of the commercial versions of these a long while back.

They really figured out a lot of cool stuff you could do with them...maybe it's time to bring 'em back?

Article on Punched Cards. Scroll down about halfway through the article. (& Dad!)

Better card notcher

In days of old the users of manual card notching approaches often used a tool differing from the pliers-resembling one hole punchers seen in office supply stores. The problem with those is that they punch a round hole, harder to accurately place and align, and sometimes raggedy looking too.
The better tool is the (uh-oh) ear notcher sold in farm supply stores. Similarly plier-shaped, it punches a U- or V-shaped hole. A small one--all you need--costs $7-10. Google "ear notcher" for a supplier.