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Retro Information Management Continued...

Well who knew, but after posting on the topic of throwing out your PDA and replacing it with a Hipster PDA or a Moleskine, sure enough the Wall Street Journal came out with an article this morning on just that topic. If you're not a WSJ subscriber, there's an excerpt on the topic at the moleskinerie blog, here's a small bit:


Turning Over a New Leaf
January 14, 2005

It may seem like a backward step, and not the sort of thing a technology columnist would suggest, but have you ever thought of ditching your laptop, personal digital assistant or smart-phone for a pen and paper?

That's what an increasing number of people seem to be doing, and, having tried it myself, I heartily recommend it. The thinking is basically this: While we have pushed hard for our computers to do as much as they can for us, there are some things they haven't been able to do, or at least, aren't very good at. One is thinking for us. Another is making us physically more attractive (unless you're into online dating and know how to digitally touch up a photo of yourself). The third is being there for us when we most need them....

You'll also find lots more on the topic on Jeremy's blog.

While this topic is fascinating, I can't help but wonder if there is an application that would allow us to mix these two (bits and moleskines). Something like an iPhoto app that is all ready to scan your moleskine entries (writing, notes, pictures) and organizes them, OCRs what it can and allows a bit of meta data to be exposed (both implicit and explicit). From there you can share them just like iPhoto (to a web page, email, or a blog).

Posted by Eric Freeman on January 14, 2005 | Permalink


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This topic just seems to be on fire, now David Allen's book "Getting Things Done," which was incidentally published in 2002, has been slashdotted.


As an aside, when I bought this book for all my managers at Disney in 2002, they all looked at me like I was crazy, maybe they'll take a look now. ;)

Posted by: Eric | Jan 14, 2005 8:24:05 PM

There was the old PaperPort scanner that did something like this but it's been gone a long time.

I use my Hipster as a mobile data collection device, I write down whatever I think up and dump it into my inbox when I get there.

Then I dump it into my VoodooPad wiki (which allows my to export Notes to my iPod so my contacts and calendars are all synced up too.)

Most of the things I write down are fairly short and so transcribing them is no big deal and on the computer I can expand/research as needed. I write down the date and a topic to make sorting easier later.

Another lower-tech technique I have recently added is an old mini-cassette recorder to capture thoughts while driving. Writing while driving is even more dangerous then talking on the phone. It makes me sound like a chipmunk but it works.

I also use my iPod to listen to audiobooks on the road. This stimulates lots of ideas for me, unfortunately you can't play and record on the iPod at the same time. so the mini-cassette is a lofi hack to get around that. I know there are solid-state voice recorders but I already had the mini-cassette.

Posted by: Stephan Fassmann | Jan 19, 2005 11:30:10 AM

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