Sunday, July 10, 2005

Cigar Box as Organizer


The desktop metaphor has stopped working for me. Classifying, sorting, and retrieving paper is a hassle I would like to avoid. My paper files are always in disarray, and I don't need this creeping into my electronic information storage.

Naming a document suggests there's onlly one way to look at it. Sticking it in a file forces me to select one of many possible perspectives. My hard disk holds 6+ gigabytes of words and pictures I've created. I lose more needles in this haystack every day. File folders are not the appropriate way to organize this much information. Documents and files and folders are a vestige of an era gone by. How did we saddle ourselves with their restrictions?

Deep Throat said "Follow the money." I say "Follow the DNA." The Graphical User Interface was born at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Xerox. Now "The Document Company." What put Xerox on the map? Paper. Paper copies. The more paper, the higher the revenue. "Give a kid a hammer and every problem looks like a nail." Enough already. I've got a book to write. I want to refer to stories that are filed in twenty years of online journals, 45 white papers, five years of blog posts, and many years of email.

cigar_box_open_2I'm giving up on the piles of files for the time being. In their place, My new metaphor is a cigar box. I toss everything into the box, willy-nilly, and retrieve it by what it contains.


I'll be using X1 to find items in the cigar box. It's fast. It searches for just about any format imaginable. The interface is intuitive:


Let's see how it goes.

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