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Central Information Reference (CIR)



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M_ichel

Posted: Jan 04, 2013
Score: 0



Hi all.

I'm calling this CIR in order not to call it CIA ;-)

I'm in the process of adapting ideas and the process (Collect, Process, etc...) of "Gettings Things Done".

Recently, I've started using Contexts in Toodledo (of which I've been a user for about 4 yrs now).

I'm at the stage of clarifying my "sources": my paper Inbox, my Mail Inbox, regular snail mail, ideas that pop up in my overactive mind, etc.

At the same time, I realize that I have two kinds of "information stores": one kind is for reference material that may be useful in the future and should be kept (somewhere) and one kind for project material that is useful for the duration of a specific project and probably won't need to be kept once the project has been completed.

Here's my problem:

Those information stores, I have in several places. Some are in physical paper file folders. Some are in computer folders on a hard disk. Some are in a Mail folder. Some are in a NoteBook (the Mac-only app by Circus Ponies) document. Some are in Toodledo task notes.

I would like to have a way, when looking at a task, for instance, to know whether there is a physical folder for the project this task is part of, or that there is a computer folder or emails, etc.

I remember, a while back, looking at a task I had to do and not being able to find reference material that I simply knew I had somewhere, because I couldn't remember if it was in a physical folder or a computer folder or a browser bookmark, etc.

Lately, I've been thinking of using the "Folder" field, in Toodledo, to carry a code that would alert me to the fact that there is one (or several!) of those information stores in existence.

I already use a FileMaker Pro database to keep track of my physical reference file folders. I was thinking, as one other alternative, to expand this to keep track of all the information stores.

But I was wondering if someone has a better idea.

So. What do you think?

Thanks for all your comments, suggestions, etc.
JPR

Posted: Jan 05, 2013
Score: 0



I use a simple "@" code at the end task description. For example, @A tells me reference material is in my "Active" file folder, which is my generic location for misc. items that don't justify creating a new file folder. I have a handful of these codes I use regularly.

You could do the same with the folder field, but you do so at the cost of extra screen real estate, an extra field to tab through when entering tasks, etc.
dwlloyd810

Posted: Jan 06, 2013
Score: 0



I severely limit what I keep as physical records so that my files are limited. Part of my daily routine is to scan all incoming snail-mail into Evernote where it is indexed by content. I try to add two or three tags to remind me why I kept it at all. I scan and throw away all receipts each day also. The system only works if you keep up with it each day, but one benefit is that it naturally causes me to resist keeping material I don't really need. All of my video resource material is managed by XBMC software where it is not only indexed, but available to play on-demand (the media computer has a very big hard drive). All of my photos are scanned into Picasa. (I'm considering moving them to Evernote because of its search capability.) Books are the only hard information source I have not managed well. I try to buy only Kindle books, not only because they are cheaper and more accessible, but because they are easier to read and access quickly. I am building a set of "literature review" notes with clipable APA style citations, ISBN numbers, and a brief description, sometimes with the cover of the book scanned, but those references don't help me know where I put the book, many of which are stored in boxes in my attic. I have actually gone to the library to check out a book I already own because it was faster than going through all the bookshelves and boxes of books. I have also purchased digital copies of books I already own so I can read them on my Kindle. (I have a large personal library.)

This message was edited Jan 06, 2013.
M_ichel

Posted: Jan 08, 2013
Score: 0



Posted by JPR:
I use a simple "@" code at the end task description. For example, @A tells me reference material is in my "Active" file folder, which is my generic location for misc. items that don't justify creating a new file folder. I have a handful of these codes I use regularly.

You could do the same with the folder field, but you do so at the cost of extra screen real estate, an extra field to tab through when entering tasks, etc.


I like the idea of a code. I fully agree with your comment about the folder field. I'm already using the Note field and I do have the reflex, when looking at a task or a project, to check if there is a note. I suppose I could put a code there, when there is reference material, at no extra cost.

Thanks for the idea.
M_ichel

Posted: Jan 08, 2013
Score: 0



Posted by dwlloyd810:
I severely limit what I keep as physical records so that my files are limited. Part of my daily routine is to scan all incoming snail-mail into Evernote where it is indexed by content.


I have several projects that generate paper reference materials and I don't want to scan. I'm migrating away from Evernote (although I have a Premium account; Evernote simply doesn't work for me.

All of my video resource material is managed by XBMC software


Didn't know they existed :-( I've taken a quick look and I suspect that this may actually be the solution I'm looking for (for my multimedia project). Thanks for the headsup!

Thank you for your response.
shfl

Posted: Jan 30, 2013
Score: 1



I simply use tags (Gmail, Evernote, filing drawer etc.) for this, with each project getting its own folder. Most of the time I also link to the file path in the notes section of the task.

My project and folder structure is mirrored between Gmail, Dropbox, paper-based & Evernote, which makes things easy to manage (although you may need to do a folder clean up each month to remove any completed projects). As a result, if you tag a task as 'dropbox' or 'gmail' you know exactly which folder to find the information in.

Each evening I perform a 'sweep' of anything I have collected in my inbox so it can be filed correctly. This includes transferring any note from my paper notebook to Evernote or Toodledo. I like to think this process helps in terms of recall and ideas.
richard

Posted: Feb 01, 2013
Score: 1



This is striking me as an issue of processing. When you get the material you need to store, what do you do with it?

Item is actionable (project related):
If it's physical, does it go into a file folder labeled with the Project name? If it's digital, does it go into a folder on the hard drive labeled with the project name?

Item is non-actionable (reference):
If it's physical, where do you put it? Have a reference A-Z file and file it where appropriate. Is it a severely large book or manuscript where filing wouldn't make sense? Put it on a bookshelf, then print out a piece of paper referencing where it is in the folder. If it's digital, place it in a reference folder on your hard drive with relevant file name that would alphabetize it where you think it should go. Video source material is indexed and you don't want to move it or make another copy... then make a shortcut/alias to it in the reference folder on your computer. This also gives you the benefit of naming it something else, if needed.

Those information stores, I have in several places. Some are in physical paper file folders. Some are in computer folders on a hard disk. Some are in a Mail folder. Some are in a NoteBook (the Mac-only app by Circus Ponies) document. Some are in Toodledo task notes.


If you're having trouble finding things, then you must have too many places to look. The number of inboxes you have don't matter so much as what you do to process what's in them. You start off saying some are in physical folders then some are in computer folders, then you name more things that are also on a computer hard disk that could just as easily be put into proper folders. For lack of better terms... just pick one place on your computer and stick to it. If you can't really move anything into whatever you choose, put a placeholder of some sort, just like the paper you use in the physical file to say where a book is. I use Toodledo Notes and reference URLs, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
troy.christmas

Posted: Apr 28, 2013
Score: 0



We are close to launching a solution that we hope will provide better integration of Evernote and Task Services like Toodledo. If you'd like to be notified when our beta is released, please complete our simple Google Form
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16nPFDkbdLfK-zK3fOMmET7ryFv4eJy5otL35iSUQ43M/viewform
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