Jay...You told me to take a few weeks off before my head explodes, but I was
challenged & inspired by your posting and decided to go forward and try to
I'd loved to have met your dad and his 3x5 cards.
I personally have to date 250,000 cards, 3x5 inch cards. (Major space & access
My 1st project is "things to do" cards, maybe 1000 cards.
I want in 3 folders by priority, and move them back and forth depending on
current priority. Of course each of these folders will likely have 3 sub folders
A,B,C or whatever. And of course as I go many will be deleted or put in a folder
called "Completed Tasks" or whatever.
The other index cards are impossible to describe but let's call them
"projects"...And each stack of cards is a "project", and they are bound by hair
bands (rubber bands break to easily).
So imagine all these stacks of "projects" (maybe 25-400 cards in each stack),
imagine all these stacks laying around everywhere on desks, in custom boxes,
wherever bound together with hairbands.
Every card within these batches are in a position for a reason, until I pick
them up and maybe move the order around a little bit, but they are in a certain
order for whatever reason, and I am used to where they are...BUT to answer your
question they take up too much space and are too hard to find and access in
tight quarters...And what I want is clean slate open desk space.
So I simply want to one card or one project at a time put them on my pc, let's
say I have a project called "Handyman", in this pile of cards will be let's say
100 cards with 100 handymen or craftsmen in there and on each card detailed
information written by hand by me of when we met, what job was done etc.
I would of course have in my computer a folder named handyman and that is where
these cards would go.
So I should say that the vast majority of my cards are not "things to do" cards
but "project" cards or whatever you want to call them.
The "things to do" index cards by their very nature will require moving from
folder to folder a lot (based on current priority). And I need to see them in
thumbnail view of some kind and each time I visit them I do NOT want them to
have moved from the way I moved & positioned them in priority.
The other index cards will be more or less in the same order as they are now in
their respective hair band bound stacks...However there will be times when I
will change the position of a card in the stack or maybe move or copy it to
another completely different folder.
I guess what I'm going for is imagine sitting at a large table and you have the
cards spread in front of you like playing cards laying flat and you have them
positioned like that except on a PC.
With regards to the future, as I scan more and more cards into my pc, over the
years I will develop more and more folders and catagories and sub-folders and
just a bunch of folders of images of index cards contained in a lot of
specifically named folders depending on the subject matter of the cards therein.
I will THEN be able to locate a folder by location, name, date, subject, etc and
quickly access it for reference. I need the cards to remain in order until I
want to move them, like a desktop icon or a Opera browser icon. Simple
interface, simple access.
That done, then when I think of something I wrote or was working on 10-20 years
ago instead of picking up dusty crates and boxes of index cards TRYING to find
that batch of cards I just sit down at my pc or on my iphone whatever and access
that old batch of 3x5 cards without getting out of my chair.
By the way I'd love to brainstorm with you sometime on your big idea you
mentioned below, maybe in a private chat or other conversation, ever since the
big face to face, belly to belly networking craze of the late 1970's and early
1980's I have been intrigued by the collection and management and access to
Anyway, great post, thanks for your patience and interest.
>I believe that the custom on such lists is to add new content at the
>bottom. That way, the whole series of messages can be read from top
>bottom and be in order.
>[I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "create the
>window at the top of my response in the final view?" I am reading /
>writing these messages as ordinary textual emails, not on some website
>-- I don't what mechanisms others use to read / write them.]
>I hate to say this when your head is about to explode, but when you
>"I have something very simple I want to do and need a simple
>solution"..... you may not fully comprehend what you are getting into.
>I agree, it _seems_ simple. But, it is not trivial.
>Often, in "IT" (information technology -- your cards represent
>information), seemingly the simpler the desired result, the more
>the real problem is.
>It seems "simple" to decide where and what to eat/do/go for dinner
>tonight. However, it is a massively complex problem that our brain
>makes seem simple.
>!! You may (or may not) find a solution to what you think your problem
>is, however if you find a "simple" solution, I am willing to bet that
>before you are done implementing it, you will realize ... "gee, if I
>could just do this... and that...".
>I have experienced this syndrome over and over and over again with
>first-time technical authors who attempt too-simple approaches to
>organizing their data. They end up restructuring their information
>management several times before ending up where I knew they would have
>to ... years later.
>While I certainly don't know anything about _your_ cards, I do
>understand cards. My stepfather made at least one 3x5 card record for
>every day of his life from about the age of 15 to his 60s when he
>away unexpectedly. That's about 18,000++ cards. There is only one
>person on earth who can translate the tiny squiggly "writing" [also
>lots of abbreviations and codes] on those cards, my mother. If she
>started today, there is little chance that she could complete the
>translation in her remaining lifetime. However, the cards have
>important scientific value -- he was a environmental scientist (long
>before such a term existed) and daily recorded phenology for a
>Maybe I have missed it, but I don't think I completely understand
>_exactly_ what you believe your goals are. It might be helpful (for
>yourself, if not for us), to state them concisely in writing. And I
>mean goals in terms of how you want to use, interact with the cards
>the information that the cards represent. This can be difficult for
>many people to do if they are not used to doing it. You have keep
>steering yourself back to what you want to get out of the information
>and how you want to use / interact with it. It's really not about the
>cards. That's just where the information happens to be at this
>And exactly why is the current system not working for you any more?
>That will shed light on what it is you want out of a new system.
>Instead of focusing on the physicality of the cards and always
>of the cards as cards, think about what they represent and how you
>to be using their information; now, 5 years from now, 10 years from
>Also, consider what financial value and time/resource value this
>has to you. How much money can you or are you willing to invest in
>this? How much time do you have to work on it?
>The result of these thoughts will become a set a parameters within
>you may be constrained. You then have to decide if that is
> If not, then start over again.
>It sounds like you need to let your head clear for a week or two,
>it explodes or you have to go on medication. ;-) Then take a fresh
>look at this.
>When your head is clear, read the database comments again. If parts
>it do not make sense, you are welcome to contact me off-list with
>specific questions. (This whole subject really has nothing to do with
>Gimp.) If none of the database comments make sense to you, then you
>need to read up about the basics of databases and information
>By the way, so you don't feel so bad, I have an idea in my head that I
>want to see done, but the software for it has not been invented yet
>I don't have the skill/training or the time to obtain the skill to do
>myself, nor the money to hire it done. What I want seems soooo simple
>on the surface, yet it is a massively complex problem where the key
>aspects are about management of meta data (data about the data).
>are a few people out there who have written briefly on the need for
>software, but nobody has devoted themselves to it. Yet what I
>has absolutely enormous applications in just about any possible field.
>It bothers me terribly every time the subject enters my head.
>Best of luck,
FriendlyBeginner (via www.gimpusers.com/forums)
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