Subsystem

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Transfer of cards in the PoIC

I use other things to enhance this system. The main contributor is a 'field note'. This is used as temporary memory. Another is 'Moleskine Memo Pocket' (icPod). It is modified to carry 5x3 index cards around.

Fieldnote

Kokuyo field note with elastic band addition hack.

測量野帳 (Sokuryo Yacho, field note) is used among surveying engineer, field scientist for long time. コクヨ (Kokuyo), a Japanese largest stationery company, sells field note in several format ; sketch book (quadrille), level book, etc. Of course, I use quadrille. It seems the Kokuyo's fieldnote is the only solution in Japan.

梅棹忠夫 (Umesao, Tadao) and 川喜田二郎 (Kawakita, Jiro) both wrote productivity book related to index cards in 1960' to 1970'. According to their books, they use this kind of field note since they are field scientist. I have been using the field note on my job, too. Through my experience, I found I can use it not only for field work, but also personal idea capturing media.

I hack the field note by adding elastic band as you see in the picture. It enables to bind a pencil between current pages. I use a pencil itself as bookmark. I open page in a second.

Why Field Note?

8 mm thickness, 80 pages, 80 g, 3 mm quadrille.

Toughness : It is designed for outdoor use, as it's nature. It's thick hard cover enable to take a note in any posture. As you start to use index cards, you will find many situation you cannot write index card. Ideas emerge in anytime/anywhere, in a train, in a bed, in a darkness. The field note is the best as idea capturing media in such situation.

Reasonable : Surprisingly, the quality is enough good even such a reasonable price. I use the field note as temporal memory in metaphor of "virtual memory" on computer. It works well if it won't cost too much. Imagine if a note costs $20, like Moleskine actually does, one surely hesitate to write small ideas on it. A high price makes us feel that we have to write something "important". However, it doesn't make sense if we don't use a note in daily base. A note should not be a "souvenir". The low price (but high quality) of the field note makes me feel free to write anything.

Why not hipster PDA ?

It might be a simple and natural question. Because the hipster PDA (hPDA) uses 5x3 index cards, too.

I used to try hPDA prior to the fieldnote. But it is not compatible with this system in several reason.

  • it uses 5x3 index cards in portrait (vertical). This is troublesome not only for writing format in this system, but also when storing in the Dock. Conversely, it is difficult to use hPDA in landscape (horizontal) because It doesn't fit for hand.
  • it is impossible to write better letter on hPDA. In this system, an index card is data which consists a database. It means we should write in better letter for good visibility.
  • it is dissipative. It hold just with a single clip. But I really don't want lost my cards. Also, I used to wash hPDA together with shirts.

It is somewhat paradoxical but the field note is more compatible with this system than hPDA.

icPod (Modified Moleskine Memo Pockets)

Introducing icPod

I use Moleskine Memo Pocket as mobile card box. In the PoIC, we collect not only GTD stuff, but all thoughts including Records, Discovery, and Cite by using index cards. It is quite possible a number of cards exceed 30 per day. A clip-holded hipster PDA is not compatible with the PoIC. All we need here is not something like portable RAM, but a portable storage like iPod.

Taking 5x3 index cards around using Moleskine is originally rewl's idea. But the Moleskine's pockets are just-fit for 5x3 size and inconvenient to put/pick index cards inside. Another problem is the accordion is too high. It prevent us to see what cards inside. In order to overcome these problem, I hack the Memo Pockets as following,

  1. Fold all accordions in reverse,
  2. Cut away half length of the pockets, then
  3. Put dividers for each pockets.

There are 6 pockets in the Memo Pockets. The dividers are Monday through Friday, plus Someday/Maybe and Next Action comes front end. I put all cards in front of each divider in order to see the title and time tag.

I show the detailed modification procedure on the flickr.

Dock and Pod

Since I have called a card box as “Dock”, it is natural to name this modified Memo Pockets as “Pod”. It resemble to a concept of the iPod, too : A thousand songs in your pocket. It resemble to space vehicle in Sci-Fi and animation like “Gundam” as well. This pod is for index cards, so I call it icPod. :)

If we settle it just in front of the Dock, the meaning of name Pod is clear ; stable dock and mobile pod. A spacial sequence corresponds to temporal one, "here to there" equal "now to past".

What is inside the icPod?

Since I use the field note for mobile idea capturer, I don't need to take blank index cards with icPod. The Cards in the icPod are all I have written.

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