29 July 2007

My 3×5 Life

Those of you that know me well, know that I keep my work life (and home life ocassionally) on 3×5 cards. This week I hit the mother lode of 3×5 card accessories at Levenger — my favorites were the 3×5 card bleachers and the pen pocket briefcase. I ordered a set of bleachers for home and one for work, and one pen pocket briefcase. I also ordered a set a 3×5 sized file folders…I’m not sure how I’ll use them, but they very cute. I’m sure there will be additional orders later.

While I was waiting for those items to arrive I started doing some research looking for 3×5 card templates - Levenger sells cards preprinted with small forms, grids, etc. which were quite expensive ($44/thousand - or about 10 times the cost of plain 3×5 cards at staples or office depot.) I found there was an entire subculture of 3×5 card junkies…who have produced a ton of various templates and posted them on the web. I’ve downloaded quite a few and I’m trying them out…I’ll let you know which ones work best for me. The best sites for 3×5 junkies seem to be hipsterPDA and 43Folders. I think I’m going to end up making my own templates to accommodate my own idiosyncrasies (though many others seem to share some of them - case in point - I jot down note on each voicemail I receive and someone actually has a form for that.)

Beyond the templates I also found a very interesting micro-wiki application which prints 3×5 cards. The GTDTiddlyWiki is an html page which you download to your computer - it uses javascript to record your changes within the html page — with no server needed. It works like most wikis with short hand formatting, links, etc. It is setup to print to 3×5 cards complete with titles and small tick boxes to check things off your list while you’re on the go. This really addresses my compulsive list making…which is what most of the 3×5 cards become.

So a combination of template forms for quick on the go items and the GTDTiddleyWiki for cleaning up the lists should do me well. So why not keep all this in my PDA? Though I have tried several applications (my favorite for windows mobile was Teddy Lindsey’s SmarterTasks.) I find I keep electronic lists up for a week or two and then revert back to cards. There is something about shuffling the cards about and organizing them in ordered piles, pinning them to the wall, or now organizing them in bleachers that seems to get me back to on track.

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