July 29, 2009
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Tinderbox and Noguchi Shelving

Tinderbox and Noguchi Shelving
Noguchi shelving in Tinderbox. The most-recently used item is always on top; Tinderbox handles the color-coding automagically.

Loryn Jenkins adapts ideas from the Noguchi Filing System for use in his Tinderbox Career Daybook. The underlying idea is simple: instead of trying to remember where you put each item, just keep items a shelf. Every time you use something, it goes at the left end. Every time you add something, it goes at the left end. You never put things back; everything goes at the left end. Want to find something? Start at the left end.

This can work surprisingly well for complex assortments of things — articles to read, emails you receive, books in your office. It’s most useful, naturally, for collections of things that contain lots of different items without much internal structure. Take my desk...

Tinderbox gives you great fallbacks, too, for finding things quickly by searching for keywords, or using agents to locate them based on tag clouds or properties. And Tinderbox can automatically handle tagging, sorting, and color coding.

One of my journals, the one I call my Career Daybook, has developed into a real hybrid: a professional networking logbook beside nascent inventions and innovation descriptions with ideas for blogging and research and development projects flowing into my blog-writing and archiving system. (Whew!)