Face it, it’s true. You probably have between one and ten different projects on the go — separate units of work that require your attention. And each of these projects has dozens of files, scattered across your computer.
And then you have that Outlook inbox that has too many things sitting in it. Maybe one Friday afternoon, in a minor panic, you started to create folders under your inbox, one for each project — and then you shuffled a few items in there to try to lessen the load. But rather than help, this now means you just have an extra place to look. Perhaps you still have several overdue tasks lingering in your outlook tasks folder, again from a time when you were going to make a serious effort to get on top of this…
Screw it, you think. This is the twenty-first century. If Google has taught us anything, it’s that filing and organization are a waste of time. I’ll just use Outlook’s new search feature whenever I want to find something, right? My own personal cloud. Yeah!
Except, after amassing your own sizable cloud, you realize that this plan doesn’t actually work that well. You search, and you search, and you get some results, but not the one email you thought you were looking for. And then you realize that maybe it wasn’t an email, it was in an attachment to an email. But in order to stay under your inbox quota, you might have deleted it. So your pour through your temporary files, opening random word documents with arbitrary filenames like “AC00012$.DOCX” in a vain effort to recover some vital piece of information you thought you had, because it was in your inbox, but now you’re not so sure…
Storing everything isn’t enough. The horrible truth is that, despite our years of progress in computer science, your computer is not as smart as you. Only you can bring the context to your information. And so, you are going to need to a system to do that. Not a computer system — but a human system. A way by which you impart context for each piece of information you deal with.
A (dramatic gasp) filing system.
Over the last few years, Dean and I have diligently researched and wrestled with all the traditional approaches to information management. We’ve looked at how businesses file, how librarians file, at taxonomies and ontologies and folksonomical classification. We’ve looked at auto-classifiers, summarizers, relationship-based recommendation algorithms. We’ve struggled with task based GTD philosophies, and mocked the semantic markup efforts to bring meaning to content through metadata.
The point of all this effort has been for us to find a way to make your job easier. To deal with the fact that your day to day information management is a mess. And, after years of discussion, design, development and heartache we think we have found a system that will solve your problem, once and for all.
A system that allows you to bring context to your information, without you having to spend lots of time doing it. A system that rewards you for filing, where you can always find what you need in an instant.
We’re calling it the Keep It Together system, and it’s the human system behind our computer application — Infovark 2.0, which is due for release soon.