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Why folding?

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Jun 20, 2018 at 01:16 PM


I agree with Luhmann - yes, I know I witter on about folding all the time, but actually it’s about being able to focus specifically on one thing while maintaining a broad overview of a host of other (possibly related) things, so the zooming/hoisting concept is also valid. On another level, it’s why mind mapping is interesting: but I find it lacking in precision. I would love to see a knowledge management app that allowed you to move blocks of information/text into prime position without losing their links to their original context. This would make sense for writing purposes, but also for task management and other activities involving prioritisation. There are some clever concepts currently emerging in task management apps, but keeping that combination of zoomed-in detail view surrounded by big-picture overview appears to be a very difficult thing to visualise and implement.

Folding is, I suppose, one of the simplest expressions of this requirement, but it’s certainly not the definitive one. Side-by-side views (or clever cross-comparable hierarchies like Gingko’s) are other possibilities. Tagging is a way of focusing, but I can’t think of any apps that have really mastered the advantages of tagging to the full (pace ConnectedText), because for me, a tagged view should coexist with other views of the same information, such as a list-based overview.

Having said that, more and more information management apps are allowing you to open multiple windows (Things, Bear, Ulysses, Keep It, Scrivener, Notebooks for iOS, etc. etc.), which certainly helps to manage complex masses of info more easily.