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best ways of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately

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Posted by doablesoftware
Dec 4, 2019 at 11:17 PM


there are no softwares/sites/apps currently in this world that enable or helps you reach this goal:

* find the info you want near-immediately

* and without putting a high cognitive load on the user

but could apps/sites be designed in a better way to afford this? that’s an interesting question but the answer is that there most likely would be. simply cos something isnt designed doesnt mean it cant be, obvisly


a simple example: one of the many things ive been looking for indirectly/passively over time is easy ways to do this: when computers starts, it shows a full screen list or full screen note on all virtual desktops

* i dunno if this would be found, but if it’s unlikely that’s oses and desktops arent designed for this


so when we think about what are the best ways of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately

* that would ofc lead to the good designs of apps/sites

the ways that ppl have of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately are commonly very complex, this is cos ppl are going around the extreme of current softwares, they’re making workarounds for the bad poor design of continual status quo of softwareland

but in case someoen out tehre has best ways of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately without putting a high cognitive load on the user, im interested in what they are

1 year from now is fine, i dont check things often anyhow, and i think my last post on this site was 2 years ago or something

if you knew about all best ways of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately and are able to rank them, that would be great

if not, thats ok i can rank the options based on what options are mentioned in the comments


edit: one thing that comes to mind right now is distributing info across various software, a type of compartmentalization method, but ofc like with many things, there’s lots of limits here like you have to remember where you have put things, and since softwares arent named apparioately for the info you’ve stored in said softwares, then isnt helpfuling either, nor can you changed/edit the name of the software on ur computer, whcih ofc is basic feature/function that should be possible

but having info distrubutied across many bad apps/sites isnt neccessarily any better than having them on one actually good tool

the brain obvisuly isnt a good softwaer, neurosci has shown there to be many many incredible flaws and limits to our otherwise incredible brains, and thats the purpose of software, to help our dumb brains just like ml-driven self-driving are there to help us also, as like with all other robots, digital or not

so we have a software problem for this simple goal right here: best ways of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately, and maybe theres ppl in the world like 1 person who’s working on this problem. bu its clearly not google

do you know how much spam and garbage is on google, do you know any of the highest qulaity things on the web could not easiely be found on google? are any other search engines better? i dunno, i dunno there’s been any extensive/good meta-analysis tests on this

one thing that we do know is that we cant fundamentally change the nature of info, in the forms they come such as language, etc we can alter and modidry that in some ways but its very limited what we can do in terms of changing the forms in which info arrives and would pre-packaged, so we know that this is gonna be one set/default restriction/limitation/constraint to the overalll design

anyway,  best ways of structuring/organising info to find info you want near-immediately without putting a high cognitive load on the user?


Posted by doablesoftware
Dec 4, 2019 at 11:25 PM


that’s cos oses and desktops arent designed for this* (and dont give the option to do so)


Posted by nirans@gmail.com
Dec 5, 2019 at 01:09 AM


One thing that. I am realizing is that capturing information and putting information into a retrieval system should be two different activities. To reduce cognitive load, I am trying to just have one system where I can record my thoughts, so that I don’t lose them - capture beginning far more important than anything else. If you lose the thought, you have nothing to categorize. Retrieval and **processing** has to occur at another level. [Processing ](https://zettelkasten.de/posts/collectors-fallacy/) is far more than simply storing, it is digesting captured notes and ideas.

I wish I had one system where my ideas could simply live in neat organized categories. But, in Devonthink hold records - professional notes and technical insights, and things I want to reference (primaries references) - the danger is just because I have something does not mean I understand it. The Archive holds connected thoughts and musings(ideas spur other ideas because they are connected). IA Writer, in a repository for lager notes about courses, blog posts, and longer miscellaneous thoughts and writing. Scrivener is for even longer writing.  NVAlt for little notes that I want to reference quickly - but just seem to float in space- notes for shopping, products, things for out and about with no lasting value. Things/Noteplan for tasks.

Then there are the thought processors - omnioutliner, iThoughts, Scapple, Tinderbox…sometimes Curio.

Maybe with something like Hook (still playing) things won’t get lost. That seems like a lot of apps when I look at the list - maybe there is something to be said about the plain text project.Org mode(Emacs) certainly looks interesting, and I have been playing with this for the last. few days instead of doing things - well there you go another app added to help me get “organized”.


Posted by Paul Korm
Dec 5, 2019 at 03:08 AM


Hook has a major flaw: there is no way to discover what Hook knows.

I can create a bunch of links between documents or other entities with Hook (what Hook’s maker calls a “mesh”).  Then a week later if I have no idea which documents belong to that mesh (a not-uncommon occurrence for anyone who creates or ingests a lot of files over time) then I have no way to query Hook and say: “show me my meshes so I can work with the one I’m looking for”.

I agree with the premise @doablesoftware started this thread with—which I would state as “life is not optimal when the cognitive energy expended to find ‘information’ exceeds the energy to create, capture, or store ‘information’, and there’s no commonly available software that reverses that inequality”.

This, for me, is a major reason too CRIMP, even though CRIMPing makes more problems than it solves.


Posted by Jeffery Smith
Dec 5, 2019 at 03:57 AM


I had high hopes for Ashton-Tate’s “Framework” in the mid-80s. I was on a teacher’s salary, and it had a ridiculously high price ($695?). I finally located a marked-down one at a local software place that was dumping all of their older stuff, and I loved the idea. But I had trouble integrating my research into it because it had some stark limitations (e.g., no subscripts or superscripts!). It was obviously designed for the business world and not the biology research world. Still, if someone made a 21st-century version of it, I’d probably buy it (but not for $695). Modern hypertext programs probably have the same abilities, but not right out of the box. Turning a cell in a spreadsheet into another spreadsheet or a word processing document, that was remarkable.



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