This post unveils a JM3 technique I use when my brain’s on fire and I need the simplest possible thing to put it out. Let me explain.
There are many software organizers for making lists. I don’t like most of them. They get in the way of unravelling and documenting my thoughts. They distract me. More and more, I find myself simply throwing all the software away, closing all my open programs and simply making my lists and trees with folders, links, and screenshots. No software needed – the Finder works fine (as does Windows explorer). It’s a process that works beautifully for me – quick, visual, infinitely extensible, and keyboard-navigable:
I can “embed” anything in a list item – links, pictures, others lists. just drag it into the folder.
I can sort the items by date, by name, or impose my own artificial sorting order by naming items 1…, 2…, etc
I can view my lists as pictures, or text lists, or nested outlines.
There are key commands for every action – key commands i’ve been using for 15 years.
It never crashes. It never bugs me about installing the latest update. It never asks me to register
I also love FS Outlining (we’ll call it FSO) because it respects the existing power and paradigms of the filesystem. Searchable? Sure is. Sorting? Got that. Scalable thumbnails in any size? Yup. List view? Icon view? Tree view? Uh huh.
So, those are the pros – what are the cons? Well, it’s not networked, so it’s not backed up and it’s hard to send your outline to someone else. It’s not a “real” format, so no program will export or import from “the filesystem.” Yet. But what if one could? What programs would i want to import into? Keynote. Maybe OmniOutliner. (looking pointedly in the direction of lmorchard and his XOXO Outliner…)