Do you be havin' cards?
January 8, 2005 11:56 PM   Subscribe

Organizing the Hipster PDA has become even greater. Following up on his initial post on the matter, Merlin Mann has produced an extension of the Hipster PDA based on the knowledge he's gained in the past year. (via bOING bOING)
posted by Captaintripps (48 comments total)
Am I just missing something here, or is this FPP just linking to the idea of using a separator to avoid getting a stack of cards mixed up?
posted by Bugbread at 12:16 AM on January 9, 2005

Pretty much.
posted by pealco at 12:22 AM on January 9, 2005

I've been curious about this Getting Things Done system. Anyone have any experience or advice? I'm pretty hard up for an organization and time management system, and there seem to be a lot of fans of this one.
posted by allan at 12:44 AM on January 9, 2005

I prefer using business cards.
Smaller and carried for passing out anyway. And the front-back/new-used works the same, but just flip the face when popped to the back. No divider needed.
posted by HTuttle at 12:46 AM on January 9, 2005

My dad uses 3x5 cards to write to-do lists and keep notes. Does that make him a hpster now or is the divider essential to maintain coolness?

(Also, for coolness/hipster evaluation reasons, my dad also wrote a book on Branson.)
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:47 AM on January 9, 2005

The next person to use "hipster" to describe anything or anyone, dies.
I am so not kidding.
posted by nightchrome at 2:00 AM on January 9, 2005

When I was in college (11 years ago) I did something like this. I even designed the front and back covers to make it look all neat and special.

It lasted for about 6 days.
posted by Hands of Manos at 2:03 AM on January 9, 2005

hey nerds, check out this "cool" "hack" I came up with: I write things down in a spriral notebook. I call it the "Hipster Laptop".
it is "kick-ass" and "awesome".
posted by mr.marx at 2:39 AM on January 9, 2005

mr.marx: I am intrigued by this, do you happen to have a blog detailing this innovation?
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:47 AM on January 9, 2005

I have something better than a blog: it's called a "hiplog". I write my daily observations and stuff down in a book that says "diary" on the cover. I even did a hardware hack, where I tied a pen to it with a piece of string!
posted by Bugbread at 2:51 AM on January 9, 2005

TwelveTwo, no but you can subscribe to my newsletter

bugbread, that is truly "amazing".
posted by mr.marx at 3:31 AM on January 9, 2005

I don't think this will be added to Hipster Bingo any time soon.
posted by loquacious at 3:54 AM on January 9, 2005

I laugh at your puny "hiplog", bugbread. In my "community", we have something I like to call a "Hip-2-Hip", or if you prefer, "Distributed Hip". Because it's such an "awesome" "mod", it can even be called "H2-Oh!" on account of its "gotcha" factor, which can easily be "groked".

It's a set of bulletin boards, loacted at various parts of town - including the post office and supermarket. Sometimes, this "martix" will incorporate "Peer Distributed Flyers" (PDFs), which are plastered on streetlamps and telephone poles. It provides a "proactive" method of "streaming" data. And because of its simplicity, it "wirelessly enables" the area!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:38 AM on January 9, 2005

It's like every "post" is done entirely in "quotation speech" as if to show how "funny" and "ironic" everyone is.

Oh wait...
posted by AspectRatio at 6:33 AM on January 9, 2005

That's deck.
posted by fleetmouse at 6:36 AM on January 9, 2005

posted by seawallrunner at 7:28 AM on January 9, 2005

Actually, I find that the most effective way to process notes is to simply remember them. Fortunately I have a very effective memory that rarely forg.... um .... uh .... what was I saying?
posted by kaemaril at 7:45 AM on January 9, 2005

This is actually a very serious issue.

Prior to owning my first Palm Pilot, I kept a small notebook in my rear pocket with a ballpoint pen AT ALL TIMES. I would write down every penny I spent, as well as anything that I needed to do, phone numbers, creative/business ideas.

In fact, my notebook was my most prized possession.

I found after I got my PDA that it was more confusing and time-consuming to use. Reaching in my pocket and grabbing my notebook was easier.

This is still my conundrum. A PDA allows you to organize your data more efficiently, but it really is not as accessible as pen and paper.

To my detriment, my PDA has won out over pen-and-paper, with the end result that I just don't use my PDA as much as I would pen-and-paper. My life is poorer for all the ideas and information that never get written down now.

The point of these hipster PDAs is not that they're somehow 'cool' or 'trendy', but that truly smart people know pen-and-paper is still the most effective solution for impulsive note scribbling.

Come to think of it, I might just have to chuck my PDA and go back to pen-and-paper.

In fact, some companies have created electronic pens that record everything you write on a special paper for direct transcription into a computer. Unfortunately, the proprietary paper they require is expensive.

Now that I think about it, a combination of PDA and pen-and-paper is probably the best, but who wants to carry around extra baggage? As it is, I use a hip holster for my PDA, perhaps I could squeeze a small pad of paper in my PDA holster.
posted by PigAlien at 8:07 AM on January 9, 2005

I've been curious about this Getting Things Done system. Anyone have any experience or advice?

According to guru Drucker, people use "guru" because "charlatan" is too long.
posted by meehawl at 8:26 AM on January 9, 2005

I'm sure this should be an AskMe question but...What the HELL is a hipster???

All this time I thought a hipster was a mid 30's-early 40's beatnik kind of guy that kind of lived in the Austin Power's type world (with gadgets adn sharks with fah-reekin' lazurs)?

Personally, I like my iPaq and find it MUCH more effecient than pen and paper.

But then again, if I had a hipster PDA, I could safely back it up all at kinko's...all that for a nickel!
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:38 AM on January 9, 2005

How's this for a note card hardware hack: an organic chemistry professor told me of a way to sort thousands of note cards. He would write down an organic reaction on a notecard, across the top edge he would punch a series of holes (with a paperpunch), each one corresponding to a type of product (aldehyde, ketone, alcohol...) and turn the one that was the product of this card into a notch. The same for the side of the card, but these holes corresponded to the starting material. He would fill out a card for new reactions he saw in journals and place them in a box, lined up. If he wanted to see what reactions you could use to, say, transform a ketone into an alcohol, he would stick a knitting needle through the ketone hole on the side and the alcohol hole on the top and pick up the cards ( and shake slightly) by the knitting needles, leaving only the cards he was interested in. I suppose you could also use the other two edges for a 4-dimensional sort. Commercially offered by Mcbee.
posted by 445supermag at 9:01 AM on January 9, 2005

My dream PDA is
  • the size of a credit card, perhaps 3x thicker.
  • titanium or beryllium shelled, so that it is absolutely unbendable.
  • alternatively, can be flexed without damage.
  • has a touchscreen that covers the entire front.
  • has a series of notches along the right side which act as switches that serve as "section" selectors, probably A through Z.
  • is a wiki.

    I'd be able to scribble notes on the touchscreen. If I draw a box, it becomes a link. No need for built-in character recognition. Let me assign an "section" selector to the note, that'll be good enough; I'll scroll through the section to find the note, or I'll use the wiki link system to track it down. Hell, let me assign a couple selectors, and I can tap two in sequence to really narrow it down.

    Maybe once in a while it'd be worth connecting to a computer to do some char recognition and a bunch of other automated stuff. Wouldn't reorganize anything, but would increase readability, increase screen efficiency (8pt type is far smaller than my scrawl), and decrease memory use.

    Simple. Walletable. Unconstrained.

  • posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2005

    The name started as a joke. I had noticed that several friends (and I) had each picked up the habit of carrying around a few index cards and a binder clip. The funny part was that a couple of us (cough) were ostensibly “computer people” who preferred this lo-fi solution over the electronic version. For better or worse, the name stuck.

    I mean, yeah, I know the concept’s not exactly rocket science, but that’s sort of the idea.
    posted by merlinmann at 9:23 AM on January 9, 2005

    I'll say this: I can't hold onto one of those damned Fisher space pens for longer than a day. I must have lost ten by now. There are some Papermates I've had lying around for years, but the the astronaut pens are always gone the minute I turn around.

    So I would probably have to stick with some kind of "hipster space pen."
    posted by coelecanth at 9:39 AM on January 9, 2005

    It's bad that all this "Getting Things Done"/ Hipster PDA wackiness is all way too complicated for me to understand, right?

    I guess I have a hipster PDA too: it's called a big backpack, and I stuff everything in it -- cab receipts, notebooks, illegible scraps of paper, paystubs, business cards, powerbar wrappers -- and every December I dump it onto the floor and throw most of it away, and leave the rest on the floor as a sort of semi-organic carpet. Take that, you social-climbing, appointment-loving hepcats.
    posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2005

    As far as hipster goes, I prefer to use trendnik to describe those people. (Of course trendnik bashing is so hip these days.)

    For PDAs, I use my brain, mostly, or an occasional note pinned to my bulletin board where I keep my bills. However, the Getting Things Done series has gotten me to organize my brain a little better. The paperclips are a little hard to fit through the skull, but they solve so many problems.
    posted by Captaintripps at 9:57 AM on January 9, 2005

    hey nerds, check out this "cool" "hack" I came up with: I write things down in a spriral notebook.

    That would be great, you know, if the link wasn't in reference to following the "getting things done" method, in which using a spiral notebook wouldn't work. But that would require you to actually read the link instead of being, you know, hip.
    posted by justgary at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2005

    [this is dumb]

    btw, if you think this is all sorts of amazing, because you can't figure out a PDA,
    and you hadn't already figured it out on your own, seek help, seriously.
    posted by milovoo at 11:52 AM on January 9, 2005

    On the road I use a moleskin notebook. I like the small ones because they are fairly rugged, where traditional pocket notebooks would fall apart too quickly.

    At home I use post-it notes. I'm absolutely addicted. I write all sorts of random notes, appointments, and phrases. For instance this thread alone has added two posts to the wall in front of my desk. "Trendnik" and "People use 'Guru' because 'Charlatan' is too long."

    The environment has become so information rich, it's almost like smog. There is so much information it's become difficult to see what is important data and what's junk. It's also difficult to remember exactly what a piece of data is, why it's relevant, or where it was observed. Small notebooks or cards are a better solution than traditional PDAs which sometimes help clear the air, but often contribute to the smog.
    posted by elwoodwiles at 12:02 PM on January 9, 2005

    I think that my favorite moments on metafilter are when someone posts a link, all the usual cranks come out to lay down a carpet of snark bombs, and then the person who was liked to turns up with an account. An old account, even. Love it.
    posted by majcher at 12:04 PM on January 9, 2005

    BTW, nothing makes you sound more like an obvious rube than using the word 'hipster' like that.
    (but then again, go ahead and keep it up, as it's better to know things like that early on in the conversation)
    posted by milovoo at 12:05 PM on January 9, 2005

    I own an older palm model, and I know how to use it, but sometimes paper is so much more accessible- I carry a "quintessential little book" (55mm x 70mm) for jotting down notes, ideas, whatever. It's much faster and easier. The funny thing though, is that these books were evidently designed to put half-smoked joints in, in order to flatten and hold them. Who knew?
    posted by exlotuseater at 12:07 PM on January 9, 2005

    I use a wiki. Soon, it will be a wiki that is regularly mirrored to a webserver. Just in case I should ever not have my laptop with me. Which, granted, isn't often at all.
    posted by five fresh fish at 12:19 PM on January 9, 2005

    I'm amazed nobody yet has mentioned electronic ink, or e-paper. I've been hearing about this since I was like 8 years old. It always seems to be "around 5 years away". File under 'flying car'.
    posted by meehawl at 12:32 PM on January 9, 2005

    Weird. I was just searching through AskMeFi looking for any threads about Getting Things Done.

    Anyhow, the book arrived on Friday and I spent yesterday trying to puzzle out how I could incorporate its wisdom into my life.

    Turns out, the simpler your solution, the better. The overall idea, to the best of my knowledge, is that you should quickly dump all your ideas into a big pile and then spend time, periodically, sorting through the pile and ruthlessly evaluating what you will and won't do.

    It really isn't a bad book, but there is a lot of plain common sense in there. Typically with these sorts of books, there's nothing revolutionary. It's more about how the information is presented so that it clicks with the right crowd. It sorta clicks with me.

    Anyhow, the Hipster PDA is kinda funny. My only beef with it is that I like my data in digital format. It's easier and cheaper to maintain and search through. Of course, the digital interfaces we have available to us crampour style; it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
    posted by C.Batt at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2005

    When I read the posts done in quotation speech, I always hear them in the voice of Comic Book Guy.
    posted by doublehelix at 12:38 PM on January 9, 2005

    meehawl -- Do they have flying cars in Japan? (see also) You can't write on it yet, though.
    posted by Utilitaritron at 1:49 PM on January 9, 2005

    There is no difference between a hipster and a disco dancer.
    posted by orange clock at 7:54 PM on January 9, 2005

    I just reorganized this week via G.T.D. on account of 43 folders, it's a beautiful thing.

    You may think the notecards stupid, but stupid simple is the point. Something simple to implement can easily be transformed into a habit, and good habits are the path to excellence.

    Just ask Aristotle.
    posted by leotrotsky at 8:00 PM on January 9, 2005

    I had an instructor in university who had a simple system. He folded a peice of paper so that the creases divided up two rows of 7 areas. Simple 14 day calendar/todo list.
    posted by srboisvert at 8:23 PM on January 9, 2005

    You may think the notecards stupid

    I don't think anyone thinks the notecards stupid. Just extraordinarily common sense. Maybe it's an age thing, but for some of us, a "Hipster PDA" page that says "use a divider to keep cards from getting mixed up" is along the lines of a "Hipster Car" page that says, "if your feet hurt when walking, try wearing shoes".
    posted by Bugbread at 9:27 PM on January 9, 2005

    I use paper, and then transfer it to OmniOutliner when I get a chance. I hope this doesn't make me a hipster.
    posted by mosch at 9:39 PM on January 9, 2005

    As a person who is faced with my fair share of challenges getting shit organized, I think it's kind of crumby everyone's being so snarky. I mean - it's not the best link around (ie: I already know about it, visited it, saw it) but give the guy a break. Sheesh.

    I use luck , scraps of paper etc., and innefficiently organized neural pathways. I don't really recommend this system though...
    posted by prettyboyfloyd at 8:46 AM on January 10, 2005

    Isn't hipster in this case just a pun (keep it in your hip pocket) that people are getting maybe just a wee tad worked up about here?
    posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:53 AM on January 10, 2005

    MeFi people getting a wee tad worked up over nothing at all? Say it isn't so!
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:37 AM on January 10, 2005

    I would like to point out that, as with many so-called upgrades in our pathetic modern times, no features were added in this revision, only prettier packaging.

    From the 1.0 spec:

    Try using a single different-colored card as a visual separator between used and fresh cards in your stack (helps you from accidentally giving someone an old, written-on note)

    As for the "END" card, this is clearly feature bloat as most users would notice that the EOC (End of Cards) condition clearly signals deck-end and is a clear deliniation between deck and the ensuing entropy beyond. Some would argue that this helps rectify the "Which End Is The Front" problem, but only ninnies seemed to have that problem in the first place.

    I myself firmy advocate a more open source solution, the Used Printer Separator Page Quarter Fold, far more economical and environmentally friendly than the Hipster and far less prone to "deck crash" (though per-record deletion continues to be an issue).

    As for the input device, I cannot argue that the Space Pen is not an amazing tool. I have one given to me as a graduation present nearly 15 years ago that still writes like it did on day one, though I dislike the rather glopy consistency and little-kid sized writing output. Microgels are nearly as cool and priced 1/10th as much. One does not get the high features, but then again most circumstances one would need such features are incompatible with legible handwriting (not to mention with, you know, normal paper).
    posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:04 PM on January 10, 2005

    It's quality insights such as those Ogre has just provided us that keeps me coming back to MeFi. The wit and wisdom in this place is boundless.
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:32 PM on January 10, 2005

    Previous chat about pens on metafilter and notebooks on metafilter
    posted by jonvaughan at 2:32 AM on January 11, 2005

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